Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What Do You Think of Sew-A-Longs, TNTs*

I took my inspiration from this knitting-related blog post. It got me ruminating. I've sometimes been tempted to join the sew-a-longs at Patternreview, but then I get caught up like a spider in a web in other things I need to do work-wise. Somehow, I feel like if I get snared in a Sew-A-Long, I'll just spend more time on the laptop, instead of being social. For me personally, I'm better off going to a Stitch N Bitch for some human contact since I'm often by myself all day long.

On the other hand, a sew-a-long might be the kick in the sailor pants to get going on some projects that I'm shying away from. How do you feel about sew-a-longs? I guess I'm really intrigued after 75 sewers signed up for a coat sew-a-long. What inspired all these people to sign up quicker than lickety-split for this collaboration? Was it the prodigious project? Somehow I don't think people would be as inspired if they were stitching up a pair of undies or an apron. Or does the organizer have a really charismatic personality? I'm sometimes wonder what would occur if I launched a sew-a-long blog. Of course, I'd have to promote it on a crafty web site with heavy traffic just for the project to get some attention. I'm not sure I'm currently known "well enough" in the sewing community to attract more than a handful of participants. Or does it really depend on how "established" you are? Do you need to feel like you "know" your fearless fun leader in order to jump in feet first into a shared, online project? My final thought: do sewers leap on board simply because so many others have crossed the pedestrian bridge? I'll admit the Great Coat Sew-A-Long appeared enticing only after I heard it was closed to new participants. But then again, I could have been one of the lame sewists who signed up and didn't pick up a pair of scissors or even pick out a pattern. It's kind of like how my ace fingers rapidly signed me up to become one of Ravelry's beta testers, but then when I finally did get the invite, it took me forever and a few days to upload pictures of my knitting masterpieces to the site.

Talk of Sew-A-Longs brings me to another related topic: TNTs. This abbrevation and its use online sewing communities cracks me up because the first thing that comes to my brain when I hear, "TNT" is the stuff that's used to make explosives, and not anything remotely to do with sewing, fabric and patterns. But as I understand it, TNT means "Tried and (N) True" as in any pattern that's worth using again and again until it falls apart or out of favor. At one time, I would have said this pattern was a TNT because I sewed it at least seven times, exactly the same way: lengthen the torso by two inches, and using a McCall sleeve. Over and over not quite in my sleep because I think that might be dangerous, I did it. Now I'm tired of it in the way I got quickly tired of "The Rules" which by the way, I actually burned on my porch. I don't think I'll torch my Kwik-Sew pattern. I'll just let it become pals with the dust-mites.

Now there is another pattern that's most certainly a TNT. It's this Kwik-Sew bathing suit pattern. Since the three purply bathing suits I made last year are already falling apart, I feel like it's time to make another trio soon. I was thinking I might try another view this time just to keep the task somewhat interesting. I'm also going to use different fabrics to keep it lively. I at least need to use a print for limbo's sake!

I think that's really the only "active" TNT pattern in my collection. Wait. I take that back. The Santa Monica T pattern falls in the "tried and true" category. I haven't sewn it lately, but I've been thinking about it since I have a scallop-edge stretch lace remnant that would be perfect. The thing I love about this pattern is how easy it is. The hardest part is using a twin-needle to stitch down the neckline. If I didn't do that, this pattern would be almost easy enough for a 8-year-old sewer to make, although I think the darts in the sleeve are a bit disconcerting for someone just starting out. The darts in the sleeves and not the bodice are bit unexpected, don't you think? What are your TNT patterns? I'm eager to hear. I suspect the Jalie patterns I bought in December will become "favs" once I get around to sewing them.

In other non-related sewing/knitting news, Hamlet appears to be adjusting to his new home if all the sleeping he's doing is any indication. He's older dog (11 to be exact), so maybe he needs all extra sleep. He also also has some trouble getting up the stairs, but there's no elevator so that's the way it's going to be found. Since he snoozes plenty, I've found more than a Mount Kilimanjaro's excuse not to take him out for walks. He hasn't been outside yet today, but I have to Dunkin Donuts for an iced coffee. Unless he's begging and whining, "Please, please, let's go outside" in dog-speak, I'm afraid I'm going to put it off for at least another hour.
* Here is my TNT in a pretty floral print that just happens to coordinate with my skirt. So what do you think of my photogenic canine companion?


Lori said...

I am with you about a sew-a-long, my blog doesn't have the traffic, isn't one of the have-to read ones. I don't even get tagged! I think sew-alongs are very motivating and a great way to share ideas and inspiration. TNT patterns are great, especially when sewing time is limited or you need a sewing fix. Your top looks great.

Lindsay T said...

I was one of the first people to jump into the coat sewalong, but that was because I had already decided I wanted to make a coat this summer. If it had been any other garment sewalong I doubt I would have joined in.

Cute pix of you and the pupster (though I guess he's not technically a pup anymore).

the_lazymilliner said...

I'd post on your blog, Lori, but I don't see the URL....