Spots Before My Eyes – Sewing Reboot

Hello friends, it’s me, Jen, from Let the Sewing Begin. I’m still around … and dare I say it … sewing. The Sewing has BegunTra la!

What has changed, pray tell, to create this new status?  I don’t know what it is exactly, but since retirement it’s been a struggle to keep myself going in any direction for any length of time. Yoga – still going, but sporadically. Sewing – mostly pondering and considering and  worrying about making mistakes. The smart me has always known how to make such decisions, but a dimmer version of me has been getting in the way recently. So now – up in the morning and dressed! Catch up on coffee and news (although the news would make anyone crazy these days). Yoga on yoga days, and sewing as soon as possible, whenever possible. And, this might be the key — a little spritz of Mama’s perfume cheers me and makes a good beginning to every day! Recently I’ve been buying patterns and fabrics – and I’m itching to cut into them.

First up, a muslin for the Grainline Farrow Dress in my lovely dotty material. This time, I set right to work. My first ever attempt at pattern tracing delivered a sturdy, reusable pattern! I laid out my muslin and cut the top, sleeve, and facing pieces. Shortage of muslin meant a second fabric was necessary for cutting out the bottom half. Color blocking! And it looks deliberate, doesn’t it?What have I learned through all this eager project undertaking? First of all, I love this pattern. It’s architectural and dramatic, and for my toile, the combination of yellow linen(ish) and plain muslin are so cool! Alas, the fit is somehow off. The pattern is designed to be very loose, but this seems so bulky and wide. I believe the problem lies in the differing fabrics for top and bottom. The yellow is quite heavy (3 layers) where the front pockets lie, which may be throwing off the fluidity. And by-the-way, can we talk about those pockets? The layout was confusing at first glance, but once the light bulb went off, they were easy to create. They just look so darn good, and are perfectly placed for me. The neckline is still unfaced and hem unhemmed, but it was enough to decide that the neckline and shoulders fit well and I’ll probably add an inch or so to the hem. The mismatched sleeves of course, were just to compare which length looks better. I’m leaning toward the short sleeve, as it seemed rather heavy and too-covered-up with the long one. What do you think? The decision might ultimately rest with the season when it’s completed. (And why such a glum face in these photos, for goodness sake)










I am planning to make a “real” Farrow using this color scheme or a similar one, most likely in linen. And creating the back side of pockets in a lighter weight cotton might be helpful. Another option would be a bold graphic print. (This pattern does remind me of the Eiffel Tower; I’m rather tempted to find an Eiffel Tower print….)

What all this is leading up to is that my soft, flowy fabric just did not feel right for this pattern. The Farrow deserves a nice bold substantial fabric, and the soft dots will be better with a more fluid pattern. So, my research has produced numerous results, and these are the two finalists: Simplicity 6340 or the Style Arc Lara Dress. Of those, I’ll probably choose the Lara. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, Jasmine watches snowy cat tv, and fabric waits patiently for the new pattern to come. It could all begin as early as tomorrow morning.

Keep watching this space for updates, and stitch on everyone!


21 thoughts on “Spots Before My Eyes – Sewing Reboot

      • I ended up at home (unplanned) a year ago, and someone very wisely counseled me to work on several big projects immediately while I adjusted. It ended up being some quilting, deep cleaning the house and refurbishing the garden. By the time those were completed, I was able to start considering what I wanted to do, and create a new “regular” day. I never thought that walking away from a high stress job could be so stressful!😆

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  1. So happy to see a post from you! What a wonderful dress that is. It looks attractive, and not too difficult, and very comfortable. I love the kitty tv. =) I’m so glad your mojo is making itself known. Maybe you just had to adjust from one type of schedule to another? Probably giving yourself a little more schedule, and a little less do-whateverness helped in the adjustment.

    I didn’t have that adjustment because my last day of working was also our first day of full time RVing, so everything in life changed and we charged forward into it. When Paul died, though, after 5 years, I did take a while to come back to the things I loved doing – probably 8 months until I started to sew again a little. You’ve done just what you needed to do, but I’m glad to see you’re doing things you love again!

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    • Thank you! It’s good to be back. I love that dress and do plan to make it up for “real” in some nice fabric. Oh, that’s funny! “do-whateverness” is the perfect description of what I had going on. Part of the process, I guess.
      Losing those so close is really difficult, and I’m so sorry you lost your husband early on. I’m glad to see that you’re also getting back into the swing of things.


  2. Selfie taking is obviously a very serious business in your house 😉
    The toile looks as if it’s going to turn into a very nice dress once you’ve got the fabric balance right.
    Out of the two patterns I would probably go for the Simplicity one – partly because it says ‘Easy’ and partly because the pattern is about a quarter of the price 🙂 Seriously though, I think either would make a lovely spotty dress.
    I love that you spritz a little of your Mum’s perfume in the mornings. My Mum didn’t really wear perfume much but I find that I have adopted lots of her little sayings which make me smile and think of her when I come out with them.

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    • Haha! Selfies are certainly not my forte. Maybe I was hoping no one would notice all three are just the same. Good grief.
      The Simplicity is certainly a better price…but I do love the neckline darts on the Lara. Pretty expensive darts, eh?
      That perfume was not a long-term item (she had used Chanel for decades) but my sister converted her a few years ago, and it’s a light, lovely scent. Funny the little things and little sayings that crop up, isn’t it. My hubby says my laugh is like hers. ox


    • Jersey! I’d have never considered that for just the top. Oh no, now you’ve given something to add to the decision mix. 😉 Would have never used the word sleek relating to myself, but perhaps I need to go down a size for next version. Oh wouldn’t it be lover-ly.

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  3. I really like the farrow in two colours. All in one fabric it hadn’t made much sense to me. It doesn’t need two solids — one section could be floral or geometric of stripey! Glad to hear you feel you’re finding a gear to get going. When I retired 3 years ago I took a 3-month toodle around Europe (with a backpack) just to totally clear my working life out of my head. I think it was a good thing to do.

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    • Hi Felicia, I hadn’t thought of a solid + print! That’s a good idea….thinking now….
      You had the best intro to retirement! My fog is lifting now, from retiring and from Mama passing. Next to get back to blogs – reading and writing. I’ve missed yours. 😀


      • I’m sure that the death of your mother was a profoundly unsettling experience. It’s only understandable that you would need time to process and regroup. Glad to hear the fog is lifting.


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