Coping By Sewing

I’m not doing well with this winter, with all the snow and the bitter cold and the limbo-ness of life right now. It has always been cold and snowy, it always will be, and we will never sell this house. That’s how it feels. I am cranky and resentful. Every forecast causes husband and I to swear at the TV. Are things blooming where you live? I really don’t want to see pictures. Is it above freezing? Please don’t complain. Freezing is warm to us. See? I am cranky. And to make things even better, our (now former) Realtor spends a couple-three months in Florida every winter. No, we didn’t know this before we hired her, nor did we know some other things that, sigh, don’t matter anymore because I’m sure she’s an excellent Realtor (she told me so constantly), but not for us.

And so, I sew. Last week I made myself a skirt out of thermal knit fabric.

layered thermal skirt at

When I ordered the fabric to make the thermal knit shirt in this post, I also ordered black. Although both colors had the same description and were the same price, the black was thinner; too thin, I thought, for a shirt. But I thought I could double it over and maybe add in some of the olive grey…. and it sat as an idea for a month or three until last week.

I am still (always) learning. I continue to make skirts too big for my waist. I’m not sure if I don’t trust my measurements or I’m taking them wrong (some of both, probably). I knew enough not to follow the directions for drafting an A-line skirt in Sew What! Skirts, because that book only deals with woven fabrics. I used the measurement guidelines in this maxi-skirt tutorial instead. The errors are mine; I should have made the fold-over waistband smaller around. The skirt still works, though, because I intended to wear it over jeans. I’ve found that wearing a skirt over my jeans keeps me warmer. This black thermal knit fabric, by the way, was by far the fuzziest thing I’ve sewn with. Lint was fairly jumping out at me as I sewed.

Sunday morning I sewed my daughter the most cheerful pair of leggings ever, using this Oliver + S pattern.

cheerful leggings at

These are for no particular reason than that I liked the fabric and recognized it needed to be turned into leggings for my color-loving girl. She wore them to school Monday with her ladybug dress. Her wardrobe palette has never been sedate.

Sunday afternoon and Monday, I sewed a pair of linen pants for myself, for when it’s linen-wearing season again.

linen pants at

The pattern is from Simple Modern Sewing, and the fabric was a pre-Christmas on-sale purchase. It’s a nice, opaque linen, although I’m hoping a few more washings will soften it up a little more. The pattern sheets that come with the book are printed with multiple, overlapping pieces on each sheet, so it took me a while (and another cup of coffee) before I could untangle the pattern lines I was trying to trace. (Did M. C. Escher draw these pattern sheets? It seemed so.) Then I thought I’d done it wrong after all because the back pieces are wider than the fronts. This fabric, too, created much fuzz in the machine, and for the first time, I broke a needle while sewing, trying to sew a tri-fold belt loop onto a seam line of the waistband. But lo, the pants are complete, well before I’ll have any chance of wearing them.

Tuesday I dropped my machine off for a cleaning. It’s been almost three years, and I can see cushions of fuzz in places I can’t reach with my little brush. Best to get it cleaned before it’s a problem, is my thought. However, my coping method is now out of my hands for the next week. I plan to cut out lots of pattern pieces so I’m ready to start sewing again once I get it back. I shall sew spring dresses for the girl, as an offering of faith that someday–someday–the snow will melt.

5 thoughts on “Coping By Sewing

  1. suburbancorrespondent

    The material for your daughter’s leggings was like medicine for my eyes. And, yes, we have officially hit the “Hasn’t it always been snowy and cold and leafless?” part of winter. Even down here…

    1. amy Post author

      It’s *exactly* like medicine for the eyes! And I know it’s been cold down there too. Which is a huge disappointment because we were hoping for milder winters after moving….

  2. donna lee

    You know I love snow. But even though we haven’t had much real snow this winter, the below zero temps every day for the last month have finally gotten to me. I am in need of some color. The grey/white landscape where the only colorful thing is the Stop sign is just depressing. I look for the crocuses even though I know that they will grow through the snow and it doesn’t mean more warmth.
    Just under a month and it will officially be Spring. I will gladly stock up on tissues and anti histamine for the priviledge of not wearing all these clothes (and to have warm toes again!)

  3. Dawn Suzette

    Sorry for the rough winter. Trying to sell a house certainly does not help! Gah!

    I am not sick of winter, just yet. I am getting antsy for spring only because it means lots of new things and frankly we need some new inspiration.

    I LOVE all of your sewing. It really is great therapy!


  4. carolyn

    My saving grace to get through the rest of the winter was a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show on Saturday. It was heaven to walk among the flowers for a few hours! We haven’t had the mass quantities of snow that you have, but the cold is bitter and brutal this winter. I’m thinking since I lost 30 pounds of padding this summer, there’s just not the layer of protection I used to have and sweaters just don’t keep the heat in the way blubber did. So I turn the heat up and throw on another quilt…I’ll never get cold enough to want to gain those 30 pounds back! I love the skirt…is there any way you can add a casing for an elastic waist to make it fit better? I mean, if it’s already folded over, it should be kind of easy…

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