I have been mulling over my 2019 sewing plans for weeks now—even while I was planning out my end of 2018 projects, oopsies! 2018 was a great year to kickstart my sewing and get introduced to the wild, wonderful world of sewing Instagram. I realized very quickly, though, that I needed some constraints and guidance on my sewing projects, or else I would just be making things that I don’t need more of in my closet or that are replicating skills that I already have a handle on.
I love the idea of the “make nine” that is favored among sewists in the IG community, but that’s a *little* more constraint than I’m looking for. How am I supposed to commit to a pattern when so many good ones are consistently being released?? (Incidentally, after l listened to the Love to Sew Podcast with Gretchen Rubin, I learned that I’m an Upholder, which means that I’m probably more likely to continue sewing a pattern that I didn’t care about anymore just because I *said* I’d do it.) Instead, I decided to go with a monthly theme going to pick twelve items to make in 2019—one item per month that checks a box on a skill that I want to learn or hone. Today I was finally ready to literally put pen to paper (an important part of the creative process for me—my plans need to be written on an actual piece of paper!) and decide on my monthly themes:
- Jeans (Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns)
- Pattern hacking (Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated)
- Activewear (Avery Leggings by Helen’s Closet)
- Swimwear (Vernazza Two Piece by Friday Pattern Company)
- Accessories (Portside Duffle by Grainline Patterns)
- Collars (Perkins Shirt Dress by Ensemble Patterns)
- Buttons (Roberts Collection Jumpsuit by Marilla Walker)
- Denim (Ottoline Jacket by Merchant & Mills)
- Pajamas (Carolyn Pajamas by Closet Case Patterns)
- Outerwear (Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns)
✨ Frosting ✨ (TBD)
I think most of these themes speak for themselves (jeans! bras! swimwear!), but some themes are a little more vague than others (buttons? denim?) because really I was just trying to fit in a specific pattern that I’ve always wanted to make. For example, I’ve been wanting to make a Roberts Collection Jumpsuit for ages because I love a good momiform, and also because I love following Marilla Walker on Instagram and seeing all of the craft skills she picks up like it ain’t no thang. The Hinterland Dress by Sew Liberated is a fan favorite and has also been on my to make list, and I’ve got fabric and a vision for a hacked version coming up in February (if only the inspiration had come in time for the Hinterland Sew-off last year…). I don’t have a pattern in mind yet for my December project but I want to make some frosting (see here for explanation) in time for the holidays. I also have a couple of other quick palate-cleanser patterns in hand that I’ll sew up this year, though I really do want to stick to only making a handful of items and instead focus on improving my skill set.
I’m also trying to overcome some sewing obstacles this year with my planning. One of my biggest obstacles (if not THE biggest) is that I hate fabric shopping. There, I said it! I really like to go in person to buy fabric, but the best fabric stores in the Bay Area are about an hour away from home and not great to drag my kids/husband to. Since I’m still learning about fabric content, weight, etc., shopping for fabric online can be paralyzing and intimidating when I’m working on certain projects that require specialty fabric, but in person I can make up for my lack of knowledge when I can actually touch the fabric. I chose projects like swimwear and activewear with that obstacle in mind—there are so many great small shops online that carry performance fabric and curate their selections very well so that the process is painless. I’m hoping that I can overcome my fear of/annoyance at online fabric shopping this year, since it seems very silly as I’m writing it out 😂
On that note, another obstacle I want to overcome is not tackling a project because there are too many parts involved (I’m looking at you, bras and jeans). In reality there aren’t that many more notions in those projects than there are in a typical sewing project, but gathering all the parts seems like a pain. Thank goodness for kits! I bought a Cone Mills stretch denim kit from Closet Case Files last fall (and the Sew Your Dream Jeans course!) which has gotten me pumped for making jeans this month. My plan for my bras this spring is to buy kits from Emerald Erin and Madalynne, and once I decided to do that the fear of bra-making sort of dissipated.
There you have it! Now that I’ve written all of this out, you have to hold me to it 😉 Do you like to plan out your sewing goals, or do you just like to wing it as you go along?