Top 5 of 2017: Reflections

It’s top 5 time! Woooo! I love lists so I always enjoy writing these posts and reading other people’s top 5 and round-up posts. I’m doing things slightly differently this year and starting with reflections because I’ve been such a terrible blogger this year I don’t have photos of my hits or misses. They’ll have to follow once I’ve taken some photos. I’ve taken a bit of pre-Christmas leave so I’m already off work (whoop!) and I’m planning to have a bumper photoshoot at some point. Though I have been struck down by the lurgy so who knows if I’ll actually make good on that particular plan.

Anyway, my reflections:

1. I’ve gotten good at pattern tetris

This hasn’t really helped my stashbusting as I can usually get patterns out of much less fabric and I always end up with left over fabric – sometimes usable and sometimes in the annoying middle ground of being too big to get rid of but too small to actually be useful. I enjoy the sport of trying to use as little fabric as possible though. Some layplans can be so wasteful and I really appreciate it when a designer has put a fabric saving layout. Kitschy Coo’s Lady Skater dress is a good one for that. I also find it really baffling when the fabric requirements say that you’ll need more fabric if your print is directional and then the layplan has all the pattern pieces facing the same way. But I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent there. Single layer cutting and pattern puzzles are my jam.

2. I still don’t know how to fit properly

I tried to make a fitted dress for Halloween and the whole fitting process just went so badly I abandoned the plan. I’ve definitely learned things about my preferred fit and some of my body’s quirks but I still feel really clueless about how to fit. It was one of my goals this year to become a wrinkle whisperer and I don’t think I’ve made any progress with that one. This is the aspect of sewing that makes me wish I had a sewing relative who could take me under their wing.

3. I over plan

I always have really long lists of things I want to make. Far more than I ever actually make and then I end up putting loads of pressure on myself to make all the things and feel disappointed in myself, or worse, guilty, when I don’t make them. Which is stupid because this is my hobby. I am under no obligation to make anything at all.

I just did a quick count and my summer sewing wishlist had 28 things on it. Autumn had 24. To put that into a little bit of perspective: I made 26 things in the whole of last year and the most items I’ve ever made in one month is 7. So the most garments I could make in a season is 21. And that would only be if I was neglecting everything else in my life or if they were all simple things, which a lot of items on those lists were not. So that’s something to work on next year.

4. I suck the fun out of challenges

This one is very much linked to the over planning one. I want to take part in all the challenges and I constantly add more and more things I want to make to my list and then it all becomes something I have to do instead of something I want to do. Which goes completely against what the organisers are intending and what the hobby is supposed to be about. I still want to take part in challenges but I need to try to be a bit more laid back about them and not heap unnecessary pressure on myself. I’m already working on this one and it’s why I’m not doing the Little Red Dress Project this year even though I would have liked to.

5. It’s okay to buy clothes

I bought two pairs of jeans this year and that’s fine. I would still like to make jeans but trying to fit and sew jeans as quickly as possible because you’ve torn your only pair that fit isn’t a great plan. So I bought two pairs. I don’t particularly like the fit on either of them though. Jeanuary anyone?

There we go, that’s some of the things I’ve learned about me and myself and my sewing this year. I’ve been giving a bit of thought to next year’s goals already and I’ll probably write that post next. I’m doing this all backwards! Hope you’re all well and I’ll be back soon.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 of 2017: Reflections

  1. Those are great reflections! And none of them are things I would have known from reading your blog, which is why I find this topic so interesting! I”m also guilty of the over-thinking and not-doing, which is why I’m been mentally sewing a simple stretch velvet top in my head trying to chose a pattern, when I should just spend and hour and make the damned thing! The next Sewcialists theme is a pretty straightforward one, so maybe you can train yourself to keep plans simple by joining in that for February! 😉

    1. Thanks Gillian. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that planning gives us the same feeling of satisfaction as doing, or something like that. Ooh, you’ve got me excited for the next Sewcialists theme. I will definitely test myself out with it.

  2. I’m SO with you on all of these! It’s been at least a decade or more since I looked at a cutting layout for any reason other than a quick laugh – being short means that it’s a lot easier to just do my own thing and save fabric, since I know I can lose at least 4″ from the length of any pair of pants I’m cutting out. And I’m a chronic overplanner because I really enjoy planning things; the problem is when (like you said) I start holding myself to impossible standards and pressure myself to finish EVERYTHING just to keep up. That’s why I don’t even bother to pay attention to challenges or sew-a-longs.

    Although, I think I am going to steal your “jeanuary” idea. I have been wanting to sew up a slightly altered custom version of my favorite RTW jeans for years and it’s about time I finally got THAT plan moving. ?

    Happy Christmas!

    1. Lets do it, January is for jeans now!

      It is so hard when you convince yourself that you need to make everything isn’t it? This has been my most productive sewing year so far and I was feeling like a failure because I met so few of my goals. Sometimes we need a reality check!

      Merry Christmas to you too!

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