If I have to have a sewing resolution, 2018 is my year of sewing less new stuff. Instead my sewing life will be more about refashioning, restyling and finishing UFOs; being selective about sewing challenges; reading and blogging more about sustainable sewing (can you tell I would love to be a textiles nerd?! Do tell me what you topics you would like to read!)
Sewing new stuff
By now you know my philosophy to be conscious about using less, buying less and wasting less. I have a lot of clothes already and did a serious amount of “fast sewing” in 2017 after having Mr Baby. Where I would like to make something new I will be trying harder to use my existing fabric and pattern stash.
Sustainability is not replacing a RTW closet with a me made closet.
Having said that sewing is a hobby and I don’t sew to save the environment. Do you ever feel guilty about buying things you could otherwise have made? I have but I think this is misplaced. Besides having too many clothes, the sense of accomplishment that would come with a full me made wardrobe would be outweighed by making things I don’t want to sew or where I can’t get fabric (e.g. a black silk/cotton jersey roll neck).
New Year means my feed is currently full of posts about year long challenges (e.g. #makenine2018, #sewmystyle2018). Part of me wants to participate in everything but the realist thinks otherwise, and I don’t want a bursting closet just because I happen to like making clothes. Here is a small selection of the challenges I think will probably run … I also have a couple of surprises to be revealed in due course!
Sewing challenges foster a great sense of community. I have made a load of virtual friends and met up with a few. I love seeing what other people make and it is incredibly useful to see how a pattern looks on all shapes and sizes before I buy one. Of course I am also occasionally prone to “that looks fab, I’ll have that!”
However, Instagram is not without downsides. Inspiration overload tempts me to buy and make more. I have written before here about the intensity of Instagram and feeling like I need to improve my life to be as good as others (silly, I know). Anyway because I am keen to avoid this kind of mental stress, I will only be doing low commitment challenges this year or ones that I can dip in and out of.
Refashioning and UFOs
None of my list at the moment “sparks joy”, to quote Marie Kondo. I am torn between guilt of half finished things, or giving up and wasting it. But knowing myself I’ll finish them all at some point as I can’t stand the guilt of unfinished that I could wear if I wasn’t so lazy. Here’s my list:
- Replace neck facing on a dress with bias binding then dye it blue again (see picture below). The iron has left a crease on the linen where the facing ends, the linen has faded from the wash and it is not pretty! The picture on the left is the original colour.
- Refashioning an SOI Penny dress into a 2 piece set (Inari tee and gathered skirt) after I ripped the armhole on 3 occasions, probably whilst reaching for the door or something equivalently daft.
- Reline 2 winter coats and give new buttons because dark grey wool with black buttons is too dull to wear, even if it is a Jaeger coat.
- Finish Deer & Doe Hoya blouse (festive fabric, maybe I should postpone this till November 2018!)
- Finish the By Hand London Orsola skirt in a delicious barkcloth. I have been procrastinating on this since I think it needs a lining which I need to draft, but it is cut and ready to go.
What will you be doing in 2018? Sewing more or less? Do you like the idea of a #makenine2018 or do you get distracted with new ideas as they come up?
This is a really interesting post, Kate! As you know I share many of your misgivings about Instagram, fast sewing etc. I’m publishing my resolutions later today and they’ll be a mixture of new projects and making use of what I already have. I’m not signing up to many challenges this year, and trying to make my decisions about what to do based on whether it will push my creativity in a positive way. Your plans sound great, but you also make a good point about joy – make sure there are some projects in there that give you joy!!
When I listed out the challenges I was quite surprised actually- I did #miymarch last year as my first one and was hooked but also burned out fairly quickly. Time for a different approach as you say