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Jul 11, 2011

Summer Sewing - more or less?



Friends, come summer, something comes over me.  Perhaps it's heatstroke.  My normal high energy begins to lag, and I find myself conflicted over how much I really want to be sewing.

It's not for lack of fabric.  I have a lot in my stash right not, including at least six yards of sadly neglected polished cotton rose print.



And then there's infamous vinyl python.  I may just paper the bathroom walls with it.  No, that would be work -- and we'd have to replace the toilet seat.



This weekend at the flea market I picked up three creamy king size cotton sheets -- two flat, one fitted -- all for $6.  I could use these for underlining, shirts, dresses, muslins -- all sort of things.  But I'm more inclined to sleep on them somehow...



I have all kinds of new(ish) stuff in my vintage pattern stash, including a New Look-inspired 50s suit and all sorts of 40s-era lounge wear.  Cathy is chomping at the bit for me to get started on her next creation but frankly, I'm not feeling it.



Friends, are you, too, stricken with summer sloth?  Poking around the sewing blogosphere of late, I see a few people have shifted to the slow lane, while others seem to have accelerated alarmingly (I try to ignore them).

Maybe I'm just waiting for the perfect fabric/pattern combo to get me excited?   No, the sad truth is that I am, at heart, a bit of a slacker.  Especially when the temperature hits 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

In closing, readers, do you take conscious sewing vacations (i.e., breaks from sewing, not the two-week intensive at couture sewing camp) and return feeling more rested and energized?  Do you sew more in the summer or less?

Are you driven to scale the next peak or simply content to lounge all afternoon with a cool drink and Rock Hudson?

Your thoughts and/or guidance please!

42 comments:

  1. I just posted a comment with sage advice, but there was an error and now I am too lazy to rewrite it.

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  2. Summer....all of those home repair projects we put off in winter, have reared their ugly heads! And, when you live in the Midwest, you have to take advantage of any opportunity to enjoy nice weather, as well. We have been running up to the lake every weekend. So, not much sewing so far.....

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  3. Living in an apartment with temperatures hitting 90F, I'm not surprised your sewing is slow. My sewing room is in the lovely cool basement, so the hotter it gets, the more I want to be down there (probably the reverse will be true in the winter, alas). Although, it has not been that hot here, much.

    I definitely find the types of garments I want to sew changes. In the winter I am intrigued by jackets and other intense, time-consuming projects. Right now all I want to do is bang out sundresses and other airy contrivances.

    Nothing wrong with taking a break... although I do hope you'll continue keeping us amused, you're equally funny whatever you're writing about. :)

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  4. I know the feeling oh-so-well! When summer comes I just wanna be outdors! I can't really find the energy when I'm sitting inside the house! For inspiration you could take a couple of sewing books and some fashion magazines with you to the nearest park, along with a cool drink, a blanket and pen&paper. That way you get all the energy from the sun and inspiration at the same time. :-) (remember sunscreen and/or a hat) All the best, Anna :-)

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  5. I've got patterns I want to sew and fabric I want to use, but the heat saps my ambition. I just can't make the connection of fabric and pattern. A-mending I will go.

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  6. I think I'm one of those you are trying to ignore. ;-) It's pretty much summer all the time here, but calendar summer always seems to get me into high gear. I have no idea why, nor do I have any advice that will kick your butt outta bed.

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  7. I'm very much a lazy bummer-around-the-house in the summer...who wants to move when it involves so much sweat? Alternately, who wants to be indoors when there is so much sunshine? I've spent most of the last month or two sleeping in the park.

    That said, I've just moved and therefore have an excuse (which is growing thinner every day!)--my sewing machine and all my supplies are in a stack of boxes in the corner of the apartment...we'll see how long I let that last.

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  8. Summer is the time I get the most sewing done because work deadlines are over. I'm also lucky that the room in which I sew is North East facing and, whilst not great for light, at least it's always cool and breezy however hot outside... I'm not an outdoorsy/ sunshine kind of person in any case, so any time off for me involves sewing or reading (in the shade)!

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  9. In this heat, I just want to loaf on my patio. Unfortunately, I took up all the pavers last week and am in the process of re-excavating and expanding the site. (Anybody need a couple cubic yards of used masonry sand? lol) When I'm done rebuilding the patio, I'll probably spend the rest of the summer recuperating on the glider! But I have done a bit of sewing; almost done a pair of capris from the infamous Jalie jeans pattern ...

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  10. Yes, summer sewing is quick and easy. Cottons, linens, easy fabrics, no linings or bias binding seam finishes like for winter wool garments. Quick tops and less tailoring. I haven't got a blog because I prefer to spend my time sewing, but if I had one, you would ignore me!

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  11. Just keep writing! Me, I generally have more energy in the Summer; but here that means temps in the 70's and 80's and more light. I think it's the more light that helps me feel more cheerful and energetic.

    My current project is actually crochet though, I've been wanting to make some gloves for a while and putting it off because I couldn't find a pattern I like. Well, pfft on that I finally said, I'm doing them by hook and crook and lots of fittings now.

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  12. I sew about the same amount, maybe more in the summer! My sewing room is downstairs on the cool side of the house, I don't get as hungry or as distracted by the cold, and our schedule is a lot calmer. When you have kids, the school year is full of activities and sports which are only minimally offset by fact that the kids are in school all morning. Summer weekends are long and carefree with the kids at Grandma's. Also, the speed of my sewing ramps up because summer clothes are easy. Winter is when I'm ok spending two weeks on a project; in the summer, I'd rather bang something out and wear it the next day.

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  13. This is the first summer in awhile where I'm really slowing down with sewing. Too many fun things to do outside! I'm mostly making quick projects to wear right away... when I'm not reading or playing outside.

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  14. What I wouldn't give for a nice cool summer day with a high of 90 or even in the 90s. I'm in high gear right now because I need clothes and my cousin sent me a huge box of fabric. I don't think the weather affects my sewing motivation as much, but I live in San Antonio so we have highs in the 90s commonly in all months except January and February.

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  15. i sew myself into a frenzy for a couple of months and just as suddenly as i started sewing, ill take a break. just came off a two week sewing furlough and now i'm ready to sew again! it helps to take breaks so that it doesnt become a chore. i sew all year long, regardless of the season, and even if i dont have the space! love it.

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  16. I'm afraid I'm in the accelerated group, simply because the girls need things. I've been churning out outfits every couple of days, and I'd be faster without a colicky two-month-old!

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  17. my sewing slows down in the winter. the sewing room gets so cold & the last thing i want to be doing is testing the fit of a new dress in my undies!

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  18. I'm in a sewing funk right now. I think I have to slow down and stop ruining my sewing projects! Maybe I can blame it on summer? Let me see... I'm trying to accelerate my sewing because I'm on a forced summer vacation for two months (in the educational system they call it summer holidays, I call it laid-off). I rather have holidays in September or October when the weather is cooling down, the leaves start to turn these gorgeous colours, and the fabric stores are filled with beautiful wool suiting. I'm just not inspired in the summer.

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  19. I guess it depends on how well the AC is cranking and what type of project it is. For instance, if it were me, I wouldn't be touching the vinyl until the weather cools off - too sweaty! I've been running up super-quick projects (tank dress, A-line skirt). And bathing caps, because my kids need them for the pool but manage to lose them.

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  20. Its hard to beat the heat and I definitely don't know how you do it with the heat and the humidity. All you can do is sit there. Here where I live, the heat's hot but dry and it makes me want to get out and play, so sadly no sewing gets done even though I need summer clothes badly. Sigh...What to do? xoxo, Sunni

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  21. God yes. I bought new shelving to store all my fabric and patterns but I haven't even put it together. I keep saying I can't sew anything until I clean up the mess in my sewing room but then I don't clean it up. It's terrible.

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  22. Just to be clear, I DO have something called "air cooling" but it doesn't take out the humidity.

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  23. I can't say what my normal sewing pace is (I only seriously started 7 months ago) but I definitely have felt more sluggish lately. I have two moulages that need to be sewn and fit by tomorrow morning and I can't even seem to get one done. Ugh...

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  24. I am so sticken with summer sloth, that is making me mad almost!! I have ideas swimming in my head for my shop, then I go back into my room to start, and bam....naa I think I'll sit and relax instead. My AC for some reason doesn't seem to cool down my sewing area very well. I start to cut things out on my sewing table, and I'm sweating bricks.

    I hope this feeling ends soon, and for you as well :)

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  25. I'd love to sew more, if it wasn't for end-of-semester exams next week... I know the feeling of being too hot to sew, living in an apartment under the attic with no A/C. We're having a mellow summer, though...

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  26. I just can't even drag out my sewing machine.
    I made a couple of dresses, and a few tops for my daughter, but to be honest, I have no interest right now. I actually created my own pattern for my daughter, and it came out great.
    Even with that, I have no desire to sew.

    I have a/c and live in a dry heat. I don't know what it is, but even fabric doesn't do anything for me lately.

    Josette

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  27. My summer sewing has been not nearly as productive as the rest of the year. The heat can only be blamed so much. I think it is probably because I have been doing so many things that are replacing my sewing time. I have done a lot of pattern organizing and fabric organizing. I seem to be stashing more fabric than sewing it up though. There are a lot of things I want to make, but I have a few big daunting projects coming up, and I seem to be putting them off. Lots of plans for sewing, lots of patterns for sewing, lots of fabric for sewing. Not a lot of sewing.

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  28. That happened to me after my first bout of being crazy for quilting. I eventually cured it by clearing out all my patterns and notes and even my stash. Gave 90% of it away.

    Then my enthusiasm returned. I think we get to the point where all our plans start becoming obligations and that takes the fun away. I was burdened by all the things I was "planning" to make. Until I threw away all the plans.

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  29. I live in Seattle, where it's glorious. I don't even have the excuse of hot weather (or kids) to keep me from sewing--but I've been dragging ass, big time. I just want to loaf around and read books. It doesn't help that my sewing room looks like an episode of Hoarders.

    I swear I'm going to finish this one linen tunic top I've been pecking at for the last two weeks. I want to make a few others, using variations on the same pattern, and I have plenty of pretty, inspiring fabrics to work with. But I've sternly told myself I have to finish this one before I cut out another.

    The only sewing I have been able to muster any enthusiasm for is preparing hexagonal pieces for a paper-pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt. I'm not really a quilter (and frankly, hard-core quilters scare me a little), but my kid sister has such a quilt that's been in the family for generations. I've always loved it, and would like one of my own. I certainly have enough scraps on hand to make one. So I've been sitting down and knocking out a few hexagons here and there, and someday I might even have enough for the quilt. A girl can dream, anyway...

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  30. I am waiting for my company to leave before I dig in - I did get out some patterns and fabric but anything more is just not possible. Meanwhile I have been looking at blogs and people's sidebars for inspiration.

    Question: I enjoy reading the Sew Retro site, I think it was recommended by you, but it is now [today] invitation only. Is this temporary? Could someone send me an invitation? Peter is tired, sew retro is closed...help me the inspiration is drying up...

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  31. Peter, I'm feeling the sloth this week. I think it's the heat. Once it hits 85, I go downhill fast. It could be that I work in a dry cleaners and the heat and steam from the presses pushes the heat to 100+ some days (like today)! I have to come home and lay down in the AC for about an hour before I can even think of getting on with any other activity.

    The sewing sloth is not for lack of fabric or patterns! I bought a few outfit combos that I'm dying to make, I just can't seem to work up the energy. My new serger sits awaiting my attention, also!

    When I do get to do something, I'm usually online building my website/blog or reading someone else's! You're not alone in your de-energized state!

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  32. Perhaps a respit is in order? Languid hours entangled in, and visually contemplating, sheets; time to think - that's living!

    Indulge in the luxury of simply not doing. Doesn't everything need some regenerative privacy?

    In such a situation Cathy would likely be draping a fitted skirt, while comfortably reclined, and murmuring your name. Beat her to the punch, and test a few off-the-hip folds. By the full moon you'll be sharing your ideas with her, she'll tell you, "You're a peach!", and suddenly the creative engines will be revving - loudly!

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  33. I'm not suprised you feel that way considering you are sweltering in that heat. I'm sure Cathy understands :)

    Actually I feel the same way in Australian winter. Our house is so cold, and my sewing room/bedroom doesn't have adequate heating, so sewing is off the cards for a few months!

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  34. I'm getting a decent amount of sewing done, but I also spent the last two weeks refinishing kitchen cabinets (outside in 100 degree heat and humidity - yuck!), re-doing the countertops, painting every wall in my kitchen/dining room, changing out hardware, tiling my backsplash...and then turning 8 yards of home dec fabric into a huge valance mounted on a 1x4. Usually summer is my most productive time since I have a couple of months off from work.

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  35. When I'm too lazy to sew, for whatever reason, but want to keep up with the chaos that is my sewing room, I pull out my pattern file and write a list of all those for which I want to acquire fabric and notions. I put in fabric type, yardage, notions, and a very brief description of the project, so I won't forget what it is! I keep this list with me when I go out, in case I come across anything on sale that fills one of the items on my list. Then I cram it all in a big zip lock and forget about it until I am motivated to sew again. Right now I'm sewing a lot because my sewing area is in the cool basement. AAAHHHHH

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  36. I can't use the halogen tracklighting in my basement sewing space when it's really hot, so I use a single halogen desk light and 2 flourescent lights. It's therefore too dark to really see what I'm doing down there, so I don't do anything. Well, I did trace the seamlines off a pair of pajama shorts to copy for DH today, but I couldn't completely finish the project. It was too dark and too hot. And we had to go out again. At least the car has AC.

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  37. I have a three months old baby, so: I haven't sewn at all during the pregnancy and those first crazy weeks + none of my old clothes fit + I'm taking advantage of my husband's vacation = as much sewing as I can cram in! I'm slow, so I don't have a lot to show for it, but I'm definitely sewing more than usual. The hottest days tend to make me stall when I get to something that needs pressing though.

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  38. It's the heat, Peter. You need to move to England - as Kaffe Fassett's pointed out, we have a great climate here for making. ;)

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  39. I'm surviving the first really cold July Melbourne has had for about a decade. So I've been sewing a lot to keep warm: wool trousers for me, flannel shirts for the man, winter dresses for the girl. I'm all sewed out and taking a few days' break this week, but I reckon by next week I'll be at it again.

    It's not that we need more warm clothes, but there's a pattern in the stash, there's that old suede coat from the op shop, and I fancy the challenge of a suede vest. Or maybe the challenge of draping a shirt pattern as in David Page Coffin's book? Or not a challenge, just that lovely silky black jersey and the old faithful Kwik Sew top that always comes together nicely?

    Sigh. Just a serial sewer, that's me. Actually , in winter there's less daylight so my stitching is more likely to go wonky and I morph into a veritable Jack the seam ripper.

    My guess is that you, Peter,are a serial sewer too, and whatever the weather it won't be long before you feel that wish to stitch that urge to serge...

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  40. Debra B., WA stateJuly 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Most know of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that causes the blues in dark winter months. Less well known is summer SAD. It affects fewer people, but for those that are affected, summer is too hot to do much including eat. Little you can do except stay indoors with the blinds down in the middle of the day and keep cool. Seems to partly be an inability to control body temp so heat is especially draining. Try to stay cool and indoors in the middle of the day and maybe you will feel better. I am frantic to sew every day so I guess this is not my particular problem.

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  41. I'm the opposite, Peter. I find I'm much more productive in the summer, but this is partly due to Mr. Friday being home as he's a teacher. It's the dark, dank months of January and February when I'm a sewing sloth.

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  42. I sit here reading this because, though I have a dress I'd desperately like to finish, it's too damn hot. In fact, I might even flip on Antiques Roadshow in half an hour.

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