Monday, May 15, 2017

Big Batch Cutting: A Method to the Madness or Just Plain Madness?

I could have just as easily called this post "what I'm working on" or "Spring/Summer sewing plans" or something like that.  But I thought it would be better to share what I'm turning over in my head as far as my sewing "method" goes.

Over the winter I tried prepping and cutting patterns and fabric in a big batch rather than one at a time. It happened organically: I had several days off, and once I started prepping and cutting, it seemed logical to just leave everything on the dining room table and cut for a few days. Despite being unplanned, this method of sewing led to a number of positive outcomes - from being less distracted with what to sew next to sewing from stash to having a variety of projects to work on according to my whim and more. My mini wardrobe, my birds skirt outfit and my gold trouser outfit all owe some credit to my having a big pile of garments ready to sew.

So you can see why I would want to repeat that winning situation. However, now that I am purposefully cutting in a big batch I'm pondering where do you stop the cutting and start the sewing? Here's what I have cut so far, with no signs of stopping.

Project pile 

I've begun work on a four piece mini-wardrobe project that is quite different from my last one. All of the pieces will be in the off-white with charcoal pin stripes linen blend fabric from Theory you see above. Queue the mystery music; it's a fun little project.

I also cut a pair of white trousers for summer from my TNT Burda trouser pattern and am figuring out if I have enough yardage left for a companion piece - a jacket or shrug

Hiding underneath the white and off white fabric pile are three knit shirts. All three are from OOP patterns and fabric remnants from other projects or stashed fabrics. I cut these thinking that it would be fun to have some easy projects cut for whenever I need a little pallet cleansing sewing or want a quick and easy project.

All OOP:  the top from Simplicity 4699, and McCalls M6797 and M6326

I also cut 2 more rompers for Taco. Since the romper I made him last summer (B5625) still fits this spring - arguably even better than last summer - I decided to use up some fabric remnants with a few new versions.  The only change I made was to add a little length and width so he has room to grow. Here he is last summer and then on Easter in the madras version of the romper.

A post shared by Clio (@cliophineas) on

So, that is 10 garments cut and ready to sew.  But there's more in the wings!  I have fabric out and prepped for several more garments. And here is where the method begins to teeter on madness. How many cut and prepped garments are too many? I am desperate to sew some summer jumpsuits for myself and some casual pants in addition to a few more baby gifts and a few shirts for Phin. Plus, I am already lining up end of summer/early autumn projects in my head. I recently reorganized my fabric stash and it led to all kinds of inspiration and pulling out of fabrics.

Where does it end? When is it time to put away the cutting mat and get on with sewing?  Do you cut several projects at a time or not? What is your strategy for productive sewing? 

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