A Letter To My Ex (Edited)

I found this in my email drafts about 10 minutes ago. It’s from over a year ago.

There’s no reason this should see the light of day, ever, except to show that we’re all really the same, and the struggles that we go through — self-doubt and angst, the desire to love and be loved, and especially the neverending fight to understand ourselves.

So, I’m posting it, with some more specific parts removed. Enjoy! Maybe play some Dashboard Confessional while reading.

Dear (ex),

I’m writing this because I don’t know what to do anymore, and I hope this will help me stop thinking about you, about us, and how I think threw away what might’ve been the best thing in my life.

I hate myself for hurting you. I hate that I started all of this. I hate that I was at first, and for a long time, indifferent to your suffering and mine. I hate that I took you for granted. I hate that I’ll never again feel your face pressed against my face, or feel your arms around me, or forget to turn off my phone so it wouldn’t make noise in the middle of the night and wake you up.

I hate that I have vivid dreams about you and I’m always chasing you and trying to prove that I’m worthy. Of what? A second chance? A third chance? Your time in general? It’s always something ridiculous in the dreams that I’m sure stands for most or all of those things. I dream about you and wake up with this hole inside of me that feels like it’s never going to close. And sometimes I wake up next to someone else and I feel guilty for thinking about you and at the same time guilty for trying to move on, even if it isn’t working very well.

I think about you with someone else and I’m not even angry with you or with whoever that person is. I’m just angry at me because I did this. I still haven’t been able to even look at your facebook picture just to see what your girlfriend looks like. I defriended you on everything. Yet at the same time sometimes I talk to a mutual friend, and it takes every fiber of my being not to say, “I’m fucking destroyed and I want you to tell him that I’m in pain because maybe he’ll still care.”

I’ve only recently begun telling my friends “I’m still in love with (ex).” They think I’m just sad because I’m lonely. (A friend) was the one who encouraged me to break up with you in the first place because I was unhappy, and I don’t think she or I was wrong at the time, but a part of me is angry with her for encouraging me even though she did it out of concern.

I don’t still love you because I’m lonely. I still love you because you’re you. You’re totally insane, but it’s my kind of insane. I miss you. I miss how you smelled and how I seemed to fit perfectly into your arms. I miss how long your arms are and how you always wanted to cuddle. I miss my best friend. I miss emailing you when I see something that reminds me of you. I want to read your silly books that you’re writing. I still want to go live on the beach and edit your science fiction when I retire. I even miss your stupid casual racism that made me mad even though I know you’re really not a racist. I miss you ripping all the covers off me when I slept too late. I miss kissing you and holding your hand as I went to sleep.

I wish I had known what I was giving up. I wish I knew that you loved me as much as you did. I wish I had known that I loved YOU as much as I did! I didn’t know anything. … Now I don’t have you, I don’t know how you are, I don’t even know if you still live here, I don’t know how your dad is doing, I don’t know what you’re doing for holidays. I didn’t want you to be alone for Christmas. I wanted you to be with me. I wanted you with ME. I don’t know why it took me over a year to figure that out.

I think I love you more than I hate myself for doing this, but I’m not entirely sure.

167526_585894825115_6575679_n (1)As part of the Summer Stashbust, I was going to make a shirt. But I got frustrated, as I do every time I make clothes. All patterns are sized WAY too large for me, especially on top. After I cut the fabric for the shirt, I almost threw my shears against the wall, because the shirt was obviously going to be way too big.

So, I’m trying something new! I’m taking this dress (see photo of me 5 years ago) and using it as a pattern. It fits perfectly, it’s my style, I can make it in a summery material, and it’s partially lined. I could make alterations to the sleeves to make them a little more summer-appropriate, but they sort of make the dress mod, so maybe not. I’ll use the soft cotton from my shirt attempt for the lining and some stretchy blue and white flower print as the main fabric. Let’s see how it turns out!

Update

For sizing questions: My measurements are 33-26-37/38, a few inches larger than in the five-years-ago photo.

I tried to make the new dress without taking apart the old dress, but once I realized that the whole damn top was wonky, I gave up and pulled out the stitches holding together the original dress so that I could use the sleeve as a pattern piece. Then the sleeves didn’t fully match up and I had to alter and rig those to not look terrible.

I also tried to line the top of the dress, but then because the two large pattern pieces were not properly cut out in the first place (I hadn’t yet taken the dress apart), I ended up with some seams showing on the outside. I also had to use white bias tape for the neckline because I messed up the lining (definitely a lesson learned, there…).

This was my first time sewing anything stretchy, so I used a triple stitch with a 90/14 regular needle and hoped for the best. I ordered about a million 80/12 ballpoint needles, though, for next time.

Hopefully this beast doesn’t fall apart right away. The next one, though, is going to be AWESOME. I can’t wait to make it, knowing how much better it will be next time! It’s such an easy dress to make, too.

Final verdict? It’s not bad, it’s not great, but I like it! If it doesn’t disintegrate in the wash, i’ll be impressed.

12-pattern challenge: On Wardrobe Staples and Pacing

I was inspired by this blog post that extolls the virtues of sticking to your basics and pacing yourself while doing personal sewing. So here I present the patterns I’ve chosen to make this year that will hopefully add to my wardrobe and be do-able more than once, once I alter them correctly. Some you might recognize because I’ve made or tried to make them before. From the blog post:

Here are the basic rules:

  1. I will pick a total of 12 patterns to sew from in 2014. This is my bank of wardrobe staples.
  2. I will select patterns from my stash first, but also give myself an allowance of new patterns to purchase.
  3. I can sew any combination of patterns, in any order, but…
  4. I will sew at least one pattern every month, and all 12 by the end of the year.
  5. I will make a muslin for each pattern and perfect the fit to the best of my ability.
  6. I will concentrate on proper, durable seam finishing techniques in order to really finish each garment.
  7. Once the fit is perfected, and the initial pattern has been made according to the original instructions, I can re-make and alter the pattern as many times as I’d like.
  8. I will attempt to use up my stash fabric, but only if the fabric is appropriate for the garment and of good quality.

It’s been hard to sew things for myself lately because I’ve either been busy sewing for others or I’ve been colossally failing at my own projects. Which is a huge ego-drain. I need to set a plan and pace myself for the year, because I have too many patterns, too much fabric, and not enough work actually getting done.

Without further ado…

1. Simplicity 2147 (reviews)

I’ve worked with this pattern before, and it’s very customizable and can be made with many different types of fabric. This was an easy choice because I wear this style shirt often anyway.

2. Butterick 5610 (reviews)

Just a little different from the Simplicity pattern, this offers some interesting pleating detail and is also versatile.

3. Butterick 5922 (reviews)

Plain shirt that can be spiced up with lace or color blocking. Also something I wear on a regular basis.

4. Butterick 5890 (reviews)

This is a unique shirt and I can learn some good techniques from making it. It’s not a type of shirt that I normally wear, but I think it would flatter me so I’m willing to try it out.

5. McCalls 3830 (reviews)

This is a basic mccalls pencil skirt pattern in five lengths that won a pattern of the year award a couple years ago. Can’t WAIT to make a wool skirt!

6. Vogue 8944 (reviews)

An easy, basic dress pattern. It’s a somewhat new pattern so doesn’t have a lot of reviews, but I think I can customize it to my build.

7. Butterick 5917 (reviews)

This was also a pattern of the year. It’s a great work dress that would challenge me enough to keep me interested. It’s unique so I would probably only make it a couple of times, but I think it’s a good pattern to throw in for this year.

8. Butterick 5926 (reviews)

Blazers are big in my wardrobe, and this pattern looks to customize well. Crossing fingers!

9. Simplicity 2700 (reviews)

OMG pants. They’re the “amazing fit” line, which I like, and I have yet to successfully make real pants. Lots of good reviews, too. And these are the kinds of pants I wear to work most often.

10. Butterick 5685 (reviews)

I’ve been eyeing this pattern for months, and I have what I need to make it. It’s got generally good reviews and I’d love to try making a coat.

11. McCalls 6359 (reviews)

Loose-fitting tanks I can layer year-round and totally rock during the summer? I’m in.

12. McCalls 6559 (reviews)

A maxi-dress that can be for any time of year depending on what material it’s made out of. Love the pattern, has great reviews, doesn’t look hard to do unless I feel like I need to colorblock the shit out of it, which I don’t.

I didn’t include a button-down shirt because they really take so long to make that it’s more sensible to buy them until I’m more advanced. Maybe next year?

My runner-up as a wardrobe staple is a basic princess seamed dress (McCalls 6263). That will be made if I have time and could be worn day or night or basically whenever I feel like wearing a dress. I’m not a huge fan of dresses, which is why I included more shirts in this list.

My first muslin

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I’m making a dress for Ruben’s charity gala. I’m not going to know anyone there and figured it would be a good chance to meet new people, though those people might be like Ruben, and do I really need more pocket-sized hipster friends? But still. This is my first real, lined, invisible zipper dress, so I wanted to do a quick and dirty muslin for the bodice.

I’m using mccalls 6647 (above), a pretty new pattern, and it’s unique. I’m not using taffeta or chiffon as an overlay, but instead am working with polyester crepe de chine and regular lining fabric. Could backfire – I’ll see.

I’m really surprised. I may only have to do minor alterations. For once! I didn’t do a muslin of the skirt because honestly, a flowy skirt isn’t going to take a lot of work to make or fit.

I MAY even be able to do away with the invisible zipper. We shall see.

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I have a fabric purchasing problem (also, Simplicity 2147 and Simplicity 2406)

Serious problem. It’s serious. I lurk on fabric.com and then play a game called “How do I get to exactly $35 so I can get free shipping?” It’s like tetris! So, this is my life now:

But look at these prints! I couldn’t … not … buy … help me.

Did I mention I live two miles from a shopping complex that has a Jo Ann’s and G Street Fabrics right around the corner from each other? I’m maybe aware that G Street’s remnants come in at around 10 am on Friday mornings, and I’ve maybe seen women attack said remnants (and each other) like they were the last donuts on earth. I was maybe one of those women. No, I really wasn’t, I was scared.

Anyway, I’m trying to sew more and buy less fabric. No more. NO MORE! And I’ve learned my n00b lesson about buying quilting fabric (answer: don’t, no matter how cheap it is).

I’ve been working on a couple of different versions of Simplicity 2147, a Learn To Sew pattern that could be really cool if only the directions were not so dumb and/or I could not fuck up cutting fabric for once.

Girl 1: I’m going to sell my body later!

My first attempt was actually decent, and I was surprised that the size 4 I cut FIT THE TOP OF ME HOLY GOD. It runs small.

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However, there’s too much fabric in the bottom half of this. It tells you to put darts in the front and the back. Giant darts. It didn’t look terrible but I’m still going to redo the bottom half of this particular piece.

So I tried again, and I came up with this monstrosity. Not only does it look like a sofa, I cut so much fabric out of the pattern that the shirt doesn’t fit over my hips. I keep forgetting I have sorta normal hip measurements. But at least I figured out that I just need to gather the material instead of using their stupid pleats.

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Look at it, sleeping on my bed, waiting for me to die so it can inhale my soul and become uglier for it. In my defense, that fabric looked way less old-lady when I bought it from fabric.com.

Here’s a pattern I severely altered, sewed and finished that isn’t terrible, but isn’t great. The bias tape used at the neckline is all kinds of ridiculous, because no facing and quilting cotton. But other than that, it’s OK. I can’t say I’d really wear it anywhere important, but I probably will not throw it out immediately.

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This weekend, I made significant progress on a muslin I’m making for Simplicity 2406. I’m using a cotton that really isn’t my style (another fabric.com mishap), but it may turn out wearable.

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My first facing! I knew there had to be a good reason people did this.

This pattern has awesome reviews, and it’s adorable. I’m hoping for the best.

Oh, here, my coworker Amy models the owl apron I made for Claire.

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And one last note: I saw this in Vogue or something while I was getting a pedicure. How … why … no. No. NO.

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Cute Owl Apron (Butterick See & Sew B5551)

I seem to have 4 or 5 sewing projects going on at one time. This is an easy apron I made for my best friend Claire, who loves owls and picked out this print. Unfortunately, the print is very thick, and not suitable for apparel. I had planned to make her something she could wear out of the house, but we settled on an apron (she also loves cooking and baking).

I trimmed this with Wrights’ extra-wide, double-fold bias tape in bright pink. As you can see, I ran out before I could finish the top. As soon as Amazon gets more bias tape to my house, this will be added to the finished pile. And immediately given to Claire!

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In related news, I knew that Colette patterns were made for women with slightly larger busts, but these measurements for the Licorice dress are ridiculous. I’m going to have to alter the bust, waist AND hip, all between 2-4 inches. I’m 32-26-36. Or sometimes 37, who knows. STILL. COME ON!

I have to accept that I’ll never fit right into a pattern, not even the indie ones. I guess most people don’t.

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Simplicity 1802: The Beginning

This is the most advanced project I’ve attempted so far (since the pants are still in progress…). I love the pattern, Simplicity 1802, but it has some mixed reviews. It took me about two hours to cut out the 15 pattern pieces. And so it begins!

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I ran out of black thread and the pink bias tape I’m using, but as soon as I get some more of that I’ll be done the simple apron I’m making for Claire. I’ll post that when I’m done. It’s the adorable colored owl fabric! She’s going to look so domestic.