On February 16, 2013, after several months of planning and several weeks of vacillating between feeling ready and not ready, I hit “Publish” for the first time, and Getting Things Sewn was launched.
It’s been one interesting year.
These last twelve months I’ve
- written the Getting Things Sewn manifesto (in rhyme!)
- created a chart to link designing a wardrobe with designing a workspace to produce it
- tested my chart as a guide for packing for trips
- done figure analyses for myself and Jack
- edited my fabric and button stashes
- written a tribute to my fairy godmother sewing teacher
- bade farewell to my duct tape double dress form
- uncovered garment treasures in the collection of the Goldstein Museum of Design in my volunteer hours
- recognized that sometimes the fault lies in the pattern, not in me
- begun researching designs for my own label
- concluded I’m a gatherer but not a collector
I’ve chronicled designing and remodeling my sewing space:
- defining functions and designating zones
- turning a dank, spider web-filled space under the front steps into a bright, dry cedar closet
- stripping wallpaper and painting walls
- installing lighting
- creating my planning corner
- building shelves for my sewing library
- to London, where I visited a vintage fashion fair, bespoke tailoring establishments, the Museum of London, and the Victoria & Albert Museum
and took a day trip to see an emporium of vintage buttons and trims
- to New York’s garment district, to visit Mood Fabrics and M & J Trimming
I’ve pondered processes:
- how to NOT use my serger
- what caused my sewing UFOs and how I might bring them to conclusion
- how to store my buttons for inspiration and easy retrieval
- how I can use others’ expertise to expedite my projects
- how finishing projects can give me a head start next time
- how to analyze what works and what doesn’t in garments I’ve made or bought
- what critical mass needs to occur to move a sewing dream to a sewing goal
- what I can accomplish while still being lazy and distracted
- what’s important for me to stop doing
- whether it’s better to make some things or buy them
- using vintage pattern sites creatively to brainstorm
- how to record and use my “meteor showers” of ideas
- how to reduce procrastinating by clarifying what I want to accomplish
- how to apply lessons from one project to another
- fabrics from the Textile Center’s annual sale and from the Guthrie Theater’s costume department
- my mannequin, Ginger, to model for me in my makeshift photo space
I’ve even gotten a few things sewn:
- from an early to mid-1930s pattern, a jacket using Art Deco-era buttons
- from a contemporary pattern, a skirt to accompany the jacket
- from a 1959 pattern, an orange version and a leopard-collar version of a big-collared, belted jacket
- from 1952, a swing coat with big patch pockets and vintage buttons
- from a unique 1950 pattern, linen and wool waistcoats with satisfyingly capacious pockets
- from 1950, a sleeveless blouse that was much more difficult than the result warranted
- from a 1991 Calvin Klein pattern, a comically large anorak
- from a 1955 pattern, a flannel “boy shirt”
- from 1944, a muslin for a trench coat
Then, to bring the first year of Getting Things Sewn to an exciting conclusion (or get the second year off to a rousing start), I announced that Jack and I are going to sell our house in Minneapolis and move 765 miles southeast to Columbus, Ohio.
That will mean designing a new sewing domain and developing a new local sewing community. It will also mean being within just minutes of my photographer’s studio, which will be fabulous, I promise you.
I was thinking this morning how Getting Things Sewn has been a game changer for me. Having this blog has elevated the realization of my sewing dreams from a to-do list to a larger, nobler, and more purposeful mission. That’s made all the difference.
It’s been with a mix of incredulity and gratitude that I’ve seen you, readers, show up. Thank you.
The forecast for Year Two: girl, situation, and jeopardy will continue, with more hilarity ensuing.