Project Plans

The Making Goals page on this site lists several dozen projects I’ve dreamed up in addition to lists of patterns I have and patterns I’d like to have. But there’s no real order to that list. It includes some actual planned projects (projects for which I have the pattern and the materials), some projects that were loosely dreamed up in the hopes of using fabric that I bought without any real plans, and some patterns that I have and really want to use but don’t have the materials to make yet. There’s a fourth category too, and one I’m just starting to explore, garments that I’ve seen, either in person, on TV or the internet, or in catalogues, that I want to recreate. This is new for me because it’s really just in the last few months that I’ve started to think about the garment I want to create and then the pattern I would use in that order as opposed to what can I make with this pattern. This is not to say that I’m about to branch out into making patterns, I’m not ready for that step, but I am thinking more about how to use the patterns that I have to create totally new garments.

This is all a very longwinded way of saying that, in addition to a catch-all list of everything I can imagine wanting to make, I think it will be useful to focus my sewing ambitions on a few particular goals. So here are the next four things I’m planning to work on, along with a rough timetable.

Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Files

Ginger Jeans–I’ve got black Theory denim from Mood and purple topstitching thread set aside for this project. I’m planning a mashup of views A and B, low-rise with skinny legs.

Minoru Jacket by Sewaholic

Minoru Jacket–I couldn’t believe how much I liked this jacket when I saw Andrea’s version. I’ve ordered hunter green twill and a loud plaid for the lining. I’m planning on making the hooded version, omitting the inside pockets and adding either welt pockets or inseam ones.

Felicity Dress by Jennifer Lauren Vintage

Felicity Dress–As soon as I saw this dress I knew I wanted to make it for a wedding I’ll be attending this summer. I’ve ordered a white and medium purple seersucker and right now am planning to make the circle skirt version without any modifications.

Archer Button Up by Grainline Studio

Archer Button Up–This one I have less distinct plans for. I’ve been dreaming up all sorts of variations on the Archer. My first thought was a half button down, which apparently is called a popover? I guess that explains why I couldn’t find much info on transforming a button down into a half button down when I used the Google to search for tips. But magically today I came across this version from Dixie DIY, which is exactly what I was going for and she has some good links on how to pull it off. Jen at Grainline also has a tutorial on adding a placket to the Tiny Pocket Tank that I might use. My second thought was entirely based on seeing this version of the Archer on Four Square Walls, v-neck without sleeves and with a mandarin collar. Also, check out this version over at Design by Lindsay with the same modifications and elephant seersucker!! I knew I should’ve grabbed some of that fabric when I had the chance. So I have lots of ideas about ways to modify the Archer, but I haven’t ever made one straight from the pattern. I think my first step should be a muslin, possibly a wearable one, and then I can try out some of these ideas.

I’m planning to jump into muslins this week. I’ll make muslins for Minoru and Ginger and probably just a bodice muslin for Felicity. A wearable muslin for Archer will follow as well. Hopefully by the end of next week I can cut into my Ginger denim while I wait for fabric for Felicity and Minoru to arrive. Since I’m planning on a wearable muslin for Archer I’m going to work on the other projects first. Be back with progress photos soon I hope!


Trouble Getting Started

Despite having mountains of fabric and piles of pdf patterns I haven’t been getting much sewing done recently. There are three reasons that I have identified for why I often struggle with getting started on projects.

  • My sewing space is less than ideal. I cut, iron, and sew on the table in our living room/dining room. Things can’t stay set up indefinitely because it’s also the space where we eat and do schoolwork. And the cat has a death wish and likes to eat just about everything, so fabric and thread really have to be put away. This means that every sewing session I have to set up both machines and the ironing board. All of the little tools and the cutting mat need to be unpacked. Then everything gets packed away at the end. It’s hard to take advantage of small bits of time to sew because I end up spending so much of it preparing to or cleaning up from sewing.
  • I get nervous about whether my sewing abilities will do justice to a pattern or fabric I really like. I know the only way to get past this stumbling block is to keep sewing and to do a better job of making muslins particularly when a pattern has techniques I haven’t practiced much.
  • The biggest problem though is that I just have so many ideas that I often can’t decide what to work on first. I know that not starting any projects because I have so many is clearly not the way to get all of them done, but it’s a stumbling block.

The first point I can’t do much about, the plan is to find a place with a permanent sewing area for me when we move in the next eighteen months or so. Other than that I just need to keep making it work. I know what I need to do to solve the second point: practice, patience, more practice, more patience. The third point is the one I can do the most about. And I have a plan.