Every January when I sit down to do some planning for the new year at hand, I usually start by doing three things:
- Looking at what I accomplished on my list from the past year, and moving those unfinished items onto my new list,
- Going through my fabrics and deciding what looks inspiring – or in desperate need of action – and
- Assessing what my wardrobe needs will be for the year.
This year, I am adding #4 to that list: What patterns do I want to try for the first time, and which ones do I want to make again.
Number 1 looks like this:
This is my list for 2019, perhaps the third iteration of it. Things and priorities change during the year. My list for 2020 is still being planned!
Number 2 is shocking to me. I have so many beautiful fabrics. I could easily just concentrate on what I have stored away and be totally occupied with those for not just this year, but for several years to come. However, I know from experience that I will buy new fabrics (and already have since January 1!), and I will be glad I did. So there. I am admitting I am a hopeless case when it comes to fabric. There are too many dreams tied up in some fabrics for me to resist their purchase. I always just hope that the fabrics used from my existing collection slightly outnumber the new ones I buy. Usually this is the case. Hopefully it will be this year.
Number 3 is not always apparent. I do know I will need some dressier things for Springtime events. I do know my summer will be very casual. And usually Fall and early Winter require some dressier apparel. I have a big birthday (gulp!) coming up this year, and I think it deserves something special, but I’m not sure what that is yet. But I would be willing to bet it will demand a new dress, at the least.
And my new Number 4 – now here is a category that really inspires me. I have so many amazing vintage patterns to try, but I also have so many I have made once (or more) and love so much that I never tire of making them. I believe my patterns will guide my sewing this year to a large degree.
Here are a few I have never used, but have hopes for in 2020:
This pattern is out of print, but I don’t really consider it vintage. However, it looks like a great shirtwaist dress pattern. I especially like Views A and D. My hope/plan is to make at least two, and perhaps three, shirtwaist dresses this year. In fact, View A is my current project.
I love everything about the design of this dress: it has a two-piece look, but the skirt is attached to a camisole under the over-bodice. I love the buttoned back and the front seaming detail. I particularly like the long-sleeved version.
Here are the back views of this dress.
Here is another take on a princess-lined dress, with jacket. It is not suitable for striped, plaid or diagonal fabrics, which eliminates quite a few of my choices, but I would love to try it. Even better would be to make a dress and jacket…
The line drawings on the envelope back show the seaming details and dart placement. It looks really, really lovely.
I came across a piece of deep pink cashmere last year, and if I decide to make a coat I think it will be View B of this classic coat pattern.
And here a few patterns I have used and want to use again. Most have been fitted correctly (although I always seem to tweak one or two little things) – and most are versatile and classic and have simple, but elegant, lines to them.
I will definitely be making this pattern again this year at least once.
I know for certain I will be making the short version of this dress again. I have a dress planned for Spring using it. My first use of this pattern resulted in the dress below, selected for inclusion in the Gallery of A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing, by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr.
I would love to make another bow blouse this year. This classic look from 1957 is about as lovely a bow blouse as one can find.
A bow blouse would be the perfect pairing with another Parisian Jacket. A silk blouse with a Parisian Jacket made from vintage Moygashel linen?
Finally, ever since I used this pattern years ago, I have wanted to make it again, in a short-sleeved version. I am hoping this will be the year!
I think I could make either view of this dress over and over and not get tired of it.
Much has been said this year about the start of a new decade. It does seem prescient, doesn’t it? Full of hope and anticipation, the new decade will, nevertheless, do what it will. Dressmaking will be just a part of the new continuum, but my days and months and years will be measured in no small part by what I put on my list, and then the placement of those happy checkmarks when I have accomplished that which I set out to do.
Welcome 2020! No doubt you will be gone in a flash, so may we all make the most of your wondrous days, the dressmaking ones and all the others, too.