At the end of each year, I like to make a little sewing plan for moving forward. I first started this with the classic “Make Nine” format, but found that when I chose to focus on making a specific pattern, this usually led to me giving myself permission to shop for new fabrics for the pattern rather than finding something in my collection that worked well. I decided a few years back to shift my focus to choosing fabrics I already own and planning to make something with them in the coming year. I’ve tried a couple of different approaches to this, and this is the 2022 Version!
Back in December, I went and sat down in my sewing room, staring straight at my giant fabric shelf. I’d just made a big fabric purchase, and realized I can hardly fit the new cuts on my shelf and something had to give! While I do think I will eventually have to admit that some of the fabrics I own no longer suit my style and need to find new homes, I also have SO many beautiful cuts that I truly want to wear! So I took the time to choose 12 fabrics, think of a pattern that I wanted to turn it into, and match those to a month of the year. This gave me time to think ahead – did I want something to wear on Valentine’s Day? Great, that could be my January project. A new birthday dress? Perfect – I’ll plan that for July so it will be ready come August 10th! At the end of the day, I was so excited about my plans!
Doing things this way takes the pressure off for me. I don’t feel guilty about new fabric coming in by continuing to participate in partnerships with fabric shops or pattern companies, and by choosing just one pre-assigned project each month, I shouldn’t ever feel like I need to choose between fulfilling the plans I’ve made for myself or participating in other partnerships. So far, this has been a great plan and it is working out so well!
My January and February makes were more practical / comfy options. I chose to sew up a mauve colored french terry in January, planning for a comfy cozy Valentine’s Day in. In February, I sewed up a cut of iSee Fabric french terry in a really fun greenish yellow shade called “mellow” with St. Patrick’s Day, and general house lounging, in mind (oops… realizing I’ve never gotten around to posting those. someday soon!). I’d been so excited to sew and wear these comfy, cozy fabrics but March was when things really kicked into gear with a cut of fabric I’d been too in love with to cut into!!
I fell in LOVE with these stripes when the Warp & Weft line was originally released back in 2020! We were well into the pandemic and I remember correctly, maybe just reaching a stage where things were starting to open again and people were starting to go out into the world masked? Every single one of my favorite online shops had sold out of this, and I thought I was doomed… Until my desperate search led me to discover a fabric shop about 25 minutes from my house, literally RIGHT on my drive home, AND they had this (and the entire warp and weft line) in stock! I reached out, and they kindly prepared my cuts of fabric and had it ready for me to pick up with minimal interaction at a time when I was very nervous to be venturing into a store. The fabric is so special and beautiful that then I was too afraid to cut into it, after such a long search, and it lived looking super cute on my shelves until I FINALLY did the dang thing in March!!
I think I had the Jessica Dress in mind back when I originally purchased the fabric – if not right at that time, I’d decided on it shortly after. Guys, I have been SO prepared – I purchased the pattern and had it printed from a copy shop in July 2020, and it has been just sitting and waiting for me. I’m thrilled that I finally made the move. This fabric is amazing – it is a fairly loose weave, and it is yarn-dyed so you get the same beautiful colors on both sides. The texture is incredible and it is so lovely to wear on a hot summer day (it was about 90’F in these photos, and we spent all afternoon in the sun!)
When I measured myself for this dress, my measurements put me in a size small based on bust but medium based on waist. As I’ve stopped nursing, my chest is only further deflating, so I was afraid that doing a solid size medium was going to leave me with gapping in the bust. I chose to grade from a size small bust to medium from the waist down… But I will be honest, I now wish I’d gone with a straight medium. I felt like a not cute girl in a cute dress on this day! My hair was wilder than usual, I’ve still got more baby weight than I’d like on, and I feel like that was accentuated by the fact that the bust of my dress turned out tighter than expected. It doesn’t feel tight when I’m wearing it, but it certainly looks tight and there is pulling along the button placket. I think some of this may be due to the looser weave of the fabric, but in any case I’ll size up next time.
My reflection in the mirror before we went out on this day just kept saying “Yikes. You could do better.” This was further compounded after seeing these photos later in the day – these photos were taken on my iPhone rather than the usual camera, and they are real life pictures of me and my family enjoying beautiful weather on a lovely day in our fun downtown that we love so much, rather than the more purposeful posed pictures I usually take. But you know what? We had FUN. And in the end… isn’t that what it is really all about? Trying to remind myself to love myself just as much as I love my dress today!
Dress: handmade by me
Pattern: Mimi G – Jessica Dress
Fabric: Stitch House Texas – Ruby Star Society / Warp & Weft Yarn Dyed Cotton – Jubilee in Sprinkles
buttons: Pigeon Wishes – Resin Shirting Buttons in Mystic Meg (purchased at Blackbird Fabrics)
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
Prym Sewing Machine Needles
Gutermann Sew All Polyester Sewing Thread
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! Both the pattern and fabric used in this garment were purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth