dreams of winter sewing

well, i must be crazy, because my back is feeling better & i’m thinking about starting some new sewing projects. even though my dreams of a real cutting table & sewing table remain elusive.

i really need to sit down & make a list of all the sewing projects i want to tackle, because right now they’re just in my head & it’s distracting trying to keep them all straight. but since we bought our plane tickets to spend christmas in boston the other day, i guess i should focus on projects i want to complete before we leave.

1) matching flannel jammies for the whole family! i invested in a roll of swedish tracing paper to make this easier, since jared, ramona, & myself all require a different size pant. it takes literally like an hour (if that) to make these pants once the pattern is traced off, so having good tracing paper will hopefully make the most tedious step of the process more bearable.

2) a flannel shirtdress. mccall’s 6696 has been in my pattern stash for months now. i even bought a really bold gold & hot pink floral to make it up in back in the spring. then i got sidetracked by other projects, depression, etc, & it never happened. then i made my first pair of flannel pajama pants & was like, “what if i had an actual outfit made of this material?” i’ve never made a shirtdress. i’ve never even made a buttonhole. (i always just default to snaps because i get anxious about wrecking a nearly-completed garment with crappy buttonholes.) but i’m sure, like everything else in the sewing world, it’s not that hard once you just  try.

3) a quilt for jared. poor jared. i’ve been promising him a quilt for like a year. i even know exactly what i want to make, & i have almost all the fabric it requires. i just need to sit down & sketch it out to figure out the details. he has to sleep on the couch almost every night because ramona always wakes up at like 1am demanding to sleep in our bed, & it gets chilly out there when the heat is off. & there i am in the bedroom, spooning ramona under her two quilts, all wrapped up in the giant queen-sized quilt i made for us last fall. i need to get moving on this.

4) the infamous amy butler weekender bag. i’ve had the pattern now for a month or two. i just haven’t pulled the trigger on it yet because i couldn’t decide what fabrics to use for it. i liked the idea of doing some kind of quilted patchworked thing, in the interest of using up some scraps i already have. but on the other hand, i often do not care for quilted bags. i felt weird quilting the lining of ramona’s red hooded cape for the same reason. it just gives me a musty vera bradley vibe. is that crazy? i’ve seen some really beautiful & decidedly non-musty quilted weekenders on the interwebz. & i am more comfortable quilting than i am working with a bunch of interfacings. (i can never get fusible interfacing to stay fused! what am i doing wrong?) (ps–maybe not all those bags i linked to are quilted. but they’re made with quilting cotton.)

anyway, i dug a few yards of the alexander henry somerville study fabric (blue colorway) out of my stash. i bought it & never used it. with the right accent fabrics (purple & white stripes? maybe something red?), it could make a pretty cool bag. & then i could have a roomy & unique carry-on for our flight to boston.

one of the younger women who works at the local fabric shop said she’s had her weekender cut out & unassembled on her sewing table for weeks. she’s intimidated by the piping because she’s never done it before & the pattern calls for FIVE YARDS of it. that’s A LOT of damn piping! but i’ve done piping a few times now, including piping on a bag, & i never found it that difficult or intimidating. so now i just need to decide what alterations i want to make to the bag (elasticize the side pockets? magnetic closure for the front pockets? add a shoulder strap? make a padded pocket for my laptop? an interior zipper pocket or two?) & figure out how that changes my supply list & get into it.

4) i also really want to make some thermal shirts. not sure if i’ll try adding some extra fabric to the seams on the renfrew or if i’ll try the jennifer lauren bronte top. follow that link if you haven’t seen it. it’s cute, right? but it cracks me up that it describes that shoulder detail as “40s style shrug sleeves”. or…baby onesie sleeves. let’s be real. the first time i saw that top, i was like, “oh, an adult onesie!” if someone really wanted to go to town, they could marry it to the nettie by closet case files & seriously have an adult onesie. but whatevs, i really like the shoulders on ramona’s onesies & would love to have them on a garment of my own!

5) i would also like to try sewing a cardigan. i have the pattern for the julia cardigan by mouse house, but…i don’t love it. my figure is pretty top-heavy, so i don’t think silhouettes likes that are very flattering on me. the jenna cardigan by muse patterns is more successfully speaking my language, despite the horrifying technical drawings.

6) i have one good pair of thermal pants, but they’re wool & i think moths ate them a little while they were in summer storage? i wouldn’t mind finding a decent legging pattern to try making my own.

no way am i going to get to all of this in the next five weeks. but i suspect we are in for a long, hard winter, so there’s time. especially since i introduced ramona to the concept of “cozy” today. she was in the living room & i thought she was saying, “horsey! horsey!” & crying. i thought maybe one of her toy horses was stuck under the couch, or that one of the handles on her rocking horse had fallen off (again). i went in to help her & realized she was saying “cozy.” she wanted me to make her a little nest of blankets & pillows on the couch so she could be all warm & cozy while she looked at books. sure thing, kiddo! you get all cozy, & i’ll just be over here sewing…


ps–what do you think of all the links? more fun? informative? it definitely makes putting a post together more time-consuming…thank god for ramona’s nap.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “dreams of winter sewing

  1. Those bags are pretty sweet! I think I like the 1st and the last ones the best. I think the fabric you picked would look totally rad quilted, and not all Vera Bradley. (full disclosure: I own a Vera Bradley duffel bag although I almost never use it… it was a gift).I think red piping would look great. Or maybe mustard yellow?

    Lilian is also into being cozy. 🙂 We sometimes watch a movie together on Friday nights, and I will cuddle up with her under the blanket and say “all comfy cozy!” Now, she comes up to me with a blanket and says “comfy cozy? comfy cozy?” It’s the bestest. 🙂

    1. i’ve decided not to quilt it. i’m not doing patchwork, so i’m just going to interface the hell out of it & see what happens. i think i am going to go for red piping. i was considering a purple & white stripe, but i chose this insanely busy tiny floral for the top/sides of the bag & i think stripes with that & the books would just be too much. solid red will calm things down a little.

      i like the idea of family movie nights. but we’re still doing no-screens, since ramona isn’t 2 yet. not that i expect to suddenly start letting her watch TV the instant she turns 2. i do let her watch a “yo gabba gabba” video when i trim her fingernails or when her hair gets so ratty that it needs a coconut oil treatment. otherwise she flails & screams & a three-minute job takes half an hour or more. so she gets on three-minute video like maybe once every two weeks. & then she cries for more & it’s really annoying. abstinence is just easier than moderation. no sense relinquishing control over her media consumption before i have to.

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