Those Things Which Are Before

Happy 2013, y’all!

2012, I am not sorry to see you go.

Granted, there were some happy 2012 moments: I got my sewing machine, we adopted our sweet little kitten Eloise, and I got a new car. Other than those bits of sunshine, it was a pretty cloudy and stormy year.

But, it’s officially a new year, now. And I choose not to take the fact that it’s raining today as a bad sign.

It wasn’t long ago that I didn’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Generally, I don’t even bother to make them. But, I’ve felt this year more than any other year before that there is something about starting fresh–about putting the past in its place–when the calendar finally flips over to a brand new January. Things seem possible now that felt absolutely impossible in December.

So, let’s talk about goals.

1. Finish my Fall Sewing Plan (minus the jeans–but more on that later.)

Quite a few things happened to get in the way of finishing my fall sewing. But, luckily, a lot of those pieces will work for our current weather situation.

2. Conquer the sloper.

I plan on tackling this once I get through my fall/winter sewing. I don’t think I’ll be able to concentrate on it until I’ve produced quite a few new dresses to wear.

3. Make an achievable plan for spring/summer (and fall/winter) sewing that uses up a lot of stashed fabric.

One of the reasons I’m still working on my plan from last fall is that it was a little too ambitious. I did make three shirts and a dress, but that’s not even half of what I had intended. I do think that planning works for me; I just need to make plans that fill gaps in my wardrobe but don’t try to create entirely new wardrobes. It’s all about balance.

Also, I don’t really have a terrible lot of stashed fabric, but I don’t like having what I do without using it. So, I will not be purchasing new fabric unless it is specifically to help get rid of stashed fabric. Except, I do have a wedding to go to in April and it’s pretty important that I make a new and awesome dress which will probably require the purchasing of fabric.

Two words: Emerald Green. I’m on the bandwagon and I love it!

4. Sew one self-drafted dress.

Self-explanatory, I guess. But this has been my goal from the very beginning. And now, I feel like I’m so very close to being able to achieve it!

5. Sew 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

No more waiting for great, big blocks of time. Just twenty short minutes a day (at least) to steadily make my way through all my plans. So far I’ve been doing pretty well with this. And I’ve found that since I moved my sewing machine out of the guest room and into my room, I’ve been much more likely to sew. For one, the light is so much better in my room–more windows facing southeast–so plenty of sunshine during my most productive time of day (mid-morning to afternoon. Once 3:00 hits, my brain sort of shuts down for a while).

Here's my new sewing nook. Also a sneak peak at some things I made and something I'm making

Here’s my new sewing nook. Also a sneak peak at some things I made and something I’m making

6. Design and sew the perfect purse.

Super ambitious, right? Well, I actually already own the almost-perfect purse. Perfect for me, anyway. It’s big enough for anything I might need to carry here and there. It has both a single handle that you can also wear on your shoulder (and only one means that there isn’t a second one to fall off all the time like you see with two handles) and a detachable shoulder strap. It has two exterior pockets for the important things like your phone, keys, or lip balm. And it’s nice and slouchy, which I prefer. Why is it “almost” perfect? It’s a terrible brown that doesn’t really go with anything.

Brown Purse

Therefore, I plan to design a bag very similar and eventually make it in a much better material and color. Actually, I’ll probably end up making multiple versions until I get it just right.

I do also have a few blogging-related goals.

1. Participate in at least two sew-alongs.

This one sort of belongs in both categories, but since sew-alongs happen primarily in the blogosphere (Guys! Guys! Guys! My computer thinks “blogosphere” is a real word! I mean–WHAT??? So crazy.), it seemed to fit in with my blogging goals. I only did one sew-along last year and really enjoyed it (though it sort of stressed me out a bit–deadlines and all), so I think it would be good to participate a little more this year. I’ve always been a bit hesitant to play with the big kids, but the big kids in our little sewing world are, as it turns out, not so intimidating!

Well. . . maybe a little 🙂

2. Take more and better photos.

I got my camera for Christmas, y’all! It’s not a super fancy DSLR or anything, but it takes much, much better pictures than my iPhone. Also, it came with a couple of tripods which will make finished garment pictures so much easier to take. I will probably still call on help from my photographer buddy, but just for the really good stuff.

Yesterday, I took my camera and tripod outside to practice and to see if I had any good locations round the house. It was a freezing and blustery sort of evening, but I really needed to get away from my New Look 6078 for a while (let’s just say the collar and I were having a disagreement). I was playing with the tripod and self-timer when I captured this series of photos:

Tripod Fail 1

Tripod Fail 2

Tripod Fail 3

Tripod Fail 4

The camera survived, thank goodness. Just one of the hazards of self-photography, I suppose 🙂

3. Post at least twice a week.

And another self-explanatory one. For the most part, I did pretty well with regular posting last year; it sort of tapered off at the end there. But, I want to work ahead-of-time more this year and hopefully churn out some content that’s more than “this is what I did” and “this is what I’m doing.” Not that I know what that content will be yet. . .

And. . . that’s it!

How are your goals going, my friends? Don’t be discouraged if you’ve already suffered a little bit of failure–you still have the whole rest of the year to succeed!

I leave you now with a random picture. I took it Friday during my wanderings around the yard.


See? More and better photography–CHECK. 🙂


8 thoughts on “Those Things Which Are Before

  1. Those are great goals! Ambitious but not unrealistic. And I love bags – always in search of the perfect purse. One thing on your photos – I got a remote control last year and it’s so much easier than the self timer. I was constantly getting weird shots or unintentional action shots! I got it on amazon for less than $10 bucks. You’ll love it.

    • Exactly what I was going for!
      Thanks so much for the tip about the remote! Unfortunately, my camera doesn’t support a remote; so quirky, off-center, self-timer shots it is 🙂
      (But, seriously, when it comes time for me to upgrade, I’ll make sure I can use a remote–that’s such a great idea!)

  2. I love your goals! My fall sewing plan is now more of a fall/winter/early spring sewing plan… definitely put way too many things on the list! And yes– you definitely should do more sewalongs! I’d say that sewalongs are solely responsible for me sticking to sewing and finishing my first couple of projects. It’s nice to have some accountability (and to have such great, free resources at your disposal!).

    • I’m glad I’m not alone! There are just so many pretty things to make and I want to make them ALL!
      I’ve already been keeping my ears (eyes, really) open for sewalongs. I really want to do the Hollyburn one which is happening now? Soon? Not sure. But, I think that getting through the fall plan takes priority so I don’t feel so losery 🙂

  3. A plan…what a novel idea. And so foreign to my bipolar nature. (I’m not using this wod lightly: I am mentally ill).

    Nonetheless, so far, I plan to do the Hollyburn skirt sew along, making the skirt for my daughter. And I have the Craftsy class on the Sassy Librarian blouse but I’m waiting for my copy of “Real Fit for Real People” to come in so I can make sure it really does fit. And finally, I’m going to make pants that fit with the help of another Craftsy class. So I guess fit is what it’s all about for me this year; I take tons of meds that make me uh, chubby, and I’m a breast cancer survivor, which adds some other interesting twists to the equation. My kid, who is a beautiful, fit, athletic 22 year-old is a totally different build to sew for but she comes much closer to standard pattern measurements than do I.

    Love your blog. I’ll be using my new Christmas camera more this year, too, with the self timer when necessary. Fun, huh?

    • I plan to make the Sassy Librarian blouse, too! I already watched all the classes, but didn’t actually make the blouse. I will soon, though!
      I’ve heard Fit for Real People is a great resource. I have it on my list of books to buy.
      I love to plan! It helps me stay focussed and not buy fabric I don’t really need. So I definitely recommend it.

  4. I love your plans, realistic & productive. I’ve still got to post mine… but I’m hoping I manage to keep them sane, sensible & fun.
    I love sewalongs I’m hoping some nice ones pop up this year to join in.

    • I’m sure you’ll find the perfect balance of challenging yet achievable 🙂 Oh–and definitely fun. It’s hardly worth it if it’s not!
      My original list was much longer, but I ruthlessly slashed anything that was too ambitious for my own good or anything that would burn me out–like meeting a certain quota each month. What I’m left with makes me feel excited and energized–hurray for a new year!

I'm done. Now, YOU can talk :)

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