2014 Sewing Goals (a little late I know…)

As you may well have deduced from my sudden re-emergence into the blogosphere, I’m at last getting a little time to myself for organizing and sewing. A long time list lover, I came across Lucky Lucille’s 12 pattern post and was inspired to set some sewing goals for myself as well. Sewing for me seems too often to be last minute and all at once, and so I shall endeavour to make more time, perhaps better spread out  and more long term focused for adding to my wardrobe/stash busting.

Various vintage patterns in my ‘to make’ pile…

First step is choosing which garments/accessories should take priority. Lately I have been mostly doing tailored skirts and dresses to wear on special occasions or evenings out. I desperately needed some ‘nice’ things so I could get at least a little gussied when I had the chance. I’d certainly like to continue making these types of clothes, but also add more flexible ‘essentials’ and causal wear. I’m increasingly hesitant to buy cheap mass produced things for ethical and quality purposes. So, here are some initial thoughts organized by season:


  • Wool dress coat – 1930s-50s style: I have a lovely 1960s coat with a fur collar that is my go to dress coat but it’d be nice to have another option, especially one that was a little longer to keep the cold wind off of my legs!
  • Wool suiting skirts: I have made a few pencil skirts in the last year but they are so versatile and warm in the winter months. Perhaps something more 1940s or 1960s mod style.
  • Long sleeved blouses/tops – must balance out skirts with tops for mix and match options.
  • Pants!: I have a pattern that I know fits me – I need to get on this because paying too much for jeans that never fit right is wrong.
  • A 40s or 50s housecoat that’s warm but has a little drape to it.

Visual Aid:

A lovely vintage photo of a 1930s princess coat. (from Dividing Vintage Moments)

Pattern illustration for Butterick 7648. Sadly I do not own this pattern.

I like the longer lines and waist definition in these ‘princess’ style coats. They would be a good alternative to my boxier 60s coat.

McCall’s 6097 (1961) ‘Instant’ skirt

Butterick 2151 (1961)

Butterick 2151 (1961)

These ‘1 yard’ skirts seem like a great way to use smaller pieces of fabric in my stash. They also would work well as more casual separates.

Retro Butterick Re-production 1948 Robe

The only reason I’ve not made this robe is that it requires quite a lot of fabric and I need to find just the right thing. I’d love it in a lovely rayon or rayon cotton blend.


  • Cotton/Rayon sundresses: Fun semi-casual frocks that I can ride my bike in. Something vintage look and versatile that can do day or evening.
  • Maxi skirts/Dresses – not the gathered tiered affairs of the 90s, but more draped/a-line 30s/70s vibe. From cotton and rayon blends, maybe fine knits. Avoiding the ‘hippie’ look. Can be dressed up or down.
  • Shorts/Capris: Use that pants pattern, take the plunge. Make something practical and cute!
  • Short sleeve blouses and t-knit tops: Again – mix and match and have a nice variety. Also: make a serious purge of tops I don’t wear that are taking up space in my drawers!
  • Light blazers/jackets: Something to throw on in the evening/on cool days.

Visual Aid:

The Shirtwaist Dress from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing

The Shirtwaist Dress from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing

Simplicity 3047 (1960)

Simplicity 3047 (1960)

I like the idea of a shirtwaist, and also the idea of making the shirt and skirt separately for more options. Causal but put together.

McCall's 5113 (1976)

McCall’s 5113 (1976)

View D currently in progress, without the pockets for now. A thru C are basically trumpet skirts of which I’ve made many from my own pattern. I Love F  – bias cut and nifty pockets that seem large enough to be useful.

Retro Butterick B5603 Reproduction 1956

It’s hard to tell from this pattern envelope, but I’ve seen and used this pattern as a base for more causal looking sundresses. It’s all in the fabric choice and styling. Next time I know to cut it a size smaller than I calculate… Would also look great with a pencil skirt!

Butterick B5895 (Patterns by Gertie)

Butterick B5895 (Patterns by Gertie)

I’ve had this pattern for awhile. I like higher waist and the summery length but if the pattern works well it could easily be converted to a longer legged version.

The design sketch, and a variation of the same dress from 1937. Based on the sheet music staff. From The Little Book of Schiaparelli.

The design sketch, and a variation of the same dress from 1937. Based on the sheet music staff. From The Little Book of Schiaparelli.

1935 Nifty Blouse – from Sewing Vintage

I am trying to work in more 1930s styles. I love the drape and simplicity, but have to be mindful of what is flattering on me. Something Schiaparelli inspired would be fab, and this quicky little blouse could work with a light cotton or even a fine knit.

Simplicity 9434 (1980) Blouse with a 30s vibe.

This cute blouse I picked up despite it being from the 1980s, because it looks quite 1930s to me.

Butterick 3286 (1960s)

Butterick 3286 (1960s)

Simplicity 7702 (1968)

I like the idea of Quick and Easy – hoping I can make up some of these basic 60s tops in knits or light cottons.

As usual  this is a highly ambitious list but hopefully I can cross some things off by budgeting my time a little better over the coming months, even if it’s forcing myself to get into the sewing room for a couple of hours every few days when working another gig. I’ll also do my best to post updates as a further incentive!

What are your sewing goals this year?

~ Heather

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