June 23, 2014

A Rough Guide to Sewing, Or: My 2014 Plan.

Well, it's my plan for the latter half of the year. Originally, I was going to post this on Saturday, that being the first day of summer, but in order to make it in time for the Franken-Indie contest at the Monthly Stitch, I needed to put up my plaid dress then. (And, by the way, you can vote for it (and two others) now and through Friday the 27th, 5 pm Pacific, if you'd like. If you do vote for me, thanks in advance--I appreciate it.)

But my sewing plans. And this is largely a post (with no pictures) for my benefit--both to help me remember/organize my thoughts, and to perhaps keep me a bit more accountable by having publicly written them down.

So. I started with a rough plan for summer, born largely out of my continued desire to get rid of things. This summer--from June 21 to September 21--I'm focusing mainly on getting through my stash. I won't get through all of it, certainly, but it's that fabric that I want to use up. Especially since I know exactly what it is I want to do with a lot of the fabrics I do have stashed. In many cases I even have the pattern. I just haven't gotten around to it.

During the same period (June 21 to September 21), Sally at the Quirky Peach is hosting a stash-busting challenge. I'm tempted to join, because it's fairly likely I'll wind up coincidentally following all the rules anyway--but the reality is that, while I've gotten a lot better in the last few years about not buying fabric, there are still a couple of kinds/pieces I'm always looking for, and if I ever run across those, a purchase will be made, stash rules be damned. And it's also true that a number of the fabrics in my stash are no longer appropriate for the things I want to make, and that some of the things I want to focus on making in the next months, I have very few fabrics suitable for. And so, because I don't like the idea of potentially breaking the rules of a voluntarily-imposed challenge, I'm not signing up.

Speaking of the no longer appropriate fabrics--some of them I still do love, though maybe not necessarily for me. So, for several pieces, I've given myself a deadline: if I can manage to use them this summer, fine. But if I haven't used them by September 21, then I have to get rid of them.

This summer, in addition to trying to whittle down my stash, I want to focus on separates I can wear to work. Mostly blouses/shirts, but there'll be a few skirts, too, because I already have the fabric for them and (finally) know what to do. I have a bunch of button-up shirt patterns I want to try--plus Simplicity 3260, which I'll probably continue to work on. (And, for undershirts, I have a bunch of old T-shirts that I need to either convert into tank tops or get rid of already.) I have a few stash fabrics earmarked for sundresses, too, but those probably won't be a priority.

Also, in July, I'm taking part in Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition at Skirt Fixation, so I'll be working on my project for that in the coming weeks, too. I'm thinking of it as sort of a mini sewing contest--the contestants only have to sew one thing, which is good for me; I couldn't manage the outfit-a-week (or even one item-a-week) pace that I've seen elsewhere. It's a month-long contest, four contestants each for five weeks (that's twenty total), and there'll also be a sew-along/link-up each week. (I'm in week two--linen week.) This'll be my first time as an official contestant in anything sewing, and I have no idea what I'm doing--but I'm also very excited for the whole thing, and to see how it all turns out.

Annnd also in July, probably mid-month, I've decided to put some of my no longer worn me-made garments up for sale. I'll probably do a post here featuring all of them, and then list them on Etsy. Hopefully I'll be able to pass a few on to good homes--where they won't just stay at home in the closet, but will actually get worn out from time to time.

So that's summer.

Beyond summer, I've got less of a detailed plan (and no, I did not include all the details above). In the fall, I think I am going to try making jeans. But that's not anywhere near set in stone.

At the beginning of October (if not earlier), I need to look at everyone on my list and decide whether I'm making Christmas presents this year or buying them, and if I'm making them, what to make. And then get started on them right away, so I can hopefully already be done, or at least close to it, by the beginning of December. Not that I have other plans, sewing or otherwise, for December, but I'm such a last-minute person, and it's nice not to be rushed.

Also, by mid-October, I'd like to have finished the green crochet cardigan I'm working on. (At this point, when I say working on, I mean I did a couple gauge swatches a few months ago and that's it.) The last thing I crocheted, I tried to do one row a night before bed, and also worked on it during monthly staff meetings at work, and it didn't take too long. I'm not totally exited about working on a fall/winter garment at the beginning of summer, but if I start (properly) on it now and go at that pace, I ought, maybe, to be done around the right time to actually wear the thing. And I've been really, really wanting a green cardigan for several years. I'm sure once I get going, I'll be more excited.

This is more of an ongoing thing (although realistically, the sooner the better), but I'd also like to make a few more slips. I like wearing slips, and I hate it when I don't have the right color one--even more so when I don't have the right length. I've been wearing skirts and dresses less in the past year or so, and I think that's probably a trend that will continue, but I still wear them sometimes, and I still need slips. And possibly some other me-made underthings.

Finally--if Rochelle and Tasha host Fall for Cotton again this year, I plan on participating, too. (And if not, I'm sure I'll find something else to amuse myself.) Earlier this year, I signed up for the Vintage Pattern Pledge, and have thus far sewn only one pattern of the five I pledged to do, so I need to get on that. I'll continue participating in the Monthly Stitch--when the challenges suit me. As for other sew-alongs and challenges... I guess I'll decide when I get there.


  1. Replies
    1. Ha, I'll definitely need it; I've not gotten very far yet. I'm going to try doing monthly check-in posts to see if that helps me stay organized and on track.

  2. Hi Sara, I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award (although I wasn’t really sure if you may already have a nomination). I am a recent reader of your blog and I love your vintage approach to style. You have some lovely makes!
    Read my reasons for nominating you on my blog: http://carolinejoynson.blogspot.co.uk/

    1. Thanks, Caroline--I'm really flattered by it! Not sure if I'll follow through this time (I did just do a Liebster a few months ago), as it's such a big stressor for someone as shy as I am. I'd like to, but... we'll see.
      Congratulations on your own nomination, too!