How I Plan My Garment Sewing

I have a strong inner nerd, who loves to plan, sketch, dream and consider the possibilities before narrowing it all down. I love taking inventory of what I have and looking for holes to fill with my garment sewing and knitting…I LOVE filling a need. In my wardrobe, in my life, in my work.

So, once or twice a year I take an inventory of what I have, pass along what no longer fits or appeals, and list what is left, by category. I’ve spend some time working through programs like Colette Pattern’s Wardrobe Architect series (blissfully done) and defining who I am and what I like…how I like to present myself in the world, what feels empowering for me to wear. I refuse to wear anything that makes me feel frumpy or doesn’t spark joy in dressing.

Consistently…I love to wear jewel tones with a few dusty mauves and golden, dark mustards thrown in. I’ve been working towards more mustardy or greenish blue layering pieces to work with my mostly jewel toned dresses. Oh, and dresses, I love to wear dresses, the fit and flare variety or occasionally stretch pants with a short skirt or tunic overtop. With lots and lots of layers. Come summer I’m disappointed in my limited layering options.

I am not a fan of anything fiddly or that cuts into my body…like jeans. That also often eliminates skirts, with 14 inch difference between my waist and my hips they just shimmy up and drive me crazy. I like clothing that makes me feel powerful, natural, has texture and is as comfortable as possible so that I never think twice about my clothing after getting dressed. I also strive for a wardrobe that is interchangeable in terms of colors and lengths.

In 2018, I took some time to draft some patterns made with woven fabrics; a few shift dresses and button down shirts. For a couple of reasons. One, they have a longer life than knits and the longevity of my clothing is important to me. Two, I wear knits almost exclusively and wanted to see if I could produce woven clothes that I found comfortable and flattering. I enjoyed the process, but find I just love the comfort of knits. I also have made and drafted so many fit and flare dresses and even though they have slightly different style lines…to the casual eye, they all begin to look the same. I’m in a bit of a rut design wise and am craving fresh styles.

A few days ago I found myself with some time to spend and did something I haven’t done since my grandma made my formal dresses in high school. I sat at the patterns table at Joann’s and just looked and dreamed. I haven’t purchased a Big 4 pattern since my first ill-chosen, ill-fitting dress a dozen years ago.

That day, I was pulled in by the non-digital search, the feel of packets in my hand and the allure of $1.99 pattern sale. I bought 5 patterns! So they are playing heavy in my 2019 making plans.

For those planning types, I downloaded my custom croquis from My Body Model and seriously love it. I love how gently I see myself with it and I love being able to see the clothes on my actually body outline.

Without further adieu, my first four garments…

In order of “likely to be made first”