Sewing Thoughts #5

This is a new regular feature that I’m trying out here. It’s simply a peak at what’s been going on in my head, related to sewing. There will tentatively be one Sewing Thoughts post every other Saturday. I hope that these posts will generate some discussion and sharing of experiences. 

What’s on my sewing machine right now: a set of coordinated bags for school

Back to school: The blog was quiet this week because I’ve been focused on getting ready for the school year. I’ve been using our secondary computer for this work, but it’s not a comfortable set up. I just couldn’t get a post up with school work being the top priority for my computer use. I do have a couple completed projects to show you soon though!
A little bit of knitting: Amazingly, I finished a pair of knitted slippers (not just an orphan slipper). Unfortunately, when I tried to felt them in my washing machine, they grew! I am not sure why they got bigger rather than smaller. This is my first experience with felting. Does anyone know what might have caused this?
Fall sewing: I always want to be the kind of seamstress who sews projects for the season to come, so that they’ll be ready to wear when the weather changes. However, I’m not that kind of seamstress. I have started thinking about what I’d like to make for the fall, but these projects probably won’t be realized until it’s actually fall already. I know I’ll be sewing a dress to wear to a wedding in October and a Chanel-style jacket that I didn’t finish last spring because it got hot out before I could. By then I wasn’t motivated to finish it because I wouldn’t be able to wear it for a few months.
What’s on your to-sew list for fall?
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Sewing Thoughts #4

This is a new regular feature that I’m trying out here. It’s simply a peak at what’s been going on in my head, related to sewing. There will tentatively be one Sewing Thoughts post every other Saturday. I hope that these posts will generate some discussion and sharing of experiences. 

What’s on my sewing machine right now: Simplicity 1892, view C, in pink rayon challis & red rayon challis.

Back to school: The start of a new school year is around the corner and I’m starting to think of what new items I’ll need for the year. I already know that a new lunch bag is in order. And, of course, I hope to maximize what’s left of my summer sewing time.
A little bit of knitting: I am the kind of person that always needs to be doing something with her hands, so knitting is a great outlet while I’m watching tv in the evenings. However, I’m not as good at sticking with a knitting project as I am with sewing projects. I just started on a pair of knitted slippers and am hoping that I don’t abandon the project before I’ve made a pair. You see, I have a history of only making one mitten.
Do you do anything crafty or creative while you watch television?

Sewing Thoughts #3

This is a new regular feature that I’m trying out here. It’s simply a peak at what’s been going on in my head, related to sewing. There will tentatively be one Sewing Thoughts post every other Saturday. I hope that these posts will generate some discussion and sharing of experiences. 

What’s on my sewing machine right now: Nothing…still. I am in the process of packing up all my sewing things and moving them to our new apartment, where my sewing machine and I will basically have the guest bedroom to ourselves. I think my husband is as happy as I am that I will have a dedicated work space for all my sewing paraphernalia.

A follow up on cleaning out my sewing stash: If you’ve been following along here you may have noticed that figuring out a plan for what to do with my scrap and remnant fabric stash has been occupying my mental real estate for awhile. I think I finally have a plan that leaves me with no guilt over my fabric-hoarding ways. The first step of my plan is to assess what fabric I have and sort it into these categories:
  1. Fabric for future projects: This pile will mainly contain fabric that I’ve purchased recently with specific uses in mind as well as a few larger remnants that I can easily see myself using.
  2. Fabric for scrubbers and patchwork: This pile consists of remnants from past projects that I’ve cut into 8 inch wide rectangles that I will (hopefully) use for making cleaning scrubbers and for trying a few patchwork projects.
  3. Fabric for charity: This is the pile that will allow me to feel less guilt when I go out and buy some new fabric when it seems like I have so much already. It contains everything from tiny fabric scraps to larger pieces that I know I’ll never get around to using for one reason or another. This pile will be donated to Goodwill.

About donating fabric to Goodwill: Many people who sew, myself included, have strong feelings about caring for our resources and living conscientiously. I like my surroundings to be simple and clutter-free as much as possible. I try not to be sentimental about keeping things that I don’t use. For this reason, I am trying to pare down my fabric stash to only what I know I can use. However, I don’t want my waste to clutter up the earth by sending it to a landfill.

This is where Goodwill comes in. I reached out to my regional Goodwill headquarters to find out whether they accepted fabric donations. This was their answer:
Thank you for choosing Goodwill for your donations.   We accept fabric as a donation.  If it cannot be sold in our stores then it is sold in a  secondary market still generating revenue towards our mission.  As you may know, we depend on generous donors, like yourself, and shoppers to earn revenue to support our Mission and provide training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and for your support of the Goodwill Mission.

I am glad to know that someone will be benefiting from what I cannot use. I feel much better knowing that my creative outlet isn’t going to have any harmful side effects for others. If you feel similarly, I encourage you to reach out to your local Goodwill or other charity shop to find out what they do with fabric donations.

Sewing Thoughts #2

This is a new regular feature that I’m trying out here. It’s simply a peak at what’s been going on in my head, related to sewing. There will tentatively be one Sewing Thoughts post every other Saturday. I hope that these posts will generate some discussion and sharing of experiences. 

What’s on my sewing machine right now: Nothing…again. I have completed two projects and shared one of those with you since the last time though.

A follow up about photographing projects: My thoughtful husband, who is technically the owner of the wonderful camera I use to photograph my projects, also wanted to learn more about getting great quality photos every time. So he did what my husband would do in this situation–he bought a book! We’re working on learning more about how to take the kinds of photographs we want & need in our lives. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and might review the book once I’ve read it and tested it out.
Cleaning out my sewing stash: Moving always seems to necessitate the sometimes grueling process of figuring out what to keep and what to throw away or donate. I usually find this process very freeing, but not when it comes to fabric. I have begun the process of sorting through my fabrics and deciding what to do with them. It’s difficult to be honest with myself at times and throw out even a small fraction of a yard that I’m sure I’ll never need for another project. I’d much rather find a use for every inch of fabric that I own.

Sewing Thoughts #1

This is the first in a new regular feature that I’m trying out here. It’s simply a peak at what’s been going on in my head, related to sewing. There will tentatively be one Sewing Thoughts post every other Saturday. I hope that these posts will generate some discussion and sharing of experiences. 

What’s on  my sewing machine right now: Nothing. I do have fabric to tackle though.

Photographing projects: When I look back over the photos I’ve taken of my various projects, I’m often a little disappointed. I use a very good quality camera to take pictures, but I think I need to learn more about all the different settings in order to get the crisp photos I am hoping for. I take most of my photos indoors out of necessity and end up with very prominent shadows in the background. I’m not sure how to get rid of these shadows in the process of taking the picture or by editing. I have tried using a flash, an indirect flash and no flash. Nothing seems to completely fix the problem for me though. Any tips?
Sewing for charity: A significant amount of my “stash” of fabric is made up of scraps ranging in size from a few inches to a half yard. I would love to be able to use up this portion of my stash by sewing for a charity. However, I haven’t (yet) found a charity that seems to need sewn items. I don’t want to simply sew up some stuff and randomly donate it without having any idea whether what I’m donating is useful to the cause. Do you have any experience sewing for charity?