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"]


  1. How exciting! GET THAT SERGER OUT! I love my brother serger!!!! You will to! XOXO

  2. I subscribe to all your resewlotions except for the serger. Unfortunately I cannot justify the need to own one... yet. I have also taking it slowly this time and plan to leave my binge sewing days behind. Good luck with everything!

  3. I totally know what you mean about turning sewing into a chore and sewing wardrobe staples.......It's meant to be relaxing AND wearable....thats what I keep telling myself, anyway!

  4. I love all these 'Re-SEW-lutions'!

    Agreeing with your friend Renee above - I adore my serger, and it actually makes me proud of the insides of my garments now too. I flip my hems all the time for people to see!

    The drafting one is always my goal! Getting there very slowly!

  5. Love the title word play. Crocheting features in song lyrics? Awesome! I look forward to seeing your embroidery. I'm dreadful at setting myself goals. I hate it when I don't meet them! But I am really looking forward to my sewing course next year. We'll be able to compare notes on the college.

  6. I share very similar resolutions to you, Tilly! My main goal is resisting the urge to buy more fabric until I have depleted my stash completely... That's going to be challenging! I also have to stop making 50's dresses with big skirts - I'm much more comfortable in a simple top with a skirt or shorts :)

  7. I'm mostly just resolving to sew more! I really want to have more hand made garments in my wardrobe. I got a cute sewing book for Christmas called Sew Serendipity that I'm hoping will help me become more creative when sewing, as it makes several projects from the same pattern pieces. I too want to learn to use more kinds of fabrics. And make pants! I just bought stuff to make pants last night. Wish me luck!

  8. I am definitely with you on the deadlines - I have so many that are externally imposed, I don't know why I add to the pressure by creating my own! Enjoy your drafting course - I tried to sign up for one in September but it was cancelled for lack of interest I found LiEr's sewing from scratch series was brilliant for drafting for children and I got Jack Handford's drafting book for Christmas, which looks great. So that's one of mine too. (Happy serging - those things are life-changing!)

  9. Love the resolutions! So jealous of that serger. I'm not ready to make that jump yet. I do love embroidery though... I just started this past year and I'm hooked. Totally an old lady lol Luckily you're in the UK which I am convinced has the best cross stitch magazines. A little less grandma, a little more funky. ;)

  10. Not sure if you can get this book in the UK, but when I was at the Fashion Institute of Technology we used this book for our fabric class. J.J. Pizzuto’s Fabric Science Swatch Kit



  11. Ooh thanks Nicole... just looked at a review on Amazon though and it says you need to work out which fabric is which yourself and stick them in the book. Do you remember if that's true? I won't be able to work that out on my own!

  12. I like your New Years re-sew-lutions. Especially the one about not having deadlines. I too am really bad at making a hobby into a chore. It's silly really.

    I also just wanted to invite you over to take part in my first every giveaway and comment on what you will be doing for the first time in 2011. It sounds like you will be doing something exciting.

    Happy New Year and thank you for setting up the Crafty Christmas Club. Will it be going again next Christmas?



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