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I’ve been meaning to put up more of my photos from my trip. Normally, I shoot in camera RAW format, which means that I can’t just throw them up as if they were jpegs, but I have to process them first and then save them as jpegs. Not very difficult, but it just adds one more step. So, I should be getting more photos up soon enough. However, instead of processing the photos, I decided to make myself a pair of pants.

More and more, I’ve been noticing women walking around in loose-fitting, lightweight pants. Every time I see them, I think to myself, “Those look some comfortable. I need something like that.”

Secondly, I have this fantasy that I can actually sew. It’s not exactly delusional, but let’s say it’s a bit of an exaggeration. I keep starting ambitious projects and then get frustrated half-way through. So, I think to myself, “I should try making a few simple things and build up my skills.”

Since I think that I can sew, I check out the new arrivals on the website of Mood, a very large fabric store in midtown. Whenever I see a really great fabric on their website, a few days later it says, “Sold Out.” A few days ago, I saw a great fabric, a lightweight mercerized cotton in a bright stripey print, and I thought to myself, “I’m going to buy it right away.”

I put number three with one and two and decided that I was going to make a pair of simple pants that will be really comfy on hot summer days.

Success!!! Yay! And I’m not going to show them to my mother so she can’t rain on my parade by telling me I look fat – which I probably do, but I still have to leave the house.

Which brings me to another thing. When I was young, I used to like to incorporate a lot of menswear pieces into my wardrobe. I would have worn more of it, but good quality menswear is expensive, and I’m short and I couldn’t have afforded the tailoring for it to look right. Menswear inspired women’s wear often just doesn’t have the right feel for me. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what’s wrong. Meanwhile, now that I’m older, and heavier, it’s easier for me to find dresses and feminine things that look okay on me. I can’t figure out what to do. Should I follow my taste? Should I worry about what makes my ass look big, to put it bluntly? It’s not just a matter of looking pretty or not. It’s about a loss of identity.

Anyway, one of my little fantasies is getting my sewing skills up to the point that I can make some tailored suits. So I’ve been browsing on the internet this evening trying going back and forth between men’s suits and women’s clothes trying to get a handle on what it is that I actually like and what among those things might actually not look dreadful on a dumpy fifty-something.

My next project is to make a loose-fitting tunic to wear with the pants. After that, thought, maybe somewhat more tailored pants might be the next step up.

Right now, I’m up to me eyebrows in thread, rhinestones, fabric, trimmings and all sorts of other goodies to make an outrageously wonderful Halloween costume. Or maybe just a big hot mess. Who knows. I’ve been having a problem getting the thread tension right. We’re not talking a little off and the fabric is puckering. This is so loose that you can just pull the threads out by hand. My sister said, as she has said a couple of times a year for the past several years, “Just buy a new sewing machine.” I might do that. The main reason I haven’t already is mostly sentimentality. This was my mother’s sewing machine.

Closeup of the needle and presser foot on an old singer sewing machine.My mother received this portable sewing machine for her thirteenth birthday. It was used when my grandparents bought it for her. We’ve sewn so many things on it.

I’ll try to remember to pause for some photos so I can post the progress on my costume.