Spring forward

I make summer garments in September, hoping to extend the season. But in March, I can’t even take the thought of making another turtleneck, and all I want to do is sew sundresses! The problem with that is, well, it’ll be late May before I’m seen again in my sundresses (except for that brief respite last week in Sanibel, FL where I donned a sundress nearly every day). And I love ruanas and capes this time of year, so, a turtleneck is a really useful piece of clothing!

The spring before last, I made a gorgeous version of Christine Jonson’s Princess Seam Jacket #427 and loved it. It was the perfect weight for spring. Last spring, heavily pregnant, I sewed a BurdaStyle wrap dress.

This spring I stare at my closet and think, I really could use some updates to this stuff. I brought out some spring wear from my storage bags in the basement. Things like 3/4 sleeve tops, short sleeve sweaters, that sort of thing. Colors I generally wear in spring. But today I’m positively stymied as to what to even plan to sew. Yes, I have lists – on paper, on this blog – of what I should be sewing. And I even have inspiration from some browsing I’ve done lately at some of my favorite boutiques. But I can’t even make a move.

I thought I might join a contest over on Pattern Review – a five-piece mini wardrobe (you know what a fan I am of the mini wardrobe, just see the vacation post!) but I missed the start of that contest while on vacation, and it’s two weeks into it, and I’m too busy.

I have two collections of patterns I think that I should visit and craft my own mini wardrobe. First, Christine Jonson has made it super easy with her Travel Trios to sew up a 3 or 6 or 9 piece wardrobe. And then I do have a collection of Vogue Elements (they still are popular on Ebay) patterns that have almost everything one could want – jackets, short skirts, skinny pants, wide pants, dresses, even some summer casual tops, shorts and pants.

I would set a goal to wear them during the PatternReview  PR Weekend Chicago in mid-May, a much more doable time frame. The challenge with that is we’re spanning a season that is pretty wild in the midwest. It could snow next week. And be 90 by mid-May. But this cool spring, I’m guessing it won’t be 90 in Chicago in mid-May.

The other two items are a big tote and matching oversized clutch. Perfect for PR weekend.

I spent some time in the stash. Pulled out five knits, two prints and three solids. One is even cut, already. Grabbed a ruana from my closet, and will also grab a pair of cotton sateen trousers. I do know for a busy mother of two small children (4 and 9 months) that I have to maximize my time. I can do that most effectively with Christine Jonson patterns (no muslins, no fitting issues, just tissue fit the pants to adjust the crotch depth and leg length and that should be it).  They’ll sew up perfect, as they always do. I’ll add in an Elizabeth Lee nursing dress (again, always a TNT).  I’ll be one happy and stylish mama.

  • 3 tops – sleeveless and reversible wrap top, a 3/4 sleeve v-neck top, and a shirred turtleneck with long sleeves. The reversible is a  sketchy watercolor floral on one side and a solid on the other.
  • 1 skirt – A-line, knee length in a fun print that coordinates with all three tops.
  • 1 jacket – a shaped, draped wrap jacket in black knit that has a pattern almost like suede to it (it’s a knit).
  • 1 pair of pants – also in black (same as above) with front seaming and banded waist.
  • 1 dress for breastfeeding – a classic v-neck sheath dress with elbow length sleeves, knee length in a charcoal gray with an interesting silver and black horizontal wave design on it. It’s chic enough for a city weekend kind of dress.
  • Plus the sateen pants, a ruana and another long sleeved crossover v-neck top from my wardrobe.

Now, the sewing plan – I never like to cut ahead, but I have one top cut. I think I’ll focus on finishing that top, and cutting one other for this week. Next weekend, cut another and sew one, all the way thru to May. Most of these will take an hour or two at the most.

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