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Happy New Year!: 2011 Sewing Goals & Year-End Review

13 January 2011 6 Comments

Happy New Year! I really can’t believe that it’s been *cough* four a few months since I updated my blog.  lol. Wow.  I have been a very busy woman in 2010, and I haven’t had as much time to update my blog as I would have liked.  However, I will try not to feel guilty about not posting every little thing I’ve done or purchased in my blog. This is supposed to be fun! (not an obligation :).  With that said, I am sincerely committed to making more time to sew and blog this year because I really enjoy it and need to balance all of my hard work with more fun and creativity.

I have a long list of blog posts that I feel like I “should” catch up on, but I think it would be most beneficial to start with a recap of the past year so I can focus on the present instead of feeling guilty about what I didn’t get accomplished last year.  So let’s get that yucky baggage out of the way! Woo-saa…..

Note: This post is an update of my 2010 mid-year review of my sewing goals.

2010 Goal: By the end of the year, I will be able to create high quality garments that fit without using commercial patterns.

I am definitely still working on this one! lol

1) Finish 2009 sewing projects (January)

  • Sew button on black Vogue blazer
  • Sew snap on black Vogue pants
  • Sew snap on grey pants
  • Sew buttons on purple Burda pants
  • Finish waistband on navy Vogue pants
  • Burda patterns purple blazer w/welt pockets
  • Black wool coat

In May, I finally finished several unfinished sundresses that I started in 2008, but ironically, I didn’t finish any of the more recent projects listed above. I have a bad habit of starting sewing projects and putting them aside when I am almost finished. As a result, I have several pairs of unfinished pants that I’ve worn with a safety pin because I was too lazy to take a few minutes to sew on a button or snap. I hate to see unfinished projects taking up space in my sewing studio. I need to get motivated to spend a few hours knocking this out!

Jan 2011 Update: I finally finished my black wool coat over Thanksgiving and will post a review soon! (I have to finish the hem). Honestly, I haven’t touched any of the garments listed above!

2) Organize and redecorate sewing studio (January)

I am super-excited that I spent several weeks in January reorganizing my sewing studio and patterns. This was a major project, so I’m going to write a separate post dedicated to this project.

Jan 2011 Update: I spent a few hours of the holidays filing my vintage patterns and new patterns.  I am really pleased that I’ve been able to keep my sewing studio organized over the past year.

3) Create an inspiration board (January)

I haven’t created my inspiration board, but I purchased a cork board for this purpose. However, I have a large stack of pages ripped out from various magazines over the years, so it shouldn’t be hard for me to get started on this one. I think I actually need an inspirational photo album as well.

Jan 2011 Update: I still haven’t done this.

4) Start sewing blog (January)

Yippee! I designed my blog back in January, but I got too busy to post in it so I am thrilled that I’m finally posting on a regular basis.

5) Participate in PatternReview.com and post pattern and book reviews from past projects and favorite books – ongoing

Unfortunately, I haven’t posted any reviews on PatternReview.com, however, I wrote my first sewing pattern review last night and will start posting others on PatternReview.com to hopefully generate traffic to my blog.

Jan 2011 Update: Sadly, I have really fallen off when it comes to updating my blog and posting my pattern reviews on a regular basis! I am going to try to do better in 2011. I will write a review for my convertible wrap dress and black wool coat soon, and I have several reviews to submit for garments I’ve made in years past.

6) Sew weekly and complete at least one garment per month (ongoing)

  • Sew garments from BWOF magazine (Fall – ongoing)
  • Make a dress from Drape Drape Japanese pattern book (Spring/Summer)
  • Make cream and winter white suits
  • Make Jalie Jeans

Ha! Wow. I haven’t completed many new garments this year at all. Instead, it seems like I’ve been spending most of my available sewing time googling and reading about sewing, so I haven’t made any of the above items! :(

Jan 2011 Update: Oh wow, I didn’t do anything listed above. lol

7) Perfect sewing techniques – (January/February-ongoing)

  • Watch instructional sewing videos monthly to learn new techniques
  • Zippers (especially pants and invisible)
  • Welt pockets (complete Burda purple jacket)
  • Gain more confidence with sleeves and shoulder pads (use Jackets for Real people book and video)
  • French seams, hong kong finish, etc.
  • Become more confident with serging
  • Learn how to sew thin fabrics
  • Learn basic tailoring and couture techniques

Unfortunately, I think we’re starting to see a pattern here. Of course, I haven’t done this yet! lol. But in my defense, I did try to work on the welt pockets on my purple jacket, but I got discouraged because the jacket pieces went MIA for several months (I eventually found them in my magazine rack). Also, I am pleased that I inserted two zippers without help from my sewing instructor (zippers intimidate me).

Jan 2011 Update: Nope, I didn’t do any of this stuff.

8) Learn how to copy designer ready to wear garments – (February)

Sigh. No, I haven’t learned how to copy RTW garments yet, but I purchased several books and every Threads magazine back-issue I could find that featured articles about how to copy garments.

Jan 2011 Update: I haven’t done this yet, but I am motivated to do so in 2011. I bought a great new book over the holidays that demonstrates the rub-off method for beginners: “Patternmaking for  Perfect Fit: Using the Rub-Off Technique to Re-create and Redesign Your Favorite Fashions” (I was sooo excited to see this at Borders!)

9) Learn basic draping  – (March-May)

  • Make a new dress form or purchase one
  • Make a duct tape skirt (Sew Stylish magazine)
  • Work through the projects in “Perfectly Fitted”
  • Make the skirt from the Sewing Expo draping class
  • Make the dresses in “Little Black Dress” book

Are you kidding?! I haven’t draped a thing. lol.

Jan 2011 Update: Yay! I finally treated myself to a professional dress form from Roxy Display as a Christmas gift. I just padded her out using the Fabulous Fit system and I am going to post a review soon!

10) Sew a sofa slipcover (draping method)

Nope. This one is also laughable.

Jan 2011 Update: I am highly motivated to this because I recently washed the slip covers on my couch and noticed some discoloration.

11) Learn basic pattern making/drafting and how to modify patterns and sew without instructions

  • Make projects in “Design it Yourself Clothes”
  • Work though Dorothy Moore’s pattern drafting book (July)
  • Do the Threads – “Knock off your favorite pair of pants” tutorial
  • Work through Japanese pattern drafting books (August/September)
  • Create a remixed garment using “Frankenpattern” techniques (Summer/Fall)
  • Make a garment from Mrs. Stylebook (Fall)
  • Make convertible wrap dress

Nope. This is becoming depressing…

Jan 2011 Update: I made two convertible wrap dresses, but I did not tackle the other patternmaking projects. However, I spent several hours researching patternmaking books and classes in Atlanta and identified a few options that I am considering (depending on the progress I make in with my self-teaching).  When I ordered my dress form, it came with a set of pattern drafting tools.  I spent a few hours tonight reading patternmaking books (to confirm that it’s possible to teach myself), and I am ready to get started!

12) Knit a garment or accessory


Jan 2011 Update: I haven’t touched my knitting needles this year (actually, I used them over the weekend to assist with drilling something into the wall, but I don’t think that counts :). However, I found a cute hat on raverly.com that I would like to make for my cat.  I’m hoping that I will be more likely to complete a project if I start with something small (a cat fortune cookie toy is the the only other knitting project I have completed to date).

13) Crochet a garment or accessory


Jan 2011 Update: My friend Bibah gave me a fabulous crochet lesson when I went home to visit my parents over the holidays and taught me all of the basic stitches. I videotaped the tutorial, so I have no excuse for not crocheting this year. I found a handbag in “Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker” that I am going to make this Winter! (Bibah already made it, so I’m feeling motivated!).  It uses the half double crochet stitch throughout the pattern, so I am feeling confident that I can finally complete a crochet project.

13) Make vintage wrap dress

Jan 2011 Update: I am halfway through making a Jiffy wrap dress from the 1970’s (DVF knock-off). I started the dress in November and stopped working on it over the holidays, but I will finish it soon.

Updated 2011 Sewing Goals

I didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked on my sewing goals last year, but I would like to set myself up for success this year by setting more realistic goals and under-promising/over-delivering.  As a life coach, I know that I would be more likely to succeed if I narrow down my list.  This year, my overall goal is to learn beginner fashion illustration, patternmaking, and draping skills.  I would also like to improve my construction skills and gain more confidence in advanced techniques.

I will post my goals on my empty inspiration board in my sewing studio to help me stay focused and motivated and make an effort to check-in periodically to monitor my progress.

Here’s my new list:

  1. Update my blog on a regular basis :)
  2. Create inspiration board
  3. Post sewing pattern reviews for new garments I make and post them in my blog
  4. Make time to work on sewing or patternmaking on a weekly basis (my schedule is busy, so this is a big one for me)
  5. Sew at least one garment per month for the rest of the year including the following:
  • At least one garment copied from ready to wear
  • 4 garments drafted without patterns using draping or flat patternmaking skills (skirt, pants, dress, top)
  • One dress from Simon Henry’s “The Little Black Dress” book
  • At least one garment from BWOF
  • At least one knitted or crocheted garment/accessory
  • Curtains for my sidelights, living room, kitchen, and at least one bedroom (I purchased fabric years ago and I am tired of looking at the empty curtain rods! :)

And if I manage to find time to slip cover my couch or tackle any of my 2010 goals, I will treat myself to something on my sewing wish list.

Stay tuned to my blog for updates!

Related posts:

Welcome to My Brand New Sewing Blog!
New Look 6457: Strapless Sundress
McCall’s 5766: Black Wool Coat


  • Bibah said:

    I am totally cracking up after reading this. I love that you are so honest with yourself. I am confident you will achieve at least one of the goals for 2011 lol

    We have to do dinner next time you.

    Btw, I’ve been crocheting like a beast:

    I’ve made 6 scarves, 2 hats, a wine bottle cozy, and a hooded baby afghan since the clutch. I am working on a cute little dress/tank for my friend’s little girl and a scarf for the hubby. I haven’t posted any of these on Ravelry yet.

  • Carla (author) said:

    lol. Yes, I believe in self-awareness, and I am aware that I have a tendency to slack off when it comes to my sewing goals :).

    Yes, let’s get together next time I’m home.

    I was on Ravelry the other night and I saw some cool patterns. I’m looking forward to seeing your new stuff. You should start a blog! BTW, I saw a book at Michaels Yesterday (Simple Stitches crochet) that had really great crochet photos and instructions (I didn’t love the projects, though): http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Stitches-Crochet-Projects-Stitcher/dp/160059901X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1295370045&sr=8-2

  • Bibah said:

    I will have to check out the book next time I am in Michaels. I like the idea of a blog just not the idea of creating and maintaining it :-)

  • Carla (author) said:

    Bibah: They may have the book at regular book stores. My blog is custom, but it’s easy to set up a blog on blogspot or blogger (if you can maintain a facebook page, you can set up a blog). But as you can see, actually posting in it on a regular basis requires discipline. Let me know when you post some pics on Ravelry. I don’t log in that often.

  • Bibah said:

    I actually started a blog on the crazy stuff my 4 year says (DHisms) but i think i posted like two stories and gave up. lol

    i created a web page for my book club and did not update it at all in 2010. I have to get it up and running again this year. Wish me luck.

  • Carla (author) said:

    lol. okay, well maybe you should just stick with crocheting. with the amount of time that I spent working on my blog over the past week, I could have actually finished my wrap dress. good luck with the site.

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