Monthly Sewing Review – September Wrap Up

I usually don’t get a lot of sewing done over the summer as I am usually traveling and quite busy. This year all of my usual events were a lot earlier, but I still didn’t get any summer sewing in. I feel like I’ve been trading sewing time for other events this year. I think at this phase in the pandemic is still feels a bit like “but what if I can’t do this again for a while” so I’m trying to take advantage of more opportunities when I can. Like everything, this has good sides and down sides. The good is that I’m getting to do things I haven’t been able to do in a long time. The downside is that I feel like I’m running at the edge of empty in the energy tank most days. It finally feels like I’m mostly recovered from my bout of COVID a few months ago, but it also feels like everything is taking so much more energy than it used. Hard to know if I’m just “out of practice” going at this pace, though, arguably, I probably needed to slow the pace a long while ago. It’s also worth considering that this new lowered energy level could be a long term effect of COVID, a general state of malaise because of the state of the world, or just a sign of getting older. Regardless, September has both been incredibly busy in terms of external (job-related) productivity and incredibly not busy in terms of personal (sewing-related) productivity. I suppose in the grand scheme of energy output it all balances, but I’m hoping that things calm a bit over the next few weeks so I can focus on some more creative endeavors before I’m back in the busy work season again.

Sewing Progress

I didn’t get any real sewing done the majority of this month. Between two trips and busy season at work the energy levels and time just weren’t there. However, I was able to visit my sister in New York on one of my trips and we did a bit of “sewing tourism” visiting the garment district where we went to Pacific Trimming, Mood, AK Fabrics (which we may have found on our quest to locate the mythic “janky store”), and I have finally met the fabled Kashi of Metro Textiles. Though I will say the majority of the trip was not focused on sewing and we did get to see a lot of cool New York things too…

I got a few things from Pacific, AK, and Metro (well, maybe more than just a “few” things from Metro…); Mood was honestly just overwhelming and while there were many fabulous things there, nothing in my budget was calling to me this trip.

Around my travels work things have been rather busy, so my energy levels haven’t really been dedicated to a desire to sew things. I have been feeling the urge to sew the past week though. It hasn’t really been this high since I was sick, so I’m taking that as an encouraging sign. I’m a bit mixed on what projects I want to work on, but I have an immediate need for tops, so I might go back on my quest to find a button-front shirt pattern that actually works for me.

In other news, my sister is still working on her current dress project, which stalled a bit over the past few weeks. I was able to help her figure out a construction issue during my visit, so she’s excited to be making more progress on that soon. She’s also planning some mending and a few simpler projects after she finished this dress. We’ve planned on doing a few “sewing days” with lots of FaceTime chatting and helping each other on different things as we work on projects, which should be rather fun.

Sewing Delays

It’s been another month with a lot of travel, work, and events, and little energy to do much beyond the minimum on other segments of life. I will say that my trip to New York did leave me full of inspiration, ideas, and a plans for some of my new fabric finds. So even though there wasn’t a lot of actual sewing happening this month, I think there might have been something of a motivational re-set that I can carry into the next few weeks.

Finished Projects

None this month. I’m getting my plans for my next few projects underway though, with some more pattern testing and adjustments in progress heading into October.

WIPs & Upcoming Plans

I don’t have any specific WIPs at the moment, but right now my attentions seems to be waffling between one of two projects. The first is my forever goal of getting a solid button front shirt pattern to work for me; I’m currently eyeing these two patterns from Butterick and Kwik Sew:

On the slightly less practical front, the lace I bought on a whim from Kashi is poking at my creative brain space and really wants to be made into some sort of summery maxi dress (which of course makes all the sense now that we are heading into fall and winter):

I didn’t really hit my goal for September (which was to sew one garment) or make any sort of sewing master plan for the rest of the year. I think I still need to do an updated wardrobe needs assessment because I keep wearing the same 3 shirts, “that one pair of pants that fits but doesn’t really go with anything,” and jeans. Granted, I also now need to update my actual “wardrobe” in a more practical sense. My closet had a bit of a disaster and my clothes hanging bar is no longer actually hanging any clothes. I think replacing a few hooks should be enough, but my need to empty my closet and sort through everything is a bit more pressing now than it was before. I might also need to look at alternative storage solutions if the hanging bar isn’t fixable.

Anyway, I feel like this year has felt both incredibly busy and like I haven’t been doing anything, all at the same time. It’s really a bit disconcerting, honestly. I know that October is also going to be a busy month, so I think a good goal will be to just work on a project (any project) even if I don’t finish anything wearable in that time. I’ve got one tiny mending project to do as well. With any luck I might be able to get it done before the clock properly strikes October, but if not then I’d definitely like to get it done before we get to November.

7 thoughts on “Monthly Sewing Review – September Wrap Up

    1. So, for a long time the New York based bloggers (mainly Oonaballoona but also Clio and a few others) referred to a beloved “janky store” that was always going out of business but had super cheap and really fun fabric. I believe it was the “It’s a Material World” store referenced in this post from 2012 Male Pattern Boldness blog:

      Which at one time had the same address as AK. But since then there have been reports of janky store moving and possibly actually closing down… plus some stores are not open on the weekend days which is when I was there (we made a special pre-work day trip back just to visit Metro before I left…). So I don’t think we *actually* ever found janky store, but the places we did go were super fun and I got to see so much of New York and still bought way more than I needed so it was still awesome even if we never actually found what we were looking for.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. AK Fabrics is the one on 39th right next to 8th Ave, right? It gives me nightmares. Just going in and having about a foot and a half of room between towering piles of bolts, I keep imagining them toppling onto me. In that place, would anyone ever know if a few bodies are buried under the stock? Their prices are indeed great, though. My favorite pair of jeans is made from denim I got there for just $7/yard.


    1. Yup, that’s the one! I have to say it felt so much more like “home” – almost all of the LA fabric district stores are like AK, with barely any space for people…. The other stores feel so fancy by comparison with shelves where you can look at fabrics and space to actually walk around!


  2. I was also in NYC a few weeks ago but my travelling companion said she was not spending all her time in fabric stores. It was my first time in the garment district and I chose Mood as my one and only shop. Having watched enough Project Runway, I was ready for ALLLL those bolts of fabric. I bought one piece of lovely linen and called it a day. I wish I had thought of Metro. Also, I took the same pictures as you did the Needle and Button and the Tailor at the Sewing Machine statue!


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