There are times in everyone’s life when you just have to go “What am I doing here?”
Sometimes it’s a mid-life crisis (or a quarter-life one, if you’re younger). Sometimes it’s a major life change, or a landmark birthday.
And sometimes it’s the beginning of a new year and a general assessment of how life’s panned out for you over the last one.
Yeah, this post is about the latter. At least, sewing-wise (and, by extension, blogging-wise, too). I’m thinking about what I want to sew in 2019, my relationship to clothes, and how I can rekindle my relationship with recording it all.
Despite sewing fairly regularly in 2018, only one garment made it onto the blog. For reasons I can’t fathom, my fingers rarely strayed to my computer after tickling my sewing machine.
But this is 2019. The last year of the decade. And the last-year-ness of it all has really landed with me, along with a couple of other realisations.
Such as; oh dear god, my fabric stash has got out of control. I’m buying more fabric than I can ever sew. I have more fabric now than I can probably sew in my lifetime, even [gulp].
Secondly; how many sewing patterns do I need, REALLY? I’ve sold a few on Facebook, but I still have a bunch of retro ones to find a good home for. As for digital sewing patterns; they’re great, AND sticking the pages together can feel like a job in itself. How many more – paper or digital – do I really need?
Thirdly; as my middle age starts to spread, my style is starting to change. Fairly recent pattern purchases (like McCalls M7531) feel a little too .. exposing [stares at post-Christmas belly; sighs]. I had a bunch of garments planned, but I’m suddenly looking at my plans in a new light.
And finally; I have a couple of unfinished garments cut out and ready to sew, including one from November 2017 [blinks], and a whole host of makes to blog about. It would be nice to finish the decade with a clear slate.
So for me, right now, 2019 is less about wardrobe plans and goals per se, and more about four intentions to GUIDE my wardrobe plans and goals;
1# Shop my stash
I love finding gorgeous fabric and, while I haven’t bought THAT much over the last year, I’ve definitely bought more than I’ve sewn. I’ve also stocked up on several metres of fabric (washed linen and viscose ponte, both in navy) to make wardrobe-builders from.
But, like Zoe at sozowhatdoyouknow, I’ve realised that constantly adding to my stash of fabric is a sustainability issue (and I’m so glad to read how well she’s busted her stash even though I’m unable to match her prodigious output!)
Like her I’m not going to commit to ONLY sewing from my stash .. but I’m setting myself a budget of £50 for the year. I really want to stop dropping £30+ a time for cheap jersey so I can get free P+P!
2# “Will it spark joy?”
I planned to make some wardrobe basics in 2018, hence those good-quality navy fabrics.
And yet, and yet .. I don’t know. I’m craving colour, pattern, subtle drama, FUN.
(Oh dear god. I’ve just become Boden’s EXACT target audience, sans the kids…)
Why navy? Well, I figured it’d work all year round. But I don’t work in a conservative environment with a subdued dress-code. In fact, as I’m mostly housebound and solitary due to chronic illness, folks rarely see me AT ALL.
I could wear neon-pink faux-fur onesies day in, day out (and, frankly, given that that sounds pretty cosy, that feels like a GREAT idea right now [shiver]).
My original plan of slim and tailored shirts, cardigans and trousers feels waaaay too grown-up and boring. So I’ve decided; I’m going to use my classic fabrics in non-classic ways.
Nothing TOO outlandish, obvs. But things which have more flare, more volume, more FUN, damn it.
Or at least ones which, to paraphrase Ms Kondo, “spark joy”. Because if that’s a question to ask about whether I KEEP something in my possession, why don’t I use it as a yardstick for things I’m creating and bringing INTO my possession?
3# “Will it evolve my style – and wardrobe?”
It might just be my post-Christmas pot-belly talking, but I’m longing for a looser silhouette – especially around my stomach which, despite my general svelteness, has always been a spot of self-conscious concern.
A discount-pair of high-waisted boyfriend jeans from Uniqlo have been a revelation for me (they’re oversized, comfortable to curl up in and I even love the rolled-up ankles!), as have a pair of their loose marl grey jersey culottes I found in a charity shop.
Ever since Style Arc released their Teddy designer pants and coordinating top, I’ve swooned at their voluminous shape. While I’m going to wait until the summer/their next sale to actually buy them, as they look a tad tricky to sew, they’re inspiring me to be more selective with my pattern purchases – again with a £50 budget.
So if I want to buy something, I’m going ask: Will it be comfortable, will it evolve my sense of style, AND is it quick and easy to make?
I haven’t splashed out on RTW for ages but over Christmas I bought red, royal blue and orchid pink pairs of slim trousers in the M&S sale. They’re going to wake up my wardrobe when the weather warms up, so that particular style’s done and dusted.
But I think I’m finally ready to join the thousands of sewers who love their Megan Nielson Flint pants; they look really comfortable, will expand and evolve my wardrobe, and look pretty easy to sew from fabric I already own.
Plus, they’re her pattern of the month, with 20% off with the code FLINTJANUARY!
4# Blog every month
Because I’ve only blogged when I’ve made something (and, um, remembered to), a lack of routine means I’ve had no momentum – or deadline.
So I’m going to try and blog once a month, on .. [picks a day of the month at random] .. the 20th. Yeah. Let’s say the 20th.
For the months when I don’t have anything newly sewn to share, I’ll FINALLY record some of the cute stuff I made in 2018; my self-drafted Pocahontas dress, an elegant white cotton lawn top, a gorgeous black and floral print maxi dress and my first ever summer coat!
So, that’s how I intend for my 2019 to shape up. How about you? 🙂