A new tee plus a lot of thoughts


I made something! I actually had to force myself to do it; this sewing block/loss of mojo is intense. I did enjoy it, though, and I really like the top! It’s an October Burda pattern–101 from 2016, minus long sleeves because I didn’t have enough fabric. The fabric is a super light ITY that was not easy to deal with. Finishing is not perfect, particularly the neckline. I may redo it but it’s just invisible enough to not be noticeable.

It’s also the first sewn item toward my newly defined style goal of athleisure. I know that term bothers some, it used to bother me too but I’m used to it now, but it’s what’s happening.

I’ve been having some trouble dressing after starting my new job a little over a year ago, more than I expected. It didn’t seem that different, just a little chillier and more casual than my last office, but I that particular combination seems to have essentially eliminated a significant percentage of my clothes from my daily life. I think that’s why sewing has been a challenge too. My fabric and pattern stash, and more importantly, my dream to-sew list and even styles I favor, supports my former life, not my current reality, which, by the way, is amazing. On good-clothes days I feel so whole and cohesive, not just with clothes and style, but with my job, my location, everything.

I love clothes that can do anything I want to do. I can go hiking or to yoga after work with minimal outfit changes, weekend wear is the same as weekday wear, everyday pieces can be dressed up if needed but aren’t entirely different. My biggest source of inspiration has been Athleta. I had a meeting in the city and took the opportunity to try a few things on in person and look around, and it works. After realizing these types of clothes are what I’m missing, I did order a few pieces off Poshmark and am not disappointed.

There are boxes of envelope patterns to look at, but to start I went through all my burdas and took photos of promising designs, and I’m going through my closet, pulling items that aren’t working. It’s tough because I do like these pieces, they do fit well and are a match with my style, but they simply don’t work anymore. I need to do the same with my fabric stash. I don’t know if I’m going to donate immediately, may just store the clothes and fabric out of my sight so I can better focus on the here and now, and hopefully have some inspiration again.

So here are my current alterations lists and sewing/knitting guidelines.

  • Knits in natural fibers plus rayon/tencel are the focus, except for activewear fabric. We recently got a Class Pass package at work, and taking a yoga class in one of my beloved 100% organic cotton tees was awful! The only other class I’ve taken in recent months is in a drafty NPS building facing the ocean at work, and I totally forgot that you do sweat in the average studio!
  • Unless the fabric is really special, no purchasing of wovens for a while.
  • Whether purchased or sewn, clothes need to have more than one function (work, yoga, hike/run).
  • If an item is not warm enough to wear alone, it must be easily layered. No more long sleeved button downs, as much as I like them!
  • Sleeves on already made woven shirts are coming off. It’s almost never warm enough to go without a sweater and it’s often too warm and bunchy worn under a sweater (seriously, on the Bay Area coastline a difference of 5 degrees can take you from freezing to sweltering, I don’t know why).
  • Sundresses may become something else. I have a couple that I really like that I’ve worn maybe once in the last year. I think they’re destined to be chopped into separates or harvested for fabric.

We’ll see how this all plays out, but I have hope my inspiration drought might end…


One thought on “A new tee plus a lot of thoughts

  1. I think it’s fun to change your wardrobe direction once in a while, just for variety and to sew different things. I’m really glad I subscribed to Burda. You have chosen a lot of great stuff and I look forward to seeing what you make.

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