I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a resounding start! I don’t necessarily feel like I have a “this is what I made in 2019” recap as much as I have, this is what I learned.
HAND SEWING – My biggest shocking sew moment of 2019 was discovering that I actually enjoy hand sewing! From when I first started learning how to sew right up until 2018, I just did not like hand sewing. I avoided it like the plague. Something about the tediousness of it just drove me up the wall. It was like nails on a chalkboard for me. In 2019 however, I began to explore more couture techniques and tailoring and with that came more hand sewing. Once I began trouser/dress pants making and sewing blind hems, something magical came over me. I realized my patience over the years has drastically increased. Chalk that up to living and maturing through some of the hardest times and things I’ve ever gone through in life, and boom: Suddenly hand sewing seems like a breeze!
FLY FRONTS – I’m going to toot my own horn here, but I’m a sewing boss when it comes to fly fronts now. I can literally now do fly fronts in my sleep. I mean the good old school tailoring fly fronts with the fly front shield and everything. I made a point in 2019 of reading every single sewing book, article, YouTube, how-to, you name it, on fly fronts and learned multiple techniques. I’ve found when I want to be good at something I literally study until I become an expert on it. 2019 was the year of me mastering my old sewing fears of tailored fly fronts.
SLOW SEWING – At the tail end of 2019 I finally let myself off the hook for slow sewing. It was ironically forcing myself the months of November and December to sew rapidly several pieces, many of which I didn’t love, for me to realize sewing for content to post wasn’t going to work for me. One of the reasons I started sewing in the first place was because of how much I love what I create. I love the feel of putting my hands to work at something beautiful that I get to personally make and wear. When you find yourself looking at clothes that you know you’re never ever going to wear, something is wrong.
So What’s ahead for 2020?
Like many this year I’ve given up resolution making and have focused instead on intentions and setting sewing plans that resonate deeply with me.
HAVE FUN – My goal this year is to expand the reasons why I love sewing and fashion designing. It brings me so much peace and joy and I just have so much fun when I’m creating. This is why I chose to start my new sewing year off with the Sew Unconventional Challenge. I bought 6,000 plastic spoons from an online janitorial supply store and coupled with my Pinterest board have one fun project in store which will be fully revealed by the end of January. This year will include me making more pieces that simply make me smile or reveal another side of me.
NO NEW FABRIC – I’ve had to face some real truths this past 2019 about my fabric hording. I’m honestly past my or anyone else’s level of acceptable fabric stash. In an effort to decrease my fabric stash I’ve created a new hash tag #shopthefabricstash and will use this each time I create a make that uses fabric that I currently already own. I also plan to sell and give way a lot of fabric this year.
MAKES I LOVE – To kick off the new year I went through my pile of WIP (work in progress) makes and purged all but two makes that I’ve had still uncompleted. Next I went through and purged any makes I had completed that I honestly know that I’m not going to wear. Then to top that off, I went through my ready to wear clothes that I’d purchased from stores in the past but had set aside for alterations and purged that too. Lastly, I will purge my current closet and donate half of that if possible. 2020 is going to be the year of only makes that I love. If I find myself working on something that I realize I’m not going to love and actually wear I’m giving myself permission to stop. I used to feel obligated to complete something for the sake of saying I’d finished it, but that’s not why I sew. I want my new wardrobe to be full of things that I not only loved creating but will love wearing too.
TAILORING – This new year I will be focusing more on tailoring and the details of my makes. I want all my makes this year to have a classic hand and polished look. Aesthetically I love clean lines, classically tailor pieces as well as items that are designed well. My goal is to produce pieces that I know will hold up through the years and truly become staples in my closet.
SLOW SEWING – I’m also giving myself permission this year to sew as slow or as fast as I need to, to get the fit, look or feel of my pieces right. I want to make sure I’m going at a pace that suites me and whatever I’m working on rather than creating items just for Instagram content.
TACKLING FEARS – This new year will include me tackling projects that push me out of my sewing comfort zone. This will include spending more time on plaid matching, welt pockets, blazers and coats. I’ve had a tendency in the past to skip right over techniques or projects that will require me to push my advanced sewing skill set, instead opting for safe pieces that I can do with ease. Now I want to jump right into those, because by the end of the year I want to be have honed and refined my advance sewing techniques.