Reflections not Resolutions

I have given up making new year resolutions – it has taken me 56 years to realise that for the most part I never stick to them and then I just beat myself up for failing. Last year I vowed to lose weight, sew more, make regular posts on my blog and reduce my fabric stash. Well I think I weigh more than I did at this time last year, I definitely did not sew as much as I wanted and the posts on my blog definitely dried up after July. As for my fabric stash – well let’s not just go there.

Over the last few days I have been reading the round up for 2013 from some of my favourite bloggers – I am envious of some of their achievements. To date I can confess that of the many things I made last year I have probably worn 2 of my shirts and 1 dress and I cannot claim to have worn these on a regular basis. One of the blog posts that really stuck with me was from Lucky Lucille. It struck a chord and made me think about why I didn’t love the things that I sew. Here are my thoughts:

  1. I spend a lot of time on fitting, toiles and muslins so that in the end I lose interest in the thing that I am intending to make. When I look back there are lots of abandoned projects in my sewing room.  I should concentrate on a few basic adjustments and then get on with the thing.
  2. When making an item for the first time I use cheap fabric which means that although I may get a good fit I don’t love the item I have made enough to wear it. I buy a lot of clothes (and I mean a lot of clothes) and there is always something that I have purchased that is more interesting, more stylish and nicer than anything I have made. I have a lot of expensive fabric in my stash, some of which I have had for a very long time. It is almost as if I am frightened to cut into it in case I make a mistake.
  3. My fabric choices are a bit suspect. When buying RTW I tend to stick to a basic colour palette – I always think about whether or not a new item will go with a pair of shoes, handbag etc. that I already own. However, I do not apply the same rules to fabric buying where I am seduced by a pretty print. I have a multitude of different colours and patterns in my stash which bear no resemblance to the type of clothes I buy or wear. I know that sometimes sewing your own clothes does give you an opportunity to try new colours, ideas etc. but I don’t really want to waste the time and effort on something that isn’t going to work for me.
  4. The same really goes for pattern choices. I know what suits me in RTW but am then seduced by a particular pattern. Why have I got so many patterns for full skirts when I know they do not suit my pear shape?

This isn’t intended to be a whinge and I am not beating myself up but merely a reflection on why my sewing efforts have not given me the rewards I was hoping for. I love to sew – I find it calming and a great stress release from my job  – but I would like to have something to show for it at the end of the day.

There is no such thing as failure only feedback so although 2013 was not a great year sewing wise I have learnt an awful lot and will take this into 2014 ready to start afresh and may be I will start cutting into that expensive fabric after all!


5 thoughts on “Reflections not Resolutions

  1. black label January 1, 2014 / 8:12 pm

    Reading your post made me think about how much of this was true for me. I very very rarely make a muslin because I find I lose interest in the pattern after that…so if Ive made 3 in my life, it would be alot. Ive started making “muslins” from fabrics I like too because if it works, then I score double….last project as a perfect example.
    Good luck with 2014. I do hope that you figure your quirks out & get more satisfaction from your sewing. x

    • gillymakes January 2, 2014 / 2:53 pm

      I am going to try the wearable muslin approach that you prescribe. If I do a pattern the first time with lots of seam allowances and having done a basic fit adjustment then I might score a wearable garment and I need to be brave and try this with a fabric that I love instead of the cheap stuff. I have enrolled on the tweed jacket course with Craftsy and was going to make mine up in some cheap boucle I scored in a market but I am going to use my Linton Tweed fabric that I bought 2 years ago! Hey – how brave am I?

      • black label January 2, 2014 / 7:12 pm

        Very brave but I also think there is method in the madness in the sense that I give up much easier on a cheap fabric than I do on a good loved fabric. For me, it means that I will not give up until I have that fit as perfect as it can be because I hate to toss a great fabric. Im not sure I would try this method with a Linton Tweed but hey, if you think you are brave enough then why not give it a go….confidence alone gets us through the worst 🙂 Good luck, deep breath & let us know how it goes. x

  2. foamofdays January 1, 2014 / 11:04 pm

    I can relate to a lot of it.. I just finished a kind of a copycat of RTW item, and I don’t love it, moreover, now I don’t even like the original item that inspired me! lol I think partly t’s because of having high expectations and being a perfectionist.. I was more happy with my first sewn items: I was thrilled just to make something wearable then..
    I think, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves..
    I still remember your bag made from mens suits – that was absolutely awesome! Regardless whether you use it or not, it’s still a unique remarkable item you created! Give yourself a credit – you did make great things in 2013!

    • gillymakes January 2, 2014 / 2:48 pm

      I am so with you on the high expectations and I am definitely a perfectionist. I will unravel rows and rows of knitting for a tiny mistake that probably only I will ever be aware of.
      “A propensity for being displeased with anything that is not perfect or does not meet extremely high standards.”
      This is probably why I am so self-critical with my sewing – so will try to be more self forgiving in 2014. Instead of looking at things from what I did wrong – what did I do well?

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