Sewing June 2019: N + 1

In the bicycling world, there is a long-standing joke about N+1 when it comes to bicycles – once you have one, you need another, and then another, and then another. Look at The Mechanic and I – we have six bikes between the two of us! (One may or may not be in the bedroom, although neither of us are bothered by that. I know some spouses might be.) I suppose it is the same for any hobby. When I got my first tattoo I was told it’s addictive, and it kinda is – I do want another one…

My camera can’t capture the gorgeousness of this Iced Peach Floral Japanese Lyocell Cotton from Marcy Tilton so check out the website for better photos –>

But I hadn’t really put sewing into that perspective until this past weekend, when I shared photos on Instagram of some fabric I spontaneously ordered. It’s *gorgeous* fabric, but in a colorway I don’t really have any other clothing in. The fabric is intended for a blouse, so I’ll need either pants or a skirt to go with it. Or both. And then I need to see if any of the pants or skirt patterns I already own works with the fabric I need to get, the style of the blouse I plan to make, and anything else that might happen to go with this gorgeous fabric. So it totally made sense when one of my IG sewing friends commented “If you give a sewist some fabric, she’ll have to make some pants to go with it,” referencing the popular children’s’ book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. And then I realized – N+1. Fabric = more patterns = more fabric = more patterns, etc.

I’ve been trying really hard not to acquire more fabric and patterns, because I’m really anxious to make the fabric and patterns I have. But I feel like it’s too late to finish my summer sewing, and maybe I should move onto fall plans. Of course, I know that it will stay warm well into October, so there is plenty of time to get my warm weather garments made! But cold weather clothes take longer, so I feel like I need to get started now! Now, now now!!! N + 1 = more fabric and more patterns.

The irony is, The Mechanic and I are both not only pretty happy with the bikes we have, we are considering getting rid of some. I mean, it’s been a few years since I’ve dusted off my mountain bike – is there any point in keeping it?! We are planning a West Virginia road trip in October, though, so I guess I will decide after that. But is it worth keeping a bike for a maybe once a year opportunity? I don’t know, is it worth buying fabric that I may or may not every have time to sew up?

I have been sewing up a storm this month, unlike my bike habits. I’m especially proud of the New Look 6262 dress I made from an IKEA duvet cover, and the Vogue 9302 pants, made from IKEA curtains. The dress doesn’t fit great but it feels lovely, the cotton/lyocell fabric is silky and lightweight, and perfect for the upcoming hot weather. The pants are a wearable muslin for wide leg pants that I want to make for the colder months, something I can line with flannel, and/or fit thermal underwear underneath. And hey, tropical print pants! The shift dress is a nice basic, and the infinity scarf will be so great with many things.

I also ordered new sewing labels, yay! I have 100 – how long do you think they will last? I can’t believe I’ve already used 100 labels, frankly, so we’ll see what happens with these! Oh dear – do 100 labels mean N = 100??!


My Own Personalized Sewing Labels!

I’ve been hunting for new and inspiring sewing labels for a while and just not finding anything I loved. Then, about a month ago, I read a review of Nominette labels by British blogger Manju, in her sewing blog Sewmanju (amazing alert – she just made a LEATHER jacket!). The Nominette labels she had created are gorgeous, so chic and haute couture0looking! Nominette is a Belgian company, so I emailed to see if they ship to the United States. And they do! For only 4 Euros! Sold!

I spent some time playing around on their website – they have a “label builder” tool that allows you to put in your text and preview what the label would more or less look like. Although I love the image that Manju (and her sister) designed for her labels, I didn’t have any ideas of what the graphic would/could be, and I didn’t want a bicycle. So I ended up sticking with text only. But I had enough space for several lines, and added some text and my Twitter handle too.  The minimum order is 100 labels, and the price ended up being around $50, so about 50 cents per label. I can’t imagine *ever* going through 100 labels, but at least I will never be short!

The labels arrived unexpectedly and pretty quickly after I placed the order. I’m so excited by them! Labels 4I specifically was looking for labels that would fold in half, but didn’t really except to find an option where I could get a woven design with text on front and back. They look really professional, and are pretty much what I wanted. Labels 3The labels arrived the day I was about to mail off a blouse l made for a friend in Oregon, so I quickly unpicked the seam facing and tucked one of these new labels into her blouse. Not only will she be the first on the West Coast to get a Tin Lizzie reflective garment, she has the first Tin Lizzie label!

I made McCalls 6794 for my friend, who also works in TDM and does bicycle/pedestrian advocacy work. I made this pattern for myself this spring, but haven’t worn it much because I’m disappointed in how the orange reflective fabric is peeling, and I haven’t decided how to fix it. But this one is adorable and I love the bright reflective fabric with the pale gray, yellow and aqua print. I was sad to mail it away – I want it myself!

I’m eager to get my sewing done so I can start putting these new labels in everything! I’ve got quite a line-up of projects, so I just need some dedicated time….

I will also be reading my new book – the more I sew, the more particular I am getting about fit, so it’s time to brush up on rusty skills! It’s been, um, two decades since I took my pattern fit classes, and at least 15 years since I’ve tried to do proper pattern adjustments. Excited and scared!* Perfect Fitting Book*bragging rights if anyone can name the Broadway musical-made-movie that line comes from!