Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Projects I Want to Make in 2012

My husband and I just went over our New Year's Resolutions, which include normal things like working out more, eating less meat to lessen our carbon footprint, and learning to cook new fabulous meals. We also had some less normal ones, mostly related to our hobbies. For example, my husband wants to have a better kill-death ratio in MW3. Um. Right. I have sewing ones, and while I posted a list at the beginning of the school year, a second semester/new actual year list is called for. I've made some progress in both my Check the Technique list and actual projects list, but I thought I'd add some. I considered not writing about them here, but if I don't post it for the world to see, I may never get to them.
  • I want to make a qipao for Chinese New Year. This may be the scariest resolution of all, considering that I have no fabric, no pattern, no idea of how to make one, and CNY is coming up quickly: January 23! Actually, let me rephrase. I want to make something vaguely resembling a qipao, that may or may not actually open at the top, and is probably not brocade. But it will have a collar and frog buttons and side slits!
  • I want to make a corset. A real one, not like this leather pretender. I want to use coutil and a busk and steel boning and everything. Richard the Thread is only ten minutes away from me, and we would like to leave LA in 2013, so it's this year or never. 
  • I need to tackle pants. At first I was going to say jeans, but I'll settle for pants. And none of this elastic waist jersey knit business either; these need to be real pants with a zipper and a woven fabric. I won't go so far as to say a front fly or lining, but yeah. 
  • Make a 1930's style bias cut dress. I'm scared to death of those slinky fabrics and ripply bias seams, but it's time to follow my own advice and just do it.  
  • I want to make a historical costume. I have a king sized sheet with a chintz pattern that I think would work nicely for a colonial-era dress, but no pattern. Dare I hack one?
  • I'm going to make a coat. I already have the wool, the lining, and the pattern, but I just need to summon the courage.
  • Use up my fabric and pattern stash, within reason. I have some fabrics that I don't feel up to working with yet, skill-wise, and some patterns that will probably never be used because of the style. I need to stop buying patterns at Joann's just because they're on sale, and limit it to only getting unique styles that I can't hack from my existing patterns. I just looked at my pattern stash and realized I have at least five fitted bodices with the two side darts and two front darts. If I want a different neckline, I can figure it out on my own. Also, I'm going to learn from Sarah at Musings of a Seamstress and save all my sewing-related receipts this year as a record. Gaaah, how scary. Maybe that'll teach me to be better about it!
  • I'm pledging to not buy retail clothing this year unless it is underwear or maaaaybe jeans. Or an emergency. Okay, fine, I'm limiting myself to five non-underwear RTW pieces, and I better try dang hard to find it in a thrift store first.  
Those are pretty scary, all written out like that. Let's not think about it too hard yet. Have a picture of Walnut on my latest project instead.

On second thought, he looks pretty scary here.


  1. Your resolutions don't sound too scary to me, just take it one step at a time. If you can wear a hippo print dress why can't you sew a coat or pants?

  2. @mollyThanks for the vote of confidence! Pants scare me because even my seamstress mother says they are challenging to fit well, and coat material is so expensive I don't want to waste it!

  3. If you're going to self-pattern an 18th century dress, see if you can get Janet Arnold or Norah Waugh's books from your library. There are also some great references online; I'd start with the tutorials on a blog called The Fashionable Past, particularly the petticoat tutorial.

  4. Those sound like fabulous goals, and I completely agree with Molly - you can totally rock coats and pants!

  5. @Allison Thank you for the very helpful advice! I will check out my library as soon as I can!

  6. Thanks for the mention! It can definitely be a scary task of saving the receipts. Love the resolutions! Coat and pants are on my 2012 to sew list as well.

  7. I've told myself too I'm not going to buy anymore clothes, I'm going to make them but in the previous years it has never worked! Good luck with all your resolutions! I'm new to your blog and loving it! Definitely following! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.com/

  8. I'm so impressed with all your resolutions! If you learn how to make a corset, I can give you money to make me one instead of giving it to a random Etsy seller! Everyone wins! Well, except the random Etsy seller...

  9. Love the resolutions! Especially the ones about corsets and 18th century garments. Hehe. Welcome to the dark side. Once historical costuming gets its claws into you you'll never leave!

    And I definitely second Janet Arnold. I love her patterns so much!


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