2017 Top 5, Part 2: Reflections and Goals

Top 5

Welcome back! This is my final post of the year* ( 😦 ), and the thrilling conclusion to my Top 5 recap of my 2017 sewing!

*Sorry peeps, I meant to have this ready before the New Year began, buuuuut I didn’t make it! At least I started it before 2017 f*cked off, right? 😉

Let’s get into it with…

Top 5 Reflections

  1. I sewed a lot! – For me, anyway. 😉 I’m really bowled over by how many things I finished this year, and the fact that most of them were successful additions to my wardrobe. It is a much different feeling than when I reflected on 2016, that’s for sure!
  2. I have a lot of clothes – I am not a “Capsule Wardrobe” person, nor am I a minimalist. I like clothes! But I have a lot of them, and there are many pieces that I don’t wear. This is partly due to my climate, which has highly variable seasons throughout the year; but part of it is down to just being the sort of person who struggles to get rid of stuff. :-/ My sewing still can’t provide everything I need (YET!!), but that doesn’t mean I need to keep things needlessly!
  3. I have a lot of fabric – Again, same as above–minimalism isn’t my jam. But I do know when I end up with too much, and I’m there! But I must say, my abundant stuff is very well cataloged. 😉
  4. Inspiration Paralysis – This was more of a Q3 and Q4 problem this year, but I’ve felt kind of overwhelmed by all the things I want to make lately! I need more basics, but there are some things I have been desperate to make for months, too. The end result is that I don’t sew anything: my creative brain short-circuits and I just chill out on the couch instead! Or I may buy fabric for one of those must-make items but not start it! Not cool. I haven’t found a way to get around this that works for me–yet. (And no, the answer isn’t “start multiple projects at once.” That kind of chaos in my sewing room leads to a different kind of paralysis, and I’m not doing it!) But I think one key thing will be to make a note of those big, tempting, day-dream projects: I have a Fashionary, and I have an Excel sheet. Maybe if I put them down somewhere, I will feel like they’re getting some of my creative attention without distracting me from stuff I will be able to incorporate into my closet sooner (and with fabric I already have).
  5. Selfish Bitch – Obviously this is a bit tongue-in-cheek! But I really am disappointed in my sewing output for others this year. My bestie wants potholders for her mom, and possibly tea towels as well; my sisters should have Dirty Bird potholders of their own; Tom deserves more jeans and things!

Fabric spreadsheet snapshot! Spoiler alert: there’s a TON of fabric on there. O_o


A prime example of a thing I want to make and bought wild fabric for, but that isn’t terribly practical. (Photo property of Named Clothing.)

With these reflections in mind, I do have some (vague, as usual) goals for 2018! But first, let’s see how I did on 2017’s goals, shall we?

2017 Goals: Recap and Evaluation

  1. Cull the stash. Yes and no. 😉 I did destash about 20 pieces on eBay starting this summer (and basically broke even between shipping and what I sold them for–it wasn’t really about making $!) AND donated some to a local craft store. But I also bought plenty more fabric than I sold OR sewed.
  2. Make my jeans. HELL TO THE YES!!!! Finally. 2018 will hopefully be the year I kick all the RTW skinnies out of my house in favor of self-made pairs!
  3. Make basics. YES!!!!! Lark tees, jeans, warm-but-interesting tops, a black denim skirt…I did it.
  4. Conscious, Handmade gifts. Meh. Tom got a birthday sweater thing, plus another sweater thing and fingerless mitts for Xmas, so that’s good. (He also received 3 pairs of knitted socks this year, but not really as “gifts.”) Bestie got 2 pairs of socks AND a cowl knitted for her birthday (she really loved them!!). But otherwise, that’s all I managed. My 5th reflection above sums up my disappointment here. I also still need to make a baby shark for Dunuh’s owner’s new baby sister! O_o
  5. Draw stuff in my Fashionary so I don’t forget my ideas. Mostly fail. I was wayyyy better at doing this earlier in the year, but fell off the wagon. But per Reflection 4, I should probably revisit this in 2018!

As far as I can tell, I’m about 3 out of 5 on those (I’m giving myself partial credit for numbers 1 and 4!); not bad, but not great. That brings us to my goals for 2018:

  1. Cull the stash some more! I have lots of pieces of fabric marked for destash, I just need to get them out and get them listed. Hopefully with a full 12 months of this, I will get rid of plenty of stuff!
  2. Make at least 1 basic item for every “shiny” item! I figure this will help me make peace between the side of my brain that knows we just need to get dressed and the other side, which wants to make more exciting, spur-of-the-moment-inspiration/”concept” pieces instead. Addendum to this goal: keep track of my ideas better!
  3. Make a new winter coat. This has been on my list before, I know! But I’m starting to feel scruffy in my years-old RTW coat and I’d like to make a good, everyday coat to replace it. I also want a bold color for this project, which means I need to find material. O_o If anyone sees a good deal on lemongrass-colored wool coating, let me know! 😉
  4. Keep my sewing area(s) clean and tidy. This is always a problem for me–I hate tidying up and cleaning (I am my father’s daughter!), and always neglect my sewing areas at some point(s). In the new year, I want to keep my sewing room and the guest room–where my fabric lives–tidy enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone who doesn’t live with me saw them. I have to be honest: this will be as hard as keeping my stash under control, but I’m gonna try really hard. 😦
  5. Match or exceed the number of garments sewn in 2017. As I’ve said, my goal is to replace all my RTW stuff with things I have made–I am serious about that. In order to help me get rid of RTW clothes AND fabric, I will need to keep sewing at 2017’s pace or better. This will be a fun challenge!

Simplicity 8470 View D – Future Winter Coat! (Image property of Simplicity.)


Color-coded highlighting denotes stuff I’m going to list for destash

Garment Type

My 2017 results–aiming to top this in 2018!

On the whole, I think my 2018 “Goals and Shit” are pretty boring, but hopefully they’ll help me grow and enjoy my hobby in the coming year. And you guys, I accidentally added a garment to my 2017 tally on 12/31/2017–I made an entire top from start to finish!! Ridiculous, right? 😉 So technically my 2017 count is now 31, so I have a slightly bigger challenge for myself in 2018! I am off to a running start though, because I MADE ANOTHER TOP TODAY. That’s right: I hit 31 things on 12/31, and on Day 1 of 2018, I made my first garment of that year. Who am I?!?!? (To be fair, I cut both projects out the other day, so that was one less thing to do!)

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start–I’ll see you all soon!

Do you set sewing goals for the year to come? Do you enjoy reflecting on the past year and seeing what you’ve accomplished and learned, etc.? (If you wrote a blog post about it, feel free to link to it in the comments so I can read it!) How do you balance sewing things you need with inspiration/impulse sewing? 


9 thoughts on “2017 Top 5, Part 2: Reflections and Goals

  1. First off, I’m so impressed by your accomplishments and organization! Second, I am participating in the year-long Goodbye Valentino Ready to Wear Fast, and I aim to sew and blog steadily all of 2018, which is ambitious for me. I’m not aiming for a particular number of garments but No Wardrobe Orphans! is my new battle cry and I want to get in the habit of designing capsules. I’m afraid to look back at my output for 2017, sewing-wise, (but in terms of linear feet of woodwork painted last year, I think I’m the champ!). I have been immensely undisciplined in sewing needs versus wants but I think the capsule format is going to give me some of both. The coat pattern you’ve chosen looks exciting–those are serious pockets! Would you say the yellowgrass wool you’re looking for is more yellow or more green?

    • Capsules is a great concept for avoiding those “orphaned” items–can’t wait to see what you make! And best of luck with your RTW Fast and blogging goals: YOU CAN DO THIS!!! 😀

      Yes, that coat pattern will be a great “everyday” coat, I think; I haven’t quite decided about the faux fur-trimmed hood, however! And as to the color I am after, my ideal shade would be a match for Fiestaware’s “Lemongrass” color: it’s a chartreuse-esque shade, with a definite green cast but not so much that it looks like Pea Soup Green–ick! 😉 It’s just one of my favorite colors: my living room is chartreuse, and we have several pieces of Fiestaware in the Lemongrass shade. I will be on the lookout, that’s for sure!

  2. YOU NEED TO MAKE THAT BOMBER DRESS! Why is that not practical? Its’a dress and a coat! It’s an outfit in one! And it looks so very YOU. Do it. I command you!

    The guilt over not sewing for others is a funny one, eh? I feel it too… but then, would a runner spend time “running for someone else”? or a gardener gardening for someone else? It’s our form of selfcare, so sometimes it needs to be selfish. I figure the less pressure I put on myself, the more likely I am to actually bloody sewing for someone else! 😉

    Happy 2018!!!

    • Haha you are so funny! It’s just not practical for wearing a lot, at least not in the wild brocade I bought for the pattern. 😉 It’s on the shortlist for Q1 though, for sure!

      You are quite right about the weird guilt around sewing for others; I guess for me, it’s more that anyone I would make something for has either specifically asked for something or would appreciate something. And spending my hobby time making them something is a way I express my love, I guess! (Even so, most of my sewing time is all about #1–ME!!!!!!!!!)

  3. I have that Simplicity pattern too! Who knows if I will ever actually make a coat (seems so advanced!), but it spoke to me very strongly so I had to snap it up. I am going to really keep my eye out for lemongrass fabric so I can hurry you along — I want you to make it!

    • You know, I had a similar reaction–I’ve got other coat patterns (that I haven’t sewn…oops!) but this one just “clicked” for me! Maybe it’s those snazzy pockets and the faux fur trim? 😉 I hope you’ll give it a try!! (And for real, if you see coat fabric that color, sound the alarm, haha! I could have bought some on a super sale right before Xmas but dallied too long and it was gone. Huge mistake!!!!)

    • Thank you for your kind comment, and for sharing the link to your own post–you’ve got a new follower! I relate to your “mood sewing,” which is partly why I try to have vague goals in mind every year; it helps me balance the “getting dressed” sewing with the “oooooh shiny!” sewing. 😉

  4. Pingback: New Year, New Tops! | Life in A "Mads" House

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