2017 – a year of random sewing

… or why I don’t have sewing goals…

It’s that time of the year when most of us focus on what we would like to do for the coming year – in all areas of our lives. I’ve been thinking a lot about a lot of things lately – which in part prompted the sewing room de-stash and reorganisation (let’s not discuss the horrendous mess it had become lol).

It was during The Great Sewing Room Clean Up that I found a postcard I had purchased in Madrid. It says simply “the chief enemy of creativity is good sense” Pablo Picasso. It got me thinking and I’ve hung it on my peg board.

As a general rule I am a goal-orientated person. I can be fiercely competitive and work myself into the ground in order to defend a hockey goal, meet a work deadline/target or get my children to their various activities.

Despite my relentless drive I have little or no interest in setting myself sewing goals.

Perhaps this is because my motivation to sew isn’t often practical. I sew when a fabric inspires me… I am hit by the urge to try a pattern… I am suddenly obsessed with having a specific garment… all of these things and more. My motivation is primarily creative – not practical. 

For me, practical or goal-driven sewing can be stifling. Not inspiring.

So much of my life is consumed by work and family goals, commitments and requirements that I don’t want to be that person here. The blog, or my sewing room, is where those demands, or required behaviours to achieve them, don’t apply. It’s simply where I let things ‘happen’ and that for me is the great joy of sewing. 

I appreciate that’s not how it is for others but it’s how it is for me. So I’m embracing that rather than fighting it. It’s no better or worse than any other approach, it’s just my approach.

In 2017 I’ll simply embrace creativity and see where that takes me.

I will sew and blog when I feel the urge. 

I may sew fabrics from my stash. 

I may sew the jackets which I have traced and have fabric waiting for… but don’t hold your breath waiting for them. 

Tomorrow I may pat a fabric that demands to be made immediately into a dress. I’m OK with that.

No hashtags required. Just random sewing.

Right now I’m in beautiful Tasmania. No sewing just picking raspberries, counting echidnas and sleeping.

48 thoughts on “2017 – a year of random sewing

  1. Yes, yes, yes! 🙂 While there may be practical reasons for sewing at times, like I NEED a new pair of light pyjama shorts!, most of the time I allow myself to wallow in the deliciousness of fabric, patterns, sewing blogs and Pinterest sewing boards. I gain such a feeling of joy from it all and ideas have time to percolate and form gently.
    My only ‘note to self’ is to try to steer away from all the blue and white fabrics in a store…I truly have enough!! 😉
    Self knowledge allows us the freedom to be ourselves. 🙂

    • Oh I’m guilty of buying a lot of blue!
      I just love to pick up a piece of fabric & ‘see’ what it’s about to become. ‘Having’ to sew something just turns the joy of sewing into drudgery.
      I also find challenges a bit much. I will do them if they appeal but arbitrary deadlines and concepts defined by others doesn’t really inspire me. I love the sense of community but I find restrictions stifling.

      • Blue is my downfall too! I have a hard time with challenges too. I want to participate so badly but either I can’t make them work in my schedule or, if they do fit, I’m not inspired for that challenge right then. And the year long ones make me anxious.

        • That’s one of my greatest issues with challenges, arbitrary deadlines that impact on my real life ones. I find the imagined pressure is too hard to deal with… and then I realised I didn’t need to accept that.

  2. I am totally with you on this….my sewing is unplanned and never practical. I sew when the urge hits me and the fabric is calling or a new pattern, whatever goes goes. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am not driven by goals. I really love sewing for others. Although I like to sew for me too, there is nothing like making something for someone who appreciates it and isn’t one of those random people who say “really, you made that? Do you want to make me one?” um no. I should sew with some sort of plan as I need a lot of work clothes that I just can’t bear to buy but I’m just not sort of person. Have fun in Tassie.. I’m off to the beach..

  4. Your sewing is just like mine. I have got some ideas what to sew but without any plan. Just follow what I would like to sew next. But this year, I am participating at #jecoudsmagarderobecapsule2017 because I realized that I have got 10 patterns of 12 projects I wanted to sew already.
    Have lovely holidays and a creative sewing year!

    • Thank you! My true holidays are few and far between so I’m relaxing and making the most of it.
      I get very distracted – and more so – if I see myself challenges or accept them. So I’m just indulging myself this year.
      Good luck with your 12 projects!

  5. Thank you for this post! In the past I have set myself sewing goals and always fail to meet them. Now I know why, my sewing is born out of creativity not practicality, like yours. I sew the things I feel like sewing, when I feel like sewing them, not because I’ve said I would (there are a few exceptions) or because I need them.
    Here’s to not sewing to a plan in 2017!

  6. Really enjoyed your post, I’m across the water in Melbourne, been there for a month with two weeks left before heading back to the cold wet and windy west coast of Scotland. Without my sewing machine I’ve been free to try other forms of sewing.
    Toys first, I discovered a wonderful rabbit called Luna Lapin whom I made and her stylish wardrobe was a joy to complete. You’ll find her online.
    Then Knitted knockers, I’m a breast cancer survivor, and these wonderfully light prosthetics in bamboo silk or fine cotton saved the day in the hot weather we had at Christmas. The charity is always looking for people to knit a pair of knockers. Again details online.
    And finally I’m trying my hand at English paper piecing, the lady in Echuca in northern Victoria, who emigrated from Inverness, and runs a quilt shop was really helpful. I’m nearly finished sewing together my bright and colourful hexagons. All New for me and all wonderfully rewarding. If you have a needle and thread and a small pair of scissors you will never be bored.
    All these things will go to others, although I did make a bamboo version of the knockers for myself. It’s wonderful to have a skill which you can use to make someone’s day by giving a gift made just for them. So simply enjoy every minute you have That’s what life is all about.

    • This is so true. When I used to make quilts I carried a little box with me so I could piece little bits of fabric together whenever I had a quiet minute. You don’t always need a machine.

  7. Reading your post set me to pondering why I sew which is good for us all. I think you’ve reached a stage (way ahead of me) whereby sewing can be this wonderful artistic inspiration and creation but I’m still at that stage where I need to get my fit right because even lovely and creatively inspired garments need to fit 🙂 so that’s my intention for 2017 – sewing some basic garments (blouse and dress with princess seams, woven pants) to tweak my fit until I get it right THEN I can move into the realm of creative flow 🙂

  8. Thanks for this. After having “committed” myself to #2017makenine and also 10 garments of #sewmystyle in an effort to be more engaged with the online sewing community, I’ve quickly realized that these goals for makes is not actually how my creativity operates, and I’ll likely just end up punching in mediocre fabric to “reach” these “goals”. I know that using either hashtag actually binds me to complete them, but I absolutely understand where you’re coming from and am happy to see this opinion voiced in the community.

    Happy new year of creative sewing!

    • I did a post for #2017makenine but quickly realised it’s more of an idea that a commitment for me. I want to sew from my stash but it doesn’t have to be those fabrics or those patterns. I love them & I’ll make them when I’m ready. I also thought if I commit to nine that’s a significant chunk of my annual sewing time. I’d rather be free to make five or 95 if I want.
      I guess in a nutshell I don’t respond well to challenges because I use fabric or patterns I might not be committed to and that’s not what I enjoy about sewing.
      I know my approach isn’t for everyone but it’s not a judgement on how others approach things. Simply how I do.
      Good luck with your challenges!

      • Right! I think my approach is very similar to yours. I’d rather sew what inspires me. Good luck with your challenges as well! I’m excited to see what your creative sewing brings!

  9. I am totally with you. I don’t have sewing goals either. I sew whatever I fancy whenever I am in the mood. I feel setting goals or planning projects to sew is pointless for me as tomorrow I’ll change my mind anyway. I just have a very long list of projects I want to do. When I’ll do them is a mystery even to me. Enjoy your holiday!

  10. I’m the same way. The only thing I’m pretty sure I’ll sew this year is a grade 8 grad dress for my daughter–and that’s just because there’s a deadline. Otherwise, who knows. But I have enough work in my life that I don’t want to make sewing another chore. Sounds like you’re in a similar place. 🙂

  11. Can totally relate to all… except for echidnas. Had to look them up! Wise words from Pabs too! Rest assured I shall be making it up as I go along too. Knowing that’s an ok thing is therapy in itself! xxx

    • We do have weird little critters over here… and you see them in abundance in Tasmania.
      Sometimes I miss that sense of community that comes with being part of a challenge or sewalong but the deadlines kill me. For me, happy isn’t rushing to finish something or making things decided by others (unless it appeals), I’d rather be a social reject and just sew whatever it is that inspires me.

  12. I have loved getting your sewing blog throughout last year and I look forward to your creative sewing this new year. Hope it is a good one for you.

  13. Lovely post and I agree that creativity is more inspired than planned. It looks like the weather in Tasmania is better than it was in December when I was there, so enjoy!

    • It’s been surprisingly hot and I’m sunburnt today! We are leaving Bruny today and it’s very very windy. Heading hack to the highlands for a few quiet days and home next Sunday.

  14. Thank you so much for putting into words my own feelings about sewing! I’d started to feel a little guilty because I hadn’t set out some sewing goals for 2017, or worked out what colour palette I was going for this year, etc. Guilt has now completely gone 😀

    I, too, love it when inspiration strikes and you just HAVE to buy that fabric and make something that you really don’t know if it will work or not, but you’re going to give it a try anyway! But I also like making things that are pretty boring (t-shirts), but which I wear nearly every day. A balance between useful and fanciful is the way to go I reckon 🙂

    I’d just hate to see a fantastic pattern or fabric but feel I couldn’t make it as it wasn’t in my plans for this year! That’s no fun at all!

    • I find plans and goals very stifling from a creative point of view. I have a looming sense of obligation – which is completely unnecessary. Plus while I might want a shirtdress or to sew a pair of trousers, if the right fabric isn’t available I’m not about to sew up something that makes me feel less than pleased just to tick a box.
      I much prefer to spot a fabric in my stash or in store and experience that fun flash of inspiration and know it’s about to become something. They are frequently the best & most satisfying projects.

  15. Same here! Sometimes I wake up and dash to my sewing machine and sew for a week sold. Then I don’t look at it again for a month… I used to be upset over my inconsistencies but I’m ok with that now.

    • And it is ok! The only guidelines we set are for ourselves. Just because others plan we don’t have it. Just as we don’t plan, they don’t have to either.
      Do whatever works for you 🙂

  16. Nice post. Everywhere else has rules ❤ just let creativity go where it will..

    P.S. love the Hay bales!

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