i've just finished a button down shirt for the hubbs (mr. housewife?). yeah, it's about time i begun re-working his closet. most of what he owns is either ill-fitting or worn down and threadbare. i resisted for a long time because i feel like men's clothing demands a higher level of technical skill than women's clothing. even though my sewing isn't perfect, i think it's good enough to dive in and give it a shot.
i started tracing off mccalls 6044, and as i went along i began my usual laundry list of gripes about the pattern:
faux back yoke!
no sleeve placket!
two piece sleeve?
no pleats on the back piece!
why are they skimping on these details? why? WHY!
i paid $1 for this pattern.
are the lack of "real" details in the big 4 our own fault? we're so accustomed, at least here in the US, to buying cheap patterns that perhaps it's just a vicious cycle. initially i thought the dumbed-down patterns were the pattern companies' response to the fact that most people don't know how to sew (therefore requiring simplified patterns), and most (i think) sew as a hobby, not out of necessity. yet, i can't help but think our reluctance to pay full price for patterns is also a factor. it does take extra work to make those extra pieces. i know, because i do it regularly.
so all this brings me back to my plans and goals for 2013.
first, buy more expensive patterns. we don't have a lot of money to throw around, and these days sewing is more of a necessity than just a diversion. i'm growing far more averse to buying cheap clothes that wear out and were potentially made under unethical conditions. did you hear about this fire a while back? i only came across the story by chance one day, it certainly didn't make many headlines here. at this point, we simply can't afford clothes that i can trust are ethically made, even with a "buy less/buy better" mentality. but, i can make it a point to spent a few extra bucks on nice patterns, especially those that will get multiple uses. this doesn't mean i won't buy big 4, i just need to complain less when i have to draft pieces to get the look i want. you get what you pay for and it's high time i accept it.
secondly, make men's clothing. as i stated before, his closet could really use a re-vamp. the button down shirt is a great place to start, but t-shirts, pants, and outerwear are also on the list. (i stated non-specific menswear over on dymt's re-sew-lution jar post. doesn't she have the greatest ideas?)
thirdly, i'll continue to beef up my staples. my every day life is pretty casual and involves running kids here and there, the occasional playdate, volunteering at their school, sitting on the floor doing puzzles, snuggling with them for story time, and the like. i have a dreadful lack of appropriate clothing for these sorts of activities, so pants are on the list as well as tops, and probably a jacket or two. minoru! cordova! i'm looking at yooouuu!!!
lastly, i need to buckle down and sew more kidswear. it's hard for me to spend $8 or $10 on a pair of leggings or a t-shirt when i know i can make two or three out of a $5/yd piece of knit fabric.
okay, there it is: my plan for the year and what you can expect to see on the blog. i've enjoyed reading everyone's goals, and i see many people are on the "beef up the staples" bandwagon. i know that doesn't satisfy the sewing itch for everyone, but i really do find this sort of thing fun. it is completely satisfying to reach in my closet and pull out a knit top that i've made or grab my hand made winter coat as i run out the door.
i'll be back with a real post on the afore-mentioned button down shirt once i can sneak in some pics. in the meantime, i have a portrait blouse from gertie's book awaiting my finishing touches... here's to an amazing 2013!