Monthly Musing ~ Just Start Already!

Helen Cloke just start already monthly musing sewing advice

Just Start Already!  This has long been my number one piece of advice to beginner bra makers.  But...do you think that I can adhere to my own wisdom?  No, not always.  I've been dragging heels on a couple of projects this month - putting plenty of thought (and worry) into them but very little action.

'Just Start Already' came about because I spent two years researching bra making before I finally cut into my first pattern.  All those wasted years when I could have been filling my drawer with lovely handmade bras instead!  Research is wonderful but without implementation it begins to loose meaning.

Am I an over-thinker? Maybe.  On day 14 of #BRAugust I vowed to sew a one-piece swimsuit for this summer and asked my Instagram followers to vote on a pattern.  The lovely Itaca Swimsuit by Etoffe Malicieuse was chosen.

drawing of swimsuit patterns

I haven't worn a one-piece swimsuit since my age was single digits and I've never sewn one either!  So I had a fair bit of uncertainty in starting this project.  I was also caught up on colour choice.  I'm currently experiencing a colour crisis where I'm second guessing which colours work well for me and which don't.  That, added to a garment style where there is nowhere to hide, just the swimsuit fabric and a large expanse of skin and, eek!  The swimsuit project froze there.

selection of swimsuit fabric colours

It was Instagram polls and you all to the rescue again!  I posted photos of myself with a selection of fabric colours and 'Zenith' green took out the top vote.  So I'm finally cutting out a swimsuit, approx. one month after I first had the idea for this project.  Progress is slow but it is happening.

Zenith green swimsuit fabric

Unlike my other procrastination project where nothing has happened!  For my birthday in May I treated myself to a Brother Coverstitch CV3550 from Karina at The Studio of Sewing.  I was really, really looking forward to using it to create some activewear out of the luxurious Supplex in the shop.  It's now over four months later and I've used it once, to hem a pair of pants for my mom.  I don't know what I'm so intimidated about!  I've used a coverstitch before but this one also has a fancy doolally top-stitch and I've bought the binder attachment too which is new territory for me.  I think what I really need to do is get some scrap fabric, relax and just have a play around.

Actually that reminds me of some other advice I wrote down - 'Don't worry about RIGHT' and 'Expect the ugly.' You can find these and other golden nuggets of beginner advice here.  Maybe I'm due to revisit that blog post to!!!

Maybe I just need some self encouragement?  To just have a go, let loose and don't think too much. 

Tell me, when does planning become overthinking?  I'd love to hear from you if you have some insight into this.  Or, if like me, you find yourself frozen at the beginning of a project and need a friendly push then let me know.  We can be encouragement buddys! 

Helen xxx



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  • Suzanne Ross on

    Hi – recently I did Karina’s coverstitch class- so worthwhile! Also recently purchased the binder which I’ve practiced a little with- not quite ready to cut into fabric from you quite yet though. They’re a great machine the Brother Coverstitch 😉


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