2015: Sewing Goals and Slowing Down

2014 had a lot of things: There was sewing and wedding dress making and other dress making and wedding planning and Amtrak commuting and city moving and furniture buying and job changing.
My goal for 2015 is for things to be more steady-state. More exercise, more reading books, more getting better at the job I have, more seeing friends, more spending time with my now-husband, more spending time with my now-nearby family.
For sewing, the slow-down means more well-thought out pieces that fill wardrobe holes and less feverish weeknight cutting out of Olivia Pope-inspired coats. It means more muslin-making.

If you want to skip new-beginnings navel-gazing you should probably stop here, fyi.
My wardrobe needs have changed. I recently changed beats (I’m a reporter, not a cop, but the terminology is the same!). When we lived in Philadelphia and I covered a niche but international subject: I worked from home two or three days per week and spent lots of time on the phone and the email machine, but I didn’t necessarily get properly dressed. Reporters can get away with being sloppy and disheveled, but reporters who work from home half the week…well. I’m not sure I wore real pants these last two winters. And I don’t even really own them anymore: for the four years before that I lived in Dubai, where winter basically does not exist, except indoors.
Now we live in Washington and I cover the politics and policy of a handful of niche topics. That involves going to press conferences, going to government agencies, and going to Congress. The men reporters wear suits. It is not appropriate, really, for me to wear leggings and chambray shirts three days per week.
I started reading through the Wardrobe Architect and then the Into Mind site and then about the Common Wardrobe + the French 5-Piece Wardrobe but, oh Christ, the idea was for things to become simple and not involve worksheets. I know I like wearing navy, cream, gray, black and camel, and often some reds and pinks. I even buy fabrics in those colors, without planning (see stash screenshot)…
color scheme
I know I need pants, and winter dresses, and some jackets (but not traditional blazers, which don’t really suit me). I know I don’t really need party dresses.
I bashed out some of the things I’ve been contemplating sewing, and many of them are suitable for these purposes, and I’ve already got the fabric and the patterns.
Anyway, the list!
1. Winter Coat for husband — He currently wears a really nice top coat that belonged to a grandfather. Nice in that it has held up for decades. But certain stress points are wearing super thin, and the thing just needs to be put out of its misery. I did a pretty massive repair job on it last year, but it will only hold for so long. He wears it, but against everyone’s better judgment. This is priority number one.
2. Winter Coat for me — I wear this one almost every day, and it needs a break. (Actually, In days it took me to edit this post, the coat came apart at the hem…. ) I’m planning on doing the two coats together, and they’ve both been through muslins round 1, but both need another go.
3. Cream wool dress — Winter dresses are fantastic for work, but I’m really not attracted to the fit-and-flare silhouette, and the shift dress feels a little too stodgy to me. I’ve had a crush on this Aime Comme Marie pattern for more than a year, and the thing is currently muslined on my dress form. My plan is to cut out fabric for it, and go at it in the next several weeks as a palate cleanser for the coats.
4. Red wool pants — This is the inspiration. Brilliant move, selling elastic-waisted pants in wool and calling them ‘tailored’. It makes me want them, but I have red wool tricotine (so that was a totally practical purchase) and the Anima pattern under my belt. Make them.
Then, sort of in order of importance/seasonality/criticality of wardrobe hole:
Silk Camis and tanks
Dark Grey Silk Antoinette Pants
Meg raglan tees in black silk, navy silk, and Nani Iro gauze
Red wool Gabby jacket
White button-up shirt — I love oversized ones in a white floaty fabric, but the ready to wear ones I’ve had get worn to death. I need to me a backup.
Black/navy basque-topped skirt
Yellow silk/rayon challis wrap dress…we’ve got a family vacation to Hawaii planned and at least one summer wedding.
Black reverse Gabby jacket
Gold boucle jacket
Black/navy Jett jacket (?)
Navy wool Knit Genevieve jacket (?)
So that’s it! Are you back to sewing basics for the new year? Or party dresses and felted dinosaurs?


  1. This year, I decided to sew without a plan and whatever I’m interested in. I work from home and live overseas, so I don’t need have pressing clothing needs. My main goal is 20 minutes a day of sewing, just so I can improve and progress. I just bought gold sequinned fabric…

    1. Oh wow! Sewing every day is a big commitment, no matter how many minutes. I just try to do something after work every day, but it’s not always productive.

      And have fun with sequins. I made pants with some over the summer it it’s still one of my favorite makes!

    1. Got the fabric in the mail, it’s got no stretch so unless they are MC Hammer pants, they won’t be pants. I’m working on a minoru jacket now but am pinteresearching for alternative sequinned outfits.

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