Tag Archives: sewing planning

This is the second planning window this year, and I've already got to admit failure. I didn't get much of anything done from my list in the last two weeks. In my defense, work was the culprit and I can't control that. Until I find a long-lost uncle with millions of dollars who will let me retire and do nothing but sew, I'm afraid I have to keep the work folks happy. In any case, the point of planning, as far as I can tell, is to change it as soon as possible. ūüėČ

  • For the next window, I'm going to keep the Sunny Dress hack. I've got it all cut out, just need to assemble. Easier said than done as it's got bias tape lattice design elements.

    Sunny Dress Hack Sketch
    Sunny Dress Hack Sketch
  • I'm also keeping the goal to complete the Seamwork York WIP. It shouldn't take too long, so I want to get it done.
  • I'm going to remove the Shelley leggings from this window's goals. I bought the new Avery leggings pattern from Helen's Closet and will be sewing those up soon, although not this window.

    Avery Leggings - Helen's Closet
    Avery Leggings - Helen's Closet
  • I also bought the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet and beautiful navy floral DBP, so I'm adding that to the list.

    Blackwood Cardigan
    Blackwood Cardigan

That will probably fill my time, but if I do have extra time, I'll fill it with practicing pattern drafting. Nothing too specific, just practicing drafting for me and draping for the half mannequin.

Off I go!

My first plan of what two sew over the course of two weeks has gone well, somewhat to my surprise. Historically, I've not been great at making a plan and executing it, as I get distracted along the way. By breaking it up into only a two week plan, it's a lot easier to stay focused as I can tell myself that I'll get to decide on my next project very soon.


1. Made a muslin version of the Sunny dress. Good thing, too! It was very badly fitting, so I ended up doing some surgery on it to get it to fit. I made an IG story of the process, which you can check out on my story highlights here (http://instagram.com/ladyreed84).

Hacked but wearable Sunny Dress muslin
Hacked but wearable Sunny Dress muslin

2. Design Sunny Dress hack. Done! Although I confess that I didn't finish this till Wednesday, but I'm counting it close enough. :)

3. Design a 3D capsule wardrobe. I spend over an hour on this one, so I'm calling it complete. However, I realized after that hour that I had no idea what it meant to design it. Was I wanting to pick patterns? Was I working through shapes, silhouettes, etc.? I finally ended with a pile of sketches of things I want to make and I picked a few patterns that I'd probably start with to make those. I'm not limiting myself to these, as I want to make what I want, assuming it fits in one of the style categories. So, in the end, I'm calling it complete, but I'm not really sure how or what I accomplished. Effort for the win!

4. Pick 3D capsule wardrobe color palette. Done! I did this and I'm in love with it! I have lots of fabric in the blue, black, white, gray. However, my accent colors I have less of. Now I can do focused shopping and feel less wasteful about me purchases. Win, win!

5. Made two pairs of PJs for my hubby. He wears them all the time now, which is the best possible compliment!

Next Up

For the next two week, (which has already started and I'm just now getting to this) I'm going to have to go light on what I want to sew. Work is insane until the 24th, so I won't have a lot of time for bliss projects. I'll pick two things to work on and a couple things for if I have time.

1. Sew the Sunny Hack. It's designed and the pattern is ready, just cut and sew now!

2. Cut out the Seamwork Shelly leggings. I really like the gusset (panel?) for shaping and am hoping to get a great fit! I'm going to make these out of light gray poly jersey.

3. (IF TIME) Tape together the Ames jeans patterns. Due to have absolutely no time lately, I may bite the bullet and do PDF plotting for this one. We'll see...


My goal this year is more intentionality in the sewing that I'm doing. I want to find more joy not only in the process, but in the finished results. I want to use my stash more and to buy fabric that will fit in and be used and loved quickly, not languish for long periods of time in boxes.

This kind of focus only happens as the result of planning, so planning, here I come! I actually enjoy planning, and, if I"m honest, I might enjoy it more than the doing. I love getting organized and lining things up. It's the follow-through and the finish that sometimes get away from me.

Knowing my weakness, I"m trying to plan this work in a way that is easy to see if I"m getting behind or if I need to change anything. A while back, I read a book called the 12 Week Year which is about getting results quickly and seeing change. There's a lot in the book in the process, but the gist of it is that deadlines should only be 2 weeks out and goals should only be 12 weeks out. The idea is to take what we do at the end of the year and do it every quarter. This way, we gain momentum by seeing goals accomplished quickly and are less likely to be derailed by unexpected things since we aren't planning things out as far.

So, to that end, I am planning my 1Q goals and plans, only going out to March 31. The last week of March I will review where I'm at and redo the planning for 2Q. I'm excited to see if this will be a momentum-builder into April sewing for Me-Made-May.

I'm going to assume my pace to be one garment every two weeks. I want to increase that next quarter to maybe 3 a month or more, but I'm trying to be realistic about my available time. 12 weeks divided into 2 week sprints (the term for short term goal deadlines) means I can sew 6 garments. Goals don't equal garments, though, so I will have more than 6 goals. It just means that every garment I sew has to fit into at least one of the goals I'm setting.

1Q Goals

  • Sew Sunny dress for #SewMyStyle2018
  • Sew Kalle shirt dress/tunic for #SewMyStyle2018
  • Sew a pair of well-fitting pants (without fly, to focus on fit)
  • Sew a pair of well-fitting jeans (using other pant for fit, to focus on construction)
  • Create a TNT for a basic knit shirt
  • Copy one ready-to-wear (RTW) shirt that I love, but can't wear anymore (starting from TNT pattern)
  • Build a workable 3D Capsule for every day wear that includes both RTW and me-made items
  • Identify items to make for the every day Capsule for future quarters
  • Blog/IG regularly about finished makes and processes
  • Identify fabric stash quantities and find way to track fabric use
  • Identify the fabric and notions to start learning bra making

Setting measurable goals only till March doesn't mean I can't think ahead or decide to do things further out than that. It just means that I'm going to commit to goals only until March and do a review then to see if I'm on track. I've also got some goals in mind for the whole year as well.

By-End-Of-Year Goals

  • Participate in Me-Made-May with at least 50% being me-made.
  • Do 10 of 12 of the #SewMyStyle2018 patterns (I reserve the right to take this down to 9 if I don't like any of the ones that come out later)
  • Participate in at least one photo challenge
  • Learn lingerie sewing to be able to make a bra and panty set
  • Wear 75% of what I make on a regular basis
  • Have a tried-and-true (TNT) pattern for each style in my 3D capsule wardrobe
  • Sew 4 (1/Q) selfless projects
  • Finish 4 (1/Q) WIPs

My plan for this year's sewing is revolving around idea I had called 3D Capsules. Many of us are familiar with capsule wardrobes. Essentially, you limit yourself to a handful of interchangeable options that you know will always go with each other. It's color coordinated and laid out to easily make outfits that match your style and coordinate with each other.

The limit of capsules wardrobes, however, is the number of items. Basically, it's too basic. There's not enough options. Even me, with my not-so-large wardrobe, I have more options to choose from than a basic capsule.

While it's a very cool concept, I don't want to spend time sewing something that's boring, or disappears into my other clothes and isn't worth the planning and sewing effort.

So, my solution? A 3D Capsule wardrobe. I was inspired by the Sudoku style capsule wardrobes where you have each box be an item and the items next to it build the wardrobe (for a more thorough explanation of this, read the CSC article, here).

A 3D Capsule is different than a standard one because the idea is that each box isn't a specific item, but instead a specific style of item. For example, instead of having a pair of jeans be in the box, the box represents the style of jeans, and I can have several different jeans that fit in the spot. Another box could be fitted woven tops. In that box, I could put several different shirts, all of them fitted woven tops that fit the color scheme.

I call it 3D because it's like it's file drawer and the drawer is labeled with what kind of item it is, but you can pull it out and find several different options behind it. Even with only a couple options in each style box, it would immensely increase the number of options that could be made by one capsule.

Capusle Wardrobe Basic Grid
Capusle Wardrobe Basic Grid

As I was thinking about what I reach for in the morning, I realized that I do have a "uniform" of sorts. Nothing formal, of course, I work in a pretty casual office, but  a uniform in the sense that I tend to most often wear items that are a similar style.

For example, my office allows jeans, so I wear jeans every day. Then, I grab a top that is either a nicely fitting knit shirt (nothing baggy here!), or a slightly more fitted, but still comfortable top. I don't wear boxy things, or loose things. I very rarely wear skirts, and never dresses.

Since intention in my sewing and wardrobe is a focus for me this year, I wanted to start planning my sewing to include only items that fit my style and went together. Combining these ideas, I created my 3D Capsule idea.

Below is my Every Day plan. It's what I am  already most comfortable in and what I wear the most, style-wise.

My Every Day 3D Capsule Plan
My Every Day 3D Capsule Plan

This grid gives me flexibility to include many different styles, but still gives a guideline for what I can and should be focusing on that will get worn and loved. When I'm thinking about buying a new pattern, I can decide if it fits in one of these categories. Doesn't fit? Don't buy it. It means I can start developing TNT patterns and then variations on those patterns, so I can explore new techniques without feeling afraid of wasting the effort. It means I can quickly find the way to know if I'm expanding my wardrobe or cluttering it.

In addition, I'll probably have a couple different 3D capsule wardrobe plans. In addition to this every day one, I'll make one that's slightly dressier, because on occasion I like to feel a little more put together. I'm considering adding a lounge one for night gowns/lounge clothes, etc., but that depends on how much sewing time I can find this year.

My next step is to do an inventory of what I wear everyday that already fits in to the grid and what I want to start sewing on. Next up, I'm going to start working this plan into the 12 week year framework to see if I can get moment up this.