2013: The year of practical sewing to be

I hereby pledge that 2013 will be the year of practical sewing. 

Should I sense a desire to deviate from the straight and narrow I shall turn to Pinterest to scratch my itch until I am once again sated of the need to sew pretty things with limited useful wearing opportunities. 

Resistance against non-every-day fabrics like luscious floating silks and delicate laces will not be futile.

Should my resolve begin to waiver, I will look to the mantlepiece to gaze upon likenesses of the doyennes of practical sewing – Suzy from SuzyBeeSews, Shams from Communing with Fabric and Dixie from DixieDIY, shrouded as they may be through the gentle waft of incense. Reminded I will be of my practical sewing pledge.

Got the picture? This is what will be on my 2013 radar:

The jacket from my Vogue suit is to date my most worn self-made item. The skirt is popular for work-wear too, and so another is in the wings waiting for its time to shine. The siren song of this pleated waist Marfy blazer/dress combo sitting patiently in my pattern stash is getting harder and harder to resist:

2013 also will be the year of the work shirt. Buttons, plackets, collars and cuffs. Oh yes! This ties in nicely to my personal pledge to complete at least one of the five Craftsy courses I own – I’ve yet to do a single blasted one, and I’m still tempted to buy more!

I’m mostly inspired by my favourite shirt maker – Cubec. A hole-in-the-wall outfitter selling all things suit and shirt related – hella glamorous. Mr poppykettle and I both have some of their stuff – it’s not cheap, but it’s made in Melbourne and the fabrics are out-of-this-world awesome (The shirt I’m wearing in these pictures with my Vogue Suit is from them). Goodnuff reason for me.

Cubec Shirt, via the Cubec Facebook Page

Haveth StephC‘s pants block, will perfecteth pants. My attempts to date have been woefully short of the mark – this garment type will be licked whether it likes it or not.

I love shorts. Short ones. I have two planned for this summer, one of which is already well under way. Yay!

If it’s made of something that stretches and can be worn with jeans on the weekend, then all the better. 

Yes – I will be turning my sights to Mr poppykettle. Where once lay suspicion and a dubious attitude on his behalf now sits acceptance and dare I say it – even enthusiasm. We’ll see how long that lasts, shall we?

Either there will be plenty of tailoring action come winter time, or maybe some men’s jeans action instead. Some inspiration via my For Him Pinterest board:

I would never have thought dresses would make it to this list… But this summer I’ve been converted. The last 6 months of sewing have shown me just how fabulous, easy and low-fuss dresses can be, and I’m finding myself reaching for the dresses in my wardrobe before my jeans. That’s totally like blasphemy to the old me.

Ok, here’s the fine print….
And I’m giving myself space to make one non-everyday dress. Only because a lamington crayfish painted on silk organza will soon be arriving in my postbox… and there’s an occasion to wear just such a dress up and coming!

via Sewing Cake‘s Etsy Shop

The most important to me – I want to use each garment I sew to hone my skills and improve upon the last thing I made – whether that be fit or technique. I’ll be doing two of Susan Khalje’s couture sewing school courses in September/October this year and I’m desperately looking forward to making a Chanel-style Jacket. I’ve yet to decide on the second couture project…

Oh yes. We’ve done the tally – I have 82.6m of fabric. For the metrically challenged – that’s exactly 90 yards. Nine times out of ten I buy fabric with a particular project in mind – so there are a lot of unborn ideas sitting in my cupboard waiting to materialise. I’m going to do everything in my power to use what I have and get that down to 50m by 2013 end.

How about some more fine print? The disclaimer on that is I’m not including fabric I buy whilst overseas. You know, once in a lifetime opportunity and what not.

What’s on your radar?


  1. Your plans sound very achievable and admirable. (they also sound a little like my plans). Though I plan to be much more selfish ;-)Can't wait to see what this year brings from you!

  2. You're disclaimer cracked me up! Thats a lot of fabric in your stash, however I am certainly not judging you as I can only imagine how much I have in my own stash! Trips over seas are certainly worthwhile for fabric shopping as it most certainly will be once in a lifetime opportunity!I have quite a few things i would like to accomplish this year but I need to get them in order and map it out so I make sure I can get it all done!

  3. Can't wait to see what comes out of your sewing room this year. The lobster dress will be epic and that Marfy suit pattern looks great, I really like the pleating at the waist and once you've done some pants with the pants block you'll love it, it's so easy and quick to whip up a pair of pants once you know they will fitI am so jealous of you doing couture courses with Susan Khalje! What an experience!

  4. Thanks Suzy – and likewise with your sewing room too! As soon as the cooler weather sets in, I'll be on that pants block like a pack of wolves. But at the moment I just want to sew shorts, skirts and tops!Happy New Year to you :)

  5. Another unselfish seamstress!!! Awesome. I'll be keeping a close eye on you :) I love Marfy designs, but don't get me wrong – they require a lot of effort to sew! Love your work :)

  6. A great set of New Years sewing resolutions! I'm always on board with practical, wearable sewing, and one of my goals is to sew some nice things for my husband as well. He needs it! And it's kind of fun! Happy New Years!

  7. Excellent goals! I'm looking forward to seeing that Marfy jacket made up, as it looks like it will be a stunner! I also can't wait to hear about your couture classes with Susan Khalje. It's on my bucket list to take a class with her :)

  8. your list could be almost exactly my list. that marfy blazer looks super-fab. marfy scares me off a bit, but i'm curious to try one out sometime. good luck keeping your goals, can't wait to see what you make!

  9. love these goals! it's going to be a year of the shirt for me, as well, and having taken susan's chanel class i can say you are going to LOVE it AND that your chanel will soon become one of your most-worn items, since it is awesome and practical and….awesome. happy new year!

  10. Good luck! I would like to do all the above too but i will just concentrate of actually doing something! I had a quick look at Cubec on Facebook and they make some great shirts. A bit too loud for me but gorgeous non the less. Must check them out next time I am in the city.

  11. Your goals/plans – sounds pretty exciting. Great way to start 2013 and attending a Susan Khalje course!! you're so lucky!! Are you off to Paris or US? either would be awesome!!!

  12. I say hear hear to 2013 being the year of practicality. My plans are also practical. Well, mostly. I have a few slightly frivolous items in there… But at least they will use up stash! Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what you make this year and joining you on a mostly practical sewing journey.

  13. I hear all the cool kids are doing practical sewing in 2013! You can dooo eeeet! I'm also committed to pimping my practical wardrobe but that doesn't mean it has to be lame. I'm seeing lovely fabrics and gorgeous finishes. (but I am so cracking for a hawaiian print gertie dress!)

  14. Happy New Year Melanie and good luck for the sewing challenges you have placed on yourself. At my age you soon learn New Year resolutions last 5 minutes and it all goes down hill soon after. After learning that your stash measures 82.5 metres, I realised that mine probably would measure from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. So I am going to spend this year making a dent in it and try and use as much as I can and only wear the clothes that I make. And I too will begin and complete the 2 Craftsy classes that I have signed up and paid for. It was such a relief to read that you haven't started yours either. Luckily there are no Craftsy police checking on our progress. Anyway, happy sewing in 2013 and may all your garments fit perfectly and turn out just as you dreamed. xxxxxx

  15. I went into Cubec when I was visiting Melbourne with my work colleague, ugh, the girls in there were so trendy and I LOVED everything, it is a great store, I wish we had one in Wellington, I think they would do so well here! I love the top right mens jacket, I bet my hubby would like something like that too.What a great list, I should try to be so organised, very inspirational :)

  16. So, does this mean my 2013 goal should be replicating your sewing plan? (minus the lobster, but now I'm really curious what occasion one wears a lobster to?)

  17. Wowzer, that pleated jacket pattern is amazing! I LOOOOVE your sewing plans! I'm trying to avoid non-practical sewing this year (I mean, I can make dresses or whatever, but I need to have an occasion to wear them and really need to love them). Stay strong, sister!

  18. Oh dear. I cannot promise to be a good influence for practical sewing. ;-) I can't wait to see your next suit. The first one was fantastic!

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