May 9, 2011

Summer sewing plans

At the moment, it seems like we, in the Netherlands, will skip spring altogether this year. We went from cold winter-on-its-last-legs to summery warmth in what seemed like just a week. So, if you wondered why I never formulated any spring sewing plans, there's one of the reasons. At least that cold I had last week is almost gone now.
The other, maybe even more important, reason is that I find it hard to communicate my plans. Because I make my own patterns, my sewing plans can be pretty changeable right up to the moment I start drafting. Of course, that hasn't stopped me from sharing my plans before but it adds an extra challenge.
I'm not good at sketching. I usually draw a few rough lines with the aid of a technical croqui. I can make proper technical drawings in Illustrator but that takes a lot of time. Time which, at the moment, I either don't have or would rather spend sewing.
I have also learned, by reading other blogs, that some people a
re put off (put off commenting or even put off reading) by bloggers who make their own patterns. They feel kind of left out because even if the garment makes them think "I want one of those" they can't get the pattern. I can relate to that, but not so much that it makes me change my ways. As much as I love getting comments, I don't think anything could make me give up on drafting my own patterns. I will, as I have before, try to make how-to's of those projects which don't really require personalized slopers or advanced pattern making skills. It's a lot of work, but I think it is also a nice way to share some of my projects (and I especially love it to hear back from those of you who used my how-to's).
When work gets a little less busy, I am planning to make a tutorial or a (on Burdastyle) downloadable pattern of the loose fitting top I made recently.

Well, on to those plans then. I addition to the issues I raised above, I also think it is almost impossible to do any justice to a piece of fabric in a photograph. However, these are four fabrics which I intend to use soon.

From left to right, the blue and white print is fairly stiff cotton. It is actually a kimono-like garment, put together from narrow uncut lengths of fabric. I plan to make a fitted dress from it, but I don't have a sketch I'm really happy with yet.

The second one is a dark blue silk blend of which I want to make either the jumpsuit sketched on the right or a complete rip-off of that YSL one.
The two other sketched jumpsuits are more hypothetical. There's a 50's-style playsuit which might be nice in cotton or linen. And there's a rather serious pattern making challenge: a jumpsuit in which one would use a fold in the fabric to close it and bring in the shape.

The third fabric is a textured cotton I bought last year, with a bold print. I want to make another big skirted dress from it. I know I probably already have more 50's dresses than I need, but I love them and I think such a design would suit this fabric very well.

The fabric on the right is a slightly heavier beige cotton. I want to make trousers from it. One pair high waisted with straight or wide, long legs, the other one belt pleated and tapered with a front fold which is also used as the closure (sorry, no pictures).

As usual, there are many more things I would like to make, several of which I need in my wardrobe more than any of the above and added to that there is stuff I promised to make for other people. So, we'll see what gets done. But these are all things I want to make. What about you? Do you plan by chaos theory, like me? Anything you're specifically interested in right now?


  1. I plan by happy intersection of flashes of inspiration and patterns and fabric I already own. For example, the last thing I made was not the sort of thing I usually make, but came about by virtue of the fabric it was made from, which I already had stashed in a cupboard. What can you do with butterfly-patterned voile other than make a floaty summer dress? So that's what I did. You can see pictures of it here:

  2. Jumpsuits, crazy! Can't wait to see these sewn up.

  3. I love seeing your self-drafted creations and come back to your blog time after time specifically for that reason. It's nice, of course, to be able to recreate something from a pattern but individual creativity is inspiring! I have to finish a project before thinking about what to make next - otherwise I get distracted!

  4. I love to see what you create. Very inspirational. I would prefer it if I could make the photos larger so I could see up close your great work :-)

  5. I TRY to plan, but my plans are always much more ambitious than what I have time to complete, I'm very slow at sewing. The availability of fabric is also a major factor. I can envision a project but that doesn't mean I'll be able to find the fabric of my vision.

    I'm nowhere close to being able to do the type of pattern drafting that you do, but I still enjoy reading about it as I'm interested in the process of creating.

  6. I enjoy reading about your pattern drafting! It inspires me to have a go myself on occasion.

    I normally plan way too far ahead and then change my mind when a different pattern or piece of fabric catches my eye. At the moment I am mainly starting from patterns, but I usually have more success if I start from fabric and match patterns to it. Maybe it's time for some rethinking.

  7. I usually have a fabric that speaks to me, and I hunt around for a pattern until I find one that I think will work. Very occasionally, I find a pattern that screams to me and I just pick a fabric out of my stash to make it up in to see if I even like the pattern's end result. I very rarely acquire a pattern and fabric at the same time.

    Right now, however, I have noticed a gaping hold in my wardrobe for plain skirts that I can wear with patterned tops. So I actually bought some very subdued khaki, denim, and olive materials to make some high-waisted pencil skirts out of to fill that hole. I bought fabric with a little stretch, which is new for me, and high-waisted items are also pretty new for me. We shall see how this goes.

    I love seeing the things that you make patterns for specifically because I don't see that many places. I would love to see more photos of what your pattern shapes turn out to be. I really ought to redo my sloper and start patterning again.

    Thanks for updating!

  8. I really like that you draft your own patterns. I get a lot of inspiration from what you create and am hopeful that my skillset will improve over time so that I can do it, too. I'm just over the moon when you post a tutorial, but I know all the time and attention it takes to do that, so it's just a nice little gift when it happens. :)

    I'm Ms. Planny McPlanner, so I've got a hitlist each season of what I intend to sew. It helps me stay on-target and not overbuy for the stash. Although, working down the street from one of the largest fabric stores on the west coast makes that a little more challenging... LOL

    You are SO going to rock that jumpsuit! Although it's not a style that would look good on me, it'll be fabulous on you!

    BTW: Just so I can chime in about it, I enjoy all of the old magazine pix/commentary you've posted lately. It's always interesting and even if I don't post a comment, I really like seeing them.

  9. Your designs are really interesting and the fabrics just lovely. Looking forward to checking in on your progress.

  10. I enjoy seeing how you draft and sew your garments. The process is fascinating and helps inspire me to draft more, or at least frankenpattern and alter existing patterns. I love how unusual many of your garments are and how well they fit and suit you.

    I tend to plan sewing projects in the short term. A specific fabric, a garment that can't be bought, or an urgent need all lead me to new projects. Right now I'm playing with repurposed embroidered trim and gauze for a peasant-type blouse.

  11. I love seeing the clothes you have drafted yourself - I don't see why you should feel obliged for others to copy what you've done exactly, you are totally inspiring anyway! I'm currently developing my drafting skills, and have only made a couple of things so far, but it's great seeing your clothes as they give me something to aspire to.

    Do you do all your design by flat pattern drafting? Or do you ever combine it with draping/modelling on the stand? I ask as I've recently started learning how to drape on the stand and I would be interested on whether and how you combine these two methods. Thanks!

  12. I love reading about bloggers who do their own pattern drafting! I love the drafting process, and am completely self taught. Please don't stop inspiring us! Like you, I find that I have a design in my head, draft it, and am in the process of making it when I decided that some design element needs to change right in themiddle of it-so blogging about a plan in advance doesn't really work all the time. I save up my posts till the project is done, then I blog about it!

    Wyld Woman