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sewing in a hurry

dotty | Posted in General Discussion on

I try not to get myself into these fixes but…. I have a big event in 3 days. I just finished making something that was just not right. I guess I’m getting a little stressed over this. Do I a) wear something already in my closet? b) sew a tried and true pattern using something fancy like velvet (which I would have to shop for)? c) sew something in my stash but with the same old patterns?(I have major fitting issues). I tried shopping and once again I found that the clothes were not very intersting, ill fitting and overpriced.I don’t really need an answer I just needed to vent. I do wonder how people go about making up their minds for big events and how much time you allow for getting it done.


  1. Katina | | #1

    What about something already in your closet - then go shop for new shoes or bag? That usually works well for me.

    Good luck.


  2. user-51823 | | #2

    ditto katina. new accessories, even a scarf or shawl w/ shoes and jewelry can be a big lift. in a hurry, i like to make a simple tunic in lovely fabric to go with existing pants. i have to LOL because you sound so much like me; making something new for each special event and sometimes deciding at the last minute i hate it. sorry for you, but glad to know i'm not the omnly one.
    much as i enjoy the excitment of whipping up a new garment, i have prioritized drastically since my sone was born 5 yrs ago. if something in my closet will do, i try to go with it. no one out there cares if they've seen me in the same outfit. i'm not a movie star trying to impress anyone.
    But if you do try to make new, remember that vekvet is not as fast a sew as napless fabrics. do it if it's an easy pattern, but remember how it crawls and also that it's best to have a needle board and/or steamer to set the seams.
    My biggest word of advice from someone who's BTDT is that when you are against a deadline and unhappy with what you just made and considering making a whole new garment, sometimes your judgement in that state is cloudy, and you can make some wacky descisions when you're desperate. that state of mind is largely to blame for the tons of fabric i bought on impulse in a hurry and realized i made a bad descision. best to take katina's advice: get a few possibilites from your closet, hang them in your car and go accessory shopping with them. worst case scenario, make a very easy top or bottom to go with a separate.
    BTW, what kind of function is it? what do you want to wear? and what is the garment you made and now don't like?

  3. Ralphetta | | #3

    Trust your judgement.  You've said it doesn't look right.  Find something in your closet that you like and makes you feel good.  If necessary, update it with some new jewelry, etc., and then really focus on your hair and makeup.  Instead of being sleep-deprived, you'll be rested, relaxed and have a good time.

    After the event, take out what you made, take your time and figure out where it went wrong and have it ready for your next event.  You'll be glad you did.

  4. user-51823 | | #4

    ralphetta pinpointed the main reason i think katina and i advocated not making a new garment this late in the game: sewing from now til party time, you will probably rob yourself of sleep and the time to do those other nice preparations that make you feel good at a party. i am really curious about what kind of event and what you ideally picture yourself wearing?

    1. dotty | | #5

      Its a reception for an exhibition of my paintings. Always a dressing quandry. The show is hung so the hard part is over. But I am very nervous. So I embarked on something from my stash, figuring velvet could indeed send me over the brink. I do have a back up plan in my closet.I rather like having something to work on at this point. But you all might be right, I may be asking for it in the disaster department.The ideal garment by the way, which I don't yet have the fitting skills to make, would be a retro wool jacket. The stash item I'm sewing is a beautiful rayon print.Time to get back to it.

      Edited 1/25/2007 5:00 pm ET by dotty

      1. user-51823 | | #6

        oh my! we're even more alike than i thought. i'm an artist too and used to try to make 2 or even 3 outfits for show openings unless i was still varnishing the night before, LOL. i had gotten to the point where i knew i would be so insecure and so frazzled that i would hate the way i looked in anything, but i'd give myself options and usually one would feel right at the very last minute. nothing feels worse than being in the spotlight and hating the way you look. i also found that the mood of my paintings greatly affected how i wanted to dress. my best fallback outfit was my good skinny jeans, good boots, and a great jacket: i had a 40's vintage fitted thing with nice detail interest, a vintage men's wool suit jacket, or an oversize linen jacket. i also made tunics and tops (yes, usually velvet!) to go with the jeans or easy to make skinny stretch black pants.
        i can't tell you how many times i looked great but had safety pins at the waist, under the jacket, rather than waste that finishing time where it wouldn't be seen!
        whatever you wear, have a bubble bath, have a great time and sell out!"...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."Edited 1/25/2007 5:45 pm ET by msm-s

        Edited 1/25/2007 5:46 pm ET by msm-s

      2. Teaf5 | | #7

        SInce you are the artist, you know what the features and colors of the exhibit are going to be, so you have a chance to complement them to the best advantage of you and your art works. Since you want people to focus on the paintings, you might want to dress in a solid color that's flattering to you but doesn't pull the viewer's eye away from your paintings. People who love art are generally very open-minded about fashion, so you can wear whatever makes you feel best!

        1. user-51823 | | #8

          good point, and that's how the gallery personel and caterers generally dress; to disappear. solid black is still the color of choice. black is the new black, again. on the other hand, art crowds seem to enjoy seeing the artist as a stereotypical "creative type" in how they dress as well as work. they like to see something a bit avant-garde and colorful and say "i wish i had the nerve to wear that! you're so lucky to be an artist. a lawyer like me could never go out in public in that". it sometimes sounds like a backhanded compliment, but you can tell they are sincere when they've had enough wine :-)
          another benefit of dressing, shall we say, vibrantly, is that people can spot you and point you out easily in a crowd. nice when someone wants to meet and talk to you before committing to buying a painting.
          the 3 types of artist i generally see at openings is wacky, quiet good taste, and dirty rebel, LOL. (i try to bounce back and forth between the first 2) "...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."

          Edited 1/26/2007 2:50 pm ET by msm-s

          1. dotty | | #9

            I've given up on black. Well not entirely because it does go with anything. Now that I'm ageing a bit it looks harsh with my complexion.I'm also now associating it with the mediterainian widow look instead of the arty look. But I will be forever enamoured of the look from that Toulouse-Latrecht poster of the guy in the black coat with the red scarf going down his back. msm-s- your wardrobe choices/fears/musings sound exactlly like mine. Right down to the skinny black jeans. Which seem to be harder to find.

          2. user-51823 | | #10

            they're not harder to find, for me they're just harder to make look skinny :-)
            i hear you on the black. i loved it, but at 51 it does seem harsh. sometimes i can make it work if my hair is freshly dyed. it used to be black but i go with a dark brown dye to cover the salt in my pepper."...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."

            Edited 1/26/2007 2:52 pm ET by msm-s

          3. dotty | | #11

            I'm afraid thats the real issue. I'm not so skinny anymore either. At 54 I've decided to go with the grey. I decided the dye would also look too harsh.So the clothes are all thats left that I can make changes to!!!

          4. user-51823 | | #12

            re going with the grey, thought dye would look bad too, but i experimented with some temporary clairol from the drug store and was pleasantly surprised. they say go a shade lighter and a shade warmer than your original color and it works for me. my original plan was to age gracefully and naturally and go with the grey too, but 1) mine's still just salty in the black and looks more like dull dirty than a real grey, and 2) i went and had a baby at age 45 so now i'm mom to a 5 yr old and i'm trying to keep from being mistaken for his grandma!
            glad your show is hung and all's ready to go. let us know what you finally decided to wear. good luck at your show!

          5. Teaf5 | | #13

            A fun discussion going on here about clothes, colors, and hair! At 53, my auburn hair is greying, but my 17-year-old son, the charmer, says the greys look like the blonde streaks all his peers are paying to put in their hair. And my new hair cutter says I'm lucky because my grays are white, so she cuts the layers to make the whites look like highlights. I'm very fortunate to have such positive feedback in my life at this point!Instead of all-black, I'm finding lots of beautiful chocolate browns that flatter my skin and hair tones and look just as sophisticated as black without all the severity. Let us know what you finally decided!

          6. user-51823 | | #14

            your natural hair sounds positively gorgeous! i'm jealous. i was excited when i got my first spell of greying in my mid-30's, which was a bit of white at both temples. that would have been cool with me. but it stopped and over a decade later i'm just getting frowzy looking. plus my hair is baby-fine and layering doesn't work on me.
            good point about browns in place of black. i'm gravitating towards them too. wait- the gravitating is over; about 1/2 my wardrobe is browns now. the ting i really love about them is that is seems there is no such thing as badly-matched browns, they all look like a great earthy jumble when you mix and match them: cocolate, tobacco, golden, earth, khakis-- they are all lovely together as long as they are good fabric to begin with. plus browns still look good with the skinny jeans too :-)"...lost in an orchestral maelstrom of lunacy..."

            Edited 1/26/2007 7:40 pm ET by msm-s

          7. User avater
            rmh | | #15

            Hi msm-s {and all us 50 something women},

               Fun discussion you all have going on here.  Hair, fabric colors and shades and ageing.  Boy do I relate!  I have had to change the colors of the fabric I buy and the shades as well as the clothes I buy and styles.  Like most other women I got stuck in a decade and find it hard staying in the here and now and not 25 years ago. 

              My natural hair color is what alot of women pay big money to get:  blonde, very, very blonde and I've always hated it.  About 12 years ago when my ex left, I changed everything about me.  I'm now sort of an auburn color with a few blonde  highlites- just a few.  This changes my whole look.  I loved that color but soon realized I needed to have it about 2 shades lighter.  I've been told over and over how great it looks and I feel great in the look.

               Now that I have that done, the clothes I wear and the colors of fabric I buy when I'm making clothes for myself has also changed and it was fun learning how to compliment my new look with new styles age appropriate.  All the fabric I had on hand for my old look, I now use to make things for my daughter-in-law.  She tells me she always looks forward to the clothers I make her.  She's 29 and in the past has dressed too old for her age.  I took care of that and she's now putting in orders when I ask for birthday and Christmas lists.  Between her, both my sons and 2 grandsons I have lots of people to make things for.  I have made things for a couple of friends and I find it hard to keep up with all the curtains I've been asked to make and I always seem to get into "order overload".  At times I do have to tell people I'm too over booked to take anything new on- sometimes for several months.  With all of this I do manage to get some things made for myself now and again.

               With all this going on and the other hobbies I have, well I get exhausted but satisfied.  I now have a new toy, this computer and I've started writing again after a long pause from that and now I have all of you.  Life IS good.      




            Edited 1/26/2007 8:58 pm by rmh

          8. dotty | | #16

            Don't ask me why I'm even here right now . Rayon blouse is looking very good. But I may have to opt for sewing myself in rather than making button holes. Only problem is in this fridged cold the static cling is clinging while ironing,sewing and wearing.

          9. user-51823 | | #18

            dotty- i am not sure whether your opening was last night (fri) or tonight (sat). if it's not too late:
            BTDT about button holes; at last minute i just seamed it up the center and it looked fine. if yours would look wrongly assymetrical, sew on some flat buttons to make it appear finished as intended. re static cling, a spritz of water from a mist-er usually stops it. take it to the gallery with you and mist again at last minute. i have also heard that rubbing garment all over with a anti-static fabric softener sheet (lor the dryer) works wonders.
            Don't waste precious time posting until your event is over. but then please come back and tell us all about how it went and what you wore. what color is the rayon top?nice to meet you rmh! life IS good!

          10. fabricholic | | #19

            I have always loved browns. I had blond hair, which is now light brown, and brown eyes, which turned olive green, in my late twenties. Does anyone remember when the browns were so hard to find in RTW? I am so glad they have returned.Marcy

            Edited 1/29/2007 12:55 pm ET by fabricholic

          11. dotty | | #20

            Thanks everyone for all the advice and help.The opening was a big success. I sold several paintings and got lots of admiration on the shirt. Last minute was all panic. I was running around in my underwear while shirt was in dryer with a bounce sheet (I'd never used those before. They had been left behind 5 years ago from the previous owner of the house). My son was yelling at me to cut the tags off my pants as he and my husband loaded the wine into the car. As my husband drove us up I was cutting threads off . We had to turn around and go back for a safety pin because I'd forgotton a button on the cuff. Would I do it this way again? No. However,I certainly was distracted from the anxieties of the show. I arrived happy and excited .That was good.

            Edited 1/28/2007 12:06 pm ET by dotty

          12. fabricholic | | #21

            Hi Dotty,Congratulations on the success of your opening.Marcy

          13. user-51823 | | #22

            yes! congratulations on your sales! and on finishing that blouse in time! but haven't you learned by now to keep a stash of safety pins in each purse and each car? LOL. when finishing in a hurry like you just did, i always take a few extra pins out with me just in case, and i always wind up using them :-)

          14. dotty | | #23

            So right you are. Safety pins will now be added to my ever increasing load of "absolutly necessary" items in my purse. The car is alrady serving as my purse annex. Thats why I have to clear everything away whenever I have passengers.

          15. Teaf5 | | #25

            If you don't want to add to the weight of your purse, you can always put a couple of little safety pins on the seam allowance of any new (or old) garment and just leave them there in case you or anyone else needs one. 

            I can't tell you how many brides, prom dates, public speakers, and colleagues I've rescued with my hidden stash of safety pins--like tylenol & bandaids, I carry them because they make last-minute crises bearable for everyone.  Now, if only I could figure out a convenient way to carry some duct tape,too--wrapping it around a pencil just didn't work!

          16. user-51823 | | #26

            me too. when i'm doing costumes there are certain clothes i like to wear and i always have a stash of safety pins pinned in those pockets. but for spedcial occassions when i'm a guest and wearing a nice dress and will have a small purse anyway, i have learned to keep about 10 in all my dressy purses, in my plain purses for travel, and a box in the car glove compartment since it's one of those things i might forget until the last minute or assume i have with me but maybe i handed out my whole stash last time.

          17. fabricholic | | #27

            Have you heard of girls using duct tape to hold up their breast when they couldn't wear a bra, such as wearing an evening gown? My daughter and some fellow contestants used the duct tape in a high school beauty pageant. Really strange, but that stuff is sturdy.Marcy

          18. HeartFire2 | | #28

            Duct tape is a wonderful product. When I go hiking its in my first aid kit! but keeping this sewing related,
            this site is the prom gown contest - they are all made out of duct tape, well, I guess there is little to no sewing in it, but it is garment construction!! Very creative ideas

          19. fabricholic | | #29

            Thanks for sending me that link. That is unbelieveable how much they did with it. I've got to send it to my daughter. Thanks again.Marcy

          20. midnitesewer | | #30

            I did this when I wore a dress that had a button at the base of the neck and a diamond shaped area open in the back. I didn't have the time to shop for and sew on bra cups or even to get them and tape then to my skin. I had gotten the dress on sale at a fancy department store a couple of years before I wore it, so I forgot about the potential "bra" problem. I used a few strategically placed cotton balls to protect the most delicate skin and to absorb any perspiration. Then I criss crossed the tape a few times and prayed that I wouldn't have a severe allergic reaction. I did a modesty check and headed out to the party. I didn't have any "wardrobe malfunctions" and had a nice time once I stopped worrying.

            I've seen some women in a bridal party using duct tape to make a girdle for small pot bellies. They said that tape worked well, but it was kind of hot.

            Edited 2/15/2007 2:59 pm ET by midnitesewer

          21. fabricholic | | #31

            I guess it's whatever works, right? I imagine you could have a reaction to the glue.Marcy

          22. Teaf5 | | #32

            Love the duct tape discussion!  Did you all know that research has shown that a piece of duct tape on warts proved more effective than medications in removing them?

            Last week, a male colleague discovered that his favorite khakis had split all the way around the crotch seam.  He borrowed another coworker's duct tape, visited the men's room, and patched it up from the inside.  He taught an hourlong class of 75 college students, and afterward, only one came up to hint that he might want to "check the back seam on his pants."  Hooray for duct tape and safety pins!

          23. fabricholic | | #33

            I only have duct tape at home and not at the office. (Note to self) Anyway, the other day a co-worker was showing me how she used safety pins for her pants, because she popped a button. I have gained, so the next day, I put on my favorite black pants that were too tight in the waist, removed the button and safety pinned the waistband together. It fit everywhere else. It was aggrevating to go to rest room, but other than that, it worked. I have yet, to scoot the button over and sew it back on. (Another note to self) Everything is rush, rush, rush. Is everyone like this? I guess I could turn off the television at night.Marcy

          24. Alice in Atlanta | | #34

            The duct tape remark made me laugh.  Another one for duct tape!

          25. Ralphetta | | #24

            My mother always said the inventor of the little gold safety pin should have won the Nobel prize.

  5. SewFit | | #17

    Hi Dotty,

    Reminds me of a time many years ago when I made a new dress for my class reunion....hated it...!  At the last minute, I whipped up a wrapped top that tied at the side waist.  V neck with 3/4 sleeve.... No buttons, no zipper.....simple seams.   It was a black/tropical print from my stash...worn with a long black knit skirt from my closet it got lots of compliments from old classmates...including an old boyfriend!!!

    Wear what feels good and wear it with confidence.....

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