Ambitious aims for 2011

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you've all been enjoying the festive season! Like many fellow bloggers and sewers, I've decided to reflect on 2010 and set myself some aims for 2011, much like Tilly's 're-sew-lutions'.

I've had my blog for eight months and I've been sewing for just over a year. I've loved blogging more than I imagined I would, especially all the support out there and all the wonderful hints and tips that are so readily shared! I've also enjoyed discovering Sew Retro, a passion for bygone fashions - especially the 1930s and 1940s – and indulging in buying lots of vintage sewing patterns (some would say too many) and fabrics.

I am disappointed with my sewing progress though, as I've never worn anything I've made, due to poor quality stitching and fitting. Remember these?

The wonky tea dress

I'm desperately hoping that the 12-week 'Pattern Cutting and Garment Making' course that I am starting this month will help me with my stitching and fitting issues! Not everything has been been a disaster though! My clutch bags and aprons have gone down well with recipients, so they are definitely my most successful makes of 2010:

 Anyway, I have digressed! In no particular order, my aims for 2011 are:
  • Find / make more time to sew!
  • Become an accomplished seamstress by taking away some crucial skills and knowledge from my 'Pattern Cutting and Garment Making' course.  
  • Overcome my nervousness of sewing some of my divine 1930s and 1940s dress patterns. I'm frightened of not doing them justice and losing all confidence...but if I don't get stuck in I will never grow as a seamstress!  
  • Give more back to the lovely blogging community, not only through giveaways, but also through sharing new-found skills and techniques. I just need to develop some first...
  • Join my first ever sew-along! I'm loving the sound of this one from Casey's Elegant Musings, especially if it goes ahead as the 1940s swing dress! 
  • Perhaps this next aim is a little ambitious, but what the heck! My boyfriend's family have a near-new overlocker that I can have. This excites and scares me at the same time! I would love to be able to finish my items professionally, but will I be able to figure it out without butchering my items?!?
  • Seeing as I've had some delightful feedback on my aprons and a handful of happy paying customers, I would love to open an Etsy store and...dare I say it...sell some?!? I've got some lovely patterns to work from / adapt and I've had some ideas for my own designs. This would be a fun little sideline as well as my full-time job of course. 
  • Linking to the above, I'd like to make make a light-box / tent, to make my photos better. I love our flat, but spotlights make for dreadful photography lighting! The British weather also means I can't take good outdoor shots for the majority of the year. 
  • Last, but not least, in 2011 I would like to finish what I start and to revisit failed / unfinished projects from 2010. The ones that spring to mind are:
Vogue 5510 – I started this in May 2010 (May!!!) and had severe fitting problems with the bodice. It's such a beautiful pattern and I'd love to give it another go!

Simplicity 1598 – I started this in August 2010 and just never finished, it even though all it needs is a side-zip and hemming. Ridiculous huh!? Should be a breeze though!

Well, this should certainly keep me busy for the duration of 2011, if not longer. I may have been too ambitious with my aims, but I'm at the very least I'm starting the new year with good intentions!


  1. WOW these are fantastic! If I could make a dress anywhere near as good as these, I would be very pleased indeed! Good luck with your progress though :)

    Also... where do you find your patterns?


  2. Hi Katie and thanks for your lovely comments! I'm a huge fan of your creations by the way and I briefly 'met' you at your beautiful stall at the vintage fair in Leicester...but I don't think I explained who I was very well!

    Oh, I buy most of my patterns from eBay and Etsy. If you're interested, I've bought some great patterns from these sellers before:*butterfly*vintage*

    For the three above just click on their 'listed items' or 'items for sale'.

    Hope this helps!x

  3. Good goals!
    The overlock is easy, once you know how to thread it and adjust the tension. Just be sure to test your seam on a scrap of the fabric used in your garment. Threading it is the hard part, not the actual overlocking... I took a serger workshop. It was very helpful. But I am not by any means an expert :-) I am sure there are how-to instructions online.

  4. I had exactly the same issues when I started sewing, and still sometimes do, two years on....If you can persevere and keep learning these problems will get less and less. I am finally producing things that I love to wear, but I try now to make a 'test' garment out of 'disposable' fabric when I try a new pattern. This helps with the fitting quirks. I think the pattern cutting course is a great idea, have fun, its bound to improve your skills heaps!

  5. Hello! Thanks for your visit and nice comment. Wishing you all the best with your re-sew-lutions!

  6. Good luck with your 2011 aims Marie! Those clutch bags are incredible, you clearly are a great seamstress, don't lose faith! I'm sure the course you're going on will help you find the confidence you seem to currently lack. You shouls carry one of those lovely clutches with you every day to remind yourself how good at sewing you already are! xxx

  7. Enjoy your sewing course -- I'm sure it will be fun! Also, I wonder if you'll have an easier time with patterns from the 30s and 40s than with modern patterns ... I dread working with modern patterns since the sizing is so often grossly inaccurate. I think your in-progress dresses look great, and I hope they come together for you.

  8. HI Marie, I agree with Zoe, your clutch bags are to die for and of a completely professional standard, and as for your! I honestly think if you sold both of them in an Etsy or Folksy shop they'd fly out of the door. The very best of luck with your course, I think it will give you tons of confidence being taught all the correct techniques etc. And having just hooked up with a sewalong myself, it's definitely a confidence booster, it's like a worldwide sewing support group! If the Swing Dress is chosen I'll probably join it too as I LOVE that dress! Finally, thanks for all your support to a new blogger like me. It's comments from other sewers like you about things I've made that gives me the confidence to actually wear them! Have a fantastic 2011. Jane x

  9. You guys are all so amazing, it makes your lovely comments extra special to me. I already feel encouraged and more confident, so thank you all very much indeed! x x x

  10. Hi Marie
    I've just starting blogging about my sewing journey - today! - and am loving finding other people's blog who are doing exactly the same thing.
    The sew-along sounds like a great idea (I'm only just learning that these things exist!).
    Good luck with all your resolutions - I'm sure 2011 will be full of sewing creations for you.

  11. Thanks for your comments Marie - how funny about our first posts!
    I thought I recognised 'the wonky tea dress'.
    I'm secretly glad you found it a little tricky for a first go too ;o)
    p.s. the vogue 5510 looks gorgeous - definitely give it another go!

  12. I love the back straps of Vogue 5510. Good luck with it !