January 2016 sewing plans

Why hello there everyone!  I’m eager to get back blogging again and even more keen to get sewing.  This is the first day of my ‘new’ work-life balance,  and am feeling very refreshed & insanely happy after a fab ski holiday with my family.  Yesterday I was working as a casual in a warehouse but now have a couple of days (kind of like a mid-week weekend- sorry– I am not trying to make anyone jealous here) before I go back to earn more beans.  Still very early days in my thinking & planning about how I meet my bills but the short term at least is sorted.  And now I have time to think & plan. And sew and blog. Yay!!!!!

A wonderful Christmas gift - Liberty Pincusion

A wonderful Christmas gift – Liberty Pincushion

So I want to dive in which means ignoring the catch up on 2015’s sewing outputs & reviews- that will have to wait.  Today I am going to share my thinking with you and ask for any suggestions you may have.  This is for January.  (And remember I still have some Christmas presents to make – a pair of boxers and two shirts).

Of most excitement then for me is having time & space to sew – in my new cottage.   And I could go completely wild & sew completely spontaneous projects.  But I have been sobered by the unpacking & re-packing of my stash of fabrics.  I have also been made sensible by having to home the clothes I make- I no longer have spare wardrobes.  Oh no.  And I have underbed storage (these from Ikea are pretty good value & do a wonderful job) to keep out of season clothing.  If I can’t store it, I can’t keep it (or I have to get rid of something else to make way).  This is finally enabling me to make considered decisions about what I *need* & therefore what I shall be sewing. Hurrah.  At last I have grown up a bit!

[Cough] these shelves are supposed to contain my fabric stash - but they don't yet- there is another cardboard box....

[Cough] these shelves are supposed to contain my fabric stash – but they don’t yet- there is another cardboard box….and I haven’t finished with the sorting and organising yet by any means….

And what else I need to take into account is lifestyle – no more office clothes, a much more casual wardrobe.  OK, so after reading about my new ways of thinking, let’s see what I am thinking about making this month/ next month maybe.

Tops & jumpers- getting practical. 

I need another Linden sweatshirt (or two) in my life.  I have some green sweatshirting & various coloured ribbing- perfect for warehouse work & snuggling in the evenings.  I wear my first Linden sweatshirt a lot and it is decidedly a test garment made with fabric that has fade lines in it.  Making the green sweatshirting up will probably provoke more experimentation….



I have really enjoyed wearing my cowl neck fleece Renfrew – it has jumper status & is great for this time of the year & can get away with being a ‘fleece’ because it has more style.  I will investigate options to make another using some thicker knit (or even fleece) from my stash.

I also need more Coco tops.  My Breton striped Coco is in hardly even in my drawer- either in use or in the wash.

Tops of a more pretty kind:

I will show you later a top that I am going to make from a French magazine I bought on holiday.  But in addition to that I am fancying a chiffon Orla top and have a few options in my stash.  I also feel another Sew Over It Pussy Bow blouse coming on…in polka dot chiffon for sure.  Why the enthusiasm for chiffon? Well it’s easy to look after (first thing!) – I don’t find I need to iron it- plus I have some really cute options in my stash already.

I have also got a couple of pieces of fabric that I plan to make into the Mila shirt. (if I have enough …)

Another gorgeous Christmas pressie - Liberty swoons on

Another gorgeous Christmas pressie – Liberty swoons on

The great trouser ‘mind palace’ (hahaha – just watched the latest ‘Sherlock’ and was reminded of that phrase).  I have been living in my Ginger jeans and need another pair of trousers- my green Chinos are great, but I think could be elevated if they were made out of some fabric with some stretch so I am pondering that line of attack.  However I am determined to get my trouser block at peak performance so that I can whip up a pair of trews that fit me perfectly in next to no time.  Fabric choices are still up for grabs- I do need to investigate my stash however.  And then I have whittling away at the back of my mind how much I love my Hudson trousers & that a seasonal pair could be good for warehouse work too.


I have a huge urge to make the Sew Over It Joan dress in a double knit.  Maybe something from Girl Charlee?   I have been dying to make a Joan ever since it came out.  Could the time be right now?  Also a Rachel wrap dress from Maria Denmark– another knit dress.  And I have already pointed out that New Look 6298 is in my possession and on my radar …

A Vintage Shirt dress perhaps?

A Vintage Shirt dress perhaps?

And I bought this fabric in the John Lewis sale with a Sew Over It Vintage shirt dress in mind – will I make it a long sleeved version?

Spectacular excuse for something special

And if you were being lulled into any sense that this badger was turning overly practical, have no fear.  Top of my creative thoughts is what to wear at a fancy London Awards night that I have been invited to.  Last few times I wore this outfit, but I feel as if something new is needed (especially as the skirt may be a bit tight at the moment following holidays & less running than usual).

I am considering a cocktail dress – either the Martini from Capital Chic Patterns or else something from a vintage pattern I will unearth as I unpack my sewing room & organise it.  I don’t think I can bring myself to be flamboyant enough to invest in 7m of taffeta for the full skirt in Simplicity 1099 but the long straight skirt & top or knee length full skirt & top could also be an option.   Fabric though?  ?  I need to look at my stash but suspect that I will not have anything this special as I don’t tend to hoard posh fabrics….I am dabbling with these from Fabric Godmother but don’t know if they would be OK for the Martini dress.  This peachskin and this crepe backed satin.


Now this is where I need your help.  Another John Lewis Sale purchase, this boiled wool.

boiled wool

I  would really like to make something out of it to wear now- a casual jacket/ thick cardi of some sort – nothing formal – a good to throw on with jeans would be really useful.  I like the idea of something like this.   But am not sure if a mid weight boiled wool would work.  If it is a jacket it is clearly unlined because you don’t need to bother with linings or even seam finishing with boiled wool- & I wouldn’t want to miss out on that opportunity.   Would New look 6351 be good for it?   I was wondering about a zipped biker jacket, but it is a mid weight not that sturdy? (Any recommended patterns?) I haven’t bought enough to make the Clare coat, maybe I  should have thought that through as I do like the idea of pull on shoulder fastenings & snuggly collar big time. Do you have any other ideas for using boiled wool?

At some point I am also going to start my test jacket before cutting out my Tweedy – going to rock that country look don’t you know?!  So that is also in my plans.

Did I call this a plan for January?  I don’t think so somehow!  Let’s just say that this is the dump of my winter sewing thoughts.  There will also be some running wear – for me & a friend (I owe her a pair of leggings!).  As well as a dress for a friend in time for Spring.  And surely other things will crop up.  But there you have it.  Thank you for the opportunity to write this post as it has helped me work out just what my sewing priorities could be over the next few months with some kind of structure.  Any thoughts welcome!

25 thoughts on “January 2016 sewing plans

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Ooh thank you for the idea, I definitely need to understand how drapey the boiled wool is….that will help a lot in narrowing it down. I mean cardigan or jacket? Critical difference!! ?

  1. Denise

    I think a boiled wool motorcycle jacket could be adorable. I’ve made the Style Arc Ziggi a couple times, and it’s a great pattern. Whatever you make will be lovely?

  2. Laura

    What about one of the Schnittchen coatigans? I made the Eve jacket last winter and it turned out great! The patterns are cheap and seem to work well although the instructions are pretty light on (a bit like Burda magazine) ?

  3. Julia Doust

    Good to see you back.

    I think your plans lend themselves to a really nice co-ordinated outfit. A pair of black chino’s, a renfrew (maybe with a bit of colour) and a boiled wool cardi/jacket. How about McCalls 7254 for the jacket – the longer view.

  4. alison peach

    I made a lovely grey hoodie – Sol by Jamie Christina with mictofeece. The pattern calls for stretch but it worked really well and looks fab with a grey lace hood lining. Snuggly and warm and always getting admiring comments. I wear it a lot!!

  5. Maggie

    Look at Burdastyle mag 12/2012 for a cute short jacket designed specifically for boiled wool (loden). No lining , no seam finishing, seam allowance on the outside and hood/collar.
    Love your blog!

  6. Rachel

    I think I saw that dragonfly fabrics made a Grainline Morris blazer out of boiled wool which might be a nice idea if you’re wanting a jacket rather than a coat.. or a coatigan… ! So many options

  7. Pauline Wright

    Lovely to see you posting again. Love the Liberty pear. My son’s g/f bought me the Liberty apple for Christmas. She knows how to score Brownie points!

  8. Debera Massahos

    For the boiled wool, I would encourage you to consider a Kwik Sew pattern – Kwik Sew 4139. I stumbled on this pattern a few weeks ago when I found some faux shearling of incredible quality and I’m right now in the process of making a coat. I like this because it has simple lines but opportunities for great fit due to dart placement (shoulders, bust and elbows). You have the option to make a short jacket or a longer mid-thigh coat. You also have the option to line or not, to make lapped seams or not and to use a closure or not. So far I’ve got the shearling version nearly finished but for the muslin I elected to make a short quilted version (to approximate the bulk for fitting). Once you get the fit down, you can make one of these quickly or take more time and fuss with creative details. You can also color block (stash bust!) or even do away with some of the seams and make something that showcases a bold pattern. I’m seeing how this would be beautiful in Pendleton blanket weight wool. I’m considering making 3 or 4 versions because I’m quite happy with the fit I’ve been able to achieve with this. The responses I’ve been getting from people are mostly along the line of “I would have NEVER thought to look at a Kwik Sew pattern, but now you’ve got me interested.” I so glad to have found this pattern and I will say that there aren’t many surprises because it came out exactly how I expected and the instructions are well drafted and clear. It’s the perfect jumping off point for lots of creative possibility and the two versions I’m currently making have very different looks.

  9. Silvia

    Wow! Those are great plans, it’ll be interesting to see what your new lifestyle will need clothingwise.

    As for the boiled wool yumminess, I like the Tessuti Sydney jacket and have some boiled wool put aside for that lovely. Granted I live in California and warmth is relative, but don’t forget Burda their coats are grand.

  10. Kristen

    The Grainline Tamarack – or something similar, ie simple lines, bound edges, good for layering – for the boiled wool? Since that jacket is designed to be made from quilted fabric, I think it would work similiarly with boiled wool .

    1. Debera Massahos

      Sarah, I just bought that pattern as well! I love the neckline. Another example of how I had to ignore the silly illustration on the front of the envelope and focus on on the line drawings to see the value of the design.

  11. Laura

    What about one of the Schnittchen patterns? They have some great patterns for jackets and coatigans that would suit a boiled wool. I made the Eve jacket last winter and it turned out great although they are a little light on instructions wise (a bit like the Burdastyle magazine)

  12. gill

    (Ooops – posted on the previous post and I meant to post on this one.)
    I got the same vintage-look floral fabric in the JL sale too – a while ago now, and I still don’t have clear plans for it.
    My two penn’orth for the boiled wool …..
    Marcia Tilton Jacket pattern Vogue 8430 (feel free to ignore the mad embroidery)
    or I can heartily recommend the April Rhodes Popover Poncho – I’m definitely NOT a poncho bird, but I love it.
    Blogged about here …….
    Happy planning x

  13. scruffybadgertime Post author

    Dear everyone, thank you so much for the ideas for using my boiled wool! Such a choice out there and there are some great suggestions – thank you heaps! I knew you wouldn’t let me down! I shall of course keep you posted ……

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