I used my Magic Quadrant for Sewing Priorities to look at my grandiose fall “edgy” wardrobe plans with a saner eye. I love this tool. It takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth it. On the X axis, plot projects from high to low cost. On the Y axis, plot by difficulty. Behold!
For cost I consider “sunk costs,” such as fabric and patterns I have already in stash, plus anything I have to buy. These are all low additional cost projects because the fabric’s all in stash. The biggest cost to me would be lining and the odd zippers, buttons or trims. I would need to buy patterns for the two jackets.
Here’s the fabric I’m using:
For difficulty I consider time and effort. A quick and easy knit top or a TNT pants pattern is way more difficult than a new pattern or something very fitted and lined.
It helps also to divide projects into “wants” and “needs.” “Needs” are pretty easy to identify, but their workaday vibe doesn’t generate much passion, while “wants” gobble all the excitement. To ensure my “wants” don’t take over, I like to alternate the two.
Finally, to figure out where to start, I like to start with projects deepest in the “cheap and easy” quadrant. I flipped a coin, pants vs. top, and got top. So the first project is the Creative Cate Top by Style Arc, done in a silver jersey.
I started this prioritizing system last year and it worked out really well. I managed to complete most of my priorities and even did two of a few things.
I also adjusted my expectations as I went along:
- I concluded after looking at a lot of patterns and fabrics that I am not going to sew activewear anytime soon. I can’t justify the time and expense for something I am going to sweat in, sorry.
- With jeans, I concluded after making three muslins that I really want to take a class. Maybe next year – I’ve spent my sewing retreat budget already this year.
- I made muslins of two blazers but I didn’t like them enough to commit to the time and expense.
So this exercise didn’t just ensure I got my priorities done, it also saved me from a rabbit hole of stuff that wasn’t going to work out. And, I had time to sew a few other things that weren’t in the plan, just for fun. Velvet dog coat, anyone?