Thoughts on (Not) Having A Plan

While being stuck on the sofa with a mild flu I began to panic over not having a master plan for sewing. (Ok, I read a shitload of Anuschka Rees / Into Mind.) I mean, I admire people who are able to track their wardrobe needs, plan their sewing ahead (usually with sketches) and actually stick to their plans. For me it’s been more like “oh no my coat is broken, oh no I have no functioning bras, no wait, zero tops for layering”, and so on. You get the point. I think it’s partly because I’ve somehow ended up making almost everything and -let’s face it- sewing takes time. I’m probably slower than average and have no specific sewing space, so for me a quick project would be four hours or so with all arrangements included. And honestly, I can’t spend all my weekends indoors sewing. I also need to go out and wear clothes.

So, most of the time I feel like I’m just putting out fires to make sure I don’t need to walk around naked, and my “sewing plan” is a non-existing list that updates on it’s own. Sometimes I simply get sidetracked because of a new pattern I need to use, even though I try not to do total impulse buys by asking myself stuff like does this fit in, where do I use it and does it go with my other clothes. Or I can’t find the perfect fabric for a blazer, but see something that suits to a wintercoat pattern I’m also planning to use. And every now and then I remeber that I’m in the middle of 1) making a new bikini top, 2) muslining a blazer, and 3) shortening a dress pattern + finding fabric, all while trying to replace my worn out transition weather coats.

What I’m getting at here is that I’d love to have a plan, but I never feel I really do. It all seems to depend too much on limited sewing time, weather not changing as it should (looking at you, Finnish spring 2017), and me not being able to track everything that’s going on with my wardrobe. This year we’ve had a freezing cold spring until now, so my coat plans moved on top of the list. A month ago I had the idea of nobly hanging in there with one stupid coat and one worn out coat “until it gets warm”. It never got warm. As I write this, we’re still expecting snow and I need to feel more polished in my daily activities. So, I’m currently panic-taping together Isla trench and waiting to get bettern so that I can get more ink for my printer and get Kelly anorak printed out. At least this kind of looks like a long term sewing plan? Then again, I also had a plan of replacing my work dresses during last winter, but somehow my Helmi still exists only on paper. (On the other hand, I did make a couple of Inaris.) With Helmi it’s been mostly about not finding the right fabric, but I now have finally ordered some from Atelier Brunette. 

To see just how much I’ve gotten sidetracked this year I dug up my #makeseven (instead of #makenine):


And it wasn’t really that bad. I’m half way through with Beverly bikini, have half a muslin for Michelle (this is also a pattern waiting for the right fabric), have made two long-sleeved Inaris, done with Pilvi coat dress, and as said, Helmi is finally making some kind of progress. And in the beginning of the year I had no idea that I’d encounter bra, pants and spring coat crisis on the way. I’m sort of on the fence when it comes to making that dress top right, because I’m pretty well off dress-wise at the moment. Alexandria trousers might still happen during summer holidy, but I think the need for woven summer tops is a bigger issue. I’d say that the two pairs of Ninni culottes I’ve made fill the summer pants hole quite nicely.

What I’m getting from this in-depth sewing plan analysis is that I might benefit from both having a plan and prepping several patterns at once when there’s time to do that. What I’m also getting is that I should first go through my wardrobe as a whole (from coats to undies) to see what’s not there. Like currently I have many more pairs of pants and pencil skirts than long-sleeved tops (minus wool sweaters), and you can see how that might be a problem in daily life, right? I feel like the collection above was more like a list of patterns I want to use, not really a plan based on what I need.

I feel like I’m still -after several years of picking up sewing again- in the process of making sense of this. I mean, it’s a hobby in a way, and I’ve made choices like I’m not sewing t-shirts (boring) or jeans (broken needles scare me). But at the same time I’m also adjusting my opinions on things like does it make sense to sew coats and bras, and what’s a good way of doing that. It’s like making choices between comfort and discomfort, feeling well dressed or frumpy, spending all my free time at home or actually going out in my clothes. So basically making more detailed plans might be a good idea at this point. I’m also thinking about the sustainability aspect of my sewing here, and being more thoughtful of what to make appeals to me. It’s began to bother me that I’m (despite a small crisis every now and then) pretty well equipped for my daily life, but still making things in a way that often feels random. Because of this I’ve tried to pick “bigger” projects lately so that I’d have something to do / get my mind off work while not blindly producing stuff. I’ve also promised mittens to three more friends, and possibly a coat for one to stop focusing on me as much as I’ve usually done. And to use some of the left-over yarn piles here.

I’m curious, how do you feel about these things? Do any of you get stressed out by having plans and not having plans or making too much and too little?

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts on (Not) Having A Plan

  1. Great topic. Sewing plans seem smart and sensible, but they totally kill any enthusiasm for a project for me. Also I am WAY less likely to finish current project if I’m thinking about other projects. But thats just me!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see how it can be distracting to have other projects waiting. I’m kind of trying to think of my (possible future) plan as one big wardrobe project with many pieces to make it easier.

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  2. Thank you for this post, it is an interesting topic! I really enjoy looking at others sewing plans, but I’m not that great at sticking to a project list myself, I do plan projects for upcoming seasons/ trips etc but it is very rare that I get through the entire list. Right now, I have two weeks left before a holiday to England and Scotland and I’m in panic sewing mode trying to finish some items, I really should plan better!

    Liked by 1 person

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