The 2023 List: Sewing plans to kick off the year

The new year seems to get us all in planning mode and as an avid list maker, I love the excuse to plan some sewing projects! I gave up on the Make Nine challenge a couple of years ago; it’s brilliant but I’m too indecisive/fickle to plan that many projects in advance. Instead, I’ve had a good look through the fabric I have, thought about what shapes and styles I feel good in, and created a plan around that. This list will no doubt evolve, but as it stands, this is the current Plan. Of. Action…

Bonkers cotton sateen

I got this in the Black Friday sale from Fabric Godmother. It’s bonkers and brilliant. When else would you see rain clouds, scissors, sunshines, animals, eyes, dots, pencils, even ketchup on one print?! I’ve already made a start on this one and cut out a shirt using the Lyra Dress pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. I’ve made a couple of these before and it’s the ultimate preppy shirt, although it’s nothing like the intended design (a floaty viscose dress)! I’m faffing about whether to add a contrast frill around the collar, but I’m hoping to start sewing this in the next couple of days, along with a matching neck tie

Mixed scale pink and red gingham cotton sateen

Another one from the Fabric Godmother sale, I’d been looking at this for so long. This and the fabric above are from Nerida Hansen. I’ve sewn a couple of their fabrics before and love the feel of them – soft to the touch, a bit of drape, but also enough sturdiness to hold a good shape. This is a large scale so I’m going to use it for another skirt like my gingham FFS. I have worn that so many times; Instagram came in really handy there for me to track what I wear most, I don’t think I would have appreciated quite how much I wear that skirt otherwise! I’m on the fence about whether to make a FFS or a button up skirt. With the latter I could play with the scale and have the left front small gingham and the right front large gingham, which could look pretty cool. 

Swirly black cotton twill 

I wrote an article for Simply Sewing magazine using Atelier Brunette fabric, and have kept in touch with the team there since. They very kindly sent me some fabric from their latest collection, Wonderlust. This cotton twill is so bloody gorgeous. It would make an amazing I AM Irma dress, but I don’t think I have quite enough fabric as this pattern uses A LOT! A back up project is to revisit the Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt dress, but I think I’d prefer a ‘proper’ sleeve rather than grown-on. I now realise this part of the plan is a bit vague (!), but essentially it’ll be a relaxed fit shirt dress so the print is uninterrupted. 

Crisscross black velvet

Another from the Wonderlust collection, this cotton velvet has a grid-type texture woven into the fabric. This fabric is earmarked to make a pinafore style dress inspired by Christian Dior’s SS22 collection. This should be perfect for layering over t-shirts or shirts, and can be worn with or without tights so it’ll be trans-seasonal too. I’m going to hack the I AM Aura dress. The overall shape is exactly what I’ve been looking for, and I’ll lower the neckline into a super deep V. This fabric is so nice so although this is a simple shape, I might make a toile to make sure the fit is right.   

Black gabardine

Last on the list and yep, another one from Wonderlust. This black gabardine is described as having a ‘woven twill appearance with the same aesthetic properties as denim’, and I couldn’t put it clearer than that. I’ve had the Sew Liberated Arthur Pants pattern cut out for a few months, and this fabric could be the ticket to create that mega structure and volume. These would be dramatic trousers, and I think they could be pretty amazing. I’ve seen some sewists taken by surprise by the amount of drama to the shape, and this fabric will really hold that structure, so I’ll make a toile as I want to make sure I’m happy with the style before committing this brilliant fabric!

That’s five projects on the plan, which I think is enough for me. It’s always interesting coming back to sewing plans at a later date to see how they turned out, how they evolved, and lessons learned along the way. Now to get going with that Lyra shirt, frill or not… 

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