I was absolutely certain that this season was going to be a great one for sewing. I didn't make a winter plan so wouldn't be rushing to finish anything, and I would have lots of time to plan and workshop and come up with a dozen or so projects that would really work for me and my wardrobe. Finally, I would succeed at spring. I even wrote a whole introductory paragraph in advance for this post about how great the plan I hadn't yet come up with was.
Obviously that hasn't been the case. Partly that's because of life and the world; I'm struggling way more with the tail end of lockdown than I anticipated, we still don't have a bed (the ten week lead time has turned into four months and we still have a month left to go), the previous owners did something weird with the boiler meaning we had only lukewarm water during the cold snap, all of which has left me in a mini-depression that will hopefully start to clear up come April. But it's also because I don't know how to plan three months' sewing without being able to see and touch fabric in person. I don't mind buying a small amount of fabric online when I know exactly what I'm doing or see something that particularly inspires me, but that doesn't work for a whole season.
I've also spent the past several months working on projects for Minerva almost exclusively, which hasn't been great for me, and as of last week I'm no longer working with them. The partnership was great for me when I was just writing blog posts for them, but their format has changed and the last thing I need right now is another social media account, particularly one I'm obligated to update and engage on.
All of which means I don't have a complete plan yet, and I don't even have a first completed make of 2021 yet. I got most of the way through making a birthday Magnolia dress, but the fabric just isn't working for it (ordered online, wouldn't have bought it in person) and I'm not sure I can persuade myself to finish something I know I'm not going to like. Beyond that the only sewing I've done this year has been mending existing stuff and whipping up a couple of basic tote bags, and honestly it's making me quite sad. I'm really hoping inspiration strikes soon.
On with my vague semblance of a plan:
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm planning to make all of the curtains for the new house and I want to start this as soon as possible. We haven't yet started buying fabric but we've agreed on the ones we want for three out of four of the rooms (I have something very specific in mind for the fourth and it appears to not exist, so I'm going to need some time to get over that and move on). In order of priority this is what we're looking at:
Living room (velvet)
Sewing room (cotton)
We are not subtle people.
I have never made curtains before in my life but am assuming that with a basic tutorial it won't be too difficult. I want to do these well because my mother-in-law will be inspecting them (not because she's awful, she just really likes curtains. And makes all hers on her hand-cranked 1896 Singer, so puts a lot of stock in precision).
For actual garments, I have no firm plans right now. I'm dividing my thoughts into two categories: fabric I already own (that you'll have seen before if you've been reading here a while) and would like to do something with; and garments I'd like but depend on me having seen the colour/drape/feel of a fabric in person.
From the stash
This one is driving me crazy. I've had it for so long and I'm dying for it to become something I can wear, but nothing seems right. A jacket is still uppermost in my mind, but I'm having trouble figuring out something that won't be redundant. I have a lot of jackets.
I thought I was going to use this for another trial run at modifying the Ruska dress into a cowl neck, but I've now come to the conclusion that it's too thick and not drapey enough. Plan B is a sweater of some kind, and I'm on the lookout for one that won't require a neckband (the fabric unravels easily and produces a lot of long tails).
This one would have been the centrepiece of my whole plan had I been able to go shopping properly, and will probably be what I think of when I am allowed to return to the market. I have five metres of this and haven't decided whether I use it all for a maxi dress or divide it between two garments. If I were to make it a maxi, it would need to be one I could wear in spring/autumn without looking out of place. If I were to make two pieces, it would most likely be either a shorter dress and jacket or a maxi skirt and crop top.
Ideas I need fabric for
A light knee-length coat
I want to try Simplicity 8554
again, but in a lighter material with more drape and with welt pockets instead of side seam pockets. This is something I would absolutely need to see in person; the colour, the weight, and the drape all need to be right.
A pair of trousers
I have been having so much trouble with trousers. I live in my 7726s because they're the only pair of actual trousers that don't pull tight on the thighs or sit in under my belly, and I honestly just don't want to be wearing such a wide leg so often. I think my best bet here is to return to the idea of working on my block and make a few pairs in the same fabric until I get the fit down. I'm hoping this will be easier now that I have a sewing cupboard and my drafting stuff is more easily accessible to me.
A maxi dress for spring
Regardless of what I end up doing with the linen mix above, I want to have a go at the Cashmerette Upton expansion pack and make a maxi with longer sleeves that I can reasonably wear in April. I'm most concerned with finding the right colour and print for this one; casual non-summery fabric that also fits my style has historically been a pretty tough one for me.
Because I've had to temporarily lift my rules on planning (i.e. I need to have both the fabric and the pattern for the majority of my plans when I make them) a lot of this will be subject to change. When I can finally go fabric shopping in person again I might be inspired to make a completely different set of things, though the final three projects are legit wardrobe gaps and I will make all of them at some point when I find the right stuff. The most important thing is that I find a project I'm excited about and get things flowing again.
I have a few posts planned for the next month: a couple of toiles (one of which is a very small dress, so I'm really hoping it warms up a bit!) and a first update on my sewing room progress. That should take us through to April when hopefully things will start to look up a bit. If anyone has any advice on how to get out of a can't-touch-fabric slump, I would be very grateful!