1. Sew for my actual life, not my imagined life
For my birthday, I was given a copy of The Curated Closet, by Anuschka Rees. It is part self-help and style guide-y and part Marie Kondo method for clothing. The most useful for me was the idea of having a wardrobe that works for your real life, not an imagined life. When sewing, I find I am often drawn to dresses and even though I wear these often, I do sometimes open my cupboard and find nothing to wear. As I’ll be working from home this year I am going to need some more casual/comfortable clothes that I can ‘get dressed’ in so I don’t feel like I’m in my PJs all day. I’m thinking this might involve making some leggings and tunics, and maybe a Blackwood cardigan as well.
2. Try new shapes
One of the best things about sewing for yourself is being able to experiment with different shapes and styles. Two of my favourite makes this year were sack dresses – basically shapeless tents that are really comfortable to wear and easy to fit.
I want to challenge myself to try even more new shapes this year, starting with a pencil skirt (I’m thinking of this simple one from Colette patterns). For a long time, I’ve felt self conscious about my shape and have been trying to hide it using clever fit and flare shape trick wizardry. But the sack dress experiment showed me that trying new things can be fun and that it is worth pushing myself out of my comfort zone every once in a while.
3. Make better fabric choices
I spend a lot (like a lot) of time looking in fabric shops in real life and on the interwebs, and often find myself obsessed with getting a great deal. This has meant that I have sometimes prioritised quantity over quality and have lived to pay the price (the farmyard dress made out of a gross polywhatnot is a great case in point. Never have I ever sweated so profusely). This year, I’d like to buy less fabric of a better quality. The clothes I have made out of the Liberty lawn that I bought on from Habby and Lace, and when shopping in London with Dr Tempest have been made into amazing garments that I love wearing. I’m hoping that I’ll make more mature choices about quality fabrics this year, instead of being enticed by whimsical patterns on polycotton (although the two aren’t mutually exclusive, obv. See me contradict myself re patterns below).
4. Sew more neutrals
I LOVE patterns. Like really love. But I often find that I want to wear something that has more potential to match other pieces in my wardrobe. This year, I’d like to sew more neutral items. These won’t necessarily be in black and grey, but in solid colours that could potentially be worn together. Maybe I’ll be extra mature and think about sewing in a particular colour palette. Sounds pretty unlike me, but I’ve seen some bloggers do it well. Gillian, one of my favourite plus size sewist bloggers, has some resources on her blog to help to choose colours. I think I will approach these as a broad set of guidelines, rather than rules that I’ll be naturally inclined to break!
5. Do more slow sewing
I have been thinking about this one for a while, and then was struck by the discussion on a recent episode of the Love to Sew Podcast, where Emily Hundt spoke about her approach to sewing. Her philosophy involves savouring the small details, and trying to sew in a sustainable way. I have found that I often get myself into a hurry, wanting to make something to wear NOW, rather than finishing things slowly and carefully. In 2018, I want to slow down, focus on the details and try to work on developing my sewing skills.
I’m hoping that these goals are coherent enough to work together and that I’m able to go some way towards achieving most of them. What are your sewing goals this year?