If you’re as much of an Instagram addict as I am, you may have noticed your fellow Instagrammers’ penchant for planners (usually snapped artfully placed at an angle on an impossibly tidy desk, accessorised with a frothy coffee, an expensive candle and a perfect manicure).
We seem to be obsessed with planning, and the more colourful stickers, washi tape and to-do lists we can throw at it the better. I even treated myself to a Filofax this year (90s me would be so proud – back then I had to make do with a Funfax).
And it seems the sewing world has embraced the planning trend too, with the likes of Colette’s Wardrobe Architect blog series and Sew Crafty’s lovely sewing journal (pictured) on hand to help us organise our sewing life. I’ve certainly been taking a more thoughtful approach to my sewing in the last year or so, and it’s made a huge difference to my wardrobe and what I sew (as well as what I don’t sew).
When I started dressmaking a few years ago, it was a hobby. I still bought most of my clothes on the high street, so I made things simply for the fun of it. A bright nautical print that doesn’t go with anything else in my wardrobe? Great! Using fabric scraps to stitch a pom pom scarf? Why the hell not! Refashioning my boyfriend’s (unwanted) shirt into a skirt? Hell yeah I will!
Now, though, I’m not sure any of these projects would make it to my sewing machine, but that’s not to say I don’t love them (that nautical top is still a fave, and that skirt is one of my summer go-tos).
These days I rarely buy clothes, so sewing has become about creating a full wardrobe of handmade garments that I’ll get lots of day-to-day wear out of. This means (you guessed it!) lots of planning and careful fabric buying.
It can be even easier to get stuck in a style rut when you sew your own clothes. Because sewing takes time, you want to make sure you’ll actually wear what you’re spending all those hours making, which, in my experience, can mean being less adventurous with what you choose to make.
I used to buy fabric on impulse and throw myself into the next project that popped into my head, but now I think things through a little more – will I get enough wear out of the garment to make it worth my sewing time? Will I still love it in a few months, or even years?
This more considered approach has overall been a good one for my me-made wardrobe, but I’m not entirely sure it’s as fun. I miss the buzz you get when a let’s-give-it-a-go-and-see-what-happens kind of project turns out even better than you expected and you end up loving it. Often, these are the projects you learn from, rather than the safer, carefully planned, sure-fire, TNT staples.
So, this year (I know it’s a bit late for resolutions, but, hey, better late than never) I want to make time for both (using my planner to keep track of it all, obvs). Here’s to sewing for the fun of it!
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