Tag Archives: Sewing with a plan

Autumn Sewing and Winter Plan

As I continue sewing with a plan, but still take the occasional detour, I think a lot about what I want to wear and what I actually need. For the past year and a half, as I’ve been mostly working from home, I’ve realised that I like to get dressed when working (no sweat pants!) but my wardrobe has been much more casual than when going to the office. T-shirts have been worn aplenty, some to the point of disintegrating.

The Autumn Plan

(Disclaimer: I did once have a Zoom meeting in my robe as I had worked out and showered during lunch and the person I met called me earlier than scheduled).

So, now we are hoping that a more regular presence at the office is near (currently I have two set days, and “when necessary”) it’s time to update my work wardrobe, something that has been reflected in the fall plan I’ve sewn.

The Autumn Outcome

My autumn plan was also a trial of several patterns and style, such as the green blazer and combining Deer and Doe’s Aubepine and Datura into a blouse. The skirt was sewn, but it was planned as a colour-blocked affair, it became all green and the grey and black stretch twills will become separate skirts in the next plan. It could also be noted that I felt green was lacking in my wardrobe, so I’ve tried to remedy that. The trousers, which will have a proper post, are a bit too big, but I like the style and colour of them.

The Winter Plan

As I was sitting down to plan my winter sewing I had an epiphany. Last year I read “The Curated Closet” and one of the tasks was to name your style – and it didn’t need to make sense for anyone else but yourself. And then, the name just came to me “Office nerd connecting with inner rock chick”. I’ve been trapped in making “office appropriate” clothing (even worse when I worked in controlling) and lost a bit of myself. So, let’s change that! I found some fun fabrics at tyg.se that I feel go with the look I’m imagining. Blouses, shirts and t-shirts under blazers, skinny bottoms and colours. I hope it’ll feel right. And, yeah we’re going to a wedding so I need some attire for that as well, in silver and blue.

The Winter plan Fabrics. Office nerd goes rock’n’roll?
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Summer Sewing 2021 – Outcome

As I have mentioned before, I do like to plan my sewing. For each new season, I make a plan. As each season ends, I try to figure out what I missed, what I wore, what never got worn to, hopefully, remember for next year so I can make a better plan. For the summer of 2021, here’s what I planned:

What I planned

This year I tried to go for a mini-capsule, where all pieces would mix and match, also while using fabrics I had accumulated over the year. I did sew all of those piece, maybe not the exact pattern (you’ll see what I mean) and added a few pieces that I also needed, but that didn’t necessarily fit into the capsule.

What I sewed!

I truly love the bumblebee dress, how it fits, how it looks, the fabric! The Vaccine Top is also a pretty big hit, it’s a bit dressier (not shown here is the plunging back neckline) and that, since it’s white, goes with plenty of bottom pieces. The other white top, not in plan (pattern Burda 06-2018-121) is a fail. It’s a pique fabric and I’m having trouble getting the neckline to lie flat. But the biggest issue is that against all better judgement, I should have known better than to put gathers around my boobs. While I thought I’d like this for really warm days, it has hardly been warm and I wouldn’t want to wear it outside of the house.

The little jacket from Knipmode (Edition 04/2019 cannot find pattern online), in a stretchy sweatshirt knit, is a very nice little summer jacket. I just haven’t been out a lot in weather that would need it, but surely it can be worn for fall as well? And I didn’t call you Shirley.

As for the bottoms, the blue skirt is lovely in colour and length (and has a post of its own). The tie-dye culottes (Burda 06-2018-103) I made because, well, I needed shorts. I liked the idea of a longer length and the styling made it seem like the overlapping flap would make the culottes look more like a skirt. Truth be told, while I like the shape, the flap mostly gets caught between my legs. If I were to make these culottes again, I’d make them without the flap, and I’d add a waistband. Interfaced waistlines just don’t do it for me.

Now the red trousers. Certainly a pair of 3/4-length trousers are a staple of a summer wardrobe up in the Nordics. I love the fabric and the pattern with the cool pocket details (Burda 10-2017-113). However, someone really stupid (not naming names or placing blame here, people!) didn’t check the stretch of the fabric and didn’t realise that it went on the cross grain of the fabric instead of the straight grain. So now I have trousers that stretch well in the lengthwise direction, but not so much where I actually would want the stretch. Stupid! Plus the haphazard stretch made it harder to get the pocket details sharp. You live you learn (eventually, last fall I made the exact same error.

As for random things to consider for next year’s summer sewing:

  • I need more colour!
  • I want some more vowen, slightly looser tops
  • Viscose knits are lovely to wear in warm weather, but I need to stay clear of the nightgown feeling they can give me
  • I’d like more practical shorts – cargo style – for hikes and similar outings.

Also I’m likely to find lovely fabrics over the year to come, so who know what I’ll want to sew then…

SWAP: Summer 2020

My summer plan for 2020 is bittersweet. Like anyone, anywhere, the Corona virus has an impact on my life. It’s not a major infringement, but plans that have previously been made are cancelled and that is sad for me. As I am a person I can keep many thoughts in my head at once so I do understand why these things are cancelled and cannot be done and be sad for me, I can also look at the big picture, the scale of the global pandemic; the lives lost, the economic setbacks, the consequences of isolation, and realise that my sacrifice is quite small. I stay home to flatten the curve, in solidarity with those who need to fight in the frontline.

Thing is, I had so many fun plans for this year; I was going to go see Green Day and Trevor Noah. For the summer we had rented a house in Italy and I had planned to do an interrail trip with the kids through Germany to get there, learning about history and culture. While none of this is officially cancelled yet, I think it’s pretty safe to say that none of it will happen. Before the corona virus made its way across the world I had bought some fabrics and had ideas for a travel wardrobe, that would take me through a city vacation and a beach vacation. But, you know what? There will be a summer no matter what! Plus, the time when I sew with a series rolling on the tablet is a great escape from the constant corona feed that is perpetually ongoing. So, I will sew those clothes anyway. Because I need the outlet, because I need the hope that this too shall pass. Here’s what I plan to sew:

The plan!

Yes, my drawings suck. Let’s move on from that. And see below for fabrics.

I figured I need some neutral tops, so I planned to make some in a linen knit. However, I am now a bit concerned that the linen is too thin and will be too see-through. The other top is the Lane Raglan from Hey June Handmade, which I won in an Instagram giveaway and I hope will make it here during the current circumstances; for this top I have a striped viscose knit.

The skirt, which I already finished, is a lovely floaty number with plenty of details such as pin tucks, pleats and gathers; the fabric is a poly/viscose twill.

As for the amazing white/blue/yellow viscose knit (I seriously love that fabric!) it will be a dress for the beach, a coverup if you will. I haven’t decided on the pattern, I have a tank dress pattern, but I’m thinking if I should have something to cover the shoulders.

The purple tree cotton (organic!) will be a “Sew Many dresses” dress, I’m thinking the basic bodice, U-neckline and pleated skirt, maybe sleeves.

I thought a bum bag, in purple with gold details, would be perfect on our travels this summer, and maybe it can make itself useful in other adventures.

Lastly, my refashion of the plan. I sewed this dress for a wedding 3 years ago and struggled to get the fit somewhat OK. I still tug at it whenever I wear it, so in the refashion bin it went. There is a piece left so I might be able to make a new bodice, maybe I could even keep the back bodice?, or I could make it into a skirt. We’ll see where the creativity will take me.

The fabrics!

And, while I have already made that skirt, after I put the plan on paper I got another idea. So, currently I’m sewing off the plan, a jacket (Simplicity 8610) in a mauve gause. I’ll be back on track soon enough…

The unplanned project (really hard to capture the mauve colour)

Completed: Spring Plan 2020

In my wardrobe planning FB group, we are to plan our sewing for each of the four season. So, from January up until now I have been sewing on my spring wardrobe. Part of the rules also stipulate that you need to present the outcome by the end of each period. That time is now!

Drawing is not of mine competences

From January to March I’ve been sewing to fill my spring wardrobe. Usually I don’t make a mini wardrobe in my plans, but rather work to fill identified gaps. In parallel we are also working through the wardrobe architect series, having a virtual get-together every two weeks to discuss the topic at hand. It’s interesting, but also nice to virtually meet the other members, especially in these days when other social interaction is sparse.

I had planned to sew a variety of clothes. From lounge-wear, to a party skirt; from work-wear to a sentimental skirt. I also hope to include a refashion project in every plan. In the end I sewed 6 of my 7 planned garments.

Completed Plan

The year started out strong with the rectangle skirt, which is now my go-to lounge at home. In fact it’s also my work from home skirt as it is really comfortable but still dressed. The dropped sleeved shirt (not blogged) is also comfortable and I love the sheer voile, but it’s not 100% me. I wear it and will keep it, but I won’t be making anything else in this style. Plus, I don’t really care for the dropped shoulder sleeve on me; I have two blouses with them now, that’s enough for me.

I did sew the trousers, but ended up a dud. Not even good enough for lounge-wear. I couldn’t get the angled seams good, I misjudged the width of the elastic for the waist so they keep riding down and in a moment of “let’s just get these done” I cut some holes in the fabric in a botched attempt to level out the hem. Too bad, since I liked this pattern and I need trousers but maybe I should stick to something a little less technically complicated at this point. While I changed the pattern for the curtain skirt, I did use my grandmother’s fabric to make a skirt. My wrap cardigan also got a makeover and is now a front open cardigan instead. I decided to push the Brumby skirt into the future; I still need that type of skirt but I didn’t feel inspired to make it with many events being cancelled.

Bonus garments! (Aka. other stuff I sewed)

Finally I made the grey Briar as on overlay top. It’s good that I planned it as an overlay as the neckline was quite wide as drafted and is prone to fall off the shoulders. In addition I made yet another Briar, in denim jersey (seen with the denim skirt above in a work from home pic, yes my sewing room is now my home office), a striped denim top, which I think will be great for summer, and a wrap top in rayon jersey, with just enough details to keep it interesting. Both the two last pieces are from Burda 02/2020.

 

My spring sewing, which became a bit too focused on the warmer parts of spring, but still pieces that I wear and like to wear. If we forget those trousers ever happened…

Spring Plan 2020

For the past years I have been sewing with a plan. I am a member of a (Swedish) FB group where we each plan our seasonal sewing, either by doing a capsule wardrobe or by filling identified gaps. The goal is to have a cohesive wardrobe with nicely fitted garments; the quality of the garments being produced by the group’s members is high and it makes me up my game as well.

As I have been wardrobe planning for many years, my plans tend to go the fill gaps route, especially now that I’ve figured out what I like to wear and what I feel good in. But don’t be fooled by that sentiment, sometimes I feel like trying a new silhouette or fabric type, at times a success, during others not so much. The plans of this year will also focus on my goals for the year, to use what I have, both fabric and pattern-wise and refashion things that need it. I’m thinking it could be fun to have one refashion project per plan, but I don’t know if I have enough clothes in need of refashion. For the spring and summer plan they’ll be one each, then for the later season we’ll see if I can find something.

The spring plan for 2020 has 7 pieces, some easy, one refashion and some gaps to fill.

I’ve been curious about the Briar by Megan Nielsen for a while, so for Black Friday 2019 I bought it (along with the Brumby skirt, also in plan). I hope to make many version over time, this one is intended to be a layering piece in a grey knit (probably cotton/lycra).

The Burda 05-2012 skirt is a skirt I’ve made several times and my aqua version has been retired due to a lot of wear. For this season I’m making another version, this time is some curtains woven by my grandmother. The bottom edge has a crochet lace, so I will make use of that. During the spring there is a contest running in which you need to refashion something, #icare_2020, plenty of entries have already been submitted. I’m thinking a skirt made from my grandmother’s handwoven curtains sewn on her 1954 Husqvarna Automatic would be an excellent entry for reuse!

Isn’t trousers* something you always need? I know I do, since I’m working my way through various pattern companies and seeing which drafts suits me best. This time I’ll be making a pair of Burda pants (2012-03-126) with interesting seaming. I planned to make them in red, but the fabric I had planned wasn’t really what I expected, but I came across a quite thick navy jersey twill, which I think will be excellent. The fabric gods were smiling at me, the piece I found in the remnant bin was just the amount of fabric needed.

Another gap I have is dressier skirts. Last year I found some remnant bin cupro and I think it would make a nice looking skirt, using the Megan Nielsen Brumby pattern. I have it in grey and blue, could be either, but leaning towards grey as the blue is a larger piece which could be a dress.

Speaking of experimenting with silhouettes, I am on the hunt for a loose-fitting shirt and have tried some. I like the Xaja from Knipmode due to the drawstring which lends some shape while still being loose. I have a nice, stashed black thin voile for this.

On weekends I love wearing simple skirts that you don’t feel you’re wearing. The Trintje from Knipmode fits that bill and in denim it will be a perfect casual skirt. I’ll admit, maybe not my first choice, but the denim is a leftover from my denim Pindas, so I have a limited quantity.

Finally, the refashion of the plan. In the fall of 2018 I made this wrap sweater in a linen knit. The fabric doesn’t take well to being tied up, it looks quite bad, so I will see if I can take those off an make a faux wrap top. I will do my best, but foresee two main issues. That I have gotten most of the fit from being able to wrap it as tightly as I want it and a faux version wouldn’t fit as well. This will be my third grey layering piece and maybe that will be too many. So if I cannot nail this one, it might get overlooked in favor of other grey layering pieces.

There, off to go sew!

*There’s a reason I’m calling it trousers and not pants which I used to. It involves the specifics of discussing a British coworker’s pants in detail. But this post is long enough as it is, so I’ll save that anecdote for another post.