Sewing top fives: reflections

So, on to sewing reflections for 2019. I find this is the hardest post in the series to write so apologies if it’s deadly dull.

For a while now I’ve been trying to reduce my fabric stash by sewing from stash where possible, only buying fabric one project ahead, and always getting samples before buying fabric online. The idea is to make better choices and sew up new fabric before I can change my mind about it. I managed to stick to that for most of the year. I also gave away some stash fabrics I knew I would never ever sew because the colours and prints didn’t suit me.

The stash has shrunk somewhat as a result, but there’s still a way to go and it’s getting more difficult to reduce it. I’ve already sewn up the easy stuff and am now left with lengths that I am struggling to find a suitable project for. There’s one length of green wool coating in particular that’s a problem. I don’t sew it up because I’m not really convinced the colour suits me, but I can’t part with it either. This picture gives some idea.

Green coat fabric with pink lining

I can’t possibly dye it; I’d need an industrial dye vat for that much heavy wool! Nor am I really up for sewing an entire coat for someone else. My current hope is that I’ll find a coat pattern I love that’s sufficiently out there that I wouldn’t risk buying new fabric for it.

I’m also on a pattern buying diet. This year I only kept up my Burda subscription and didn’t buy envelope patterns. Again this is getting slightly harder now because Vogue, my favourite brand after Burda, are really on a roll at the moment.

I did buy the Bootstrap Vado custom jeans PDF pattern this year which was a fun experiment. The fit was better for me than unadjusted Burda jeans, but it was not perfect enough for me to get over my general dislike of PDF patterns and go back for more yet. I might consider Bootstrap or Lekala again for something I was finding really difficult to fit though.

The other thing I’ve been trying to do this year is to feed Kibbe style advice into my choice of projects. (If you want more on Kibbe, check out Doctor T’s in-depth blog series). I’m pretty dubious about style typing systems in general but some of the ideas in this one work for me: it recommends I wear vee and boat necks, monochrome colour schemes, dark neutral colours, long lines, and avoid any fussy details. Of course I also have my own rules: pockets are essential, metallic is a neutral, everything must be machine washable.

I’m not sure using Kibbe has made a huge difference to how I dress – part of the reason I like the system is that it agrees with my existing ideas about what suits me – but it did make me consider choosing longer skirt lengths, which I’ve found aren’t as dowdy as I would have guessed…or maybe this is all a coincidence as fashion’s just come around to longer skirts. Anyway I shall carry on keeping his recommendations in mind, and doubtless reject them the minute they clash with something I really want to wear.

Phew. Next up: plans for 2020!

14 thoughts on “Sewing top fives: reflections

  1. I see you mentioned a padded coat a couple posts back. What about using the wool as an interlining (would that be the correct term?) or batting for it? It may have enough poofiness though…

  2. These are some good reflections. Maybe that wool would work as a color-blocked look with black or gray? As long as the color isn’t close to your face, it might be quite striking.

    1. Thanks, I like the idea of combining it with grey…there was a great Burda colour blocked coat that I was dithering over making last year. Now of course I need to find the right grey fabric 🙂

  3. That colour is totally amazing! And lined with the hot pink fabric it would make a spectacular coat. Here’s to finding that perfect pattern in 2020!

  4. The green wool is spectacular and would look wonderful on you in my not so humble opinion. A pink scarf or collar would do the trick if you aren’t sure about having it at your face. A plain dramatic silhouette would suit you and it. I hope you find just the right pattern or hack one if need be.

    1. Thanks! I was thinking much the same about the shape. I hoped the failed Burda coat I toiled earlier in the year would be the one, as it has a very geometric form, but I’m not certain I can face fixing all the things about the pattern I need to!

  5. I think the green wool would suit you very well as it has some warmth to it and colouring seems to as well .i can see it as a spectacular coat worn over a simple navel sheath dress or similar . It needs to dramtic lines and be lined in something neutral . I would probably line it in black ,perhaps doing a contrast piping around the lining . I can see it with a lovely big collar . Take it to someone whose judgment you trust and ask them . Sometimes others see things that you just don’t . It can be such fun

  6. Do you have a good system you would recommend for organizing Burda patterns once you have traced some out of the magazine?

    1. Once I’m done with a pattern I fold the pieces and put them into an A4 brown envelope and write the pattern compnay name, the number, and sometimes a few notes in the front. I keep the envelopes in a large plastic box sorted by pattern company and then by number – or date then number for Burda. I find it’s particularly useful to write something about the fabric I used and the style on the envelope. Patterns that were a big success get a star!

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