Monday 21 August 2017

sewing plans: autumn 2017 (peacock edition)

I'm posting this slightly early because I want to go about it slightly differently this time. I've found my last couple of planning posts haven't been that helpful; I commit to things I don't have the patterns or fabric for and get stressed out when I can't find them, or I write the plan in a panic and realise a few weeks later that I don't particularly want or need any of the things I talked about.

I didn't sew anything at all in July this year, and I wondered for a couple of weeks what the problem was and where my sewjo had gone. Partly it's because I wasn't home that much - we were on holiday, then I spent nearly a week with my parents and several days with Patrick's parents - but once I started planning for autumn and got all excited, I realised that I didn't want to sew any more summer clothes because I was happy with what I had. I was done. My Kielo dresses, Sallie jumpsuits, Webster dress, Lupin jacket and Vogue T-shirt dress carried me quite nicely through the summer, everything was cute, coherent and put together, and I didn't need or want any more summer clothes. It was refreshing.

What I want to do for autumn is come up with something a bit more defined and a bit more thorough. I'm going to work to a theme, have as many pieces work together as possible, and plan a lot more things than I usually do. I already have the fabric and patterns for almost everything in the list (besides the maybe pile, which is why it's the maybe pile), and I'm running with a peacock theme for the season. I have two pieces of actual peacock feather print fabric, but mostly I'm looking at a blue-gold-green jewel tones palette with navy and black neutrals.

This is what I'm planning between now and the end of November:

Statement pieces, AKA Literal Peacock:

- A peacock print raincoat. I bought some amazing Liberty laminated cotton from Dragonfly Fabrics, and I'm going to make a Sewaholic Minoru from it. I've never had a bright or printed coat in my entire adult life, but I'm really excited to make this one.

- A peacock print fitted skirt. My mum bought me a piece of peacock print stretch cotton, and the colours are saturated and beautiful in a way I can very rarely find. I have a Butterick skirt pattern with a high waist and back princess seams, and if my toile works that's what this fabric will become.

Wardrobe staples

- A pair of trousers. Since I made my Flint trousers I've found that I'd quite like to be wearing trousers more, but they're the only day-to-day pair I have. I'm planning to make the Sewaholic Thurlows, but this is the only planned item I don't yet have fabric for. Ideally I want a deep mustard-gold colour, but I will go with olive or burgundy if I can't find that.

- A long-sleeved top. I recently found the Kittenish Behaviour vlogs on Youtube, and she made the Vanessa Pouzet Wanted top. When I saw it I bounced up and down and bought the pattern immediately, even though my French is rubbish and I can't really read the instructions. Fitted jersey tops that don't just look like regular T-shirts seem to be almost impossible to find, so I really hope this one works for me. If it does, I'm planning two - a black sweater knit one and a green one.

- A navy jumper. Almost all the jumpers I currently have are very close-fitting, and I really need a jumper I can use for layering over dresses and tops in colder weather. I have some navy anchor print sweater knit and I'm going to try sizing up the Concord and putting the neckline from my favourite RTW jumper on it.


- A Shakespeare print dress. With some of the money my grandmother left me I bought two metres of amazing blue Liberty fabric. The standard Liberty prints aren't my thing at all, but this one is a waves-and-constellations design with Shakespeare verse imposed on top of it (the fabric is called Tempest but the verse is clearly from Romeo and Juliet, which honestly kind of annoys me. It's good job the fabric is so beautiful). I'm thinking it's going to be a Sewaholic Cambie dress, since I keep meaning to make another.


- A wedding guest dress. I have a wedding coming up in October, and I promised the happy couple I'd make a new dress for the occasion. I'm going to use this an opportunity to force myself to cut into some really expensive purple silk double crepe I've been hoarding for a while, but I haven't decided which pattern to use. I'd like the dress to have a bit of flow to it, but the fabric is really narrow, so I might need to experiment a little bit. I'm certain I must have an appropriate pattern somewhere in my stash.


- A winter jumpsuit. This has the potential to look completely horrendous on me, but also I really want it, so I'm giving myself permission to spend money on something that might be terrible. I'm going to try the jumpsuit version of Vogue 7626 in teal corduroy, and if it works it's going to be the best thing ever. If it doesn't, I'm going to hate it. We shall see.

- A lace dress. This is going to be experimental in two ways: one, I've never worked with lace before; and two, I have my doubts about the pattern. I bought the Papercut Patterns Kobe dress as soon as it came out based on the sample photos, but the more I look at the sample, the line drawing, and other people's finished photos, the more suspicious I become that that pattern can be used to make that sample dress. But as an experiment, I'm going to try, and I'm going to try in semi-sheer fabric just in case that's what reveals all the beautiful layers in the sample. I don't think it will, but I'm doing this for science.


- A dressing gown. After over a year of talking about making one for my boyfriend, I've finally bought the fabric. We gave up on finding silk in a print he loved, so it's going to be Tana lawn. I've bought four metres of multicoloured paisley on a cream background -  it's entirely insane and it's perfect for him. I have a Butterick pattern to use but I'm not willing to cut into £90+ of fabric for an untested pattern, so I'm going to make a toile out of Patrick's old duvet cover and make sure I can do it justice.

If I have time

- A knee-length coat. I like the coat I made in January, but with the clothes I'm currently wearing most I could really use a longer one. I'm thinking about attempting the Leanne Marshall Simplicity pattern I discounted last time, since I don't particularly need this one to have a functional hood. Ideally it'll be bright blue.

- Some lingerie. I'd like a couple of slips and to attempt making a pair of knickers just to see how easy it is, but this is right at the bottom of the pile.

That's about a dozen things, which isn't unrealistic but also might take me well into December and January to complete, which is fine. I'm going to seize this moment of being inspired to make lots of things and temporarily able to afford a lot of nice fabric, plan a lot of things, and take as long as I need to do them. My plan is to update monthly on how things are going, and once I've got through most of it decide whether this worked as a strategy (and move to a twice-a-year collections kinds of thing) or whether I need to come up with something else. Time will tell!

This time we're ending with the gif:


  1. SO many things on this list sound AMAZING! Peacock jacket? Wanted tee? (I've been eying that pattern and lusting after it.) I hope you enjoy sewing up your list!

    1. Thank you! If you need a little push towards the Wanted top, I've just made a toile of it and it's fabulous!

  2. Sounds exciting! The peacock print coat is such a good idea. Good luck with it all.

  3. Ooh, I like your list and LOVE that peacock coat idea! So cool. Am also upset about that Liberty fabric, I mean it's a British company for goodness sake, they should know better! They just wanted to use that raging rain storm design so much but there are great passages to use from The Tempest too. I wonder if there were any complaints? I agree with you about that Papercut pattern, the back of that sample dress makes no sense when compared with the dress sketch. That is not the same dress. Perhaps it was from a prior draft? I will be publishing my Fall/Winter plan soon.

    1. ...I complained. It's the most ridiculous email I've ever sent, but for £22.50 per metre they really ought to have put a modicum of thought into it. I got a response saying they'd pass my feedback on to the fabric department, and then explained to me what "Tempest" means. Sigh.