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The Selfish Seamstress has been blogging for a little less than two months now, but although she is new to blogging, and relatively new to seamstressing, she’s quite the seasoned expert at being selfish. It wasn’t too long after I began sewing in earnest that I noticed the pattern- things I sewed for myself got finished quickly, and things for anyone else dragged on a bit. Quite soon after I noticed this, I quipped to Dan that I was going to start two lines of clothing, one called “Selfish” that would include all the things I made for myself, and one much much smaller line called “UOMI” which would consist of the things I made for other people (Get it?  Get it?  Sound it out.)

Not long after, Dan surprised me with some adorable clothing labels that he designed:

Some of the spelling got lost in the translation, but cute, right?  Needless to say, I have far more of the YUOMI labels left than the Selfish ones :)

Of course, the last outstanding big piece of holiday S.W.A.G. is the brown cotton velvet sportcoat for Dan.  The one I started in 2007.  And when I say, “outstanding,” I don’t mean “spectacular” but rather, the last remaining project thing that will not die, as in “outstanding balance” or “outstanding debts.” And debt it is indeed.  This the price I pay for having a sweet-natured partner who surprises me with things like clothing labels he designed himself for no special occasion whatsoever.  He’s sneaky, that one.

The sportcoat and I have fallen into an uneasy, uncomfortable relationship. It’s like that person at work who gets on your nerves but you never talk about it.  Every interaction with the sportcoat is frustrating, and everything about it irritates the crap out of me.  I’m generally a pretty laid-back seamstress- usually nothing ruffles my feathers when I’m sewing. If I have to unpick something, I have to unpick it, no big deal.  But the sportcoat has found a way to push every one of my buttons.  NOTHING has gone right with this project. Tonight, I sat down grudgingly with it and tried once again to set in the sleeves:

On average, each sleeve has been set about 3-4 times.  I reshape the cap and trim.  I baste and pick and rotate and baste and pick and repeat.  I stitch and steam, and kick the walls and scream and yank them back out again. I swear at myself for not having opted a nice cooperative wool and blow loose velvet lint out of my respiratory tract.  And now, after having spent every last ounce of patience and a fair bit of impatience as well, I have decided that if I don’t settle for mediocrity, Dan will get a very unflattering baggy brown velvet sleeveless tunic.  So this is about as good as it’s going to get:

Sigh.  It’s puckery. It’s hard to press.  Here’s my rope and I’m at the end of it.  If anyone has any clever ideas about this (strangely enough, I have made cotton velvet jackets in the past for myself in which the sleeves settled in quite nicely on the first try – just goes to prove my point about sewing for others being a futile waste of time!), please feel free to share them.  I refuse to negotiate further with the brown velvet albatross, but I’m sure your tips and tricks will come in handy once I’ve gotten back to sewing things for my sweet, beloved ME.

More S.W.A.G. progress! I finished the two cowl necked tops for my sisters this weekend:

You’ll recall that when I first purchased the fabric for these, I was disappointed that they weren’t as soft or pretty as my teal one. I was okay with the charcoal grey shade, and a little bit skeptical of the dark army green. I have to say, after a washing they have softened up quite nicely, and the dark army green one in particular is looking kind of awesome.  I started to wonder if maybe I like it better than I like the teal one I made for myself.  Naturally, I had to try it on:

Yeah, that looks good on me. And naturally I thought about keeping it.  Thought about.  The problem with that is that I would have to embark upon yet another S.W.A.G. project to replace the gift. What’s a Selfish Seamstress to do in such a situation?  The only viable solution is to give it  as a present, and then borrow it at some point in the future.  Borrow it permanently.

With two S.W.A.G. gifts down, I turn once again to the brown cotton velvet albatross that taunts me from the shelf:

Oh yes, that is a partially sewn brown cotton velvet sportcoat that I started for Dan in 2007, shortly after I began sewing in earnest.  A sportcoat with lots of fiddly details that I as an amateur seamstress in 2007 wasn’t ready for and that I as an intermediate seamstress in 2009 just don’t feel like doing for anyone other than myself (welt pockets in cotton velvet?  Come on!) 

Since I began the project, Dan has had numerous birthdays and Chanukkahs pass by for which he has been promised this jacket and instead ended up with something else.  Every once in a while I take it out thinking that this time is the last time and it WILL get done, only to put it away after some incremental progress. I have some deep forest green satin to line it, after having long ago re-appropriated the teal jacquard lining originally intended for it to line a jacket for myself.

Well, dear readers, let it be declared here that this S.W.A.G. albatross is the next project on my list and it WILL get finished for Channukah.  (Of course, I say that knowing that if I take the Selfish route and put it aside in favor of other stuff for myself, you’ll only be cheering me on. Enablers!)

A cotton velvet sportcoat.  Why would anyone take on such a complicated and challenging project in such a fussy fabric for anyone but herself?

Oh yeah, I remember now.

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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