Every January I take some time to think about my sewing plans for the year ahead. I make my “project” list, which usually includes at least one or more items which never made it to the cutting table in the previous 12 months and simply transfer from last year to this year. My list includes those things which are “traditions” such as Christmas dresses and birthday dresses for my two granddaughters. It includes any home decorator sewing I’d like to accomplish, and it usually includes at least one project that is “just for the fun of it,” meaning I have no occasion in sight for it or no need for it, but I just want to make it. The rest of the things on my list are pieces I know I will wear and which will be good additions to my wardrobe. So, I guess one could call this list my sewing vision for the year.
What has me tripped up this year is the fact that several of the dresses I made during 2020 sadly have yet to be worn. When there is no occasion to dress up, it is difficult to justify making more such dresses. I would like to think 2021 will become a year of parties, and dinner parties and cocktail parties, but this may be illusionary thinking. Because everything still seems to be in limbo, I have resorted to the tried and true for much on my list.
- At least six blouses! I know I posted last summer about “too many blouses,” but the fact is that I love to wear blouses, and as long as I keep finding blouse fabric I love, I will keep making blouses, as boring as that may seem.
- Dresses for my granddaughters. Although 2020’s Holiday/Christmas dresses were “scrubbed,” as they had no place to wear them, I already have fabric selected for these 2021 dresses. I did, however, sew Christmas gifts for my girls in 2020, making American Girl doll clothes for one and this dress for the younger one:
- Linen pants??? I rarely make pants, but I think I will attempt a pair this summer.
- A skirt out of Liberty Lawn, to wear with a white blouse.
- Two wool sheath dresses, about as fancy as I dare to get this year, with the hope that I’ll find a reason to wear them.
- Two … aprons! Why not? They are fun to make and certainly useful. And I can use some excess fabric left over from past projects for these.
- Whatever else strikes my fancy, which leaves a lot of options.
As always, I am planning to restrain from purchasing too many new fabrics, hoping instead to use fabrics from my stored collection. (Wish me luck on that!) Indeed, my first make, a “Jaron Shirt” made in support of fellow dressmaker, Andrea Birkan, who tragically lost her son last year, is constructed with two fabrics several years in my fabric closet. Details on this shirt can be found on my Instagram page @fiftydresses.
I will end this post with a postscript to my last post on a piece of vintage Forstmann wool (which, as noted above, will be one of my two sheath dresses in 2021.) The story continues, as identical examples of the label accompanying my fabric have surfaced, all with a date from the late 1940s. When I look at my wool, I have a difficult time envisioning it as being as early as the late ‘40s. Although I have no reason to believe the label does not belong to the piece of wool I have, this discovery has initiated more questions than answers. That is not unlike my expectations for 2021 sewing – it is a mystery whose ending has yet to be written. Whoever knew sewing could be so full of intrigue?