Thursday, 2 June 2011

My Progress So Far...

I realised today that it has been 5 Months since I started my Make-Not-Buy challenge, good grief that has gone by quickly! I thought now would be a good time to look at my progress so far (some of you might think that waiting until 6 months have passed would be a more logical way of working, but that's just the way I roll!) and see what goals I should set myself for my remaining time on this project. I suppose it's all the amazing posts that have been flying around the blogosphere recently about sewing productivity and planning your sewing, but I'm just feeling the need to get organised. I am going to make the most of my sewing time, dammit! 

Some of you may remember way back when I started this project, I made a list of all the items of clothing that I wanted to make in this year to fill the gaps in my wardrobe. I divided this list into basics and luxuries and wanted to spend my time hopping between the two so that by the end of the year I would have a lovely wardrobe full of day-to-day wear and glam yumminess. Now, for your enjoyment and entertainment (or at least I hope it will be...!) I'm going to work my way down each of these lists and we'll see how things are going so far. How exciting...

First up we have the Basics:

  • A Black Pencil Skirt - Kind of completed, but it's now red!
Ok, so I have made a pencil skirt this year, but it's red! 

Red Pencil Skirt

Now I decided to make this red pencil skirt because I needed something to pair with my yummy vintage blouse, and to be honest with you red is so much more my colour than black. However a black pencil skirt is a real staple basic for a wardrobe, so maybe I should make another in black. What are you thoughts?

  • A Circular Skirt - Not completed, but fabric bought and tutorial ready to go
I've had the tutorial I'm going to use all picked out since January (Casey's brilliant circular skirt tutorial) and I've finally gotten round to ordering the fabric:

Isn't it adorable? I think it will go really well with my Briar Rose Sweater and my Enchanting in Black and White sweater, it's always nice to know you have things to wear your creations with all ready and waiting! This project will definitely be happening the minute I get home from the tour, so watch this space!

  • Tops - Pendrall Blouse completed, one vintage revamp done, but not many other plans
My Pendrall Blouse was the first sewing project that I completed this year and, although I do love it, to be honest I think that this shows. 

Pendrall Blouse

I was so anxious to get a project on it's feet that I didn't really take my time over the details of it's construction and it felt a little bit rushed. Also it feels a little bit short which means I can't just wear it with anything, it needs to be paired with high-waisted things, of which my wardrobe is rather lacking. I've only worn this blouse once so far *hangs head in shame*. This feels particularly bad as what my wardrobe really lacks is separates. I have lots of dresses (which I do wear most of the time!) but I'd like to mix it up a bit, with some skirt/trousers/tops mix and match. That's why I love the red blouse that I revamped, it goes well with so many things and it's different and interesting. 

Revamped Red Blouse

I think I need to be more specific with what I want to create rather than just using the very white washed term "tops", so more research needs to be done before I can properly plan what to make. On the plus side I do have several Vintage Revamps to do that will give me some new tops quite quickly (remember the yellow blouse and pink gingham top?). However I really do want to make some blouses etc. rather than just revamp some, so more planning is needed...

  • Some wide legged trousers - pattern bought but not even started!
My goodness I want these trousers so much! I have the pattern bought and ready to go, but to be honest with you I'm petrified at the thought of making a pair of trousers, it's just such a big challenge! I have been reading Cupcake Goddess' trouser sew-along posts and I think these will help me a great deal, but it's still a big challenge, one that I'm very nervous about. Maybe I just need to face my fears and do it. I'm dreaming of them in either pale blue or pale pink linen...

  • Vintage style day dresses - Crepe sew along done, 2 vintage revamps done, a few ideas in the pipeline
I have my lovely crepe sew along that I finished a while ago and I love it. 

Crepe sew along

However there are a few things that I need to do to this dress to make it more wearable, mostly involving sewing in some lingerie straps to clip it to my bra so the little sleeve cuffs don't fall down, and also adding a popper to the back to stop it gaping. Other than that I'm as happy as can be with it. I also have two Vintage Revamp dresses that I just can't get enough of, my 1950s style hot pink dress and my cream floral dress, both of which are now regularly worn, I can't get enough of them! 

Hot pink 1950s style revamp
(I can't find any pictures of the cream floral dress...)

Of course the one failure of my Make-Not-Buy challenge was my disastrous attempt at the Swing Dress sew along, which is still lurking in my to-be-sewn pile looking sorry for itself! That's one thing that I really must try and face up to soon! In the meantime I have a lot of vintage dress patterns that I want to try out and also lots of Vintage Revamps for dresses planned, so this is definitely the most healthy part of my project so far! I think that, like my plans for tops, I just need to look very carefully at what I want in terms of dresses - i.e. shape, colour, etc. - and then plan my sewing in more detail. That way I'll know exactly what I want and for when :)

Next we have my progress with Luxuries which is a little bit thinner...:

  • An event dress - One completed!
I'm starting with the only achievement I've made so far in my luxuries section, my completed "Party Dress Book" Dress! 

The Party Dress Book Dress

I absolutely adore this dress, it was a dream to make and a dream to wear and I cannot wait to take it out on the town again. I do want to add more beading to the skirt, but that will probably take a while! Also, making this dress has also made me realise that I don't really need many event dresses because I don't go to all that many events! So for now, lovely and fabulous though they are, I'm not planning any more event dresses. This of course may change if I'm invited somewhere that simply needs a special fancy kind of dress... :)

  • Lingerie - Nothing to report
This does sadden me because I adore lingerie! But I haven't made anything lingerie-ish at all so far :( I think that the same thing that applied to tops and dresses is also the case here: I need a more detailed plan! Once I have a clear list of what I want to make, be it full slips, half slips, petticoats etc, I'll be able to plan my time and get things done. By the way, this WILL include a 1950s style poofy net petticoat as I can no longer go on without one. I'm dreaming of one in red and one in blue and one in pink...

  • A corset - No progress
  • A leopard print dress - No progress
  • An evening coat - No progress

All of the three projects above I haven't even thought about since I started this challenge, naughty old me! Mostly I think it's because I don't have a pattern bought for any of them and then I get put off in other ways too. The corset puts me off because I've never made one and I think it may be a tad ambitious of me to assume I'll be able to; the leopard dress puts me off because I have not been able to find the perfect fabric anywhere; and the evening coat because having made a coat once before I know it's not an easy job, plus as summer is fast approaching I wouldn't be able to wear it for a while anyway! These projects may need to be rethought, whether or not I even contemplate making them will have to be decided!

So there you have it, so far I have made one skirt, one blouse, one dress, three vintage revamps and one event dress. And this of course doesn't include all the knitting I've been doing too. Not bad, but I want to do better! And I'm going to do that with the following incredible plan!

  1. Detail Detail Detail - I need to decide exactly what I want in my wardrobe, pick the patterns and get the fabric (or at least know what fabric I'm going to get) This will also include planning my knitting projects, which until now have been much more relaxed, just knitting whatever I want for fun rather than thinking about what I really need. Fun but not exactly kind on my pursestrings!
  2. Organisation - Each group will have a certain amount of projects planned, organised in one of Casey's brilliant spreadsheets (I know Casey didn't invent the spreadsheet, but using it for sewing methods is just plain genius!)
  3. New groups - I'm dividing the projects into new groups, no longer will there be basics and luxuries, simply Dresses, Tops, Skirts, Lingerie and Trousers. The luxury projects that this doesn't include will be put to one side for the meantime until I have a moment to be indulgent :) I will also have two new groups: Knitting and Vintage Revamps. Which brings me to my final point...
  4. More sewing from patterns - rather than just revamping clothes I really want to spend time using vintage patterns. I need to work on my pattern using techniques!

So there you have it, over the next few days I'll be planning my projects in each of the above groups and sharing them with you. Hopefully this will help me get a lot more done and I'll make the most out of my Make-Not Buy Challenge. Isn't it funny how a break from your normal life can get your creative juices going more than when you're just at home? :)

Bye for now!


Anonymous said...

Hi! I've been following your blog for a little while now, but this is my first time commenting. I really enjoy your blog! This post on getting organized is really relevant to me right now (along with all the other posts on organization and productivity that have been posted lately) since I'm trying to create a real wardrobe instead of just randomly sewing things. Your idea about needing to be detailed and specific as to what to make is super helpful. Thanks for the tip!

Miss Katie said...

Mala-14 - Thanks so much for the lovely comment, I'm so glad you enjoy my blog :) I'm just like you at the minute, I'm trying to stop just making things on a whim and really work out what I need and give it some structure. Detail and specificity are definitely the way forward, so I hope you also enjoy my future posts on the subject! :)

Sofia said...

you've made some wonderful things - the red dress is my favourite!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Oh, and did I mention I miss you...

arnique said...

I love the Alice and Rabbit print! I'm amazed that you're going to sew your entire wardrobe this year. I wish I had that sort of talent and dedication.

Arianne from A + B in the Sea

Anonymous said...

i adore all these looks, i love your style, it's so vintage! i need to start making more things too :s

Vintage Stop at

Miss Katie said...

Sofia - Thank you!

arnique - I'm pretty amazed too, I hope I'll be able to do it! :)

vickileestyle - Thank you so much! hop on the making train, it's great fun :)

Anonymous said...

OMG you are just like me! and i refuse to buy anything new because i like to create my clothes or revamp things. i{ve also made a list of basics but not luxuries. i wont go for that until im sure the basics are over with. i get so giddy looking at your tutorials!

Miss Katie said...

Anonymous - Thank you for your comment, we do indeed seem to be the same! I'm really happy that you're liking what you see on my blog :)

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