New Year sewing

We made it to Boxing Day before we started falling, like Christmas tree needles, with the flu.  Dave and I tag-teamed it, and, thankfully, Nana and Grandad whisked children away once they’d recovered.  We’re all on the mend now and trying to keep Dylan healthy before his biggest dance competition to date on Friday!

I haven’t knitted for over a week so it was lovely to do a few rows on Dave’s blue cardigan last night.  Mindless stockinette is perfect for when you’re off colour.  And a clear sign you’re on the mend!

But…lying in bed, scrolling blogs and instagram full of reviews and resolutions got me thinking about where I want to go with my sewing over the next year.

The short answer is ‘more’ and ‘better’.

More – because practice makes perfect and I actually only finished 7 sewn items last year and only 3 of those were garments.  That’s pretty shabby by anyone’s measure, and probably a really good explanation for why I feel like my skills and sewing confidence have atrophied over the year.

Better – because I’m really second guessing myself on both fit and finish with my handsewns, and need to improve on both going forwards.

So!!!! I’ve set myself some goals for this year to jumpstart my sewing and up my skills whilst I’m at it!

1… Make Maud more like me

Maud, my dressmakers model, is fine company in the sewing room, and really handy for piling fabric on when the sewing table gets messy.  I’m fairly sure that she’s not happy about this, and if achieving better fit is a goal for this year, then I need to put her to work properly.

I have a set of pads but really wanted a tailored cover to fit.  Enter Bootstrap Fashion and their DIY Dressform Cover!

I ordered the ponte de roma required for this prior to Christmas, I just need a little quiet time now to get all those measurements done and the pattern printed.

I’m aiming to have this finished by the end of January.

2…Sew my stash

Oh, how my knitting stash grew over Christmas.  A sweater’s worth of yarn, and kits for two hats…I’ll save those for another post.  Suffice to say I’ve probably enough knitting to keep me going till Yarndale!

I’ve managed not to add much to the fabric stash over the last year, and to reduce it by spreading the joy to other crafters.  But there is still too much for comfort, so I plan to make at least 50% of all my 2019 makes from stash fabric.

I’m going to get a quick fabric audit done by the end of January so I have a benchmark for the year and hopefully some pieces pulled out to make a start.

3…Sew what I wear

Oh I would love to have a wardrobe full of gowns and silk dresses and heels, but the reality of my life is tops and cardigans and boots/trainers.  I’m good with that.  So that’s mostly what I’m going to be sewing this year! (Not the boots and trainers….yet!).  I need good quality, hardwearing basics which look smart but not too dressy.  I do need a few items of workwear with a casual edge for meetings.  And I get to play with the pretty fabrics for dressy items for date nights.  But I suspect they’ll be a dressier version of daywear in luxe fabrics!

The fun of this is that I don’t need to keep reinventing the wheel, fit wise.  Something like the Blackwood Cardigan, which is top of my list, is the sort of thing I can make in all the colours once I’ve tweaked the fit, and it’ll tick the box for something I wear all the time, something I hate shopping for, and something that is often crappy quality in my price range for RTW.

4…Educate Evie

I’m going to be seriously into learning this year.  From FBAs to drafting, I’m on a mission to learn as much as I can.   I’ve been sewing since God was a boy, but not making any progress.  This is the year to change it.  Dave bought me the two day pattern cutting workshop at Raystitch as part of my Christmas gift this year.

I’m beyond excited.  I can’t wait for July!  Dave is coming with the kids to do London sightseeing during the day and we get to meet up once my learning for the day is done.  It’s going to be joyous!

I’m setting a goal to do their trouser block course before the end of 2019 too.

I think Craftsy might also be my friend this year!  I have several unwatched courses and a list as long as your arm of ones I want to see.

5…Make more

3 garments made last year.  It’s no wonder my wardrobe looks so tired, even with the addition of some RTW items.

And I know I’ve said it before but I loathe clothes shopping and get really pissy about the falling quality of garments in my price bracket. I know why it’s happening (to maintain price points AND profit margins) but I don’t have to like it.

The more I sew, the less I have to shop.  It’s a win.

I’m putting it out here that I will make at least 12 garments for myself during 2019, at least 50% of which will be sewn from stash fabric.

6…Post more 

I posted 21 times last year.  Mainly because I wasn’t making much of interest so there wasn’t much to say.  I seriously considered giving up this blog, but its such a valuable record of my life for the last 10 plus years that I’m sticking with it.

Instead, I’m committing to at least a 25% uplift on 21 posts over the coming year (thats 26 posts).

Much as I’d love to commit to posting once a week, it’s probably unrealistic.  But if I’m making more, I’ll be posting more, so it should be an organic process.  Fingers crossed.

So with life, my other website, and the above, it should be a busy year.  I’m hoping to have fewer specialists appointments with the kids this year as we’re making progress with the diagnoses, although Dylan will be having his ear surgery repeated at some point…hopefully successfully this time.

Last year was hard, I don’t mind admitting.  Hopefully this year I can focus on these creative goals and have a bit more fun!!

12 Responses to New Year sewing

  1. K-Line says:

    Love this post Evie. Your goals are both lofty and attainable – great job. My yarn stash has grown outrageously this year. I mean, I am knitting constantly so I’m allowing it, but I know that feeling of having too much sitting there and not becoming something gorgeous. Can’t wait to see your post showing us the new Xmas yarn.

    • Evie says:

      I promise I shan’t keep you waiting too long for the yarn pictures! I was totally spoiled for gifts this year.
      I think that I would feel better about the stash if I was working through it. I would imagine you’re knitting up a storm at the moment whilst you heal. I have a mental picture of you sitting by that glorious fireplace with a lovely glass of wine and something wonderful on the needles.

  2. I love your goals, realistic and achievable…and some fun to be had too! Happy New Year to you all xx

    • Evie says:

      Fun is the order of the day for this year! Last year was altogether lacking in that department.
      I do hope they’re achievable… would be lovely to have some new handmades in the wardrobe sooner rather than later!

  3. Kim says:

    Your sewing output was pretty spectacular compared with mine last year. Like you I am making goals that suit my life better this year , and also decided to continue blogging after lots of time thinking hard.
    Enjoy your pattern cutting course, and don’t be disheartened if it isn’t all brilliant first time. I’m sure Vogue etc do several tries before they can release a pattern 😉

    • Evie says:

      The sewing completely got away from me! Life was waaaaaaay too frantic.
      I’m so looking forward to the drafting course. Although don’t be expecting a line of Pendle Stitches patterns any time soon. 😉

  4. Marianne says:

    Love your goals, Evie. I’m very interested to hear your thoughts about the Bootstrap dress form cover. The Blackwood cardigan is a wardrobe staple here! Just make sure your fabric has enough drape and stretch. Ask me how I know 😉 Best of luck with all your sewing adventures and I’m glad you decided to continue blogging!

    • Evie says:

      Thank you.
      I’m hoping the Blackwood will become a staple here too! Although I’ve hardly stepped foot in the sewing room so far this year, except to dump stuff on the table. I need to get to it!

  5. Tialys says:

    Sorry to hear you were feeling poorly for the festive season and hope you’re all fully recovered by now.
    Some interesting plans for next year.
    I sometimes wonder about blogging but I do like the sense of community with like minded people it gives me and, as you say, it serves as a useful record of what I’ve been up to. I don’t worry about blogging every day and, to be honest, I find it difficult to follow people who do as I feel I need to comment but can’t keep up with such a prolific output.

    • Evie says:

      I think a daily blogging schedule can suffer from quantity over quality, and I know I’ve taken all of such blogs out of my feed. I just can’t keep up. I love the sense of community too. It’s nice to keep in touch with like minded folk all over the planet.

  6. AnneW says:

    Good goals, have fun with the pattern cutting! I’m planning on slowing down with my sewing this year, we’ll see how I get on with that! It’ll be good to read about your project making this year.