sewing with a plan: September

Well, my late August sewing didn’t go exactly according to plan. A nasty cold began circulating at the preschool as soon as it was back in session. Ramona caught it right away & passed it along to Jared. Somehow I have thus far been spared, but they are both malingering a bit. Jared has been sleeping on the couch so his coughing doesn’t wake me up. I guess the only way this has really affected my sewing is that I have felt like I need to be around downstairs because I’m the only healthy member of the family who also possesses opposable thumbs, in case people need water or applesauce or whatever. I’ve been cross stitching to make the most of my time. I can do that on the couch with Ramona while she watches “Arthur”.

I did finish the skirt I was working on, but I haven’t had a chance to take photos yet because my tiny photographer has been sick. Plus I wanted to make something to wear under it, because it gets short in the back if everything isn’t laying just right, & I didn’t get around to finishing that right away.

I decided that September 1 would be the day I finally get my shit together. This is the vow I make to myself on the first of every month…& every Monday…on my birthday…on New Year’s Day…Any excuse for a fresh start. Never mind that I’m 38 years old, & if I was ever going to get my shit together for real, I probably would have by now. But it actually has been going pretty well so far! We’re only three days in, so there’s still plenty of time to crash & burn (especially if I catch that cold), but I might have set a new record for myself. Usually I have one really productive day & then I spend the second day of the month/Tuesday/the day after my birthday/etc laying on the couch, unshowered, ordering in a pizza & binge-watching “The Golden Girls,” because I exhausted myself the day before.

(Incidentally, I once got a comment in response to a similar post from someone laying into me about how I was a useless, lazy sack of crap because some people have jobs to go to & how I’ve got to pull it together if I hope to be a functioning member of society. I don’t really remember the details. Joke’s on them though because I already know I’m not a functioning member of society! I have chronic, debilitating, treatment-resistant depression & anxiety instead. You win some, you lose some.)

Sewing plans?


Mostly I just wanted an excuse to post this photo, because I worked on these drawings for like one thousand years.

These aren’t ALL of my sewing plans for fall/winter, but it’s a lot of them. I put checkmarks on the garments that are already finished. There’s a lot of stuff here I am excited about! Like the hooded blouse (bottom row, second from the left, with the black overalls). I’m planning to use Simplicity 8447 (for both the blouse & the overalls). I just really like the idea of a hooded blouse. I bought some banana print cotton lawn to use, & am thinking maybe black buttons, to coordinate with the banana stems & the fact that I wear a lot of black?

Also, the top row middle look is a nice snuggly set of rib knit pajamas. The fabric is a ditsy floral, not ordinarily my thing, but I just couldn’t resist it when I saw it on in the spring. The only hitch in the plans is that I want to make the bottoms leggings, but I don’t have a leggings pattern I swear by. I actually have never made leggings. I’m not a big wearer of leggings (though I’d like to start, because I think laying in a supply of leggings will make it easier to wear skirts & dresses in cooler weather). So this is me, soliciting pattern advice. In a perfect world, I’d like a pattern with options for either ankle length or cuffed, a slim elastic waistband, & a mock fly would be the icing on the cake. If there’s an affordable pattern out there that fits the bill, let me know! I already have the Patterns for Pirates Peglegs pattern (because it’s free), but it has like 12″ of negative ease, which seems like…a lot. I know the whole point of Patterns for Pirates is that they enable women to sew their own knock-off Lularoe clothes, but I’m not looking for that Lularoe split-up-the-back experience. I also don’t mind drafting my own.

The pants in the middle row, at the right & second to right, I’m envisioning in reversible sequin fabric. This would be a total experiment, who knows how it will turn out or how much wear reversible sequin pants will receive. But I’m thinking, more than you’d probably think, because I like to dress a little crazy.

As evidenced by the skirt all the way to the right in the top row. It’s the Oki Style Sasha skirt, which is made to look like trousers re-fashioned into a skirt with all kinds of ruffles & flounces. I kept seeing it in my head in a business-y kind of glen plaid, & I found the perfect fabric from Mood. It’s gray with a touch of baby pink, exactly my jam.

The coat in the middle is something really different. I went downtown to run errands the other day. I needed new Frixion pens so I started walking to the indie fabric shop, Sarah’s, but I got distracted by the Antiques Mall. Because I was sick all last year, I hadn’t been window shopping downtown in literally like a year. I tried to keep myself in check, but I found an amazing embroidered dress that I just had to have. & then a vintage bias cut silk slip EXACTLY my size for only $5 (which is remarkable on a lot of levels–I am usually too big to fit into truly vintage garments). & then I found a black woollen cocoon coat from the 1950s…also an exact fit. (The bottoms of the sleeves are maybe a little tight, but I can probably let them out if it really bothers me.) I had been planning to make myself a fairly simple black coat & elevate it by adding an embroidered tulle overlay. I already had the tulle, but had been putting off buying fabric for the coat because everything I liked was quite spendy. I’ve never been big into re-fashioning. I have preferred to just sew from scratch, but…I decided that sewing the overlay to the vintage coat would be a lot easier, & a lot cheaper. So I bought it. That will be an interesting experiment. If it turns out well & I enjoy it, maybe I will do more re-fashioning.

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.

14 thoughts on “sewing with a plan: September

  1. My go-to leggings is the steeplechase leggings but it doesn’t sound like the sort of thing you’re after! Actually I’ve never sewn them as leggings, only as bike shorts, but I do wear a pair of those every day and I love them.

    I’ve not tried any other ones because I like these so much…

    I love your wardrobe planning diagram. So pretty! So shaded! All that potential!

    1. I think the “shading” you are seeing is just inconsistent coloring, haha.

      I am really just leaning toward drafting my own leggings. It would be nice to also create a pattern I can use for shorts under dresses. I’m sure it can’t be that challenging, right?

  2. I recently made the So Sew Easy Custom-Fit Leggings and really liked the fit. You can buy a pattern from them or follow a tutorial on your website for drafting your own. It comes with a cool Excel table you put your measurements in then apply the exact amount of ease you want. And of course style options are up to you!

    Oh, and fuck that commenter.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! I will look into that pattern.

      & yeah, fuck that commenter. It’s not anything I’ve never heard before though, so whatever.

  3. Ottobre 5/2015 has several legging and legging-pants patterns. One of them has an actual zipper fly, but if your fabric was stretchy enough I imagine you could turn it into a mock fly. I haven’t made any of the leggings yet, but they’re on my never-ending list of things to try.

  4. Echoing Siobhan with fuck that commenter. Our society’s derision for “laziness” just amounts to ableism and it’s complete BS. You’re a fucking rockstar.

    I am so excited to see the sequin pants. I really want to make a pencil skirt out of that sequin material, but locally it is super expensive. I would only need a yard, though, so maybe one day! 🙂

    1. Yeah, even non-locally, it’s really expensive. I think the fabric I bought was like $22/yard? But it’s really wide, so there’s that.

      & yes, I am in complete agreement about the laziness/ableism link. Really, anyone who might be reading my blog who has feelings like that is welcome to fuck off!

  5. If you can find a copy, the Cake Patterns Espresso Leggings might be of interest. It’s a pattern, but it’s based on your measurements—sort of a mix between a pattern and fully drafting your own. Unfortunately, it seems like the company is no longer in business. They sold paper (and digital) versions, though, so you might be able to find a second-hand copy.

    1. I will be a lot more impressed with my organizational skill if I actually get around to sewing this stuff! I’m kind of feeling like doing some lingerie-sewing. I think that’s what I’ll work on tomorrow while Ramona is at school. Honestly, I got fuck-all done over the last week. There’s been a lot of shit going on in my personal life, pulling me away from what I really want to be doing.

  6. Hi Ciara, I’m late to the party as usual so you can understand why I say I wish I were half as organized as you are! 🙂 All that planing and listing is my challenge.
    Anyways, I don’t know what’s wrong with people. Nobody’s holding a gun to their head and forcing them to read! Just go read elsewhere. ! Wankers. Sheesh.
    Ahh well, I hope you have tons of fun with whatever you do.
    Thanks for sharing, you inspire me.

    1. Oh God, I look so much more organized than I am. All I’ve managed to sew so far this month is one (pretty spectacular) bra & two really simple gathered underskirts. Right now I’m deep into making a doll for my daughter, & my thumb is hurting from being stabbed with 5″ dollmaking needles over & over (I can’t seem to function with a thimble), & my arms are actually sore from embroidering a face on a really firm cloth doll face. I’m not doing any of the stuff on my list!

      But I guess I’ll figure it out. I’m glad I can at least offer an inspirational facade, haha.

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