2017 has been a weird year for me regarding sewing and knitting. On the one hand, I have been super productive: I’ve made many test garments and prototypes for Deer&Doe (including three Luzerne trench coats!), gifts for my family (a second Archer shirt for my sister, a Burda robe for my mom, and even a tablecloth), and lots of baby clothes (the Deauville/Brighton pants and suspenders and the Flax Light sweater have been this year’s MVPs). On the other hand, I haven’t been very motivated to sew for myself. I finished way fewer projects than usual, and published only 13 blog posts this year. I’m not putting myself down though, I know I still have to get used to my new lifestyle which includes spending 4 months a year in France, away from my sewing room, but I miss sewing just for fun. I’d like to experiment a bit more, and take the time to explore techniques or project types I am not used to, without setting hard deadlines or goals. So here’s what I’m excited about for the year to come 🙂
1. Diving into my fabric stash
Over the years, I’ve amassed a sizable fabric stash: I’m counting roughly 50 different fabrics, plus some remnants from older projects, all fitting nicely in my giant Ikea boxes. It’s not really the size of my stash that bothers me, as long as I have the storage for it, but the fact that it’s stagnating a bit. On the one hand, I have a dozen pieces of fabric that I love, but that I’m afraid to cut into in case I ruin them completely. My favorite is this hot pink cotton voile, with a border print including flowers, leaves and random roman coins. I found an off-cut at Toto tissus last year, and of course it would be impossible to get any more were I to mess up, so there’s no room for mistakes…
On the other hand I’ve been clinging for years to some other fabrics, that I like well enough, but that I had bought with a specific project in mind whose pattern+fabric association I’m not excited about anymore. So I’ve been pushing back using them, because I feel stuck, when I could just start from scratch and pick another pattern – I don’t know why, but it feels a bit like admitting failure. Do you get this feeling too?
Anyway this year I’m looking forward to diving head first into my fabric stash and using all of these lovely fabrics, and if that makes some room too, good! Ideally if I could reduce its size by, say, twenty pieces, it would be great, but that’s not mandatory.
2. Taking advantage of my PDF subscriptions
After the fabric stash, let’s talk pattern stash. I subscribed to Seamwork last year when the Elmira cardigan came out, because I wanted to get the front wrap bonus version that I fell in love with… and I never made it. Now every month I get an email reminding me I have like 30 unused credits, and I feel like I can’t unsubscribe because I would lose all these credits (the terrible “sunk cost fallacy”), but so far I haven’t been interested by enough patterns to use them all so I keep paying for nothing “just in case”.
A similar thing happened with the Wear Lemonade patterns: I subscribed for three months (the minimum duration) to get the pattern for the Fiona overalls, and I downloaded all the other patterns that were available at that time. And again, I haven’t made any… well except for the Chiara dress, which annoyed me so much that I never actually finished it, but I’ll post about it eventually.
I don’t know exactly what’s holding me back: a disappointing first experience with Wear Lemonade, bad reviews of the Seamwork patterns read left and right, I guess all of this has discouraged me a bit. I think now that I’ve been sewing for a decade my standards for fit have gotten pretty high, and both Seamwork and Wear Lemonade patterns feel very “ready-to-wear” to me, in that the garments worn by the models don’t fit them exactly right (too big for Wear Lemonade, often too tight for Seamwork), and have folds and drag lines all over the place. However I like the idea and style of many of these patterns, and I’d like to have an informed opinion of them, even if this means unsubscribing once and for all. It would also be a good opportunity to sew a few basic and quick garments and use some more of my fabric stash!
3. Facing my fear of pants
Aside from my Safran jeans and a clown-ish first try when I first started sewing, I have never made a proper pair of pants… and more importantly, I don’t own a single ready-to-wear pair! For years I’ve been wearing jeans only, and I can’t recall the last time I bought an actual pair of pants in a store. Back then, before I learned how to sew, it was really hard to find a pair that would fit both my waist and hips, so I gave up a long time ago on wearing pants outside of stretchy skinny jeans.
Yet I’m dreaming of a high-waisted, wide-legged pair of pants, which would work great with my style: Pauline Alice’s Sorell, Simplicity 3688, or even this pair from 10/2011 Burda magazine. Even crazier, I’d like to make a pair of comfy pants, in which I could sit all day working at my computer, for instance the True Bias Hudson that I got in some PDF bundle a while back. This year is the year!
4. Filling my wardrobe my maxi-skirts and dresses
When I was looking back at this year’s Me Made May, I thought to myself that I wanted to wear more maxi-skirts and dresses. I really enjoy wearing my Fumeterre skirt in the summer: I find the coverage very comfortable, especially when my legs are not spotless, and it creates a very elegant silhouette. This year I also loved wearing my rayon Reeta dress, with its two long side slits, which flows gracefully with each step.
Yet until recently I only rarely wore this length, mostly because my husband hates it. This year I decided to go for it – it’s my favorite silhouette right now. I’ve already sewn a second Fumeterre skirt in red linen for Halloween, and a tropical jersey maxi-dress that I’m looking forward to wearing in the summer. But I’d also love a 100% rayon maxi-skirt, and a floral rayon maxi-dress with a V-neckline, like the ones from Reformation :
5. Knitting a sweater in intarsia colorwork
I’ve already knitted several projects in stranded colorwork (I loved knitting this snood a few years back, and I’m in the middle on knitting the Bubbly right now), but I’ve never really tried intarsia. Last year, my mom made this penguin sweater for my sister and it’s just awesome, so I really want to make myself the same one for the next holiday season. I also really like the Oh My Bear and the Emmanuelle, as well as this lovely minimalistic Panda sweater. Plus my husband, who never wear sweaters, asked me to make him an ugly Christmas sweater for next year – he wants something maybe like this, but worse. Plenty of great options! 🙂
I could keep going on and on, but I should probably stop there… What are you excited to sew or knit this year?