Quarantine Life Update #2 and Other Sewing News

There is… a lot going on in the world right now. I have been watching, and listening, and thinking, and doing my best to understand how a nation that proclaims “liberty and justice for all” can still be so backwards. It would be nice to say that progress has happened (I mean, largely, over long sweeps of history, yes, there has been progress. But not the kind of progress that really needs to happen to create the sort of just society that we all deserve to have.) I have been fortunate to grow up in a very diverse community, and I’ve been lucky enough to have friends who will share their experiences with me; experiences which I have never had to face (or even, largely been aware of) because I’m not a minority. I am trying to listen, and to understand, and to find the best way to act and the best way to support. I’m trying to do better. We have a long way to go in this country, and lately it feels like all we’ve been doing is moving in the wrong direction. Hopefully this is an impetus for change, and the thing that will help us all wake up and understand that we all need to do better moving forward.

***************

On a tangential note, I am aware that I had some of my new pattern posts go live this weekend, and given the nature of life events, the timing may have come across as a bit flippant. I am sorry if the timing of these sewing posts came off as frivolous, dismissive, or unaware. I had written them earlier in the week and used the post scheduling feature to space things out a bit, which unfortunately resulted in their releases being untimely. This weekend I was absorbed with the new, posts, and social media surrounding the world’s events, and I hadn’t thought to change the posting schedule. I apologize for any offense this may have caused, as it was not my intent to use these posts to dismiss the larger issues at hand.

***************

Dressmaking Debacles is hosting the Faye’s Tops That Pop commemorative summer sew along on her blog. I plan to participate as much as I possibly can, because I think this is a great way to honor our sewing community and to find a sense of togetherness in a time when the world feels so divided.

***************

For those of you who are still in mask-making mode (I mean, we are still in a global pandemic after all), this article from the American Chemical Society takes a look at how different fabric materials work at filtering particles in a cloth mask. The major take-away for me is that having a silk chiffon interlining would be a good addition to a cotton home-made mask, and that fit is critical to how as mask performs. It’s worth a look if you have any inclination at all towards reading scientific studies about fabric types used for mask making.

***************

This next bit is on the more fun sewing side of things, but I thought it was a great resource at a fantastic price, and it helps charity, so I wanted to share. Humble Bundle (a charity organization that sells donated bundles of e-books and games) has a fantastic Cosplay Bundle right now, available through June 15th. While many of the cosplay books and patterns might not be of interest to the general sewing community, there are a ton of general sewing books included in this bundle, including The Mood Guide to Fabric, Mending Matters, First Time Garment Fitting, Singer Complete Photo Guide to Sewing, The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, Tailoring, Serging, and many, many more. The books are stacked in tiered bundles – you can donate as little as $1 to unlock the first tier (which includes the Mood book), or as much as $20 (or more) to unlock the entire bundle, which is valued at $605. You can also decide how much of your payment goes to the publishers (many of whom are independent cosplay artists and self-published), how much goes to charity, and how much goes to the Humble Tip. I know that as sewists many of us prefer tactile items (including books!) but having a digital library of these resources (especially at this price) is way too good to pass up!

***************

On a personal note, the past month and a half has been… up and down. On my last update I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and very busy. Happily work has calmed down and I’m back to trying to balance all of my commitments in a reasonable way. Though I must say I’m not dealing that poorly with the needing to stay inside and quarantine. Honestly, I’m a true introvert and I’ve sort of been reveling in the ability to just be at home without the constant insane busy schedule. I’ve been taking the time to overhaul my sewing space. It’s taken much longer than I had originally hoped, and I’m not quite done yet. Partly this is due to COVID shipping delays, partly it is due to the absolute mass of stuff (aka, fabric) that I bought when I was severely depressed after grad school, and partly it is due to a bug bite (which may or may not be lyme… due to COVID I went the telemedicine route, so doctors wouldn’t/couldn’t confirm). Let’s just say I’ve had a majority of the expected flu-like symptoms and rash, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it is. Right now I’m taking a catch-all antibiotic – it seems to be working but I’ve been absolutely exhausted and achy the past few weeks. It’s definitely not helped with the “quarantine productivity” metrics, but at a certain point I’m realizing I can only do what I can do. And after the first month of quarantine craziness maybe I needed this sort of breather. And, all things considered, I’m doing ok. There’s certainly so much worse problems in the world right now. Though, to be fair, I’ve actually started on a quilt of all things, so maybe my mental state isn’t quite what I imagine it to be. You might need to send help.

So, personally, I’m on the mend, and I’m excited to start working on my Faye’s Tops That Pop sew along items. I’m also looking forward to finishing up the organization of my sewing space – hopefully I’ll have increased functionality, with better storage and a more functional spacial setup. I’m trying to keep it all in perspective though; I’m happy to participate and support this community, which is so overwhelmingly positive and aware, and I think we all need something positive like sewing in our lives right now. But I also want to make sure that I am giving the time and space to the real world things that matter and not just burying my head in my little sewing hole. I’ve not been the most vocal on social media about current events or political matters because I think there are others who are so much more eloquent and poignant in expressing the truth of matters. But it seems we are entering a time when you can’t not be political. Learning and listening and voting has only gotten us so far, and it hasn’t been far enough. Real change needs to happen and we all need to be a part of the solution.


21 thoughts on “Quarantine Life Update #2 and Other Sewing News

  1. I agree with you about the need for political change. I think you stated it very gracefully.

    On a health note, when I find a tick attached to me (or a family member) I pop it into a baggie and freeze until it is dead. Then I mail it to a lab that tests the tick to see if it is carrying diseases. This way I can get treatment if I need to but avoid prophylactic antibiotics if I don’t really need them. I’m on the east coast so I imagine you would be better off using a west coast lab but the one I use is tickreport.com if that helps you. Obviously one doesn’t always find the tick, so this only goes so far. I hope you have a quick recovery.

    Like

    1. Thank you for being the only person in comments thus far to address T’s comments on the BLM movement and desire for change in the very framework of our country.

      T – thank you and take care of yourself!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all thank you for the link for the cosplay/sewing books, I will indulge myself. I’m not into cosplay, but reading how those talented people make those amazing outfits will be so interesting.

    The quarantine/lockdown has been interesting, to say the least. My husband and I work in health care and so we both get out of the house almost every day. Fortunately the community we live in has had very few cases of The Virus, and our facility has been spared. So my life has gone on as usual, I go to work, I go to the grocery store, I go home.

    I am so sorry you aren’t feeling well. As there is no Lyme disease in the area I live in, I know very little about it. I hope you have a positive outcome. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your thoughtful post. I think in these difficult and troubling times we are all cherishing any type of ‘normality’ and your pattern reviews provide that as well as a sense of continuity so please keep them coming in spite of what madness is going on elsewhere. Thanks also for the link to the cosplay e-book bundles. Take care and look after yourself.

    Like

  4. Thank you for such a well thought out, considerate post! I’m new to sewing and your blog has helped me immensely. I appreciate what you share, and I hope for your speedy recovery. Take care!

    Like

  5. Thank you for the heartfelt post.
    And a precautionary Lyme alert from ‘A Land of Lyme’: Be aware/vigilant of any health problems you might experience for a while, and think about them carefully. Best of luck (in all things)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Here’s hoping it’s not Lyme disease! I hope you feel better soon.
    Thanks for addressing anti-black racism. Just a note that “minority” should be a term relegated to the garbage can of history. I know that it’s been used for a long time, and is still used in my country as an official term for people of colour. One way to help dismantle racism is to avoid terminology that centres whiteness as ‘normal’ and others as being in the ‘minority’.
    I always enjoy reading your blog.
    Best,
    Lori
    frivolousatlast.com
    clothesmakingmavens.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is good advice! The term has been used so long as a collective for people of color that I didn’t even think of those implications. And I never really understood why we used that term anyway – it has a very US centric connotation and really ignores the context of larger global populations. I will be more mindful of that wording in the future. I think our language is evolving (for the better!) but we all fall into language patterns that we were taught to use, which again points to the system of racism in our society. This is just another step in learning to do better.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A word about Lyme disease- get tested please. My dear cousin ignored a tick bite for some months, and she was gone in about 7 years. Lyme disease affected every organ in her body, ended up in her lungs. She was a strong woman, persevered for 4 years without being able to breathe before she passed at 49. This disease is no joke, nor something to waver over getting medical treatment. Please? Turns out her case was textbook for the disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Lyme is scary and definitely not a joke! It’s why I did seek medical attention immediately upon getting a rash that looked suspicious. I’m following the doctor’s orders in regards to medications right now and monitoring symptoms/reactions. So far the antibiotics do seem to be working – the rash is much minimized and other symptoms have been gradually lessening. I’m definitely tracking how I feel and I’ll go back in to the doctor if this treatment doesn’t seem to be working or if I notice that I’m not feeling back to normal after I finish the full round of medications.

      Like

    2. I am sorry you haven’t been well. Feel better. I always enjoy your comments and it’s clear others do too. On a different note, I looked at that ACS article and I’m not a fan even though it’s gained a lot of media attention. It’s not clear to me that the authors know the difference between fabric vs the weave. Especially in their comparison between silk and chiffon. They mentioned in their materials section that their chiffon was polyester and never stated what type of silk they used (chiffon?). Especially when they’re making these comparisons for the purpose of filtration of masks, seems like a critical part to discerning what really works. Not to mention effects when the fabric gets wet from breathing. But I think you came away with the right conclusion unless we get a better article. Started reading about electrostatic discharge properties of different fabrics…something I never thought I’d be doing… https://www.hilarispublisher.com/open-access/characterization-of-electrostatic-discharge-properties-of-woven-fabrics-2165-8064-1000235.pdf

      Like

      1. I was similarly unimpressed with the distinction between fiber and weave, but it’s a better starting point in considering fiber types for mask making than we’ve had previously (to my knowledge). There’s definitely more work that needs to be done, but at least there’s been a start. And thanks for sharing the article!

        Like

  8. I just joined your blog. I love your pattern reviews. I love this post, and wholeheartedly agree that we need change, and it must come from all of us. I hope you are feeling better. I’ve already learned things and am looking forward to learning more from this new community. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to DoctorTDesigns Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.