Spring sewing wrap-up
In complete contrast with Spring 2020, where we left the UK in a rush and I was without patterns or fabrics for weeks, Spring 2021 has been both very organised and very productive sewing-wise. I managed to sew for myself 17 garments: 2 coats, 3 tops, 2 trousers, 2 skirts, 2 jumpsuits and… 6 dresses (I love dresses in case you didn’t know…). And most of them had been planned! So I now have a brand new Spring wardrobe I am really pleased with!
The joy of sewing organisation
Like many seamstresses, I have a tendency to get overly distracted: I see a pattern, or I see a fabric, or I see both, and then I want to make a garment. Then and there, right now! Social networks make things even worse, providing a constant source of inspiration – or temptation, depending on how you look at it!
I had already attempted to follow a seasonal sewing plan a while ago but I was not very good at following it. This Spring however, I set out my Spring sewing plans in this article. They looked like this:
Miraculously, I managed to (more of less) stick to them! Planning was actually a blessing as it allowed me to:
- Have a good look at my wardrobe and think about the pieces I really wanted to add. A trench coat and a pair of trousers were absolute musts.
- Use my existing fabrics and patterns as much as possible – and buy what I felt I needed. As a consequence, I have kept buying fabric and patterns but which far less guilt than usual, as I knew exactly their purpose.
- Feel I was really progressing in my sewing, project after project, instead of having this feeling of constantly chasing a never-ending to-do-list.
Outwear: a cape and a trench coat
In Spring 2020, my outwear sewing plans went out of the window. In Autumn 2020, they didn’t turn out as expected, with my fit-and-flare coat repeated disaster. So I was very keen to achieve something on this front for Spring 2021. And I did!
First, my off-white cashmere Trendy Cape. I am delighted with this make and the fabric is an absolute dream, but despite the winter-like weather this Spring I did not wear it that much. I think it actually works better with my Autumn wardrobe so I’m expecting to wear it more later this year.
Second, my burgundy Luzerne trench coat. This coat is my pride and joy and I am absolutely enamoured with it! To my surprise, I wore it a lot this season, despite its somewhat autumnal colour.
Trousers and jumpsuit experiments
I don’t wear trousers much (well, nearly not at all) so I have been curious for a while to see whether sewing them would make a difference. This season I made two pairs from the same pattern, the Ultimate trousers, pink with slim legs (planned) and white with wide legs (unplanned). The pink I have worn a bit and quite enjoyed; but the white not at all. So I think the later will probably get transformed into shorts at some stage.
The trousers experiment was not a massive success to get me away from wearing dresses every day, but it completely demystified the process of fitting trousers. In my enthusiasm, I tackled a jumpsuit pattern I had been wanting to sew for a while… and eventually made two versions of it (well, three if you count the muslin). I absolutely adore them and have worn them quite a lot, so even if they were not planned they were a very good idea!
Sewing more separates: skirts and tops
This Winter, I endeavoured to sew more skirts to match my (very wide) collection of hand-knitted cardigans. As I really enjoyed wearing them, I decided to continue and made myself two full circle skirts for Spring. They are easy to make and easy to wear, unplanned but a complete success too.
And since my wool cardigans were getting a bit too warm for the season, I saw three tops to go with my skirts (and with my trousers) – one is brand new and not photographed yet though… The tops below are reviewed here and here.
Dresses remain my favourite
I adore dresses and wear them all the time. I had planned to make 5 and ended up making 6, which is very reasonable on my standard!
For a reason which remains obscure, I got obsessed with shirt dresses this season. I had planned a denim one and a Liberty one; and added a floral one because I was so happy with my mixing-and-matching of patterns. I have worn all these dresses extensively.
Not at all in my Spring colour palette but very much planned, my black-and-white gingham dress. I haven’t worn it a lot though, probably because of its colours, but I have good hopes for the summer.
This planning exercise was a very positive experience, as it allowed me to increase the pleasure from sewing by feeling I was actually progressing on a medium-term project. I am also thrilled by the number of items I managed to sew and by their quality – my sewing has really improved massively over the past two years .
I’d love to plan again for summer but I have a far less precise idea of what I want to sew, so we’ll see… So I am back at making far too many dresses again… Here is a little preview, before these officially appear on the blog!