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31 January 2013

A book giveaway

Hi, I am Lucia. I am a fabricholic.
I still buy and buy, but a sewn wardrobe is beginning to materialize, yay! Here is to keeping that up!

While doing my Christmas shopping on Amazon last month, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy something for myself as well...

Yup, Vintage Couture Tailoring is now part of my library and I'm very happy about it. The book is chock-full of detailed photos and explanations on every step of making a tailored jacket. It has 4 pages and 13 photos on Ironing techniques alone! I'm in heaven... The focus is all on technique and not at all on design, so there are no other jackets than the one in the cover. The point hopefully is that once you learned the techniques you can apply them to any tailored jacket design you want.

And now, the exciting part: Amazon sent my order in two separate shipments and they mistakenly included a copy of the tailoring book with each shipment, so I now have two. I obviously don't need two copies so this is my very first giveaway!

I think only a handful of people read my blog, but just to be fair in case more than one person wants this book here's how we'll do it:

  1. Leave me a comment on this post saying you would like to win the book.
  2. On Friday February 8 at 10pm Amsterdam time I will run a random generator to select the winning comment.
  3. I'm happy to ship anywhere in the world, so don't be shy and let me hear you want that book!
Good luck!

30 January 2013

I want to be good, I really do!!

Hi, I am Lucia, I am a fabricholic. I buy and I buy and never finish anything. Here is to changing that.

Oh dear! This is so typical of me. Barely one day before January ends I finally force myself to write my sewing New Year's resolutions... I am definitely entering worst-blogger-of-the-year territory... LOL!

But I want to be good, I really do!

So, without further ado first a look back at 2012 and then my goals and aspirations for 2013:

I started this blog first in 2009 and then re-started it in mid 2011, but it was really in 2012 that I began to find my groove sewing. I think three main things made that possible:

  1. Having a dedicated sewing room. Living in a tiny Dutch house I am keenly aware of what a luxury it is to have the attic all to myself and my nearly 1,000 yards of fabric (I know!), but without it I would never manage to sew. Really.
  2. Finding a "sewing routine". I am a creature of habit. At some point in 2012 I began to put my son to bed and then walk up stairs for 1-2hrs of sewing every night. And, miracle of miracles, despite plenty of mistakes, my usual daydreaming and similar malaises, by the end of each week I could see tangible progress!
  3. Encountering the sewing blogosphere. Oh, the inventive and varied voices out there! Not only am I motivated and inspired by other sewers' creativity and skill, but some of them are generous enough to send encouraging words my way... I still love big hugs the most, but friendly comments on my creations are a good second.
And when I finally did find my sewing groove what did I discover? I do get better! Practice does make perfect. The seams in my first dresses didn't always match, assorted inexplicable problems would arise. But the later dresses have matching seams, they go together more smoothly. And there is an unexpected bonus: I am also becoming faster. Yay! This all helps to build my confidence to try new things, to continue learning and expanding my sewing skills. A virtuous cycle. Nice place to be!

But there are definite "development needs" (to borrow a phrase from our HR department):

  1. The blogging is clearly sub-par.
  2. I am still buying more fabric than I sew (which is obviously unsustainable!).
  3. I quickly start a new project when I get stuck with the current one. Witness the 4 unfinished dresses, one jacket muslin and one coat fully cut-out (in fluorescent orange, no less!) in the picture at the top of this post.
  4. And most importantly: I still don't always make appropriate fabric choices for a given pattern (did I mention it was fluorescent orange?).
My 2012 in numbers:
  • I bought 83 patterns, 24 of them vintage (90's counts for me here)
  • I bought every Burda Style issue and 5 Knip Mode issues
  • I bought 14 books on sewing or fashion topics
  • I bought 109 meters of new fabric
  • I sewed 46 meters of fabric
  • I made 29 garments: 4 skirts, 7 tops, 15 dresses, 2 jackets, 1 pair of trousers
  • I made 4 "wadders"; 2 were wearable dresses that are simply not my style, 1 was the worst interfacing choice, and 1 was just stinky, literally!
  • I wrote 21 posts on my blog and 14 reviews on Pattern Review
So, where do I want to get to in 2013?
  1. Keep on sewing!
    • Keep improving my skills. Take 1-2 more online lessons.
    • Try 2-3 jackets,
    • Find one other skirt shape that suits me beyond the pegged skirt,
    • Make one coat or raincoat
    • Sew with a full outfit in mind, so I don't end up with loose unwearable pieces. And remember, all the pieces don't all have to be sewn.
  2. Blog and review every item I sew. No excuses, even the wadders. It gives me closure and is how I contribute to the dialog with you all out there.
  3. Write 40 blog posts. Establishing a routine will be the key here too, and I really have to make the effort.
  4. Stop feeling guilty about my stash. What, you thought I would say "stop buying new fabric"? Can't! It would never happen. But I see lots of very prolific sewers out there being very proud of their stashes and using them with great effectiveness. It's like having one more shop to choose from, one that happens to be free (really! they tell me it's called sunk costs...). I want to be like that. I think it is a realistic and healthy goal for me, (if a little self-indulgent, but hey, I'm worth it!)
And that is all she wrote folks! Let's see next year how I did. Many thanks for visiting and for your encouragement. You've all made my life richer this past year. Here is to another even better year.