Saturday, January 1, 2022

#SewingTop5 Goals and Reflections


The turn of the year is a great time to reflect and to plan. I've been doing this as part of the Top Five series hosted by the Sewcialists for a number of years, which is now defunct, but originator Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow is doing a bit of it on Instagram so it spurred me to add it here once again. 

2021 was a tough one for me. There was a lot in it, and as many people have noted, it felt endless and a week long at the same time. When I look back at it, I fluctuated between steady sewing and no sewjo at all. But my sewing did keep me going, especially as Fall arrived. 

I had made a number of enthusiastic goals last December -- I only really met one, sewing 50 metres from my stash. I was participating in a sewalong at PatternReview, which helped (and you can join this year's same challenge now). 

So when I was thinking about my goals for 2022, I realized that I don't have many. My main goal is simply to have no expectations and take things as they come. I want to really scale down and protect my time and mental space. So my little goals for the upcoming sewing year are quite manageable, nothing too ambitious this year. 

1. Stash Management

I did pretty well with this in 2021, using a lot of my stash. I still have lots to do though, since it doesn't look much different. I'd like to actually organize it this year and really get a handle on what's there and the space it is taking up. 

2. Wardrobe Planning

I really enjoyed doing the Seamwork Design Your Wardrobe process this fall and learned a lot from it. I have already made a few items from the list I generated during that process, so my goal for the first quarter of the new year is to make a few more of the patterns I chose for that wardrobe. And to use the process for planning my summer wardrobe too -- I found it really helpful to narrow down my choices among my hundreds of patterns and stash fabrics. 

3. Enjoy!

That's my overarching goal. To keep the enjoyment and excitement of sewing as a hobby going. Not to overextend or overplan, but if opportunities come that look manageable I'll take them :) I find that sharing my sewing is a big part of my enjoyment, so definitely continuing to blog and IG my sewing too. 

So not a hugely ambitious year, but one in which I hope to find balance and  joy. 

Happy 2022 to you all! 


  1. This sounds like a very sensible plan. Happy 2022!

    1. Strong need to be sensible and not overcommitt this year :)

  2. Hi Melanie. Although you state your goals are not too ambitious, I am sure they will be very productive and creative.
    My goals are to explore more zero waste designs, and ways of adapting more conventional patterns to zero waste. I am convinced ZW does not have to be shapeless or over simplified. I was inspired by your post linking to Laura Sackton's article on 'How to set up your own mini reading intensive' to really explore the construction and design of such patterns. There is a lot going on in the sewing world about ZW at the moment. I too want to use my stash, and finish projects which have lingered in my loft for a very long time. As for 'enjoy', well that is a given!

    ps I love the green jacket you just made! Very beautifully made.

    1. Thanks Sara! I didn't feel like creating huge projects this year, although I'm still working on my own mini reading intensive plan :) Zero waste is a really interesting area. Have you seen Liz Haywood's book/website?

  3. Yes! I have her book and get the monthly newsletters, which always make me smile. The dress I made for the last LSC was one of her patterns! I have made a couple of others very successfully which I purchased from her Etsy shop. Liz is very unique, in that she is able to design ZW patterns in an enormous size range - 19 sizes!! (at least 12).

    What I wonder is, how do you find books from other cultures about pattern designs? All our books have a western viewpoint, apart from Japanese books. I was introduced to other European designers through comments/links you have made over the years, Wattle Patterns comes to mind. Although contemporary patterns are not zero waste in intention, understanding construction concepts of ZW should mean some patterns can be adapted.
    The Frieda Kahlo exhibition at V&A displayed the huipils which she wore, and I have been able to research her and the huipil quite a bit. 'Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress - Frida's Wardrobe' is an absolutely beautiful book I get through the library. I recently made a huipil with the Alice & Co free pattern via V&A.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!