Tuesday, 4 August 2020

plans: August sewing, fabric acquisition and thinking about autumn already

So, let's try this text post thing! 

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm planning to get a small amount of sewing done every day this month in the hope of getting back into a flow. Four days in it's going fairly well and I'm reminded of how easy it is to turn ten minutes of sewing into an hour, and then how much it's possible to do in an hour. I've gone back over my summer plans and cut out the most complicated things and the ones that need the most supplies, so my revised plans for the rest of the summer are as follows:

Blue floral Trina robe
Green Kielo dress remake
Black Sallie jumpsuit (Minerva project)
Black hoodie made from the remnants of the jumpsuit fabric
Ruska cowl neck pattern, if not the actual dress

I think this is probably about a month's worth of work, especially as the Minerva jumpsuit is almost finished (would be completely finished but I'm out of elastic and there is currently nowhere selling both elastic and even one of the other things I need to order, for some reason). If I make anything else it'll be probably be jersey-top-from-a-remnant level. 

I don't need to buy anything other than notions for the above, but if I'm able to keep daily sewing up this week, I'm planning to treat myself to a trip to Walthamstow. My stash is less than half what it was at the beginning of the year, and I've bought less fabric in the whole of 2020 than I did in December 2019 alone. I've got through all the expensive fabric bar my two sentimental pieces, I've used almost everything I've bought this year, and everything except the pile of lining fabrics now fits in my fabric box. It's now at the point where I only have about four non-lining non-odd-sized-remnant pieces left and I don't know what to do with any of them, so if I want to have an autumn sewing plan I'm going to need to go shopping. I haven't been on the tube since the second week in March so I'm quite nervous about it, but I would really like to go back to the market and see how everything is right now. I know several of the stallholders and shop owners to chat to, and I've spent the last five months worrying if they're OK. It would be nice to know for sure.

Going fabric shopping for my autumn plans means I need to think about what's going to be in said plan, and I'd quite like to use it as an opportunity to do some experimentation. I resolved at the beginning of the year to try out some of the patterns that have been lurking in my stash for years and I really haven't got very far with that, so this might be the time. I don't need anything right now other than a couple of pairs of jersey lounge trousers that can pass for actual trousers if I need to run to the shop, and I have at least a dozen patterns I liked enough to buy or download. I have these six Named patterns, for a start:

(The first four are from the book, the fifth is the recently discontinued Astrid Wrap Pants, and the last is the Anni building block pattern.) I'm definitely not going to get to all of these in the next few months, but eventually I want to try out all six. I particularly want to try more stuff from the book, as making the Ruska dress nine hundred times isn't enough to justify the £25 I spent in the first place. First stop will probably be the V neck cocktail dress, as that doesn't require me to alter the neckline, can easily be mocked up in whatever random fabric I have lying around, and will let me get in some V neck practice. 

The other thing I want to focus on for autumn is getting a really great pair of trousers. The pair I wear the most is my blue McCalls 7726 and I still really like them, but they are a bit limiting in terms of what I can wear them with. If the top isn't form-fitting and either able to be tucked in or super cropped, I'm just swamped. I look like a floating fabric ghost. I want something fairly fitted, with a neat waist, that manages not to restrict my thigh spread. Because I'm basically snowman-shaped (small waist, big hips and bum and belly and thighs), it's hard to find anything that looks right. I want to try some of the patterns I already own and also see if I can do anything with the block I made. 

If all goes well (i.e. I'm able to sew lots this week and Walthamstow still contains a reasonable amount of fabric), I'll be back at some point towards the middle of next week with a progress update and a fabric haul. Fingers crossed!


  1. I can't wait to see what you find! also really curious to hear how the Named patterns muslin out- I had decent success with the Ruska, and then I tried the Utu Pinafore and it fit horribly; had to make so many adjustments (I know they draft for a taller woman than me, so I added height, but had to take it back out, and I tried to blend out a couple sizes bigger at the hip but it took a couple tries before I figured out ALL the extra inches had to be added to the center front, not the back or side seams...) I'm hesitant to try the other fitted patterns because I'm worried their block just isn't for me. But maybe it was just that one pattern...

    1. Now you say that, I'm realising that I've never made a woven Named pattern that wasn't a robe and don't really have any idea as to how they fit! This might be more of a challenge than I originally thought...