Top 5 Sewing Revelations and Goals for 2016


I am combining the last two #SewingTop5 prompts for efficiency. This post is part of the series started by Gillian, look for more posts (by her and other sewcialists) at her blog, or on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #sewingtop5 .

Please join me in waving goodbye to 2015 and welcoming 2016!

2015 Revelations

1. I find wholeness and joy in sewing. Obvious right?  Sewing is no longer just a weekend hobby, it is a very substantial part of my identity. During a busy autumn, I just didn’t feel whole when I wasn’t sewing. Even making minor repairs and alterations to my RTW clothes gave me a sense of renewal.

2. I like sewing new things more than refashioning or upcycling. Because I am being more intentional about how my wardrobe fits together, I explore thrift shops with a different perspective. I still enjoy refashioning, but with such a project backlog I can’t really justify keeping a stash of thrifted garments that “might one day” get refashioned or altered.

3. I sew and work better and faster with upbeat music. When it gets silent, I get lost in my head and distracted by other things like Facebook, Instagram, or questioning the next decision I have to make. Currently streaming: 1990s-early 2000s pop music.

4. I am a better seamstress than I give myself credit for. And I don’t need to qualify that or diminish the statement.

5. It is not a choice between sewing and life. I blame life for getting in the way of my sewing. A lot of us do. Sometimes my job leaves me without energy to sew. Sometimes I make myself choose between seeing my friends and sewing. Or between exercising and sewing. Most frequently, I put off house chores in favor of sewing. And if sewing brings me joy, does that mean that I am not living a joyful life if I choose not to sew? Well, no…but also maybe. I can’t keep treating sewing time as a separate bubble universe outside my “real life.” Sewing might not be my career, but it is something that brings me joy, gives me an outlet, and evokes a positive self-worth. Sewing is a part of my life, and I need to treat it that way. But I also need to treat the other demands on my time (friends, job, chores, exercise, etc.) as equal partners in this concept called “life”.

For funsies, here is my Top 9 Instagram posts:


2016 Goals

1. Take a break from new costumes next year and focus on that Handmade Wardrobe. This was a hard decision. I might write more about it later. In short, the process of designing new costumes from scratch was creating some unhealthy habits. I’ll keep cosplaying and tweaking “finished” costumes as I teach myself new techniques (foam armor, resin casting, painting, etc.), and my priority is going to be making awesome clothes I can wear to work and around town.

2. Refine fitting skills. From small-bust adjustments to sway back or even bigger butt adjustments, I want to learn more about fitting my body and pattern adjustments. I need to figure out why Shao Jun’s sleeves never fit.

3. Learn draping. I am a good spatial thinker and I am fascinated by draping and fabric manipulation. In theory it would speed up some of my costume design. It might also encourage me to explore original designs for everyday clothes.

4. Managing my time so that I am not choosing between sewing or friends, but have intentional time for each. See revelation #5.

5. Mentor and support my friends as they learn to sew. Why not multitask – hang out with friends AND sew. I already have plans to work on Ginger Jeans with one friend and I’ve talked with others about monthly sewing nights.

Happy New Year! 


12 thoughts on “Top 5 Sewing Revelations and Goals for 2016

  1. Revelation number 4 – YES! =)

    Also, check out Owl City (start with Ocean Eyes album if you aren’t familiar with Adam’s work). It’s my all time favorite sewing music. And invest in the book Fitting & Pattern Alteration – it will make so many things about your sewing easier and more clear.

      1. It is worth every penny! I bought myself a copy this summer and it taught me some fitting facts I had instinctively learned at work but didn’t completely understand why they worked. It’s always nice to know the “why” of things.

      2. Okay, yes. Just looked it up and there is a 3rd edition coming up but it has the exact same number of pages as the 2nd edition I have. So I’m not sure there’s any major difference.

  2. I’d be so interest in reading about why you are stepping back from cosplay a bit – is it because is becomes a bit of an overwhelming time/money black hole, where nothing else matters? (That’s what would happen to me!)
    I”m totally on board with your goal to reframe the life/friends/work/sewing balance. I tend to work my ass off, then come home and become a complete introvert. I almost never go hang with people, even though I enjoy it when I do! I don’t think that’s a healthy lifelong mindset for me, so maybe I’ll work on breaking out of it… maybe! 😉
    Happy new year!

  3. Happy New Year to you too! These are some great goals. I completely relate with your goal of making fewer costumes and focusing more on a me-made wardrobe. I didn’t have time for any me-made clothes last year, and it really took a toll on me. This year I’m limiting myself on costumes and focusing much more on a handmade wardrobe. I can’t wait to see what you come up with! Especially those Ginger jeans 😉

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