January 4, 2013

Top 5 2012- Goals & Inspiration

I've been a little preoccupied the last week or so trying to catch up on my accounting for the year (poke me in the eye, please) but I don't want to wait too long to post my final thoughts on 2012 and Gillian's wrap up. I've decided to combine the last two parts of the Top 5 posts into one, so what follows are my thoughts on my goals for 2013, as well as a roundup of my favorite sewing inspirations from 2012.

Like many before me have noted, it was really hard to narrow the field of inspiring blogs down to just five, but I just went with my first instincts. I'm still discovering new blogs all the time, and I try to keep my blogroll on my front page up to date with who I'm currently reading if you're looking for more inspiring seamsters or just good reads.

When I started brainstorming this list, Steph C. of 3 Hours Past and Cake Patterns came to mind immediately. She's got more talent than I could ever dream of having, and I love how she uses her blog to philosophize about things related to sewing and fashion (sustainability, color, body image) in addition to all the pattern hacks and construction tips and helpful sewing tutorials that she shares. Her posts are always interesting and I always learn something new.

Tasia of Sewaholic and Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch certainly belong on this list as well. Not only do I love Tasia's patterns, but I also admire the helpful tutorials she posts and have spent quite a bit of time perusing her archives learning various techniques. They've both got an impressive collection of tips and tricks posted on their sites, and they've been a great reference when I've needed help with something specific. Writing helpful tutorials is no easy feat, and both of these ladies have it figured out. I really appreciate that they're so willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us.

Lauren of Lladybird inspires me with her impeccable taste and impressive skills, but also because she's so damn prolific in her production! She posted her 2012 recap recently and revealed that she made 52 garments last year! She sews AND she knits (sweaters, not just scarves) AND she has a full time job and I'm 100% sure she has a much more interesting social life than I do. I don't know how she does it, but I find it inspiring, indeed. If I could manage to produce half as much that was half as great as she does I would be a happy lady!

And finally, another prolific lady. Tempest of fanbloomingtastic gets my huge round of applause for sewing her way through the entire Sew Weekly year. As an early drop-out myself, I appreciate and admire her tenacity and always enjoyed seeing what she was up to. Check out her full range of projects on The Sew Weekly here.

As far as my goals for 2013 go, I'm hesitant to make too many proclamations because I know the way my brain works and I'll be off on some very different tangent in a heartbeat. I do have some vague directions in mind though- for life, sewing, and my business (which are all related, essentially).

My number one biggest goal for 2013 is to settle on the next direction for my business(es). Plot a course, make a plan, follow through, etc. I launched twilltapeshop.com in July, and thanks to the craziness that is life and the particular brand of limbo that we've found ourselves in for the last few months (details potentially forthcoming), I have yet to fully develop the site or determine its future. It's just kind of "there" and that's not really good enough for me. I think it's also time to accept that if I'm going to continue to grow as a business person, I'm going to need some specialized help. I need to decide if I plan to continue doing all the sewing for twilltape myself, or if there are other solutions. I've been researching contract sewing, but can't seem to get a response from anyone that I've contacted so far. I want to sort that out soon. I also need bookkeeping help or professional accounting advice. I've been muddling my way through everything solo, as is my way, but here's a pro tip: that's not a very sustainable way to run a business. All these things take money though, and that's in short supply in these parts. I know that the solution is out there, and this year it's my goal to figure it all out.

Next, I have a general goal to keep learning about sewing (and fitting in particular). I was gifted two Craftsy courses for Christmas from my generous Sister-in-law, and I think this will be a good start on this road. I'm having a hard time deciding what to take though! I think I have it narrowed down to Sew the Perfect Fit and Pant Fitting Techniques to start, but I also really want to take Jeanius, The Couture Dress, Pant Construction Techniques, Tailoring Ready to Wear, and the Sassy Librarian Blouse (among others). I would love to work my way through them all this year, but I don't know how realistic that is. I'll start with my two gifted classes (if I can ever decide which ones to take), and see how it goes. I would really like to expand my understanding of fit so I can make clothes that fit me well, and learn more about altering patterns to really fit my body.

On a much more specific note, I would love to learn to sew lingerie this year too. I've been admiring the bra-sewing skills of many bloggers for a long time, but haven't tried myself yet (for good reason). I'm actually ashamed to admit that I haven't even purchased any new bras since I was pregnant with Lincoln (he's three), and I've recently thrown those ones out because my non-pregnant body did not quite *ahem* fill them out anymore. So yes, that means that all my bras are older than my offspring, and the fit of the best fitting among them is questionable to say the very least. Now don't get me wrong, I don't have grand plans to make all of my lingerie from here on, but I would like to at least give it a try. And yes, I will be buying myself some new pieces too, don't worry (or call the health department). I'm just waiting to be all done breastfeeding and let things settle in at their new dimensions before I do. But I'm excited to try something new. Maybe this will be a project for Spring?

I also want to keep busting my way through my stash of fabric and patterns, and keep creating wearable garments for myself and my kiddos (maybe even David). I got a little bit organized on this front a couple months ago and pulled out some of the most promising cuts from my fabric shelves so I could match them up to patterns I already owned and make some plans. I've got a few big zip top bags organized with patterns, fabric, and notions for assorted projects, but that's as far as I've gotten. I have a tendency to get distracted by shiny things and rather than reaching for a project that's all ready to go, I find myself digging through the fabric drawers and pattern boxes looking for something new to inspire me. I guess that makes sense because I'm a total commitment-phobe, but I love planning and organizing things! I've got to try to reign that in this year, and develop some focus.

Lastly, I have a few little projects that I keep ignoring that I just really want to clear from my list. They include mostly mending and altering types of projects- like some jeans I need to hem and a skirt I need to shorten, and some other things that I have piled up in my sewing room in a corner (on the floor). Shameful! I also need to replace the lining in the pockets of my winter coats, as they all have holes. It makes me crazy because I can't put my keys in my pocket or they'll fall through to the hem of my coat. I haven't tackled this because I'm kind of afraid to rip my coats open, but I think it will be easy enough to do. I just need to find the motivation to do it! I know from experience that it will feel so good to clear that pile up though, so it's going on my list in this official capacity. Consider it done! Probably pretty soon(ish)...

So that's it! No specific number of garments or grand plans to join in on any special happenings that I can later abandon. I'm just going to play it by ear and try to keep on sewing good stuff. Learn and grow, right? Thanks again to Gillian for creating this end-of-year wrap up. It was fun to look back on what happened this year, and make some plans for the future too! I'm still catching up on reading everyone's posts, thanks to the other end-of-year business I've been attending to in Quickbooks lately, but I'll get there! And thanks to everyone for sharing and for reading along! Hope we all have a great 2013!