Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Top 5 of 2013 - Inspirations and Goals


Following on from looking back over my Hits and Misses of 2013 as part of Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow's 'Top 5' series today I'm going to look forward to next year by listing my top 5 inspirations and goals for 2014. 

Top 5 Inspirations: What books, people, blogs, trends e.t.c motivated you this year?

I've found this one really hard to pick as I see so many things every day to inspire me but have tried to narrow it down to the things that have spurred me on to improve my sewing skills.

1. After so many of my makes this year made use of their patterns I've got to pick the girls from By Hand London. The contemporary and sophisticated designs of their patterns as well as their own style inspires my sewing in all kinds of ways! So many pictures of ready to wear dresses I see I think 'O maybe I could use the Anna bodice for that?' or 'Ooo that looks just like the Elisalex bodice and Charlotte skirt combined!'  I can't wait to see what these girls have got up their sleeves for next year.


2. There's one other independent pattern company that is going to have to find a place in the list and that Sewaholic. If you read my blog regularly you may have noticed that I'm seriously in love with these patterns. Tasia's amazing drafting skills and instructions have helped me achieve sewing feats I never thought I could. My first ever dress was made with her careful guidance!

3. I've got to count living and working in London as a fairly major inspiration. Whether it be what the lady sitting opposite me is wearing on the tube or the hidden away haberdashery full of beautiful trims I happen to pass, this city is a daily and constant source of inspiration for my sewing. It's almost too much sometimes; my machine and I just can't keep up!
4. If I was to recommend one place to all of you to gather a bit of inspiration and motivation for that matter when you've got a bit of sewing block I'd have to say Pinterest. 10 minutes browsing that site and you'll be itching to get on your machine I guarantee. Plus this year it has proved so useful to me as a way to collect my inspirations and remind myself of what I had planned next.

5. My final inspiration is simple. Every single blogger in the whole entire world. The whole lot of you. I've lost count of the amount of times my jaw has dropped at your skills, imagination and creation, as well as the amount of times I've thought 'I must pin that later!' when reading posts on my phone. From every single blog comment to every meet up with the Spoolettes, being part of this sewing community and having the support and encouragement of you all is so fantastic!

Top 5 Goals for the New Year

1. This first one is pretty specific and is something I have been procrastinating over for quite some time now - making trousers! I did treat myself to the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern a while back, after hearing rave reviews about it, but as yet it is unopened! I've heard so many nightmare stories about fitting trousers in general, and fitting is something I don't have much experience of so try to avoid at the best of times anyway. Now I've made my Robson Coat I feel I need another big challenge so making a perfectly fitting pair of trousers it is!


2. Following on from this I'd really like to focus on getting the fit of each and every item I make just right. I'm a bit of a naughty girl when it comes to making muslins or even tracing my patterns, I tend to wing it and try to get away with as few alterations as possible...purely because I'm a bit nervous of doing them as I don't know a lot! First up I'd like to try out Sunni from a Fashionable Stitch's tip for using your high bust measurement to select the size you cut and then doing an FBA. I'm definitely going to try this out on the Georgia Dress which I've been having some problems with.

3. This is a big one and another goal I've set myself in an attempt to broaden my sewing skills and make me a more accomplished all round seamstress - sewing with knits. I've done a tiny bit of this with my polka dot circle skirt and as you will know from my last Top 5 post I've had the Papercut Coppelia Cardi cut out for a good 6 months now! However, I still feel like a duck out of water with any kind of knit and would like to feel confident with them by the end of next year. Lucky for me, I must have been very good this year as Santa was lovely enough to grant my wish for an overlocker/serger...I have a feeling playing around on this will give me the kick up the bum I need!


4. My fourth goal follows on from one of my inspirations - I'd like next year to try and recreate some of my favourite looks that I've pinned to my 'Sewing Ideas' board on Pinterest. This year I've played around with patterns a few of times, hacking the Grainline Scout Tee, combining patterns in my Elisalotte and drafting my own circle skirt for a pattern's bodice. I've surprised myself with my ability to adapt patterns to achieve the look I want and part of this has stemmed from trying to recreate my favourite ready to wear looks or garments created by other bloggers. 

5. My final goal is more general - just to keep learning more sewing skills! I'm really pleased with my sewing progress this year and now feel confident sitting at my machine, but the projects I find most satisfying are the most challenging, when I really push myself to try something new. I've ticked off quite a number of items on my 'Technique Checklist' this year and I'd like to cross off a lot more in 2014. I'm endeavouring to pick patterns next year which involve new to me techniques and make use of the tutorials I've been pinning on my 'Sewing Tips' Pinterest board. 


Well that's it for this year girls and guys! I'm off to set up my serger and get cracking on some of those goals. Wishing you all a wonderful 2014!

22 comments:

  1. Great goals and inspirations! I'm really in love with BHL and Sewaholic too :)
    Have an amazing 2014!

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    1. And you Kim! I think you can expect to see a lot more of BHL and Sewaholic on here over the next year!

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  2. THis is a great post, and one I could have written myself. Your thoughts, ideas and approach are so similar to mine! Unfortunately, I won't achieve many of my ideal goals in 2014, as I'm pregnant, but I should get some practise with my new over locker, and knits, over the next few months. I think jersey will make good comfy Mat wear!

    Anyway, I look forward to reading about your challenges and makes, as you progress! Have a very Happy New Year!

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    1. Thank you Helen, sounds like your 2014 will be exciting! Congratulations! You'll have plenty of time in future to complete your goals I'm sure, and I think conquering knits and how to dress a baby bump is enough of a challenge as it is!

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  3. We received the same serger for Christmas! So exciting right??!?! I'm sewing my New Years Dress right now and it's a knit! I hope it works out cause I have no back up!

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    1. So exciting! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with yours!

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  4. Happy 2014! Your goals are so smart-- can't wait to see how you make out in the new year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Sonja! Looking forward to seeing lots more makes from you that I want to copy!

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  5. You've listed some great goals and I'm sure you'll achieve them all beautifully and with your usual style! I'm hoping to have a pair of wearable trousers by the end of 2014 too. Oh, and my Thurlows pattern has been sitting unopened for months also!

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    1. O thank you Danielle! I hope we can both crack the making of these trousers this year!

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  6. Happy 2014! You're inspirations and goals were lovely to read! I hope you accomplish all your goals :)

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    1. Thank you Hazel! I hope you get chance to meet all yours too! Happy New Year!

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  7. Exciting overlocker! I hope it helps you to conquer the knits, I need to work with more knits this year too. And I really need to try some sewaholic patterns! There are about 5 of their patterns which I really want, but I can't quite justify buying them all for myself just now...I'm pretty sure I'll crack soon though!

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    1. Birthday gift ideas perhaps?! I can't recommend them enough! I've been on my overlocker now and feel totally different about knits already!

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  8. Happy new year Fiona! Your inspirations & goals sound great & I've loved seeing all your makes this year. Good luck with the knits, I'm sure you'll have it mastered in no time!

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    1. The overlocker is proving a big help! Happy New Year to you too!

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  9. Great goals! I love the new year just for that reason... seeing what you have accomplished and setting new goals to aspire too. I have the Thurlows on my To-Do List this year. Good luck with yours!

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    1. O looking forward to seeing yours! I love the fresh start feeling of the new year too

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  10. Oooh promising goals. Don't let fit drive you bonkers though. Found you on pinterest! Feel free to follow me too http://www.pinterest.com/almondrocksews/

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    1. Followed you! I love a bit of Pinterest! I think I just want to improve my fit, try out a few alterations. I know I have the capability to overanalyse things so I'm going to try and not get obsessed by it!

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  11. I'm a new follower - and I received the same serger for Christmas as well!! It's amazing, isn't it?! I, too, had to rethread mine and there were quite a few... choice words but now I'm much more confident with it, too!! :) Did you ONLY use it on the papercut cardigan (which is adorable, btw)? I haven't ONLY used it on a garment yet, so I'm curious as to how you thought it went!!

    :) Thanks!! :)

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    1. Hello! Well done on getting to grips with your serger, it's well worth the pain of rethreading though isn't it?!
      I used my serger to sew nearly all of the seams on my cardigan (I didn't sew them on the machine and then just finish them on the serger). There were just a couple of parts of this pattern which called for regular machine stitching so I did that where I had to

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!