My non-resolutions for 2012

Did you make any sewing, style, or wardrobe resolutions for the coming year ? What are you hoping to achieve with your resolutions ? What would be the happiest use of your relaxation time ? How would you like to feel in your clothes ?

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Oh those long lists of sewing resolutions. . .

Plan if you love to follow plans. Free-wheel if you love to free-wheel. It’s one of the big personality differences.
Many of the people who like to tell other people how to lead their lives are in the planner group ! Or on the other hand there are all the people who militantly tell you to “let it all hang out”, whether you want to or not. . .

For the coming year : I’m trying to give up the attacks of the “oughts” I get from reading other people’s resolution lists :D  

Go with what’s right for you. Sewing’s supposed to be a hobby not a guilt-inducer. There’s a good Stitchers Guild thread on not beating yourself up about sewing.

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A little about my past sewing and wardrobe year, especially colour and style

I’m not happy with show-and-tell of my own sewing. Odd I know as I merrily express strong opinions on everything else. . . But there we are. And many people blog about their sewing and styling adventures in interesting ways. So you’re not missing anything from me.

What general progress have I made ?

Big colour changes. Based on hair, eyes, skin colours – a colour approach which works better for me than others I’ve tried. I now have a group of clothes with caramel/ honey/ muted mid brown as the neutrals. Which I’m very pleased with.

Also realised I had mainly dark tops and light bottoms – oh dear – exactly the wrong way round for those of us who are large hipped. . .

This year I happened to get Judith Rasband’s ‘Wardrobe Strategies for Women’ at about the same time Nancy Nix-Rice posted her wardrobe plan. (Ignore the terrible Rasband cover photo. The book is full of interesting ideas, and it’s fun to imagine updated versions of the inner style photos.) So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my needs.

I’m pretty clear now about my best wardrobe plan. And have made good progress with my fitting difficulties. And I know more about how and what I like to learn and sew.

I’m also more clear about my personal clothing style. I don’t often find helpful phrases for me, but “artisan chic” comes close.

If you’re looking for style words, YouLookFab has a current post on defining your style persona. The comments are full of useful adjectives. Surprising how many people want both ‘boho’ and ‘classic’. Which an extreme classic thinks is impossible. Another sign that casual styles are much wider and richer than they used to be. YLF also has a good post on finding your style from your favourite outfits.

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My own vague rules for the coming year

I wrote about my own resolutions last year. (Hmm – I have done quite well on fit and style.)

This year I have a few general-rule type resolutions, though more specific plans don’t work well for me.

Last year I was quite good about buying fabric only after I had prepared and fitted the pattern. This year I want to use mainly stash – means some fabrics will not be ideal as most of my stash is quilting cottons. As I like scrappy quilts I love having a good fabric selection. But it really is time I reduced from 10 boxes of it ! So for warmth I may be making quilted clothes.

I’m also cutting down on buying patterns, though I am a pattern geek and it’s a modest luxury. Confess I’m now rarely willing to pay the huge postal charges for independent patterns from the US. This year I may only buy patterns with special features. I want to add style features to my own patterns, to reduce all the fitting work which I don’t enjoy.

Have noticed that while I’m quite tolerant of the failings of RTW, I expect perfection from my own work. Ah well. . . One of my big gifts is making things more complicated for myself. . . I have difficulty with starting (and finishing!) at an easy ‘good enough’ level. I always have a head bursting with ideas for alternatives and improvements. So, rather often I don’t finish projects that are old ideas. I need to think of them as ‘development studies’.

I also need to build confidence by repeating. Always rushing on to the next thing is not a good way of developing secure skills ! Hmmm – perhaps my big ‘rule’ should be to make two of everything – but that’s exactly the sort of specific rule which tends to bring my sewing to a halt. . .

It’s interesting to try to pick only one pattern for each of my wardrobe needs (shirt, tunic, vest, jacket, pants). Have most difficulty with choosing only one tunic – a good cue that’s my ‘signature’ garment.

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What are your opposite resolutions ?

Resolutions are often like Lent – we resolve to do things we don’t enjoy. “Be more disciplined”. “Improve”. Come on guys – this is a hobby ! If you love being disciplined, or learning, you’re probably doing it already. If you don’t love being disciplined or learning, they’re not things to waste your leisure time on. If the thought of higher quality sewing gives you pleasure, of course learn how to. But if you don’t want to learn more – will millions die ? A little more discipline or practice may be necessary to get things finished – but does it really matter if you don’t ? What is your personal best balance between freedom and control, moving on or continuing as before ?

Try out the opposite of your resolutions. Mine might be to :
– buy hundreds of yards of fabric and hundreds of patterns.
– choose one single commercial pattern and make it throughout the year without any alterations.
– never make something that needs an unfamiliar technique.
– never worry about quality of fit or sewing.
– plan my whole wardrobe in detail before sewing anything and never change my mind.
– or – never check with my existing closet before choosing what to make next.
– always look frumpy [a good guide to what frumpy means to you personally. . .]

Ridiculous resolutions lighten up the whole process ! Sewing and dressing are meant to be a pleasure. What do your opposite resolutions tell you about what you like to sew and wear ? Will your rules or resolutions ensure you enjoy your year of sewing and dressing :D

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Links available January 2012

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Explore posts in the same categories: sundry messages

10 Comments on “My non-resolutions for 2012”

  1. nancynrice Says:

    After 15 years of teaching image principles to sewing enthusiasts – but not sewing a thing for myself – you bloggers have inspired me to get back to actually doing it. So my #1 resolution is to make things!

    #2 is to sew from my stash. All those years I wasn’t sewing were not necessarily years I wasn’t buying fabric. Great fabrics. Coordinating fabrics. So it’s a treat – not any punishment – to sew a bunch of them up before buying more.

    #3 is to control my sewing ADD – to limit myself to 2 or 3 projects going at the same time so I actually finish and enjoy wearing them.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. sara Says:

    I love your riduculous resolutions! It might be fun for a while, but there’s a risk of banging your head on the wall in the end!

    Here’s what I do: At the end of a season, I write down what I feel I needed that I didn’t have and what I should have had more of, so I know where to begin the following year. For instance, at the end of last summer I wrote down that I needed more cotton sundresses, skirts that I can bicycle in, drawstring pants, linen shirts and short pyjamas. So when I start sewing for Spring in February, I’ll know what I need. It should also help me buy fabric that I need, not just fabric I like… There’s no strict plan, and I’ll probably sew other things just because I feel like it, but at least I know what clothes I will get the most wear out of, so that helps me stay somewhat on track.
    I do agree with you that sewing should remain fun and never feel too much like an obligation or something that induces guilt.

  3. ejvc Says:

    Last year I resolved to buy many feet for my sewing machine, which I duly did :-)

    This year? You know, I’m not very good with resolutions. I forget them, mostly. I know that my burning desire is to learn more about sewing, and I feel the urge to allow myself to be more playful. So I’ll probably say that. “More play.”

  4. Marie-Christine Says:

    As a teenager, I resolutely practiced “always look frumpy” in order to humiliate my father (worked well..). Surprisingly, it’s not as easy as all that :-).

  5. Ruthie Says:

    I’m going to make stuff from stash for a craft show, and have some things made already, a friend to share the table with (she makes greetings cards), and a deadline (3rd March). I’m also going to do the SWAP on SG, make 12 tops during the year, 12 cardigans/jackets, and 12 prs pants (incl Pjs). All quite doable.

    • sewingplums Says:

      Wow Ruth – I know you can do it, but most of us aren’t that productive :D
      We do need to ‘know ourselves’ to make resolutions with staying power !
      Congratulations for the inspiration you give the rest of us


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