Elasticated waistband lifestyle

Hi hi hello,

It’s been a little over a year since I sent out my first Letter, and here we are now at number 10! If I’m being honest I’m still sometimes surprised that you’re still reading these letters, and sometimes even responding to them. It’s a privilege that I don’t take lightly, or at least that’s the excuse I make to myself when I put off writing these because I want to spend the time to make it worth your while.

A few months ago I decided to try sewing again.

I wanted to do a sewing class back in highschool, which my mum felt was ridiculous when she could teach me herself.

So I learned to sew from her, with a haphazard approach that involved taking some inspiration from actual sewing patterns, some tracing existing clothing items onto old newspaper, and a whole lot of winging it.

I remember asking her to help (ie. make the whole thing for me) when I started getting into cosplaying almost 20 years ago. Between my don't-know-what-you-don't-know beginner's mindset and my complete faith in my mum's ability to make things work, I was always confident that we'd be able to bring my vision to life (I'm sure this caused her a lot of stress). There were of course no obscure anime character costumes in the Butterick pattern catalogues at the fabric store, but we'd flip through them to find something that might make a good starting point and pull some inspiration from here and there to get the general vibe.

She had a cool trick where she could knot a thread seemingly by rolling it with one finger her palm that always seemed like magic to me. Or was the trick to thread a needle? It makes me sad that I can't remember exactly, but I guess the main thing is the memory of my mum, magic, and sewing.

She passed away a bit over two years ago, and I've inherited (amongst other things) her old overlocker, a container of sewing pins that were almost certainly bought at a garage sale before I was born, and a general sense that "proper" sewing technique is entirely optional as long as you get where wanted to go in the end.

IMG_1344 1.jpeg|front and back photos of my rectangle sleeve jacket

All this to say that I'm pretty rubbish at following a sewing pattern, and will avoid pressing, measuring, even pinning wherever possible. So I was pretty excited to find a book of "patterns" which are really just simple shapes drawn up to your own body shape and preferences and fit the comfy, elasticated-waistband lifestyle that I currently have.

IMG_2284 1.jpeg|photo of me wearing my Trapezoid skirt in black and white gingham

So far I have made the Trapazoid Skirt (free pattern here and a jacket, and they're far from perfect but they feel very me. I made them to fill specific gaps in my wardrobe and chose patterns and colours to complement what I already have. Despite being simple they did take me some time, but still less than the many hours I’ve spent window shopping online, and far more worthwhile.

I hope you’re making time for some cool projects too! Let me know what you’ve been making :)


P.S. I'm still painting! I have however emerged from the blissful beginner stage where anything feels possible and progress is dramatic, to a point where I'm becoming painfully aware of how much I don't know, and therefore how much I don't know that I don't know yet. You know. I'm working through it. I’ve been doing some Life drawing in watercolour which has been a wonderful challenge.