2018 Lookback: Bonnie’s First Year of Sewing

I made three New Year’s resolutions for 2018:

  • learn to sew
  • do one pushup
  • don’t write a book

I’m giddy-excited to have succeeded at all of them! (And yes, there’s a backstory to points 2 & 3.) Let’s talk about the first one.

Learn to sew! I’d taken an intro class to machine sewing before, actually, but had never sat down and attempted to sew anything on my own. But I wanted to! It was just extremely intimidating. I don’t think that spatial reasoning stuff comes naturally to me. At first, it was difficult to figure out things like so if I sew with right-sides together…then will the seam be on the right side or the wrong side? Argh.

What motivated me to learn to sew:

  • In 2018 I ended up needing a lot of new clothes (hurrah for recovery!). That meant an opportunity to change things up.
  • I wanted clothes that fit. Desperately. My body type isn’t always easy to shop for in RTW, and I’m right on the edge of “standard”/plus sizes. There’s a lot of backstory here that I might get into in a separate post.
  • I wanted COLOR! and PRINTS! Living and shopping in New York, it was easy to build a wardrobe of dependable neutrals. But I wanted my wardrobe to be LOUD.
  • I wanted clothes made in natural fabrics (linen, cotton, wool). I generally prefer to wear them. It’s surprisingly hard to find non-synthetic fabrics in stores…

I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy sewing as an act – I mean, I was pretty convinced that I hated ironing – but I figured, what the heck, I’ll try it.

I think it’s obvious that I ended up enjoying it.

I’m still noodling on why I enjoy sewing so much. There are aspects of it that are similar to knitting: it’s an opportunity to play with color and texture, with a sense of accomplishment at the end. There’s the puzzle of garment construction. The feeling of slow and steady incremental progress as you work through a project. These are all rewarding things.

I’ve been keeping track of my makes in a spreadsheet. According to this I’ve made fourteen (!!) projects in just six months.  That includes two skirts, one dress, one pair of shorts, and nine shirts. Almost all of these are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe.

Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 12.45.35 PM

The ‘cost’ column is interesting – it includes amortized pattern price, fabric cost, and notions. I think that I’ve learned to be more economical in my fabric cutting, so hopefully I can reduce leftovers next year. I also expect to re-use more patterns, and to start purchasing more non-indie patterns, so that should bring my typical pattern cost down. But…also I really like buying pretty, gorgeous fabrics, and I’m happy to spend accordingly on them.

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All in all, I think this has been a successful start to a new hobby.

Onwards and upwards.

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