Friday, 30 December 2016

Goals and Plans for 2017

Goals and Plans for 2017

Again, I'm linking to Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow in the top 5 of 2016

These are in no way New Year's Resolutions.  Those are just too easy to break!

These are those goals and plans that relate to sewing.

Strangely,  though not so when I tell you more, my first goals concern weight and health.

  • Many of my clothes have become too tight
  • My bras were strangling me and I had to buy new ones (I do not have any plans to make bras)
  • I saw a couple of RTW items that I liked but I was too big for the biggest size (regular range,  not plus sized range) or they are too short (one of the reasons I started making my own)
  • I was becoming breathless far too easily
  • I felt unwell
  • I was sent for heart tests because of some enzyme and chest X-ray abnormalities and need to get a 24 hour monitor in January. There isn't a major problem. My heart rate is fast, probably because I am unfit. I have a minor ECG issue. I had heart surgery in 2000 to repair a congenital hole in the heart, found by chance after I'd had a couple of brief  transient ischaemic attacks which can be stroke precursors. I've been fine since.
  • I have been getting no exercise since not playing golf,  that's since the end of September. I can only imagine increasing my fitness will benefit my heart!
  • My knees hurt more than they did. They're having to carry more weight.
  • I didn't like what I was seeing in the mirror.
  • I had put on weight, but not as much I thought as would account for the way I was feeling and looking. I'm out of shape even more.

Today, I went back to Slimming World. I've been before and did well. David doesn't need to lose weight beyond the 2 or 3 pounds he's put on over Christmas but will be supportive. He doesn't see why people need to attend such things as Slimming World but I need that input. I was heavier this time than when I started last time. That time I lost 2 stones;  this time it needs to be nearer 3.

In addition, I will restart golf. I find that type of exercise more enjoyable than a gym.

Alison gave me a watch that measures steps etc and I've set some goals on that for daily activity. Even on a day to day basis, I'd become less active. Unfortunately, sewing is not a particularly active hobby. So far,  I've met my goals on daily activity,  but I did start easy!

Being slimmer will allow me to wear some clothes that I can't currently. Both those that I have that are currently too tight and those I might buy.


I will sort out my blocks after I've got about half way with my weight loss. I have to do this. I will sew for where I am, though, as well as thinking about where I want to be. So I won't delay until I reach a weight goal - that was one of my previous u=issues with making trousers and I didn't ever finish.

Sewing Plans:

Last year,  I didn't actually complete a wearable garment for myself. That wasn't intentional. Sure, I was busy with wedding sewing for the first half of the year but found it difficult to get going afterwards. So in 2017 I will be sewing for me.  Not exclusively, as I do enjoy sewing for the family, but I'd like to get a few garments made for myself.

I have issues with RTW relating to fit (sure - quality too but I'm referring only to fit here). Some of the issues are related to my height (5’11”), some to my basic shape (pear), some to my ‘maturing’ body shape - more around the middle than I ever had and some because I'm overweight.

These are the items I find hardest to buy:


RTW issues
  • crotch length and depth too short;
  • waist gaping as my waist is much smaller than my hips.
  • My thighs are quite chunky,  too.
  • I don't tend to have problems getting the legs long enough - and there are some specialist companies catering for tall women, should I need that.
  • In addition, I don't like low rise. I prefer my waistband at my natural waist, or just below.

I intend 2017 to be the year of trousers.  I have consistently failed to get trousers to fit,  either RTW or me-made.  I attended a jeans making class; I can sew them,  but they don't fit. In class we drew up a pattern using Dennic Chunman Lo rather than say Aldrich  and it just didn't work. I wasn't the only one in this position. We tried to make changes but again the term ended before we had got far enough and I had no desire to continue.

My tutor  is going to help me get a decent trouser block. I believe she is thinking about draping though I'm not entirely sure.


RTW issues
  • Sleeve and body length. Most of my blouses and shirts have sleeves that are too short. While I'm happy to wear some styles over a skirt or trousers, I want to be able to tuck my blouses in securely.
  • Being tall, I sometimes find that bust darts are too high as there isn't enough length between shoulder and bust.
  • I don't like shirts with pockets as the positioning of them is usually not flattering on me.
  • More recently I have found that my bust is bigger because of weight gain I assume and a couple of the shirts I have pull a bit at the front,  not an issue I had previously. I am quite wide shouldered. I am having to do FBAs on virtually all patterns and now feel that some of the. RTW that fitted me previously could do with the same!

As yet, I haven't chosen what I might like to make.


RTW issues similar to blouses and shirts.

Last term my class was on jacket tailoring. We made up a standard size jacket - 10 or 12 (UK). It would have fitted Helen widthwise but would have been too short in body and arms.  No chance of it fitting me! I didn't actually finish it as after we made the practice jacket, the idea was to make our own fitted jacket. We all ran out of time. I have made an initial fitting toile in calico and will make a few changes to the pattern and make up another toile,  this time in boiled wool. I'll give more details at a later stage.

I have also started the Morris blazer from Grainline.

I thought this would be easy but have found it rather more difficult than anticipated. It's a blazer without darts. I chose the correct size for my upper chest and shoulders and made a full bust adjustment, following the instructions on Grainline. Their instructions leave a side dart. I don't like that but don't see how to get rid of it sensibly. I made up a toile but chose a poor fabric - too thin and too stretchy.

After Christmas, I plan to finish this blazer, too. I have had to abandon the plans I had to use striped jersey as it is too thin. I may use a plain boiled wool.

SWAP (Sewing with a Plan)

The Stitchers Guild runs a kind of contest each year. I have never entered.  It involves producing a number of garments (11 this year)by sewing or knitting which work together, by end April. There are guidelines for these garments which are detailed elsewhere so I don't need to go into detail, particularly as I’m not sure which path I’ll take. There should be a combination of ‘bottoms’, ‘tops’, dresses and ‘overlayers’ some of which can be outerwear. They can include one made previously, one bought and although the official start date is Boxing Day,  you can start early. I tried to do one of the tops early (hacking from a RTW top) but ran out of time before Christmas.

Provided I manage the jackets, above, and the trouser block,  I hope to enter the SWAP.  I would put in 2 or 3 pairs of trousers,  plus or minus jeans, the two jackets mentioned above,  some tops and a cardigan. Even though my class next term is outerwear, I don't think I'll be trying any of that for this. If I decide to do this,  I may not finish it in the time available but would continue until I had completed it. I would include a couple of blouses/shirts and try to make a pair of close fitting trousers. Obviously, leggings would be easier and so faster, but I don't wear them.

I'm not yet absolutely committed to this so haven't made any detailed plan. You'll be the first to know if I go ahead! It could work for my reunion weekend.

Helen's wedding dress

I need to reassemble it! I took it apart to try to clean it, but unsuccessfully, and Helen is quite distressed that it has remained that way (disassembled more than the dirty part). So I'll put it together and get it back to her.

Helen's red silk dress

I should get that done relatively quickly as the toile only needed minor alteration. I'm likely to find the pockets most difficult. Interestingly, the pockets are actually gusseted and are like those in outerwear. We'll be looking at those next term. I don't see them as being very appropriate in a silk dress but Helen loves them. I have some photos of the dress but Ill wait until things are back to normal here (Just escaping for a few minutes)

Level 3 Sewing Class

Next term is outerwear and I think the third term is lingerie (can't quite remember offhand). I'm carrying on with the course.

40 year reunion

For our reunion 40 years after graduating from Glasgow University,  we will have a long weekend in a spa hotel in Scotland,  in November 2017. Some of my friends from uni don't intend to go,  which is sad, so I don't know how popular it will be. I plan to make a few garments for this long weekend, a travel wardrobe, maybe. Not sure what yet. I will include an evening dress,  though. Maybe.

I hope you all had a good Christmas break - and I wish you a Happy New Year 2017


  1. I am back again and I both re the health issues....I too had a possible heart to hospital and glad to say there is nothing wrong with my heart. Just too much weight, unfit, knees and feet sore. (My feet are sore mainly because this is a side effect of some psoriasis, I don't have it everywhere but it does annoy me). There is a man who lives nearby and he shames me every day I see him. He is much older than I and has poor feet but does it stop him walking a circle of about 2 miles every have sore feet but they are not as bad as his and off he goes every day...without his little doggie companion who passed on. It does make me feel so guilty.
    Overweight has been the story of my life....I take it off and I put it on. I need to do the same as you and get it off so I can fit into more clothes. I've been and done the clubs and I won't do that again. When I start I am ruthless and I need to get into that ruthless mood after Sunday when family are coming. Thanks for giving me a shove in the right direction.
    Wishing you positive thoughts and a shifting of many pounds in the future.

    1. I hope you had a good Christmas, Joyce. I'm sorry to hear about your health problems but glad that you can do something about them. You and me both. I will post each week what weight I've lost (or not as the case may be) and whether I've succeeded in my mobility targets. If that inspires you - good. It may keep me more on track too. I will probably include getting back into favourite garments. Wishing you a Happy New Year

  2. Good luck with all your goals, making trousers is one of mine too, Happy New Year

    1. Thanks, Margaret. And that Chanel jacket!
      Happy New Year!

  3. Wishing you good luck with everything, especially your health goals! Wishing you a happy new sewing year!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. And a happy new sewing year to you too!

  4. Happy New Year Anne! Good luck with your resolutions. Here is to a healthy 2017 that is sew-filled!

    1. Thank you, Annie. Happy New Year to you, too. Good sewing in 2017.

  5. Wow, there's a lot of goals there, don't know how you're going to fit in slimming world, or time to eat!
    I put on weight when I got back into sewing and started blogging. I blamed it on stopping smoking but when I got a step monitor I realise my life was so sedate, I was truly shocked! I'd gone from playing golf 3 times a week to sat on my butt watching H play cricket, and sitting at my sewing machine or computer. Amanda from Sew Deputy (sewing bee too!) spurred me on when I saw her at the spoolettes meet up. All she did was the 10,000 steps and she looked fab in 2 to 3 months, and really toned up.
    Good luck with everything. You've written it all like you mean it so I'm sure you'll be cracking those goals in no time.
    Just one more thing, aren't I waffling!!
    Have you thought about getting a trouser pattern from Lekala - the one where you put in your own measurements and it spits it out in PDF format for just a couple of quid? Maybe it's a start and there shouldn't be too many adjustments if the main ones are right.
    Good luck xx

    1. PS, I hope you get everything sorted with your ticker xx

    2. I lost 2 lbs when I went to Slimming World today - higher hopes for next week as we're more back to normal. Alison gave me a step monitor for Christmas and I was truly shocked! I knew I wasn't very active with not playing golf and I knew sewing was rather sedentary, but still...! I've started slowly.
      I'm going to physio and doing stretches etc but need a pair of short leggings and can't find any in the shops. They don't seem to be around any more. I mean short, above the knee. I reckon I might need to make them. Do you have a pattern suggestion?
      As far as lekala is concerned, I keep thinking of it but have never got around to ordering - perhaps I need to, thank you. I've read some good reviews, and as you say, it's inexpensive.
      Another thing- I'm not going to kill myself with my sewing goals! I'd like to do them, and this number of garments isn't a lot when you consider what you, and Hila etc get through!! But if I do, great, and if I don't, fine.

    3. I haven't had a date for the 24 hour monitor yet but I'm really not worried and feel that increasing activity and losing weight will be what would be suggested anyway.
      I reckon, too, I need to restart golf sooner rather than later, though at the moment I couldn't play (I'm not walking well after my little muscle pull incident).
      Thank you for your good wishes
      All the best Anne

  6. That's a long list - all the very best with it. I totally relate to your weight issues, I feel very much in the same boat right now. All the best with slimming world, and with the health tests.

    1. Thank you. It's not as long as it sounds! If I get the blocks for trousers sorted, making them is no problem. It's the fit with everything that's the killer for me. The jackets are well under way. Ditto Helen's silk dress, though I'm doing another toile before I cut into the silk.
      Sewing is so sedentary that I need deliberately to put some more active things in. Takes away from sewing but that's a small price to pay. 2lbs down another 40 to go - but my interim target is just a stone, 14lbs. Good luck if you're also trying to lose.

  7. That is a very long list and should keep you busy for the year. Best of luck with your new exercise regime and I hope your health improves. My husband also got a step monitor and it does make you aware of your activity level.

    1. Yes, the list will keep me busy but the intention is to develop TNTs and make multiples, which I can do if I get the fitting issues sorted. 2017 is the year for that! I couldn't believe how sedentary I'd become! I need to join another golf club (I resigned from my previous at the end of September when the fees were due). The easiest way for me to exercise is on the golf course - and there's fresh air and companionship too. Thank you


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