Sew With A Plan

S.W.A.P. is a popular mantra in the sewing world.  Just as one needs to be focused on what items to buy when planning out a versatile, functional wardrobe; one needs to do the same when creating a wardrobe.  Otherwise, the same problems might arise – wardrobe orphans.

I have heard the 80/20 or cake and icing rule stated all over the blogosphere.  You should work to create 80% hardworking, versatile basics and 20% icing – or the fun, sparkly stuff.  As much as I want a closet full of fancy cocktail dresses – I really only need one or two – I should focus on creating items that can be worn day in and day out.

So, I have been working with a sewing plan, to keep myself on track, starting from the beginning.  I hope that will prevent me from using valuable time and resources creating things that I will never wear.

I want to develop some “tried and true” patterns for pieces that will get the most wear in my life.  I prefer to layer, so my outfits are usually jeans/shorts/skirt/capris, a shell or t-shirt, and a cardigan, pullover, light jacket or hoodie.  My list looks like this, so far:

1.  A shell pattern.  I like the drape neck on myself, and have been eyeballing the day to night drape neck (—day-to-night-drape-top/39468) and Vogue 8669.  I also like Style Arc’s Diana top (

2.  A basic, fitted t-shirt pattern with neck line and sleeve variations.  I hope the patterns included with the Craftsy Sewing with Knits class will fill this category.

3.  Basic Sheath Dress that has neck and sleeve variations, for a wide assortment of fabrics (seasonal).  McCall’s 2401 looks like a good candidate.  I also like M6699, but it doesn’t have any variations.  I love how Megan Kelly’s (Fox News anchor) dresses look and fit.  Always a solid color, perfect fit, and minimal accessories.  It looks so chic and can be very versatile!

4.  A pencil skirt pattern – which I am working on with Sew Everything Workshop (reminds me, I need poster board and a glue stick).  I would like Simplicity 2451, view B for a bit fuller skirt.  I don’t really dig A-line skirts on myself, and that one is a bit fitted through the hips and then widens out.

5.  A sundress pattern for woven fabrics.  I would like to find a good summer sundress that fits like a glove and can be made in different prints.  I think I would like to pick up New Look 6557.

6.  I would like to find a jacket pattern – I am really looking to recreate a jacket I used to have and lost that was a heavy gauge linen/canvas type fabric, unlined, in a khaki color, but was cut like a blazer, so it was casual but had really good structure.  I think that would make a versatile top and could be made in nicer fabrics as the need arises.

7.  The perfect fit button up shirt, with sleeve variations – I have been dreaming about you!

8.  A pajama set – I have been working on McCall’s 5248.  I think it will be very versatile in the future.  I just need to get the fit right and transfer that patterns to something heavier duty.

9.  Trousers

10.  Tailored Shorts

11.  Jeans

11.  A cardigan.  I need to learn to knit.  This will probably never happen.

I see a lot of fitting classes on Craftsy in my future.  My local ASG group is working on creating a sloper for the bodice all year.  I think I lucked out on this one!  I did just miss the full year of creating the perfect trouser sloper. 😦


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