Monday, 25 May 2020

sewing plan: summer 2020

It's a time of Extreme Planning in Casa Slapdash. I am planning the shit out of absolutely everything. We finally have some hope that we'll be able to buy our own place next year, and I am making plans to make moving out of here as easy as possible when the time comes. But with equal vigour I'm also planning all of my daily and weekly activities, my meals (this is WAY less organised than it sounds, I'm very bad at food), the setups of my mood and habit trackers, my prospective new hobbies, and my new burlesque routine where I strip out of a leopard-print onesie to Taylor Swift's version of Macavity. I literally have no idea if I'm kidding. And also, of course, I'm planning my sewing.

(This was the worst film I've ever seen and I will see it many more times. On purpose.)

So... is a sewing plan a good idea right now? Is trying to plan anything a fool's errand? Maybe. But there have been multiple times in the past where I've tried to "give myself a break" by not planning, and it never works. I know this all sounds like I'm doing way too much but it is honestly the kindest thing I can do for my rambling anxious brain, even if the plans have to change frequently. I'm feeling better and more in control than I have for ages. So we're going to carry on and do this, and see what happens. I am going to judge myself not one bit if this goes wildly off-track.

This is going to be a slightly weird plan because my ability to buy fabric is very limited right now. Things are much more expensive online than they are at Walthamstow Market so my usual budget isn't going to go nearly as far. I'm definitely not going to get three months' worth of summer sewing out of it. I've tried a few ways of breaking it all down, and I think I'm going with: seasonal stuff that I can wear right away but might have to buy fabric for; unseasonal stuff that will help me work through my stash; and toiles for things I may as well try out now. And also a bonus "probably not" category because it seemed wrong to leave it off entirely.

Here we go!


Remakes of my two dying Kielo dresses

This obviously depends on my being able to find the correct fabric, but this is going to be a priority as far as directing money goes. As I mentioned in my last post, my green and stripy Kielo dresses are perilously close to the end of their lifespans and I'm not prepared to have a wardrobe without those two dresses in it. I'm especially concerned about the green one - relying on website photos for accurate representations is dicey at the best of the times and somehow always worse with green, so I'm not sure how easy it's going to be to get what I want.

Something chambray

So I ordered what claimed to be a piece of indigo chambray to make a Zadie jumpsuit, and what has arrived is... not indigo. It's not so far removed from indigo that I could have a feasible claim of misrepresentation, but it's far enough away that I don't want to wear it as a jumpsuit. I don't think I want to wear it as wide-leg trousers or a maxi skirt either (it's just a bit too 70s), which has left me a bit stumped. But as it's one of the few pieces of seasonally appropriate fabric I do have, I would like to use it. I'll see what the summer pattern releases are like.

A black summer dress

There were three patterns I really liked from the new McCalls collection (best hit rate in some time), including a strappy dress with a leg slit. I'd need to modify it a bit to get rid of the cross-back straps and I'm not entirely sure it'll suit me, but it's been a while since I've been excited about a woven dress pattern so I'm going to jump on it (when the print pattern is released here, anyway). I don't have fabric for this but I'd like black or black background.

Not seasonal

An unnecessarily fancy dressing gown

I've decided to use my five metres of blue silky viscose on an extravagant robe, and if I can fit it on the fabric it's going to be a floor-length version of the Victory Patterns Trina dress. (The first time I made it I had mere scraps left from 4.5m and the second time I had a decent chunk left over, so we'll see if I can Tetris something together.) I've put this in the unseasonal category because it's not exactly summer sewing, but I think we can all agree there is no wrong time for this sort of thing.

A cowl neck dress

I have this piece of black sweater knit that can only be a cowl neck dress. I've asked four people and they've all said that without being prompted. The problem is, I can't find a cowl neck dress pattern I like. There are surprisingly few of them out there at all, and the only one I've tried is the Sew Over It pattern which made me look like a pillowcase. My current thought is that since there seem to be a few tutorials for cowl necks out there, I'll just go back to the thing where I treat the Named Ruska dress like a knit block and try and modify it to have a cowl. I'm not going to be too upset if this doesn't work, but I will be effing delighted if it does.

A cross-front top

I'm not really sure what you call this - it's two pieces of fabric going across each other but it's not a wrap or a surplice. I saw one years ago that I really liked the look of, and one of the new McCalls patterns appears to be the exact thing I'm after (and also truly impressively WTF in the other views, I'm totally going to have a go). I'm going to make a test version in black jersey, and if it works I'm going to make a second version in the teal sweater knit Patrick's mum gave me for Christmas.


Yet another goddamn leather jacket test

The third pattern I liked from the McCalls collection was... a moto jacket that looks very much like the kind of thing I've been after, and even though I've been burned so. many. times I'm still tempted to give it a go. This time I won't use faux leather to start with, I'll dig something out of my stash to mock it up. Possibly something incredibly ugly so that I already know in advance it won't work and my hopes won't be dashed a fifth time.

An Alice top

I harvested the Sew Over It Alice top when I had that month of Stitch School membership, and I really want to try it out. I'm not even sure why. I'm convinced that either it will be unwearable or it'll be a work top that's too low cut to be worn at work. But for some reason, I want to know for sure. It comes with multiple cup sizes and I'm definitely curious to know whether that's been done effectively. I'm going to make it in a cheap purple jersey I bought for this purpose ages ago.

Probably not

A swimsuit

This was explicitly on my resolutions for this year, and part of me still wants to do it, but it's vanishingly unlikely I'll have an opportunity to wear it this year and I just... don't know if I'm going to motivate myself to make something so complicated and difficult in order for it to sit in a drawer for a year. I'm putting it on here, because I still might, but I'm absolutely not going to mark it as a failure if I don't.

Something else I want to try this summer is writing a couple of sewing-related posts that aren't "here's something I just finished" or "here's a properly thought out sewing plan". I used to do this back when I was literally getting zero pageviews per post and this blog was for nobody but me, and I think it's still something that would be useful to me once in a while. I stopped because I became convinced that non-garment posts would be wasting the time of people who read here regularly, that they would be annoyed to see that a given new post was not a pattern review and I should do whatever I possibly could to not be annoying to these hypothetical people. It's a weird thing that I've been trying to deal with for a long time (there are online communities that I've read every single post in for years and never made a single comment myself because I'm too worried about the response), and I'd quite like to get over it. This seems like a small but important place to start.

I'm hoping to get some sewing done this week and have a post ready for next Monday. I've cut out another Wanted maxi dress in black, which would be extremely helpful to have right now if I can get my head round it, and I still have a couple of things from the last plan to finish. I've also managed to almost completely overhaul my sewing area so that it's a much nicer place to be. I am still putting off sorting through That One Drawer. You know the Drawer. I don't want to do it. I think a goblin may have manifested itself in there.


  1. Yay for more posts! You have a lovely humorous style that is fun to read, whatever you're writing about. I'm tempted by that McCalls moto jacket too... and I've never thought those are my style.

    1. Thank you for saying that, I appreciate it! I'm so hopeful for this jacket and yet also... so tired, so jaded. Fingers crossed, anyway!

  2. Would love to see more posts, whatever they may be about. Would this post help on creating a cowl neck- or back (I want one of these but my back is too horrible to reveal)

    1. That's exactly the sort of thing I was after, thank you!