What does it mean to slow down and Make in a thoughtful manner....?

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I love Sailors

I do love me some multiples. If you have checked in here before you have seen some distinct themes when it comes to my wardrobe. In my younger years I was what was considered a clotheshorse. Is that term still relevant? Does that term date me?  Probably. Just looked it up and it has a derogatory implication? Hmmm, whatever. I have always loved clothes. Used to be I loved buying them, and wearing them. Now I love making them, and wearing them. There is some switch in my brain that when I find something I like, I want it in multiple. Have a vague memory of reading somewhere (Cheap Chic?) that when you find a garment you like, to buy more than one of them. That early memory stuck. Now when I make a successful muslin of something I immediately start digging through my stash (yes, really!) to figure out what other fabrics I can make it in. This approach is also supported by the current dislike of my body shape, and the accompanying search for garments that make me look good (to me...). I basically stopped wearing pants about five years ago because I couldn't find any I liked on me, and did not feel confident enough in my skills to make a pair that fit well. [hoping that the pants workshop I am taking with LLADYBIRD at Workroom Social in November will fix this little issue.] Hence the dozens of Ginger skirts you see me wear. Thank you Sarai Mitnick for my perfect skirt pattern, that I'm sure you made just for me.... Oh, and Lauren Taylor? Coming here end of September for a four-day garment sewing retreat.  Still one space available.... Register here.

What you are looking at here, just to the right, in those organic yet abstract pink shapes, is my muslin. Cheap linen bought at JoAnn's on sale at the end of last season-ashamed to say, yes.  But for a muslin!  And what success!  Surprise!  I made the second to largest size (an XXL) and had to chop off about 5 inches from the length, but whaddaya know, it looked good! So I went right out and made a second one (the pale Valori Wells voile version below). 

I wore these tops all Summer, and for both of the retreats, where I had the opportunity to crow about them to many folks, some of whom went right home and bought their own copies of the pattern. Lucky ducks, they had a Fancy Tiger/AGOS code that allowed them to get this fab pattern at a discount. Cause you know the Fancy Tiger folks are sponsoring my retreats....!  {full disclosure, the ladies do not know I have written this post, they are not paying me to write it, I am not writing it because they sponsor my retreats. I just think this pattern ROCKS!!! and you should all go out and try it.}

During the Slow Stitching retreat we made a field trip to Fiddlehead Artisan Supply, my favorite fabric store in Maine (sorry, had to say it, it's true, I do believe that Maine has a plethora of truly great fabric stores, Alewives, Z Fabrics, Clementine, but Fiddlehead is my fav). Abby had just gotten a shipment of Nani Iro double gauze, and I have never sewed with this stuff. I took that opportunity to buy two yards (enough to make something without breaking the bank) and use it to make......wait for it........another Sailor top!

Up there at the beginning of this post you see my most recent version, which I made with some no-name rayon purchased from an online big barn store. I cannot tell you how happy I am that fabric manufacturers are bringing back the rayon, and in colors and patterns I will actually wear on my body.  I've got some of that sinful Cotton + Steel stuff sitting in my stash in a delightful navy with white diamonds just waiting for the perfect pattern. I would say it could be another Sailor top, except in about a month the weather will get cold up here again, and I don't think I want to wait nine months till I can wear a new Sailor again. I'm working on an Archer muslin, from Grainline Studio. Hoping that will be my Winter uniform....

 Oh yeah, and did I mention that Jen Beeman from Grainline is coming to teach next Spring.... heh heh heh. More excitement....

I am planning one more Sailor in some other Rayon I've got in the stash, some crunchy challis bought from Imagine Gnats in the beginning of the Summer. Then I will have a full week of Sailors! If all these pictures look similar it's because I just brought all my Sailors into work one day a shot a mess of pix. Same skirt (Ginger!) in all, same quilt in progress on the design wall in all.

How about you, do you have a favorite pattern you've made multiples of?  Dish!

ps, Squarespace is a bit clunky in how it highlights links, but in this post, anywhere you see a fab business mentioned, it’s a link. Click on them and see what lovely things others are doing....

When I find a pattern I like, I make it more than once. If you spend the time to muslin and adjust a pattern, it only makes sense to make more than one. Amortization of time spent, no?  Herewith my Summer of Sailors.  This pattern is the Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts, designed by the talented Amber Corcoran. {those are links, click on them} I first saw this top being worn by both Amber, and her partner-in-crime Jaime Jennings, at Quilt Market in the Spring of '14 in Pittsburgh. At that point I had only read about these talented women, so to meet them in person was such a charge. {We are talking, all three of us, about what they will teach when they come to AGOS in the Fall of 2016. This idea makes me very happy, and more than a little excited.} Now, when I saw this darling pattern being worn both those lovely ladies I thought to myself, 'well, those look great........on them'. But I just assumed that that silhouette would not work on my shape. So I filed that idea away and went back to churning out Gingers. 

Cue Summer of '15, late June I'm thinking, when I need a cool summery top I can make from woven fabrics. By that time I have seen quite a few Sailors on the grand sea of the inter webs and it occurs to me that the pattern is at least worth a try. And you know I've bought it already, cause... well, yeah.....

I'm pretty sure I put a hashtag up on my Instagram feed, #summeruniform, and at that moment had every intention of blogging about this great top. However this Summer I ran my first two retreats(!), back-to-back in July and August. There wasn't a lot of spare bandwidth in my kit for blogging.  Instead I made up two more Sailors, the dark grey flowered Liberty above left (yes, Liberty!) and this shot cotton in grape, below. Both fabrics that were in my stash.

the retreat paradigm....Slow Stitching

a quilter's color weekend