Thursday, April 22, 2021

Sewing for a Post-Pandemic World...and Body



Hello! After two back-to-back pottery posts, I'm back on the blog to talk about sewing--specifically sewing plans once I return to the office and some of the feelings I'm experiencing in anticipation of this eventuality. Maybe some of you are having similar feelings. I like to think I'm not alone. 

In some of my previous posts, I've talked about my sewjo and my pandemic-related weight gain, and lately, I've been thinking about ways to get back into a dressing professionally for work mindset. For me, the answer (or one of them) is and always has been knits and TNTs, closely followed by treats, new fabric purchases (i.e., more treats), and sewing plans. All my answers involve fun because as far as I'm concerned, we've all been through enough this past year. Let's all just think of ways we can be good to ourselves and each other. 

Regarding my weight gain, I want to try to choose my words carefully and be VERY clear about my own feelings about my own body because I don't want to offend anyone or, conversely, invite diet/weight loss tips. I will never understand why any person feels compelled to comment on another person's body. I just don't see when or how that's ever, ever appropriate. In my life (teens all the way through to my early forties), I've received many unsolicited comments, which is why I'm seriously in awe of the young women I see around me and on social media who proudly and firmly shut that shit down. It's so inspiring and makes me wish I had a time machine and could've spoken up for myself so eloquently when I was their age. My weight naturally fluctuates, but right now I'm not feeling healthy or energetic. I've gained three inches in my waist and two in my hips, which is a lot for my 5'2" frame and my age. I still love myself. I just need to move more and do what feels right for me. I'm also going to sew for the body I have right now. And that's all I'm gonna say...about weight gain, that is. 

Knits and TNTs

In the past, whenever I've lost my sewjo, I've always turned to knits. They are easy to fit,  comfy, and the right knit and pattern combination can make me feel really great. My all-time favorite knit top is the FREE Mandy boatneck top by Tessuti. I like the balance of the loose fit with more fitted sleeves. A while back, Tessuti rebooted the pattern to be a bit more size-inclusive, but for me, the largest size feels the same as the old version. I made the XXXL (pictured above) with no changes. You can read my previous posts here and here for modeling picsI think I did scoop the neckline 1/2" so it doesn't hit me in the throat, but that's it in terms of mods. Fabric is a lovely bamboo rayon from Stonemountain that I've had in my stash for a couple of years. This will be a good top for the office. 

Treats for Me


I got tired of rethreading my Brother 1034d all the time, so I bought myself a new serger.  The thread kept breaking if I'd go even a little fast. I think it's a timing issue, but I don't really know and don't have the energy or inclination to deal with it. I'm going to give it away to someone who doesn't mind tinkering. I've had my eye on this Juki MO-644D, which might be the least expensive Juki home serger around (retails for $300 on Amazon), for a while now. It's meant for lightweight fabrics, so I wouldn't recommend it if you sew a lot of heavy canvas or denim, but I think it's fine for my light knits and seam finishing. The suction cups hold it firmly to the table, reducing shaking and rattling, and it's just SO much quieter. I can't even begin to tell you...So far, I've made three pairs of underwear and the Mandy top, and I LOVE using it. No regrets.

Fabric Purchases and Sewing Plans

Wearing office pants with a waistband isn't the only aspect of post-pandemic life I'm dreading. I'm also not looking forward to taking public transport again. SF Muni sucks and used to frustrate me on a regular basis. There are also so many unknowns about our new normal and how we'll reinhabit our space and just the general weirdness of coming out from this long sleep... but still kind of in limbo. Will I have to wear a mask all day at my desk? Will our office attendance be staggered? To be sure, we'll work it out and adapt and it will be great to see my co-workers in person again, but I thought I would make a few new things to cheer me up and combat the dread. Here are some new fabric treats and my current plans. 


Laundered linen in warm, toasty nutmeg from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics with the Sew House 7 Freerange Slacks. Comfy for sitting, and I always like the look of a loose top with pegged, cropped bottoms. 


Another Mandy Boatneck in blue/teal bamboo rayon from Stonemountain.


I've wanted this knit for a while. What should make with it? Another Mandy?


I bought this woven from Stonemountain, but they're currently out. I think Blackbird might have it, though. This one is a wild card since I haaaaate sewing Big4. But I fell in love with an adorable tunic version by Brittany J Jones, so I'm gonna give it a try. 

So that's me done for the night. Thanks so much for reading! Be happy and be well.

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