#365DaysofSewing: week 1

day 1: Today was a travel day. We flew home to Lawrence from Boston. So I needed a mobile sewing project. I wound up doing some cross stitching in the morning before we had to leave for the airport. I thought about bringing my cross stitching on to the plane with me, but decided not to chance it, as I am very prone to motion sickness. Ramona barfed all over herself mid-flight on the way to Boston. I didn’t want to replicate that horror show by making myself sick trying to cross stitch in motion.








day 2: Crazy day because it was our first full day home & we had a million things to do. I did make some time to go up to my sewing room & start pulling fabric for the projects I want to work on in January. My ambitious plan was to pull everything I had for all fifteen projects on my list, including thread, needles, notions, interfacing, patterns, et al. That wound up not happening at all. It was just too much. But I did at least manage to put together a shopping list for the last few bibs & bobs I need for the first five projects on the list.




day 3: Worked on my shopping list some more. Was dumbfounded to find that I have every color of cotton/spandex jersey under the sun…Except for purple. How? I have like five different shades of green & no straight-up everyday purple (the Pantone color of the year!).

Jared took Ramona to the library & I seized the moment to print & tape a couple of PDF patterns. I discovered pdfplotting.com last year & became an instant convert to having my PDF patterns professionally printed. (I now become enraged when a designer doesn’t offer a copy shop option.) But I have several patterns I have to print myself, so I took care of some of that. I had to put Biscuit outside because she kept pouncing on my freshly cut pattern pieces & shredding them.







Cross stitched for an hour or two before bed.

day 4: Hit JoAnn after physical therapy. They were having a sale on needles so I stocked up. I looked for purple cotton jersey & struck out. They only had three solid purple knits available. One was a disgusting 100% poly that felt like a gym shirt from 1987. One was a dusty kind of mauve color that just wasn’t going to work for my purposes. I went with a cotton/poly ponte. I am not thrilled, because it has a weird hand, but it was the best I could find. & it’s just for cuffs & the neckband on some pajamas, so it’s not like the world will end if it’s not my all-time favorite fabric.

Also picked up a few different kinds of foam & interfacing to experiment with in my shoemaking. & I snagged the last tube of Shoe Goo!

Somehow, JoAnn sells like three different kinds of dungaree hooks & four different kinds of jeans buttons, but no rivets. I bought rivets for leatherworking from Michael’s instead. They’re not the same. They’re a little wider & more flat. But I kind of like the different look, & I think they’ll work fine.

I came home & used my new chartreuse upholstery thread (JoAnn has that, but no jeans rivets?) to sew up the couch cushion that has been detaching from the back of the couch for literally years now. It was the kind of sewing that was not fun, but I had a fancy chocolate bar to keep my energy up, & now we can invite people over without feeling like hobos. Because of the couch, anyway. I also fixed a little hole in the underwire channeling on my most recent bra so the underwire would stay put.





day 5: I volunteered for a social media assignment that requires me to sew at least one garment that was not on my list before the end of the month. & I also had to buy fabric for it. I got really stoked about my fabric choices. But I mean, pink striped seersucker. It’s a classic.






Measured Ramona for a pair of pants I want to make for her, & did some flat pattern adjustments on a pattern for knit pajamas. Went upstairs to cut out some projects & was confronted by the reality that my sewing room looked like a tornado had swept through. Spent a shockingly long time cleaning it, including crawling around on the floor picking up every single loose pin. Returned all the pins to their bowl…& instantly knocked the bowl off the table again. The pins just live on the floor now. That’s fine. Cut & started sewing a shirt.


I volunteered for a second social media assigment that requires a metric ass-ton of sewing between now & mid-February. With actual deadlines on the calendar, I decided to write down all of my sewing plans & when I’d like to have them finished. It was…um…intense. Let’s just hope I don’t come down with a cold.

day 7: Had a sleepover with Ramona last night, so I didn’t sleep well. Even though I was in her bed & she was in the trundle, she still kept me up late asking questions about pirates, & every time I dozed off, she would shriek that I was gently snoring. So I wasn’t firing on all cylinders when I went up to the sewing room to work on the shirt a bit more.

I dropped a needle into my throat plate. I’d never done that before, so. Now I know there are some little furrows built into the base of my machine, & loose needles can be set free with some gentle tipping to & fro. But before I realized that, I took off the throat plate, & then I spent half an hour trying to screw it back on upside down. I was wondering why the tops of the screws were protruding from the plate, & why there were all kinds of weird plastic bits sticking up. Wouldn’t they get in the way of the fabric? But I figured, I’ve been sewing for over five years & it hasn’t been a problem yet, so full speed ahead! Once I realized my mistake, I flipped the throat plate over & screwed it down properly, & then I went & played some board games with Ramona, because clearly I could not be trusted around a sewing machine.



(PS–This is a sewing meme I am trying to get off the ground. It’s based on the line drawing for a new Butterick pants pattern that looks like a grumpy face from the back. Use it for all your sewing complaints!)

Stopped by my local independent fabric shop & picked up some really lovely cotton sweater knit with which to make another cardigan. Drove out to Michael’s to buy rhinestones & a hot glue gun with which to bedazzle said cardigan. Wandered for literally an hour looking for the mysterious “aisle 78”. The aisles only seemed to go up to 74. Turns out the last few aisles are in the middle of the store. It also turns out that my local Michael’s has three separate aisles almost entirely devoted to various adhesives & sticky unguents, & there’s not a glue gun to be found in any of them. No, the glue guns are stocked in the same aisle as the florist wire, because why not?

Finished the shirt.

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.

5 thoughts on “#365DaysofSewing: week 1

    Girl I have missed your posts. You really are way too busy. Took me 3 days from cut to hem to make a fleece robe/coat to wear inside since it’s been so flipping cold here in FL.
    Be careful you don’t get those pins stuck in your feet or knee it hurts

    1. Pins on the floor are a primary reason why I wear hard-soled slippers! But I should probably get around to picking them up, because Ramona likes to run around barefoot.

      Three days from cut to hem is pretty fast! I think that’s about how long I spent on my shirt. It’s just a basic knit henley, nothing too complicated.

  2. Hi Ciara,
    Just a quick thanks for the chuckle. Love the meme and the machine vs needle vs you is WAY too familiar.
    I’m not getting them but I want a pair of scissors with
    ” If it aint fabric, your Dead” engraved on the blades. 🙂
    For the pins I run out to my H’s tool chest and borrow his “magnetic pickup”. The older I get the more I appreciate the telescopic handle. (He freaks out In case one of the cats should pick one up. No self respecting cat would but, not on my watch)
    All the new and improved stuff is great! Hope you are enjoying it as much as I am.

    1. I am hoping my #365DaysofSewing posts will give me more of a chance to show my personality, which is…irreverent, shall we say? I find it’s more difficult to fit jokes into pattern review/garment posts.

      Someday I’ll invest the big $7 or whatever in a magnetic pin bowl, but for now, I don’t really mind having to crawl around to pick them up. It’s kind of meditative. & it ensures that no one else will come near my machine, haha!

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