This time last year, everything was up in the air. We’d gone through a really wild year with the start of the pandemic and were about to enter into a third lockdown here in the UK. Whilst a lot has actually changed in that year, some things do stay the same.
Usually I’m pretty big on New Years Resolutions, but I decided not to make any last year because I was worried about the uncertainty. I fell for the ‘anti-resolution’ hype and as a consequence my life has actually felt really disjointed this past year. I’ve realised that I’m someone who does better when I’ve had the opportunity to think about what I want to do with myself and set some goals. I’m definitely back on the New Years Resolutions train this year, and have set some goals for what I want to achieve in my personal life.
But what about crafting? My crafting is one of the things that took the hit of not having any actual goals this year. The wearable garments that I made weren’t great, and I’m not too pleased with the lack of knitting that I’ve done. It’s definitely a year where I’ve probably spent more time talking about sewing rather than actually doing it.
I’ve spent some time looking over the causes of the issue, and realised that they’re quite broad and I need to change my whole attitude to sewing and knitting. Usually the recommended way to set goals is using the SMART system: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevent and Timed. Things like a #make9 would fit under this approach, or something like ‘make my own bodice block’. However, since my goals are quite broad, I feel like they’ll need a bit of experimenting. I can’t shift my attitude by setting goals for specific projects. That’s why the I’m not following the system, and I’m not calling them resolutions. Instead, they’re intentions. They’re how I intend to approach my crafting over the next year.
- Plan This year has severely lacked in planning. To be fair, I’ve never really planned my sewing out before. Because I had a small desk that couldn’t fit both my laptop and my sewing machine at once, my sewing was relegated to when I had large chunks of time such as over Easter or Christmas. I no longer have that issue, but I’ve realised that my approach to sewing has stayed the same. When I don’t plan, I tend to sew to fill the current deadline as opposed to sewing the things I want or need. It means my wardrobe isn’t fit for purpose. Winter rolls around and I realise I need more warm clothes but I feel like I don’t have the time and I never get around to it. When I do have the time, the weather has changed and I’ve forgotten all about it. And then the next winter rolls around and I’m cold. I feel like adding more planning, and keeping track of the things that I want to make means that I can start to fill up my wardrobe with more home made clothing and I can always have a project on the go.
- No Deadlines Self Imposed or Otherwise. This feeds in from the point above, but when you’re used to sewing in chunks it’s easy to get into a bit of a tunnel vision situation. Even when I don’t have actual deadlines, I feel like I need to work soley on my project before I do anything else. The project needs to be done quicker so that I can clean my flat/do the laundry. I end up rushing, especially near the end of projects and that seriously harms the quality of the garment. It also means that I don’t choose longer, in depth projects. My dreams of making myself a tailored blazer or a coat continue to stay dreams, even though I know that if I did go slow I’d be able to take a decent crack at them. By saying ‘no deadlines, just sew/knit’ I’m hoping that I’ll be able to work slowly and steadily on a project as opposed to rushing it near the end like I have done too often this year.
- Make Decisions and Don’t Overthink I have a tendency to procrastinate and call that procrastination ‘research’. I can overthink decisions a lot, such as what fabric to use for interlining or if I want to hand sew the hem. I tend to avoid using ‘decision making’ tools like pros/cons list which shows that it’s just a form of procrastination and not legitimate research. It’s easy to make sewing into a really big deal, but honestly it’s not that hard and it’s not that big a deal. I should make those choices, buy the fabric and get on with sewing which is what I want to do! If I find myself mulling over a choice for more than a day, then I want to just make a decision and if worse comes to worse I will just flip a coin!
So those are my 2022 sewing intentions! I’ll try to check in throughout the year and look back on if I’ve been able to do a good job this time next year. I’m feeling hopeful, and I’ve already got some ideas on how to tackles these issues but we’ll see how I go.