planning my sewing for january

two posts in one day? what is this witchcraft?! i’m actually just sitting here on the couch while jared & ramona floss upstairs. ramona is obsessed with flossing. she calls herself “the flossiraptor” while she does it. i am trying to recover from this weird rib problem i have. sometimes when i bend a certain way (like while cleaning, or tying my shoes, or buckling my seatbelt), i get an excruciating pain under my left ribcage. it feels like it is folding in on itself. it usually continues to ache for hours afterward & i just have to take it easy until it goes back to normal, at which point i forget it ever happened, & i bend the wrong way & it happens again. i’d say it happens at least once a week & has for like two years? maybe i’m dying? maybe it’s a dislocated rib? who knows?

today it happened because i was cleaning up pins. i was cutting out sewing projects while ramona “napped” (ie, jumped around in her crib, yelling for two hours), & even though i have a larger cutting space now, i still managed to knock over a container of pins & drop half my pattern weights behind the table. i wasn’t even cutting anything complex. just a few renfrews. which is only six pattern pieces.

i put my sewing area back together while jared & ramona were on their bike ride this morning. sewing blogs at this time of year are full of reflections on what worked & didn’t work in the last year, what lessons people learned, & what their plans are for the coming year. honestly, i don’t know what my plans are. i decided to go so far as to plan one month in advance, & cut out my sewing projects for the month in advance so i can just enjoy the sewing. because cutting fucking sucks. am i doing something wrong? is that why i’m so slow at it? i cut out three renfrews & each one took half an hour.

i still have two more projects to cut out. one is the lisette for butterick pajama situation. i have been harboring a dream of making those in the short-sleeved/shorts style out of heather ross’s cats marching cotton lawn, but obviously that’s not really ideal for january. then i remembered that i have four yards plus some various scraps of the navy flannel i used to make jammie pants last year. so i’m going to use that instead of buying fabric to make pajamas i won’t be able to wear for another five months.

so i have to figure out what size to cut & cut out the pattern & cut out the flannel, & get everything i need together to do the buttons & piping (i’m going to try flat piping this time), blah blah blah.

i’m also thinking about contributing to the monthly stitch. the january theme is “make a garment inspired by your favorite beverage”. i suspect a lot of people are going to claim that their favorite beverages are fruity cocktails so they can make pretty, frothy, fruity garments. my favorite beverage is milk. it satisfies your thirst & your hunger at the same time! god, i love milk. i was at the grocery store with ramona recently, & i had five gallons of milk in the cart. a woman walked by & stopped & said, “that looks like my cart! i have five kids & they go through a gallon a day!” i didn’t have the heart to tell her that those five gallons were all for me, & that i go through a gallon a day all by myself.

anyway! obviously my first thought was to make some kind of white blouse with all kinds of ribbons & pintucks…& then i realized i didn’t want to sew a garment i would never wear & i would NEVER wear white. i found a great milk bottle print on spoonflower. but let’s be real. i’d need like two yards to make a t-shirt, & spoonflower jersey is $26.50 a yard. i’m not spending $50+ to sew my own black t-shirt (with milk bottles on it).

instead i am working out a way to combine my love of milk & my newfound interest in miniature-making into a simple, wearable garment. i found a couple of yards of plain black jersey in my stash when i was packing to move that i’d completely forgotten about. i just need to dig it out again & get out the pattern i’m using (thankfully already cut) & figure out the whole milk bottle situation & maybe go get some ribbon because i just really want to use some ribbon.

so those are my plans for january: a milk-themed t-shirt, flannel jammies, a renfrew sweater, & two renfrew long-sleeved tees. i’ll sew more if i muster up the time & inspiration, but i don’t want to plan too far out. mostly i just want to focus on making things i will use or wear, mostly from fabrics & supplies i already have on hand. you will note that even the items i’m planning that are not explicitly pajamas could easily be pressed into pajama service. i asked jared today, “does it count as getting dressed if i’m just changing from one pair of pajamas into another?” he said it did, & that is why we have been a couple for almost nine years. i could never be with someone who actually expected me to put on real pants everyday.

unfortunately, he likes to put on real pants everyday & is planning to take his pants up to school tomorrow morning to work on his dissertation, leaving me alone with ramona for the first time in almost two weeks. noooooo! even the library is closed for new year’s eve, so i will have to entertain her myself. i’m just glad that she is really into games like “momo & mommy tuck themselves into bed together,” “hills” (where i sit on the couch reading while she drives toy cars up & down my legs), & “scalp massage,” wherein she sits on the back of the couch & gives me a scalp massage. what a great kid.

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.

4 thoughts on “planning my sewing for january

  1. Your daughter has come up with some excellent games! Cutting is the worst–it seems like such a production and even simple patterns seem to take me forever. I like your idea of cutting out projects for the month. Maybe that’s what I’ll do tomorrow…

    1. try it! it’s awesome! you have a few hours (or days…) of suckiness & then you just get to sew sew sew! i did it for the first time back in may & i was so productive that much. it’s so much easier to grab a project & sew a little when everything is ready to go. i like to put all the fabric pieces in a big plastic bag along with whatever needles & thread i will need, an extra bobbin, any elastics or buttons or whatever…just have it all in one place, ready to roll, because i otherwise waste so much time looking for lost pieces or needles or whatever.

      i agree: ramona has come up with some fabulous games. when jared is around, she forces him to shovel snow with her & take her for bike rides & he finally asked me the other day, “is this what she’s like all day with you while i’m at school?” & i was like, “nope.”haha, sucker!

  2. I love and hate Spoonflower. So many fabric options! So very expensive. So never on sale.

    I bet you could do a milk bottle print yourself. It’s a pretty simple shape. You could probably make it work with some white fabric paint and a potato.

    Next time you’re in Boston, please have Ramona teach LJ the scalp massage game.

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