Happy March!! I’ve decided that this year, as a way to step back and recognize what I’ve made and make sure I’m on track with some of my sewing goals this year, I am going to do a little recap blog post every couple of months! I’m really looking forward to these! If you follow along with my stories on Instagram, you may be familiar with some of my plans for 2019 sewing. In 2018, I found myself with a huge running list of things that I planned to make. By this time last year, I probably had 30 things on my list spanning all the way out into December. I constantly found myself in this weird place where I was constantly adding to my list while being annoyed with myself for not getting to everything that was already there, afraid I was missing out each time a new fabric or pattern would catch my eye, and guilty for not using the fabric and the patterns I already had on my shelf. I realized that while I love the planning part of the creative process almost as much as I love the sewing itself, I may have been causing myself some unnecessary anxiety with my long running list of to-dos.
So to combat that, I’ve come up with a few goals for myself this year!
1 – At the start of every other month, I am going to pull fabrics from my shelf with specific projects in mind for the next two months.
2 – I’ll limit my plans to 8 makes or less for each two month period. This will give me a little bit of wiggle room is something too tempting to pass up comes along!
3 – I’m going to batch cut my projects, when possible. I’ve never been into batching my projects, but I do find this to increase my efficiency for two reasons. First off, I don’t like to abandon projects midway through, so having things cut out will make me far more likely to stick to my sewing plans, since the first step has already been initiated! Second, I can sew while wearing my girl in her baby wrap or baby carrier, but I cannot cut with her there. If I take the time to cut my projects out early on, I can take advantage of the few minutes here and there when my best buddy will tolerate a trip to the sewing room!
4 – I am going to limit my fabric purchases and commit to working through what I already have on my massive fabric shelf! I’ve decided that I can only purchase a cut of fabric once I’ve either sewn 2 cuts of fabric I already own, or destashed 5 cuts of fabric! (That said… Watch my Instagram for a destash sometime soon!)
5 – I am so lucky to be involved in lots of great partnerships with fabric companies and pattern designers, and I want to be sure that I don’t make my personal rules so rigid that it rules out fun collaborations! I’ve decided that goal number 4 above will only apply to actual fabric purchases, not fabric received from any partnerships. However, I’ve also made it a goal to say no when I need to! I’m a people pleaser, and I love being involved in everything! However, in order to maintain my sanity and make sure that I’m not sacrificing the quality of my makes, I want to make sure I’m only saying yes to things I love this year. The same goes for fun Instagram challenges – if it fits my plans, and I have fabric on the shelf for it, count me in! But I’m also reminding myself it is okay to stay on the sidelines and enjoy seeing what everyone else creates – who knows, maybe I’ll be inspired to add something to my next round of sewing plans!
I started putting these goals into action as soon as the new year started, and here’s a little rundown of how my first two month segment turned out! Not all of these have hit the blog just yet (a few haven’t even really been photographed!), so I’ll include links to full posts where applicable and do my best to remember to add links in as blog posts go live for the other garments, so that you can read more about them in detail if you’re interested!!
This aligned so well with all of my goals. I was chosen to help test this pattern in late December, so I was able to add this to my January sewing goals before the month began. I batch cut this, along with three other projects, before I jumped into any sewing this year. This was the perfect opportunity to use a fabric that had been sitting on my shelf for well over a year, that I didn’t have a clear plan for prior to this pattern! I’ve been pleasantly surprised about how often I reach for this skirt – it filled a gap in my closet that I hadn’t recognized!
I chose this fabric back in September as part of a collaboration with So Sew English fabrics. I knew it would make a great sweater, but I had no particular pattern in mind when I picked it! My baby was born in late October, and all sewing got put on the back burner – leaving this fabric untouched on the shelf. I loved my first Tabor so much that I wanted another, so these stripes finally got their moment! This was part of my early batch cutting, and I’ve enjoyed having this sweater in my closet. It’s not my favorite or most reached for sweater, but it does get worn!
I have the pleasure of doing a quarterly partnership with Stylish Fabrics! I had chosen this fabric at the end of 2018 with a plan for a wrap top dress in January, but I ended up falling in love with the idea of these tie-dye leggings. These were included in the batch cut, and I’m so happy with the end result. I practically live in leggings right now, so this was a fun but practical make for me.
The Lodo Dress
I can’t believe I let this fabric sit on the shelf for so long! I’ve been in love with it since I found it online, and actually planned to sew it into a Lodo Dress while I was pregnant! By the time I got ready to cut it out, though, my belly was pretty big and I wasn’t sure this scuba has quite enough stretch to accommodate me, so it got pushed back to the bottom of the pile. This was the last piece included in the batch cutting. I’m so glad that I finally sewed it up, but I have a few fit issues I’m going to have to work out before I sew up any more Lodo dresses!
This was one of the makes I was most excited for in this time period! I didn’t get to cut this out during my batch sewing binge, because I’d ordered this from Blackbird Fabrics during their boxing day sale, and it hadn’t quite been delivered by the beginning of the year. However, because this was a fabric I’d ordered before I’d set my 2019 goals, I went ahead and considered this to be fabric from my “stash,” rather than a newly purchased fabric. I’m crazy about this jacket, and I love that the color matches pretty much everything.
The Cactus Dress
This dress was NOT originally included in my Jan / Feb plans. A lovely pattern designer reached out to me to try out the pattern prior to release, and as soon as I saw the pattern I knew I had just the fabric on my shelf for it! This also gave me the opportunity to participate in #SewFloralFebruary! I can’t wait to show it to you guys once the pattern is released! Admittedly, the final product may be better suited to autumn than spring (the fabric even has Autumn in the name!), but it turned out beautifully and I finished the dress exactly one year after purchasing the fabric!
The Nikko Top
Maybe the most “boring” thing I’ve ever sewn, but also maybe the most needed and versatile! I wanted a black turtleneck all through the winter months, but I didn’t want to buy one and didn’t know if it was “fun” enough to make myself. So when this fabric was available through my collaboration with Minerva Crafts, I took it as a sign. This was one of my planned makes for Jan / Feb, but also not included in the batch cutting as I had to wait for it to arrive from Minerva. This has only been finished for a couple of weeks, but I’m already so glad that I made it.
The Bella Wrap Top
This was another partnered make with Minerva Crafts, and honestly a bit of a fluke! I had been hoping to make a Bella Wrap Top using another fabric in my stash, leftover from my Kielo Wrap Dress. It was perfect that it would also tie in to the #SewTwistsAndTies challenge! However, when it came down to it, I didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern. I had already print, cut, and taped the pattern, so I was bummed that it wasn’t going to work out this month! I originally chose this fabric with another Toaster Sweater in mind, but when it arrived I realized it was going to work out perfectly with my Bella pattern. I wore this top out the weekend after I made it, and I love it, but I’ve decided to add a little bit of topstitching before getting final photos!
The Adrienne Blouse
I was shocked when I finished my planned January and February sewing before the end of the month! I bought this fabric from IndieSew after sewing up two stash fabrics in January, with plans for an Adrienne Blouse to wear on St. Patrick’s Day. I’d been planning to include this in my March sewing, but when I had a little extra time available, I decided I’d go ahead and get a jump start on it! It is SO pretty, and I’ve fallen in love with this pattern.
And now for the numbers…
- Garments Sewn: 9
- Planned Garments: 7
- Unplanned Garments: 2
- Sewn from Stash Fabrics: 6
- Sewn from Collaboration Fabrics: 2
- Sewn from New Fabrics: 1
On top of all of that, I was able to participate in 4 fun instagram challenges: #SewFancyPants, #SewMyStyle2019 Activewear Month in January, #SewTwistsandTies, and #SewFloralFebruary!
I really like how this helped me plan out my makes without getting off-track and distracted by all the shiny, pretty new things that pop up constantly! I’m already working on my March / April makes. I’ve been so lucky to be asked to participate in two really cool collaborations in these two months, and I’ll be making multiple items for each partnership, so I don’t think I’m going to end up pulling much from my stash this period. Instead, I’m focusing on pulling out some patterns that I’ve been holding on to for quite awhile now!!
What do you guys think of this recap style post? It’s a little different from what I normally do here. Leave me some feedback!!
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I love this blog post and it really resonated with me! I agree with batch cutting! It really helps because you can start on a project when you just have a few minutes! I am with you on de-stashing my fabrics!
Hi Elizabeth! I liked this post. It’s always nice to see how others approach their makes. I’m finding that nowadays I have a lot more planning time for sewing vs actual sewing time, so I’ve had to change my methods a little too. P.S. your sewing assistant is super cute! x
LOVE that green, what type of fabric is it? Also, where can I find that Bella Wrap pattern?
Thank you! The Bella Wrap Top can be purchased from Rosy Pena Patterns. The details of both the pattern and the fabric are always included in my blog posts about the original item – if you search for the poses on either of those, the details and links to the patterns / fabrics will be there! If I remember correctly, the fabric of the green top is a cuprous blend of some sort!