Well that is kind of a random title, "What is up with that?" But I keep a piece of paper on my desk and as the weeks go by I jot down topics that are bouncing around in my head or I come across in my sewing web surfing. And the page for this edition of Random Threads had a bunch of nouns with the words "What is up with that?" scrawled next to them. I guess I am in a questioning mood.
Randomly speaking of questioning - I happened to listen to a podcast where the author Gretchen Rubin was interviewed, she has a book out called "Better than Before" and her own podcast. Along with that there was a quiz you could take to determine your personality type (I defy you to resist those stupid quizzes when you are killing time or procrastinating) So as I was standing at the stove, sautéing some onions I tap, tap, tapped on my phone and determined that I am a questioner. Which I could have told them from the get-go. The point of knowing your personality type is to better able to understand motivations, do things that you want and generally be happier. At least that is what I gathered from the brief listen while dinner was cooking. I think I will give her podcast a try, who isn't trying to create new habits when the calendar turns over a new year?
Also speaking of podcasts - I somehow came across a British podcast, Answer Me This. And have binged listened about a 1/3 of the episodes on iTunes, now pacing myself through the rest. So readers in the UK, are you a fan of this one? I find it hilarious. Silly, stupid, smart all rolled up in one.
Back to sewing.
Let's talk new patterns. For the most part I am ho hum on the new pattern releases and if past history is any guide then in about 3-4 months (when the weather matches the pattern release) I will find a few Vogue patterns that I simply must have. But for now the latest release was interesting but no show-stoppers. The one pattern that I really like is by my beloved Donna Karan for Vogue. However I fear it would be a doozy to alter to fit for my 5'3" frame. But I will probably give it a go when sleeveless dress weather is here. It RAINED today! yes we are getting storms, rain, wet weather. Hallelujah for us in drought stricken California. What does rain mean? weeds.......oh I am so fickle.
Also looking more at that dress above I think it depends heavily on standing at that nonchalant/slightly fierce pose. Maybe in real life it would look like a droopy mess. But as I said, will probably give it a try.
Simplicity Pattern website - WHAT is up with that? wow that is a mess. I cannot stand their website revamp or whatever the hell they have done with it. Tried to make it more e-commerce-y or Pinterest-y. So many websites revise and try to emulate the Pinterest look with lots of big photos that scroll past but then the actual utility has vanished. I typically went to their site to look for patterns, use the search functionality, and now the search is a jumbled mess. So bad. Makes me not want to bother with their brands which is kind of a shame.
Sewing on TV: do you ever watch sewing shows on TV? Does anyone watch broadcast TV? Here in the bay area we happened to have quite a few PBS stations and they often show many different sewing shows. I received a new TiVo Bolt for Christmas (Oh, Tivo** how I love you and have for many many years - can I say I was an early adopter, I have one old Tivo with lifetime service that is more than 12 years old. which is kind of like a 20 year old dog. As we have had the hard drive croak on other Tivo units but that original one keeps on working. I probably just jinxed it by writing this). Back to my new Tivo: using keyword search for sewing - so many shows and so set up recording on them. Nancy Ziemen, Sew It All TV, Fit to Stitch with Peggy Sagers. Kind of surprising how many there are. Some are useless but others are interesting and every once in a while I have learned some fantastic tip that was really useful. I'm a big believer in taking in information from a lot of different sources, be it a book, podcast, blog, tv, video class. You just never know where the light bulb moment will be found.
The Fold Line: a new community website for stitchers, with pattern reviews, forums, user profiles. I did sign up, looked around and have maybe been back once or twice. It seems like a good idea but perhaps not getting any traction? My impression is that people are too scattered to coalesce around a new site, so as much as sewers want a Ravelry for sewing, I don't think it has yet appeared. What do you think? I'm not really a participator when it comes to websites or forums. I do put up pattern reviews on Patternreview.com, because I get a lot out of the reviews of others and it seems only fair to contribute my reviews. But as for forums, discussion board etc. I don't see how anyone finds the time.
Pantone Color(s) of the Year: in a word - blah. so weird. Yes, it is a marketing gimmick but these are really goofy. In fact separately they are OK but when you look at them together they each make the other seem more bland. Ok to be fair, unless the color is turquoise or maybe coral I will always think it is a little bland. Are you going to run out and find some Rose Quartz fabric? Please tell me no.
Imminent demise of the Big 4 pattern companies? Did you read a blog post on SewMamaSew by Abby Glassenberg. She spoke about shifts in sewing industry trends. Most of it wasn't something I had an opinion one way or another, however she sort of predicted that the indie pattern share of sewing patterns will win out over the established traditional Big 4. I think she is out of her mind there. There is a market for certain independent patterns with the accompanying instructional tools and community, however my sense is that once you venture past beginning level or want to explore more complex garments, then the larger companies have the depth to product that product. Vogue, Burda, Marfy, these pattern companies by and large do a good job in producing patterns that a home sewer can use to recreate a runway look. I think her point of view is so far from garment sewing that the conclusions make no sense. Also there have always been independent pattern companies. Businesses come and go, some last for decades and some go out of business, some are absorbed by larger entities. The sewing pattern industry is no different.
A mystery to me: I love the look of this coat, Butterick 6244. Well actually, I love the the look of the coats made by these two. Lori of Girls in the Garden, her version here. It looks so stylish on her and color is such a great choice for a neutral go with anything coat. The other is Margo, who made it in red. Scrumptious. They are both perfection. But there is no lining! how does that work? Isn't it itchy? and I think it would stick to whatever you are wearing under. I will admire from afar but know those things would drive me crazy if I had it. Also both their versions are way better than the pattern envelope!
Well that is about all for my Random Threads tonight. I didn't even get to my questions about "Tidying Up". Have you Kondo-ized your fabric stash? or the sock drawer? what is it about the socks? It gives me joy to have my socks jumbled up in the drawer. I could care less about their organization. And don't throw away your old photos - or your hammer. You might need it :)
Some sewing going on - as I might have mentioned I am trying to cut back for a while on sewing. With success, in that I have only made one item since Jan 1. Which is not this top, actually finished before Jan 1. It is a mostly McCalls 7046 t-shirt with the ruched sides, made smaller to fit better, and then the collar of the Sewaholic Renfrew top grafted on it (and adjusted to fit the neck opening. Super soft and cozy knit, in the fabric closet a good few years. Maybe Fabric.com? I used to buy from them but have not in several years. Anyway - I actually have a hot pink cashmere cardigan that matches exactly, which I had not worn in ages. But presto - cozy winter outfit. Hmm. what else is in that fabric closet?
Sneak peek - just finished a silk blouse - I mentioned it has a hidden buttonhole placket which is something I developed (copied from a RTW blouse) so I will do a how-to post. It is surprisingly easy!
That's all for now. Happy almost weekend sewing, Beth
** TiVo - just in case, since I was blathering on about it and it is something you have never heard of. Do they have Tivo in Europe? Australia? not sure. It is maybe the original ? digital video recorder, basically a computer that records TV. What makes Tivo different is the interface - it is super easy to use, works really well, just a really well designed product that is often smarter than we are (ha ha) and now this new version Tivo Bolt is very tiny - like the size of a hardback book, and record/finds both broadcast and streaming. and you can watch on your computer in other rooms. Basically I will be able to stay in and sew until I run out of fabric. JOKING!