Top 5 of 2012 – inspirations and goals

Top 5 of 2012


(Warning – this one’s a word-heavy post!)

Following on with the Top 5 of 2012 series created by Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow, here are the top 5 bloggers I’ve been inspired by in 2012, and how they inspired me (all in quite different ways).

Top 5 inspirational bloggers for 2012

Steph from 3 Hours Past – created her own pattern company, how awesome and inspirational is that?!

The Dainty Squid – while not a sewing blog, Kaylah’s style and photography are gorgeous and colourful, and I love looking at her posts.

Did You Make That – Karen is so good at creating and strengthening the online sewing community through sew-alongs, fun post series, and general loveliness.

Ginger Makes – Ginger has to be one of the most (if not the most!) supportive bloggers out there!  Her comments (and replies to comments left on her blog) are little rays of sunshine she spreads around the blogosphere.  She’s always positive and happy and fun.

Lladybird – Lauren makes so many delightful creations! Her knitted garments in particular are inspiring me to actually get brave and pick up knitting needles for something more complicated than scarves.

Roisin from Dolly Clackett – those dresses! Those shoes!! I want them all!!! (It’s also nice seeing someone else make dresses from crazy prints – she looks fabulous in them, which gives me hope I don’t look too ridiculous in the ones I make!)

(Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s six. Too bad, they’re all awesome and I couldn’t leave any of them out!)

And now, to wrap up this yearly review series, it’s time to ponder…

my top 5 sewing related goals for 2013

(Eek! 2013!! What on earth is that doing, nearly being here already?!?! It sounds rather sci-fi futuristic, don’t you think? Craziness. Anyway….)

The last couple of years, I’ve been following along with the Sew Weekly. It was fantastic in 2011 for kick-starting my sewing mojo again (which had been languishing for a year or two, directionless and unloved) and also helping me figure out what to blog about – if it wasn’t for the Sew Weekly, this blog would never really have gotten off the ground, and I wouldn’t have discovered this amazing online sewing community, which quite frankly has been a bit life-changing. So, thank you, Mena and the Sew Weekly!

However, following along and trying to make one garment each week to a set theme has meant I’ve discovered various styles and eras I want to experiment with, but haven’t had a chance to do yet. So for 2013, I won’t be aiming for one garment a week. Instead, I’m going to focus on quality, rather than quantity. How am I going to do that? Like so…..

I’m going to take more time with sewing, and experiment with new-to-me techniques and finishes. I’m planning on tackling some of the projects from the Pattern Magic book. Getting back into drafting my own patterns. Reading some of the sewing books that are waiting impatiently in my bookcase for me to devote some time to them, and putting things I learn from them into practice. And improving my tailoring – I’ve got some 1940’s suit patterns, and I want to make them up beautifully! (I also want to start dabbling with quilting. I make so many dresses from quilting cotton, I think quilting will be a great way to use up the remnants from those.)

I want the insides of every garment I make to be beautiful. I’m getting a lot better at this, and the ones I line nicely and finish with hem tape etc always make me smile when I wear them. I want everything I make in 2013 to make me smile when I look at the insides, knowing there are details there that no one else is likely to ever see, but I know they’re there and they make me happy. Things like pretty lace binding the hems, french seams, and pretty coloured lining.

When I find vintage garments (which is far too rare, sadly) I love it when they have labels on them, so I can see if I can learn a bit of their history. I want to share that joy with anyone who may stumble across one of my creations years in the future (if they last that long! Isn’t that a nice thought though – that what we make now may become sought-after by our children in twenty years or so?). For a while, I’ve considered making labels to sew to the inside of every garment I make, with details such as – who made it, the year it was made, and if sewn from a pattern which pattern and which year the pattern was from. During 2013, I’m going to put those labels in all my garments, and I’m also going to work my way backwards and add them to past creations. Kind of like a little future-history project, just in case anyone wants to know at any point when I’m not around.

For the last two years, I’ve been very focussed on my own wardrobe, making things almost exclusively for myself. You know what? I don’t need much more. But that doesn’t mean I want to stop sewing. Instead, I’m aiming to give a bit back in 2013. I have hopes of making more for other people. I’ve also just started off a new project, which I’ve called Pieces of Us. It’s all about spreading a bit of crafty goodness and love around the world. For every garment I make, I’ll make a soft toy using some of the left over fabric. That toy will be given a name and a personality, and a post on the Pieces of Us blog. Then it’ll be sent out into the world, to find a new home. Some of them I’ll leave in playgrounds, with notes attached. Others will be given to community workers, to give to families who may not have much. Want to join in? The more the merrier! Go on – lets spread a bit of crafty love around the world, and use up some of our fabric scraps at the same time! 😉

I’m going to get brave, and pick up those knitting needles and try knitting myself a cardigan or two. *gulp* This scares me a bit, if I’m being honest. It seems like a lot of work, and no guarantee of success. It’s time to face that fear, and learn to knit properly! (Wish me luck with that one. Eek!)

I also have a few other goals, which I won’t go into in as much depth. But just to summarise, they are:

  • Not to buy any new ready-to-wear garments I can make myself. This will be the third year of this goal, and it’s working very well for me.
  • Not buy any more fabric (unless it’s fundraiser fabric from Fabric-a-brac). Seriously, I have far too much and really need to make at least a small dent in my stash before I add to it. It really is threatening to take over the house.
  • Get better at photography – both being in front of and behind the camera. I keep seeing gorgeous photos on blogs, and I want to get better and create gorgeous photos myself.
  • Look more polished. Which generally comes down to – do better things with hair styles and actually wear make up at times. Roobeedoo did a good post the other day on the image of the working woman. I often wonder how my look may be impacting my career progression. I’m not going to change my style, but I can make it look more “polished”. (Plus, I have all this pretty make up, I really should start using it!)

Gosh, that all sounds like quite a bit when written down, doesn’t it?!? But still, thinking about it all has me very excited for my next year of sewing and creating. Very excited! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to plan my next project…..!

12 responses to “Top 5 of 2012 – inspirations and goals

  1. I’ve become fascinated with making toys for children. I love the way kids respond to soft toys. I’ve made a few “Jemima dolls” (As in Jemima from playschool) for my daughter, niece and little cousins, and they LOVE them. But there is a lot of work in them. Something like the kangaroo from The funky friends factory is a lot easier and just as satisfying. and there are also many free patterns for toys out there too, which I’ve been hunting down and printing out. A list of toy pattern links for your project would be good. If you want some starters I can check my bookmarks for you. Let me know 🙂

    I like the idea of a soft toy per item of clothing sewn. Sounds very do-able, and each toy would kinda add to the story of the piece of clothing!

    I have a soft spot myself, for charities for kids in East Timor, and had been thinking of sewing them all year and collecting them and giving them to the Alola foundation. But I love the idea of doing a post on each toy and giving them an identity etc!

    Anyway I’ve been enjoying reading yours and other sewing bloggers’ “Top 5” posts.

    • Oooh, good idea! I’ve got a bunch of free soft toy tutorials pinned, I’ll make a list of them over on the Pieces of Us site over the next couple of days so anyone else who is interested can find them.

      I’ve already heard back from one of the people who found a toy – so exciting! I’m itching to get sewing and make a bunch more now!

  2. Oh! Thank you so much for the mention – crazy prints FOR THE WIN!! x

  3. Thank you so much for the shout-out! I love your plans for 2013– they all sound so well thought-out and so fun! I’m particularly excited to hear about your tailoring projects– you would look so cool in a ’40’s suit!

    • You’re welcome Ginger – you totally deserve a shout-out! 🙂

      I can’t wait to get stuck into trying my hand at a 1940’s suit. I’ve been looking at those patterns somewhat impatiently since I got pregnant – not long now and I’ll be able to start on one. Yay!

  4. Great goals! The soft toy idea is really great. And don’t fear knitting! There’s so much help out there! Even though I’m a beginner I’m keen to help if you need it 🙂

  5. Wow, what an awesome post! I really enjoyed this. And I LOVE your toy project and would love to hear how it progresses – how awesome that you’ve had a response already (and what a sweet response!) I love all of your goals and am sure you will do amazingly at them – and I can’t wait to see them! And you’ll be fine with the knitting – I made my first cardigan while on holiday and it was simpler than I expected! Admittedly my mum helped at times but it’s amazing what you can do with enthusiasm and a bit of help on hand!

    • Thanks lady! 🙂 Oooh, a cardigan, how exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing it! My mother is coming up for a visit this week, and bringing some of her vintage knitting books with her to help me choose my first knitting pattern. Scary!!!

      • The cardigan will get an online outing, once I have time for photos after this wedding I’m in is finished! I’ll send you the link for the pattern I used if you want, as it is really super simple but not boring to look at or make.

      • That would be awesome, thank you! 🙂 If you want a hand getting photos taken, let me know – I’m keen to work on my photography skills, we could maybe go for a walk one day and take some pics in a random interesting location?

      • Sounds great! Thanks! 🙂

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