whoa now, calendar

by Charlotte

Oh, hi there.  How are you?  It’s been a while.  December was, shall we say, not my favorite.  The fall semester brought me five colds, four ankle sprains, a constant need for Kleenex, and a compromised will to live.  (I’m kidding about that last bit.)  Then December came and brought the death illness for all of the reading days, finals week, and beyond.  I suffered, my grades suffered, and now I’m pretending it never happened.  That’s healthy, yes?  I find myself inordinately glad to say sayonara to 2012.  2013 is set to be the year of “Let’s Not Do That Again, Shall We?”

Enough with this life business and let’s talk about sewing/fashion goals.  I have them.

1. Make a dedicated sewing space.  When I’m a good girl (um, fantastic strong and independent woman—huzzah feminism), I have to spend thirty minutes unpacking and setting up my sewing things.  Mama ain’t got a whole lot of free time, so that’s not great.  When I’ve been a horrible person, I have to hunt down seam rippers in kitchens and rescue pattern pieces from my impish kittens.  Let’s not do that anymore.

2. Buy and use more patterns from independent companies.  I’m a student; therefore, most of my money goes towards things like food and $200 textbooks I only need to use twice.  I have a really hard time justifying an $18 pattern to myself when I can just wait patiently for the Simplicity sale at the Jo-Ann.  Yet, I believe in small business and independent pattern companies and keeping the spirit of sewing alive.  Sigh.  Will I drop 30 bones on the Milano cape pattern from Papercut before it gets warm out?  We’ll see.

3. Clear up my UFOs.  I have five of them—all of which were tweaked to some extent over this weekend.  One needs facings and four (four!) need closures.  I am sans machine, as my Singer sucked in ways that will become legend, and I still have not decided on a sewing machine.  I’m using my mum’s, but it leaves a lot to be desired.  Namely, uniform stitch quality, a reliable back tack, and a zipper foot.  So the closures might have to wait until I. . .

4. Buy a damn sewing machine.  I’ve been agonizing over this for months and I just need to bite the bullet and make it happen.  I thought I had narrowed it down to three machines, but then I asked the good people on Pattern Review for advice and now it looks like I’m in for a month of research and testing.  I feel so much guilt about this, though.  More on that later.

5. Buy more fabric.  Yes, you heard me (er, read me).  I’ve actually been really good about stash busting this year (not that you’ve seen very many of the results), especially cottons.  A bad rayon lining experience caused me to give up on silk, which I now have coming out of my ears, but once I get over that business, it’ll be good.  I do need to pay closer attention to how I buy fabric.  I tend to buy loads of fabric at one time and then fabric fast for months afterwards.  No bueno.  I live in New York City.  A place with a real, live garment district.  I really need to shop more often and shop with a plan.

6. Take photographs.  Sweet baby james, this is hard.  Well it isn’t.  I actually just don’t take photographs.  I’ve been known to go off on solo vacations and return with one photograph.  (“But I took that photograph for you.”)  There are whole years of my life for which there is no photographic evidence that I even existed.   I am badass and old school, like a lady Ron Swanson.  Both being in front of or behind a camera kind of make me want to ralph.  Must get over that.  On one hand, I feel like I’ve lived a better life because I haven’t had to stop press to take a selfie.  On the other, I like looking at other people’s pretty pictures.  Also, this is weird because I am 11/10 vain and have never met a mirror I don’t like.  Odd.

7. Embrace the uniform.  In the summer, I lived in these cotton capris, button-front shirts, cardigans, and flats.  In the winter, I either did a dress, cardigans, tights, and flats or stovepipe-y jeans, button-front shirts, and cardigans with my old man Merrell mules.  Sure, we had the occasional marniere, or t-shirt/cardigan combination tossed in for good measure, but I pretty much just wore what I wore and liked it.  Bully for me.  More of that, I think.

8. Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.  My mum and I constantly argue (actually, politely debate) about when it’s worth it to sew something instead of buying ready-to-wear.  I always want to sew everything; she thinks it’s a waste.  I do think that sewing certain things just won’t make my heart or budget sing.  Button-front shirts, jeans, t-shirts are on that list.

9. Buy fewer, better things.  Instead of three J. Crew cardigans, how about one from Brora or Elgin or Eric Bompard?  I don’t know how well this would work if instead of buying ten Old Navy button-front shirts, I bought one from Ann Mashburn, but how about we just take baby steps?

10. Be a better blogger.  See: photographs, sewing machine, space, and all of that jazz.  I read so many sewing blogs but I rarely, rarely comment.  I don’t spend nearly enough time taking care of my corner of the Internet or being supportive of people who are deadset inspiring.  I think I need to dedicate more time to being a productive member of the online sewing community rather than a deadbeat half-asser.

I have other general goals that aren’t quite resolutions.  I’d like to exercise more, be better at answering emails (so sorry, M!), learn how to ride a bicycle, read more books for fun, start writing creatively again, enjoy New York while I’m here again.  I’m sure these are the usual suspects.  Well I’m off to 2013 (verb).  Let’s do this, reader.

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