Sewing Chops (Goals for 2010)

Now that I have been sewing in earnest for a year, I am finally starting to have confidence.  Not in the traditional sense, meaning I feel confident, but rather I am no longer frozen in fear with new projects.  I guess a trench coat will do that to you.  😉  

Here’s what I learned this past year.  I don’t mean to scare you, but it’s a long list and in no particular order!

  • sewing on buttons
  • making buttonholes
  • blind hems
  • putting on eyelets
  • hand stitches, like slip stitching
  • adding a lining
  • patch pockets
  • different kinds of machine stitching, like top stitching, edge stitching, stay stitching, stitching in the ditch, etc.
  • making notched collars
  • how to use my walking foot
  • sewing on suit closures
  • hemming pants
  • muslins are your friends
  • rolled hems
  • sewing with chiffon is a bitch (but I learned some tricks for this fabric)
  • every fabric is different and sews differently (sounds really stupid until you find out that not all knits are alike)
  • always practice your stitching on scraps of the fashion fabric before you start your project
  • DON’T SEW when tired
  • DON’T SEW late at night (still need to learn this lesson and the previous one)
  • it always takes longer than you think it will
  • pleating
  • gathering
  • pin tucks
  • basting is your friend
  • proper pinning
  • invisible zippers (I’m ok with this, but still need to improve)
  • how to use single fold bias tape
  • darts
  • sashiko embroidery
  • quilting (use longer stitches, be sure to use quilter’s thread, binding, and decorative stitches)

Ok, I’m pretty impressed with myself right now.  😉

Of course, I know I haven’t mastered any of these skills.  It will take me years, I assume, for my garments to look really professional, but I am pleased so far. 

So what’s in the works for 2010?  Well, here’s a very cursory list…

  • sheath dress
  • blazer/jacket
  • use sweater knits for a cardigan sweater set
  • welt pockets
  • find some TNT’s like Carolyn
  • perfect my invisible zipper
  • more lined skirts
  • a tailored shirt
  • make a charmeuse or chiffon blouse
  • participate in at least 1 Pattern Review contest
  • make at least 25 garments (one of which should be a complex pattern like the trench coat)

Am I nuts here?  Is this a doable list?

I am so excited about 2010.  I feel a sense of great anticipation and that this year will be very productive for me.  I can’t wait to sew.  Tonight I am tracing off a new Burda pattern.

Burda 11-2009-120

Happy sewing everyone.

7 responses to “Sewing Chops (Goals for 2010)

  1. You have some things on your list that I don’t know how to do yet – you should be proud of yourself! And yes, I do think your 2010 list is doable.

  2. Yes, your list is definitely doable Elizabeth. Go for it!
    And you know how to do sashiko embroidery, I love the look of it but have never tried. I’m going to in 2010.

  3. OK, I’ve almost finished that Burda skirt (temporarily, I hope, stopped at the lining stage because of machine malfunction). Three tips: 1) I found it comes up a bit large so do a muslin or tack the side seams first to fit it. I had to take it in; 2) put the pockets on before you put the zip in or close the side seams because they are placed very close to the side seam lines and need to be placed very flat without puckering and that gets really hard once those curves on the hips are shaping the fabric; 3) it needs belt loops on the back (duh, Burda!). There’s no way the belt will stay on without them and the belt is really essential to the styling of the skirt. I put them just above the back darts.

    On the lining I took advice from Threads about ways of reducing bulk by overlocking the edge of the lining and then stitching the facing straight and flat on top of it (no fold of fabric) and you will need to do a lot of clipping to reduce bulk in the yoke because of the pleats.

    But it’s the first Burda I have made and I do love it already. Now if I can only get the lining in and the hem done….

  4. Wow, you really have an impressive list of skills you learned this year! That trench coat really taught me a lot too.

    I like your list for 2010 – definitely doable! I posted my list of completed items for 2009 (finally) but haven’t put up my goal list for the new year yet.

  5. That’s a lot for one year! I’m not sure I actually learned anything new in 2009. Now I feel like a slacker.

  6. If you believe it’s possible then it is! I will be standing here on the sidelines cheering you on because I know you can do it!!!

  7. Well wow if you achieved all that in 2009 then I think if anything your 2010 list is looking a little too short!

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