Hello, Makers! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I personally am very excited for 2018. There was a lot of change in my life in 2017, mostly for good, but change still is sometimes hard. Between finding a new job, moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, getting a dog (a great dane), and working towards other personal goals, I am proud of everything I accomplished last year. I honestly didn't have a feasible vision nor necessarily plan my projects as well as I could have, so I am super excited to use this time to make some more concrete commitments.
I want to take a quick minute to note that I listened to episode 22 of the Love to Sew podcast today, and I never felt so motivated to really step back and think about my goals and what I would like to accomplish this year. If you haven't listened to the episode, I highly recommend it! You'll get some awesome ideas and tools to help you organize projects, set realistic resolutions for the year, and engage more with the sewing community.
While we're on that topic, I'd like to share with you some of my broad objectives for 2018.
- Start blogging. I'm sure you may notice that this is actually my first blog post. Not too long ago, I made the decision to make this a priority for 2018. While I'm not super new to sewing, I'm pretty new to the sewing community. I never used Instagram, read blogs, or honestly really paid attention to what other makers were doing until mid-2017. After I started slowly getting more familiar with the community by teaching classes, supporting local fabric shops, and buying independent patterns. I was truly amazed at how talented and awesome my fellow creators are. My purpose behind starting to blog is to try to give back to the sewing and handmade community, make friends, and just really do what I love to do.
- Learn new techniques. I've done some basic sewing over the years, but 2017 was the first year I made my first bag and my first garment, and it was so much fun! I made a ton of different bags and a handful of garments as well, including the Fancy Tiger Fen Dress, Thread Theory Strathcona Henley, Closet Case Ebony Tee, Grainline Studio Linden Sweatshirt, and a few others. I learned SO much from reading and re-reading blogs and patterns, and I am excited to continue my adventures with sewing new and challenging garments, like pants, button down shirts, and outwerwear. Additionally, I am bustier than most, so I tend to like more loose-fitting apparel. And since many patterns aren't designed for full chested women, I'd like to learn how to better grade patterns around the bust so I don't look 10 months pregnant all the time (although damn it's comfortable).
- Serge like a boss. 2017 was the first year I ever worked with (and purchased) a serger. I am speaking out of complete honesty here - a serger will change your LIFE! I started out with the Baby Lock Imagine (a perfect machine for beginner sergers), and just recently (literally two days ago) upgraded to the Baby Lock Ovation. She's the mama bear of all sergers, and I cannot wait to start learning about the endless possibilities, including how to coverstitch. Expect more content on this in the future.
- Become more involved with the local maker community. In full disclosure, I am an introvert. I have some extrovert in me at times, but when it comes to living in new cities or meeting new people, I tend to have a harder time adapting. And let's be honest - sewing can be lonely! Even for some introverts like me. Since I moved to the San Francisco bay area about 6 months ago, I have checked out many local fabric and yarn shops, and there are definitely some awesome ones around. However, I still haven't found my maker friend base, and that is something I'm really looking forward to doing this year.
- Mix it up, strategically. I am the type of person that can get bored by doing the same thing over and over again. When I say "mix it up" I mean in all ways possible. Working with different fabrics, using different techniques, making different types of garments or bags, quilting, knitting, whatever! As I reflect back on my skill set, I realize that I know a decent amount about a lot of different things. I can sew, serge, quilt, knit, crochet, and paint (both furniture and fabric). I need the movement in my projects, but I do need to be strategic about it such that I'm not frantic all the time.
- Get better at photography. Or better yet, find someone who is good at it who can take pictures for me! Although, I could benefit from leaning as I am honestly terrible at photography and I so desire the beautiful pictures that I see of fellow makers.
Considering all of this, I'm going to try to be more strategic in my project selection for 2018. I have four concrete measurable goals for the year:
- Make at least one semi-challenging item every two months. I'd love to do more but also know that I tend to OVER commit to a lot of things and end up disappointing my inner expectations. I will be happy if I can produce one per two months, but thrilled if I can do more. For me, semi-challenging means that it incorporates a technique I have never done before, like installing a hood, for example.
- Do not carry more than two WIP (work in process) projects at a time. I think this is self-explanatory. I need to commit to starting and finishing my projects before moving onto the next. The only reason I am allowing two instead of one is that sometimes I am either waiting on materials to arrive or need to make a last minute gift for family/friends. Allowing myself to work on something else while I'm waiting will satisfy my itch to stitch in the meantime.
- Go on a fabric buying ban (unless it's absolutely necessary) until I work through ~70% of my stash. I have a confession - I have A LOT of fabric yardage in my closet. My 70% target is approximate. I have a 4-drawer dresser and a 5-shelf bookcase full of fabric (I'll have another post soon about how I organize my fabric). My goal is to clear at least 6 shelves/drawers of fabric before going on psychotic $400 fabric binge rages. This has happened more than once...
- Make 4-6 garments for Tyler. Tyler is my partner of 7 years and has been amazingly supportive of my sewing and quilting dreams. Now that he knows what I'm capable of doing, he has been asking for (and has even picked out fabric for) additional garments. The Thread Theory patterns fit him very well as he has a tall and slim frame. He loves his Strathcona Henley and Tees that I made him last year and has requested four more as well as three Fairfield Button Ups. It is destiny that I must get better at plackets...
I'm going to be working on putting together my #2018makenine over the next couple days, so I'll be sharing that and more details about some of the fun projects I completed in 2017.
Cheers, and happy 2018!