Every morning, I drink an Americano at my neighborhood cafe and enjoy a bit of alone time before I start my day. Recently, I’ve been whipping out my colored pencils and dreaming up new projects in my Colette Sewing Planner. It may look silly, but it’s the best “self-care” I can think of.
I’m the sort of gal that has too many ideas, no time, and an absurd amount of fabric stashed in my tiny apartment. I love the chase—finding the perfect fabric, notions, and pattern combination, but never seem to get around to finishing much. It’s kind of like my thing with yoga; it’s an awesome idea but I need a really nice mat before I can really get into it.
Over the summer, I challenged myself to not buy any new fabric until I finish at least 10 garments, which sort of happened… I made 5. But, it’s fall, when the holes in my wardrobe feel very apparent. Literally, I’m cold! Usually, when the weather changes, I end up splurging on a one-day shopping spree. I buy the transitional necessities without much thought on wardrobe building or what silhouettes will work best for my current style. It’s willy-nilly at best.
But this year has been different, I got my hands on the sewing planner right when the leaves were beginning to change. I had plenty of time to really invest some thought into what sewing projects I could realistically make and what I would be happiest wearing.
My style and favorites
I started filling out my planner by pinning down some core aspects of my style, favorite design details and garments. It’s an interesting experience actually writing down what you feel best in. For instance, I love the way gathered sleeves look but don’t feel good in them. My noodle arms get even more gangly in them, no offense.
Turns out, I like natural fibers, higher necklines, and need to admit that Portland is perpetually damp from October to May and should probably take that into account when planning my wardrobe. My favorite garments are the classic items in my closet, not my more unique items, which was also a surprise.
Fall/Winter Inspiration and Color Palette
This Fall/Winter will be peppered with mustard, chartreuse, burnt orange, neutrals, and so many stripes. I’ve been dragging my feet about this resurgence of 90s fashion but the one thing I am so into are high necklines—mock collars for the win!
My first project was a Modified Seamwork Oslo in a totally outrageous speckled wool knit that’s fleece lined!!! No more shivering in the rain for me. I wanted to essentially make a wearable blanket that had some tailored details that would keep it from looking too sloppy. The Oslo was a perfect base to start from and from there I added some welt pockets, narrowed the collar and cuffs, and shortened the length.
The croquis were super helpful when planning this little number. I compared the photos from Seamwork to the proportions I wanted and made my lengthen and shorten decisions from the croquis rather than just chopping off length when I’m half way through sewing.
I realized that I was in desperate need of some more fall-like separates and started planning a mock-collar Seamwork Neenah. This knit turtle-neck dress was a great base for making my dream mock-collar shirt for seasonal layering. I made two of them, one in white and one in stripes. While sewing up the first one, I kept some “next time” notes in my planner to make sure that the striped top turned out even better.
I’ve been holding onto this fabric for years and was so excited to sew up a Seamwork Catarina that would let the fabric shine. After drawing up my croquis, it was quickly bumped up to the top of my sewing queue. Because let’s be honest, it’s a knockout of a dress.
Next up in my sewing queue is a full outfit, with two interchangeable pieces. The Seamwork Astoria is a fan favorite in the Seamwork catalog and I’ve yet to find time to sew one up! The fabrics are all from my stash, which makes me very proud of myself, and the silhouettes fit perfectly within my style goals.
The combination of using The Colette Sewing Planner and quick-and-easy Seamwork patterns has really helped me get my projects done. What would usually take me months to finish, can be dreamt up during the week and sewn up in a Saturday afternoon.
Are you like me? A willy-nilly sewer or an obsessive planner?
How do you see the planner helping you with your sewing goals?