Friday, 12 March 2010


I am receiving such interesting comments lately, that I can hardly write about my current sewing. This is just as well, as the trousers are suffering from fluchtasche, a delightful term I have just learnt from Uta's blog, where she talks about Pattentaschen , a single welt pocket, then describes fluchtasche, "cursing pocket". I think we need this word in English.
I think I will not talk about fluchtasche after all, even though the word can be said with true venom and spite, exactly how I feel about that pocket, as just thinking about my personal fluchtasche makes me feel a little cranky.

Carol and Mrs Hunting Creek's comments indicate to me that my personal inclination to not only sew, but also cook everything myself is either the time cost of quality or my control freak nature, probably both, and is shared by others. Although I agree with Sharon that finding no clothes that fit in the shops is a major sewing motivator, I am pleased to hear that I am not alone in my cook-from-scratch, non-clothes-shopping strangeness! I did wonder if my inner tight wad had something to do with it. My tastes do not match my disinclination to open my purse. I wonder why this disinclination does not work with fabric? I am not sure that I want/need a support group, I thought sewing blogs worked nicely instead!

I would like to warn the slapdash sewist that being a working outside the home mother does not stop you from being at THE POINT, it just makes it a little more tricky to keep up with the wearing out of clothes. I don't think the amount of time you might have to actually sew the clothes you want to make has anything to do with whether or not you find shopping for clothes pointless. For me, at least, there is little rational, sensible consideration of whether it would be more time and cost efficient to buy or make my clothes (probably make, I am picky and alterations are time consuming), or my children's clothes (probably buy, but I make them anyway). I work full time outside my home. However, my commute is less than 1km (country towns are fantastic), my children are not babies, and I have no interest in television.

Uta asked me if I really sew ALL my own AND my children's clothes.
No, I don't.

I have always sewn a reasonably large proportion of my own clothes, and have purchased no clothes for myself for 2 years and 2 months, excepting bras and hosiery. However, there are some RTW clothes still in my wardrobe - mostly running and cycling clothes, and now those altered trousers. I have another pair of RTW trousers and a skirt that I might alter one day. They are even older.
I have only ever, very rarely, purchased clothing for either daughter, other than school uniforms (compulsory), dance clothes (compulsory) and underwear/hosiery. My older daughter's arrival was the real catalyst for my sewing hobby, as I adored sewing baby girl clothes. I cannot think of anything else in either girl's wardrobe that was purchased by myself or my husband. They do own some RTW clothes, as being teenage girls, t- shirts etc are common gifts from friends and relatives for birthdays and Christmas. My older daughter also sews some of her own clothes. She did buy herself a shirt from Target recently - so that I could make her a pattern from it. I did think that the girls might stop wanting home-made clothes as they became teenagers, but this does not seem to be happening. They ask me to make them clothing, not to buy it, and fight each other to look at the new Burda magazine. (I am first)

I buy about half of the clothes for my son. I make all of his collared woven fabric shirts, his swimwear, pyjamas, some shorts and trousers, but I find boy sewing a bit dull, and repetitive. I do see some great sewn boy's clothes from Ottobre magazine, the things Katie makes for Logan are so cute, and rather tempting, but having only one child sized person in the house is allowing me to resist this magazine at present.

I sew very little for my husband. He is very particular about his clothes, liking to wear Rodd and Gunn, Camel or Country Road work shirts etc, (yes, he is a brand name boy - someone in the family has to counteract my excessively thrifty nature)(he also wears horribly holey t shirts and worn out shorts in the shed, it is one extreme or the other!).Until recently I was not sufficiently confident in my sewing skills to sew for him, also, I do not find man sewing very interesting, although looking at what Carol sews for Grant is quite inspiring and might be changing my mind.

I have sewn around 90-100 garments a year for the past two years - now that I can look back at how much I sew on my blog it does seem a lot. A lot of these are very quick projects, such as swim suits, where I can make several in one afternoon. I noticed at the end-of-year-posts of several people who sew for their whole families that there are quite a few people who sew more than this, Dawn and Summerset are the first that come to mind.
You can see that I do not need to sew any more, just better. I will finish those trousers very soon. Maybe I can wear them with an untucked shirt to hide the fluchtasche.


a little sewing on the side said...

Great posts and comments. I just went shopping yesterday, hoping to buy some simple casual pants. I gave up quickly and bought fabric instead. The quality of mass produced clothing just isn't good enough for me anymore.
It taught me a good lesson: it's more important that my fabric stash has the right basics in it. If I'd already had the khaki, charcoal and blue twills, it would have saved time. I just want basic clothes that fit and wear well! It's not asking so much, is it?

Joy said...

I've been enjoying the past fews posts and the comments....

I also relish making food and clothing from scratch. My husband is the same way. In my thinking, there's an art that's "practical" and there's an art that's "aesthetic" (as in gourmet food and crafts). I enjoy the process of making something useful and the knowledge that I did something well even more than the appearance of the end product.

Mary Nanna said...

I am so amazed by your productivity with work outside and inside the home. It blows my mind to think that every couple of days you have a new garment.

It's a huge compliment to your skills that your teenage children still want you to make stuff for them: that's when I would have expected they'd rather die than be caught in something made by their mum.

Anonymous said...

Did you mention that the elves make 80%? Seriously, though, my complete tally of homemade clothes in my closet is 18 (19 now as I've just finished a shirt); I've been back seriously sewing for a couple of years and some things have been worn out and I've made things for dolls and kids, so I'd have to say I make 15 garments a year, more or less. 90-100 just blows my mind competely.

gwensews said...

My DH and I went shopping today for a pair of black dress trousers for him. He tried on 4 pair. Every pair fit perfectly. I can try on 100 pair and maybe 1 pair will fit with alterations! Because of this issue, I don't care how much I spend on fabric and patterns.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I missed this post somehow. I didn't realize you worked outside the home! Doubly impressed. Right now I sew all my own clothes and cook all my meals from scratch except Sat night dinner (date night with my boyfriend). I have no taste for television either--in fact, I haven't gotten an antenna to convert my non-digital TV to digital so I get no television at all on the TV (I admit to watching 30 Rock, The Office, and Project Runway online).

But still, I can't imagine doing that with kids!!!!!