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Packing… is insane.  Going through years of accumulated crap is on one hand frustrating (it never ends!) and on the other hand entertaining. I packed up my stash yesterday and finally cut off all of those little hangy bits from my remnants that would only be good for making a single spaghetti strap for a kid’s dress. (You’d be surprised how quickly those little hangy bits pile up.) There were a couple of secret thrills (Hey! I didn’t know I had more of this blue-gray plaid wool! There’s enough here for a skirt!) and a whole lot of “Ugh, what was I thinking??” But more on that in a sec.

Trena recently wrote an interesting post about the emotionally difficult task of parting with your own hand-sewn garments. Well, let’s just say that my past is a lot more embarrassing than Trena’s and a LOT easier to part with. Like many sewers, my sewing history has two main chapters.  The part where I start sewing as a kid and continue doing crafty projects and occasional kludgy garments, and then the part during which I decide I’m going to learn to sew properly and make things that I would actually wear as Real Clothes. What I’m about to show you all comes from the first chapter, circa 2003.

I call this collection “Misguided Attempts at Vintage Patterns and DIY Tango Outfits.” Please excuse my just-out-of-the-shower hair and the fact that I didn’t feel like pressing these clothes for their pre-Goodwill trip photo shoot.

First up- partial circle skirt in dark navy with white print.  Actually nothing horrible about this except that it’s really not the sort of thing I’d wear.

Another 1950s pattern frumpified. this one in periwinkle.  This one actually has boning and a side zip which makes me think that maybe I knew more than I think I did. I put this one on and Dan exclaimed, “Ooh! Pretty!” Sometimes I don’t get that guy.

A 1950’s slip pattern done in Swiss dot. Check out the amazing fit on that upper bodice. Yuck!

And another 1950s dress pattern in white cotton with sky blue flowers.  I have to say, by complete coincidence this one actually fits well and it has pretty shoulder ties and a cute ruching detail at the bust. And it’s rather delightfully twirly.  I may keep this one.

Moving onto the more “contemporary” portion of the collection, we have a one shouldered cherry print top (to be fair, I made this as the top half of a tankini *shudder*. I didn’t actually wear it out as a normal top. By coincidence I had a purchased bikini in this exact same print.) The Britney-esque stretch velvet bootleg hipster pants are also a relic of the same era, albeit a purchased one.

And finally, to be completely honest, I did make a one-shoulder top that I did wear out. This one for going tango dancing.  It’s so awesome that I think you need to see it from two angles:

The fabric on this top is an atrocity. It’s practically skin-toned and the red rose print looks like veins.  But I will confess that I sometimes think about pulling this pattern out again and doing a two-sleeved version in all black for my ever increasingly infrequent tango outings.  That crazy slit sleeve was sort of awesomely dramatic for gliding around the dance floor.

And now back to the subject of culling the stash. Yesterday I met Tanit-Isis for an all-too-brief hot chocolate once again.  As you know, The Selfish Seamstress is incapable of affection towards other human beings.  But if she could like people, she would certainly like Tanit-Isis. Not only is she incredibly fun to talk to, but she is the universal accepter of fabric.  There was no fabric too horrible or ugly in the Selfish Seamstress’s collection that Tanit-Isis wouldn’t take it! Acid green and violet iridescent slinky something?  Yep! Mint green polyester georgette?  Tanit-Isis is all over that. A partially cut up fake fur coat? She’ll take it! Vera Wang navy jacquard taffeta? Wait a sec, how’d that get in there?  Dammit.

So readers, if you’ve got fabric to get rid of, send it over to Tanit-Isis. That lady will take anything.  And the Selfish Seamstress has a soft spot for people who like to take things.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet up with fellow sewing blogger Tanit-Isis. I’d been stalking checking out her blog and her gorgeously edgy creations for a while, and was delighted to find that we are practically neighbors. That makes it easier to stalk in person meet up for hot chocolate. And so we did. We also went and bought matching issues of Burda.

It was so fun quizzing her about personal details chatting about sewing that I was completely obsessed distracted, and neglected to get dozens of photos a photo with her. So I was thinking, I should write a blog post about meeting up, but how lame is it to post about a meetup when you don’t have a photo of said meetup?  Then I thought, “Aha!  I will just Photoshop myself into a picture with her!” Because that’s not creepy at all. Especially not when you do it like this:

Reconstruction of the Selfish Seamstress's meetup with Tanit-Isis, as recalled by the Selfish Seamstress

For those of you who haven’t already spent time enviously perusing her blog, her creations are sleek, dark, and feminine, and about as far from from homemade-looking that you can imagine. (Warning though- she’s a former model and she looks it. No doofy, awkward poses for the camera- prepare to feel a slight twinge of inferiority.)

Just a couple of examples of her sewing- her Jalie jeans with the clever detailing at the calf:

Her JJ blouse that makes me want my own black JJ blouse:

Her striped denim Kasia skirt (seriously, where is she getting these awesome fabrics? We live in the same city, and it’s a bit of a fabric shopping wasteland):

And her lovely flowy retro dress:

In all seriousness, if you haven’t checked out Tanit-Isis’s witty blog and her beautiful sewing (both for herself and for her kids, for those of you who are into that sort of thing), go have a look, and I think you’ll understand why I am a really scary person you should never meet up with in real life fan.

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

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