Sew Every Day Challenge: Week 6 (or, “#Sewinghacks”)

This week has been interesting. I had a full social calender and a fussy baby, so I had to get a little creative with getting my daily dose if sewing in. There were many things that could have kept me from sewing, but nevertheless chugged on and managed to get a decent amount done.

Date: Monday, August 14

Time sewing: 35 minutes

What I did: Sooooo the baby has been super fussy and pretty much won’t let me set her down so I experimented with pinning while wearing her in the carrier. It worked well enough as she fell asleep by the time I had pinned all I could without sewing and I (somewhat miraculously) transfered her to the crib so I could start serging. I got the sleeves sewn to the front and back and even got the side seams done (yay me!) and even postes to instagram and switched a load of laundry to the dryer in this chunk of time. I would estimate that this only took me realistically 20 minutes of hands-on.

Date: Tuesday, August 15

Time sewing: 6 minutes; 45 minutes

What I did: The baby got up at 5:30 this morning, but was happy to hang out on her play mat, so I got to steal a few minutes… In six minutes I got all of the cuffs’ side seams pinned and serged. When I got the baby back down, I was able to press the dress I just finished, press all the cuffs and serge them on. I pretty much got everything finished except the topstitching. Woot!

Date: Wednesday, August 16

Time sewing: 5 minutes, 15 minutes

What I did: I started by pressing the cuffs to get ready to topstitch the seam allowance down. I took a break, the baby went to sleep, then set to do that topstitching. My machine bulb burnt out this weekend and I can’t get to the store until Sunday to replace it, so I used a headlamp. It wasn’t great, but was better than nothing. It did force me to hunch quite a bit, so I’m glad I’m mostly serging this week.

Date: Thursday, August 17

Time sewing: 5 minutes; 10 minutes; 10 minutes; 10 minutes; 10 minutes

What I did: All morning, I left my sewing out so I could pick at it when I could. I’m starting two new Linden Sweatshirts (I’m trying this “batching” thing) and didn’t want to keep clearing my sewing table and setting it back up between steps – altering the pattern and pinning and cutting two tops’ worth. I had to leave it out (and a mess!) when I left to leave a friend for lunch, but mananged to finish all of the cutting in 10 minutes when I got back.

Date: Friday, August 18

Time sewing: 15 minutes

What I did: I figured out where to place the elbow patch on the one top, pinned it and all of the sleeves to the shirt fronts. About three minutes in, I could hear the baby waking, but she seemed happy enough, so I left her until I finished.

Date: Saturday, August 19

Time sewing: 15 minutes

What I did: I knew today would be busy, so I got some sewing in first thing. I sewed the seams I’d pinned the day before and sewed the sleeves to shirt backs, too. I spent most of that time figuring out how I’d sew the elbow patches onto the sleeves of the one as I’d done a bit of a test on scrap with a zig zag and it ended up pulling and tunnelling a bit. I have a couple ideas.

Date: Sunday, August 20

Time sewing: 7 minutes, 3 minutes, 7 minutes

What I did: I did some experimenting on the elbow patches with some stretch interfacing. It made it easier to sew, but once stretched and let go, it kind of bubbled. As the patches are going on a stress point, I’m also afraid that the reduced elasticity in the patches might put extra strain on the stitches. I decided to go sans and got one sewn.

Total time sewing: 3 hours 7 minutes

What I learned:

  • It pays to stash boring stuff like lightbulbs and interfacing. You never know when you’ll need it.
  • The random headlamp my in-laws gifted me at Christmas years ago had turned out to be one of my favourite things for reading in bed, camping, evening snowshoe excursions and, now, ersatz sewing machine light.
  • #sewcialists are awesome! Instagram is a fantastic way to crowd-source solutions to sewing problems.
  • It’s okay to leave the sewing out on the table and pick at it, but it’s hard to look at it when busy with other things because all you want to do it work at it.
  • Babywearing is helpful when you have no other option, but pinning was significantly slower and I don’t know if I’d sew with the baby in the carrier. I’d worry too much about a rogue broken needle.

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