Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Make Do Year...

I have only three goals for 2009.

1. To make do and spend less.

2. To use my vintage patterns more

3. To take my time

The make do and spend less is my most important goal for 2009. I have to admit that with NYC losing 1 million jobs this year (most in the last 4 months of the year!) and who knows what 2009 will bring, that I am hunkering down, saving money, stocking up the necessities (like food), and sewing from the collection.

Now I'm of two minds on this...I have way more than SABLE (Stash Beyond Life Expectancy) and could easily sew from the collection and not purchase for 2 years at least! But I am concerned that if we all stop spending what will become of our fabric resources? As we've all seen, independent brick and mortar fabric stores are few and far between. The chains carry more craft and crap than they do fabric - YES, I said it! So most of us are left with the online fabric stores...and even though it seems as if they don't have as much overhead as a brick and mortar store...it is still their livelihood as well as the livelihoods of their employees.

So the compromise that I've settled upon for 2009 is to cut my fabric spending by at least 65-70%. The first stage of this will be a 60 day moratorium beginning January 1st and ending March 2nd...during which time I will attempt to restrain from purchasing fabric. Excluded from this will be my yearly stock-ups...though I think I can push most of them back to March...and I will mostly restock interfacings (my collection is starting to get thin!), lining fabrics (that I think I am going to purchase on the bolt - so it can be a one time deal) and thread (serger and basic colors in sewing machine thread).

As I waited for my sewing mojo to return, I realized that I have more than enough fabric and patterns (modern and vintage) to sew from now until. And even the projects that I've pulled to work on during the next few days are from the collection...just a few notions purchased to complete the design.

This "make do" goal is really important to me and one that I'm going to work diligently on because making do will hopefully make me more creative...it will allow me to use the fabric and patterns stashed in different ways than originally purchased or thought of...and help me to step outside my comfort zone, causing me to explore some new terroritories and create some jaw-dropping, bodacious garments. Well at least I can hope!

All of this brings me to my final goal ~ to take my time. I rush. I rush alot. Sometimes I enjoy the journey and sometimes I just wanna wear something new. I can do better. I can hand sew a lining in. I can re-stitch a seam. I can tackle more challenging projects where they won't be completed in a weekend. I have the ability. I already own an amazing wardrobe, therefore, I need to take my time.

So in the waning hours of 2008...I cautiously look forward to 2009, and I wish each and every one of you a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year. May your families be blessed, may you continue to be employed, may you have many wonderful sewing adventures and may you have peace and joy in your lives and your families lives!

Until 2009!!!

37 comments:

  1. That's a great goal regarding your fabric spending. I don't maintain a large stash. I committed last year to buying fabric for projects that I know I'm going to sew.

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  2. For a relatively new sewer, I have a huge stash, a triple-dresser full, under the bed full and several little hiding places... Oops... In '09, with my husband on a commission basis and 4 little kids, I am going to have to rein in all spending, sewing, household, etc. We had a taste of it from Thanksgiving to this week with 4 small paychecks in a row! I am sewing as much as possible from stash, from the stash patterns, etc. I am resolved to buy as little of clothes for the girls as possible: I am already setting aside the spring patterns and fabrics to cut out and mass-sew by March. I will also be cutting out PJ pants for the boys (they can use t-shirts with them to sleep). I also evaluate every piece of rtw clothing to see if it can be refashioned or recut into something else for someone else. I, too, am looking to reduce stash and use it up!

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  3. I am also relatively new to garment sewing and have established a large stash along with multiple sewing paraphernalia to run a sweat shop. Looking back at this year and seeing how much I have invested, I plan to also work with what I got and sharpen my sewing skills with an ending result of having a wardrobe with 75% of my personally-made garments.

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  4. Sounds like reasonable goals!I bought more fabric this year than I had time to sew so... Sewing from what I have on hand is a definite #1 goal for me. Should be fun! Happy New Year!

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  5. Sounds like great goals. I am hoping my sewing mojo returns this year. I went in spurts and my closet is suffering. Happy New Year.

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  6. Those sound like great goals. I hope you have a happy and prosperous 2009!

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  7. I like your goals. Sweet and simple, but oh so complex. I think hoard a stash of fabric just comes with sewing. We can't help ourselves. I'm on the same bus as you, I have plenty enough fabric and don't need to buy a thing! Keep to your goals, you can do it!

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  8. I agree, great goals. Also the "making do" can be kind of exciting if you look at it as a challenge, and I think that's what you are doing when you mention stepping outside your comfort zone and exploring new territory. I always enjoy reading your blog. Happy New Year!

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  9. Very reasonable goals! My stash would be considered substantial for crafting but not for sewing. So, that's my goal for 2009. Happy New Year to you!

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  10. Very reasonable goals. I know that I am buying less and using my stash more. Not as big as yours, but not small. I resisted the Vogue sale. I get BWOF and I need to use it more! Living smaller is not so terrible.
    Have a great New Year.

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  11. Happy and healthy New Year to you! Thanks so much for your great blog with so many adventures and stories.

    Your goals are a reminder of what commitments that I can make. I occasionally work at an estate sale company and I get fabric for a sweet price so I have a stash for a factory.

    So, I have made up my mind that I really need to set up a weekly/daily sewing goal so that I can work through the stash and create new and innovative garments and objects for friends and family that will give me great learning opportunities in sewing!

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  12. Me too, I'm gonna take my time with projects. And spend less time churning out run-of-the-mill stuff so I can concentrate on wowser pieces.

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  13. Happy New Year - these are great goals. I don't want my favorite fabric purveyors to go under, as you say...maybe we can buy very selectively, to complete projects from stash.

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  14. Happy New Year! Great goals - I think they are a wise use of your resources and talents. I can't wait to see what fabulous things you're going to make.

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  15. I just know you are going to do some amazing things with your fabric stash and your beautiful patterns. I started sewing last spring, and it seems that last year was my year for acquiring fabric and patterns--I bought a LOT! But I just haven't been interested in buying more than a little bit here and there lately because I am so eager to use what I already have. I can't wait to see what you do in 2009!

    I'm praying earnestly that we both will make it through 2009 fully employed! If I lose my job I'll have to use all this fabric to sew a tent to live in! Scary times!

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  16. Happy New Year my sweet Carolyn! I am liking the sound of your resolutions and I'm hoping to spend less myself. Hubby works for Chrysler and who knows how that's going to play out over the next while. So, less spending is certainly on the horizon. Maybe we can keep each other honest? :)

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  17. I had someone offer me fabric today--and I said no thank you --because of what resides in my basement, what I have found while sorting my mother's collection and the fact that my sewing time is so much less than it used to be!

    So I'm "shopping the basement" for inspiration this year. Already gone are about 5-6 yards for a skirt, jacket, and pants for my daughter. She is working in an office where professional garb is essential. I'm glad I already owned what she will wear! I'm also glad she was here for me to fit what needed fitting before she headed home. Now to finish all 3 pieces and ship them off to her.

    On another note, the word verification for this comment is "triers". That about sums it up, doesn't it? It made me smile anyway.

    Good luck with your list of goals 'cause it sounds like a great one. Happy New Year!

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  18. I'm more committed this year than last to "making do" with what I have. I have more than plenty and really want to rid myself of excess in many areas of my life - but right now fabric is probably at the top of the list!

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  19. Great post, great goals!

    Happy New Year Carolyn!

    I'm just hoping I can actually sew something soon. I seem to be OVERemployed at the moment. LOL! Yes, it could always be worse, so I'm not really complaining. I just miss my sewing time.

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  20. Great goals, I'm looking forward to what you come up with. Taking more time and doing more complex/creative sewing is one of the things I'm contemplating.

    Happy new year to you!

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  21. You've come up with smart, reasonable resolutions. I especially like the "take your time" resolution. I start out with the resolve to take my time, but soo habits take over and I find my self rushing through.

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  22. I love positive goals; I think they are much more doable than negative ones like "no more candy".

    Glad to see your mojo's back and I can't wait to see your progress after 5 days of uninterrupted sewing time!

    BetsyV

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  23. Great goals for 2009. Make do and spend less seems to be a common theme these days. I tried to do this last year and was somewhat successful since I sewed more yardage than I bought. It's an addiction that is hard to shake, but I have it under control now since I only bought about 10 yards in the past six months. When you have a large stash to work with, inspiration springs out of it. Happy New Year.

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  24. Happy New Year!
    I find a lot of people don't want to take the time to do hand stitching. Sometimes you can't get around it to have your project come out good. As I always teach, we're all on different levels on knowledge, perfection and speed. I tell people to embrace what you are and It's great that you want to improve.

    Local stores are closing. I send a lot of people to our $1yard store in Miami -Arnolds Fabric. People drive up from Key West to his store to stock up for the year. I hope he stays in business.

    And don't forget to stock up on machine needles. I'm always running out of them!
    Enjoy your sewing moments!

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  25. Happy New Year Carolyn. Your goals are almost identical to mine, especially to take my time. Make do and spend less I began about six months ago as I began to see friends and family loose jobs. While I don't plan to not spend anything on fabric and supplies I will be more thoughtful on what I purchase.

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  26. Those are all such reasonable (and attainable) goals for the new year.

    While I don't have SABLE, I do have plenty to work with and have been working to reduce that. Over the past few months I feel like I've made good headway and am at the point where I don't really want to buy more fabric. Yes some really call my name, but I'm finding there are always going to be beautiful fabrics to buy so I don't have to scarf up every piece. It actually makes me tense when I have too much fabric (or anything for that matter) so I think that helps me want to use what I have.

    Happy New Year!

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  27. Sign me up. Great goals. I think we should also remember our sewing heritage, my mom and grandmother enjoyed their clothes and sewing but worked with so many fewer resources. I think it would be useful to our favourite retailers to let them know what we actually will keep buying even when we cut back. For me for example it will be rayon knits, expensive multiple patterns - not so much.
    Looking forward to where your ingenuity will lead you this year Carolyn.

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  28. I was much more inventive and creative in the days when I really couldn't afford to buy much fabric. I think I need to revisit those golden days of yesteryear....Happy 2009 to you, Carolyn!

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  29. Hi and Happy 2009. I just wanted to say I have been following your blog for a year now and I really love the work you do and the details you put into your sewing. I have enjoyed each and every blog of yours which has been an inspiration to me to get off my butt and get back into my sewing. Good goals for 2009.

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  30. Great resolutions. It is hard to get inspired when we have so much already to wear, so taking your time and using your vintage patterns sounds perfect. You had a very productive 2008 with all those dresses too! Enjoy your 2009 sewing. I know I will be following along :)

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  31. There used to be so much fabric available in our area when I was sewing a lot and now there is almost nothing. I have a lot stashed but so much of it was when sewing for my daughters' growing up or bargain variety, or things I was given. I don't stash a certain amount with the bargain stuff but buy a large piece or the bolt if it is really cheap. With prices and shipping what it is anything I buy like this will not be to stash but will be for a project. However any bargain things in solid colors when I do get to shop this spring I might run into on raod trips I will stash. I may order a few knit prints for tees since I have none. I am getting zero sewing time (over extended family obligations requiring travel and bookkeeping for our livelihood has been sort of unusually heavy). I have been stocking up on notions,threads, etc for a long while as I am expecting nothing to be available in driving distance in the near future. Already there is not even a zipper or thread available without a 60 mile trip. No one knows what the future holds with the sewing businesses even the online ones. We may all be happy to have the stash the way things are going with the companies now. I hope sewing things are always within reach but who knows anymore. I enjoy your blog so much. I find many of your tnt patterns and projects are adding to the pile but my addiction is way more affordable than wandering the malls like some do and I am lucky to have some out of the house storage for the stash. mssewcrazy

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  32. I've enjoyed reading your goals. I've also enjoyed following your projects this year. I thought your Easter outfit was one of the prettiest ever, such a cheerful color! And I hear your worry about fabric stores needing our business, but at the same time, I'm not buying anything non essential. We are self employed, and thankfully have lived within our means so we could always roll with whatever the economy throws at us. Happy New Year to you, Carolyn, and I look forward to whatever inspiration you provide!

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  33. Noble goals, Carolyn. DH and I are also playing it safe, choosing not to go south for the winter. We just don't feel comfortable spending beyond our basics right now, even it the $s are there. What just helped me as far as sewing was an intense cleaning and purging of the stash. You find things you forget you had and you get inspired for new ones that use you current fabrics. I do remember in leaner younger times that my most creative work seemed to come when we were the most strapped. I had to think out of the box and use what I had. I will be watching your efforts closely on this one. You just seem to be getting better and better all the time with your effors. Happy New Year!

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  34. "The chains carry more craft and crap than they do fabric - YES, I said it"

    Yep. You said it and you're right. I like all of your resolutions.

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  35. Happy New Year!

    I like all your resolutions - very sensible. The one I look most forward to is the vintage pattern one - I can't wait to see all your creations from them.

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