Goals, goals, goals

Do I need to rethink these posts? After all, last year, I commented that I made a bunch of goals and got derailed quickly by pregnancy and a newborn. This year, I made a bunch of goals, and then got hit by a global pandemic and a massive loss of desire to sew. But it is helpful to see how these turn out, so here goes…

To review last year’s:

  1. Embrace the slow and steady. Well, I got the slow part down. Not so much the steady.
  2. Attack the refashion/scrap bins. I did make one scrapbust project, but didn’t do much with this otherwise.
  3. Bust some stash. Given my generally low output this year, I’d say that I didn’t make much progress on this. Though I did get to some things within a year of when I acquired the fabric, which is very good for me.
  4. Have a plan, but hold it loosely. Or, you know, throw it out the window and read a book instead?
  5. Work on my styling. After the fit- induced closet purge, my entire wardrobe is a mishmash and full of holes. So this was a big nope.

But with this in mind, here’s my hopes for 2021:

  1. Find a better time balance between sewing and scrapbooking, so I can continue to progress in both. I definitely want to make a more intentional effort to get sewing in on at least a weekly basis, even though digital scrapbooking is admittedly easier for me to work in with the minions running around.
  2. Make some “cake”! My wardrobe is overall lacking in basics at the moment, between the closet purge nd a lifestyle that is fairly different (read: even more casual) than it was at this time last year.
  3. But don’t forget some frosting. Seriously, I stare at my closet for way more time than I should when I need/want to dress up a little, like for church or even our homeschool co-op day.
  4. Figure out the “mom wardrobe” styling thing — more on that in a moment.
  5. Mostly, I just want to regain the joy that I used to have in sewing. And what community in that looks like for me now, since I’ve been feeling quite disconnected from the larger Instagram community. I am enjoying the Sewing Sphere so far, and Elizabeth from Elizabeth Made This recently started a Facebook group that I’m liking as well. I did also end up joining a more local Facebook sewing group (!) near the beginning of the year, but haven’t been too involved with that yet since I honestly just haven’t made much/little kids prevented me from attempting any of the pre-March meetups.

So about that styling thing… even though I didn’t sew nearly as much as I’d hoped this year, I did spend some time doing research. (I’ll admit, I was that girl who secretly enjoyed research papers in high school and college, I really love deep diving into a topic that interests me. I even spent two summers of college doing paid music- related research projects through a program at my university. Geek alert, right?) I finally read The Curated Closet, and am strongly considering adding it to my collection. I would like more time to actually work through the exercises at some point than the library allowed, but things like trying on a bunch of different styles at the thrift store just wasn’t doable this year. I also spent some time reading Life Styling, after finding it via my library’s Hoopla collection. My short review of this one is that the color analysis/palette chapter was quite interesting and helpful, but I honestly didn’t finish this one because I couldn’t relate to the second half of the book at all. And I found that I had a year long outfit guide specifically for moms buried on my Kindle, from a book bundle I bought years ago. I’m still trying to figure out how helpful this will be, since it’s basically a lot of outfit “formulas” for a largish capsule wardrobe, and I feel like I’d have to basically draw out a set of paper doll clothes to fiddle with in order to make that work for me. The palette is far enough outside of my own (soooooo much neutral and solid) that I’m having a little trouble visualizing how to bring my beloved prints into it, but I do think it could be useful in plotting out some styling options.

I have other thoughts floating around, like making Halloween costumes again this year (there’s talk of a potential Star Wars theme), I’d like to make something for the girl to play with smocking while she’s still young enough for it to be cute, and the boys could really use cases for the new Kindles that they got from my parents for Christmas. I also got the new Itch to Stitch pattern book, and want to make basically everything! So I do need to narrow down some project options for after I finish my current cut out project. I did spend some time earlier this month purging some old patterns that I’ve sized out of or won’t work, and am hoping to curate my fabric stash better soon. So that should help.

Sewing top 5: The Best-Laid Plans

Once upon a time, I had sewing goals for 2019. (And a knitting goal.) But then I found out that I was pregnant last New Year’s Eve, and my goals didn’t happen. The end.

via GIPHY

Ok, not quite, but that certainly threw a wrench in my plans! Just to review, here’s what they were:

  1. Leave room for frosting. Yeah, this year has been all about necessities. Especially since I had virtually nothing to wear for my entire summer third trimester, until one of my cousins generously donated her unneeded maternity clothes.
  2. Work on the “Mom Wardrobe”. I guess this happened in some way, it just happened to be mostly maternity mom!
  3. Get creative with some #sewingleftovers. I guess I’m good on this one now, until my daughter has her own fashion opinions…
  4. Work on my styling. Totally didn’t happen, since the first 3/4 of the year was “anything that fits”, and right now it’s “anything warm with nursing access.”
  5. Finish up my Gnarled Oak cardigan for real this time. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… yeah. Haven’t touched that one in months.

So now that that’s out of the way, the upside to having all of my plans thrown out the proverbial window is that I’ve had plenty of time to consider what might be realistic goals for 2020. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. Embrace the slow and steady. Besides living up to my blog’s music-inspired title, it just makes sense for now. Big chunks of sewing time don’t happen often for me in this life stage. Even the “Sew in 30” tag that I’ve seen about Instagram is often more than I can manage. So what I’ve been trying to do throughout the fall, and would like to carry into the new year, is aiming for a more consistent sewing practice. I know I can’t do daily, since I have some weekly evening rehearsals and sometimes the kids just don’t let it happen. But even only 10-15 minutes a few times a week add up.
  2. Attack the refashion/scrap bins. I’ve missed refashioning, and I have a few obvious candidates to tackle — the vest that died in the wash, de-maternifying the shorts I made last year since the alternate waistbands are already cut and waiting– but I also have a bin of clothes to recycle that’s been largely untouched for a few years. I also have some rather largeish scraps that have been lingering in two other bins. It’s time to start paring that down and either get these textiles into my wardrobe (or possibly baby girl’s), or get them out of my house to make room for new things.
  3. Bust some stash. As you may recall, I got a LOT of fabric for Christmas last year. Like 73 yards of it. And while several of the things I made were from that haul, since I thankfully had the foresight to look at some patterns that would work with the thought that I might end up pregnant, a lot more of it than I planned went untouched. I’m not going to say I won’t buy anything, since I’m sure I’ll need buttons and thread and such, but I do want to focus more on using up what I already have instead of buying more.
  4. Have a plan, but hold it loosely. The #makenine feels a little restrictive for me at this point, especially since I have certain limits in place already (hellooooo, nursing wardrobe!) I like the other idea I’ve seen of the Seasonal Sew 3, and I think I’m going to aim more for that. But at this point, I think I’m going to play it like choose 2 projects at the beginning of a season, possibly one simple and one more involved, and then add a third depending on how my sewing time runs. I do know I have two projects with a deadline (a nursing-friendly dress for a family wedding, and the hopefully wearable muslin blouse I need to make first), so I’ll have to factor that in for probably the late winter into the early spring to make sure that gets done on time.
  5. I’m carrying this one over from this past year: Work on my styling. Because I really didn’t have a chance to do that in 2019. I still feel like this is going to be a struggle for awhile, because I’m having a really hard time lately putting outfits together with the hodgepodge of nursing-friendly-enough/seasonally appropriate things in my closet. I’ve mostly been wearing jeans and the same 3 plaid shirts, and then wracking my brains every Sunday morning for something a little nicer that I can still nurse in, particularly on the Sundays that I’m up front with my flute. But since it’s easier to factor in nursing for clothes with wardrobe longevity than with maternity, I’m hoping that I can start making some intelligent choices to fill in the gaps, and finally get some of that wardrobe cohesion that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time. (You know, as long as I can still bust stash. And keep my prints.)

And maybe, just maaaaaaaaaaaaybe, I’ll finish that sweater sometime in the next decade.

via GIPHY

Sewing top 5: 2019 goals!

As is tradition, I’m going to begin this post with a review of my goals for this past year to see how I did.

  1. I’d like to work towards developing a nice stash of TNT patterns. I think I’ve made good progress on this! I think I’ve got my new sizing figured out to the point where I can use my old beloved Sewaholic Renfrew again. The Stasia tee/tank by Sew Liberated looks like it will become a favorite, and I look forward to trying the dress sometime. I have high hopes for the Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan. And both the shorts version of the True Bias Lander pants and the Itch to Stitch Mountain View jeans were a success, which fills a huge hole in my TNT pattern stash!
  2. This may be the year I finally have to tackle one of the few garment types I haven’t tried: a swimsuit. Done. See this post.
  3. I need to restock my pajamas. While I still feel like I could probably use another pair of pj pants in not-flannel to pair with a tee for those middle temperature nights, I’m in much better shape for the solstice seasons now.
  4. I’d like to start building towards some smaller capsules within my wardrobe. I wouldn’t say that I necessarily sewed for that in this year, but I did spend a lot of time evaluating what I have, and that’s a good start. See this post.
  5. In general, I want to be more creative in using what I have. I really didn’t buy much fabric this year at all! Which made the experience of shopping for the few carefully considered pieces that I did buy (and used right away) more special. I also got a few things out of my refashion bin, so that’s a good bonus.

My bonus knitting goal was to finish my Gnarled Oak cardigan. Yeeeeeah… that didn’t happen. I basically spent the entire year knitting two sleeves and no yoke, but at least I made visible progress. Still, I think my days of knitting this in the car while Doug drives are over, because now I have to read charts and I am cursed with very swift motion sickness when reading in a car. (My lifelong sorrow, as Anne Shirley would say, since I could have read SO many more books in my life otherwise!) Maybe third year will be the charm?

On to 2019! So here’s what I’m thinking…

  1. Leave room for frosting. I’ve been all about practical garments and filling holes ever since the Mom Wardrobe became a thing for me. But one of my favorite garments that I made this year was a colorful, gorgeous, unnecessary dress. I was also having a good deal of FOMO over the #sewfrosting challenge that happened last month, especially since my life just didn’t allow me to jump in. So yes, I need to work on filling those wardrobe holes that I feel are in my life, but I also need to remember that sewing is supposed to be fun, and I don’t have to have slow fashion guilt over just making something because I want to.
  2. That being said, my next goal is to work on the “Mom Wardrobe”. The struggle is real, people. I think I’ve got a pretty good grip on what to wear on days that I’m teaching, or to go to church. Where I’ve been having trouble all year is what to wear on the days that I’m just at home! And now that my teaching is consolidated to 3 days instead of 4, there’s more of them. Since the boys are getting to the ages where art supplies and dirt are a bigger part of everyday life, I need things that are easy care, but hopefully not embarrassing to wear out on errands or to the playground. Right now, I’m living in mostly badly fitting blue jeans that I bought in postpartum desperation, and inadequately warm knit tops. So I’m thinking maybe some Hudson pants (I know, last indie pattern sewist on earth), maybe another pair of pull-on jeans if my stretchy enough stashed denim is enough yardage, and cozy tees and layering pieces. And a lot more tank tops for summer!
  3. Get creative with some #sewingleftovers. Since the fabrics I often use just aren’t the best for rough and tumble boy clothes, it’s not often that I can just make smaller clothes with what’s left. So I’m looking for inspiration for adult garments that involve elements like patchwork or print mixing, and hoping that maybe I can use up some of these smaller pieces in a stylish way.
  4. Work on my styling. I know that’s not quite a sewing goal, but I feel like it’s related. Knowing that separates are my favorite things to wear, I’ve been saying for years that I want a more mixable wardrobe (without having to go full out neutral Pinterest capsule, ugh). I did enjoy doing Me Made May and the Slow Styling challenge that happened in October on Instagram, and think it’ll be a good way to help me be more thoughtful about what makes sense to add to my wardrobe. I’m just not sure how to do this yet, like whether I should document the outfits with me-mades (or even including my RTW) on IG stories, or what. Any suggestions?
  5. You know, the first four goals were easy to come up with, and I’m drawing a blank on this one. So instead of a sewing goal, I’m going for knitting and will say that it’s finish up my Gnarled Oak cardigan for real this time. And then think through some smaller projects that I can mostly tackle with my existing yarn stash, because clearly I am not in a life stage where knitting sweaters is a good idea! I’m thinking maybe I should finally try socks. I have enough for 2 pairs, though my continued ability to make those will depend on the availability of non wool sock yarn. But since the cardi may very well take all of 2019, given my record lately, I won’t stress about that right now.

I did decide to do one little side goal this year. I’ve been interested in the 100 Day Project for awhile. I honestly don’t feel like sewing is necessarily a realistic way for me to participate in that right now, as I have things like orchestra rehearsal nights where I can’t leave the boys unsupervised long enough during the day for even a short sewing session, or I have to sometimes wait to have time to cut my next project out in my mom’s sewing room. But since I can usually grab 15-20 minutes on a computer every day by letting the boys watch one of the irritating preschool cartoons that they like, I’m going to attempt to do a digital scrapbooking project for that this upcoming year, starting in January. I don’t know yet if I’ll share that here or not, but it is a creative project, so I might do that on IG stories or something. We’ll see how I feel next week.

I’m still feeling torn about specific project goals and how to plan them (like Make 9 vs seasonal or something else), though maybe I’ll have more clarity after Christmas and a nice little stash tidy. And Gillian had an interesting suggestion on Instagram that I’m mulling over. So I’ll keep you posted. How do you plan your sewing? Any goals or plans that you’re particularly excited about for 2019?

Sewing top 5: Goals!

My favorite of the top 5! As is tradition, I’ll begin with reviewing the goals I made for this year.

    1. Figure out a workable new sewing setup. Check, as already discussed in the reflections post.
    2. My first actual sewing goal for the year is to try making bras. Also check. See hits and misses.
    3. I really, really need some pants this year. And I desperately need some shorts. Technically, I did meet this goal, even though I’m struggling to style the one pair of pants and my shorts were a flop.
    4. Another definite hole I’ve noticed is nursing-friendly tops. So I’d like to make at least one more Archer, which I do have supplies and fabric for, and another Bruyere, which I need fabric for. I’d also like to come up with a knit top pattern…. I didn’t get to the Archer, though I do have a better idea of what adjustments I’ll need to make to the pattern now. My knit top was a flop. I don’t think I’ll bother with another nursing hack for now, since I’m looking at a maximum of 4 more months this round and wearing the nursing camisoles with regular knit tops is working fine. At least my Bruyere worked out!
    5. The last definite wardrobe hole is a new coat. I need something that’s between my unlined Sewaholic trench and my as heavy as I could make without wool winter coat, because our crazy weather this fall meant that I had to guess at which one to grab a lot, and I usually ended up either too hot or too cold. This was still a problem later in the fall. Even though I started this project pretty much as soon as I was done with Halloween costumes, I just couldn’t finish it quickly enough. But the coat is getting close to being finished–I only have the closures to go–so I should be prepared for any oddly warm winter days. (Like the beautiful warm days we had in February that stopped just in time for my birthday to be cold again. Such a tease.)

Moving on to my goals for next year…

  1. I’d like to work towards developing a nice stash of TNT patterns. My sewing time is so limited these days, and I’ve had so many misses over the last couple of years, that I think it’ll help me quite a bit to have some go-tos that I can be sure of. I was thinking about this quite a bit during November, thanks to the TNT theme on the Sewcialists blog. And I do think I have a couple that I’m fairly confident about– the Sewaholic Rae skirt for sure, but I’ve also had mostly good results with the Cake Espresso leggings, and the Deer & Doe Plantain top has worked well during and after both pregnancies without alterations. (I also realized during the month that I could combine those three patterns into one cohesive outfit, so that may have to happen sometime.) I think the Cashmerette Appleton dress has some strong potential, after the changes I made with my second dress, and also the Deer & Doe Bruyere once I make the tweaks mentioned in my last post. But I definitely also have some basic garment types that I need to figure out. Another skirt silhouette or two, some alternates for knit tops (I still want to get the Renfrew working again!), definitely some layering pieces, etc.
  2. This may be the year I finally have to tackle one of the few garment types I haven’t tried: a swimsuit. I’ve hated shopping for those for years, and I did run into a few situations this year where I needed a swimsuit and just hated the way I looked and felt in it– my only option was an unsupportive hand me down one piece, thanks to the baby weight, and I still can’t help cringing when seeing pictures of me walking on the beach with Hobbit over this past summer. My coverup options weren’t great, either– just a pair of postpartum athletic shorts that clashed horribly with the swimsuit, or one of my husband’s gigantic t-shirts. I don’t want to be so self-conscious about my thighs or chest or anything that I can’t just enjoy being with my family, you know? I don’t have a pattern or fabric yet, but I think that if I combine three different Jalie patterns, I can make my absolute perfect swimsuit. Including sun protection!
  3. I need to restock my pajamas. Badly. All of my old ones just either don’t fit anymore, or they’re horribly stretched and worn out. I know I have fabric for three pairs of pajama pants on hand, though I’ll need to see if I have anything appropriate for summer. I got the Carolyn pajamas pattern for Christmas this year, and I do also have the Grainline Lakeside pajamas to try out.
  4. Even though I know that a complete minimalist approach to my wardrobe is not for me, thanks to my maternity months, I have gotten interested in capsule wardrobes. I saw some really neat ones over this past year, namely the sudoku style wardrobe that Elizabeth made, and the 4×4 capsule concept introduced to me through a series on the Curvy Sewing Collective. I don’t have time to sew a full wardrobe from scratch, and I’m not sure the Sudoku one would work for me and my size-limited shoe options. But one thing I really liked about the 4×4 in particular is that I can build on pieces I already have, and allow for prints! So even though I doubt I’ll finish one next year, I’d like to start building towards some smaller capsules within my wardrobe. I did start sketching and brainstorming patterns and color schemes for at least two, so I’ll likely get back to that in a future post.
  5. In general, I want to be more creative in using what I have. I want to continue my Refashion Redemption Project, to solve some problems with things I’ve made since all of these body changes started happening. I want to play with dyeing fabrics in my stash to make them better fit my favorite colors. I have a list of 20+ projects that I can make from stash alone. Honestly, aside from Halloween costumes and the aforementioned swimsuit, I can probably go most of the year without buying fabric, unless I need linings or something, and easily not run out of things to sew! Not that I necessarily will, but if I can use more of my existing resources than I consume, that’s a win.

I’ll make a bonus knitting goal as well: since I’ve been knitting it for over a year now, I’d like to finish my Gnarled Oak cardigan. Finally.

Also, since my Christmas fabric acquisitions are in, and the stashbusting is an ongoing goal, here’s where I ended up as of the project I just finished tonight: I began the year with around 394 yards of fabric, and I now have approximately 342.5. Between the January fabric purge and actual sewing, I went through 108 yards this year! So a net loss of over 50 yards is good, I think. I’m honestly not expecting as big of a decrease for next year, but I’m hoping I can at least keep the sewing steady, even if it’s slow.

 

Top 5 of 2016: Goals!

Aside from hits, this is honestly my favorite category of the top 5. I like comparing notes from the previous year’s post to see how I did and where I still have room to grow!

So to start, here’s the review of my goals for 2016.

1. Shirtmaking…I would like to focus on finishing these nicely, and especially learning to do a proper full bust adjustment. I’ve never had a truly successful one yet. For the record, the patterns [I’d like to try] are the Grainline Archer, the Sewaholic Granville, the Deer & Doe Bruyere, and Butterick 5826. I also have some things that would make adorable little boy buttondowns, and another Butterick pattern to try out for that.

I did well with this one. Though I didn’t really get to the FBA, I did try out both the Bruyere and the Archer! I also made two buttondown shirts for Hobbit, though I ditched the Butterick in favor of the Peekaboo Patterns Classic Oxford, since every single Big 4 pattern I’ve tried to make for him was a fitting fail. Both of the patterns I made for myself were keepers. And I’ll get to the others, at some point. I’ve also been happy with the boy’s shirt pattern so far, and will show the second version soon. (I will say that it is nice to know that these shirts will see some more use when the new little guy is big enough!)

2. Use up some deep stash.

While I didn’t quite get as far in this as I would have hoped, I did use up one of my decade-plus old pieces. And I also ended up handing off a substantial pile of old remnants and some random yardage to my sewing student to give her different fabrics to practice on. So while my overall stash totals for the year aren’t the top numbers in the Stashbusting Sewalong, I did make some progress. I’ll probably elaborate on this in a final year end post.

3. Try something completely new. There aren’t many types of garments I haven’t tried to sew by now, so I’m leaning towards bramaking and/or lingerie. Some pretty new underthings would be a nice treat after I’m done nursing. Especially because my few nursing bras are already in awful shape, and I still have 6 months to go with them! Ugh!

Frankly, I didn’t get to this one at all.

4. Loungewear. I could use some new pjs, especially for the warmer months. And I do have a tested pattern I can use, since my Sewaholic Tofinos actually fit pretty well again already. Aside from pj pants, though, I could use some comfy clothes to wear around the house that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to run an errand in. Aside from one pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that never fit great, the only pants I have that currently fit are the one black pair and two pairs of jeans that I bought a couple months into the post-partum stage. And ok, they’re already big enough that functional belts are necessary, but all of the Thurlows and other jeans are still too small. (Waaaaah.)

Again, I didn’t get to sewing anything in this category, other than the one pair of pj pants that I was less than thrilled with. But I did buy some patterns near the end of the year that could possibly fit this, depending on what materials I use.

5. More mini-capsules! Either sewing more complete outfits, or new pieces to style with things already in my closet. 

As shown in my hits post, I did get to the complete outfit that I specifically had tagged. And while they were less than successful, the two basic tees in my misses were also attempts to work on this. Especially the coral one, since between that and the mint sweater from the other outfit, I now have two options to pair with my flamingo skirt that aren’t just a black top. So this goal was a success.

Now for the two non sewing ones I’d mentioned…

The first is that I’d like to do a bit more knitting this time. Ideally, I’d like to make a new cardigan, but I have other small projects I’d like to do as well, including one that’s already on the needles. I have a few things on the needles, actually. So I need to finish or frog them. Or in one case, probably restart, because it’s been so long that I have no idea where in the pattern I left off!

Mixed success on this one. I did finish some small accessories early in the year, but then got caught on some longer projects. Especially the sweater for Hobbit. It’s ended up being more of an ordeal than I’d ever anticipated, between learning that knitting bulky yarn is actually pretty painful for me and running out of yarn multiple times. That put about another month’s delay on finishing it. I’m getting eager to just get this done already, but I only have one sleeve to go, and am hoping to finish by the end of the year. I did manage to at least start that cardigan for myself, though, so that’s something.

The second is a closet purge. I’m probably going to wait until closer to the fall, after I’m done nursing and my measurements most likely stabilize. I’m hoping that by then, I’ll really have a better idea of what will actually fit again/what still fits my newish lifestyle, and can make informed choices about what to keep and what gaps need filling.

Well, as you know, I did this. I just wasn’t anticipating being pregnant a second time for it! But I do have a better idea of the holes in my wardrobe now, which leads me to my goals for 2017…

  1. Figure out a workable new sewing setup. As mentioned before, my sewing room is going to need to become a second nursery. Hobbit still isn’t sleeping through the night consistently, despite my efforts, and it’s the only way to just keep the boys from waking each other up all night long. So we’re bouncing around ideas for how best to set up a crafting space for me in our own bedroom, and I’m working on a system to store my must-have supplies in a way that the boys hopefully can’t get into.Related to this, I think I am going to do a small stash purge, since I also need to deal with yarn, scrapbook supplies, and other miscellany. I’m already mostly done with sorting through my beads and will be letting go of most of that, since making jewelry is the crafty hobby I’ve had the least time and use for. I can’t even wear most of what I’ve made until I’m done with the grabby hands stage, so…
  2. Now we’re getting into specifics. My first actual sewing goal for the year is to try making bras. For real, since I’ve mentioned it at least three years now. But these past 15 months or so have been particularly frustrating when it comes to RTW bras, so I’m going to try making some for nursing and see how it goes. I’ve already located a pattern and an online supply shop. I just need to figure out specifically what I need to buy, since the yardage requirements listed vs the size actually listed on the website was a bit confusing. Even so, my math indicates that the cost for supplies for one bra plus the pattern is about the same as buying one nursing bra from the mall. Since one of those didn’t even last four months before it started going bad on me, if this works out enough to make a couple more, it’s a good investment of both my time and money.
  3. I really, really need some pants this year. And I desperately need some shorts, because I literally had one pair that fit at the end of last summer and they likely won’t quite fit 6 or so weeks after giving birth this year. And moms of active little boys cannot live in skirts alone! I bought two patterns that have shorts that I can probably guess enough at sizing to get by. If one in particular works out, I can make pants with it too. I also have patterns from Seamwork and Style Arc that I need to try, which will likely be forgiving enough that I can just get over my fitting hangups and give it a shot come fall.
  4. Another definite hole I’ve noticed is nursing-friendly tops. So I’d like to make at least one more Archer, which I do have supplies and fabric for, and another Bruyere, which I need fabric for. I’d also like to come up with a knit top pattern, since I was less than thrilled with the results of my Megan Nielsen/Simplicity top. My plan is to try and hack my trusty Renfrew into something that will work for that, though having a machine that will help specifically with my knit hemming issues does give me a lot more options!
  5. The last definite wardrobe hole is a new coat. I need something that’s between my unlined Sewaholic trench and my as heavy as I could make without wool winter coat, because our crazy weather this fall meant that I had to guess at which one to grab a lot, and I usually ended up either too hot or too cold. So I’d like to make a midweight coat for those days that range between the 40s and 60s in the span of hours. I have a pattern, and a bolt of around 5 yards of olive twill that will be great for the outside. So now all I need is some microfleece or something to underline, some lining fabric/notions, and for my stomach to flatten out enough that I can actually muslin this thing.

The good news is, I don’t need any maternity clothes. Between what I sewed last time and a thrift store run to pick up a few more cold weather things, I should get by until April with no problems other than wardrobe boredom. I do want to make a couple of boy t shirts before Hobbit outgrows the yardage I have, and may need to make some machine covers, depending on how we end up dealing with the space. But aside from that, my game plan is to try and tackle the bras and shorts in particular before April, and start the coat during the summer so I have it ready to go when needed. And then work in pants and tops as I can.

Hope you’ve all had lovely holidays, with lots of sewing goodies! I know I’m excited about some of my gifts, and will be sharing soon!

Top 5 of 2015: Goals

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
I like to use this category to see how I did with the goals I set for the current year, as well as to set some goals for the next. So let’s pull out the scorecard!

1. Finish a capsule wardrobe that will get me through the first half of the year.
This was specifically related to my maternity wardrobe. Overall, I think this was a success. The only thing I really wished I had at the end was shorts, since I was past due and it suddenly got hot (as is typical around here) and rolling up the bottom of my jeans just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Mental note to self if I’m ever pregnant during the summer again, I guess.

2. On a related note, I need to work on my pattern hacking skills…If I can figure out how to do a couple of other things that will be good for both pregnancy and nursing, great.

Hacked projects include both of my maxi dresses, the tie dyed skirt, and the Manila leggings fail. I definitely have a long way to go in successfully altering my patterns, but these mostly did what they were supposed to. (At least for the maternity/nursing part.) So I’ll count it as a win.

3. Get as much sewing for “Hobbit” (what I’ve been calling the baby while we don’t know the gender) done as possible, before June.

I think I did pretty well with this one! I do have to make a fourth batch of diapers soon in size L, because he’s pretty big for his age and there is absolutely no way I’ll make it to potty training age with medium diapers like the pattern suggested. He’s still in S, but on the largest snap setting. So I’m almost positive he’ll be in M before the winter is over. Aside from that, I think I’m good on practical baby gear and can just mostly focus on clothes and toys when making stuff for him next year. Yay!

4. I might as well work on things like finishing techniques and getting my serger tension right.

Thanks to a conversation on Instagram, and mostly thanks to Brooke, I learned that my tension is actually fine! I guess I’m comparing it to my RTW, and their machines are fancier. I do plan to continue trying to work on hems and other visible stitching, since my older machine doesn’t have a stretch stitch other than zig zag. It’s usually a lot of trial and error to get a line that looks fairly straight and still has the give that I need.

5. I think probably the biggest goal for after Hobbit comes will be finding time to make things!

This one has admittedly been a challenge, since Hobbit naps best/longest when someone is holding him, and crib naps often don’t last very long at all. There’s been several days where I’ve resorted to heading to my parents’ early to drop him off for babysitting while I teach my music lessons, and having my mom hold him while I cut something out or sew a few seams. Recently, he has started to sometimes take better naps in his crib, so we’re making progress. And I just counted up, and it looks like I’ve finished about 12 projects since. So that’s not too shabby! (I haven’t showed the last one yet, since it’s one of his Christmas presents.)

Moving on… here’s my top 5 goals for 2016.

Button-downs1. Shirtmaking. I have 4 buttondown patterns I’ve been itching to try, but didn’t quite get to this year. Since my overall plan for now is to focus on clothes with a more forgiving fit, at least until we’re done having kids, nursing-friendly is still a bonus! I do like buttondown shirts, and have missed most of the ones I have. (They don’t fit my nursing-sized bust. Ahem.) I’m not scared of buttonholes or anything, I’ve been making those since I was a kid. But I would like to focus on finishing these nicely, and especially learning to do a proper full bust adjustment. I’ve never had a truly successful one yet. For the record, the patterns are the Grainline Archer, the Sewaholic Granville (not pictured, because my room is a disaster and I’m not entirely sure where it is right now), the Deer & Doe Bruyere, and Butterick 5826. I also have some things that would make adorable little boy buttondowns, and another Butterick pattern to try out for that. Deep stash2. Use up some deep stash. I definitely have things that have been sitting around for a decade or more, like these three pieces here. So it’s time to start chopping, dyeing, wearable muslining, whatever I need to do to get these fabrics out of the stash and into my closet. I want to be able to occasionally select a new piece of fabric without the guilt!

3. Try something completely new. There aren’t many types of garments I haven’t tried to sew by now, so I’m leaning towards bramaking and/or lingerie. Some pretty new underthings would be a nice treat after I’m done nursing. Especially because my few nursing bras are already in awful shape, and I still have 6 months to go with them! Ugh!

4. Loungewear. I could use some new pjs, especially for the warmer months. And I do have a tested pattern I can use, since my Sewaholic Tofinos actually fit pretty well again already. Aside from pj pants, though, I could use some comfy clothes to wear around the house that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to run an errand in. Aside from one pair of pre-pregnancy jeans that never fit great, the only pants I have that currently fit are the one black pair and two pairs of jeans that I bought a couple months into the post-partum stage. And ok, they’re already big enough that functional belts are necessary, but all of the Thurlows and other jeans are still too small. (Waaaaah.)

The point is, I need to keep those three pairs of jeans for teaching days and social events, and therefore need loungewear for the other days. I just don’t know what, since I’m not comfortable in leggings paired with anything shorter than a dress, and sweatpants make me feel sloppy in a bad way. Any suggestions, other than the True Bias Hudson pants? (Nothing against them. They just remind me too much of sweatpants I wore in the 80s, and that’s my least favorite fashion decade ever.) Or should I just make some tunic-length tops in hopes that I’ll feel ok in leggings?

Mini-capsule possibility5. More mini-capsules! Either sewing more complete outfits, or new pieces to style with things already in my closet. This combination may be the first one I tackle. I’m not sure how I didn’t notice sooner that they go great together, but I do have an idea for this pairing. Assuming the kind of loose sweater knit works with the top I have in mind.

I have two bonus goals that are relevant, but not sewing.

The first is that I’d like to do a bit more knitting this time. I only finished three small projects this year, and haven’t even woven in the ends on two of those yet! (Probably due to spending most of my couch-bound pregnant time sewing quiet books!) Ideally, I’d like to make a new cardigan, but I have other small projects I’d like to do as well, including one that’s already on the needles. I have a few things on the needles, actually. So I need to finish or frog them. Or in one case, probably restart, because it’s been so long that I have no idea where in the pattern I left off!

The second is a closet purge. I did one shortly after Hobbit was born, in which I got rid of all of my woven dresses except for one, any shirts that were too short now, and all of the shorts and jeans that I used to wear at my garden center job. I’m probably going to wait until closer to the fall, after I’m done nursing and my measurements most likely stabilize. I’m hoping that by then, I’ll really have a better idea of what will actually fit again/what still fits my newish lifestyle, and can make informed choices about what to keep and what gaps need filling.

I’m going to try to do one more post before the end of the year, mostly for an update on how I did with the Stashbusting Sewalong. I can’t do that yet, since I still need to measure out the recently acquired yardage, and odds are pretty good I’ll get more fabric for Christmas. Until then, merry Christmas to all!

2014’s top 5, part 3: Reflections and Goals

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5 

Finishing up my series today, with what I’ve learned this year and what I’d like to accomplish next year.

Reflections: 
1. I am not the fastest of makers. This is especially true when it comes to knitting, but it’s true for sewing as well. I looked back at last year’s reflections, and this was actually the first thing on my list then, too! I think the difference this year is that I’m more ok with it. Looking at my top 5 makes for this year, aside from the Tiramisu dress, everything on there was projects that required more thought and detail– welt pockets, underlinings, linings, bound seams, etc. But they ended up fitting really well and getting a lot of use. Yes, I know two of them are coats, but still.

2. That being said, I’ve also learned that I really like having a quick “palate-cleanser” project between the more detailed stuff. Usually some kind of knit project.

me as Amy Pond3. I feel like I’ve kind of rediscovered how much fun refashioning clothes can be this year. I didn’t really do any last year, but I’ve definitely picked up on that more this year. I’ve ended up wearing these zipper leg jeans quite a bit, as well as my Amy Pond shirt. (Generally minus the tally marks, though.) I’ve definitely been doing more of that lately, since I’m literally running out of things to wear! So I’ve been maternifying unwanted pants. Since one pair I’d had since college wasn’t fitting so great anymore anyway, and the others were pants that my mom was getting rid of, it’s been gratifying to be able to get some much-needed maternity pants into my wardrobe for just the cost of a half-yard of black knit.

4. The Wardrobe Architect project was really an invaluable process for me to go through. Even though I was trying to buy less fabric overall anyway, and I’m pretty sure I succeeded, I feel like what I bought will mostly fit in well with my existing wardrobe. It’s also easier to weed out some of the new patterns now, since I have a better idea of what I actually like the look of on me. Of course, this is all subject to change now, since I also have no idea what sort of a waistline I’ll have when this whole pregnancy thing is over!

5. I’ve actually developed some self-control on adding to the stashes. Though I sort of fell off the wagon at actually tracking pieces of stash used up before buying more, as stated in my Stash Diet pledge, I did a good job of sticking to my plan! Aside from pieces of fabric that my mom gave me because she didn’t want them, almost everything I bought this entire year fell into one of three categories: a) Fabric I bought on vacation, b) Fabric I bought because I needed it for a specific project and I literally did not have anything else that would work (i.e. Thinsulate for my coat, yellow knit for the minion costume, etc) c) Stuff I would categorize as the “extenuating life circumstances” exception–mainly buying a few pieces specifically to make things for the baby, or the 3 things I’ve bought specifically for maternity clothes. I also didn’t buy much yarn at all this year–I think the one skein I bought in Paris may have been it–and I didn’t really buy many new patterns this year, either. Maybe 6 total, and 3 of those were ones I won in a Pattern Review drawing because my Robson coat randomly got picked when they were highlighting Sewaholic. So yay me?

Maybe not. I just looked at the numbers, and I actually added 10 more yards to the fabric stash than I started with at the beginning of the year! But it does look like I used about 70 yards overall this year, and I’m already in the process of using up those baby-related fabrics. So not too bad.

Goals:
If you had asked me this three months ago, I probably would have said “learn to make bras and/or undies”. I don’t think that’s going to be happening this year, lol! Especially the former. So here’s what I think will be the best things for me to focus on for 2015…

1. Finish a capsule wardrobe that will get me through the first half of the year. I’ve quietly been working on this anyway, between my most recent makes and things I’ve bought. I’m attempting to use the Wardrobe Architect principles for this, and I do have a definite palette emerging. But I definitely need more clothes, since I didn’t have too many things in my wardrobe already to get me started. That’s definitely a downside to favoring styles that are more fitted at the waist! So once I sort out what I need to survive/see if I get any fabric for Christmas (a safe bet, knowing my mom), I’m going to see if I can sort out a decent plan of attack.

2. On a related note, I need to work on my pattern hacking skills. I’ve noticed that there really aren’t that many good maternity-specific patterns out there. I have managed to acquire Megan Nielsen’s wrap top pattern, also this pattern that can double as a maternity and a nursing top. The latter sounds like a really good use of my precious sewing time. But aside from that, I really haven’t found anything that looks interesting to me, so I guess I’ll have to create my own. I’ve got my Renfrew hack to keep tweaking, and I did pull out several other patterns from my stash that looks like they might be useable for this purpose. If I can figure out how to do a couple of other things that will be good for both pregnancy and nursing, great.

3. Get as much sewing for “Hobbit” (what I’ve been calling the baby while we don’t know the gender) done as possible, before June. Obviously, though I may sew a few outfits, I’m not going to make every little piece of clothing. They’ll get too small too fast. But I will need to do some things like curtains for the nursery, and I have some bibs that I’m already working on (which will hopefully be done by the end of December, since I’m using them for The Monthly Stitch’s current theme). I have a piece of printed suedecloth that has stumped me for a couple of years on what to use it for, but I think it would make an excellent gender-neutral diaper bag. And my mom and I are planning on working together over the winter to make cloth diapers. I know it’ll be a lot of laundry, but it’s cheaper to make cloth diapers than buy them, and it’ll definitely be cheaper in the long run than buying all disposables. More money saved means more money to spend on fabric, right? I still need to get most of the supplies for that, but I did get some of the waterproof outer fabric already. Because there was one yard left on the website and it has TARDISes on it. Seriously. I couldn’t pass it up.

4. Since basically everything I’m going to be able to sew for myself for awhile is knits anyway, I might as well work on things like finishing techniques and getting my serger tension right. Right?

5. I think probably the biggest goal for after Hobbit comes will be finding time to make things. I know it’ll be a challenge, and probably impossible for at least the first month while I’m a sleep-deprived zombie cow. (Not the best time to work on a hobby that involves sharp cutting/pinning implements, I’m guessing.) And I do also need to prioritize music time, since I do plan to continue teaching lessons. I’ve been following Cindy’s blog with a lot of interest lately, given that she recently had a baby herself, and I think what jumped out at me the most is the idea of doing one thing a day that lasts, since so much of caring for a newborn is laundry and feeding and changing over and over again. Practicing music can also feel repetitive and like it’s never done, since you spend so much time working on the same passage or the same piece for days or weeks in a row. So hopefully I can find a way to make that happen. Even if it’s just sewing one seam, or knitting one row, or sticking just one picture in a photo pocket. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve gotten more ok with being slow, right?

Top 5’s of 2013, part 2: Goals

Since I didn’t actually use this format last year, I’m going to pick the more sewing-relevant goals from last year’s list, and deal with the rest later. 
Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series
In 2013, I wanted to….

  1. …finish my wedding dress, obviously. Definitely a check! 
  2. ..find a way to work craftiness in on a more daily basis. I had mixed success on this one. Having my own permanent creative space in the new place definitely helped! And I’ve found that knitting and even scrapbooking, to some extent, make pretty good projects for when I’m hanging out with Doug and watching tv. Sewing has been a little harder to work in than I’d hoped, since I’m still trying to get control of my work schedule and longer commutes. So I think this one will be an ongoing goal as I try to keep working on a better work/social time/housework/personal time balance.
  3. ..sew a few basics–or cake, if you will–that will help tie various parts of my wardrobe together. Somewhat successful. I did make pants, which is big. And a few other more basic pieces that ended up being pretty good wardrobe additions. But this one is ongoing as well, I think.
  4. …IF time permits, try another mini-wardrobe. I did manage to put together a pretty decent wardrobe for my honeymoon, though I only sewed two new things for it. Not quite what I meant, but oh well.
  5. On the blogging front, I really would like to make some changes around here–a new blog design, if I can figure out how, and most definitely improving my photographs. I did make a new blog header, which I think is pretty nice! The photography….well, that still needs work. Part of the issue is that my new house doesn’t really have a good outdoor spot for photos–I’m in a middle townhouse, our front yard faces all the other houses, and our backyard overlooks one of the busiest highways in the state! Especially in the summer, as it’s the main route to the beaches. (The yard is basically a big doggy toilet, anyway.) Part of the issue is that by the time I get home from work, the natural light is often gone. And, though he puts in a valiant effort, Doug doesn’t really like using my SLR camera. I think that I’m going to have to invest in a remote one of these days. 

Top 5 2014 Sewing Goals:

I’m mostly trying to avoid calling out specific projects this time, due to my complaints in the last post about time management issues. I don’t want to plan a whole bunch of things and then not get to them, like I did this year. And I also want to allow myself some flexibility to participate in sewalongs as they come up, or try out new patterns that excite me! So here goes…

  1. Create more cohesion in my wardrobe. This goes back to sewing those basics. For instance, I still plan on making those other Thurlows I didn’t get to this year! But this also encompasses being more mindful in my fabric choices, and trying to choose things that can go with things I already have. Especially when it comes to prints, because you know I’ll never give them up. They’re just so much more fun to shop for! I also seem to have an ongoing idea that I need to develop my “style”, so this ties into that, too.
  2. Beef up my cold-weather wardrobe. This carries over to knitting as well, tbh. But this is a huge one, because once again, I found myself bored with all of my clothing choices by November! This isn’t to say that I won’t sew anything for the warmer months, especially the things I already have fabric and patterns for, but the fall and winter months are honestly the bigger need. (And the bigger challenge, given my extreme wool issues.) This also includes a needed new winter coat, since my current one is getting shabbier by the week. I’m pleased to say that I did purchase some non-wool fabric (even though it was another scenario of them running out of fabric and me having to substitute and pay more money, grr!), so now I just need to get some Thinsulate and I’m good to go.
  3. Branch out. I’m reluctant to set a specific goal here, since who knows what fraction of what bounces around in my head will actually make it to the machine. But, as stated in the last top 5 post, I have several new-to-me pattern companies to try out that I already have patterns from. I have a couple of patterns in styles different from what I usually wear, like the Archer–way looser than I usually wear–and Espresso leggings–aside from under my jeans when I’m stuck on outside register, I haven’t worn leggings pretty much ever.  I’ve had the thought of trying to sew some underwear, since I always have knit scraps that aren’t big enough for much else, and I hate throwing away potentially useful fabric. Or maybe trying new colors–who knows where this will take me?
  4. Start refashioning again. I didn’t consciously choose to stop doing it. But I barely did any in 2012, and unless you count my dyeing experiments from about a month ago, and a bag I remade for a friend and didn’t blog, or the sweater I’m currently knitting from another sweater I’d unraveled, I did absolutely none this year. I have a giant bin full of clothes to chop up and use for projects, and I need to start dealing with that. And I think it’s good for me to have that creative challenge every so often, of working within those constraints. Some of my most interesting projects have come from those! 
  5. Use up some of my more challenging stashed fabrics. After all, there has to be some way I can incorporate organza or brocade into my everyday life, right? And the more on-hand things I use up, the easier it will be for me to justify buying more fabrics to help me with #1 and #2 in particular.

 There’s other things I can think of, like working on my fitting and pattern alteration skills. But these are things that I can and should incorporate into nearly every project anyway, right? What goals or plans do you have in mind for the upcoming year?

    A 2008 Retrospective

    First, the current stuff: the party is now officially not a costume party anymore. *sigh* Guess I’ll just have to hope for a Halloween party this year. On a happier note, I did get a lot done yesterday– made a cover for my 2009 day planner (it’s a hardback book that I got at the store because of the fun printed cover, but it was already getting a bit beat up in my bag and I wanted to add a pen holder because pens get lost in my bag very easily. So I made it from clear vinyl.) And I also made 7 ornaments for Saturday’s Christmas party as take-home favors for my friends. Today I went to Joanns’ and got some fabric that was on sale and was just screaming cute spring/summer top, and my big splurge item– a knitting machine! I’d been contemplating one for awhile– it’s well-established that I don’t have the patience or skill for knitting (or crocheting, for that matter– too hard on my carpal-tunnel-prone hands). But I love sweaters, since I get cold easily, and I get frustrated with how hard it is to find sweaters that I like that I can actually wear, since my skin is highly sensitive to wool. Seriously– all I have to do is touch a ball of wool-blend yarn, and I get this prickly feeling that takes at least half an hour to go away. And if I actually wear the stuff, watch out. And I also get frustrated with how hard it is to find sweater knits so I can sew my own. So I figure I can either try to knit an actual sweater on this thing, or just make sweater fabric and sew my own. Gotta go with my strengths here. So we’ll see how this endeavor goes!

    Ok, on to the main topic. Last New Year’s Eve, I did a year-in-review post for my crafty endeavors, mostly out of curiosity to see what I had accomplished. And I decided it would be fun to do it again to compare. (Besides, I’ve been seeing lots of year-in-review posts on the sewing blogs as of late… just delayed so I could get my end-of-year cramming in!)

    Part 1: 7 Things I’m hoping to accomplish in 2008 (revisited)
    1. Finally learn how to make jeans that fit!
    Didn’t get this one done. However, I will consider starting to learn how to do a fly-front zipper as part of the pantsuit a step in this direction. As well as actually getting a pair of pants to fit!

    2. Get better at working with knit fabrics.
    I think I did fulfill this goal– the serger helped immensely!

    3. Use up some of my stash.
    Well, I didn’t refrain from buying fabric. (I’m not sure that’s possible for me.) But I did manage to use up a few pieces I’d had, as well as make some things out of leftover scraps!

    4. Finish the two scrapbooks from my grad school years, the Chile album and the road trip album.
    Partially done, since I essentially finished the road trip album this week. And I think I may have done a couple layouts of the grad school ones– didn’t touch Chile this year at all that I can remember. I got a bit sidetracked by stuff like making an entire bachelorette scrapbook for Julie. And being a bridesmaid. And sewing. And, you know, work and stuff.

    5. Even though I didn’t sign up again [for Wardrobe Refashion], I still want to sew as much of my wardrobe as possible instead of buying things new.
    Now this one I did! Particularly since I did end up resigning at WR for the past 6 months– and haven’t fallen off the wagon once!

    6. Try a project from this book that I got for Christmas.
    Didn’t do that either. Though we did use it as designs considered for Susannah’s wedding jewelry…

    7. Though it’s not crafty, persay, I do also want to work on my cooking skills a little. In particular, I want to learn how to make those Chinese pork dumplings, and how to better cook without recipes.
    Well, I didn’t get the Chinese dumplings down. But I did try several new recipes this year!

    Part 2: The Numbers

    Sewing:
    Clothing items sewn (new): 16
    Clothing items sewn (reconstructed): 8
    Bags or bag-like things: 7
    Other sewn accessories: 4
    Household stuff (pillows, blankets, etc.): 7
    Baby stuff: 1

    Everything else:
    Articles of jewelry: 31
    Scrapbook layouts : 19 2-page spreads, 58 single pages (in Julie’s scrapbook)
    Cards: 2
    Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s): 4
    Christmas Ornaments: 15
    Book cover for my 2009 planner (which I finished yesterday): 1

    Items given away: (Since one of my hopes for this year was to make more things for people other than myself.) ~15 (counting Julie’s scrapbook as one item)

    Favorite sewn-from-scratch project: the green and gray dress. So comfortable, love the fabric, and the serger made it sew up like a dream!
    Favorite reconstructed sewing project: The Doolittle Blouse. I had a lot of fun figuring it out, and ended up wearing it a lot!
    Least favorite sewing project: The paisley mandarin jacket. It’s not that I don’t like it, persay… I just don’t like it with anything actually in my wardrobe. So I’ve never worn it. Unfortunately, it’s not the only thing I haven’t worn that I sewed this year… I never got a chance to test out the hiking skirt, and though I really like the look of the chevron blouse, by the time I got it done, it was too cold for me to wear it.
    Favorite jewelry project: The autumn leaf set— it’s the one I’ve ended up wearing the most. Despite the propensity of the necklace pendant to fall off on occasion. (Need to fix it again, actually…) And I don’t really have a least favorite of these.
    Favorite non-jewelry accessory: The dragonfly wallet. It’s cute, it’s recycled, and it’s seriously the best wallet layout I’ve ever had, purchased or hand-crafted.
    Least favorite non-jewelry accessory: The leather Diana bag— not because of the look, but I’m still not happy with the craftsmanship. I’m using it right now, and I’m seriously afraid that the strap is just going to rip out one of these days. But with all the leather-sewing problems I had, I have no idea what to do about it! (Incidentally, I also discovered by accident that I never actually sewed the lining in the bottom shut… oops.) On the positive side, though, I do like the actual style of the bag, and would be quite happy to sew it again. With easier materials to work with.

    Part 3: What I’ve learned/goals for 2009

    Even though it seems like my craft output is rather down in some areas (though much higher in some others), I do feel like I accomplished a lot.

    1. I made pants that fit!
    2. Tried some crafts new to me, like ATCs (a big deal, since I really hadn’t done any art since I dropped that as a major in favor of turning my music minor into a major) and card-making.
    3. I did make more gifts this year.
    4. I learned how to really use a serger.
    5. I’m becoming much better about “greening” up my crafting– using stuff on hand, using recycled materials when I can or trying to recycle/use up the leftover scraps.

    Goals/possibilities for 2009:

    1. I think it might be interesting to try to sew one of those mini-wardrobes– like the SWAP-type thing. (Though not for a contest for sure!) I’m dreaming very much of summer clothes as a result of this thought…
    2. I’m going to say that jeans-making goal again. I still need them. Even more so, since I ended up wearing holes in several of my older pairs as a result of my part-time job. (All the ones that remotely fit me in the first place…. go fig.)
    3. At least START that jewelry organizer I’ve needed for years!
    4. Finish the grad school-era scrapbooks. If I have time to get caught up past that, great. But since 2009 will mark year 4 since I graduated, it’s time! Especially since I probably only have something like 10-15 spreads left between the two of them…
    5. Fine-tune my organization plan to get caught up on these scrapbooks faster!
    6. Continue crafting more for others, either as gifts or as some kind of volunteerism for worthy causes.
    7. And I guess I should probably add make a sweater that I like on the new sweater machine!