Sewing goals – February update

We’ve made it through January – woo hoo! Despite my initial enthusiasm at the start of the new year, it’s been quite a struggle at times, and I’m so happy we’re getting closer to spring-time and light in evenings! As it’s a new month I thought I’d give a bit of an update on sewing plans. If you missed it, the start of 2018 saw a flurry of blogging activity from me, as I talked about my 2018 sewing goals and 2018 make nine patterns and fabric choices.

With my renewed, new year enthusiasm, I spent January doing a lot of toile-ing, so there’s not too much in the way of pretty makes to share. I promise I’ll share my progress soon. I’ve successfully toile-ed one of my make nine patterns, as well as a coat and a dress. I have alterations to make on all three, so it’ll be a little while before I can share the finished makes. Tired of all the toile-ing, and endless hue-less calico, I tried to do a quick any easy make last Saturday night by jumping on the Cleo bandwagon, but manage to mess up the cutting of a front piece and so the pieces are currently balled up in my kitchen after my massive tantrum…

I’ve also really struggled to take photos this month as the weather has been awful and so it’s been really hard to get decent light to photograph my makes…I will get some makes posts up as soon as I can get some decent photos!

So, onto February. I’ve got quite a lot going on this month so may not have too much time to sew, but by the end of February I hope to have:

  • Completed my first 2018 make nine garment
  • Started to work on my overlocker tension issue (see my 2017 misses post for details)
  • Narrowed down my New York(!!!!) to sew list
  • Made adjustments and tested new toiles on garments made in January
  • Figured out if my Ginger Jeans toile can be saved or if I need to start on a new pair (it is No fear Jeans month after all!)

As always, I’ve been spending lunches on Instagram looking at the latest makes and the new sewing patterns releases, and well, oh my. There’s one in particular that’s really caught my attention…but I’m going to have to give it a miss…

The lovely Melissa Fehr of Fehr trade patterns released her new book Sew Your Own Activewear in the last week.

Quite frankly, it looks brilliant.

Sew your own activewear

Having just started to get back into fitness again, I could do with more workout clothes:

  • I don’t have a sports top – I just wear an old vest top from Topshop that’s too small for me, or as a base layer an old Primark long sleeve top
  • I don’t have a warmer layer to wear over the top – I wear a really light but quite old RTW jumper
  • I only have one pair of long leggings / yoga pants – it’s far too cold at the moment to be wearing shorter ones

I also want to work with more knit fabrics, and so getting the book would be the perfect opportunity to marry together those needs.

But then that feels like my usual downfall. I’ll see something new and be so excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities, the techniques, the finished garment, and I really do have the best of intentions about getting started on a project, but then I don’t seem to be able to find the time to actually do it. That sounds a bit harsh on myself, but I often end up getting really stressed out because I have unrealistic expectations. I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to think about my tendencies without being really self critical. I’m quite a reflective person, but I also give myself a really hard time.

Anyhow, the point I’m trying to get to is that I can recognise in myself that, despite my very best intentions, I’m unlikely to find time to make any of the items in Melissa’s book, at least anytime soon. I’m sewing for a few upcoming holidays, and I’m also working on some winter-appropriate dresses. I have quite a long list of makes I really want to get finished before it gets warm again. Making activewear will require new supplies and a considerable time commitment to be able to learn new skills.

But having said all of this, I still really want to get the book at some point, learn those time-consuming skills, and make my own activewear. So how do I postpone that urge to buy the book now and spend days searching and deliberating over that perfect fabric (that I also can’t afford)?

It sounds very simplistic, and it is really – I’m going to add it to my long-term plans. My long-term list is still to be written down, but it’s carefully collated in my head, and includes all those new skills I’d like to learn. Other significant things on that list include lingerie-making and pattern cutting skills (both are on my list of top 5 goals for 2018). And of course, I have books for both!

That I have a long-list is significant for me, as before I just had a huge list of items that I wanted to sew. But I find that having a really lengthy list of garments to make and new skills to learn usually just leaves me feeling overwhelmed and often quite stressed. Sewing is supposed to be my hobby, it’s an escape from my day job and something that should be fun. And it’s hard to get the balance right for planning. Lauren Guthrie recently vlogged about it being OK to feel overwhelmed by all of the sewing resolutions at the beginning of 2018. And Kate from the Fold Line also spoke about being overwhelmed by new year plans. This year I did quite a lot of planning at the beginning of the year – I have a #2018makenine list but I took a while to think it through. Almost as soon as I finished I started remembering lots of other garments I’d like to make, such as the Reeta dress, and Kielo wrap dress, but instead of stressing I’ve just added them to my long-list.

I think I’ve found a way to make planning work for me. For 2018 make nine, it was thinking through all of the seasons so I wasn’t under lots of pressure to sew nine garments in time for summer (that in truth, I’d probably hardly wear because summer in Scotland is cold!). I don’t feel under pressure with make nine as I fully acknowledge that I probably won’t complete them all. But that’s OK. Because planning my makes is one of my favourite things about sewing.

I regularly think about my sewing plans, what might have changed and what my more immediate priorities are. I might never get round to making these priority items, but planning is one of the reasons I love sewing. Looking at my fabric stash and deciding which might work for one of the garments I’d love to make is great fun. It scratches that creative itch, and if I don’t have time to make it, so be it, maybe the following year I’ll make it instead.

My long-list is also great to have in mind when I nip into a fabric shop. Who knows, I might find some perfect active wear fabric next time I’m browsing on my lunch…

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