16 April 2010

the great 2010 wardrobe challenge

Or something like that....My cousin came to visit last weekend and we spent all kinds of time talking about gardening (she does the most amazing container gardening on her balcony) and knitting, and even a little bit of sewing.  All that talk and looking through books, fabrics, and yarns, in combination with this amazing spring weather we've been having, was the perfect inspiration to get moving on some fresh new projects.  So I've been spending a lot of time in my little studio picking out projects, and working on focusing my crafting energy over the next few months.

To start out, how about a brief history of my sewing skills?  In 2005, mere months after we started dating, Jared bought me my first sewing machine for my birthday.  After a little bit of stumbling, I finally figured out how to use the darn thing (I actually thought it was defective...turns out I just didn't know how to thread it!).  In 2006, I launched a little etsy shop with some sewn goodies (mostly cards at first).  In 2007, I taught myself to follow a pattern (mostly from this book) and sewed some clothes (also here, here, here, and here).  In 2008, I went totally gangbusters.  I "followed" my first Japanese sewing pattern and whipped up two dresses and three tops for myself.  I also made two kids' garments from Ottobre, made up a pattern for a jumper, and sewed myself a silk dress to wear to a wedding (not to mention a few other simple tops and skirts thrown in there for good measure).  In 2009, I got a little more adventurous with some designs for the shop, and began The Quilt, but only managed to sew one garment.  (Wow! That was a lot of links, and a nice trip down sewing memory lane!)

Well, ladies and gentlemen (are there any gentlemen out there?), I'm hereby declaring 2010 to be the year of the garment.  Erin declared it the year of the dress, but I don't want to box myself in that much- though there definitely will be at least one dress.  I'm even holding out the possibility that I might get brave and attempt a pair of pants (though I'm not going to go so far as to put this in the rules)!  

My goal here is to sew at least five garments for myself by the end of the summer.  It feels like a little bit of a wimpy goal, and I know that if I really put my mind to it, I could make way more than five.  But I'm trying to keep it attainable.  And hey, if I end up with more than five, great!  I'm also making a few rules for myself...

1.  Use as much fabric from the stash as possible.  I'm not going to say all, because I'm sure at some point I'll need a little bit of something that I don't have.  That being said, I have a ton of fabric that I bought with garments in mind, and haven't gotten to yet.  So I'm hoping to knock those off first.

2.  At least one pattern must be designed by me.  I just picked up this book from the library, and I know I'll be purchasing a copy as soon as I have to return it. 

3.  At least one pattern will be from the Alabama Stitch Book (or Alabama Studio Style).  I know this will take a while, but especially in the summer when I might not want to be indoors by my sewing machine, I know it'll be a great project to work on.  

So, there you have it.  If any of you want to join in and make up your own rules (that, of course, are meant to be broken!) feel free, and let me know.  Or, do you have any big goals for yourself this year?  I'd love to hear what kinds of projects others are tackling these days!


  1. I like the challenge of getting through my stash.
    I'll try to commit to that one.
    Yay for the year of the Garment!

  2. this is such a GREAT idea! perhaps my goal should be to make one dress before the end of summer? i am taking a summer course, working full-time, caring of a HUGE garden, & going on a mission trip to brazil. sooo, maybe one dress?! i'll put it in the thinking pot & let it stew for a bit.

    thanks for the inspiration! your creations are amazing. that silk dress?! GORGEOUS! :)

  3. very cool goal Julia! Every year I think it's the one I will actually sew something for myself...it never is. I can't wait to see what you make!

  4. Oooh, Julia, this is perfect! Between being broke on maternity leave, having a stash of patterns and fabrics, and feeling quite frumpy, this is just what I needed--- I am totally game.

    Does the shirt I was just about to post about count? ;)

  5. lady, you always amaze me. i'm in!
    maybe not 5 garments... i am working on a bloody king sized quilt at the moment, but i very much want more handmade clothes in my wardrobe. i just get so intimidated by making clothes... but i'm in. the summer of the garment.

    also. LOVE your new sunshiney studio. i'm going to be so sad to lose mine at the end of the month, but i'm sure i'll sort something out in the new place.

  6. I'm very much excited to work on garments this year---they have scared me for so long but I think I am ready to give them a whirl with some patience and a new found love of the 'challenge' I love your rules and am awaiting the Alabama Stitch book from the library

  7. i'm still thinking dresses, but i might change my mind. i think 5 of whatever is a really attainable goal. you've got me thinking....

  8. This is going to be motivation to get my wardrobe ideas in check this summer. My goal is to sew a dress and a skirt. These will be my first attempts at creating a garment, from a pattern at least. The dress is all pinned onto the fabric and laying there staring me in the face. The skirt: I have no idea what the plan is for this yet, I'm using the Belle Skirt pattern by Favorite Things and that's all I know so far. :) Thanks for the motivation! You are lucky to have a girlfriend who shares your passion for sewing.

  9. Yay for the year of the garment, indeed!

  10. I'm in! and I think I'll follow all your rules too. I've already got #3 started and yes they take a looooong time.