Friday, 28 December 2012

Planning: January 2013

My sewing goals for 2013 are PLAN WELL and  SEW CAREFULLY.  In the interests of good planning, I think what I'm going to try to do is look ahead only about a month at a time, and try to keep what I consider my broader sewing life goals in mind (sew things that are useful, things that suit my life and style and body, and things that fit into my wardrobe near-seamlessly).

January is going to be pretty busy work-wise, so I won't have a huge amount of free time or brainpower to devote to sewing. I kind of want a set of projects that I can pick up and put down in short bursts. I usually give myself 30-60 minutes of sewing per day, and when I am busy I have to stick to that pretty carefully. To me, all those constraints yell one thing: MAKE BAGS. Handily, from the 16th January until mid-February, Pattern Review is also holding a handbag contest, so it's an easy decision to combine a personal want (a new bag), a contest and my available sewing time together.


1. Finish my red tunic top made from the Style 3997 pattern. I started this intending for it to be worn at Christmas but ran out of time. There's not all that much to be done -- sew on the sleeves and do the cuffs and hem mainly. To be honest I was rushing to finish this top before Christmas and made a poor job of the finish of the garment up to the point I'd reached, which does put me off a bit. However, I am determined to get it done all the same as I can always wear it round the house. It shouldn't take long, so it's my first project when I get home.

2. I need to restock my Etsy shop (again) with 5 new bags -- 2 large, 2 small, 1 clutch. I have one large bag and 1 clutch already cut out, and the other three will be easy patterns that are quick to cut and sew. All I need to do is choose the fabrics and I can get started. This is going to have to be the big project of my first two weeks back at the sewing table in January.

3. Make progress on one complex pattern handbag for myself. Aim to get a really great finish on the bag. The goal is to produce something I'd be proud to put into the PR Handbag contest.

I can't get started on this until 16 January if I want to go in for the competition so I have a bit of time to plan and buy any hardware I need. I'd like to make something right at the top end of my pattern complexity range because those are the type of bags I prefer to carry for the most part. At the moment, these are the patterns I'm thinking about, but subject to change if I think of something better:

Top row: Amy Butler Blossom; Bag from eBook; Bottom row: Olivia by ChrisW, Satchel by Lisa Lam
I adored the grey denim Olivia bag I made for my sister-in-law -- to the point where I really seriously thought about keeping it and getting her another present -- and I could definitely live with making one of these for myself. It seems a shame to repeat myself so soon, though.

I am also very tempted by Lisa Lam's Too Cool For School Satchel. I love this bag shape and style but I am not sure this particular pattern has enough interesting features. I'm a bit concerned about how it is put together as well (self-lined, with a layer of heavy double-sided sculpting interfacing sandwiched between layers). There's another Lisa Lam bag I'm keeping in mind, from her previous book, called the Oversized Fashionista. The problem with that one is the cost/availability of the hardware.

From WAY off the beaten track is the bag with a metal snap purse frame set into it. It's from a... Korean, I think, maybe? Or Chinese? e-book that I bought about a year ago, and I find it fascinating. Making anything from those Asian e-books is an adventure though, plus I'd have to try to find the perfect metal purse frame.

Finally, there's Amy Butler's Blossom Bag from Style Stitches, which has a really interesting internal structure and great straps, but is not totally disimilar to the Evelyn I've already made several times.

Actually, I'd kind of love any/all of these, if I am honest. It's really which one I make first! No matter what I make, I want the finish of the bag to be really great, which means spending some time getting things just right.

4. If I have time, I'd like to work through my Beginner Serging Craftsy class and see if I can get to know my overlocker better. I'm really not interested in any of the projects that the class comes with but I'd like to make up the stitch book. The sections I am most interested in come to about 3 hours of video in total, plus sewing time, so this To Do list item is optional.

5. Also if I have time, I bought both the Crochet Lab and Knit Lab absolute beginner classes on Craftsy just after Christmas in their sale. I'd like to do about an hour of each of these classes in total, and maybe get a few basic skills down.

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