Tag Archives: sewing masks

A Look Back at 2020

I sewed clothes! To be precise I sewed 17 clothing items: 5 pairs of pants, 3 shorts, 7 tops, 1 dress, and 1 skirt. This is 3 more than last year, despite being sick in the winter and then needing to change my sewing plans to sew masks. I think nearly everyone with a sewing machine sewed masks this year, especially early on when they weren’t available at the store. I not only sewed masks but I spent a lot of time looking up mask patterns and reading how to make masks that were more protective. Sewing to survive, literally.

I knitted quite a bit less this year due to hand problems, only completing 1 hat. I didn’t finish any other needlework, although I did start a cross stitch project toward the end of the year.

Of the bottoms I made I wore the navy ponte knit pants, the pull-on jeans, and the denim shorts the most – 1, 3, and 4 in the photos. The traditional zipper fly jeans I made were nicely sewn but the waist didn’t fit right so I never wore them. The last 2 pairs of pants were just finished in December so I don’t know their frequency of wear yet.

The tops I wore the most are the tee shirt and swing tank, 3 and 5. With tops I’m able to use more diverse fabric sources: a refashion from my own closet, a thrift store refashion, fabric from an estate sale, and a garage sale sarong.

Of this group I wore the masks the most.

Some of my stand out outfits:

I sewed 5 items from my Make Nine list from last year:

My other sewing goals were:

To buy and learn how to use a serger – I did this toward the end of the year. I haven’t used it very much as of yet.

To match stashed fabric with patterns, especially for tops – I did this well.

To buy fabric wisely, especially to buy more bottomweight fabric for pants – I did well with this, I also bought some knit fabric as I had none in stash.

Techniques I want to learn are sewing a collar and welt pockets – I only sewed a collar without a stand and no welt pockets yet, so this one did not happen.

Next signpost ahead: 2021

Sewing During the Pandemic

What does one sew during a pandemic?

I was in the middle of sewing the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans in early March, was feeling a bit unwell, took my temperature, and it was 101.  No, this isn’t a story about a bout with coronavirus (that I know of) , but sickness and the unsettling changes of sheltering in place led to a month’s lag in working on my jeans.

I got sidetracked by researching mask patterns, sewing several of two different styles, and was ready when my grocery store had a sign “No entry without a face covering”.

I applaud and admire those in the sewing community who have sewn hundreds of masks for donation to first responders.

I also sewed two different “isolation headbands”, the fun challenge offered by Sew Over 50 on Instagram as a remedy to cope with uncoiffed hair.

But I did finish the jeans. I almost titled this post “pandemic jeans”.  They’re  not a complete disaster, but I lost interest in making them, and a few fit issues mean I expect I won’t be wearing them much if at all.

I chose to sew View B, the high waisted option with skinny legs, and a pocket stay. I shortened the legs pattern in two places taking out 6 or 7 inches.

I narrowed the legs.  I did a flat seat adjustment.  I deepened the pocket bags.

The fly installation went well. The thing that looks strange on a lot of jeans patterns I see is the fly area is too long!  Mine looks this way at 7 inches.

I used the same gold top stitching thread as I used on my denim shorts.

When I basted the front and back together I discovered a big problem: my back outseams were 2 and a half inches longer than the front.  I still haven’t figured out where I went wrong, but I cut down the yoke, and matched them up.

When I tried them on I was disappointed.  They are not only lumpy, but the rise is about 1 and 1/2 inch too low.  When I wore them once to walk the dog, I kept pulling them up.  My anatomy dictates where I like my pants to hit on me to fit well and be comfortable.  Odd that they’re supposed to be high waisted, and weren’t high enough on short me.

A close up of the “drag lines” indicating a problem with the fit.  Ugh!

On a positive note, they are well sewn.  The legs don’t twist, the top stitching is good,  the waistband is good, and the belt loops and hardware look good.  I’ve become a slow, but reasonably competent seamstress.

I find the photos I took in the course of my daily life, while staying home, going to the doctor, and going on walks in the neighborhood more interesting than the photos about my pants, don’t you?

On to happier days (hopefully) and happier sewing!