12-pattern challenge: On Wardrobe Staples and Pacing

I was inspired by this blog post that extolls the virtues of sticking to your basics and pacing yourself while doing personal sewing. So here I present the patterns I’ve chosen to make this year that will hopefully add to my wardrobe and be do-able more than once, once I alter them correctly. Some you might recognize because I’ve made or tried to make them before. From the blog post:

Here are the basic rules:

  1. I will pick a total of 12 patterns to sew from in 2014. This is my bank of wardrobe staples.
  2. I will select patterns from my stash first, but also give myself an allowance of new patterns to purchase.
  3. I can sew any combination of patterns, in any order, but…
  4. I will sew at least one pattern every month, and all 12 by the end of the year.
  5. I will make a muslin for each pattern and perfect the fit to the best of my ability.
  6. I will concentrate on proper, durable seam finishing techniques in order to really finish each garment.
  7. Once the fit is perfected, and the initial pattern has been made according to the original instructions, I can re-make and alter the pattern as many times as I’d like.
  8. I will attempt to use up my stash fabric, but only if the fabric is appropriate for the garment and of good quality.

It’s been hard to sew things for myself lately because I’ve either been busy sewing for others or I’ve been colossally failing at my own projects. Which is a huge ego-drain. I need to set a plan and pace myself for the year, because I have too many patterns, too much fabric, and not enough work actually getting done.

Without further ado…

1. Simplicity 2147 (reviews)

I’ve worked with this pattern before, and it’s very customizable and can be made with many different types of fabric. This was an easy choice because I wear this style shirt often anyway.

2. Butterick 5610 (reviews)

Just a little different from the Simplicity pattern, this offers some interesting pleating detail and is also versatile.

3. Butterick 5922 (reviews)

Plain shirt that can be spiced up with lace or color blocking. Also something I wear on a regular basis.

4. Butterick 5890 (reviews)

This is a unique shirt and I can learn some good techniques from making it. It’s not a type of shirt that I normally wear, but I think it would flatter me so I’m willing to try it out.

5. McCalls 3830 (reviews)

This is a basic mccalls pencil skirt pattern in five lengths that won a pattern of the year award a couple years ago. Can’t WAIT to make a wool skirt!

6. Vogue 8944 (reviews)

An easy, basic dress pattern. It’s a somewhat new pattern so doesn’t have a lot of reviews, but I think I can customize it to my build.

7. Butterick 5917 (reviews)

This was also a pattern of the year. It’s a great work dress that would challenge me enough to keep me interested. It’s unique so I would probably only make it a couple of times, but I think it’s a good pattern to throw in for this year.

8. Butterick 5926 (reviews)

Blazers are big in my wardrobe, and this pattern looks to customize well. Crossing fingers!

9. Simplicity 2700 (reviews)

OMG pants. They’re the “amazing fit” line, which I like, and I have yet to successfully make real pants. Lots of good reviews, too. And these are the kinds of pants I wear to work most often.

10. Butterick 5685 (reviews)

I’ve been eyeing this pattern for months, and I have what I need to make it. It’s got generally good reviews and I’d love to try making a coat.

11. McCalls 6359 (reviews)

Loose-fitting tanks I can layer year-round and totally rock during the summer? I’m in.

12. McCalls 6559 (reviews)

A maxi-dress that can be for any time of year depending on what material it’s made out of. Love the pattern, has great reviews, doesn’t look hard to do unless I feel like I need to colorblock the shit out of it, which I don’t.

I didn’t include a button-down shirt because they really take so long to make that it’s more sensible to buy them until I’m more advanced. Maybe next year?

My runner-up as a wardrobe staple is a basic princess seamed dress (McCalls 6263). That will be made if I have time and could be worn day or night or basically whenever I feel like wearing a dress. I’m not a huge fan of dresses, which is why I included more shirts in this list.


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