Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sewing Resolutions for 2010

I knew I'd regret it, but did it anyway: I added up what I spent on fabric last year, and how much yardage I acquired vs. how much I used.

The numbers:
$100/month average fabric indulgence
177 yards purchased
136 yards used (some in UFOs, if it's been cut I counted it)

Not that I went totally off the deep end, or anything. I'm sure there are stashaholics out there who spent more, or aquired more yardage than I did. And I did sew up a lot of stuff, especially given my non-productive habit of starting at least three projects for every one I finish (take a moment to plot a graph of that in your mind, and you'll see that UFO overwhelm is the inevitable result). I've worn a lot of garments this year that I made myself and that I love. That's all I need to count 2009 as a successful step forward in the "learn to sew my own wardrobe" and "have a closet full of things that fit and that I love to wear" departments.

The fabric indulgence looks somewhat less excessive when I remember that I made three sets of curtains (five panels for the bedroom, and four panels each for my own and DH's home offices). Every one of 'em lined, and contrast borders on some. Curtains account for a large chunk of the '09 yardage.

Even so, I've added 40 yards to the stash. And I'm a long way from being done with those "learn to sew my own clothes" goals. I never did get around to learning to sew knits this year, and in spite of all this positive spin on things the bottom line is I spent more than I'd budgeted on fabric and I'm not in danger of running low anytime soon. And the UFO pile is awesomely, mind-numbingly, intimidatingly large and untidy. I counted those too, but can't bring myself to go public with a specific number (excessive) of incompletes.

I (briefly) considered instituting another self-imposed fabric embargo along the lines of "don't buy any more fabric until XX yards are used up" but given my laughable lack of success sticking to that one in the early days of this year I thought I'd try a different approach for '10.

Herewith, my sewing resolutions for the coming year:

1) Spend less, sew more.  Really. I mean it. If I only stick to ONE resolution, this is the one I should aim for.
2) Complete one UFO before starting each new sewing project. I have way, way, way too many "in progress" projects in various states of incompletion.

3) Work on ONE garment project at a time. FINISH it before moving on to the next.This will be tough. I will need to be vigilant and disciplined to achieve this one! I am motivated by hindsight, which reveals that I often sew and sew and sew and sew, and inch forward on so many different projects at once that any one of those projects can take months to reach "done." I'd like to change that, so being strict with myself about picking one "active project" at a time to focus on seems like an excellent new habit to adopt.

4) Work on ONE quilt project at a time. Get it to the "ready to quilt" stage before working on another one. This mean I can have one quilt and one garment going at a time, which I hope will meet my need for variety, while encouraging speedier forward progress in finishing up some UFOs.

5) Learn to do machine quilting. If I stick with resolution #4 I should have a (not terrifically important, or very large) quilt top ready to practice on soon.

6) Go through the pattern stash and pull all the ones I really do think I'd like to make sometime soon. Work them into the "future active projects" pile.

7) Do not buy any more patterns until I've made something from at least three ("new", not TNT) stash patterns.

8) Delete all fabric sale emails UNREAD until I've made at least six garments from stash!

9) Make myself a pair of pants that fit, no matter how long or how many muslins it takes.

10) Sew some knits. Seriously. Just do it already.
Hey, look at that, a nice list of 10 for year 2010. I think I'll stop here.
Happy New Year everyone, and happy sewing.


  1. Girl, you make me LAUGH with your resolutions (not because they're not worthy of serious thought but because I have SO had these exact same thoughts)!

    I admire your courage in the new year, because having tried to implement several of these resolutions in the past most unsuccessfully, I know how hard it can be. But I think you can do it!! Go! Go! GO!

    (Actually, here's a tip on the fabric stashing, which I will say I have cut back on rather significantly- in relative terms- this past year: if you run out of places to STASH the stash, you will eventually have to quit. Unless you live in one of those houses where random stuff is just piled up to the ceiling like some sort of garden maze. Then you're on your own on this one.) :-)

  2. I am determined to confine my stash to the sewing room closet and dresser. So far so good. There is room on the closet shelf for perhaps 1 or 2 more smallish storage bins, but I hope I won't need them because there's a chance the shelf will collapse if I put anything else up there.

    The one area that has reached crisis stage is my scrap drawer, which has overflowed. The obvious solution to this is to embark on making at least one, if not several, scrap quilts... oh, wait, I'm supposed to be finishing up some UFOs first.

  3. I hear you! These resolutions could apply for anyone of us. But I'm afraid I won't be able to sew more than last year, because I'll have lots of study to do...
    Have a lovely year :)