A couple of years ago I joined Seamwork, an online sewing community, pattern company and sewing education resource, in the hopes I would be sewing more of my own garments and advancing my sewing skills. Life takes many turns and it took me almost two years to finally set aside some time for myself to take advantage of my Seamwork membership and get more involved in the community.
I have at last completed the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe course, putting together a collection of designs to suit me, my body and my lifestyle. I challenged myself to find patterns and design garments that would use up some of my existing fabric stash - which has become quite impressive during the last few years!
The theme for this round of DYW was 'Outfits' and it could not have been more appropriate for my wardrobe given that most of the things I have made for myself in the past have not been planned with the rest of my wardrobe in mind and so nothing really 'goes together' and I tend to only wear the dresses I've made on their own. I'd like to make better use of the clothes I already own and create new pieces to fill the gaps in my wardrobe.
With this goal in mind, we each created a Moodboard - or in my case a moodboard for every outfit.
After rummaging through my wardrobe I identified a need for 'presentable' but casual work clothes - overalls, loose overshirts, versatile clothing with deep pockets and plenty of room for freedom of movement. On an average summer day I might do some weeding in the garden, care for my animals (ie. get very muddy and covered in fur) ...I might sew up a few things for my next market stall, swim in the river, go for an evening walk, curl up on the couch with my dog for movie time...and I'll be spending time with my nieces and nephews during the holidays so my clothes get well worn and will need to be made up in practical fabrics that can withstand plenty of washes.
I would also like to be able to wear most pieces throughout the year, so creating outfits that can be layered is a must. I need a few basic t-shirts, everyday shorts in a soft fabric and a lightweight duster jacket or cotton robe I can wear as a coverup at the beach or in the evenings to protect my skin from mozzies and midges.
You can see from my mood boards I'm drawn to decorative details like embroidery and floral prints so there was no doubt I'd design something with a little embroidery detail somewhere...
Here are a few of my sewing plans for the coming summer season:
Each 'Look' has it's own corresponding Project Plans where I sketch out the pattern I'll be making and organize the supplies I need, making notes of any alterations to the pattern I'll be making.
Keeping a record of my projects like this helps me to decide on future projects and remember the changes I made or techniques I used which may have varied from the pattern instructions so I can do the same again later... or not.
While these plans are to help keep me focused on my sewing goals, they are flexible of course - there's no one holding me accountable so I can change my mind, add or remove projects as I wish - but I do love having a printed visual plan when I'm in my studio and the creative mood takes over.
So, how is it going so far?
Well as usual, I took a short break from work and instantly caught the latest flu (it was very bad - I don't recommend it) so have been dragging myself from couch to bed and sometimes taking a moment to just stand in my sewing space looking at my plans stuck up on my wall of cabinets, shuffling my printed pattern pages, rearranging my scissors on their pegboard, opening and closing cabinets, longingly looking at my fabrics... it sounds pathetic, I know. I have felt pretty tragic lately.
I have at last finished gathering all my patterns and I think most of the supplies I need. I've made the alterations to the patterns I already know fit me, and for those untried projects, I am sewing a wearable muslin version for each garment using some of my older, less precious fabric before I create the final fit using my 'good' fabrics.
There has been one sunny day this week where I pre-washed all of the fabrics I'll be using, so I am ready to get sewing, at last!
I'll share a quick update as I finish each garment so check back here for the links to each post as I share them. And keep an eye on my personal creative account on IG @artbygingerkelly
If you're also a member of Seamwork, you can find me in the community @thistleandfox