Of the last twelve things I've made, only three of them are real life wearable (my beach bum shorts and skirt and my white Luella tunic in case you were wondering). Three! Three of twelve. Twenty five percent. Those are not good odds. My friends, I am officially in a sewing rut. A deep sewing rut. I have made the occasional wadder in the past, of course. But never this many in a row. I'm discouraged.
I've sat looking at the duds (no pun intended- ha!) for a while now trying to figure out why. Why so many? Why have I lost my sew-jo? What is it that makes each piece a failure? In the past, I figured there are two main reasons a piece doesn't work. The style of something is just wrong. Either the fabric doesn't work with the pattern or the shape just doesn't work for me or my lifestyle. Or there is some technical issue that makes me not want to wear it. Like a floppy collar, pointy darts, a pucker or something weird about the fit. In the case of every single dud I've finished recently, it's the style that I don't like. I'm making things that I don't like! What's wrong with me? I spend hours making something, then put it on and think... meh. I feel like I used to have such a good handle on what I liked and didn't like. Now I don't know.
To be fair, some of those pieces above are okay. The crazy kimono is growing on me. The green skirt is a refashion of this dress. I wasn't going to wear it again and I didn't want to waste that pretty dip dyed linen. And I am planning on fixing my Nicola dress bodice at some point. I don't have the confidence to do that now. Someone asked me a while ago if I thought my style had changed since becoming a mom. I hadn't really thought about before then, but now I can answer with a definite yes. The problem is that I don't know what it has changed in to.
I am delving in to this now because I desperately need clothes I can wear to work. I teach art in an elementary school, so I can get away with work wear that most people can't. I don't need corporate work apparel or anything. But I do need to look put together. I need nice work clothes that make me look like I know what I'm doing (i.e. things with real waistbands, buttons, collars, etc.). When I went back to work last school year, I bought a bunch of stuff in a hurry because nothing fit. I was four months postpartum. I bought several skirts and a pair of black pants with an elastic waist from j.jill. I do love that pair of pants, but it's hard to wear them without looking like you have your pajamas on. I didn't care at that point. I was just trying to figure out how I was going to eat lunch and pump at the same time. Then by winter, I fit back in to my old clothes. Yet I didn't find many things I wanted to wear. I wore weird things last year. I think I wore the same pair of corduroys about seventy-five percent of the time with different blouse-y tops. Moms of little ones, help me out. What do you wear on a daily basis?
Anyway, this is an incredibly self indulgent post. I am halfway through my summer which is why I have the time to think. I really have been sewing a lot. Baby Jane (or maybe I should call her Toddler Jane) is consistently taking a two to three hour nap in the afternoon. Which is awesome for me and my sewing machine. I just wish I could actually produce things I want to wear! So help a girl out. What do you do to get out of a sewing rut like mine? What can I do to figure out what will work and what won't (ahead of time)? I want to put on something I've made and think yeeeessssssss. You know what I'm talking about. I need some sort of plan. I am not a planner by nature. I have one more month of summer so I want to take advantage of this sewing time while I have it. And pants! I need pants. Real pants with waistbands and zippers. But mom friendly, too. That's a tall order, isn't it? I think I also just need someone to commiserate with me and all my duds...
And because I want to leave on a positive note...
... here is something I made that ended up perfect.