Goals, resolutions, ruminations, reflections, etc, etc., etc. The end of one year and the beginning of the next are lousy with ’em.
I, too, have been flashing back — and forward. Twenty seventeen was huge for me — most sewing EVER! But I also set too many goals and fell short. This year, I’m pulling back and getting real about what sewing goals I can accomplish.
Goals for 2017: How Did I Do?
At the beginning of 2017, I set seven sewing goals. Some were projects, some were things to improve my sewing practice. If you’re curious, this was my progress halfway through the year: Sewing vlog: How am I doing on my 2017 sewing goals?
Now that 2017 is D-E-D, let’s see how I did on those seven goals:
1.) Sew Negroni men’s button-down shirt.
I’m no further than I was on a Negroni when I set this goal a year ago. Good thing my husband is very patient.
2.) Read “High-Fashion Sewing Secrets from the World’s Best Designers” by Claire Schaeffer.
I read a lot of this book (affiliate link) this year, but I didn’t finish it. I even brought it on vacation this summer! I skipped around and found myself re-reading sections.
I have a lot of sewing books. This will be one that I read here and there, along with many others. I go in streaks with reading different volumes from my sewing library.
3.) Sew jeans.
Jeans are happening. Soon. Like before the end of winter. I printed PDFs for Ginger, Jamie, and Mia jeans. Since I set my jeans-making goal last year, I took Closet Case Patterns’ jeans workshop. I am ready for jeans!
4.) Participate in Project #SewMyStyle.
COMPLETED! I sewed 12 garments for Project #SewMyStyle! I didn’t always have them done on time, but I finished the dozen before 2017 was out. And I actually wear those items a lot. I’m glad I participated, but I’m bowing out for 2018. I found during the challenge that I didn’t need suggested patterns to keep busy. I may sew along here and there in 2018, but I’m not committing to the full year. The online sewing community has no shortage of challenges, and I’d like to join some others over the course of 2018.
ICYMI, here’s what I sewed for Project #SewMyStyle:
January: Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater #2: The stylish sweatshirt
February: Named Saunio Cardigan: Harder than it looks
March: Becoming a (Manila) leggings person for Project #SewMyStyle
April: Bridgetown backless, the forever dress
May: Cali Faye Collection Pocket skirt + How to use basting tape like a pro
June: Mom status: Effortlessly cool in a Megan Nielsen Briar top
July: Cali Faye Valley blouse pattern hack: A mini muumuu with no regrets
August: A Modern Darling Ranges Shirt Dress: Megan Nielsen Pattern Review
September: Yona Coat: Proud as a Peacock
October: Sewing Pants, Part 3: A Completed Pair of Hampshire Trousers
November: By Hand London Anna Dress: A Liberty-Feathered Frock
December: Named Ruri sweatpants (post to come)
5.) Complete Wardrobe Architect.
COMPLETED! I Did a three-part series on my Wardrobe Architect experience, which concluded with plans to sew a spring/summer capsule wardrobe.
Wardrobe Architect Part 1: Getting personal about wardrobe planning
Wardrobe Architect Part 2: My silhouettes, colors, and beauty
Wardrobe Architect Part 3: Sewing a capsule wardrobe
I aimed to sew nine garments, and I sewed five. I’ll finish the remaining four items — M6696 shirt dress, Maritime shorts, Hoya blouse, and Olso cardigan — in 2018. I stopped sewing warm-weather clothes when it cooled off in Wisconsin!
6.) Sew something from “Boundless Style.”
Well, I was a two-time pattern tester in 2017 for author Kris Boos’ Victory Patterns. I sewed the Jackie dress and the Esther trousers (post coming soon)! So even though I didn’t sew a Victory Pattern from (affiliate link) “Boundless Style,” I don’t feel like I punted on this goal.
7.) Sew a Charming Chevrons quilt.
I ordered another charm pack of fabric for this quilt (affiliate link)… and that’s it. My quilting mojo was high in 2016 after attending Sew Pro. And then it waned something fierce. I still would like to make this quilt; perhaps between garments projects I’ll look at the directions and figure out how to organize my work in small chunks.
Reflections on my Accomplishments
I’m two for seven (or three for seven, if you count pattern testing for Victory) on my 2017 goals. As a percentage, this isn’t great. BUT — the goals I did complete were the most challenging.
The self-analysis required for Wardrobe Architect was mentally and emotionally taxing. That challenge also generated three blog posts and a capsule wardrobe to sew!
Project #SewMyStyle was monumental — 12 garments, each with its own blog post (some garments even spun off sequel posts).
Twenty seventeen was a big deal for me and my sewing, and even though I didn’t crush all seven goals, I did a heck of a job. I’ve never sewn that much in my life. I posted to Sie macht 42 times, and 20 of those posts were sewing projects. HIGH FIVES TO ME!
I hope you’ve been focusing on YOUR wins for 2017, too!
Goals for 2018
Looking back also has inspired me to look forward at how I can do even better in 2018.
In writing this post, I realized I set an unrealistic number of goals in 2017. (Could it be any more obvious??)
As such, I’m cutting down on goals for the new year. I’ve got only three:
1.) Complete Pattern Workshop.
I bought this online course in the spring, and I’ve yet to get into the meat of it. I got caught up this year past year in creating content for the blog, which meant lots of sewing, and I didn’t make the workshop a priority.
(In case you didn’t know, Pattern Workshop teaches students how to design PDF sewing patterns.)
I see selling PDF sewing patterns becoming THE major revenue stream for Sie macht. And I think I’ll like designing once I’m in the thick of it. Getting serious about becoming a pattern designer is my No. 1 priority in 2018.
2.) Design at least one garment.
Once I’m finished with Pattern Workshop, the next step, naturally, is to design a pattern! I will start by designing for myself (because selfish sewing). But I also want to design a freebie for blog readers (because free patterns)!
3.) Launch an email newsletter.
I’m thisclose to completing this goal! I’ve had an email template designed for months, and I can’t wait to fill it with rad sewing content for you! And news about a freebie sewing pattern when it’s available!
I want to highlight cool stuff that other sewists are working on and make it as easy as possible for you to stay connected to Sie macht goings-on. Hence an electronic newsletter shall be sent to your inbox forthwith!
My first edition comes out Saturday, January 27. The newsletter will arrive in your inbox the last Saturday of every month. Join the sewing fun and sign up today!
What Else is New-ish
I have two other developments for 2018.
1.) Posting Frequency.
This is the big thing. If you’re a regular reader (and I hope you are!), you probably noticed that posts have been coming out (about) every other week since the beginning of November.
That’s because my little guy, who turns three in March, stopped napping at the beginning of November. And when he stopped napping, I lost 2-3 hours every weekday to spend on Sie macht and sewing.
Whelp, there goes my productivity.
If I go for a drive in the afternoon, John usually falls asleep. That’s what happened in the photo above. I often bring my laptop and hotspot off my phone to get a little work done. But, it’s not a given and working in the car isn’t ideal.
This has been a hard transition for me. I need to do more than mothering and homekeeping to ensure my happiness and sanity. I was pretty mopey for a while. I wasn’t willing to give up sleep, and I didn’t want to park Little Guy in front of the TV so I could blog and sew. Husband already watches both sons for several hours on the weekend so I can get out of the house and work.
What. To. Do. Question mark.
The solution has been to cut back on posting and shift my work hours. Most weekday mornings I get up at 6 and work for an hour before Husband goes to work. Then on weekday evenings, Husband puts the boys to bed, giving me 30 minutes-1 hour of work time (depending on how quickly I can clean the kitchen post-dinner). I don’t work a lot at night, because my focus is shot by the end of the day — mega brain fuzzies! I still work on the weekends, too.
I thought about keeping up the weekly posting schedule and reducing the word count of posts and the number of photos — transforming Sie macht into a journal of “this is what I did this week.” The thing is, I’ve received multiple comments about how readers love how I go in depth.
I write long. Thorough posts are my jam, and they make Sie macht stand out among sewing blogs. Words are, like, my thing. Man. So fewer words wouldn’t be authentic. And it’s not what the people want, anyway. AND I WORK FOR THE SEWING PEOPLE!
In a nutshell, between learning how to design sewing patterns and having less time to sew and produce content for the blog, I’m blogging less often. You always can find me on the socials, though, especially Instagram. (If you’ve never noticed before, my IG feed appears at the bottom of the blog, and you can click through to check it out.)
2.) Sewing Queue.
You also might have noticed a new feature on the far right side of the blog. (Start at “Your Sewing Host” and keep scrolling. It’s below “Categories.”)
I thought it would be fun to share what’s in my sewing queue! I came up with this idea because I’m nosy and like to know what other sewing people have on tap. I’ll keep this lil’ list updated for your curiosity.
And that wraps up old 2017 business and gives a preview of 2018 business! What are your goals for 2018? How did you do on your 2017 goals? Please tell all in comments! Ooh — and if you could give me your two cents on what you’d like to see (or would rather NOT see) in a Sie macht email, I’m ALL ears. Just like Bryan Adams, everything I do, I do it for you.
P.S. ICYMI, here’s the previous post: By Hand London Anna Dress: A Liberty-Feathered Frock. Because you can’t get enough summer dresses in the winter. (I loooove this dress, but the thought of wearing it now chills me to the bone!)
With the beginning of the new year, I keep seeing the #SewMyStyle tag popping up. I knew I’d seen that one, along with the #2017MakeNine, last year and never really looked into what it was.
I have to say…calling it sew MY style when the patterns are preselected by someone other than the seamstress is a bit odd to me. The fact that you got so many garments that you love and wear all the time is fantastic. Did you start the challenge last year knowing that most of the selected patterns were in your style wheelhouse, or was it a gamble/leap of faith?
And I know exactly what you mean about words being your jam. Hell, I’m an English professor so it definitely wouldn’t be authentic if I didn’t create wordy posts 😉 But that’s why I post so rarely and mainly have a blog as a personal record rather than as a social tool. Thinking about posting more often in 2018, though; still sorting out my new year challenges/goals. I wish you well on yours, especially the whole “finding time around working/momming” thing!
Hi, Julia! Thanks for reading!
I knew what the patterns were going to be for #SewMyStyle before I started stitching. Some of them were patterns I never would have bought had it not been for the challenge, but none of them were so out there for me that I was epically turned off. The challenge was an excuse to stretch my style a bit.
I liked sewing patterns from so many different designers. Eventually I’d like to design my own sewing patterns, and I got a bunch of ideas about what to do – and what not to do – from this experiment. And I also discovered some pattern cos. whose blocks fit me well.
Good luck on YOUR goals for the year, Julia!