2013 Thoughts/Goals

Happy 2013, everybody!  This post comes a tiny bit late, DEFINITELY NOT because the 2nd season of Portlandia is now on Netflix instant and I’ve been watching it in every spare minute.  Definitely not.

Doug wants to wish you a Happy New Year! He’s very excited about 2013.

So, in thinking over my goals for 2013, I took a peek back at my goals for 2012, and I got about halfway through the list in 2012.  Most of the things that I didn’t get to I just lost interest in when shinier projects came along (or I realized that they didn’t really suit me after all).  So I’m trying to be thoughtful with my 2013 goals and only aim for things that I really want or need to do.

1.) Organize my sewing space! Oh, man, my sewing area is AWFUL. I have fabric, patterns, and assorted bags of stuff piled up everywhere. My cutting table is a rickety card table, which isn’t the best, and it’s piled high with unfinished or queued-up projects. When we moved to this apartment, we had to downsize, so I sold my kitchen table set. Unfortunately, my sewing chair was part of that set, so I’ve been using a $5 folding camp chair since June, and it’s way too low and really uncomfortable. I’m pondering a pretty serious overhaul of the space, but the whole project is pretty overwhelming. But I spend so much time in my sewing space that I really think I’ll feel more creative, organized, and sane when things are tidier.

2.) Sew pants! This overlaps with my fall/winter sewing plans, which is fine by me. I live in pants day-to-day, so it’s kinda crazy that I haven’t made them before. I had a harrowing experience trying (and failing) to fit the Iris shorts, so I’m a little nervous, but it will be worth it to have a new pair of pants (or two) in my rotation.

3.) Sew a jacket! Here’s another overlap from my fall/winter plans, but I’m really looking forward to expanding my skill set and making something that I can wear every day!

4.) Identify and make pieces that I’ll reach for over and over again. You know those special garments that you just love to death? Maybe it’s a pair of boyfriend trousers that you’ve worn so many times that they’re soft and buttery. Maybe it’s a graphic tee that fits *just* right. I want to make a few wardrobe all-stars this year!

5.) Avoid overcommitment! I want to be smarter about what I commit to and when I commit to it, (for example, not taking on a massive tailoring project when it’s a busy season at work). I’m a “yes” person, and I get so excited about everything, but I don’t want to participate in sewalongs or make fun patterns that I won’t actually wear just to be part of a group.  I also don’t want to burn out, so I’m trying to be smarter about what I say yes to this year.

6.) Make a sloper! This project sounds scary to me, too, but I love the idea of being able to make small changes to a perfect-fitting base pattern. I’m planning to use Maddie’s updated tutorial. I may have to force myself to do this because it’s a lot of measuring, precision, and math (yuck!).

7.) Sew from my stash! Boring, but necessary. This isn’t a horrible chore, since I basically love everything in my stash, but I’m trying to prioritize projects from my stash when I’m not sewing for the Mood Sewing Network. Plus I have so many fun patterns that I haven’t used!

So what about you guys?  What are your 2013 goals?  Also, I’m really curious to know what your wardrobe all-stars are!  What garments do you love to death and wear over and over again?

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129 responses to “2013 Thoughts/Goals

  1. Eeeeee! Extreme Cuteness!! Oh, ya and the projects look good too :)

    • Hahahaha! Isn’t he funny?

      • He is so cute! Love his coat too, did you sew it?

        • I wish! It’s from American Apparel. I really should sew for him as he’s, um, short-waisted compared to the circumference of his waist, poor guy. RTW shirts have to be rolled up on him! :)

          • LOL. My doggy passed away in June, 2012, but she was very long necked. So, I had to alter everything she wore.

            • Oh, no, I’m so sorry! :(

              • :( She was 16 years old and fought cancer at the very end. That’s about 90 something in human years as she was a larger dog, so as much as I miss her, I know she can’t be with me here forever. I will get another dog at some point, but not ready yet. Give Doug a ‘pat’ from me :)

              • Aww man, that’s totally understandable. I wasn’t ready for another dog for a couple of years after mine passed. And then I only got Doug by accident! :)

              • :) He’s lucky then. It’s often the best way to get a pet. I actually got my dog by accident as well. I was “fostering” her and she just never left.

              • I was petsitting Doug for a friend who’d just had her second baby, and he just never left! Peggy was a tiny bit of an accident as I went to the shelter “just to look”. We all know how THAT ends… :)

              • Yes. The shelters tug at your heart until you are weeping uncontrollably and apply to take home 37 of them. All my pets have come from shelters. Oh dear, Doug was very lucky then. I get very nervous sometimes when folks have babies or move to a new continent and then all of a sudden can’t care for their pet. Not a fan of that.

              • Yeah, it’s a bummer. I can’t imagine giving a pet up for any reason at all, but I didn’t blame my friends at all. They just realized while he was with us that he was probably happier in a home without kids where he could get more attention. Luckily, they visit him often and they are our petsitters when we need to go away, so it works out well for everybody!

              • Oh yes, in that case it worked out perfectly! Pets often “move” to loving and mutually agreed upon places with family/friends, etc. and that’s okay. That’s not the kind of situation that makes me nervous. It’s when I see on facebook and craig’s list, etc. people reaching out to complete strangers saying ‘we’ve had a baby / we are moving to France’, ‘we are working full time’, etc. etc. ‘and we can no longer care for our dog, can somebody take him? OR they take their pet straight to the shelter. That’s when I can’t help thinking those people just think of their pets as furniture. ‘$10 or Best Offer and he’s yours’ kind of thing.

  2. I realize this is a shameless plug, but since you want to make pants, and you’re having fitting problems, you might want to have a look at this trouser block for women: http://makemypattern.com/posts/Trouser-blocks-for-the-ladies
    Yes, you’ll still have to do the measuring, but at least all the math will be done for you ;)
    There’s a good chance that I’ll add a sloper for women somewhere throughout the year, so that might kickstart that todo too :)

  3. Great goals, I hear ya on most!!! Love the idea of no 4, but do you think they can be identified upfront? I find the things I love & reach for over & over just work & it all comes together…I go into sewing most things hoping they’ll be love to deaths, but only a few each year make the grade.

  4. Hmmm, let’s see. My black pencil skirt gets a lot of wear, but I don’t particularly love it, it’s just useful for work. It’s a little disconcerting that I can’t come up with anything else!! These sound like great goals, can’t wait to see what you make this year.

  5. Great list! I haven’t made my goals yet because I’m giving them a lot of thought to make sure I get them right (either that or I’m just slack ;-)). I’m with you on number 2, grainline maritime shorts are up next on my list. I also like number 4, I’m trying to do this more by sewing simple basics and for me that’s also a part of recognising what my style is.

    My wardrobe all-stars are pretty boring. I always love my jeans to death and I currently have an old store-bought black cardi that isn’t so much loved as just so versatile that it gets a lot of wear. It even got attacked in an unfortunate moth incident but I’ve just darned those holes and kept wearing it! I really need to knit myself something that can take it’s place!

    • The maritime shorts are top of my list for summertime! They’re just so cute and versatile.

      Good for you for mending your cardi! I rarely get motivated to fix things that need mending…

  6. Pam from South Australia

    Happy New Year to you too! Goals for 2013? Don’t have them really. I just muddle along, trying to stay positive, happy & healthy. If I succeed with these 3 things…….I am motivated to do whatever ‘rocks my boat’ at the time. My most worn garments? Well that would have to be an assortment of round-neck, sleeveless cami-type tops. I have several in different colours and I grab them to wear constantly. They go under and over and pull lots of other things together. I have slim-fitting ones and loose ones. Just love ‘em!

  7. That sounds like an excellent list of resewlutions! I think you kept everything pretty do-able, so you shouldn’t get overwhelmed. And I hear you on the sewing room. I have little piles of fabric in bags that hasn’t made it to the shelf (OK, OK, so it doesn’t fit, alright?!) and I’ve also got a ton of scraps of muslin that I don’t throw away because I think “oh I’ll just use that for a smaller piece next time”, but then it seems like I just never get through enough of the pieces to clean up the mess.

    In fact, Gillian suggested some sewing dares–I dare you to post a before and after of your sewing room! :-)

  8. Great plans! Seems that we all want to stash bust this year, but fabric is so pretty! Can’t wait to see your makes this year!

  9. Great goals you’ve set yourself. Interesting to see what you said at the start of 2012. I’d forgotten about the bombshell dress and that you had the two sewing books. It’s funny how some things can lose their shine when your tastes change or your style develops. My wardrobe all stars are my 2 denim skirts. I’ve just made another denim skirt (yet to be blogged) so I guess I can’t miss with denim. I’d also like to try cord at some point. My Colette Ginger may also be on the list this year (only bought it in 2011!) purely because I think it would work with some fabric that I have.

    • You know, I never really loved any of the styles in the Colette book (well, except for the sheath dress that everyone said was drafted poorly), and the BurdaStyle book is just so much work! I don’t really like tracing from that manic sheet and adding seam allowances, plus the instructions were kind of crazy… I may get back to the bombshell dress eventually. I’d like to, anyways.

      Denim is a great idea! It goes with everything! I should make a denim skirt… The Colette Ginger skirt is really easy to put together, which is nice. I rarely wear mine, as I don’t really like to wear a-line skirts (silly me), but I bet you would look cute in one!

  10. Jo

    Sounds like a good mix of challenge-based and simplifying-based goals! I’m going to be all about stash busting this year too! :)

  11. Do make pants! I’m finishing my second pair, and the first ones I made get worn really often. I wear pants to work most days so it makes sense to sew a few more pairs!

  12. Can’t wait to see watch you stitch up this year!

  13. Great list of goals! I’d definitely be interested in a round-up of some “work horse” patterns – I feel like I always make the most interesting/complicated dresses I can… and then rarely wear them. This is the year of wearing what we make!

  14. I love your plans! I made a pants muslin last week and have traced a pair to try out tonight. Looks like it’s pants making season round the blogs!

    I can say, without a doubt, that thing I’ve worn the most is my super cowl shirt. Really comfy. Really long sleeves. Really big cowl. Perfect.

    • Oh, yay! I’m excited to see how your pants turn out! I’m working on a jacket right now, but I think my next big project will be pants.

      A cowl shirt is PERFECT for this time of year! How cozy and cuddly!

  15. Don’t be afraid of drafting a sloper (math makes my head spin too). Once you get the fit down, you can make anything! ANYTHING! Doesn’t that sound like fun?! Totally worth it in the end, I promise.

  16. Great list of goals. Drafting a sloper is not as tricky as it seems, just do it when you are in the right mind frame and use a sharp pencil!! I think sewing space organisation sounds harder, My goals include sewing with more care such as using the appropriate thread colour and wprking on fit. :)

    • Ugh, organization is the hardest! I wish I was one of those naturally organized people, but I’m just not, but it bothers me to be so unorganized. Ugh.

      I hear you about sewing with more care. Most of those shortcuts are due to lack of time, I find. I’m more likely to say, “eh, this zipper is good enough” if I don’t have the time to do it right.

  17. Those are great plans! Organizing your creative space will probably do wonders!
    Also, Doug the Pug is adorable. MOAR DOUG PLZ. Do you follow Chubbs the Wampug on facebook? Because you should. She’s also adorable.

  18. Becky

    Good goal list! Making a sloper is definitely on my mental to-do list. I’d actually like to take that one step further and make another one as a cover for my dummy so that I can make the fitting more accurate!

    The MSN thing could be a great advantage for you in the stashbusting, too–is there a rule against using your own stash with their fabric to complete a look?

    • Oh, I love that idea! That would definitely help with fitting! I got a dress form for my birthday in November, which is awesome, but it’s not an exact match or anything. I should try that!

      We’re allowed to use old Mood stuff, so I’m trying to do that here and there. Gotta get through this stash before I die and someone throws away all my precious fabric!

  19. punkmik

    omg! doug is the cutest thing ever! :P I like your goals. I too have to sew from stash for financial and space reason! :P And I want to make a coat too! And a sloper or those blocks people keep talking about, or are those slopers? no idea. need to find out! haha! happy new year!

    • Doug kills me! He’s just so damn cute. A sloper is basically a pattern that you base off your bodice measurements for a very, very close fit that you use to make patterns. You add wearing ease to a sloper to create a block, if that makes sense.

  20. It seems like 2013 is the year of the sloper! I think I’ll have to get on board that as well :)

  21. LOL we have so much in common! I’m still working on my 2013 goals (trying to NOT make it ‘sew as much as humanly possible’.)
    Making a sloper… Now that sounds interesting!
    And my wardrobe all-star? Would have to be the Vogue 1247 skirt. I’ve got one in blue denim and one in black denim and I wear them ALL the time. Summer & winter (with leggings and boots). I should make a work version as the pockets are just AMAZING.

  22. And is it legal for a dog to be that cute????

  23. Your pug is adorably cute!!
    I so relate to your goal of tidying your sewing space – mine is getting out of control, but perhaps if I sewed more of my stash then there would be less mess! I am also making one of my goals to make pants. Another one is to make more muslins to avoid pattern stress!

    • I’m with you! If I sewed with more of my stash, I could fit it all into the designated storage area… sigh…

      Muslins are totally the way to go! Look how great your Simplicity 2444 turned out! :)

  24. I like this list and I think it’s completely doable. Thanks for the shout out :)

  25. Re: #2 – I procrastinated for MONTHS before I finally got down to business and made my first pants muslin (Colette Clover). And it wasn’t that bad! It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I would have thought to pin-fit the muslin and then transfer the changes to my pattern. And now I have a pattern I can whip out in a few hours AND one that I can use to compare to other pants patterns I want to make.

    But I think you’re right: the first order of business should be to get your space set up nicely. That’s probably going to be the thing that will have the most positive effect on all your sewing this year!

  26. OMG pug!!!!!!!! I have a 1 year old fawn named Yogurt. He is my baby because my human babies are big enough to talk back.
    Those sound like good goals! I can’t wait to read about your progress.

  27. Great goals! I too would like to sew a jacket, and really concentrate on making staple pieces I’ll reach for over and over. p.s. Little Doug is the cutest!

  28. Doug the Pug looks so thrilled. I think my sewing goals really align with everyone else’s—slowing down, being more thoughtful,

    Also, I have never sewn trousers even though I love them, love them. That needs to start happening. My wardrobe all-stars are always my transitional dresses—the ones that go just as well with tights as they do with bare legs in the summer. More of those.

    • That makes a lot of sense– clothes that can stick with you through season changes and can go from work to play are probably going to get the most wear. I love reading everyone’s favorites!

  29. Great goals! Don’t let pants get you psyched out. I think they are one of those things that we (sewists) tend to build up/over think/over fit.

  30. Whether you stick to them (I’m with you on being selective on what I say yes to too!) or get distracted by bright and shiny, I can’t wait to see what you get up to this year! Please give the Pugs lots of fuss from me; they’re so full of personality and cute to boot!

  31. Jen

    HI DOUG!!!!!!! These sound like awesome resolutions, stuff you can totally accomplish! Right now I’m trying to finish unpacking my belongings which has been dragging on for a week NOT because Portlandia Season 2 is on Netflix and I’ve been watching while knitting…hahahaha, it’s just too funny!

    Also I feel like you need to see this…http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pug-tea-cosy

  32. elise

    great resolutions, I definitely share some of them! Wishing you much sewing success in 2013!

  33. We watched the entire Season 2 of Portlandia on Netflix Instant this week — in 3 sittings! So good. My favourite sketch was the stop-motion animation rats at the no-packaging store. Brilliant

  34. Aaaw, how cute is Doug!!! Your 2013 goals are brilliant, can’t wait to see all your makes unfold! If you do get the chance to revamp your sewing space you will feel so much better about it…I know doing mine has made a huge difference to my sewing time! And I hear you on the not over-committing front, I need to learn my limits too…though I hope I haven’t put extra pressure on you with Watch This Lace…!

  35. In terms of my goals, pants are definitely on the horizon. I have Burda Style 7441 and have already cut out Style A. However, the pocket application scared me too much so I’ve yet to assemble them. But, once finally done, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours, lol. I’m also going to make my mom pants and matching top out of knit “slinky” fabric. Don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s stretchy, fairly shiny, slippery and thin. All things bad in sewing land :)

    • Oh, that pattern looks great! Let me know what you think of it! I still need to tackle the Papercut Pleated Pants… they’re my next big project after I finish my jacket!

  36. Oh, you’re not late with resolutions/goals for 2013 – it will be the middle of January before I have mine set! All of yours seem thoughtful and do-able. Happy Sewing!

  37. Doug is so cute! Vito says “Happy New Year Doug!”
    You must try out the Thurlow trousers for your pant making goal. They are awesome!!

    • Awww, Vito… I know Doug and Peggy would love hanging out with him! Your Thurlows are so awesome (and now Cynthia just made a great pair…)! I don’t usually wear trousers that style, but everyone’s have turned out so nicely that I’m tempted!

  38. Can I have your list? Oh wait…..i think I may have had those goals in 2012. And 2011! Happy New Year, Ginger!

  39. Ughhh I wish we were at a closer geographical location because I would looove to help you lay the smack down on your sewing space! I mean, I guess I still could, but I’m not going to have $ to travel until probably at least summer, and I bet you don’t want to wait that long! I just love organizing and cleaning out rooms haha. I’m so weiiiird.

    My only goals for 2013 are very modest – I want to sew a full garment on my Featherweight (preferably a 1957 pattern, because that’s when she was ~born~, but we’ll see!) and also I have no plans for unselfish sewing. I spent all of 2012 sewing for other people, and ripping my hair out in the process – but I paid my debts and now I want to value my time! I’ve already have to turn several commissions down, and it feels sooooo gooood. I love being selfish haha :)

    • Awwww man, I wish we were closer together, too! We could knit together like a couple of crazy old ladies! I’m going to enlist my sis, I think– she’s a great organizer and is so good at pushing me to get tasks done (i.e. dragging me through IKEA when I’ve run out of steam and focus and throwing everything into the cart at a manic speed). I don’t know how you guys do it! I’m just *so* unorganized!

      I LOOOOOOOVE the sound of doing some vintage stitchin’ on the Featherweight! Looking forward to seeing that! And I don’t blame you for wanting to do selfish sewing– there are only so many curtains you can sew before you want to throw away the whole project and set fire to your sewing room! But what a great way to pay off your debts (and pay for a new machine, yah!)!

  40. I have some of the same goals for 2013, I would really like to sew things that will be wardrobe staples. And sewing room organization, I really need to organize my patterns! Happy New Year to you and Doug!

  41. What a cute pup! Do you watch Sarah Silverman? She has a small black dog named Doug.

    I also LOVE Portlandia! We couldn’t wait for it to come to Netflix. We bought the season on Amazon a while back…. we can pickle that!

    • Ahahahaha! The pickling sketch is so funny. And I was laughing so hard during the entire “mixologist” episode… so, so good.

      I just googled Sarah Silverman’s dog and he’s so cute! I love when dogs have goofy people names. :)

  42. Great Doug shot :D And a solid list of goals. Every time I read another goal oriented blog post, I find something to add to my list. Guess I better get to work… #4 is becoming more and more of an issue I need to address too!

  43. My sewing resolutions are really just gigantic sewing to do lists, that incorporate my sewing “resolutions” to try out new patterns, new fabrics, new sewing skills. I may have over committed myself… we will see in a few months!

    Happy New Year!

  44. Jenny

    Awesome goals! Amen to the sloper–so glad Maddie is updating her tutorials. We shall be sloper-conquerors before the year is out, just you wait and see :)

  45. Great goals – good luck stash-busting, I’m sure you’ll do a great job (can’t wait to see!)

    Like the idea of wardrobe super stars too…! Good luck!


  46. I think all your goals are great! I really like #4 and I feel the same way – that I want to make more go-to items (like pants) rather than one-time-occasion items (like dresses for weddings). Good luck on the sloper as well! I made pattern blocks last year and they are now priceless to me.

    • What is it about weddings that you always feel like you need a new dress?! I felt so frumpy and sad going to a wedding a week or two ago without a new dress… although the dress I wore I had NEVER EVEN WORN. But it wasn’t brand new! Ridiculous.

  47. If it weren’t for the fact that I’ve already told myself not to make sewing resolutions because I won’t keep ‘em, I would copy every single one of yours! Except sewing a jacket…. mine would be FIX the jacket I made… I really need to sort out the pockets on my Minoru jacket… they’re terrible!

    I love how excited Doug looks, he’s the CUTEST.

    (PS – I thought I’d tell you I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award, ’cause you’re awesome! :) )

    • Thanks so much for the nomination! You’re so sweet! And you really need to fix your Minoru– it’s so cute! I bet you’ll wanna wear it all the time once it’s fixed up!

  48. Doug is just so stinking cute! Those are some solid goals, Ms. Ginger. I’m with you on the trousers/coat thing, except this is the third year I say I will sew pants so I may just get derailed again… you know how it goes. I look forward to your adventures in 2013.

    • Haha, I said I would sew a jacket last year, and pants were in my fall (now fall/winter/early spring) sewing plans, so I guess we’ll see how it goes! Good luck to you this year!

  49. Amy

    I love Doug! Our neighbor had a puppy pug and I just couldn’t stand her cuteness. She could run happy circles around our border collies.

    Last year I tried not setting goals for the exact same reason as your #5–I overcommit! My problem is I get so restless creatively. I hope you try for making a jacket. They’re really so fun and such a feeling of accomplishment. I look forward to seeing what you’re making this year!

    • Oh, border collies are so sweet! I’ve always wanted one! Maybe someday if I move to the country…

      I know what you mean about getting restless creatively. I often feel that way, too, which usually leads to project materials piling up because I’ve bought fabric for something I’m not in the mood to make anymore.

      I actually started a jacket! It’s taking SO LONG, but I’m hoping to learn lots about tailoring throughout the process.

  50. Houseofpinheiro

    Great plans. I think you can do it. Go girl x

  51. Good luck with all your plans. I want to make a frilly waist apron but can not find a pattern. So it could take me a while!

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  53. I think many of my goals overlap with yours. I want to sew pants, and more jackets. They take much more time than sewing a skirt or dress though! i am in a serious need of clearing my stash too. It’s just getting bigger and bigger. I can’t find what I need, and it’s so frustrating!

    • I hear you! It’s so overwhelming to have too much stuff hanging around! Yuck! I’m always tempted to sew dresses– they’re fast and so fun. But jackets and pants are what I really like to wear, so I should make more of those!

  54. I also hope I’ll sew the perfect pair of pants this year. Not so sure abut the coat, but it’s a “would be nice to” :)

  55. Did you copy off my goal list???? I found your blog through
    My list includes:
    * Sew pants: I have lived in jeans and am tired of it. It’s hard for me to find trousers. I finally made my first pant sloper a month ago and sewed a jumpsuit!
    * Sew a jacket: Trying to make the sloper for this!
    * Make fun staples – blouses, trousers, etc
    * Shop my stash: I have a LOT of fabric and it’s time to whittle down
    * Sew it before I buy it.
    * PUSH myself on technique. Learn something new every other week at least and use it

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