After only really starting to sew my own clothes in 2020, I am going in to 2021 excited to continue to learn new sewing techniques, try out different patterns, and continue to work with amazing fabric. When I first discovered the sewing community and indie pattern companies, my creations were a little all over the place. Granted, I’ve never been able to really establish a singular sense of style; however, I am approaching 2021 a little more strategically. As I continue to learn what I do and do not like, what makes I wear weekly and which ones sit in the back of my closet, I feel myself getting closer and closer to defining a style, or at the very least, figuring out what styles I’m drawn to.
My primary sewing intention for the year is to just continue to learn as much as I can. I’ve recently re-discovered Craftsy (formerly Blueprint) which has loads of sewing tutorials, videos, and practical help. So far I have approached sewing as a means to an end, or a finished product. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the process, and don’t cut corners (that much..), but many times I find myself kind of just winging it – messily increasing seam allowances along the hip or waist lines, not really knowing how to properly sew darts, etc., etc. These are all fine really, especially as I am relatively new to this and learning as a go. But this next year I do want to properly learn to sew a dart and make it part of cherishing the process. Last year I sewed ~40 garments, this year I want to sew less finished projects, but continue to practice and learn new techniques.
I am a definite seasonal/semester planner. Living in the the Northeast, we get extremes on both sides. Plus, I am an emotional dresser – my mood largely dictates what I wear and the seasons have a big influence on this. In planning what I sew, I so far have created spring/summer plans (spring doesn’t really exist here it’s kind of just a weird transition between snow and cold and warm and humid characterized by lots of mud), fall plans, and winter plans. I do currently have a couple of items planned for winter, but for my larger yearly sewing goals I have chosen 9 items that I am very excited about because they challenge me in a unique way, or are somehow new to me.
Seamwork released the Campbell late last year, and in the month of January, they are hosting a sew-along/class to sew the jumpsuit. Therefore, this jumpsuit is the first sewing project I am tackling and it is currently 85% complete on my sewing table. It’s sewn up in a very soft linen blend and accented with floral prints. This is my first button up style jumpsuit/flight suit. The side pockets are also a first for me, resting on the inside but visibly stitched on the outside. I sew this linen jumpsuit as the snow piles up outside, realizing it is completely seasonally inappropriate. However, it has me dreaming about spring and summer days that will hopefully involve visiting friends and family.
2. Scrappy Top
Over the past several years sewing my scrap pile has exploded. Many of my scraps found a home in my Closet Core puff; however, the pile continues to grow. Additionally, some of those scrap pieces are absolutely beautiful and deserve to be showcased rather than stuffed in a bag. I’ve recently been inspired by Christi Johnson’s scrap projects featured in Seamwork, and stories I have been reading in Threads of Life about patch-working, embroidery, and applique. Patchwork clothing appears to be a recent trend as well; though, I would argue it’s pretty timeless. My first job to tackle is organizing my scraps – they are somewhat organized by size but I tend to keep long tails of fabric which just get in the way. The pattern to be used is TBD, but some potential options include: the Wilder gown, Ashton top, or a self-draft top or dress.
3. Knitted Hat
For Christmas I was gifted a beautiful ball of wool from a local yarn shop, needles, and instructions to make the Barley hat from Tin Can Knits. This is a free simple hat pattern, that was suggested by the women at the shop to be a great entryway into knitting. Tin Can Knits has some great beginner friendly resources and blogs that will surely help. I am very intimidated by knitting – all the different types of needles, yarn weights, terms, etc. I am hoping this will be a simple enough entry into the craft as I do really want to learn to knit.
The Jasika Blazer has been on my list for a long time. This past fall I ordered several velvet fabric swatches from a variety of fabric shops before settling on a velvet blend from Minerva Crafts. I also purchased a rayon bemberg lining fabric, shoulder pads, bias tape, and all the notions – I was READY to go. The fall semester got in the way and I put aside this big project. As I go into 2021 this is one of my bigger projects to learn new tailoring skills and slow down. I will likely have to muslin the blazer as well (something I never like to do, but alas..)
I first saw this pattern mentioned in Sally’s (Modista Sewing) Make Nine 2021 post and was immediately intrigued. It has all the vintage feels, and beautiful silhouette. I realize this may be a challenge for me – I have only ever used one Big 4 pattern years ago and it was a rough experience. I am up to challenge for this one though, and also am considering a muslin. This dress also gives me an opportunity to play with print, which I have not been doing recently. I can picture it in a floral rayon for instance which makes me very excited.
This is another pattern that has been on my list for some time. Like the Jasika blazer, I was ready to make this one in the fall. But, working from home life is not very conducive to tight fitted pants and so I put it off. Instead, I made the Pietras and Lander pants, both of which I love but don’t often wear given their tightness around the waist. Yes, I realize the same is true for the Dawns, BUT – there are just too many raving reviews of this pattern to not at least give it a try. At the very least I expect to learn a lot about jeans fitting, which are skills I can take into my future sewing.
7. Bodice Sloper
I have recently gone down a rabbit hole of pattern making. Making my own patterns that fit my body, in any design I can dream – sign me up! Yes, that’s a bit of a fantasy at this point and I have a long way to go, but I am entirely intrigued by the thought of pattern making. I have been taking a Craftsy class with the famous Suzy Furrer on creating a bodice sloper. She has a series of videos up with hours of content on making a moulage and sloper based on your measurements, manipulating darts, making sleeves, creative necklines, and designing your own clothing. As I write this I currently have a pretty good bodice sloper (blog post to come soon) and am playing around with dart manipulation.
My wardrobe does not consist of any good workwear. Granted, as a graduate student I sit in my little lab space cubicle with minimal social interactions; however, I realize I need to step up my game a little in this department. The rachel top represents my leap into a nice fitted collared shirt. I want to experiment with both more structured cotton/linen tops, and also more drape-y rayon tops for this pattern. I can picture it being quite the TNT in my arsenal and am excited about getting the fit of this one right.
This will be my next knitted project after the hat. I have been dreaming of knitting my own sweaters for a long time now and will be starting with another freebie from Tin Can Knits – the Flax Sweater. This is a very simple knitted sweater, but in my mind opens up all the possibilities to knitting!
I know that I will be making more than 9 items this year, so here are a couple of others that I am excited about. Some of these are TNTS and/or fill the loungewear WFH needs at the moment. Others
- Seamwork Mel joggers
- Seamwork Joss pants (because of course I could use more elasticated waist pants in my life)
- Seamwork Shelly leggings (a TNT and loved make)
- Pussy Bow Blouse (Sew Over It) (another venture into making work-wear)
- Kalle shirt (Closet Core) in a cat print from my stash I’ve long been admiring
- Ogden dress (True Bias) for the summer