Sewing Plans

Do you ever get a bit overwhelmed with your sewing projects?  By which I mean, there are so many nice things to sew, and not enough time to get them all done?  I have a nice big pile of gorgeous fabric I bought this year, and some very nice patterns I’m desperate to try, but my list just keeps getting longer.  And then there’s the problem of the fabric which initially was quite clear in what it wanted to be, changing its mind and now wanting to be something else.  For which there isn’t enough fabric.  Or I don’t have  a pattern, don’t have the time to draft one and so now trawl the internet looking for something suitable.

That’s what has happened this week.  While in Cornwall, I bought 2.5m of the most beautiful cotton fabric with a chrysanthemum print.  It has a slightly Japanese feel to it, the flowers are crisp, colours definite, and I fell head over heals for it.  Why didn’t I get a nice round number, like 3m?  Because it wasn’t (for me) cheap and I didn’t want to be greedy.  But what I initially thought I could turn into a pair of culottes now wants to be a jumpsuit, or a dress, or a wider, longer pair of culottes that I originally pictured, or a jumpsuit.  So 2.5m is not enough.

collage culottes or dress
Burda culottes or Sew House 7 Tea House Dress??

I thought of making the culottes #126 from March 2015 Burdastyle, they’re wide enough to look like a skirt, which is what I had in mind.  But now it wants to be a dress (for someone who doesn’t wear dresses).  I could give in to that demand, but only for the right dress!  I spent lots of precious sewing time on Friday looking for just that right pattern/shape/look.  Eventually I emerged form the deep dark pit that is a combination of Instagram and Pinterest with the Sew House 7 Tea House Dress.  It’s the bodice part that I really like – and it has pockets!  But of course, nothing is ever that easy, have fabric, bought pattern, make dress, right?  Nope – that dress needs more fabric than I have.

So now what?  Do I email the fabric shop and see if they have more?  Or dig through the stash and find a fabric that will work with the print and have contrasting pieces?  Or be realistic and just make the damn culottes I wanted in the first place?!  Let’s face it, even if I like the dress, I have a very good feeling culottes would get worn way more often than a dress.  But I now like the idea of the dress…  AAARRRGGGHHHH

The top fabric that now wants to be bottoms…

The same conversation happened with another piece of fabric I got from the NEC in March from Rosenberg & Son.  It was only ever going to be a top of some sort.  I traced the pattern, toiled and adjusted, but now it doesn’t want to be a top.  I’d seen Clare’s fabulous print culottes on Instagram earlier and couldn’t get that image out of my head.  That is why my “top fabric” now wants to be “culottes fabric”.

One piece that is behaving is the most gorgeous deep dark inky coloured linen and rayon mix fabric I got from Fabworks back in May (I think).  I had expected a soft, drapy linen to arrive, instead it’s really crisp and full of body, but it will still look good as pants/trousers, and now I know what pattern to use too!  I made the cropped flared trousers from this month’s Burdastyle in turquoise washed linen and love them, so I think a “posh” pair is on the cards with that rayon/linen blend.  Just need somewhere equally “posh” to wear them…

I also made a jumpsuit last month (!) in one of the border printed viscose pieces I brought back from South Africa back in 2016 – only one more 3m piece of that left now!  It was from a German magazine Chris brought over for me last summer, the August issue of Fashion Style.  I’d liked it from the start and bought 3m of black herringbone linen from Croft Mill Fabric for the project, then Autumn came and I left it.  Then I got reminded of it when I watched the new Star Wars movie, Solo.  The female lead, Qi’ra wears a black jumpsuit that I totally needed!

Image from

So I went about tracing, toiling and adjusting, but when it came to the making, I realised the black linen was too stiff.  So in the mean time, I used the print viscose, to “road-test” the pattern before buying a more suitable black fabric.  But that jumpsuit would be great with that floral print fabric….  My jumpsuit doesn’t have the wrap front, or the fluttery sleeves, but I was at least inspired by this to get on with mine – finally!  So I now have black viscose from Croft Mill Fabrics, and will get to it, hopefully before the summer is over – again!!  It also means I now have 3m of black herringbone linen that can be used for something else….

collage jumpsuit
Black viscose lined up and ready for this!

When I was tracing the culottes from March 2015, I remembered there was a wrap over dress that I’d drooled over, #127.  It comes in two lengths and when I first saw it I fell heavily and bought a couple of metres of Ikat fabric from Fabric Godmother.  Then doubt (as usual) set it and I didn’t make it.  But I still have that fabric, and I still like the dress!  This is the weekend when I said “sod it”, and I’ve finally traced that pattern.  It will need to be graded out a size on the sides (I have no waist) and will need a decent FBA, but it’s do-able, right?  I just don’t want to mess up my lovely fabric.

collage dress top
Burda wrap dress in the Ikat, blouse in Seasalt gull print cotton voile crepe

Then a horrible thing happened.  Everyone – and I mean everyone, was chatting online about the fabric sale at Seasalt, a Cornish clothing company.  Their fabrics are nice, cute even, and I’d never thought of buying any.  But when we were in said county at the beginning of July I happened to pop into their St Ives store to investigate the fabrics “in the flesh”.  A couple I recognised from seeing them online, some I liked, some I didn’t.  So when we got back to our holiday flat, I bought 6m of Seasalt fabric. WHY?!?!  Because I have absolutely no will power and I was enabled.  It’s wasn’t my fault…

July’s Burdastyle has come to the rescue of some of the gull print cotton voile crepe.  The boxy blouse, #117 will look very nice in that fabric, and it will just happen to work with the trousers I’ve made this summer, because the colour is perfect!  It will also be less boxy because of the floatyness of the fabric.  The other piece I bought will be destined for something yummy for my Mum.

Aah, I bet you think you’re nearing the end now, right.  Nope.  Just because I haven’t taken any more photos doesn’t mean my list is done.  I have charcoal twill that’s begging to be made in the fabulous jacket #101 from May 2018, black & white gingham desperate to be used in a top from Kana’s Standard, natural coloured washed linen crying out to be made into a pair of trousers from the same book, navy viscose with a white feather print that’s been asking very nicely for about 2-3 years to be removed from the stash and is now getting loudly demanding.  Then there’s the navy oilskin I bought from Merchant & Mills last summer to make a Waffle Pattern’s Tosti, and the summer coat I said I would definitely be making this year.  Summer coat!  Not requred this summer, what I need is a paddling pool and a nice new cozzy!  And let’s not even mention the lovely fabric set aside for daughter no2’s list(s).

And I’ve spent all day writing this post.  That’s the problem when there are so many lovely things to make, and you want them all today, but you cannot decide which to start with, or which fabric to use with which pattern because you don’t want to stuff it up, and you  cannot or don’t want to buy more fabric.

I think I’ll make a cuppa and go for a walk.  Maybe when I get back I’ll have an idea, or maybe you can add your 2 cents worth!  And please tell me I’m not alone in my madness.

Author: Anne W

I love fabric, and sewing. And I could do nothing else but sew, all day, every day, if I could!

34 thoughts on “Sewing Plans”

  1. I identify with you completely Anne! And then there is the agony when you cut out a Fabric and then think of another garment you should have used it for——-!

  2. I have no answers for you, but I totally relate to your never-ending, ever-changing list of what to make with what fabric.

    All your ideas sound lovely, so I say, jump in and start sewing!

  3. I’m right there with you. This has happened with just about every piece of fabric I’ve ever purchased, and it’s currently so bad I’m barely sewing at all! All of your plans sound lovely. I don’t know how you’ll decide!

    1. No! I cannot afford not to sew at all! I have a feeling I just need to grab a piece of fabric and get going. I want to make them all, so what difference should it make, right?? I hope you’re able to find a starting point!!

  4. It has got so bad with me that it’s stopped me sewing. However, when I called into the village shop today for milk the lady raved over my me made dress which has triggered my mojo! 😊 But what shall I start with?………….

    1. Well they usually say start with something quick, could be something you’ve made before and loved. That’s what’s been keeping me going tbh, re-runs of tnt patterns!

  5. At least I’m not alone in having fabric talk to me!
    Can I just say I didn’t have a great experience with that wrap dress. I can’t quite remember exactly what the issue was, I believe it doesn’t tie tightly around the waist and so it didn’t have a lot of shape snd I felt really frumpy in it, so I donated it immediately. Just saying…

    1. Ok, thanks! You didn’t take any pics, did you? Are you glad I finally made that jumpsuit from that magazine? I need to take photos still though.

      1. No, no pictures I’m afraid. It was one of those projects that should have worked but didn’t.
        Excited to see the jumpsuit pictures!

      2. I’m getting there, I like the version I’ve made so far, but it needed more pattern tweaks. 🤷🏼‍♀️ Maybe I’ll get it photographed this week 🤞

  6. Anne, and Lovely Ladies commenting before me: I am sooo in agreement with you all! Paralysis of analysis, as Rev. ML King, Jr. would say. Go for it, Anne. Is there no way you might piece those mums for your pattern of choice? If not, call and get more. Life is too short!
    (Now if only I could/would take my own advice… 😉)

    1. Oh, I like that! “Paralysis of analysis”. So apt! I have actually sent off an email asking if they still have some, but I made the mistake of putting that picture on Instagram at the time of purchase, thus showing all the other sewing gannets out there my pretty fabric – AND where to buy it! tsk tsk, I need to be prepared for the answer to be, “sorry, it’s all sold out…”!

  7. Fabric porn is my downfall . Can’t stop looking and yes I bought sea salt fabric in the sale it’s lovely

  8. You are not alone! you have just described my weekend! What to sew for a holiday that will require a summer wardrobe as well as an autumn/winter wardrobe ! Which fabrics for what and can I redesignate the T Shirt knit to a dress and is there enough fabric – agghh!

    1. Oh, holiday sewing is even worse, because you effectively need to be creating a capsule wardrobe that has to cope with everything. But you also want to make all the things!

    1. How do you overcome these issues, Sue? I can say that one item has now been struck off the list, that Ikat dress didn’t toile well…

  9. Oh yes, I can totally relate. I’d love to get to a point where I buy fabric when I feel the muse and make it up straightaway, I’m so glad I made my weekend sewing shirt in an off cut and didn’t cut into my lovely linen, it did not go well, I fear I may never use said linen for its intended purpose.

    Off to look at Seasalt.

    1. Some fabric does indeed get made straight away, and I’m so greatfull for those pieces! I hope your lovely linen finds a new project fairly soon, and doesn’t go back into the stash. Beware of Seasalt, although I notice a fair few of their fabrics are now sold out or only available in certain lengths.

  10. I used to do this too. What changed things for me is having less sewing time and space in the house than I used to, so I really had to make firmer sewing plans in order to maximise my opportunities. And on the whole I think it works better for me that way, but your chrysanthemum fabric is certainly tempting 🙂 I hope you manage to get some more and show us the end results!

    1. I have the opposite issue! I now have my own sewing room in which to create all manner of mess, and the girls have flown the coop, so I have more time…. I must really get better organised, at the moment there are piles of fabric with their patterns stacked on the bed in the guest room, so there’s space in the sewing room for the toiling and tracing. Heaven help me if someone wants to come for a visit one weekend soon… I have managed to lay my hands on another metre and a half, that should do it, now to toile the dress!! I hope I like it on me….

  11. It’s so easy to forget how long it takes to make something! I have a ridiculous number of patterns AND fabric (and I almost gave in to the SeaSalt sale on the weekend but what saved me was the amount they allowed was 5 metres only which was honestly TOO much of that fabric for me). I’ve (pretty much) FINALLY stopped buying all the things but I have now such a plethora to choose from I’m stumped. I keep going back to my closet to figure out what I need but that hasn’t helped much since I don’t really NEED any garments either! It’s crazy. I do have some gorgeous blue linen and a pattern ready to go on my cutting table but now that the weather is so nice I just can’t seem to stay inside long enough to sew. (sigh)

    1. I should have capped it at one piece, but hey-ho. At least Mum willl get something, and I know exactly what to make for her! I always seem to not have the “right” fabric, despite having plenty of the stuff. Sound familiar??

  12. THIS! I never lose my sewing mojo as people say, but rather seem to struggle with an overflow of projects and not enough time. And I think you nailed it on the head with fabric that wants to be something and then changes its mind!

    1. Fickle stuff, that fabric!! My Mother in Law had a great fabric rule, the one that started my stash. She only ever bought 3m of any fabric she liked, especially when she wasn’t sure what she’d make. Three metres would be enough for most things, a suit, long dress, etc. But my budgetary constraints mean I have to be more realistic. I inherited quite a few 3m lengths of fabric.

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