Wednesday, March 5, 2014

spring sewing: a plan

How can I call myself a blogger if I have never done a wardrobe planning post with carefully curated photos of all the beautiful stylized garments I want to make and wear for the upcoming season? I've never even been to the Polyvore site, whatever that is. I must be pretty damn narcissistic if I just want to clog up my blog with photos of stuff already made by ME. 

Sewing plans and personal style analysis have been the rage among other bloggers (example), but that takes thoughtfulness and care. Lord knows my sewing to date has not involved much of either. I'm usually just like, "Oh, a new Grainline pattern release? That'll do, pig" and then I make 200 versions and consider myself a superhero.

But my style is changing and so is my lifestyle, so I'm finding myself stuck with patterns and fabric that I don't want to sew but with no real idea of what I do want to sew. I had a full day where I could work on projects for myself, but I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO SEW so I repaired my friend's pants and then washed a sink full of dishes instead. wtf. So, I thought if I actually did some research and set some guidelines, I would always have something in the queue and I would be less likely to feel uninspired. I should plan my fabric and notion purchases ahead of time so ripe sewing time doesn't turn into ass-numbing-TV-watching time due to lack of ideas or resources.

Anyway, get to the point. Here are some things I want to make for the warmer weather:

1) Cropped Bomber Jacket

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It's on everyone's to-sew list this year: a Rigel Bomber from Papercut Patterns. I got it for Christmas! The fever spread ever since Sophie's polka dot version debuted and the crowd went wild. I look better in jackets that have a more defined waist, and I've gotten a lot of mileage out of a secondhand cropped bomber jacket I bought a few years ago, so I think I'm gonna chop off some length from the Rigel when I make it, probably even shorter than the ones above. Deciding on fabric is the hardest part. Is a denim bomber jacket unacceptably 80s?

2) V-Neck Tops

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I think everything I make is either a collared shirt or a scoop-neck knit top/dress. I tend to avoid v-necks, I guess because they're harder to sew, but I need more tops and I need more variety in my life. I figure I can adapt a pattern, or find one, to make a drapey v-neck with a buttoned front like these.

3) Shirt Dresses

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How cute is Paunnet in her sleeveless Bleuet Dress? The contrast collar is killing me. I also stumbled across this new Salme buttonless "shirt dress" pattern. It seems very simple and fun to sew, though I'm worried about swayback adjustment issues since I don't think there's a waist seam. I wish Salme showed their patterns on real people. I think it's holding people back from trying them!

4) High-Waisted Shorts

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Err this is a big maybe. I haven't worn any kind of shorts in public in YEARS. Too self-conscious. But now that high-waisted shorts are trendy, this helps the pear shapes among us. I would never wear them as short as pictured, and I'd have to be really careful about fit and fabric, but if I can find the right pattern it could be liberating. Speaking of Salme, their Paperbag Waist Shorts look fantastic laying flat... but again they could look disastrous on a full-hipped lady like meself.

5) Bags

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For normal use I just want a bag that is big enough to carry money, phone and keys but still has a shoulder strap, so it's not as awkward as a large purse to tote around at house parties and bars (I live a rowdy life). I'm wondering if I can find a clutch or wallet tutorial and add my own strap. Conversely, I also want to make a bag that's large enough to pack clothes for traveling. I don't own a functional duffel bag, so packing for overnight trips has been a head-scratch. The one pictured above, which is Kelli's awesome It's a Cinch bag, probably isn't big enough for packing clothes, but her use of fabric and detailing is what I'm after. I'll probably make Grainline's Portside Travel Set because I hear Amy Butler's Weekender Bag makes for a stressful sewing odyssey.

6) Springy Sweaters

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I didn't mean to choose two yellow sweaters to feature but it must be my winter-induced Vitamin D deficiency speaking. I'm so happy I can incorporate sweaters into my handmade wardrobe now! I'm pretty obsessed with Knit York City's version of Amy Christoffers' Faro Pullover sweater. I stared at the instructions all day today and am still unsure I can tackle it. Pipe dreams! Its lacy details and elbow-length sleeves have me believe I can wear it in in warmer weather. Andi Satterlund's Marion cardigan also uses worsted weight yarn, but has cropped length and cropped sleeves so it seems suitable for spring. I think I need help with the order of construction for her designs, too. Ugh learning curves.


I feel better already. Of course I will sew other things not on this list (I have unrelated pattern testing and blog tour garments coming up!) but it's helpful to have some more direction so I never decide to WASH DISHES instead of sew (or knit) ever again.

Are any of you planning on tackling the same types of garments or patterns? Do you have any pattern recommendations for my list?