Update – Sewing and Other Stuff

First – I apologise for being a bad blogger for the past few months.  I haven’t sewn very much since August (except the few items in my last post, and the couple in this) and there’s been some personal stuff going on that made me stop the world and get off for a while.  Most of the personal stuff has now been sorted out and I’m hoping to start sewing and blogging regularly again in the New Year.  I have been reading all your blogs on a regular basis, but not commenting as much as I’d like. There are two reasons for that – the personal stuff, and I got a tablet and is it really annoying trying to comment using a tablet!

In bad news – Mr RTS got made redundant last Saturday (22nd). It wasn’t totally out of the blue – the work at his place had been very slow for a few months and they had laid off about ten people a little while ago – but it was still a bit of a shock. The entire depot he works out of was closed down. He works in an industry that traditionally goes very quiet in January and February so this isn’t the best time of year to be looking for work.  I don’t work due to illness so we suddenly have virtually no income coming in. On the bright side, we do have savings and there are a couple of other money juggles we can do, so I’m not going to panic for at least a few months. Also, even though this is the worst time of year to be looking for work, he has already managed to pick up a couple of days’ work through a temp agency so he’s working today and tomorrow. Every penny he brings in doing temp work is money we don’t have to take from our savings.

The good news is that over the past couple of months I’d been coming to the conclusion that I really need to buy very little next year.  I have a huge stash of fabric (added to just two days before Mr RTS lost his job); I really don’t want to buy any more patterns until I’ve used more of those I already own; I had already decided to let my Burda magazine subscription lapse; and I have a wardrobe and boxes full of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc, that I love but have hardly worn.  I may go and have one more little splurge at my local fabric store, because last time I was in there I let a couple of fabrics I really liked stay put, but after that it will all depend on income whether or not I can buy any more for quite a while.  Again, I’m not bothered about this because I had already planned for 2013 to be as little spendy as possible. My plan had been to make some overpayments on our mortgage, so now the plan has changed slightly, but not the reductions in spending.

In sewing related news – since my last post I have only sewn two garments, plus a failed muslin.

I made yet another version of Simplicity 3696 PJ pants.

I don’t have a top to go with these yet, but have already bought some chocolate brown jersey to make a long-sleeved top to wear with them.

The other garment that worked is a long sleeved t-shirt using, again, Simplicity 3696. I think this is officially the most used pattern in my stash. I use the PJ pants pattern regularly, I make nighties and PJ tops using the size L version of the pattern, and normal wear tops, both long and short sleeved, using size M.  This version is for normal, rather than night, wear.

If the fabric looks familiar, that’s because I used it for a dress posted about here.

The only other item I’ve sewn is a muslin for Steph’s Tiramisu dress. This was a disaster because of a terrible fabric choice on my part. For stretch muslins I usually use a cheap polyester stretch velvet that my local shop sells for a couple of quid a metre, but I forgot to allow for the fact that this particular fabric only stretches on the crosswise grain, and has absolutely zero stretch in the other direction. As the Tiramisu dress is cut on the bias, this fabric was completely useless.  I do have three other fabrics for this dress, so I think I’m just going to have to bite the bullet, use the one I love least and hope that I get a wearable muslin.  The three fabrics are:

I think this will be for version one – the muslin.

The second is:

And the last is:

The purple stripes are darker in real life than they look in the photo. This one I am most concerned about because although it has great stretch on the crosswise grain, not so much on the lengthwise. Still, I’m probably a few months off wanting to sew this version, so I’m going to ignore it for now.

I also bought a few other fabrics with no definite plans.  The first three were remnants.

The first is a very thick faux fur.  Apparently this usually sells for £12.99 per metre, and this remnant, 1.16m, was priced at £2.50! I’ve absolutely no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it felt so snuggly that I couldn’t leave it behind.

The next two are less than a metre each, but they are both jersey so I think they will both become simple skirts. The pink/black is only 0.8m long so I will probably copy an above-knee RTW jersey skirt that I wear a lot.

This one is just about 1m long so it’ll probably become a calf-length skirt.

It looks quite brown in this photo, but in real life it’s more of a greeny-browny-grey(!) colour.

The next one was the first fabric for ages that I’ve bought off the bolt with no immediate plans.  I got 2m because I think it will be a skirt, but wanted to leave my options open.

I’m not sure what the colour looks like on your screen, but I would call it a winter white. I think there are a couple of Burda skirts this could be perfect for, so I need to have a trawl through my magazines.

The final fabric I bought recently is for yet another Simplicity 3696 nightie.  The oranges and lemons version I made back in April didn’t survive being washed more than a few times. I knew when I bought the fabric that it was a bit thin, and might not be ideal and I was right. I think it must also have accidentally been put in a wash with a black sock or something because the white on the fabric became a horrible dirty grey colour. Mr RTS threw it out one day without telling me because it has become so awful!  I’ve had my eye out for a fabric to make a new one and this one popped up in my local shop last week.

It’s a much darker red in real life, closer to a burgundy, and has a lovely feel.

So that’s my update and a few plans.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and, in case I don’t post again this year, I hope you have a wonderful New Year!


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5 Responses to Update – Sewing and Other Stuff

  1. Amanda says:

    So lovely to see you in my blog reader again! So sorry to hear about how rough the second half of 2012 has been- I hope everything sorts itself out for the start of 2013. Loving your new top- that print is fierce!

  2. judy says:

    Hi, so proud to see your blog going again, I missed you.. I am so sorry that your hubby lost his job.
    Such a terrible time to loose a job [any time is hard, I know].. My heart goes out to you both. I will add you to my prayer list, that a job will open up soon.
    I too, am thinking, I need to sew what I have [which is WAY tooooo much,ha}, and use patterns I have. And try to not spend as much this year. That is my 2013 goal..
    The top and pj’s you made are really pretty.. Happy sewing in 2013.

  3. mrsmole says:

    There is something magical and sneaky about using up your stash and not buying more fabric. I have piles of great fabric with no time to even start anything for myself. But there it is, labeled with the price I paid, the fiber content and the length and dreams. Love your blouse and I could not pass up that furry white fabric either!

  4. Dinah says:

    Glad to see you back to blogging! I am so sorry to hear about your husband’s job loss. It’s a tough time and I will certainly keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Yes, sew from your stash! I find fabrics I’ve completely forgotten I have when I look to the bottom, lol. What a great feeling of accomplishment you’ll have as you use these long forgotten pieces! May 2013 be sunny and bright for you 🙂

  5. T. Sedai says:

    I am happy you are back! Sorry to hear about the recent problems, but I am glad you have mostly worked through them. And at least you have a great stash to sew from for the next bit – my life situation has changed recently as well, so I too will be mostly stash sewing in 2013. Which is actually sort of fun… It feels good to be dealing with the stockpile instead of just adding to it. I hope that things work out for you and your husband, and I hope you have a great new year!

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