sewing plans from eclipse to September

Happy Great American Eclipse Day! Here in Lawrence, Kansas, we are just outside the path of totality. Apparently we will have a 99.3% eclipse. I was thinking that that was good enough for me, but Jared convinced me that it’s really worth making the drive to experience totality, being so close & everything. We have our eclipse glasses, we’ve told Ramona’s teachers that she will be out today, we’ve cleared our schedules…&, as it transpires, it’s supposed to be cloudy & stormy in our little corner of Kansas, so we might not see anything at all. Jared said we can get Ethiopian for lunch, since we’ll be in or close to Kansas City, so I guess that’s something. I’d jump through a flaming hoop for some kik alicha.

I have a post all written up & ready to go, but I hate the pictures. I’ve just been sitting on it for like a week & a half. So I think I will draft Ramona to take some new, better photos for me before I post it. In the meantime, let’s talk about the topic that has been consuming a lot of my attention lately: SEWING PLANS. ‘Tis the season, after all.

I wrote in the spring about all my big plans for spring/summer capsule wardrobes. I got quite a few garments on my list done, but I also got distracted by Indie Pattern Month & wound up making a few pieces for that that weren’t on the list, nor season-appropriate. When I think about sewing the rest of the summer-y garments I had planned (several of which are all cut out & ready to go!), I just feel really meh about it. Even though it’s still really hot in Kansas, I feel like I have plenty to wear & I’m ready to move on. So I’ve stuffed all those garments into bins for safekeeping. I’m thinking of it as getting a jump on my spring/summer 2018 sewing. I’ll still need maxidresses & shorts & cute blouses then, right? (Well, “need” may be a strong word.)

As my new sewing space comes together, I am just overwhelmed with ideas for things I want to sew. & not just clothes for myself! Ramona picked out some fabric at Ikea & she wants me to sew pants for her. I’ve decided that her growing has slowed down enough that it’s probably not illogical to make her some clothes. I also promised Jared that I would make us a cozy flannel fitted sheet two years ago. I need to replace my entire lingerie drawer. My bra size changed after my hysterectomy (which I hear is pretty common). I now have a smaller band & a larger cup, & I need a different wire style. & the elastic on all of my self-sewn undies is wearing out. I treated myself to a really nice cross stitch design program & have been fiddling with some pretty elaborate designs. I told Jared I would make seat cushions for the new dining room chairs we bought. (Our old ones were literally falling apart.) & I definitely need to replace my handbag. I’m currently using the Noodlehead Supertote I made a few years ago, but it’s looking pretty beat up.

I’m an obsessive list maker, so I sat down & made some lists:
* eight complete fall/winter outfits, which can be mixed & matched into a minimum of six other outfits
* three sets of weather-appropriate pajamas
* six bra/undies ideas
* two bags
* two pieces of outerwear
* two very complex cross stitching projects
* six “sewing for the home” projects
* six projects for Ramona
* six paper-piecing projects
* two knitting projects (maybe)
* I’d also like to try my hand at re-fashioning some sweaters. I have one in particular that I never wear, but am loathe to give away because I have a sentimental attachment to it.

This is definitely kind of a lot of sewing. But it’s a mix of instant gratification projects & more complex & time-consuming sewing. I’ve also included some of the more cool weather-specific garments I have made recently when thinking about outfits, so some garments are already finished.

I’ve picked three projects that I want to finish by the end of August:
1. That confounded skirt from “Mrs. Stylebook”. It’s been in the naughty corner for the last few days because I have not been able to work out exactly how the damn thing is pleated. But I had a brainwave last night as I was falling asleep, & I think I know how to finish it now. It won’t be exactly like the skirt in the magazine (at least, I don’t think so, but who the hell knows because I have no idea what the description is in Japanese), but it will suit my purposes.


the gray asymmetrical skirt

2. A self-drafted mori style pink & white tunic with a pintucked yoke & half-length puff sleeves

large_0365257      r330-white-nylon-sheer-fabric




3. A September-themed paper-pieced wall hanging. Don’t judge me! I think it might spruce up the house, & I think Ramona would really like it. My plan is to use two patterns–a bushel of apples & a butterfly with some flowers (which I will convert to sunflowers, since September is sunflower month in Kansas), & a third alphabet pattern to spell out the name of the month.



I’ll leave it at that for now, because September plans are a lot more involved, & we are also thinking about driving all the way to Columbia, Missouri for the eclipse, which would necessitate getting on the road in a minute.

Do you love planning posts as much as I do? Obviously I love seeing finished garments & hearing all about their creation, but I find planning posts super-inspirational. Am I just a weirdo?



Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

13 thoughts on “sewing plans from eclipse to September

  1. I love your plans and can’t wait to see what you make. The top in particular looks neat. I love panning posts, too! I find them inspirational. I haven’t kept on top of my plans until recently, but I am being more thoughtful with them lately and thinking of where the actual gaps in my wardrobe are. 🙂 And when I can’t sew, I can plan!

    1. My post was inspired by your planning post. I commented on it, but I don’t know if it went through. I’ve been commenting on a lot of blogs lately, with no response. I don’t know if people are just busy or if my comments aren’t going through for some reason. Anyway!

      I have also been working to be more intentional with my sewing, instead of just going for whatever is bright & shiny (although I did get fabric yesterday for a project that is literally bright & shiny & quite possibly entirely impractical). I ask myself what garments I find myself reaching for again & again, & what I wish was in my closet when I’m getting dressed. & I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I love to sew & am probably going to have a larger wardrobe by sewing it than I would if I was buying it. I’ve been having a lot of guilt about that, feeling like I was just replicating a fast fashion cycle in my sewing room. But if the things I sew are being worn…I don’t know. Maybe it’s okay?

      1. Strange. I have no comment from you. 😦 I would definitely have responded if you did.

        I’m glad my post inspired your post. 😀 I think if things are being worn and you love them there is no harm in sewing the shiny. I think the difference, for me at least, is that I bought a bunch and was never in love with anything so the things I wore were in this rotating group and the vast majority of my closet didn’t get touched. Now I wear a lot of different things, but I really have to stop putting off the practical pieces for the prettiest fabric. Doesn’t mean I won’t get to the prettiest fabric eventually. And really, I have to sew my stash because no one is keeping that around after I kick off.

        1. Bummer! It was a pretty long comment. I’m going to have to fiddle around with my settings & see if I can figure out the problem.

          My stash is now officially too big for its britches. There are piles of fabric all over my sewing space. My goal is to spend the fall & winter sewing from stash as exclusively as I can. I do want to make a new winter coat though, so I will have to buy some fabric for that.

          I’ve been thinking a lot lately about style & what I want to wear. For a while I thought I was just all about really practical garments because I needed easy things to wear while taking care of a baby, & because I was falling into that “I’m in my late 30s, time to dial it back” trap. But since I was diagnosed with cancer & know there are no more kids in my future, I’ve started getting a little more experimental. That little brush with mortality (not that I was ever knocking on death’s door, but you know) has inspired me to say “fuck it” to age-appropriateness or dressing to blend in. Why even sew if all I’m going to sew is boring, classic pieces? I love sparkles, embroidery, weird shapes, etc etc…Might as well just go with it!

          1. I never bought into the whole “age appropriate” wardrobe gang. I think with my genetic disease it has even more cemented that I don’t see the point in dressing in things I don’t like. I can’t always live the way I want but I can dress how I want and that gives me a lot of happiness.

            I’m sad your comment was lost! Hopefully WP will stop being a jerk to you!

          2. My stash is unmanageable too and I still have prize fabric on the way from Minerva crafts for IPM. I have no idea where I am going to put it. Must sew sew sew!!!!

  2. I’m glad I’m not the only one with drafts waiting that need photos redone. I’ve had a post about an Archer shirt I made ready to go for ages but I just can’t get on board with the photos – I look so ANGRY. I think I must have been squinting in the sun but it doesn’t come across very well!

    1. Yeah, I was squinting into the sun in the photos for the Indie Royalty IPM challenge, & thus those photos are not great. I was also too far away from the camera, but every time I tried to walk toward Ramona & take up more of the frame, she would back up. It was not our best photo shoot. Oh, the perils of relying on a 4-year-old photographer! I looked into buying a new camera with a digital remote (especially because my current camera is almost ten years old & has been dropped OFTEN), but they are just too expensive for my current budget.

  3. I love planning posts. I’m massively excited about my spring sewing and just spending days dreaming of making things at work. Can’t wait to get home to the sewing machine tonight! Looking forward to seeing all your makes.

    1. Yes, I saw the planning posts on your blog too! Something about the change of the seasons always inspires me to think big. I have some pretty crazy projects waiting in the wings. It will be especially nice once fall settles in here & my sewing room isn’t so hot. It’s like seven degrees hotter up there than it is in the rest of the house (Celsius–I did the conversion for you!).

      1. Haha mad conversion skills! I think the change from winter to spring and summer to autum always brings about a shift in our thinking and that can’t help but play out in our sewing. Looking forward to seeing the results and especially the crazy projects!

        1. Let’s just say several yards of mermaid sequin have been procured…

          I spent a month in Halifax a few years back (well, ten) & it was really hot when I was there, but all the time & temperature things around town said, like, 36 degrees. It took me an embarrassingly long time (like a couple of days) to figure out that they were in Celsius. & even then, I had to keep reminding myself that 36 degrees Celsius is HOT. I can’t believe I am admitting this.

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