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Goals for a (laid back Type A) Newbie Sewer (Sewist?)

Another wow.  How to give life to those lofty, idealistic, and terribly earnest reasons for learning to sew???

Gorgeous Mendocino sunset pic to get me to relax and not freak out about what I'm committing myself to!

Gorgeous Mendocino sunset pic to get me to relax and not freak out about what I’m committing myself to!

To recap: Goals need to be quite specific to actually be workable. For a successful goal you need to:

  • Be specific.
  • Identify measurable, attainable steps.
  • Set a timeline.
  • Periodically reassess & update

Frankly, before I set specific sewing goals, I need to educate myself on what I need to learn; I need to figure out what I don’t know, basically, and what I should learn.

Goal 1: Review a variety of sewing classes, blogs, and references to establish the breadth of knowledge I need to obtain.  Okay, admittedly, this one is pretty vague, really, when you think about it.  But I’d argue this sort of goal is an ongoing process — you can never learn too much.

I want my projects to look great. Who doesn’t, right? But I want to focus on learning how to do things correctly, rather than taking short cuts.  I know that there may not be one best way all of the time to do a certain task, depending on fabric, fit, etc, but I do want to amass the knowledge and skill to choose the best method for a particular instance.

Subgoal: Identify what Craftsy classes seem to cover a variety of topics, ranging from beginner to aspirational. Sign up for them. Watch them through at least once before actually starting a project.  Complete this by the middle of February.

Note: I love the whole concept of Craftsy classes.  I love being able to watch them on my own schedule, and at my own pace.  I wouldn’t be an affiliate if I didn’t love the classes.  I don’t have the time right now to seek out in person classes and to be able to wrap my veterinary and design work around one more thing with a set schedule.

I’ll admit this one is cheating a bit, because I’m already in progress on it.

So far I’ve chosen the following:

Free Classes
Sewing Machine Feet from A to Z
Craftsy Mastering Zipper Techniques Class. Zippers!

Paid Classes
Sew Ready: Garment Basics with Brett Bara. A good overview to start with to learn how to actually use my machine correctly.

Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt Class. This is the one with a project that I’m planning on actually tackling first. The class includes creating a pattern for the skirt based on your own measurements, as opposed to adapting a pattern to fit you. Although I absolutely need to learn how to do that, I do want more practice on just sewing, and I think this class will do that. It also includes some nice finishing details as well as putting in a zipper. Regarding the final object and how it applies to my wardrobe: I wear skirts all the time, so this is very applicable. I also have fabric that I can use for this.

Sewing Studio. I’ve actually completed one project from the first part of this class, a pillow with French seams. A skirt is the second part of this class. I’m going to watch this one to compare the techniques and construction of the two different skirts.

40 Techniques Every Sewer Should Know – Gail Yellen . I’ve been watching this one and learning a lot. So much of sewing seems to involve a) having the right tools and b) ironing.

Aspirational Paid Classes
Bombshell Dress Class. Ooh, this is cute. I don’t wear dresses often, but do if we’re going out someplace fancy or if I dress up for working a booth at TNNA. So many techniques to learn in this one.

Online Couture Dress Class. This one is an extremely aspirational class. Add to the list: make a duct-tape dress form of myself at some point. This class focuses a lot, as you would expect, in really customizing fit.

Subgoal: Dip my toes into the on-line world of sewing.  Check out some blogs, especially those geared towards plus-sized.

So far I’ve found Cashmerette; Jenny is both a sewing pattern designer and a blogger.  I’ve added her blog to Feedly, which is how I follow blog posts.

I’ve also subscribed to Seamwork. I may try one of their camisole patterns.  The sizing is good (i.e. they have my size), and I do often wear camisoles.  Their most recent issue, the Body Issue, includes some patterns for workout wear, which I’d not even really considered making (rather than buying).

Goal 2: Build an initial list of garment techniques and project goals by the end of February, and write a blog post about them. Keeping myself accountable.

Do you know of any good online resources? Please let me know in the comments!

Note: I am a Craftsy Affiliate; I get a small amount if you use one of my links to purchase a class (thank you!).  I purchased some of these classes and received others free.

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