It’s official. The New Year is a great time to up our sewing game. Here at Simply Sewing HQ we’re cutting down on the cakes and replacing calories with quality crafting time. We’re been inspired by this round up of Crafty New Year Resolutions from the Stitchtopia team to draw up list of 7 sewing resolutions that we think we’ll be able to stick to in 2017. (And if you want somewhere to start with your January sewing, grab a copy of issue 24 today!)
Here’s our top 7 sewing new year resolutions
A third of people in the UK make resolutions but of those that do, 2⁄3rds don’t stick to them, so we think giving our resolutions a fabric-feel is the perfect way to make them achievable. We got chatting about this with our friends at Stitchtopia and have come up with this totally achievable list of sewing resolutions to make and stick to this year. We’re going to have a lot of fun working on this lot!
1. Slow down
“My new year sewing resolution is not to rush everything I make,” confesses our editor Charlie. “I have a tendency to get impatient when finishing things, so I’m trying to slow down my sewing and enjoy the whole process rather than focussing on the end result. I’m going to invest in some nice lighting for my sewing desk, too. I want the area to feel more welcoming – like a sewing haven!”
2. Make everyday me-made
This is less about literally wearing something we’ve made every day (lovely as it would be!) and more about choosing to make everyday wardrobe staples. “When I first started sewing, I made lots of occasion dresses for parties and weddings – bold prints, vintage styles, and not exactly garments suitable for the office!” says our Production Editor, Michelle. “I loved wearing them, but after the event had been and gone they would always end up hanging unloved in my wardrobe. It was such a shame after all the effort I put into making them. My resolution for 2017 is to fill my wardrobe with more practical me-mades that I can wear again and again, like staple tees, simple skirts and day dresses. This way I can wear handmade every day.
3 Show off our favourite fabrics
Ok so hands up who has a fabric stash that seems to just keep growing? Our Digital Editor Zoe is tackling hers and pledging to make more of the fabrics she owns (so she feels less guilty shopping for more!)… “My fabric stash didn’t used to be out of control – it’s crept up on me. The more I got into sewing, the more I would gather up fat quarters and favourite prints. I get genuine pleasure having them on display on my craft shelves, but the trouble is, the pieces are often too small to make large garments or accessories. They don’t all compliment each other for use in patchwork either, so I often end up buying new fabric when I start a new project. I’m resolving to actually use some of the lovely fabrics in my stash in 2017. I’ve already started making a baby quilt with some lovely fleece animal-print fabric that I brought 3 years ago and then never used.”
4 Set goals and stay focused!
Quilter Mandy Shaw is a regular contributor to our sister magazine, Today’s Quilter, as well as a Stitchtopia expert who gets to tour the world, quilting with people (we’re so jealous!). ” This year’s resolution is easy,” she tells us. “I’m to fill in my year planner early and stick to it. I will learn to say ‘No’ very nicely, easy!”. Mandy’s resolution applies to a lot of our own sewing projects – we often see things we want to make and then get distracted with more immediate deadlines or newer patterns come along and catch our eye before we finish our first plan. Impulse sewing should never be discouraged, but if you have a pattern you’ve seen and have been meaning to make for months, now is the perfect time to reach for your tailor’s chalk and pattern pack and get making! If you’re feeling really brave, why not set yourself a deadline – it can help to have a goal in mind (we’re already planning a wax-print skirt to wear for a party at the end of February).
5 Tackle a new technique
Whatever your level of experience, we all have something we want to try next for our dressmaking and sewing. Carol Meldrum (founder of Beatknit and Stitchtopia craft pro) is looking to try a new craft with a lot of history in 2017. “My new year’s resolution is to learn how to do tatting and not just say I will! I’ve had my Grandmas tatting shuttles for years and would love to learn the basics before exploring the possibilities.” We like Carol’s thinking… maybe it’s time to finally try Foundation Paper Piecing a quilt!
6. Make time for ‘me time’
1 in 10 people have settled on ‘setting aside time for themselves’ as their resolution for 2017. One way to guarantee you get away from the day-to-day distractions and focus on your sewing is to treat yourself to a crafting holiday. They’re a great fun way to immerse yourself in quality sewing time whilst meeting like-minded fabric fans and seeing a bit of the world too. Here are some of our top crafting holidays from Stitchtopia for 2017 to tickle your taste buds! To find out more, visit www.stitchtopia.co.uk.
- Italian Villa Quilt Retreat: leaves 4 July 2016 for 6 nights including 4 days of patchwork classes and a trip to Venice (top of our wish list!)
- Textile Impressions of India with Mandy Shaw, 12- 25 March 2017, 13 nights including world-leading textiles!
- New England Quilts in the Fall 27 Sept: a 9-night quilting adventure featuring amazing scenery (including a trip to Canada and Niagara Falls) and beautiful quilts.
- Quilting in Regency Bath with Janice Gunner, 22-25 Oct 2017, a 3-night city break including trips to the Bath Fashion Museum, The American Museum (home of the most eye-popping collection of vintage quilts we’ve ever seen) and hand stitching workshops to keep your hands happy.
7. Treat yourself to a new bit of kit
Our technical editor Becs is always impressing us with her ridiculous sewing skills and enthusiasm for new projects, and she’s resolving to get an industrial sewing machine in 2017, to stretch the potential of her future projects. We know she’s got some exciting things planned but isn’t ready to reveal them yet! Is there a bit of kit out there that would make your life easier? If so, now’s the time to get it! Our Digital Editor Zoe was very excited about getting a metre rule to give her home sewing projects a boost this Christmas.
What do you think?
Are you setting any sewing resolutions of your own? Is there a technique you’ve been meaning to master for ages? Or a favourite fabric that has felt too precious to cut into? Now’s the time to take action! Wishing you all a happy year of sewing.