31 December 2011

In 2012, I Intend to Sew.




I’m really enjoying reading other sewing bloggers’ round up posts reflecting on 2011 and things they’ve made over the year. Cor blimey, some of you ladies are productive! And inspiring with it.

Take Debi from My Happy Sewing Place, for example. I used to consider myself a counterpart to Debi - we both started blogging around the same time, she was the first sewing blogger I met in the flesh (and yes, she is as lovely as she seems), and we were pretty much sewing at the same pace for a while. Then all of a sudden she signed up as a weekly contributor to The Sew Weekly - and she was off! This year I made 11 garments (see above). Debi made 58. FIFTY-EIGHT. Not even one a week was enough for Debi, she had to make an extra six. Talk about super woman! (In case you missed it first time, Debi wrote a guest post for my blog sharing her sewing productivity tips.)

Then there’s Patty the Snug Bug. 79 gorgeous makes. SEVENTY-NINE. That’s all I’m going to say. (Seventy-nine!) At the time of writing Jessica Stitchy Witch hasn’t posted a round up of her 2011 makes, but that’s probably because the number of photos is too big for Wordpress to handle. That lady sews. And of course there are the other The Sew Weekly ladies who have been whipping up sartorial delights at a mind blowing rate.

I really want to sew more.

I’ve just come back from a week in Chicago where I spent the holidays with my brother and his gorgeous babies. There’s nothing like a change of scene to give you some perspective, and as I was pondering my new year’s resolutions, I realised that the simpler the better. My general life resolution for 2012 is to have more guilt-free pleasure (the other day someone asked me if I am secretly Catholic - I’m Atheist-Jewish, so I'm not sure where this guilt issue comes from).

Related to that, I have one simple sewing resolution (re-sew-lution, if you will). In 2012, I intend to sew. I’m not going to go down my usual route and create an intricate strategy to increase my sewing productivity with pie charts, lists and ten point plans. Nor do I plan to procrastinate by writing loads of blog posts about productivity (but if anyone fancies writing a guest post for me on their own productivity tips, let me know!). I'm gathering a few inspirational images and patterns I like on Pinterest, but I'm not going to compile any "to make" lists which can add a sense of pressure. I'm just going to sew. For pleasure, recognising the importance that sewing has in my life, enjoying the creative process. And sewing. And making sewing patterns. And sewing them up.

Eeeeeeep! I’m so excited!

Have you made any new year’s resolutions – sewing-related or general life ones? (I’m nosey.) And do you have any productivity tips to spur me on? I’d love to hear them!

[Soundtrack: ‘This Train’ by Sister Rosetta Tharpe]


  1. Haha, SNAP Tilly! I too intend to sew (and knit) in 2012 and that's pretty much all I've 'planned'. I think we often over-think things and end up becoming overwhelmed and doing less, so I hope our new approach will lead to much productivity for 2012! Saying that, your eleven makes are stunning and finished off to a standard I can only dream of! I'm very excited to keep following your progress and seeing what you make next ;o)

  2. Where do these amazing sewists find the time to do it all?? Perhaps if I spent less time reading the sewing blogs and soaking up all the loveliness........?
    My New Years resolution is to try to be self sufficient in terms of my clothes, if I can't make it I can't have it! I think that's my motivation to be productive right there :)
    Underwear of course excluded, that's a step I'm not yet ready to take,
    I love your blog, thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I wish I could just say I'm going to sew - but I know I wont!. my head gets too full of ideas and I have to make lists of all the things I want to do, then work through them. that means I sketch alot of ideas, and make notes for things that may be made many years from now - it's the same for my art work. but hey ho - that's life!

  4. Hear hear! I think that i too sometimes get too overwhelmed by the pressure to complete things and by my self imposed deadlines that i end up slightly stressed out by it all and forget that really, i just like to sew. The pressure to complete can make it a chore. I've just posted my aims for the new year - i have gone with aims, things i would like to do and ways in which i would like to approach sewing, rather than a hard-and-fast list of "I will do this" and so forth. Tilly, your blog was one of the first i started to read and i always really enjoy reading your posts, both the finished makes and those that are more contmplative...here's to a happy 2012 full of the joys of sewing just because we love it :)

  5. I made the 'sewolution' to only buy one pattern per month. As far as productivity goes, I hate plans, but I do like to keep organize my fabric and patterns so I don't forget what I bought them for! So mostly I just keep a runny list of patterns/fabric in my queue using Evernote.

  6. Wonderful post Tilly, I'm sure this will strike a note with lots of other sewing bloggers. I've got a few things I want to achieve next year but will concentrate on making fewer clothes with a better fit and finish. Glad you had a lovely xmas with your family, here's to a very happy 2012. You sew girl! x

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  8. Debi is all around amazing :)

    I posted about my sewing goals here: http://misscrayolacreepy.blogspot.com/2011/12/goals-for-2012-or-year-of-colette.html

    As for other goals I want to learn how to embroider, read a book a month, and make at least 3 quilts. I think I will be staying busy! :)

  9. Would never be able to match the productivity of some ... would be happy with an item a month! but boy do I enjoy what I do sew! My 'productivity tip to self' was to have a thorough clear out of my sewing space so that I can start the new year with a tidy space ... see how long that lasts he he... thank you for such a wonderful blog, I look forward to reading more in the coming year ... in fact I may be getting addicted to all these blogs :)

  10. I have to remind myself to keep it simple all the time. I love this resolution!

  11. tilly i am a silent reader of yours i joined the sewing challenge on pattern review to sew up my stash that will definetly help me get in the groove and hopefully more challenges but i too want to just sew and knit this year among others so good luck and sew

  12. I don't know if this will be remotely helpful, but last year I wrote down a load of projects I wanted to make in a little notebook, one project per page, numbered each page, then put little slips of paper in a pot with the numbers on. I could then pick a slip out of the pot to see what to sew next. I didn't always sew the first project I picked out, but for the couple of months I did this I did sew one of the first three each time. I've put my own re-sew-lutions on my blog (that I started to give my own stalled sewing a kick-start).

  13. Eleven garments is nothing to sneeze at! I didn't make half that number and this was an unusually productive year for me.

    This year is the first I decided no goals. I get overly ambitious and then accomplish none of them. So for 2012, I'm sticking with

    Seems achievable.

  14. Great goal, Tilly. Sew, sew, sew. For me, I want to continue to learn how to sew, which will likely keep me at a turtle pace trying to make sure each seam is as perfect as I can make it. I have a lot of projects on my deck right now, so it should make for a fun next few months.

  15. I love everything you've made! Thanks for the shout-out! I wonder if I'll be able to stay productive without the externally imposed deadline. lol. I'll try :) Though there is something to be said for taking your time and doing it right the first time!!! Looking forward to a sewtastic 2012--I just love sharing our sewing adventures with each other!! xoxoxo

  16. Haha! Well, I've gone completely the other way! After a less than productive year in which life kept getting in the way of sewing, I've recruited a buddy, embraced my love of lists and have set a challenge to make 40 garments in 2012. I wish I was cut out for the simple life, but sadly, I think I need goals and rules and someone to answer to. Am such a square. Still, I don't mind if it works!

  17. I have the same resolution as you Tilly - just sew more! I also want to sew more things that I actually wear - I've been guilty of making novelty things just to use up stash!
    Happy New Year - and many more lovely projects!

  18. You can consider this my guest post of sewing productivity tips:

    "Do not own a toddler, and do not embark on a degree when you already have a full time job, a toddler, and your own business."

    ; )

    While I am in mad awe of the ladies who can crank out a project a week, I have enough deadlines in my life already.

    No resolutions for me. I'm just ready to see what 2012 brings! Happy new year to you!

  19. This is exactly how I feel about my personal goals for 2012! If I'm relaxed and happy at the end of the year I will have achieved what I want to from it, regardless of the specifics.

    2011 was a year of big life changes for me so there weren't any sewing goals and whilst it was great, for 2012 I want to push myself a bit and try some new things. I'm not worried if they don't work out though. Sewing is an enjoyable passtime - I never want it to become a chore!

    Anyways, Happy New Year Tilly! It's been fantasstic following your blog this year and I'm really looking forward to what 2012 brings.

  20. Happy New Year, Tilly! Thank you for a year of amazing and inspirational posts!

    I intend to sew all the garments from the Colette Handbook and three dresses from Famous Frocks. That's what I really want to do, so I'm going to do it!

  21. Great post!
    My sewing goals this year are to slow down and make better quality garments, enjoy the process rather than rushing, and buy some more independent designer patterns.

  22. Such a wonderful way to view your resolutions, Tilly! All of the items you have made over the last year have been wonderful!

    My 2012 resolution is to sew myself a new wardrobe bit by bit. I'm going to take it slowly and enjoy the process as well as the product.

    Happy new year!

  23. Hear hear - just sew! Happy New Year!

  24. Happy New Year! Debi's tips are super helpful! I'm definitely going to set some goals for myself in 2012 so I can be productive in making quilts and clothing. Woohoo! Look out sewing machine!

  25. Hi Tilly! To sew is a good resolution (it's one of mine, too) but I think we all have our own pace. I managed 26 garments this year (including refashions), which makes me a little proud, and I think it's a good number. I don't think I could make and regularly wear more than 50 garments a year - my dresser is too small for that! ;) I had a pretty relaxed last year but will start an internship in February. I guess a full time job will put more constraints on the time I have for sewing. My goal for the new year is to take more time for quality. Learn a few more techniques, spend more time on finishings and fitting, possible draft some slopers and go from there. :)

  26. Happy New Year honeypie!!! I hope you had a wonderful time in Chicago. I completely concur, spending a bit of time in different surroundings is such a great way to get some insight about what's important to you. I wish you all the best fulfilling this aim. Let us know if you need any e-poking to keep you on the straight and narrow and stop you deviating into a world of lists and charts!!!

    Zoe xxx

  27. Great resolution! Might do the same this year. Last year my resolution was to sew better and ended up sewing so few items -- lost all my mojo sewing my wedding dress.

    Looking forward to see your creations this year!

  28. I counted and I made about 52 garments this past year give or take a couple I might have missed. The point for me isn't how many I've made but how many I actually wear which is less than half! Eek! I plan on blogging more in depth about that little issue later because it's something I want to work on this year.

    I tried thinking about productivity and I find that I'm most productive at the very beginning and very end of sewing something so having many projects available at once helps. That way when I finish a dress and I'm so excited about it I can immediately jump right into something new and take advantage of that enthusiasm. And if I get bored in the middle of a project I can take a break and sew something new that interests me and come back to the other project later.

    Plus, when you have fabric and a pattern ready to go it's so much easier to start right away.

  29. Happy New Year Tilly!
    Oh dear, my sewing goals for this year are probably polar opposite to yours - I've blogged them here:
    But I can definitely see where you are coming from with your apporach - certainly takes the pressure off and ensures you enjoy the journey. Perhaps I may try that for 2013.
    Looking forward to seeing what you make this year, I am always inspired by your styling a fabric choices.

  30. Happy New Year, Tilly! I completely respect your choices. That being said, all the amazing people sewing out there has inspired me to start keeping a sewing notebook with swatches and images and inspiration! I think my biggest resolution is to sew more deliberately, and buy less of everything.


  31. Yes, same resolutions as yu, sew more, good idea the round up post.


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