Sunday, November 14, 2010

The edges of sewing

By which The Sewing Lawyer means an activity that has something to do with sewing but doesn't involve the actual activity of putting cut pieces of fabric together with thread.  It includes choosing fabric (in a store or from the stash) and patterns, thinking about sewing, reading about sewing, and tracing patterns. More constructively, it may involve shoveling out the sewing room.   This is a (rarely-seen) variation of sewing around the edges because it tends to result in recently-acquired fabric being handled, thought about, and put away, and leads to unfinished projects being unearthed, thought about, and sometimes even advanced (without actual sewing).

Because I feel I have truly started to "sew" until the machine has been turned on and a bobbin wound, I also include cutting out projects in this category, if I'm pretty sure I'm not going to turn the machine on and wind a bobbin imminently after cutting out the last piece.

Right now, I am marking time while waiting for my teflon foot to arrive so I can get back to the leather jacket.  It's going to be a bit of a pain to translate the very precise settings I had been using (on Kathryn Brenne's Bernina) to the very imprecise settings available on the Featherweight, but I am determined.

So in recent days, quite a lot of stuff around the edges of sewing happened here.  This included:

  • taking the lining out of the mink coat pictured in a recent post, reading Kathryn Brenne's article in Vogue Pattern Magazine several times, studying the construction of the coat, identifying Vogue 1083 as the perfect pattern for its transformation, thinking about the kind of fabric that would best complement it, rejecting every piece of fabric in my stash as unsuitable; shopping several websites without success, and trying to figure out if I'll have enough time to seriously look for fabric on my work-related trip to downtown Toronto later this week;
  • making the lining pieces for my leather jacket (after all the adjustments it was easier to make the lining patterns from my altered pieces than to alter the included lining pieces);
  • (finally) finishing the lining pattern for my Auckie Sanft jacket which was enthusiastically disassembled for this very purpose more than a year ago; 
  • cutting Jalie 2795 out of cushy blue-grey Power Stretch; 
  • washing and drying recently-acquired fabric; and
  • putting fabric away (!) which is always a challenge chez The Sewing Lawyer due to an overabundance of fabric and an underabundance of storage locations.  

Today I feel like more, maybe to include tracing Jalie 3024, which I think I'll shorten for now to another top suitable for exercise wear.


  1. It's good to know these activities count as sewing-based, hence useful!

  2. "edges of sewing" – I like that term! I usually do that when my mojo is weak. Now I have a name for it!

  3. I like the phrase 'edges of sewing.' A lot of the time very productive things happen in those edges. I feel you with the underabundance of storage locations. Not only do I have fashion fabric, but also quilting and a collection of heirloom textiles. Sometimes I feel a wee bit sorry for my husband as when he married me he couldn't have understood the full consequences of the obsession.

  4. Ummm in my world all of those things count as sewing! *LOL* I can't wait to see how you transform the mink into the reversible coat. Take lots of pictures, please and document the whole process...I'm so intrigued by this!

  5. I like your term also, although I also have always thought of these things as 'sewing' just because you have to do them or you don't ever get to the actual sewing.

    I tend to do the 'clean up, clean out' the sewing room when I'm having a loss of sewing mojo. It seems to help, and even gets me on the right trach a lot of times. If I can't even get in there and do that, then I'm really down. :)

    Love the mink! I can't wait to see what you do with it. I feel all snuggly just thinking about it.