At the beginning of 2020, I began to think about how I wanted to focus my sewing for the year. I have always loved watching everyone prepare their plans at the beginning of the year, whether with a Make Nine grid or some other sewing plan. I’ve tried a Make Nine before, and by mid-year I’d totally changed my tune as to what I wanted to add to my closet, and much of it got left behind! In 2019, I decided to take things on a quarterly basis, and set my intentions every 3 months. While this worked well at first, I continued to add so many things to my plans each quarter that many projects would bleed into the next one, and ultimately I reverted back to my normal day-by-day yet overly-planned 100 makes ahead style of sewing.
So when I started to think about 2020, I wanted to do something that made sense for me, my sewing desires, and my desire to add things to my sewing plans regularly. I recognized that I had less interest in sewing certain patterns than I did in working through my fabric stash, and it hit me. I went to my fabric shelf, and began setting aside different cuts of fabric – some that were just barely out of season enough to have fallen off my priority list, some that were too pretty to pass up but I’d never had any idea what I wanted to sew them into, some that I’d purchased with a clear plan for but never sewn up, and some that had simply become so precious as they’d sat on the shelf that I’d become afraid to finally cut into them!
I pulled out 12 pieces of fabric in total, all with particular seasons or holidays in mind, and began assigning each to a month of the year. I took photos of each, and decided that THIS would be my 2020 sewing plan. Each month, I would kick off my sewing by focusing on that month’s chosen fabric. I wouldn’t start any new projects without completing that month’s stash fabric project, and if need be, I might even set aside a work-in-progress to focus on the chosen fabric! I shared my plans on Instagram back in January, and was excited to see that a few of you guys thought this was a neat plan! It was suggested that I create a hashtag to track my makes, and to allow others to participate, should they be interested, and #MonthlyMakeMyStash was born! It is currently only March, but I am still very much in love with this style of sewing goal for myself, so I’ve actually started using #MonthlyMakeMyStash2020 to delineate this year’s planned makes from next year’s, as I plan to continue at that time!
My first project was a fairly easy and low-stakes one. This fabric from Knit Pop was purchased in September 2018. I always planned for it to become a Toaster Sweater, but it just kept getting pushed to the backburner. My sweet baby girl was born in October of 2018, and once I started sewing again I began to get more involved with some great collaborations with different fabric companies. This meant that some of my makes had soft “due dates,” so this fabric continued to remain low priority.
Around the same time that I started planning the #MonthlyMakeMyStash project, I was also planning to sew a suitcase full of handmades to sew up before leaving for Spain in only a couple short weeks. The Toaster Sweater pattern completely fit the bill for what I wanted to bring on our trip – comfy, flattering, a perfect balance between functional comfort and stylish shape. It was the perfect opportunity to finally prioritize this fabric!
Despite the fact that I wore this 3 or 4 times during our trip, the only photos we managed to get of it were phone photos in suboptimal lighting. While I have shared a few of those over on my Instagram, we decided to get some more detailed and crisp photos of this sweater in Austin when we went for a visit in February!
The Toaster Sweater will always be a favorite of mine. The neckline is so nice, and the mitered corner side slits are such a lovely detail! I won’t go into any deep description of the pattern, as I think we’ve probably all made one by now (this is my third! You can see my others here), but if you haven’t I’d simply recommend that you check this excellent pattern out.
I recognize that it is wild that I’m only just now sharing my January make at the end of March, but you know. Life. I actually shared my March make last weekend (this awesome knit lemon wrap dress!) and I’ll be rounding it out by sharing my February make next weekend! I’m preparing for my April make already, and I’m so looking forward to it. This has been such a cool way to really get me excited again about some of the fabrics on my own shelf, without feeling the need to buy anything new! Now that I’ve shown you all of my plans for the year, which month’s fabric are you most looking forward to seeing as a completed make?!
Sweatshirt: handmade by me
Fabric: Knit Pop – Polka Dot w/ Stripe French Terry (now sold out)
Pattern: Sew House 7 – Toaster Sweater #2
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine
Brother 1034D Overlocker / Serger
Madam Sew 32-piece Presser Foot Set
Schmetz Jersey Ballpoint Needles
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat
FYI – 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
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