Sewing through the long wait

So here we are.

Watching a virus travel across the globe in a surreal (and sometimes very real) newsfeed montage of images of people in face masks, shopping carts full of supples, and late night comedian news summary clips.

We’re avoiding each other, buying a couple extra of everything when we venture out to the store, and clawing desperately for any word of scientific certainty about how this will play out.

There are bleaker and darker stories that I can’t venture emotionally into right now for this post – detention centers, prisons, children in protective services, the homeless, and list goes on.

This is supposed to be the stuff of speculative fiction and summer action movies.

How are you and your loved ones holding up?

I’ve been working from home for the past three weeks and it has been exhausting in ways I didn’t imagine. Some meetings are (blessedly) shorter when they become virtual meetings, but 5-minute deskside conversations have become a new type of 15-minute video call. As someone who has a hard time stopping work on costumes and sewing projects, I’ve found it stupidly easy to just keep working, to try and finish just one more thing. Work expands to fill available time, and since I now live where I work…I just don’t have the same cues that indicate work should end for the day. My overarching goal this week was to work on boundaries and reclaim time for me.

Before Seattle and Washington State issued Shelter-in-Place orders, we spent one afternoon taking a different approach to our errands. We focused on picking up supplies to work on our list of projects and chores around the house. Now my husband won’t get bored while we stay home.

And me? At least I don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to stay in a sew, instead of going out and doing things.

I spent the better part of last weekend working on my mythical Ginger Jeans. I actually just set aside the wearable muslin because it no longer was the pair of pants I wanted, and I started anew with the gray stretch denim I’ve been waiting to use for years.

It felt good to sew again, to put the pieces together and make something new.

I’m satisfied with how it is progressing, but the verdict is still out on whether I’ll make jeans a part of my regular sewing. After discovering Eileen Fischer renew, which provides me with high quality second-hand clothing including jeans, my desire to sew “basics” has kinda melted. I’m not sewing as much as I used to, and I’d rather spend my time drafting and frankensteining garments that I can’t find somewhere else.

I hope to finish these jeans this upcoming weekend.

The weekend before we all started working at home I sewed a new dress that I planned to wear to my upcoming (and now postponed) college reunion. I used the Lane dress pattern from Seamwork, and I wish I had just used a different pattern. I think the princess seams are a nice feature, but it ultimately took longer to solve the fitting since I am at least one size smaller up top than on the bottom. The jersey I used also had a lot more drape and weight to it than is ideal. I had to scrap the waist ties because they were so heavy they pulled down the rest of the dress.

For a quick sewing win, I used some long-unused fabric to make us some fabric napkins and reduce our paper towel consumption. I tore the squares on the grain and stitched the edges to allow slight fraying and to not have to deal with mitered corners. 🙂

We are hoping to hold off on needing to restock on paper towels, kleenex, and toilet paper for a little while longer. I’ll probably sew us some fabric handkerchiefs as well.

For those worried about your toilet paper stash, here is a fun and useful website:

Be sure to expand the “advanced options” to adjust the number of people in your household, number of sheets on your toilet rolls, and …um… how many sheets you use per wipe.

On that overly personal and humorous note, let’s wrap this up. Stay safe and healthy everyone!!


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