Monday 13 March 2023

sewing plan: spring 2023

Hello! Life got away from me! You could probably have predicted! You probably couldn't have predicted that I would end up enjoying the improv course so much that I signed up for another one, but that is what's happened. It turns out I really like being able to say random shit in a scenario where everyone else just has to go with it. 

Anyway. Spring. If you've been here a while you're probably sick of me saying that spring is the hardest season for me sewing-wise, but it's still true. Spring is essentially meaningless here in terms of type of garment - winter coats and tights are equally as likely as sleeveless dresses - so historically where I've got tripped up is thinking that I ought to have a 'spring palette' in terms of colour and print. Even though I dislike the way spring colours and prints look on me. 

What I'm going to try this time is a small plan, using fabric and patterns I already own as far as possible. As you will see, it's surprisingly purple. I'm not sure why this is. 

Practical things

A maxi skirt

I currently own three maxi skirts, all of which are the same pattern (the Deer&Doe Fumeterre, one actual version and two of my modified versions), and I'd quite like to try something else. I have the Sew Over It Haxby pattern from when I signed up to their Stitch School for a month and harvested all the patterns, and some extremely busy purple viscose, and we're going to see how it goes.

A pair of trousers

I have been sitting on 2m of lavender wool crepe forever, knowing it needs to be a pair of trousers but never finding the right pattern. I have two patterns I want to try out: the Sew Over It cigarette pants and Vogue 9181 Custom Fit bootcut trousers. I'm going to make trial versions of both before I risk cutting into the lavender. The trial fabric for the cigarette pants is also purple. 

Shorts to wear over tights

I mentioned in this post that I was planning on making some Chataigne shorts for colder weather, and I'm considering two different fabrics. My mother-in-law sent me 3m of bright mustard suede for my birthday and I am thinking about using half of it for the shorts and half for an as yet unidentified skirt (see below). I also have 3m of this black check 100% wool that I got from Walthamstow; I bought it to make trousers but it was the end of the bolt so I have more than I need, and I have to decide if I'm making one wider leg pair of trousers or narrower leg trousers and a pair of these shorts. 

A shorter skirt

This is the one item on the list I don't have a pattern in mind for, but it is something I've recently found a need for. Partly because I now have a knee-length winter coat and the maxi skirts look silly under it, but also because I've really been feeling the need to switch things up. I've been scratching the itch with one of my old mini-length tulip skirts, but I'd like something a bit more tailored to my current preferences. I'm after something reasonably fitted that doesn't look like office wear, preferably with some kind of interesting design detail, and if I've not found such a thing by next month I'll go with my backup option of a Cashmerette Ellis skirt. 

Impractical things

A hooded velvet dress

The January pattern on Gertie's Patreon was this insane velvet witch dress and I love it. I'm not going full witch for my first attempt (though you know I will eventually if I like the result), but it is still very silly to make a wine-coloured velvet dress with a hood for spring and that will not stop me. I'm going to make the knee-length version, probably with short sleeves, so I can get a sense of how the bodice and the hood will look. 

A slip dress

This isn't necessarily impractical, but it's not quite practical either, so I'm putting it here. About a month ago I made a trial run of a silk cami top, the now-unavailable free Pauline Alice Bailen, and while I don't like it very much because I think it sits weirdly on me, it did get me to a place of feeling a bit more confident with the bias cut silk. I started looking for a simple bias-cut slip dress pattern with cup sizes and found almost nothing (apparently pattern companies would rather just all offer the exact same things and not try to fill gaps in the market?), but when I asked for suggestions on my Instagram stories someone told me that the ubiquitous M6696 shirtdress pattern also includes a slip with cup sizes. So I have bought a shirtdress pattern, much to my amazement, and I will be trying out the slip. Not the shirtdress. Never the shirtdress. 

A velvet bodysuit

When I decided to make the Murder Dress, I convinced myself it was okay to make something spectacular and very impractical because I would still have half the fabric left and I could make something a tiny bit more wearable with it. I am not doing that. Instead I am making Vogue 1923, which is another fancy off-the-shoulder garment. I'm now working on convincing myself that it totally is practical because I can wear it with trousers and that will somehow dress it down several notches. Because we're nearly halfway through March I'm already almost done with this one (of course I started with one of the impractical projects) and I'm really pleased with how it's looking. 

This is as much as I'm going to plan this time. I have several other things in my head, but either they don't have a fabric/pattern match or they're quite involved, and I don't want to commit to things like that when I've been struggling for time and motivation. It's a seven-item list, and with the need to make trial versions and a potential second pair of shorts it's almost a regular length of plan for me. I've also decided that I don't have enough to say about the rest of my unposted projects to give them their own posts, so expect a random assortment of stuff in one scattergun post within the next couple of weeks!