Monthly Archives: January 2010

Budgeting – Question of the Day

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In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s January.  I don’t know what it is about the New Year rolling in, but I always look at my monthly budget in January so I can see how far outside my means I am living.  Let me tell you folks, I lived quite large in 2009.  *picking self up off the floor* 

Sheesh!  The main impetus for this year’s budgetary attention was to see how much fabric I could fit squeeze into the budget.  It turns out I can fit about $0.00.  That’s really unfortunate, because I just spent about $60 dollars I apparently don’t have on some from  😦

Seriously though, I would be interested in hearing how the rest of you sewists come up with a sewing budget for yourselves.  Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts on this topic.  While you do that, I am going to cry into my $0.10 cent cup of french press coffee that I make at work to save money while saving myself from the dreck they call coffee in the office pantry.  And yes, I took the time to figure out how much each cup of coffee cost me.  Doesn’t everyone do that???

Oh and BTW, I now consider “budgeting” a four letter word.


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.