Twenty Crafteen

New Project, Old Project

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2016 treats us well and that we treat each other well. 

Let’s quickly review 2015, because it’s the thing to do:

In January of last year, I taught myself how to use my sewing machine. It was frustrating and tear-inducing and it sucked. I did it. 

A lot of my sewing project sucked. I spent a lot of time ripping stitches, swearing so loudly that I woke the dog. I completely ruined at least three things to the point where I never want to see that fabric again. I made myself bleed a bunch. I have scars from my iron. 

But I’m stupidly happy with how both my project and my year turned out. Little Something arrives in April, my cats have never been snugglier, our dog is an adorable idiot, and Mr. Something got a promotion. 

So. 2016. 

In 2016 I’ll continue to sew something new every month. I’ll also make two new (to me) recipes a week, with at least one being a crockpot recipe. At the end of the year, I’ll compile our favorites into The Something Family Cookbook.  

Sound good? I can think of infinite ways this could go sideways. It’s going to be great. 

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2015’s Project: Learn. 

Twenty Crafteen is almost over, friends. This year I made (deep breath): coasters, tote bags, crayon rolls, aprons, circle skirts (I miss wearing you so very much), a misshapen dress, baskets, zippered pouches, wine totes, pajama pants, pajama shorts, a nightgown, and baby blankets. 

I didn’t make everything I wanted to make. I was so hoping to make a dress that a) fit and b) I liked, but that didn’t quite happen. But. BUT. 

I started 2015 by texting my amazing friend a picture of my machine’s deconstructed bobbin case with the caption: “what is this and what did I do.” I cried over that stupid bobbin case. 

I started 2015 not knowing how to sew a straight line. 

I started 2015 with no handmade clothes in my closet. 

I started 2015 a less patient person. 

To really stick with a new skill, you have to be patient with yourself and forgiving of yourself, things I’m not sure I have ever done. Past Me had visions of the Wondrous Creations that would fly from my machine with no effort at all. I got frustrated when I realized that this would not be the case. I thought I was failing because I was inherently bad at sewing. 

I changed my expectations, but I still pushed myself to try more challenging projects. And now, at the tail end of the year, I have skills I didn’t have before. I’m proud as hell. And maybe a bit more forgiving of myself?

At the very least, my bobbin case doesn’t make me cry anymore. 

April’s Project: A Human

Hello, friends. I disappeared there for a while, but I have a very good, tiny reason. 

*drumroll*

I’m pregnant! I’m due mid-April 2016, so for much of late summer and early fall I felt like garbage. I’m back to feeling mostly normal and my sewing projects will resume (with baby-related themes, sometimes) ASAP. 

Look for new recipes and sewing posts to start this weekend. (We’re really excited!)

August’s Project: The Zaftig Housewife

I’ve been absent for a while…. There’s a good reason for that. Remember when I talked about Project Tango Zulu Hotel?
I opened an Etsy store! It’s called The Zaftig Housewife, and it went live about five minutes ago.

This is a nerve-wracking new venture for me. As you all know, I only started this year-long sewing project eight months ago. I’m certainly not as experienced as many other sewists, but I know that the items I’m offering (for now) are high-quality and fun. Eventually I’m going to offer custom circle skirts, totes, and zippy pouches.

Everything is colorful, functional, and fun. Functionality is really important to me; there’s already so much clutter in our lives, so if you’re going to invest in something new, it should fit into your daily routine and make your life better. (I sell wine totes.)

My first goal with my shop is to make enough money to buy myself a new sewing machine that has embroidery capabilities. Everyone seems to love a monogram! My longterm goal is to sustain my sewing habit with this shop. I’m not going to be a millionaire, or even a thousandaire, but I might be able to break even.

 

And don’t fret, friends. I’m still continuing on my sewing journey. Next up: a cute knit top.

Thank you for all of your support and feedback. It means the world to me!

July’s Diversion: One-Hour Basket

July’s project is technically “more dresses,” and I technically completed another dress (but it needs tweaking). After finishing the zipper, I tried it on and immediately sighed because the bodice is nowhere near big enough for my bodice region. 

After sighing and cursing and sighing again, I took off the dress and started making one of these baskets. It uses techniques I’ve used in making tote bags and zippered pouches, and the finished product is large enough for a myriad of items. 

  
I love it. I think it only takes an hour if you are a super beginner and cutting the fabric is the most annoying part. I’m going to make a bunch of these and use them as catch-alls around the house. This one now holds patterns. 

  
Get to basketing!

Goals 

Yesterday I went to Joann because I needed fabric. (This is a permanent need.) They were having a 5 for $7 sale on Butterick patterns. 

Let me elucidate how extraordinary this is. Butterick patterns normally run around $19.95 each. Math math math–I got them for $1.40 each. Please take a moment to jump up and down because that is the appropriate response. 

I got one “Very Easy” pattern (sleep shorts and nightgowns), three “Easy” patterns (really cute mid-century dresses ranging from a 1940s swing dress to a 1960s Mad Men Joan-style dress), and an “Average” pattern for a sweet, modern dress with a keyhole. 

This brings me to goals. This “Average” dress pattern is my current goal. I am going to build my skills to the point where I can successfully make the Butterick 6168.  

 
Let’s. Do. This. Shit. 

Butterick 5317

July’s Project: Another dress/Project Tango Zulu Hotel

Twenty Crafteen is moving along at a nice clip, I think. The projects I’ve completed so far include:

  • coasters (January)
  • tote bags (February)
  • zippered pouches (March)
  • skirts (April)
  • dresses (May)
  • more dresses (June).

Well, I guess May and June could be compressed into one harried and frustrating month of attempting to make one dress, but I also do things other than sew. (But WHY?, you ask.)

For July, I want to make another dress. I have a pattern picked out, which I think is pretty cute. I haven’t done sleeves yet, and I suspect those are going to give me a raging case of Sailor Mouth. That… sounds like something else.

ANYWAY. I’m also working on something that, for now, I’ll call Project Tango Zulu Hotel. That should be ready to go by the end of the month, when I’ll give you the low-down.

June’s Project: DONE 

Owwwww. My hands hurt. My brain hurts. I hate knits. I hate pins.

I finished my first dress (ever!) and it has some issues. The bust area is a little tight and the hips are a little loose (I always have the opposite problem, so this is weird). I think I can fix it… another day. 

  
For now, I’m going to stick to dresses with flared skirts–I have too much junk in the trunk to deal with fitted patterns right now. And now I’m going to take a relaxing bath. Oof. 

June’s Project: More Dresses (An Update)

I am absolutely determined to finish this dress before the end of the month. It will get done. 

 

Butterick 5554, view A

It’s a knit pattern, which means it’s OBNOXIOUS AS HELL. I have not mastered the wily ways of knit the way I’ve mastered the simple, non-stretchy proclivities of woven. This dress also has a zipper in the back, which should be interesting. 

I’m making view A, the sleeveless version. And of course, I’m making it in leopard print (the middle section) and jade (the outer sections). I showed the fabric to Mr. Something and he said, “Well, that’s perfect for you.” This is something that I love about sewing my own clothes; I can make them in my size and in my favorite colors. 

I hope (hope hope hope) to have this done by this weekend so I can wear it out. Photos to come!