Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Looking back, looking forward....

Looking back, 2010 has been a year of sewing and a year of not buying new clothes for me. I have so enjoyed sewing clothes and the challenges that come with it. I feel I have been on a real learning journey and my skills are developing but...there's a long way to go.
It has been a year of sewing 3835 tops, a year of finding inspiration from charity shop fabrics.
I still haven't quite recovered from the excitement of making a functional pair of trousers...need to make more now!

All this blogging about sewing and sewing itself may seem frivolous but I would like to say it has a deeper resonance too. When my dad died and I sat listening to his eulogy at the funeral service I was struck by how much he had crammed into his life, never a person to be wasting time, he had his passions and hobbies and followed them thoroughly and with energy and gusto. Now, I have different interests and hobbies from him and nowhere near a successful career path like he did but I decided from then onwards to try and really make the most of my time. For me this means using my free time to follow interests that I feel passionately about and that I really enjoy. And sewing is something I am obsessive about, I lie in bed thinking about seams and trims, I am working out construction while driving the car, I am considering fabric choices while pushing the supermarket trolley.

For me sewing is something that makes me happy and more like myself. An added and unexpected bonus for me this year has been the friends I have met through sewing blogs - I love that. I was always the kind of child who had penfriends and in a way blogging is an extension of that. Not only do I gain inspiration and advice from blogs but I also get a huge buzz from the comments I receive and from gaining new friends. So thank you if you do comment and follow, it means a lot. Now, I am British so I had better stop all this sentimental stuff damn quickly as it just is not a thing we Brits do very well.

So sewing resolutions for next year? I would like to have a go at learning to create clothes that fit better, rather than opting for the easier tunic style tops, I am thinking of waists, darts and gathers. I would love to be able to do passable pin tucks, folds and pleats with graphic edges. I am thinking of working more with solid fabrics rather than being seduced by patterns so I can concentrate on the shapes and techniques. I would like to have a try at sewing some of my vinatge patterns and also to continue seeing how much I can get out of the basic patterns I have from the Sew U books. I also now own a Uniform Project pattern which I hope to sew along with Ali and anyone else interested. It arrived just before Christmas and I haven't had time yet for more than a cursory looks. I also have a strong urge to make a jacket! And of course more dresses for the ongoing dress obssession.
But what I do not want to do is to transfer the consumerism given up on by not buying new clothes into consumersism of buying lots of fabrics and patterns. I have had some luck with charity shop fabrics and want to continue to use second fabrics where I can. This also means going to a fabric shop is a rare treat and something to be savoured.


  1. You sewed 3835 tops? That's a lot of tops! (Joking!)
    I agree about avoiding a transfer of consumerism - it is so easily done! I think my main resolution for 2011 must be to use what I have before I buy any more, and rein in my magpie eye.

  2. Ha ha I like it - my maths is terrible but would that give me ten years worth of tops? What a thought.

  3. I agree with you on so much of what you have written - sewing because it makes you happy, because it makes you feel more like you (it was only not sewing & then starting again that I appreciated this). Also about the on-line sewing community - I never expected to make new friends & that too makes me happy! I'm also with Roobeedoo - I have huge pangs of spending guilt thinking about my expanded fabric & pattern stash - but new year will be a good opportunity to behave differently! (I need to find out more about the Uniform project too, & will maybe join you!)

    And have a very Happy New Year x

  4. What a lovely post! It's been a pleasure following you this year and I'm so excited about our sew-along (I'll be nagging you about dates and things in an email in the coming weeks.)

    I also love blogging as I feel there's other folks out there who obsess about sewing and I love knowing that this shared hobby is not frivolous, it's a wonderful way to spend our time and has lead to so much awareness (like the consumerism you mention). I look forward to hearing about your fabric adventures!

    Wishing you happy new year, Debbie! :)

  5. What an incredible achievement! I so admire your approach and the meaning behind your efforts. Plus I know exactly what it's like to think of nothing but your current/next project. I also stand in supermarket queues mentally finnishing off a problematic project! Good luck with the coming year's goals!

  6. Lovely thoughts and sentiments! I had a similar revelation whilst talking to a couple of creative friends just before NYE, we all realised 2011 needed to be about 'Less thinking, more doing'! Love your commitment to secondhand fabric and Stash Bustin', reminds me to stick to my own resolutions in the same vein.

    Your trousers look ACE!

    Zoe xxx