Thursday, November 16, 2023

When life gets in the way

 Going through my photos, it's been very clear I haven't accomplished nearly as much sewing this past year as I usually do. This has been the toughest health year for me yet, unfortunately, with a surgery for a fibroid that was bleeding me dry, a lot of joint pain from what I think is an undiagnosed autoimmune issue, and a lot of nerve pain in my extremities and headaches from spinal stenosis, which was an unpleasant surprise at the ripe old age of 38!  I've been in and out of physical therapy quite a bit, and have a pain management doctor now... did not foresee any of this happening! On top of that, the rest of the year has been punctuated with smaller things like a mild bout of covid, a second degree chemical burn on my arm, and a second degree burn all the way around my ankle from a freakish bonfire accident (thanks to my husband who is still slightly in the doghouse).  It has felt like every month brought a new health challenge!

Setting that aside though, I am really happy with the few things I have managed, including this beautiful cloak from Scroop Patterns: 

This has been something I wanted to add to my wardrobe for a long time (more accessories in general, actually!) because I think the more layers of complexity there are to an ensemble, the more convincing it looks. This silk taffeta came cheap from FabricGuru a couple years ago and I have kept it in mind for this exact project ever since.  

 Making the trim felt like it took an eternity (especially with hurting hands!) but it was also really soothing in the sheer repetition as I waited on hold on the phone with doctor's offices for hours 😒

I also finished a rose-red taffeta petticoat, and while I haven't worn it yet, I think it'd go really well with my black sacque for a touch of drama, or under my blue damask volante for a pop of surprising contrast color. 

One of the other things I accomplished at the end of the summer was to dump out ALL of my badly-organized fabric, measure it, re-fold it, and file it according to fiber content, because I find that tends to be the factor that holds the most importance for me when I need to find something quickly. 

This bin of all-cotton will be quick and handy to reach for when I'm in need of lining for things (other than that chunk of burgundy with the yellow print, which is destined for a Regency day gown).

My sewing room is nothing glamorous, just a basement room that sometimes gets water in the corner (hence everything sitting up on platforms or wheels!) but I feel very lucky to have a dedicated storage space at all! So now I have my synthetics, cottons, linens, silks, furs, and wool all consolidated, and even better is that now it's all CATALOGED. I say that with a thrill because my career is as a public library cataloger, so it gives me tremendous pleasure to have an accessible-from-anywhere catalog of my stash!  I did it in Google Sheets so that I can look at it on my phone as well.

So now I have a sortable record of everything in those bins; with one click on a column, I can look through my fibers, the colors, how much yardage I have, etc. A lot of things are already designated for projects I've had in mind for a very long time, but this should help me shop more wisely and hopefully less, now that I see just now many ideas I've already got the fabric for.  

This was quite the effort and took me several days to work through, but it's going to be such a good tool. I came across a meme recently that said "Did you know buying fabric and sewing are two different hobbies?" and the shriek of denial that exited me was tremendous... I need to do more sewing and less buying, no matter how much of a dopamine rush I get when I find a great deal 😅

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear that health challenges have made this a tough year, but congratulations on organizing your stash and finding inspiration in that, as well as completing some projects. A little bit of sewing is better than none, especially when you end up with beautiful garments like yours. Wishing you good health and quick healing for those burns!