Thursday 22 December 2016

2016 reviews: resolutions

Last up in my mini review series is my list of resolutions for next year. I did this last year and they were pretty successful (I'm not going to go over them line by line, but I either achieved or made a start on everything I set out to do), so I'm going to do it again. Traditionally I've always made ten resolutions, but I could only think of seven this time, so seven it is.

My resolutions for 2017 are as follows:

1. I will sew fewer things.

I made an insane amount this year. Many dozens of things. There are a lot of reasons why I sew as much as I do - it's my main hobby at the moment, it's helping me fight my depression, my wardrobe was a weird disjointed piece of shit up until this year - and I'm definitely not going to slow down to four perfectly sewn couture pieces per year or anything like that, but I've got quite a few decent things now and I definitely don't need to add sixty more pieces to the mix in 2017 (or, indeed, to make sixty more pieces and throw 30-40 of them away by the end of the year because they're not right). I could stand to downsize my output a bit, both in terms of number of garments and number of blog posts. As a companion to this...

2. I will sew a greater variety of more complicated things.

This year I made a lot of tulip skirts, Anna dresses, and pullover jersey things, which are quick and straightforward to sew. I get a lot of wear out of them and I'm not going to stop that completely, but I want to be slightly more ambitious next year. Trousers, coats, dresses with more complicated construction and seaming, to make my wardrobe a bit more varied and interesting. It'll be good for my skill level, too.

3. I will work out how to fit the shoulder/bust/underarm area.

Last year I resolved to learn how to fit properly, and instead I learned that I'm not going to become an expert in fitting within a year or two. However, I can certainly work on it, and the area I most often notice problems is the awkward underarm region. I don't have a plan for how I'll go about this yet - whether it's attempting to draft a block, trying loads of different patterns until I find one that fits perfectly, getting some lessons, futzing about randomly until things just work - but by this time next year I want to have achieved a noticeably better fit in the top half of my garments. If I can achieve a decent fit in long-sleeved woven dresses, I will be extremely pleased with myself.

4. I will try some things that might not work.

As I've said, I didn't have a functional wardrobe to speak of before this year, so making a ton of practical basics was a good idea. But now I have those, and it might be nice to occasionally experiment with patterns and silhouettes that might feasibly look ridiculous on me. A 1920s evening gown might be the literal worst thing for my shape. I might never feel comfortable leaving the house in a pair of fitted cross-back overalls. But equally, I might discover something.

5. I will try working from sources of inspiration.

I was all excited about doing this last year and then I sort of forgot about it. I want to make a specific effort to do it this year because I think the process of finding inspiration, picking out what I like about it, finding a pattern and adapting it to my needs, will do me a lot of good. I'm not going to do this all the time, but I want to have at least two or three by the end of the year, not all of which can be Miss Fisher. One of them will definitely be Miss Fisher.

6. I will trust my own experience with patterns more.

This one is related to one of my personal resolutions. I've always had a habit of prioritising other people's opinions over my own (this reviewer has the opposite opinion to me so I must have missed something fundamental, if person X doesn't like me then I must empirically suck, a stranger on the internet said everyone looks bad in this pattern therefore I must be wrong in liking the way I look in mine), and this year I'd like to stop that. So if I have a bad experience with a pattern, I'm just going to say so, rather than drowning it in "oh, it's probably silly me doing it wrong" disclaimers. This blog is clearly and obviously the personal learning experiences of a beginner and it's not going to break the internet if I say a pattern is rubbish.

7. I will work on my finishing skills.

I would say that finishing my projects nicely is the thing I'm worst at. Seam allowances, waistbands, fastenings and hems all feel less integral to a finished garment than the main construction, so I tend to rush to get it over with. This year I'd like to put a bit more time and effort into that so that a) my skills improve, b) my clothes look better and last longer, and c) I feel comfortable donating things I don't want to a charity shop rather than throwing them away.

Since it's Christmas this weekend, I'm going to take a blogging break until January. I'm spending Christmas with my family, and then Patrick and I will have to work out what we're doing for New Year - we usually go away for a few days, but having gone to the Caribbean last month we're not exactly rolling in spare cash. Going out in London on NYE is invariably horrific, so it's entirely possible that we'll just sit on the floor and drink whisky. See you next year!


  1. Oh so much of this resonates with me! lol very just recently found your blog and have only read a couple posts but much this.

    Happy New Year!

    1. Idk what auto suggests typed but *I only just recently* is what was meant! Lol!!!

  2. Miss Fisher forever!
    I mean, I enjoyed reading this. I don't blog as much as I sew (checks blog: ah. I don't blog at ALL, apparently) but I have been sewing for about 18 months now and am slowly getting to "Almost have enough clothes. Now let's try to make them better than RTW in fit" phase. So I'm about ... a year behind you? Excellent!
    These are impressive resolutions, thanks for sharing them.

    1. I love Miss Fisher SO MUCH. Hopefully at some point this year I can make something worthy of her!

  3. A good list. I think I tend to go up and down in what I sew. I either want to sew all the easy things cuz I'm lazy and just want new clothes that fit, or I'll over-complicate myself. I'm still in an easy-sew phase and kind of failing at that lately since I've had lots going on. But starting tomorrow, I'm off ELEVEN days in a row from work. I hope I spend some good time with my patterns and fabric and machines, and don't waste 95% of my holiday binge-watching Netflix.

    1. Netflix is a bit of a curse sometimes. Going too far in the other direction and over-complicating everything is a definite risk - there's a little voice in my head trying to persuade me to make a ballgown and a vintage cape. Why? No idea. I'll be interested to see what you make!