After the success of James’s pandemic trousers (he’s barely taken them off since I gave them to him!), I decided that I needed some elastic-waisted joys of my own to wear while working from home (and relaxing from home, and eating from home, and socialising from home, and everything else from home!). And then I realised that I actually already had a casual woven trouser pattern (complete with separate drawstring waistband!) that I had printed onto A0 a few years back and never sewn – Seamwork Moji!
I’m a big fan of chenille. I’m currently writing this while underneath a big chenille blanket, and J has several big chenille jumpers (sweaters) that he pretty much lives in all winter long. So when Textile Express shared photos on their Instagram of a new stretchy chenille jersey, I literally hit the Buy button within seconds!
I was encouraged by the effect that sewing for my mom had had on my own sewing mojo, so I decided to stick with the theme of sewing for others and I turned my attention to my husband instead.
I’d bought La Maison Victor‘s special Menswear issue back in 2018 (which I bought first in French when it was originally released, and then, later, again when it was finally released in English). There were so many good menswear patterns in this issue – lots of interesting and different (but still wearable!) designs, but I thought that the “Jeff Trousers” in particular would be perfect for J’s new work from home lifestyle.
Our family have had a rough 2020, and my mom especially. We’ve had three family members die this year, and the enforced separation during these times makes the distance between us feel even greater. I feel thankful that I was able to fly over in February when my dad was in hospital (which actually feels like a lifetime ago), but it’s been impossible for a multitude of reasons to visit since then.
So I wanted to do what I can to both give her a boost, and to make the distance between us feel a little less severe. I’d sent over a few care packages full of face masks but as practical as they are, they’re not particularly cheery. Back in February I’d I made her (and myself) this tie-sleeved top from the June 2019 Burda magazine, and she really loved that we had “twin shirts”. You can see more about the shape of the sleeve pieces and the general construction notes in this post, so I won’t repeat it here. She really loved that one so much that she picked out some fabric at JoAnn for another version and I brought it home in my suitcase to sew up at some point.
If you or someone you know would like the gift of sewing their own activewear, but you’re not keen on supporting Amazon, there have been a few great options popping up recently that strive to a) pay their taxes (like, shouldn’t this be the bare minimum??) and also b) help struggling independent book shops. If you’re able to get to your local bookshop and they stock my book, that’s fabulous! But if, like me, you’re doing all your holiday shopping online this year and are stuck for places to look, then read on!
As I mentioned before, I lost my sewing mojo at the end of summer and start of fall. Usually around this time I’d be buzzing with ideas for new, colder weather sewing projects – coats! sweaters! warm running and cycling gear! party dresses! But with shielding continuing long throughout the winter, I literally have no need of any of those things, and my wardrobe is already bursting with clothes (I literally don’t need any more clothes).
Yes, we’ve carried on with our regular updates and now the Men’s edition of our ever-popular Surf to Summit Top pattern joins the Ladies edition in being layered! Woop! The Ladies edition has been layered for a while, and our Lightspeed Leggings pattern was the first to be layered from launch, so it was a great opportunity to update this one, too, so it’s even easier to sew some great winter activewear for the men in your life.
I have lost my sewing mojo. I think it occurred because I actually completed both sewing plans I laid out at the start of summer (casualwear and activewear), and then I realised that I really don’t need any more clothes. And with no events on the horizon to sew for, I’m kinda left a bit deflated. I actually sewed this dress a few weeks ago, more for something to do but also because I really liked its sister dress, but with summer waning, I’m not sure how much opportunity I’ll have to wear it.
One aspect that drew me to this project was rediscovering this fabric in my stash when I was hunting around for anything to turn into face masks earlier in the summer. I’d kinda forgotten about this cotton fabric that a friend had bought in Tokyo and brought back for me. Its bright and cheery bottle cap print spoke to me now, bringing a bit of a holiday feel to my home-bound existence. It was a narrow width fabric but my friend had the foresight to buy plenty of it so I didn’t have any struggle fitting McCalls 7381 into it.