30 December 2010

New year re-sew-lutions!

2011 is set to be an exciting year for me. I won't bore you with the details but I'm lucky enough to be part of a fellowship scheme which will allow me to take a few months off work to go on an amazing secondment, to attend workshops and to write research papers. I'm so excited - particularly about the secondment (will I resist the urge to tell you where I'll be working? Probably not!) - that I keep doing little jigs on the spot. I'm determined not to let my sewing suffer though, as in the last year it has brought me pleasure, perspective and confidence in my own creativity. So to keep me focused over the next few months, here are my new year resolutions - or re-sew-lutions, if you will - for 2011. Any excuse to write a list!

1. Ease off on the deadlines
I have a habit of turning any activity into a chore, but next year more than ever I will need relaxing hobbies to get me into the zone and to give my brain a rest. So no more sewing deadlines for me. I will slow it down and take pleasure in a leisurely pace, rather than always trying to get one project finished so I can tick it off my list.

2. Make clothes I can wear every day
I love 1950s full skirted dresses, but I rarely wear them. I want to stitch some staple garments for my wardrobe that I'll wear again and again. First on the list is a corduroy button-down skirt. I've bought some soft yellow needlecord that might make a nice Beignet with wooden buttons.

3. Start embroidery
I love drawing and I love sewing. Combining the two sounds heavenly! I devoured Sublime Stitching in about five minutes and can't wait for my next trip to John Lewis to stock up on supplies. I'm thinking of starting with a tote bag and progressing to embellished cardigans. Grandma and proud!

4. Expand my fabric repertory
Sewing with anything other than cotton, gabardine or denim is something I've been rubbish at so far, through a combination of ignorance and fear. I'm hoping that this fabric guide will give me the confidence to branch out, but it's sold out in the UK so I'll have to wait a little longer. If you know of any other fabric swatch books, I'd love to hear about them!

5. Sew trousers
Remember these?

They're festering atop my sewing shelves. I dived in with too much confidence and no thought for trouser-specific measurements like the "back crotch curve" and other unmentionables. Oh Sew Brixton run a promising-sounding 'Trousers that fit' workshop which I'm planning to take when I have a bit more free time. I'm also keeping an eye on The Cupcake Goddess trouser sewalong and might even join in retrospectively.

6. Serge!

Taking it out of the box will be a step in the right direction.

7. Learn the fundamentals of pattern drafting
I'm enrolled on a weekend course to master the basics, which I'm really excited about. I'd love to have the skills and confidence to design my own patterns some day... a five year goal, perhaps!

That's enough for goals me. What about you? Do you have any new year re-sew-lutions?

[Soundtrack: 'Futile Devices' by Sufjan Stevens -
"And when you crochet
I feel mesmerized and proud"]