Frances is the planner in our house.
I think I used to be. I remember a time when I would have very detailed plans for getting things done. It’s been a while and I seem to have forgotten all about how to do that, for better or worse, though it hasn’t made much of a change in what actually happens that I can see. For instance, I used to set an annual GoodReads goal of 75 books. And I would read those 75 books. In 2016 I decided that this was taking too much fun out of reading and I was going to get rid of the goal. How many books did I read? 75.
Frances, on the other hand, while she struggles with the concept of planning anything with a deadline in the next month or so, excels at the big picture. She has been trying to decide where to go to college and what to study since she was seven years old. “Well Mummy,” she’d say, “I don’t want to get there and find out that they don’t have anywhere for me to sleep.” Similarly she is very concerned that some of her friends don’t have realistic career goals. Have I mentioned that they are thirteen? Meanwhile every project due date seems to come as a shock and with a frantic last-minute late-night work session.
Regardless: Frances plans, in her own idiosyncratic and not necessarily very functional way, and I largely avoid it. But even so, like many of you I bet, there is often some kind of vague plan-like entity in one’s head, particularly at a milestone like the New Year. At the beginning of 2016, my vague plan-like entities included: I Want To Take Frances Camping, Maybe I Can Get the Bay Window Replaced This Year, and Let’s Finish That Blackwork Sampler. I am 0/3 on that list. Similarly, if anyone had asked me, not that anyone would because this is uninteresting to everyone, which won’t stop me from telling you, I would have said that my sewing for the year was likely to consist of casual weekend wear, basics for Frances and some work separates. Cue a parade of dancing dresses. Surprise!
All of which means, as we stand here together at the start of the Grand Adventure of 2017, that I really have no fucking idea what I’m going to do. Sure would be nice to replace the bay window, assuming nothing else critically important on the house falls apart. Hopefully we’ll go camping. The poor blackwork sampler may languish for yet another year. I bet I’m going to make a grade 8 grad dress, but no promises. Most of you seem to have much more confidence in what Future You is going to want to wear in August. I suspect Future Andrea is going to spend August in a near-panic over her daughter’s imminent high-school-ness.
Most of the time I buy fabric with a garment or even a specific pattern in mind, but not always. Sometimes it’s just a very cool fabric that sits there and looks at me with (textile) puppy eyes until I let it follow me home. I have a few pieces of fabric in the stash that are a testament to this inconsistent planning, pieces purchased in a state of “this is amazing I have no idea what to do with it but I’m sure I’ll eventually figure it out.” I haven’t yet figured it out. Maybe some of you have ideas:
- Three yards of a silk charmeuse with an extremely large floral repeat. I’d like to avoid cutting into the print as much as possible, so the pattern would need to use large uninterrupted blocks of fabric with as few seams as possible and be drape-friendly.
- Three yards of a coral/peach silk shantung with a bright gold sheen and a papery texture–thin, all body no drape.
- Three yards of a hot pink silk chiffon with a thin gold lurex stripe. Tons of sheen, lots of drape, very sheer.
- Black–I want to say rayon/wool, but I’m not sure–medium to heavy weight, lots of body. Large scale felted/embroidered multicolour pattern on the cross-grain. Don’t want to cut it up more than necessary. A jacket is one possibility but I have enough for two non-dress garments and would rather start with the second one, assuming it’s simpler than a jacket, to get the feel of the fabric. On the jacket though: fancy or casual? Blazer or bomber? Something else?
- A blue cotton with a gold lurex weave–I don’t know what is with this trend for me lately of gold lurex in things; apparently I want to be shiny–about 2.5 metres, soft and with some drape, opaque.
Soon to come, a purple jersey poly-and-lurex keyhole dress and a coral velvet poly-and-lurex sheath dress. Let’s dub 2017 the Year of Lurex. Then it sounds like I planned it that way. I think I can probably leave it at five lurex things though. (I hope I can leave it at five. Future Me, please let’s leave it at five.)
True to form, I couldn’t even post this at the beginning of the year like a normal person. (Grammar note: “post” and “normal person” with reference to a sewing blog combined into a single sentence: eep.) Here we are, edging on February, and it’s as much as I can do to say, “bah, plans, who needs ’em.” However I grudgingly accept that maybe I could use some plans for these ones … and potentially some help in developing those plans.