11 January 2012

New Year Re-sew-lutions

I should avoid making resolutions, I tell myself.  They only lead to a feeling of letting one-self down.  But then, I thought, they are also a way of reaffirming our goals.  Considering what is important to us, what we would like to change, where we would like to be when the next year ends.  In which case their success relies entirely on our own determination of what is realistic and what is unlikely to happen...

I didn't resolve to do much with 2011, a quick check back and I see my intentions were:
* To declutter
* To organise my time better - specifically with my blogging:blog reading:sewing ratio. 

Well, I did declutter.  Then I recluttered.  A lot. So in fact I am probably starting off this year with more clutter than last year began.  But amidst that clutter I found the space to put furniture in to hold the clutter.  Railings.  I need to put up my railings that have been waiting since September, so the vast majority of my clutter will vanish into wardrobes and free up shelving space currently occupied by my wardrobe. To do that I have to declutter the understairs cupboard in order to reach the masonry drill buried deep inside.  To achieve that I need to remove my fabric stash to its awaiting new home. That requires bolt boards though. Bolt boards which are marked up on posterboard awaiting a trip to a bandsaw (hack saw failed to make an impression). So when my bolt boards are made, I can rehome my stash, clear the understairs cupboard ( a combination of overflowing stash and items which can be stored on the the shelves that will become free when my stash is moved), acquire the drill, hang my rails, hang my wardrobe and refill with my shelves... What a sequence of events, I feel a gantt chart coming on! Resewlution #1 - I must get those bolt boards cut. 

The ratio... hmm well it did change.  I did spend more time sewing - and critically more time sewing for me and Mango as opposed to just work. I spent a lot less time reading blogs. That's quite sad because much of my motivation and learning comes from reading other people's blogs.  A perusal of We Sew Retro has me wanting to rush to my sewing machine to whip up a 1950s house-dress. I get as far as the kettle. But the spirit is willing! Blog writing time was shocking though. 18 posts in 12 months. Compared to 35 posts the previous 5 months. Appalling.  I want to be a regular blogger, I want to share the innermost workings of a sewing mind, the frustrations, the joys, my knowledge with the world. I want my followers to actually have something to read and to encourage more people to follow my mad warblings. I admire greatly my blogging heroes who seem to have the perfect balance of work, sewing and blogging and aspire to be more like them.  Then something dawned on me last night.  Almost all of my favourite (sewing) blogs are written by women of around my own age. And I don't think any of them have children.  Therein, I think I may have found my stumbling block.... Resewlution #2 - I shall stop beating myself up over not having their superb blogging prowess and amazing time organisation skills and wardrobes full of me-made attire... and put it in my arsenal for that day when the 16 year old Mango is shouting at me "Its not fair!" and I will retort "No its not. Its not fair I had to sacrifice a promising blogging career and wardrobe of unique, hand-crafted designs for you. So no, you are not going to a that all-night party with that boy this Saturday!" (Is it naive to hope she'll be too pre-occupied sat on the sofa with her old ma, knitting her own wardrobe?!)

2012 Resewlutions
Well I made two.

1. First is to do with UFOs - not the little-green-man kind but the secret shame of seamstresses across the world - the UnFinished Object.  I have a lot of those.  I have one that hangs in my sewing room and mocks me almost daily.  My nemesis. I blogged about it once, couldn't bring myself to finish the post. Much like the article itself.  I will though. I quite often think, I'm going to go tackle that UFO. I get as far as the kettle. Anyway my resewlution is not to tackle the UFO pile, I think that would be laughable.  But it is not to add to it.  I start a project, I finish it.  I was trying to be really hard and add "before I start the next one" (obviously this is only applying to personal projects, I have to stop to sew for work). I might have to be flexible enough to allow myself to do something else if I have hit a rut with my current project that requires that little bit of time out, a rethink and a recharge of motivation.  Otherwise a whole lot of sewing might not get done because of that one damned seam problem...

2. Pre-shrink my fabric when I buy it.  It sounds so simple and maybe unneccessary. But here's the scenario: You've just received through the post a stunning pattern - or you've been flicking through your two hundred odd sewing patterns for viewing pleasure one evening (y'all do this too, right?) and you spot this gorgeous number you have been wanting to make up for ages.  You've got the pattern, you've got the charge, heck you've even got the notions in your stash, you rush to the sewing room and pull out the perfect fabric, its all systems go! But wait! Have you preshrunk that fabric? The countdown clock starts: Did I pre-shrink it? Tick Tock.  I don't think I did. Tick Tock. No, I definitely didn't. Tick Tock.  I really should pre-shrink it, its a first rule of sewing. Tick Tock. I tell all my students they must preshrink their fabric first... Tick Tock. But if I do that it won't be ready to use before tomorrow. Tick Tock. And I probably won't have this all this motivation then. Tick Tock. How much will it really shrink, first time I wash the garment? Tick Tock. Remember that time when that dress shrunk by four inches in the first wash? Tick Tock. Sew now or wash and sew tomorrow (if I still feel in the mood)? Da da da da, dadadada dooosh. Darn it, where's the laundry powder?

And what happens? I wash it, I dry it, I analyse the shrinkage for the justification of the act. Then I fold it up and leave it on the side-table for a week. Or longer.  Now if only I had pre-shrunk that fabric when I brought it home, I would have another moment of inspiration hanging in my wardrobe on my shelf awaiting hanging rails with the rest of my wardrobe! I must get those bolt boards cut....