I lost my sewjo, but then I got it back

I have not sewn many clothes yet, as anyone following my blog is aware. After I made the three wet suits, I kind of lost my sewjo. I tinkered around with a few small projects: I made 2 bikini swimsuits, poorly, that I promptly mailed out to their intended recipients with profuse apologies and a warning that I would never sew another bikini again. Part of the problem with that particular project was the fact that I had downloaded a bikini pattern that came with NO sizing, and NO pattern instructions. I assumed putting the bikini together would be fairly straightforward, but I was dead wrong. It was not straightforward at all, and I elongated my straight stitch to sew these monstrosities, but did not use a zigzag stitch because I had such a small seam allowance that my machine kept eating the fabric. I felt that the material would be stretchy enough for some (?) reason, until I tried one on (over my own underwear) and realized I had made an egregious mistake. My friend (HI LINDSAY!) was kind enough to send a glowing review along with a photo proving that she was able to get that stupid bikini on, probably for the first and last time, HA!

Anyhow, after sewing the bikinis, I was really feeling dejected, and like maybe sewing isn't for me, and I wasted my time and money buying all that fabric, but maybe its going to be okay if I just never sew knits again. So naturally I went to the fabric store and bought enough stretch jersey to sew dresses for the girls. Gah, I'm impossible to me sometimes. But then the fabric just Sat there in bags, taunting me. Of course it did, I didn't want to sew with knits anymore.

I moved on. I tinkered with some small repair jobs: I repaired a T-shirt my "stepson" snagged on a tree branch when he was mowing. I slapped together some doll clothes for Sparrow from my scrap bin. I figured out how to use my sewing machine to embroider our names on our masks so that when they get washed together we don't lose track of which mask belongs to which person. I prepped fiber for the first round of the Tour de Fleece starting at the end of June. I weeded garden beds.

Then I cut out and sewed patch pockets onto my previously least favorite apron. I've been tinkering with this apron literally for years. I made it 9 years ago before Abby was born, and then it sat in a box for 8.5 years or so because I hated it; but it was made out of pretty colors and it was reversible, and I had hoped someday I would figure out how to fix it. So a few months ago, I fixed the first thing I hated about it, which is that it was split up the middle from the hem all the way to the waist band. Basically it was made from three pieces of fabric: two rectangles of reversible fabric gathered at the waist, attached to a waistband. It was open in the back, and in the front. Like chaps, but fabric and an apron. It was ugly. I don't know about you, but when I wear an apron, I really want it to protect the front of my clothes. I don't run into many problems with getting spills down the sides of my leg. So I just zigzagged across both pieces of fabric in the front until the gap was stitched closed. In retrospect, I probably should have used matching thread instead of grey thread on orange fabric...but oh well.

So I fixed the problem and the apron was now functional, but then every time I wore it I had no place to set my phone while I was cooking. I know, the counter is right there. But this thing needed pockets, trust me. So made some pockets. Basically, using tracing paper I cut out a rectangle, wider at the top than the bottom, stitched all the way around the sides and bottom edges of both pieces with right sides together, flipped it right side out and ironed it. Then I used my seam ripper to cut the two pieces apart, and now I had 2 patch pocket pieces with the seam allowances turned under and ready to be sewn on. I made a contrasting set of pockets for the reverse side of the apron. Then I pinned a pair on the apron right where I wanted them using my dress form to hold everything up off the floor. Once the first set of pockets were right where I wanted them, I flipped the apron over and used my pins as a guide to place the second set of pockets.

I'm certain there is an easier way to do all of this patch pocket business, but part of getting my sewjo back was working through a small creative challenge to give me a feeling of success, AND IT WORKED.

Sewists and makers of all genders, I love this apron now! It's my favorite clothing accessory, and I can't wait to have more opportunities to wear it. Now I want to wear it in the garden, it has pockets for my shears and my phone. I want to wear it in the kitchen. It has mother fuckin' pockets!

After stitching the pockets on individually by hand with tiny invisible stitches, I felt ready to tackle a piece of clothing, which we will cover in next weeks blog post.

Please tell me in the comments below, what do you do to get yourself out of a creative rut or low spot?

Until then, thanks for reading, and happy making!

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