Summary of 2019 and plans for 2020

Happy New Year my friends!

I cannot believe 2019 is already over!!! It seams like each year goes faster with me getting older!!! Anyway, let’s not put ourselves down hihihi I like this time of the year because everything slows down after Holiday and New years madness and I get a chance to sit down and reflect on past year. So what did I do???

Make Nine Plans

My Make nine plan for 2019 was a complete disaster! Well, maybe not a complete disaster, but a big disappointment!

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As you can see on the photo above I only managed to make 3 out of 9 projects from my list:

I failed to sew:

  • Classic trench coat
  • Silk and lace blouse
  • Channel style jacket
  • Jumpsuit
  • Classic male shirt
  • Lace dress

If you are wondering why have I failed so miserably the answer is very simple! I get easily distracted when it comes to my hobby!!! My 2019 make nine plan main goal was to improve my sewing skills and use up my existing fabric stash. In hindsight it was a great plan, but everything changed when I jumped more into being a pattern tester! With so many new indie designers coming out and all those beautiful patterns in need to be tested I could simply not resist!

So what is my 2020 make nine looks like??? To be honest I do not have a plan for this year! I decided to be more spontaneous….like I need any excuse 😉 I still want to make all of the projects I set out to do in 2019, but I am not going to put any pressure on myself because I do not want to feel like a failure again next year!

Sewing resolutions

Although Make nine plan was a failure, I am happy with the outcome of my 2019 sewing resolutions, which mainly were focused on expanding my sewing skills and using my existing fabric and pattern stash. I grouped it into 6 categories:

1. use that fabric stash

I am proud to say that my fabric stash has decreased in number comparing to previous year.

2. different fabrics

I set out to work with new to me fabric types and I managed to do just that. I had sewn various projects using fabrics such as wool, cable knit, PVC, technical sports softshell fabric, sweatshirting, knitted wool, chambray, woven satin and suede knit.

3. draft a dress

This one is a little fail. I call it little because I did not draft a dress pattern, but I had managed to draft a culottes pants pattern and pussybow blouse. I also hacked the Ogden Cami pattern into a summer dress, which become a complete new pattern, plus designed and drafted a free PDF patterns for peg bag, belt bag and notebook cover.

4. male fitting

I did not make a shirt for my partner, but i made him a backpack with a custom design fabric…that counts right?

5. use that pattern stash

Instead of buying new patterns (which was very hard, because they are so pretty) I vowed to use my existing stash as much as possible. I only bought two pattern last year – a Robson coat by Sewaholic and a Bonnie blouse/dress by Sew Over It, hovewer I downloaded bunch of free PDF patterns such as Hello sailor top, Heidi dress, Stivie Knickers, tie and pouf pattern, Peplum top, Lotus bodysuit, Harper knit cardigan, Monroe turtleneck and Mandy Boat tee to fill the void.

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From my stash patterns I used for the first time were: Erin Skirt (Sew Over It), Mimi blouse, Freya sweater, Frankie top (Tilly & the Buttons), Simplicity 1467, Burda 115 11/2004 ,also I hacked and re-used old patterns such as Heather dress,Molly top, Eve dress (Sew Over It) Ogden Cami, Lander Pants (True Bias), Agnes top, Marigold trousers , Cleo Pinafore(Tilly & the Buttons), Honeycomb dress (Cocowawa Crafts), Canary Cami (Wearable Studio).

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I cannot be certain, but it is possible that I became a regular pattern tester partially because I was not allowed to buy new patterns, and this was the best opportunity to acquire new patterns, and enjoy the process of being a part of a testing team.

Last year I had the opportunity to test for 3 different indie pattern companies. Tanja runs a Glasshouse Patterns, which is one of the newest indie designers and I pattern tested her Dahlia dress, Hibiscus top, Lavender dress and Nemesia dress.

Finding about a SBCC Patterns was a blessing, as having a petite frame makes it difficult not only buying RTW clothes but also sew and fit well most of the commercial patterns.  When I tested the Pisco Dress  I had found a perfect match!

Sinclair Patterns also includes a petite sizing , hence I applied to test their Florence Skirt. 

I consider applying for testing new patterns in 2020, but will be more thoughtful about it and only pick designs I really like and will definitely be happy to wear, because it is a shame when a beautiful garment is unworn just because it does not suit me or I feel uncomfortable wearing it.

6. new techniques

My main goal was to learn some couture sewing techniques and I had a opportunity to do it by attending a class “Classic Couture Finishes” during Knitting and Stitching Show in London and classes run at Ray Stitch workshop “Couture Hand Sewing Techniques”. I plan to use my new knowledge when I finally get a chance to work on a Trench coat and Channel Jacket. Hopefully 2020 will be a year for big projects.

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2020

Yet again when it comes to any plans for this upcoming year my only plan is to make no plans! Year 2019 showed me that I like to do different crafts and sewing clothes is not my only love. My growing fascination with hand embroidery makes me want to combine it and include it into my handmade garments, so this is something I might dive into this year.

On the other hand is my latest obsession with designing PDF patterns and sharing them with my readers. I have so many projects in my head, but it takes a lot of time to transfer them into a digital pattern. I would like to make more bag and home decor patterns for now and with time I might also share patterns of my self drafted garments.

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Not long ago, after taking a leather workshop class I also fell in love with working and making bags out of real leather. I took an all day class and made an entire bag myself from start to finish under a watchful eye of my teacher. I will be sharing my experience with you very soon! What I noticed this year that I enjoy working with my hands more and more and hand stitching in any form is so much fun!!!

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Some people say that I bight more than I can chew, but hey, this is a hobby!!! Who said you can only have one??? I love learning new skills and sharing it with you gives my joy, so watch this place as you never know what the next 12 months will bring 🙂

Have a wonderful and fulfilling 2020!!!!

See you next time !

Monika xxx

New year re-sew-lutions 2019

As tradition goes, January is the month when we make New Year resolutions and for a month or two try really hard to stick to them. Or are you one of those people who actually manage to go through the entire year without a fail??? If you are, I’m so proud!!!

Last year I didn’t have any specific projects in mind so decided to work more and expand my sewing skills. I divided my re-sew-lutions into two categories:

  • first time
  • space for improvements

In each category I had picked six different skills I want to learn or improve and for most of them I did pretty well. The first category included french seams, piping, fabric covered buttons, snaps, bound buttonhole and zip with lining. I use french seams in majority of my makes now and had a go at practicing snaps attachment and bound buttonhole. I also made a skirt and dress with a zip and lining. What I failed to learn in the past 12 months I am hoping to learn this year (fingers crossed).

The second category included improving already known skills such as: collar corners, sewing darts, inseam pockets, top stitching, buttonholes and welt pockets. I can say that apart from making welt pockets I had successfully practiced and got better at on all other skills. So happy!

Re-sew-lutions 2019

This year I want to do something a little bit different. As I already talked in my previous post I had picked nine ambitious projects to make in the next 12 months, so I decided that my sewing resolutions will interplay with those plans.

1. Use that fabric stash

I had chose at least two out of nine projects for this year based on my fabric stash. I will finally use this lovely boucle fabric for Chanel jacket and brown stretch denim for Erin skirt by Sew Over It. I had made a conscious decision to use as much of the fabric I already own as possible, so hopefully will not make any spontaneous purchases for the next few months.

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2. Different fabric

My second new year resolution is to learn and understand the difference between fabrics, how they behave, sew, drape, their quality, structure etc. I believe with more knowledge will come easiness to pick the right fabric to the right pattern. This way I will reduce the number of makes that will end up in the FAIL pile and saves me a ton of money, time, effort and disappointment.

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3. Draft a dress

Pattern cutting is something that I want to expand my knowledge even further this year, so I will draft my Dressmaker Ball dress! This is something new to me, as so far I only  drafted shirt and a jacket. I need to start this as soon as possible as the time is ticking fast!

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4. Male fitting

With each new make and each new pattern I try I have a bigger understanding how to better fit for my body, but with one of my projects being a classic male shirt I will have to learn to fit for a different body type entirely. I want to widen my horizon a little bit more this year and I think this is something that will teach me and surprise me a lot!

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5. Use that pattern stash

Every month there is a number of new patterns available on the market that I would really love to try, but sadly there is not enough time to sew them all up. Similarly to ever growing fabric stash, I have a bunch of patterns that are waiting to be used. Instead of buying a new pattern ( no matter how gorgeous), I want to use my existing collection as much as possible! Out of my nine makes that I am planning to do, I most probably will only purchase a pattern for Trench Coat, as there are so many little details that I think it would take me forever to draft them myself.

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6. New techniques

With all the drafting and fitting out of the way I really want to carry on improving and expanding my sewing skills wherever possible! My main focus for this year is to learn and try some couture methods and techniques. I have a number of books that am currently reading to educate myself on this subject. Planning on sewing Chanel style jacket and Trench Coat will definitely give me plenty of opportunity to try and experiment.

 

 

There you go! My New Year resolutions ! A lot to learn this year!!!

~ do you have any plans or resolutions for this year?~

Monika xxx