Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall Basics

I love sewing; it's one of my most favourite creative pursuits. Coming back to blogging has been such a positive experience; my mood has been in an upswing since my first post.  With the exception of my Fen top and lemon Roberts Dungarees, all the makes I've shared here were made over the past year and a half. 

Sewing is still a full-contact sport for me, which has been incredibly hard to acknowledge.  I try to follow the 1:3 activity vs rest ratio in all of my daily activities, i.e. 10 minutes of activity followed by 30 minutes of rest,  but didn't do it well enough when making my lemon dungarees and paid the price.  I was bedridden over Thanksgiving weekend and I am still in recovery mode. I began to feel as though sewing would have to pass out of my life. 

I used to sew at least 20 hours a week prior to my diagnosis.  Obviously, I can't keep up anything remotely close to that output now, nor am I going to try; but, I need to strike a balance between the necessity of making and the necessity of rest.  Enter the Summer of Basics make along, which I am tweaking to suit the season. Making three garments over three months is entirely feasible for me.  I can still indulge in sewing but on a more responsible scale. 

Striped jersey from L'Oiseau Fabrics, stretch denim from Fabricville.

After my recent setback, I took the time to reevaluate how I sew and my true wardrobe gaps. I narrowed those down to three key items:  1) a rainbow stripe Renfrew top,  2) a yellow stripe Renfrew top, and 3) an indigo stretch denim pair of Roberts Dungarees.  My lemon pair have become a wardrobe staple (stretch poplin FTW!) and adding a neutral pair makes perfect sense.  Renfrew tops are absolute wardrobe staples already and adding fun stripes to that mix is always a good idea, right?  I even managed to get my rainbow stripe Renfrew cut out a few weeks ago prior to this epiphany, so I'm already ahead of the game. 

On the knitting front, I have more flexibility. Knitting is primarily a sitting activity, so it's easier for me to do.  I tend to have one large project and one pair of socks on the go at one time.  However, I've been casting on All The Things lately and now have a few too many projects on the go.  As such, I'm going to focus on finishing off the garments I have on my needles before casting on a new make.

I've just finished the body of my Emmeline vest.  Emmeline is a self-drafted, bottom up, seamless knit in this amazingly bright magenta Cascade 220 wool.  The colour is so fabulous, isn't it? All I need to finish is the ribbing the arms and neckline; although I am debating about knitting a cowl neck like my Harriet jumper.  What do you think?

Also on the needles is a Flax Light sweater for me based on this one I knit for my daughter. I'm using some of the leftover yarn from that, as well as some scrumptious hand dyed yarn, for my version.  I'll incorporate the fading techniques I learned whilst knitting my (now frogged) So Faded jumper.  I'm almost at the sleeve separation which always feels like a victory.

Lastly, is a second faded Flax Light for my daughter. She chose the beautiful colours and I love how it's coming together.  This was delayed as I needed a set of small (30 cm) circular needles to knit her sleeves.  They've finally arrived and I'm working away at it.  I've used Knit Picks Stroll Tonal and Heathers in this jumper as my girl is a huge superwash merino fan.  

So there it is. My slow, sensible, and achievable making plan for the next three months.  Making things for myself is a form of self-care and I really think we need to get rid of the term selfish sewist.  I feel most of us pursue sewing as a form of self-care, self-love, and/or self-acceptance and there's nothing selfish about that.

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