Wednesday 1 January 2014

Reflections and resewlutions

Looking back on 2013 my best decision made in the sewing room was to start this blog. I want to thank all bloggers that inspired me, all followers for taking the time to read my posts and all who left comments for their kind reactions and their support!

I really like the hits and misses top 5-lists, started by Gillian and wanted to make my own lists, but being around in the blogosphere for less than four months means lots of my hits and misses happened Before Blogging and were not documented properly.

My number one hit did make it to the blog. It must be this Negroni shirt, blogged about here

Not only did it win a prize in the Super Online Community Sewing Match but it's so funny to watch my husband roll up his sleeves at a party to proudly show the contrast fabric and 'professional finish' on the inside (his words, not mine).

The favorite me-made-for-me must be the Joi dress, one day I'm gonna wear it inside out because of this:

Over to my sewing plans for 2014.

This might need some explanation. I've spent the better part of New Year's Day reading about other bloggers' sewing plans for the coming year. What worries me a bit is the amount of self-imposed limitations I read about and how often the words 'failure' and 'feeling guilty' are used when it comes to not reaching self set goals.
It's bad enough to have restrictions on calorie intake and the daily dose of espresso's. But restrict myself in the sewing room? Don't think so.
Rules, restrictions and deadlines are part of my working life. Sewing is my creative outlet. Creativity needs freedom.

When I read about a Burda Challenge (you have to make at least one garment out of each monthly BurdaStyle issue) it makes my hair stand up straight. What? If Burda releases a crappy issue I HAVE to pick one of the ugly bunch and make it? Why would I join such a challenge?

I really love the fact that over 200 women are joining Sarah of Goodbye Valentino in her 365 days of Ready to wear-fast. I will follow them all with great interest. But me? It may very well be that I'm not buying any RTW all year long, I really like to sew all the garments that are spinning around in my head. But I refuse to feel guilty for buying a simple white tee, or having to force myself to walk away from a one of a kind deal on a designer coat.

And then there is the matter of fabric stash. Sewists are very conscious about stashbusting these days. I've read about shopping bans, or 2 out, 1 in-rules. Recently I witnessed a woman falling in love with some inexpensive fabric. She immediately knew what she wanted to use it for: a jacket that would match some of her trousers and skirts. She looked excited and was heading towards the salesperson. Then the girl who accompanied her said: "You don't need that, you already have way too much fabric!" The woman's smile disappeared, her shoulders dropped and she walked away. I promised myself on the spot that I'd rather give away my beloved stash than let it block my creativity.

Don't let anyone dull your sparkle. It's easy to come up with goals and challenges at the beginning of the year. But will it make your sewing life happier? Or is there a chance you will dull your own sparkle?
I know I'm at my best when I'm sewing something I really, really want to make. Not because I need to, or have to. And because I don't know what I really want to make in June, or September, I do not want to make any statement now that will limit my choices later on. One rule: no rules. How about you?


  1. I completly agree with you, there are certain things I have no desire to make and I always find a few sale items that are too good to be passed upon. I do admire those who don't buy RTW but it's not for me.

    I haven't really got any goals for this year instead I've chosen a word, which is Effort and the idea is that I try harder at the things I enjoy doing e.g sewing, drawing, pattern drafting and improve other areas like, healthy eating and exercise. I do like your plan of no rules, it's usually the best way, good luck for the year ahead!

    1. Effort and improvement, I'll drink to that! And fun! Did I mention fun?
      Good luck to you too!

  2. I have set myself a few goals, as I find they help me to try some new things rather than keep sewing my same favourite patterns over and over. Without them I could well have a wardrobe consisting completely of By Hand London Anna dresses and New Look 6000 dresses!

    I agree though that too many goals or rules are daunting, and make for feelings of guilt and frustration in the months to come. I've seen people setting goals such as making 52 garments this year! Good luck to them, but that's too much pressure for me!

    1. 52 garments? Oh, help. I probably would make some nice things in the first half of the year and then make like 42 Sorbetto's to meet my goals!

      Mmm, a wardrobe full of Anna dresses? Like Roisin? I could live with that! But trying something new certainly has its charms. Can't wait to see what you come up with next!

  3. Thank you! Although I love their ideas I tend to survive by "life happens". I wish all of the sew X amount in X time, and no RTW, etc but will I manage any of that - I doubt it. I do have several pieces of wool and silk I'm hoping to finish before spring, I'll be happy with that.

    1. Wool and silk, no strict deadlines, that equals happy sewing!

  4. Hi Valerie, just visited your blog. Love your crazy coat!

  5. Hi Marianne,
    I totally agree with your No rules approach. It's how I work best and enjoy what I'm doing most.
    Still, I want to set myself one necessary goal. Recently I became aware of my impatience regarding creating things. It's funny, I wasn't aware of it for the longest time.

    In the first post Sarah expressed it far more eloquently than I can. But from now on I want to put more effort in what I make, like taking more time to prepare and try to stop myself from rushing things. I'm sure it'll make for a more rewarding year.

    take care,


    1. Hi Marianne, Just yesterday I had to remind myself that No rules is in fact a rule in itself. I promised myself to stay away from sewing deadlines and yet I wanted to finish a dress so urgently that I was tempted to rush it and cut corners. Luckily I stopped myself just in time. I understand your impatience so well. There's always the next nice pattern or beautiful fabric calling your name!

  6. Hi Marianne, I am a bit late to this, but anyway: I am so with you regarding the no stash busting rule. How could I not shop for fabric? That would be horrible! So while I can afford it and while I can accommodate my stash I will buy nice fabric when I see it. The next "Stoffmarkt Holland" is coming up soon, so I better get myself ready ;-)

    1. It would be so rude of us not to listen to fabric speaking to us! I had to google 'Stoffmarkt Holland', looking good. Will it be close to where you live?