While my patterns are winging their way to me, and I am hanging around the postbox like a sad puppy waiting for a bone, I am trying to content myself with gathering inspiration for my three potential new makes! And what better place to gather inspiration than in these cute new Caroline Gardner notebooks that I found?
After the buying and stashing of fabric, the purchase of stationery in the form of pretty notebooks in all shapes and sizes is my primary guilty pleasure. I’m rarely sure what I will put in them when I buy them, but I simply can’t resist! These notebooks however are destined for greatness – they are to be filled with all the glorious sewing and blogging ideas I can muster, ready to be realised at a moment’s notice.
To fill them though – I need ideas! And where do ideas come from?
Here are my go to sources of inspiration when I am stuck in a rut:
Pinterest and Instagram: It has to be said! The beauty of the interweb means there are thousands of ideas available to be pinned for later and retrieved when the mood is right! It’s practically enough to make my notebook redundant … *theatrical gasp*.
Sewing Magazines: As much as I credit the interweb with my being able to learn to sew at all, I still love some paper-bound inspiration! I love the feel of curling up on the couch with a new sewing magazine and opening it up to all the colours, bright pictures and projects to tackle. I always come away with a giant wish list of fabrics and an insatiable itch to stitch! My top picks of the sewing magazines coming to a post soon!
Sewing Books: I’ve mentioned before that I really got my start in sewing through the purchase of a couple of really lovely beginner friendly books. I still return to these to re-make patterns that I love or to re-visit a technique. Sometimes just having a flick through the pictures is enough to kick start the imagination or to remind you of an idea you’ve forgotten!
Blogs: Reading about others’ experiences is an exceptional source of information and a treasure trove of ideas to be mined! It’s great to see how different sewists tackle the same pattern and to understand the process that they went through to reach the finished article. When I’m stuck on fabric choices, notions, colours or a pattern step, Blogs are where I go to first!
The Fabric Store: Although I’m normally a “to-do list” type person with a fairly organised life, sewing is one of the areas where I like to allow myself to run amok! So many of my creations (Vespa Print Cushions for example!) come from seeing a fabric that I love in the fabric store and coming up with creative ways to make use of it!
Spotted Styles: One of the things I love most about sewing is being able to walk down the street, see an outfit you love, and think, “hmmm I could make that top, but with THIS fabric, in THIS colour, with THIS binding” etc …. Once you’ve been sewing for a while, before you know it you’ll be assessing techniques, fabrics and having pattern associations for every cool outfit you see. It’s so good to be able to copy something you like, but be able to do it your way and with a unique twist!
Wardrobe Gaps: Taking a moment to re-assess your wardrobe is a great way of working out what to sew next. That morning when you wake up thinking, “I wish I had a pencil skirt in tweed to wear with a tucked in blouse” normally results in pattern and fabric purchasing and a weekend packed with sewing delight!
Completed Projects: Whenever I complete a project, I immediately start thinking of other things I want to sew. Often it is the same pattern, and I’m thinking, “next time it will be BLUE with contrast lining and additional buttons and I could add a pocket and ooh ….”. I really need to get in the habit of writing those moments down so that I can use them when I re-visit a pattern I’ve made before!
Failed Projects: Believe it or not, a failed project can be just as good a source of inspiration as a successfully completed project. It’s great to take away learning on fabric choices, technique and fitting and think about how you will do better next time. Admittedly, in the moment you might be kicking yourself and thinking, “I am never sewing a (delete as appropriate)
dress/with jersey/a button hole/bias binding/facing/pin tuck/quilt/miniature dinosaur“ again, but after a cuppa and a trip outside, you’ll be bubbling with ideas for how to do it better next time!
So there you have it, my go to places when I’m stumped for an idea of what Amy should make next! Where do you look when you are feeling stumped? Is there a cave of inspiration treasure out there that I have been missing out on? I’d love to know!