It’s Only the Beginning

Recently I attended a Social Sewing Day, organised by Rachel of My Messings. A bunch of lovely folks also attended and they are so much better than me at blogging, so read the following:

I walked in a bit apprehensively because I was a bit late, knew no one and didn’t quite know what to expect from the format.  But everyone was very welcoming, and I’m not a particularly shy sort even if I failed to introduce myself to everyone.  Oopsie – you were just all so caught up in your work, I didn’t want to interrupt!

Kat brought along some fabric and patterns, and after letting the more experienced sewists choose what they wanted, I snaffled some new fabric and another pattern to add to my slowly increasing stash.  Thanks, Kat!

I have an awesomely OCD spreadsheet that lists fabric and what projects I have made or planned for it, so I have diligently inputted the data and will, hopefully, make something and show you all, at some stage in the not too distant future.

I also tried on Helen‘s lovely grey with pink lining Cambie dress.  I think the Cambie is definitely in my future! (I’d actually already suspected this, but trying on Helen’s confirmed my suspicions… it might even become the dress I make for a wedding I hope to attend next year.)

I did not end up sewing anything at the sewing social!  I had intended to have cut out the Alma and Thurlow patterns, but completely failed to do that, or finish the two Renfrews that I had started in the week prior.  So I brought along the incomplete Renfrews, but even failed to sew them up!  In my defense, the cutting tables were wonderful, so I cut up a Thurlow short, as well as half a Vogue wrap dress, so I’m all set for sewing, soon. Real soon.

One of my sewing garments epiphany is that cutting is much the harder task, and the chance to cut on a fabulously spacious table should be grasped with enthusiasm.

My other sewing garments epiphany is thus: Sewing clothes is very different to sewing bags. I know, right? Who would have thought?

For one thing, seams last forever. All I have made are easy stretch tops, where admittedly the sleeve seam ran into the side seam but it just felt like I’d been sewing this boring straight line since the beginning of time and I still wasn’t even halfway. Then the stitch went wonky because I zoned out (or sneezed, but that’s another story), so I focussed and finished the seam. I am a bit worried about how I will go sewing a seam on a dress!

Thus far, I have completed three Renfrew tops. One long-sleeved and v-neck in green, decided upon because Rachel of My Messings responded to a tweet of mine in such a decisive fashion. Possibly, however, the v-neck is a little beyond my skills because it is wonky. Also, I cut out the wrong neckband pattern (I’d cut the round neck; thank goodness for taking notes of what I cut to work out what on earth was wrong when I pinned the neckband piece to the body of the top), but luckily I had enough of the same fabric to cut out a v-neck band *and* a second top in the same fabric. So that was the second Renfrew: round-neck and green.

I cut up a slapdash nightdress I had sewn for myself from no pattern, which my partner and I had taken to calling affectionately The Sack. I’d noticed that sewing bloggers tend to name their creations, so I figured I should. Initially I called the ugly, olive green, too large, shapeless “dress”, the Burlap Sack but that’s way too many syllables for such an ignominious garment. I thought I would use Tasia‘s excellent pattern piece to fix the fitting issues, given that the Renfrews fit fine. But when I started unpicking the seam, my patience wore thin and I ended up just hacking it up. This left me insufficient fabric to re-work a nightie but still enough to make a tee, sans waist band. So I went ahead and made that. And it’s okay.

I haven’t come up with names for these tops yet, except for First, Second and Third Renfrew. Have I mentioned before how excellent I am with titles?

I’m notching all of the above up to learning experiences. There are weird fit issues but I’m not sure what the problem is, so not sure of the fix. (That is, I cannot work out if it’s too big or too small, and where. There’s random pulling in places, so the problem might be something else – like fabric – entirely.)

But it’s only the beginning!



  1. hurrah for decisive tweets! So much easier when it’s not your decision! Glad you had a good time on Saturday, it was great to meet you and I’m looking forward to seeing you again


    1. Thanks again Rachel for organising! I need to sew up in everyone’s presence so that I can make use of all that amazing collective knowledge! And at some stage in future, we should have a Cambie coven!


  2. Wow sounds like you’ve got a lot of projects on the go! I’m sure you’ll get through them. The Meet up sounded like it was alot of fun!


    1. Hi Jacinta! Thanks for visiting. I have lots more projects happening inside my head… But I tend to need lots of projects so I actually complete some. I think a monthly-ish meetup will ensure I get some sewing done *fingers crossed*!


  3. Hi Oanh, I think you are really hooked on sewing. Need a few piccies of what you have made. I love the Cambie dress, would really suit you 🙂 x


  4. ha ha. You sound as impatient as me. Your comment about dress seams taking long to sew made me laugh. Perhaps you should never start quilting. Many, many many long straight lines of sewing……….


    1. I was so certain I replied to this, Funkbunny! I must have replied inside my head. I hope you heard me.
      I have a few great quilts planned … First, I need to work on my patience, obviously!


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