August Roundup!

Hi Peeps!

I need to say it again, I LOVE my Stashbusting Sewalong 2015 gang! They are so inspiring, encouraging, and generous,  always willing to share a tip or a piece of advice. I am in awe of all the boundary pushing action that was happening all August long. I can’t even begin to pretend that I have a plan for this roundup post, so why won’t I just vomit it out? Ready?

  1.  Here, lovely Jewel of Jewberly Emiris is sending her fear of matching patterns straight to hell. Bye-bye!

0004wm

2.   “Perfect is good. Done is better” is a new mantra that I should adopt (and shouldn’t we all?), courtesy of Alla of    Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes. She tackled her fear of free motion quilting, and won big time! Great job!

P1080403

3.   Next, Andrea of Obsessive Creativeness, the lingerie guru! Considering that a swimsuit is pretty much lingerie you can    wear outside (no?), I was very surprised that it was Andrea’s fear. I was not surprised to see the awesomeness she came up with!

Swimsuit7

4.   Not all of us faced exclusively their sewing fears. Melissa of Mahlicadesigns, who described herself as an introvert, reached out to the sewing community and hosted a sew-along! If you hurry, you can still participate, the sew-along goes until September 6! BTW, I absolutely ADORE that skirt!!!

19712000054_d3c9aaf6df_z

5.   Now, would you look at Allie J. dropkick her fear of knits into total oblivion?! Wow! So cute, so fearless, so Cocolicious! Seriously, go look at her dress, because I don’t seem to be able to post her picture here!

6.   And check out the new mom Becky of Sew and So, totally winging an awesome flamingo (see what I did there?) skirt, without a pattern. Bravo!
Self-drafted wrap skirt

7.   And there is our Fadanista, Sue! Not only does she machine knit her own fabric, but she also claims that she is afraid to sew it! And speaking of making her own fabric, check out her shenanigans here as well!

dsc04934

So, what else have we not tackled? Winter coats? Slippery or sheer fabrics? Shirring? Lots more on the FB page, however I only included those with blogs in this post, and I am sorry for that…

And what have I done, you ask? I took this theme quite seriously and broadly, and I figured out that I am most afraid of not allowing myself to be me, in mind and body. So what did I do to face this fear? I grew my body hair!  Would you like a visual of that? No? OK…

I must have been 13 or 14 years old when I declared war on my body hair, most of the time referring to it as: Ewwwwww, must get rid of it quick! But how can you really, truly like yourself if you despise such a basic aspect of your physical persona as your body hair? And who came up with the idea that women should shave, or remove by other means, hair from close to 50% of their body surface? And why should I participate in all that? Definitely not my idea of a good time. Now, I quite like the feeling of long hairs on my legs, they are so soft when they get longer. In the midst of all that, I made two easy dresses, one of them a maxi (for when I don’t feel like being looked at as a freak). And why have I not posted pictures? Because the dresses still require shirring, and I’m not up to tackling THAT!

What are you afraid of?

At the beginning of the year (or was it the end of last year?) I committed myself to hosting the August “challenge” for the Stashbusters. Little did I know about the madness that was going to unfold in the months ahead! The said madness, as mad as it was, has been amazingly positive, my family and I have made a jump into an entirely different orbit, a much higher orbit! After 2 months of prep we sold our house in the city, bought a house in a much, much smaller city, then did massive amounts of renovations (ongoing), and generally we’ve been happy as a family of pigs in the mud! And we adopted a dog as well, he’s been with us for five days now!

Enough excuses, go to work!

dog
This is Laddie Doris.

This month’s theme is “Face Your Fears!”

Originally I was planning to sew a Burda Magazine pattern out of some chiffon fabric. I swear, both BM and chiffon make me hyperventilate and dry heave at the same time! During the madness of last 6 months, I discovered the following:

  1. I have no interest in sewing Burda stuff. I also have not discovered where I packed those mags, and it still will be SEVERAL months until I rediscover them (how convenient!)
  2. I have no interest in sewing with chiffon. I have acquired a MAJOR dislike for polyester, and also a dislike for silk, mostly for ethical reasons. Currently, I don’t want to touch silk with 10-foot pole…
  3. I have discovered that I  am TERRIFIED of sewing! I have fallen out of practice, and sewing is NOT like riding a bike! I tried to make a dress, and I messed up the neck binding so badly that it’s not wearable (or is it?)
  4. My another fear is wearing white. I have always had a dislike for colour white, an probably because black is supposed to be slimming, so white is supposed to be… fattening? So why won’t I just not wear white, you ask? Well, that is a topic for another post, stay tuned! BTW, this also has to do with point #2.
  5. Last but not least, I fear going shopping for clothes at a mall! I am quickly running out of clothes, my me-mades are really worn down, not mentioning that it’s been a while (3 years?) since I actually purchased clothes, other than the unmentionables and a few t-shirts, which are mostly white (LOL!!!)! If I don’t make something quick, you get the picture…

So, there is only one solution to my problems: SEW, SEW, SEW, SEW LIKE MAD!!!

IMG_1487
My backyard, where I won’t be spending a lot of time. I’ll be busy sewing…

And how about you, dear reader? A few follow Stashbusters chimed in with welt pockets and fitted dresses, but how about YOU? Is it a technical thing, a certain type or brand of patterns, a fabric, a colour, a silhouette? Do post your comments, and let’s have a link party! And get out there, out of your comfort zone, face those fears, and round kick them in the face and show them who’s the boss! DO IT!!!

Bright!

Hi!

IMG_2618

Look, I made something! And it happens to correspond with the Stashbusting theme for April, which is “Bright Colours”, or something like that. As you might have noticed, I LOVE brights, they make me feel alive! I know you can relate!

I see you looking at me, wondering “What is this fabulous pattern she’s wearing?” Wonder no more, Dear Reader, for I present you with a link to “Gillian Wrap Dress” by Muse Patterns. I don’t know why it is that the great Down-Under harbours such incredibly talented sewing community, both of sewists AND designers? Something in the water? Sharks maybe? Do sharks make people sew better? Hmmmmmmmmm…

What do I like about Muse Patterns designs? They are feminine, vintage-inspired, and very flattering, with huuuuuuge potential for fun, and fairly easy to put together. The models on the website are actual, normal-looking women, which is empowering! This particular top is my first draft of this pattern, and I am quite pleased how it came out. Even though I did not do a full-bust adjustment, it fits me fine in the chest area (I think), although in the next version I would like to move the gathers closer  towards the neckline. Another adjustment that I’d like to make is to shorten the bodice above the waistband, especially in the back.

IMG_2606 IMG_2608

See? And in regards to that waistband/tie thingy: It is a real wrap top, not a mock-wrap, and the band consist of two layers of fabric. In the front section you end up with FOUR layers of fabric in the band section, which is awesome, because it gives you a large amount of coverage of that area which often contains some dimples and rolls and such. At least on me it does… Let’s just say, I don’t feel self-conscious in this top! I also like how this wrap is longer on the sides than in the back, which optically enhances the back curve! Va-vavoom!

What don’t I like about this top? Well, let me just give you a piece of advice: when you go potty, get a hold of those ties in the back. Tuck them into the waistband or something. Ya catch my drift?

IMG_2610

Now you’re asking “Why do you look so smug and self-satisfied all of a sudden?”. First of all, we painted the house, as you can see. I have plenty of neutral coloured walls to take pictures in front of for the blog. Second of all, we sold the said house! Thirdly, we bought another house, and we are moving from Toronto to a much smaller city, practically on the outskirts. The backyard of the new house backs onto a greenbelt, with amazing trees, full of animal life. I am bursting with excitement and optimism, looking forward to settling down and making tons of new friends! Maybe even some sewing friends?

Nothing to see here!

Hello Dear Readers!

Just wanted to give you a quick shout-out, with an update on things I’m doing. Also, be warned that some navel-gazing will be following…

But first, I’ll explain the name of my blog (BTW, Happy Second Blogversary to me!). What does Fit Not To Fit mean? I came up with this name because it worked for me on several levels:

  1. When I realized that RTW styles and sizing did not fit me, I decided to embrace who and what I was physically, the way I was, and stopped trying to conform to somebody else’s standard of what my shape should be. I stopped buying, and started making! It took me a long time to muster up enough courage to do that, but eventually I became FIT not to fit in somebody else’s mold.
  2. From clothing, it had a carry-over effect to other areas of my life, and slowly I started opening my eyes to this awful, consumeristic culture that we are surrounded by. Its effects harm our humanity and the environment, and we all must become more informed about the stakes that are at play here. Chucking a shirt just because you lost a button is not the right thing to do, as much as buying a child-produced knock-off designer purse will not make you feel any better about yourself if you are miserable about everything else in your life. And just because I blog about sewing clothes, it does not mean that I like clothes, especially those that were produced by people who could never afford to buy that $5 t-shirt, that you own 20 of.
  3.  Not sure if I mentioned that before, but I am a fitness professional. I am a kinesiologist, and for years I worked as a personal trainer. Vast majority of Earthlings would never even guess that I know anything about physical training, since the mental image that the name “personal trainer” conjures is something very different from my “look”. Physical fitness is very important, and I firmly believe that anybody is entitled to be fit, whatever their version of fitness involves. I am fit, but I do not fit the general notion of a fit individual, and definitely not the one of fitness professional. And I’m OK with that.

So, if you are still reading, you wonder why I’m writing all that? Because I like to connect on a personal level, because writing about sewing and nothing else can get a bit boring sometimes… And because I am looking for my voice. The past six months drastically changed my outlook on life, and some of that was caused by truly inspiring and giving people. I would like to keep that going. I would like to encourage and inspire other women to become comfortable with who they are, not who they think they should be. Granted, I am not quite there myself, but I know that my truth is mine, and I will no longer accept somebody else’s version of what my truth should be.

(Oh look, lint!)

What’s next, you ask? It is exciting! My husband and I decided to stop trying to bend to this “city professional” mold (which stopped being fun 5 yrs ago), and decided to sell the house and move to a town where his mom and brother live. It will be great living closer to family, somewhere where we have enough backyard space to grow some food, and maybe even keep chickens. And a dog! But in the meantime, we are prepping the house for the market, and we’ve been painting for the last three weekends. I also had to liquidate my sewing room, so most of my pretties are put away in the storage. I feel like a dog without the bone, but I trust it will all be worth it in the end! The good news is, I have several freshly painted, beautiful walls that are suitable for taking blog pictures. And even better news, spring is almost here!

If you are still reading, I should mention that I don’t know where this blog is going to go… It will still include sewing, but it also might become more personal and maybe a little weird. And who knows with all this moving business…

Are you STILL reading? In that case, I wanted to thank you for reading, my friend! Hope to see you soon!

Footwear Refash

Do you see that woman scratching her head and silently mouthing “what was I thinking?”. That is me. Like that time that I found those awesome wedges on sale, 60% off. They came in two colour schemes: black/navy/blue and black/brown/red. In a misguided attempt to add variety to the colours in my wardrobe (since most of my clothes are in the blue family), I decided to go with the black/brown/red colour combo. Just so NOTHING in my closet coordinates with the colours of the wedges. Makes sense, no?

IMG_1262In the last year I wore them twice. I am not the kind of person who will get rid of a perfectly good pair of shoes. I despise this consumer culture that most of us live in, I do not understand the whole phenomenon of disposable clothing (and footwear). Unfortunately, I do fall into the shoe trap once in a while. But anyhoo…

What’s a girl to do?

Snowy day + ugly coloured sneakers + 3 black sharpies = Footwear that has more potential

IMG_1280
Obligatory cat shot, because cats make everything cooler…

Work in progress:

IMG_1264      IMG_1263

And finally:

IMG_1275      IMG_1276

I quite like these now, I am sure I’ll be wearing them more often, as soon as the snow melts…

Confused Scout…

You all know it, you’ve all made it. But I still can’t decide if it’s a “meh” or “ye” for me… Grainline Scout Tee.

IMG_2362Maybe it is that I did the Full Bust Adjustment? I used the brilliant method that brilliant Susan posted on her blog moonthirty. Like Susan, I thought that having a woven tee that has no bust darts was very appealing, but now I wonder if bust darts (or lack of thereof) are a big deal at all? I feel like I have tons and tons of fabric billowing in front of my stomach, because you cannot add all that volume to the top, without adding even more to the bottom…

IMG_2319Or maybe it’s the fabric, a bit too matronly? Yeah, but what do ya expect young lady (snort!) when you buy 4 yards of this polyester glory for $5 for the entire piece?

And what is that weird drag line going from the shoulder to the armpit? I actually dislike the whole sleeve situation, I do not like the cap sleeve (not that I don’t like THIS sleeve, it’s just that I do not like cap sleeves at all)…

As a matter of fact, I don’t like it so much that I decided to ruin 1.5 yards of beautiful, golden coloured silk on making a dress that I hacked from this pattern. What was I smoking, I wonder?

Oh well, we’ve all done that… Let’s forgive and forget, there, there, pat-pat…

IMG_2286

Actually, this is my muslin, the only alterations that I’ve done to the original pattern was the aforementioned FBA and I made the shoulders narrower. OK, I changed my mind: for a wearable muslin I quite like it! I actually wore it a few times already. And I YEARN to tweak this pattern to the point that it will become THE perfect piece and a go-to pattern for me. Dream big, baby, dream big!

Wabi-Sabi Dress

From the UFO (UnFinished Object) files:

IMG_2245

Once upon a time, I was inspired by Julia Bobbin’s colour blocked Laurel. I decided to tackle a small stash of some exotic silk that I got from my Mother-in-Law, and I chose this lovely navy-grey piece. It was quite sedate in comparison to other pieces from said stash… It featured a beautiful scalloped pattern along one edge. After being strongly reassured by MIL that yes, you can wash it normally, I took all the pieces and threw them in the washing machine (on gentle cycle, I’m NOT crazy), an then in the dryer, on cold. All the silk came out lovely, much softer and more pliable, and the colours acquired more lustre. But my gorgeous grey piece had threads pulled out through the entire length of the yardage… I was heartbroken. I tried to cut my pattern pieces in a way that the most obvious damage was hidden by the darts, but to no avail… And what’s even more, the lovely scallops did not align on the bottom, which was too much for me… in the UFOs you go!

Fast forward 6 months or so, and I find this reasonable, mostly finished garment with a seriously funky bottom. So I cut off the bottom, and decide to make a tunic, but then I realize that I have some cotton that matches the colour almost exactly, so I add a panel to the bottom, make a weird neckline for more interest, and I have my colour blocked Laurel, just like Julia (same, but different)! My MIL recognized the fabric right away when she saw me in this dress, and was very surprised and quite pleased that I made something out of that silk! As for the damage, it’s still there.

IMG_2236

 

Enter the beautiful concept of wabi-sabi. Good people of Wikipedia will tell you more, but just to quickly paraphrase, it’s an idea that describes perfection in it’s imperfection. My dress is wabi-sabi. I am wabi-sabi. And you, have you ever felt like you’ll never be  able to pick yourself up and put yourself together after something that happened? But then you did, you got up, and now you’re mostly whole again, except that now you’re so much richer and much more interesting than before…

In life (and sewing), it is so easy to get preoccupied with striving for perfection. There is nothing wrong with perfection, but one does not have to be perfect all the time. This dress has many faults, but it is one of my favourites. Casual, comfy, versatile, but it’s a dress. Looks good belted, and loose (you know, for skinny or fat days!) The cotton part wrinkles like crazy, but hey, more wabi-sabi to me!

IMG_2256

 

Care to share your wabi-sabi creations, dear reader?