Alright! We're going to have another go at this. I haven't made a functional plan since this time last year (I think we can all agree the spring one didn't count), but once I'd got on top of things a little I knew I needed some kind of structure for autumn so I didn't just flail and make, like, a seven-foot viscose jersey mediaeval cape or something.
I bought three new pieces of fabric at the market on Thursday, and everything else is pulled from my stash. Because I've not been sewing much my stash is getting to the point where it's bigger than I'm comfortable with (i.e. two mostly full shelves where I can't immediately see everything I've got) and I'd like to use this time to whittle it back down again. The perfectly curated and themed mini-collection can wait.
What I've done this time, and what I hope to continue to do, is photograph all the fabrics so you can more easily see what I'm talking about. I really hate photographing fabric because it's so difficult to get it looking nice, but slightly crap pictures and a handy visual aid is better than nothing at all, I've decided.
My plans, divided into three vague categories:
I keep having the issue of booking a dinner out with Patrick or with some friends, thinking it would be quite nice to dress up a bit, going to my wardrobe, and realising everything in there is either very casual or very fancy. It's always tough for me to decide against the floor-length version of any given pattern, but I also generally don't want to wear said gowns to the local seafood place. So my plan this month is to make myself a small collection of shorter, semi-fancy dresses that let me feel like it's a special occasion without going overboard. This is what I have:
This is one of my Walthamstow picks from last week. It's a little bit outside my usual realm but I really love the combination of muted sea green and bright-ass orange, and I could instantly picture it as a just-above-the-knee wrap dress. I haven't yet decided if this is going to be my first attempt at a shorter Elodie or if I want something with flutter sleeves.
You might remember this from my April fabric haul. I've used most of it on a maxi dress (which is almost finished), but I think there's enough left to squeeze out an Anna bodice/Butterick 4443 skirt dress, like this one. I think that would be super useful for spontaneous date night-type things.
Yep, still haven't cut into this. I've been holding out for a giant maxi dress, but am now thinking it's not meant to be. I've made nothing but maxis these past couple of months, and this has gone untouched because I can't come up with a maxi dress pattern that makes sense for it. So I'm going to set my mind to a shorter, more casual evening dress (date night at the gastropub sort of thing) and then work out what to do with the other two or three metres of it.
This fabric is effing beautiful in person, and making it into a dress depends on my working out what to do with that print. As you see it's enormous - each panel is about two feet long - and I don't want to chop it up (it was, for me, fairly pricey and I couldn't afford enough of it to do multi-panel pattern matching), but it's also not a fabric that I think would lend itself well to heavy gathering. I would love any suggestions!
A pair of somewhat slimmer-leg trousers
I have been wearing wide leg trousers almost exclusively for several years. I've made a few pairs of slimmer leg ones, and I've always run into problems with them. Usually the issue is that if I make what looks like a well-fitting pair when I'm standing up they strain over my thighs when I sit down, and if I make them with enough room to sit down comfortably in they look like they're the wrong size when I stand up. I want to try again and see if I can get there. In an ideal world I'd be working with the block I made in class last January, but I've been struggling to get my head round that so if I see a random pattern I like I'll run with it. I've got the below weighty paisley viscose to toile them with; I bought it in a panic a while ago when I wasn't sure I was going to find what I was looking for and I'm more than happy for it to become toile fodder.
A pair of cords
This is the one thing I don't have fabric for. and thus may not happen. I have been wanting a pair of cords for years but every pair I make sits in under my belly in a way that makes me uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I still want them. If I manage to make the above trousers work I will order myself some corduroy and have another go.
A pyjama set
Now that we're in a place to be able to travel long enough distances to stay overnight with friends, I need something a little bit more co-ordinated to take with me to sleep in. I have three metres of this grey floral jersey (this is a particularly bad photo and I apologise) and I'm going to make two of my TNTs - the trousers of the Closet Core Sallie and the Gertie cropped sweater as a T-shirt.
An autumn maxi skirt
In London at the moment it's both definitely not summer anymore but not really the colder months either, and I've had no idea what to wear. So I've been wearing the same two things on rotation, which never makes me feel good. I bought this bright yellow midweight viscose with a pseudo-animal print on my most recent trip, and I'm going to make an altered version of the Deer&Doe Fumeterre, probably with a lining so it won't stick to tights.
Things I do not need but am making anyway
Baby's First Corset was on my resolutions list for this year and I still really want to give it a go. Because I've had trouble getting my head around it my intention is to just buy a kit - Sew Curvy has a kit for a simple black underbust corset with all the materials included (including extra stuff to make a toile with, which is a great idea), and my plan is to acquire and make that. I'm hoping to get a sense of how difficult it is to fit a corset, how easy/annoying the process is, and whether this is something I'd like to continue.
A dress for my lizard brain
Walthamstow also had this on Thursday:
That is raspberry leopard velvet and I absolutely do not need it but my lizard brain screamed until I bought it. I'm not a hundred percent sure what it will be yet; options include the Anna/tulip skirt dress I used to make all the time, a cowl neck version of the Named Ruska dress, Simplicity 8380 or some version of Butterick 6621. Essentially I want something I could conceivably wear to drink whisky at a burlesque night. Edit: after I wrote this whole plan I actually booked myself into a burlesque night so the dress will have both an occasion and a deadline. End of September for the leopard dress!
Whatever I can work out to do with this
I would really like to use this, because I love the substrate and the colour so much. I was pretty sure I was going to end up caving and making a full-length evening dress, but then I realised that the combination of solid colour and slight satin-like sheen to the fabric would make me look like a bridesmaid. And now I can't work out what it becomes instead. Do I make a shorter dress? Is it weird to have slightly satiny trousers? Would it work as a maxi skirt or would that still look like I'd removed the top from a bridesmaid's dress? I want this to be in my wardrobe and not my cupboard, so I WILL find the solution to this over the next couple of months.
This plan is, I will accept, slightly more chaotic than usual. I don't usually allow myself so many "well, I don't know which pattern yet, but..." projects, and I can only submit that I have a few definites to get me started and then a bunch of things I'm actually quite excited about. I'm excited to wear all these fabrics, and by all these fabrics I don't just mean the raspberry leopard velvet but the raspberry leopard velvet will get much higher priority than it should. It's sitting opposite me as I write and I just keep... looking at it. Ahem. Anyway.
Up next: a few miscellaneous jersey projects!