‘MAGAM’, Sewing Challenges, Plans and Fabric…

Sewing Challenges, Plans and Fabric

‘MAGAM’, sewing challenges, plans and fabric….Kind of a bitsa post (*Bitsa= bits o’ this, bits o’ that) but keep reading though…might be more interesting than you think eh? Go on, you know you want too… 🙂

But, before I get going with my musings I think perhaps I need to explain what MAGAM is. Well, it’s a year-long monthly sewing challenge that is overseen by my online sewing friend and blogger Sarah Liz of Sarah Liz Sew Style. The challenge is for Instagrammers and for members of a closed Facebook group. I’ll be participating on both platforms but you can do one or the other. There’s usually a theme each month and the idea is to just sew and post a garment that you’ve made. It’s a no pressure challenge and it’s just fun to concentrate on taking time to sew for yourself. A complete explanation by Sarah Liz is here.

I only joined in a couple of times last year as I was concentrating on getting my blog going, but now I’d like to keep going with MAGAM for the whole of this year. Let’s see if I can do it.

For January the aim is to first think about our needs/wants/plans for the coming year and to assess how we can use our sewing time. After all, sewing is very good for mental health so anything that helps us to carve out precious sewing time has to be a good thing. I started things off today by having a little bit of a sort out. I had already done my patterns last week, so this afternoon I went through my fairly modest fabric stash and took out unwanted scraps and pieces that were mistake buys. In the UK we can donate unwanted textiles to fire stations that are recycling them for charity, so that’s where some of my pieces will go. It was really nice to familiarise myself with what fabric I have though and I came across some that I’d forgotten all about too! I’m sure I’m not the only one that forgets what they have…am I ??

Sewing Challenges, Plans and Fabric

First off, for January, I have two lovely fabrics that I won when I participated in OWOP.  One is a deep burgundy crepe and the other is a grey/charcoal toned, chequered effect, wool blend coating. Both fabrics are from Sewisfaction the lovely sponsors of the OWOP challenge. The geometric wool blend fabric is destined to become a draped, unlined Lisette coat. I like the idea of an unlined coat because I sometimes find that going into shops, if I’m in a heavy lined or padded coat I get very hot  (especially grocery shopping) so a lighter weight will be ideal for those times. The burgundy crepe is destined to become some trousers with side hem zip details like the ones I’m wearing here. I have another pair of burgundy trousers that need replacing due to wear and tear, so this project is fairly high on my list too.

I also have two special projects to make by the end of February so those need to be scheduled in. Apart from those four things, I will probably concentrate on sewing some tops and I hope to finish a tartan jacket that I cut out nearly a year ago. As long as I do the jacket at some point this year though, I’ll be happy.

Now, I’m not too good at sticking to plans but this year I do want to adhere to a couple of things that I pledged to myself….I never feel happy in skirts that are too full, so I’ve told myself not to get carried away when I see full dresses or skirts on other people that I think I will wear it if I make one like it, because I won’t (I absolutely love getting inspired by fellow sewists, but sometimes what suits others isn’t necessarily right for me). I’m always happier in a subtle flare. My Christmas red dress feels perhaps a tiny little bit too classic for me so I’m shortening it by a smidge and I might take it in a bit down the sides…it was nice to wear, but I didn’t quite feel like ‘me’…oh well. Another thing is that I don’t wear too many plain basics. I always seem to find myself working out ways of putting a little original spin on something, so I’m going to let that side of me come out to play when it wants to. I love adding tucks, pleats, top stitching, panels, etc…so I will 🙂

As my stash is fairly modest I’m allowing myself to buy a few pieces of fabric throughout the year, but if I can use my stash then that’s great. I can see that after a splurge on buying various shades of red and burgundy fabrics, it might be nice to add a bit more olive green, and maybe even some mid purple tones. My favourite neutrals are cream and grey, so those colours are always welcome as they can be the ‘glue’ that holds a look together when combining pieces to make up outfits.

To lay everything out in a nice and easy to follow list here’s what I’m thinking so far, with a few extra additions of alterations needed etc:

  • Cut, sew and complete, unlined wool coat
  • Make burgundy zip detail trousers.
  • Two (secret for now) projects for the end of February.
  • Alter my red dress
  • Change the neckline on my coral boxy top. I find the padded one a bit bulky under coats and jackets.
  • Shorten my blue trench coat. I just want an inch or so off it.
  • Source some olive and/or purple fabrics. Not urgent though.
  • Buy useful neutrals like grey and creams when I come across nice quality fabrics in these shades.
  • Feel free to add original details to add that little something different that I crave.
  • Don’t be distracted to emulate styles when seeing other sewists lovely makes if the style wouldn’t feel right for me. Just enjoy and appreciate their outfits.
  • Try to finish the tartan jacket I mentioned above.
  • Also, if I get the time this year… sew up some stone grey fabric and brown faux leather that are in my stash and are both earmarked for jackets.

Throughout all of 2018 I’m taking part in both the RTW Fast 2018 (run by Sarah of Goodbye Valentino blog) and Burda Challenge 2018 (run by Hila of Saturday Night Stitch) So all of my makes will qualify for the RTW fast and I suspect a fair few of them will be made from Burda patterns too,  therefore many of my makes will  be for these two challenges as well as MAGAM all at the same time! Never a dull moment eh?

So there you have it…my rough plans for the upcoming year. It’ll actually be fun to look back at this post in 12 months to see if I accomplished everything I set out to do. I won’t beat myself up If I don’t though. Sewing is meant to be enjoyable and not a chore.

I hope to be back very soon to show you my wool coat. Until then…bye!


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  1. Helen
    January 16, 2018 / 7:26 am

    I enjoyed reading all about your plans, Diane! What you say about sewing for your style really resonated with me as you know, and I am particularly inspired by your decisions to alter handmade garments that you would like to modify after wearing them a few times. These aren’t the most exciting tasks, but they can shift a garment from the “I suppose I could wear that today” pile to the “ooh, I could wear THAT today!” one. Also: LOVE your Lisette coat fabric and can’t wait to see the finished coat!!

    • diane
      January 16, 2018 / 10:31 am

      Thanks, Helen. Glad my musings struck a chord. Yes, you’re right about those alteration tasks not being the most exciting, but it kind of harks back to your thoughts on not liking wastage. If I don’t wear a garment because of a fit or style issue then it’s wasteful too, isn’t it? However, style mistakes do happen. We have to try new things sometimes too, to see if we like them…could be a good move..who knows? We may find out that we do like that something new, it’s how we grow.

  2. January 16, 2018 / 12:26 pm

    I, too, enjoyed your post, Diane. Not so bitsa after all, really. I agree that it can be too easy to get distracted into styles that just don’t work for us.
    Good luck with your plans. I have posted mine on my blog and in #magamsewalong. My main challenge is to get trousers to fit well.

    • diane
      January 16, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Thanks so much for popping by Anne. I’m glad it wasn’t to ‘bitsa’ for you 🙂 Good luck with your plans too. I know how challenging trousers can be, but it’s so worth it in the end. Will pop by your blog and have a proper read of your plans.

  3. January 16, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    Please please please make that tartan jacket Di!
    It’s good to have a sort out isn’t it; really helps to focus output thought and plans. Anyways your plans sound solid and I shall watch – and read – with interest!

    • diane
      January 16, 2018 / 6:47 pm

      I will, I will Sarah! Lol!Thanks for the encouraging words re-plans too, will do my best to give do them justice xx

  4. January 16, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    Sounds like a well lain plan to me, especially the part about getting sidetracked by garments that others make that we have a pretty good idea from the start won’t us/me – happens to me often. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • diane
      January 17, 2018 / 9:27 am

      Thanks, Faye. I’m glad to hear that you approve of my plans 🙂 And yes, very easy to be swept up by all of the wonderful inspiration that so many fabulous sewists provide…important to stay focused on what suits us though.

  5. Monika
    January 17, 2018 / 2:58 pm

    I hope the tartan jacket jumps the queue!!

    • diane
      January 17, 2018 / 6:39 pm

      Hehe! I’ll do my best Monika xx

  6. Diane
    January 19, 2018 / 12:30 am

    Sounds like you have a wonderful plan.

    • diane
      January 19, 2018 / 9:46 am

      Thank you, Diane,(fantastic name by the way 😉 ) Let’s hope I can achieve it all…

  7. January 24, 2018 / 4:52 pm

    Nice to meet other Day and Night Dress Ambassadors❤ I can’t wait to see your creations.

    • diane
      January 24, 2018 / 5:07 pm

      Oh yes! Hi there!I’ve had a hectic couple of days but want to get to know other Day and NightDress Challengers/Ambassadors 🙂

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