2013 Top 5: Goals for 2014

2014 1Happy New Year and Hi, 2014!  You’re going to be a good year!

Whatever you got up to, I hope you enjoyed welcoming in the new year.  We’re so rock’n’roll that we watched Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides (err, not a great film IMO) and then went to bed.  I did wake up and watch the London fireworks on the TV at midnight though.

The last couple of posts, on Hits and Misses and Reflections and Inspiration, has really helped me come up with a plan for this shiny New Year.  I’ve got 364.5 and a bit of blank pages to fill and I really really want this to be a good year.  So, I have plans, but like all things they’re subject to change – you never know what life might bring.  The last two years have taught me that in spades!

There’s two sets of plans; one sewing and one life in general.  Both come down to this though:

Improved Health and More Happiness

Sewing is a big part of my happiness and this year I want to tackle my stash management.  Actually, I want to have some form of stash management as acquisition has outpaced use some what!  So the intention is a 2:1 ratio – 2 stash fabrics used for each new piece acquired.  This gives me some flexibility as I’ll inevitably get a fixed idea about a pattern and the fabric it should be made with.  This ratio idea stops that ‘forced project’ feeling and keeps my sewing fun.  I’ve also started to begin to feel overwhelmed when looking through my fabric which is insane as each piece was bought with a plan in mind or because I loved it.  This year is the year it gets a chance to shine!

I’m also going to perform a pattern cull.  I have way more than I can sew and some just aren’t ‘me’.  They need to be used and that isn’t going to happen sitting in a box on the shelf!  I’ll also feel happier as I won’t have this enormous stack of envelopes staring at me.  I’m a realist though, I know I’m going to see a new pattern release (probably by By Hand London) and get the want it now syndrome, but if I’ve got space then that’s OK.  And I’m more likely to use their pattern than some Big 4 one that came with a magazine (not that I’m knocking free patterns or the Big 4, my beloved S2588 was a freebie with a mag!).  I’d like to find a few more patterns I use more than once (currently Elisalex and Cami are my go-to bodice patterns), S2444 has been on the list to make for ages so that’s a plan for 2014!

I’d love to go to another meet-up this year too.  I loved meeting so many people in Goldhawk Road in the Summer of 2013 and would love to meet people in real life again.  Maybe on a less grand scale though so that I can actually talk to people properly.  It would be something fun to look forward to as well!

My ‘life in general’ goals are mainly health related.  I want to clean up what I eat and today is day 1 of a Whole 30 reset.  It’s going to be tough but I hope it’s the jump-start I need into a year of better eating and better health.  I dabbled with altering my diet in the latter part of 2013 and it did make a difference to how I felt, so I’m going to pursue that path more thoroughly this year.  I’m also going to make sure I move more as I sit on my bum at a desk all day when at work which isn’t great; cycling and yoga is the plan!

On reflection, I eat the worst things at work so I’m going to take a packed lunch with me each day and I spent some Amazon vouchers I was given over Christmas on a new insulated lunch bag and box.

My final ‘thing’ for this year is to take a little more pride in myself and value myself more.  I’m going to make more of an effort with my appearance and will do something with my hair and face each day; even if it’s only a bun and a bit of mascara!  I think the Yoga will help me be a little calmer too.

None of these are lofty or far reaching goals, I just want to improve the way I sew, spend a little less and live more healthily and happily.  Here’s to 2014…

2014 2

2013 Top 5: Reflection and Inspiration

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Lizzy put it very succinctly when she quoted Malcom Forbes:

“Too many people undervalue what they are and overvalue what they aren’t”

She was writing in response to Rochelle’s post about yearly reviews and the unfavourable comparisons that some of us draw when comparing ourselves to any one else.  This is something I’ve been guilty of; I look at the productivity of others and think that I should be achieving similar numbers of garments.  I need to remember that I have a lot going on ‘behind the scenes’ as well as my sewing and blogging.  I’ve got Boy and Husband, a job, Husband’s business, and a house that somehow needs to be vaguely tidy, clean and stocked with food.  Everyone’s life is different and I’m just setting myself up to feel like a failure if I compare myself to others, and I’m not a failure.  I’m liked and loved the way I am.

And, quite honestly, sometimes I’m tired and I don’t want to sew or blog.  I want to sit on the sofa and watch a movie or another episode or two of Arrow or Elementary.  That’s OK too.  I’m not superwoman and quite frankly, don’t want to be.  I am going to be more realistic in my expectations though.  I’m going to try not to put so much pressure on myself.

I’ve surprised myself by making 26 garments this year plus a few other bits and bobs (PJ monsters and a veil to name them).  I didn’t think I’d been that productive as at the beginning of the year I’d planned a quite frankly ridiculous number of garments.  I’ve actually achieved a finished item every couple of weeks and that isn’t bad at all when I consider how cray-cray things get around here.

I sew for fun.  I sew for the creativity and the mental stillness it brings and the continual learning.  I have a wardrobe like no one else’s and its personalised to me, my tastes and my body.  That’s pretty damn awesome.  I also value and take care of all our clothes far better as a result as I know and understand the effort that goes into making them.  I’ve also become aware of how easily distracted I can be.  Shiny pattern!  Pretty fabric!  I purchase far more than I sew and that has got to stop!  I’m not going to be unrealistic and put a ban on new fabric – tried that, epic fail.  I’m going into 2014 with a better idea of what will work and what is completely unrealistic.

I also need to keep front and centre that the reason I blog is because I enjoy it!  I love being part of our online sewing community, it’s not a method to pay bills.  I’m not dependent on stats or followers or referrals to earn money.  I’ve lost sight of the reason I started to write this thing during 2013.  I hope to correct that in 2014.  Through this blog and Twitter I have met some amazing people, some of whom have become friends I trust implicitly, some I’ve met and some I hope to meet.  Every single one of them has enriched my life though.  All because I write about thread, fabric and pretty dresses when I get a chance.

My two main things to remember, looking back on 2013, is not to beat myself up and remember why I blog and sew.  I enjoy reading your adventures and simply want to share mine and occasionally yell “This dress is amazeballs!”  (Hah, that’s going to be a blog post at some point…)

As for inspiration – that’s everyone who shares what they do.  Blogs, twitter, instagram.  Anyone who sticks their head above the parapet and shares what they do.  I love your passion, your excitement, your willingness to share.

See you later 2013; 2014 is going to be a good year…

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Me Made May; Week 2 and Some Winners!

I made it through another week!  And, I managed to get a full house of photos as well!  Although some don’t show the outfit too well.  Oops!

MMMay week 2 1

It was definitely the week of Simplicity 2588, I wore my work version twice and the blue roses version once.  So that’s nearly half the week in one pattern!  After that it was V1247 (again), Sencha (again, but at least photographed), and Cambie on Saturday.  You can see some of the building work we’re having done behind my Sencha photo.

MMMay week 2 2

Wearing dresses is much easier than mixing separates, but sometimes I need to wear trousers which is where lovely tops come in!  I really must break out Mathilde, Jasmine and Alma for next week!  And you can probably tell that as the week progressed I was getting more and more tired.  I am absolutely exhausted as I write this on the evening of the 16th.  One more day to the weekend…

But on to the much more interesting giveaway winners!

The fabric goes to: Eclectic Threads

The pattern of choice goes to: Lizzy at Sew Busy Lizzy who chose Jalie 2908 which is a jeans pattern

The vintage patterns and scarf go to: Silvia at Sewing Princess

Congratulations!

I’m looking forward to the weekend, I’m hoping to actually do some sewing which is more than repairing things, which is all that’s happened this month so far.  You never know, I may get an hour or so to disappear upstairs with my machine!