Thursday, January 01, 2009

Sewing Smarter and Resolutions

Happy New Year Everyone!

Thanks so much for all of your wonderful comments on my coat and my sewing projects of 2008. The blogworld is such a supportive place to be. I really do appreciate all of your imput. Some of you probably don't know, but my husband is blind, so I can't really "show off" my creations to him. (the good side of that is that he can't see how much stash I have!) Any way, thanks again for all of your support. It really does mean a lot to me.

The new year is upon us and although I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve been thinking about some things I want to do differently this year.
In the area of sewing, I really want to sew smarter this year. What does that mean? Well, first of all, I think I really need to take a look at the things in my closet that are my “go to” pieces. There are certain things that I tend to pull out and wear over and over, so these are the kinds of things that I need to make more of. Sometimes I am surprised at what these things are. And then I need to think about WHY they are my favorites. Is it the fabric? the style? the fit? the color?

That being said, I think my mission the first months of 2009 will be to get some great looking pants. I have made a number of pair of pants over the last few years, but none of the fitted pants am I that thrilled about. Last week I watched Patti Palmer’s pants fitting video from Smart Flix, and am anxious to try her method. Once I get a good fit, I want to make about 5 pair of pants to really have it down. I also want to make a pattern template once I get the fit I want, and use it to adjust other pants patterns.

However, my first pants project of the year will be another pair of the Marcy Tilton Pants. I made the cropped version for summer and ended up wearing them way more than I thought I would. so this goes with resolutions 1, 2, 4, & 6.

I think my other big project for 2009 will be to get a great fitting white shirt. I like wearing collared shirts under sweaters and alone. Short sleeved “camp shirts” seem to be the thing I always grab for when I don’t know what to wear and I am in serious shortage. Sleeveless collared shirts are one of my favorites in summer, so I need to make some of these as well. THe first pattern I’m going to try for this is the Palmer Pletch one shown here.

My resolution last year was to make more from my stash than what I bought. I have no idea if I followed this rule, because I lost track somewhere along the way. I still think know I bought more than I sewed, so this year I’m really going to try to reduce my stash! I’ve already started by pulling out a big shopping bag of fabric that I am planning to give away to another lady who sews in my church. I found that I don’t have that much that I want to give away, which means I need to hurry up and make a lot of clothes since I love all the fabrics I have.

And on that, a word about buying. This year I do not want to buy anything unless I have a specific purpose for it, plan to make it soon, and absolutely love it. I think I often tend to buy fabric because I know I can’t get it locally, so I buy things I think I will like and be able to use. Right now my fabric cabinet is stuffed, so I need to get busy and start thinning it out! So, right now I'm dying to buy some black wool crepe for pants, but I'm making myself make 2 pairs of pants from what I have before I can buy any black wool crepe!

And what about patterns? Well, I definitely have more than I need. I AM keeping my BWOF for another year, and this year I hope to make more BWOFs than in 2008. In 2008 I only made up 7 BWOF patterns out of the 45 things that I made. (I only did 41 reviews) My favorite BWOF pattern that I made this year was the poet’s blouse number 122 from January 2008.
But, OMG! Have you seen the new Vogue catalog magazine? There are some gorgeous patterns in there that I just love. In fact, I placed an order for the spring catalog yesterday. Their new patterns aren’t up on the site yet (well, not as of yesterday) but I’m drooling over some of them. So, I know there will be some new pattern purchases this year!

And finally, the TNT. This year, I want to try to make the things I like more than once. I always like when I see a review or blog post where someone has made something a few times in a row and changed it each time. I need to do more of that this year.
It’s so easy to get caught up in , “I could make that” but this year my mantra will be “Don’t make what you can buy” Sewing time is precious, so I really want to make things that I love. I do have a lot of fit problems with RTW, so I really want to get great fit and then make it over and over again.

So, to sum up, I guess you could say these are my sewing resolutions:

  1. Make more things that I really love, are comfortable, and fit my lifestyle
  2. Work on pants
  3. Make a great white shirt - or two or three
  4. Make more than I buy in fabric - there are no "if's, and's, or but's" on this one
  5. More BWOFS than last year - so that means at least 7
  6. Use more TNTs - or try to make new patterns more than once.
*I’m also really wanting to try some of the vintage patterns I have this year. Most of them are summery dresses, so that won't happen until at least spring (probably)

Also, I've really been thinking about contests. Although they are fun and motivating, I think sometimes they really stilt my creativity. I either want to finish by a deadline and so I hurry, or I make projects that are less detailed in the interest of time. I'm not saying I wont do any contests, but I'm really going to think hard before I join one. Speaking of which, my coat was the last piece to the Endless Combinations contest. Here is what I ended up making:

So, I’d love to hear, how do you plan to sew smarter this year?


Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Nancy - you know I love TNTs and think more people should use them. They would find that their productivity and creativity would soar! Second, you've got great goals and it will be interesting to see them come to pass in 2009.

Little Hunting Creek said...

Happy New Year! I plan to sew smarter too. This means buying patterns and fabric for my real life. Yours are good realistic goals and I look forward to seeing what you make in 2009

Myra said...

Echoing Carolyn, develop at least two TNT tops and a dress and use some of the wonderful vintage patterns this year, plus learn a new skill (bound buttonholes) and make a majority of the casual clothes for the daughters (tops, shorts, baby rompers, etc.)

Shannon said...

That's a great set of resolutions. Add me as another one following Carolyn's advice. I plan on really trying to work over my TNTs - adding design elements to them to come up with many different looks all from one pattern.

Lori said...

Happy New Year. Your goals are great, I agree with you, I am going to sew more TNT patterns.

Vicki said...

I particularly like your first resolution. It is a very good place to start and I will consider this too as I get dressed each day. Good luck with all your resolutions and Happy New Year!

Tany said...

Happy New Year, Nancy!

Maureen said...

And you think my resolutions look tiring??? I so admire all the stuff you make Nancy(LOVE the coat BTW). Maybe we just need to set up some sort of barter system....garments for garden produce :)

Linda said...

Nancy enjoy reading your blog. Bestg wishes for 2009. I enjoyed reading your review of 2008 and wish you well for completing 2009. I have yet to post my review as I think I did not do as well as I intended though I did sew quite a bit.

Look forward to reading about your accomplishments again this new year.

Alexandra said...

Happy New Year! I like your resolutions, especially the TNT one. TNTs save a lot of time and become good friends over time.