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New Year, New Plans

 Hello 2015!   This wall hanging is a gift from my 24 year old daughter, Serena.  She's into woodworking and made a frame for this Marimekko fabric.  I just love it!

The last couple of days, I've been spending with my 21 year old daughter who is going on a 12 day trip to India!   She'll be in both hot and not so hot parts of India, as well as traveling through Chicago and Frankfurt.  Trying to figure out what to pack for going from 30 degrees here to possibly 85 degrees there and everything in between was really challenging!   I thought I'd be sewing her several things to take, but all she wanted  me to make was a bright coral long sleeved tunic, which I failed to get a photo of before she left. It was cute though.  She's cute, so everything she puts on is cute too. To be 21 again....

I've been reading everyone else's sewing goals for the year, and I am so conflicted.  There are people who are already cleaning out their closets and minimizing.  That sounds great and super smart.  Until I go look at my closet, and I really like everything there.  I find it a lot harder to get rid of clothes that I've made, than those that I've bought.  And I have basically been the same size plus or minus a few pounds for the last 15 or so years, so things generally fit and I don't have any compelling reason to get rid of them, except for becoming more organized.   So, this will continue to be a question mark for me.  At some point, I suppose I will reach a breaking point, and will have to do something, but for now, I've got bigger fish to fry.

Then there are the people who are challenging themselves to learn new techniques, and that sounds great.  Until I think about whether I will use those techniques later, so is it worth my time.  I'm at the point that I just like to sew for relaxation, and not worry to much about sharpening the saw.

So, I've narrowed my goals down to a top 10 list for 2015: 

#1.  Destash my wool and silk suitings.
I've got some gorgeous suitings, that someone with a more glamorous lifestyle should be using.  I just like to get them out and pet them sometimes, but in reality, I want them to go to a happy home.  So, watch the Patternreview classifieds soon for some of my stash, if you'd like some candy.

#2.  Sell some of my sewing equipment.
You would be shocked if you knew how many machines I have.  I don't even want to count.  It's like when you don't want to step on the scale because you know that it's not good news.  It's more than 10 and less than 20, and that's all I'm going to say.

For a while, I had been teaching sewing classes with my local community college, and I provided the sewing machines because I wanted people to be able to take the class before they invested in their own machine.  I have decided that I prefer teaching individuals with their own machines, so again, there is no reason that these machines need to be sitting in my basement collecting dust, when they could be making someone else happy.  They are mostly Bernina 830's, which are awesome machines.  Craigslist, here I come!  Or if you're in Illinois/Indiana and are looking to acquire a Bernina 830, feel free to contact me.  I just don't want to ship them- too heavy and too risky!  These are my babies.

#3.   Embrace jeans. 
I've never been a jeans type of gal, mostly because I have no hips, and a big tummy, so jeans just fall off of me.  But, it's hard to be in fashion and not wear jeans, so I really need to figure out how I can make some that fit me.  I mean- nearly everyone wears jeans these days, so surely I can find a way.

#4.   Work on my core.  This is actually a subset of #3.  Maybe if I could firm up my middle, the jeans would be easier to wear.  I'm not holding my breath on this one though, as this is just my general body type, and I think that's really not so easy to change.  But, it can't hurt to try.  I actually bought Tracy Anderson's Post Pregnancy work-out DVD.  My daughter saw it and said "Is there something you're not telling me, Mom?"  I said, well, I just never got in shape after my last baby (21 years ago).  So, if any of you have any tips on this, please share!

#5.   End my subscription to Burda.  Don't get me wrong- I love Burda.  If you are thinking of starting a subscription, I highly recommend it.  But, I started subscribing in 2006, so I've got 9 full years of magazines, and honestly, I think I'm set.  I adore looking through them, but I can just reach in and grab an issue from years past, and fool myself into thinking that it's the new issue.

#6.   Catalog my vintage patterns.
When my Mom passed away, my brother said that I was in charge of all of the "sewing crap".   How dare he!  A lot of it was my patterns from the 70's and early 80's when I was just learning how to sew.  There are some gems in those boxes, and I should get them organized.  I'd like to post some of them here on the blog as well.  The patterns from the 70's and 80's don't get a lot of love online, and I think that should change, don't you?

#7.  Sew up more knit separates in neutral shades, and make scarves to add color.
 I just started realizing that scarves are really a great accessory.  I don't know why I never wore them before, but making them is so easy, and is a fantastic way to spice up a neutral outfit.

When I look online, I always am attracted to lovely elegant and sophisticated neutral outfits, but sewing neutrals isn't so exciting for me.  I'd much rather sew with a colorful print or knit.  But,  I just bought 10 yards of solid knits in black, oyster grey, and cream at Hancock fabrics Spot the Bolt sale.  They averaged $2.50/yd.  I think it if I can use them in some exciting patterns, then I can still generate the enthusiasm needed to sew them.

#8.  Reupholster the dining room chairs.
  I have bought fabric for reupholstering these chairs 3 times in the last 15 years, but have not done it.  3 times!  One of my sewing students has actually done some reupholstering, and has offered to help me do it, so 2015 is going to be the year!!!  Oh, and I guess I should destash the two of the three rolls of upholstery.

#9.  Sew more home dec stuff.  I really don't sew a lot of home dec, and I don't know why.  I got some super cool Marimekko fabrics from the Crate and Barrel outlet in Chicago last time I visited my daughter.  I'd like to freshen up my living room with some new pillows, and maybe some coordinating dish towels and table covers.

#10.  If  (and this is a big if) I can accomplish these goals, I'd like to reward myself with a Coverstitch machine.  Woohoo!   It's so tempting to start here at #10, and work my way backwards, but it really is a luxury, so unless I happen to find one on Craigslist for cheap, I should make myself work for it.

So,  Happy New Year! Thank you for reading, and I hope that 2015 will be a wonderful year for all.

Kind regards,


  1. Pretty fabric to display! I would definitely start with 10 and work backwards. ;-)

    1. Tempting, now that I have your nod of approval!

  2. OOh, lots of goals. I am going to settle on just sewing everyday! Some other thoughts - are jeans really worn by everyone now? Perhaps where you are but I find those lose pants (particularly printed) very popular with the young and the old. Elastic waist is very forgiving and no need for the stomach exercises lol. I have made one pair of Stylearc Lola pants and plan some more. I was looking at my dining chairs just yesterday and was considering reupholstering them. I did an upholstering course a couple of years ago and did one chair but the cat likes to scratch everything so I haven't bothered to continue. Good luck with your goals for 2015! BTW, my baby girl is 21 too - perfect age!

    1. Lola does look much more comfortable! But, alas, in my area, those have not caught on yet. Perhaps it won't be long though! I've seen a few. Part of the problem is the cold weather here. Denim is warm, and skinny denim jeans with boots are all the rage.

      My cats have completely ignored my dining room chairs so far. Of course, that may change when they get some nice good quality upholstery on them. Cats have a 6th sense when it comes to which things you really don't want them to scratch, don't they?

  3. Oh, and I was thinking about a overstitch machine for my birthday - in April. Maybe if I sew everyday until then??

    1. That sounds completely reasonable to me. April will be here before you know it!

    2. Oh Ann! We are definitely kindred spirits! Most of your list would work for me too! I'd love to see your patterns from the 70's and 80's. I threw all mine away when we bought this hopuse 20 years ago. I've been kicking myself ever since!

    3. Diana- I bet we probably had a least a few of the same patterns from back then! You'll have to let me know if you see any that you recognize. On the plus side, you probably gave yourself a lot more room to get new patterns!


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