Although I’ve had the Curvy Sketchbook since it’s release, I wanted to play around with it for a little while before I showcased it on my blog. This plus size workbook is the brainchild of Jenny (Cashmerette) and features not only pages to sketch and plan your projects, but pages to organize your sewing stash. My book is the large sewing room version, there is also a smaller, purse/tote size fashion sketchbook version you can use on the go.
The first page has an area to record your measurements. I haven’t filled this out yet as I have another notebook in which I keep measurements. I plan to consolidate these and keep everything in one book.
The bulk of the book of course are the croquis, which make it very easy to plan out designs. A lot of my designs are created in my head as I look at fabric and patterns and combine them together into a mental picture. I often sketch out alterations and designs with contrast color blocking out on paper when working with projects that I need more than just to visualize, and this sketchbook makes it much easier to do so.
I only did a few sketches in this book at first, as I wanted to use colored pencils and kept forgetting to pick some up at the store…. It came in very handy when I was getting to ready to make the Marianne dress, colored pencils or not.
The sketchbook really helps you to see how a design is going to look like on a model more similar to mine. The sundress on the left is one I’ve already made and the shirtdress on the right is one I have cut out.
In addition to things I’ve already made and cut out, I’ve been sketching out future projects to see how they look in different colors and such. These are projects that are mostly just in my head at the moment.
As I said before, the sketchbook really helps you to conceptualize your projects and is exceptionally great for when you’re working with contrasting colors and fabrics and trying to figure out how to place them. I’ve had this particular project above (Sewaholic Cambie) sitting on my cutting table for a while and haven’t cut into it yet. Perhaps by sketching it out, I can get to sewing this before cold weather arrives!
I *try* to remember to keep a record of my vintage reproduction dresses in this Workbasket Sewing Workbook. It’s a cool retro book with pages for projects, helpful hints and snippets from The Workbasket. I found mine at a Half Price Books in the Bay Area and meant to go back and pick up the rest of them for sewing gifts, but of course they were gone when I went back…..
The Workbasket book also has pages to document your projects, but does not have croquis. If it did, it would probably look like a gal from the 1950’s like the other drawings in the book.
There are some handy little pages with alteration advice, so it’s kind of a brief sewing book mixed with a a project notebook. A lot of the pages are filler, but it is fun to read little snippets like the one below.
There are also pages in the Workbasket Workbook to record fabrics and keep swatches. Apparently, I’m not very good about keeping this up…. At least I have bins of fabric scraps that I can peruse and add to this book.
Back to the Curvy Sketchbook…..
After the pages and pages of croquis, there are pages to organize your sewing room. The first set is one to plan your wardrobe. I keep a list on Evernote with things I plan to make or buy, so these aren’t likely pages I will be using.
The next set of pages are ones to organize your fabric. I know all of the fabrics I have in my stash, so I’ve never thought about organizing them before. However, I’m in the process of cleaning/organizing/moving my sewing room and I will be going through my fabric stash soon and getting rid of fabrics I don’t want anymore. I plan on using these sheets to inventory those as although I know all of the fabrics I have, sometimes I forget how many yards of each I have boxed away. This will help me immensely in planning future projects.
The last set of pages are ones to keep an inventory of your patterns. I have a database of my patterns on my computer, so I likely won’t be using this. I also keep a list on Evernote with patterns I want to make and the fabric amounts needed for them so it’s always handy when I’m shopping for fabric.
Another thing I’ve learned while using both my sketchbook and workbook is to write in PENCIL. I’m more of a pen person, but I’ve made some mistakes writing in pen, so I now use pencils when using each of these books.
One of the great things about keeping records of your projects and fabric swatches is that you can look back on these in the future and remember all of the fabulous things you make. I’ve seen some historic notebooks akin to these that sewists in the past have used and they are wonderful to see the fabrics and the notes that other sewists have made. Just think, maybe generations after me, a sewist in the future might stumble upon my books and be as amazed as I am of those from the past!
Note: I received the Curvy Sketchbook as a gift from Jenny (Cashmerette).