Tuesday, July 2, 2013

breakdown pt. 1

This is a tale of many tears.  Mostly hormone induced, but tears no less.  During my self-imposed sewing challenge, I got 2 1/2 items finished:  the leggings, the maxi skirt and almost all of the navy dress.  

Here's the long rundown...


-Swung by Joann's after work to get some elastic and thread.
-After dinner, I crashed, hoping to get up early and get cracking


Woke up, breakfast, organized sewing area, got all patterns/fabric/notions together, removed pocket from the men's shirt, left to meet doula for breakfast (yeah, I eat two of those now)
Left breakfast #2, Vet for dog meds, Target, got home
Cut out leggings
Cut out renfrew
Break, snack, facebook, bloglovin, and much needed stretching
Cut out maxi skirt (included a 15 refresh cycle in the dryer to get wrinkles out) and redoing my measurements
Break-my back is really hurting at this point
Feeling a lack of sewjo, back still hurts, hips hurt, but power on, starting with the leggings
Mess with serger, was picked up from the shop on Wednesday, and it's messing up again, now I'm hungry, eat
Get back to leggings
Done! Take an ice cream break
Start maxi
Take dog on walk with the hubby
Back to work on the maxi
Finish Maxi (took much longer than it should have!)
Shower, eat, and lights out


Up, breakfast, we clean the bathrooms, do laundry, empty dishwasher and vacuum/mop floors
Birth class
Pick up food, head home
Friends come over to scout for baby shower
Finally stop going, eat ice cream and veg on the couch for a minute
Dog walk with the hubby
Nap.  I'm really feeling exhausted by this point
Wake up, make tea, check email
Start working on blue dress, get sides and shoulders done, cut out bias strips, and get neck bias almost finished
Taking entirely too long, serger acting up again, want to claw eyes out, but just have a little weep instead
Rethread machine for the 2nd time
Still doesn't work, lower looper thread keeps breaking (what I originally took it in for).  At this point, I now want to throw the machine and cry and have a very strong alcoholic beverage.  All I can do is cry though.  I decide the best alternative is a hot shower.
Back at it, decided to use the good ol' IT trick "have you tried turning it off and back on?"  Nope, still nothing
Try old serger, can't get tension right (hence it being retired)
F*ck it.  Admit defeat, shed more tears.  The hubby is extra sweet in my sewing crisis.

Let's be clear, I set myself up for failure.  I knew I had a lot going on, but thing is, I'm really, really stubborn.  My husband is convinced that stubbornness will be what gets me through birth with no meds.  When I get something in my head, I don't want to back down.

Another issue, I keep forgetting that at 32 weeks pregnant, I cannot do everything with the same energy I could at 0 weeks pregnant.  I can't stand on my feet for hours cutting out fabric without my body retaliating with a burning back ache later.  It's frustrating, because my head is still in it, but my body just won't. 

And of course, the serger.  It's another story for another day.  This is already a long post, so I'll take that one on separately. 

I was sorely disappointed in myself last night.  I put myself out there on this blog, hoping the public decree would really light a fire under my ass.  But when it came down to it, I just couldn't do it all.  Maybe I am just a slow sewist and I just got ahead of myself?

I know we're not supposed to compare ourselves with others, but it's hard not to when you see bloggers post completed project after completed project and you wonder, what am I doing wrong?  And sometimes you can't help the comparison in those low emotional moments.  Is there something that they've figured out that I haven't?  What construction tricks have they mastered that I haven't?  

Even the items I got done are far from perfect.  I gathered the maxi and put on a yoga style waistband.  The gathers are uneven.  And because of my big bump, I took off some of the top of the leggings, which I shouldn't have.  Thank goodness I can't bend over or hello crack!

I don't have the magic answer, but I know that my sewing problems are nothing on the grand scale, and I try to remind myself of that when I get teary eyed over a sewing project.  Right now it's hard to separate my regular emotions from my hormonal induced ones, but thankfully, today my perspective is much, much better than it was Sunday night!  For me, I think a good, working machine, patience, and lots more practice are key.

And the finished items...

The maxi is made out of an olive jersey I got from FIDM for $1/yard.  I wore it to work Monday and it was very, very comfy.

 pregnancy causes drag lines, idgaf!

The leggings are made out of a navy denim looking stretch.  I bought it at Mood LA listed at $10 yard, and on sale, so I walked out with 1 yard for a little over $8.

What about you?  Do you ever get a case of the comparisons?  Or just feel your sewing is regressing?


  1. Oh Jill! Big hug!

    You are not alone! I've read so many bloggers having a case of the comparisons, and I've had it too! And just like you, it really put me in a funk for the longest time - no matter how much I tried to tell myself to chill out, it's just a hobby!

    These days I'm intentionally making myself slow down. For instance, the dress I just finished over the course of a week, I COULD have made in a day - but I didn't let myself. Working on it bit by bit, an hour or two a day, made it so much more relaxing and fun for me, rather than a source of stress. The difference is though, that I don't NEED another dress. If I had nothing that fit me at the moment, like the boat you're in, I would probably be pushing myself just like you're doing!

    Oh, and BTW: I've never been pregnant, and I've always eaten two breakfasts!

    1. Thanks for the virtual hug, Gail! I just need to buy some clothes, grrr. And I love that you eat two breakfasts, hehe!

  2. Oh, gosh, girl, I'm tired just looking at your schedule for the weekend! I can totally relate to setting wildly unrealistic goals and then getting majorly upset when I don't meet them. I was CRAZY frustrated last night when I was too tired to finish the skirt that I had started on Saturday (and hoped to finish Saturday... then Sunday... then last night...). I don't know how people sit down and make a project in three hours. I'm just not that person! I don't have the focus and I just don't move that quickly, I guess.

    But the fact of the matter is that, DUDE-- you're growing a person, and you're working, and you're taking care of your home, and a dog, and preparing for baby's arrival, and holy crap, that leaves you with about four seconds of spare time! You should stop when this feels like a chore (or when your serger starts to go crazy)!

    1. So true. There came a point when I told myself to stop, that I was being ridiculous. But read above, stubborn. Haha!

  3. Oh no, don't be too hard on yourself! The best laid sewing plans can often go wrong. Personally I'm not very quick at sewing and am amazed at the speed of some sewing bloggers. Especially as my recent jersey makes have been so shoddily finished!!
    Remember that your hormones are playing a part too and that you don't HAVE to sew you can always buy things, it's not cheating. When sewing stops being enjoyable, have a break.
    K xx

    1. Yes, the hormones. For the most part I'm totally even keeled. It's the moments of disappointment that put me over the edge. And of course, it's like a flood of emotion, where you're like, where the hell did this come from??
      Yes, I need to remember it's not cheating to buy clothes. I guess I just have so much knit fabric it seems ridiculous not to use it. But you're right, it was definitely NOT enjoyable Sunday night.

  4. Jill, I can totally relate to this post :( I always bum myself out when I don't feel like I am being productive enough, but I have to understand that I have a lot on my plate, just like you! And when I sew I take my time because there is nothing worse than making a project that I hate due to my mistakes! Keep your chin up, you're awesome and the items you made are adorable!!!! XOXO

    1. Thanks, Erin :) There really is nothing worse than finishing a project and realizing something's wrong with it. And it was preventable, but you rushed through.

  5. I've been suffering from the comparison woes lately. I keep thinking if I read more, buy more that I'll get inspired to sew when I have a chance. My hat goes off to bloggers who work a full day and still manage to knit and/or sew a garment a week! And my finishes are far from perfect. I wonder if I ever will become a skilled sewist. At the end of the day we should only compare ourselves to ourselves.

    One thing I've been trying to do lately is to be more forgiving of myself. Sometimes it's okay just to do nothing and just feel inspired by reading and planning. The sewing will happen eventually. You are doing a lot already. Take it easy when you can.

    Also, you look fierce in both outfits. That olive color looks great with your skin tone.

    1. You are sweet, and I know you get it. How do those bloggers do it?? I wonder. For me, I've been sewing pretty consistently now for 3 years, and my sewing has gotten better, I guess just at slower pace than I want. Add impatience to my personality traits as well, ha!
      Anyway, yes, forgiveness to ourselves, that's so difficult, but so important for sanity.

  6. Jill, this looks like a crazily productive weekend to me! Some weekends I congratulate myself for brushing my hair.
    Totally with you on sky-high ambitions, looking at super-productive people and feeling bewildered, and worrying my skills have plateaued at 'basic'. But when I go into the office, just like you, and I tell someone I made my skirt, top, whatever, I remind myself that I'm learning new things and doing exactly what I wanted to do before I started: making clothes.
    Also agree with Mela, the olive looks boss.

    1. Thank you :) Y'all have made me feel much better!

  7. I always always compare myself to others and especially their productivity. I feel that I am slow as well. But then I think trying to produce more reduces the fun and enjoyment, as well as the fun of doing other stuff other than sewing - wait, is there anything besides sewing? ;) You look amazing in your pics! I remember reading about a 15 minute here and there schedule. Trace a bit, cut a bit, pin a bit...it all adds up and then finally you have a garment. Don't worry, feel great that I am staring at your lovely fringe (bangs) and wishing I had it! :) xx

    1. Haha! I love the word fringe instead of bangs, sounds cooler.
      I've tried the 15 minutes here and there, and I always end up with 30-45 minutes instead, which I guess isn't the end of the world, huh?
      Thank you for the sweet words, nice to know I'm not alone!