Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Day 30: Sewing Goals

I try hard to be modest and humble, but I am going to start off this post by bragging a bit - I'm really proud of myself! I think that sewing is one of my greatest skills, and I'm so pleased with how far I've come since I started sewing, and even in just the past two or three years! My work is at a level I used to only dream about, and I'm still enjoying it, which is even better.

However, I definitely have a few things that I want to work on in the future (and not all of them involve a needle and thread).

1. Be profitable. I love sewing, and I do it all the time, but fabric costs money, and right now I lose money on every project I do. I want to be able to make money sewing, so that I can keep sewing at the same volume I am now. I'm fixing up my Etsy store, and I am always open to commissions (my email and other contact info is in the side bar...), but I'm struggling to find interested customers. Which brings us to my second goal-

2. Be better at self-promotion. Like I said, I try to be modest, but I'm also just not really good at talking myself up. I'm not a natural born sales person, but I know I need to improve that part of myself if I want to generate any sort of business or clientele. Right now I'm working on finding more opportunities to network, and trying to put more of my stuff out there through both social media and in the real world. I still have a long way to go before I'll feel comfortable handing out business cards willy-nilly, but I know it's something I need to do if I want to keep sewing as much as I currently am.

3. Practice drafting patterns more. I've had success making clothes from patterns I altered, scaled up, or pieced together, whether they were from the Janet Arnold books or some frankensteined Simplicity patterns, but I want to improve my own drafting skills. I took a class in college on costume construction, and the part I needed the most was our sloper construction - a fitted bodice that was exactly our individual proportions that would serve as the basis for anything else we wanted to make. Although I did well on that assignment, I still have a lot to learn, and I think that if I spend some more time practicing my own pattern construction then I can only get better! A lot of the theory already makes perfect sense to me, and I find myself seeing pattern break-downs when I have ideas for new garments, so I'm hopeful that by this time next year I won't bat an eyelash at patterns drafted from scratch! Here's a little recap of what I've done, and an idea of what I'm hoping to get better at:

I took a pattern and made a good deal of alterations to it - circa January 2016

I drafted my own market bonnet pattern last year, and it's been immensely successful

Despite having never sewn anything from the early 1900's before, I drafted this bathing costume entirely on my own, without even a pattern to base it on - I wish it was a little better fitted, but I'm so pleased with it!

The calash was drafted based on an original laid out on a grid, and the caraco was from a pattern I edited

The cape was sewn from a tutorial involving some math, but I did the drafting with my mom's help (I think I was 16?), and the gown was almost entirely self drafted with some help from Fitting and Proper

This cap, from my Chocolate Girl recreation, was self-drafted

Everything I'm wearing in this photo (including my shift and stays!) was hand sewn by me, and the only thing I used a pattern for was the stays

The first gown I ever drafted - there are definitely some flaws, but I am still incredibly proud of it!

The pattern pieces I created for the Snowshill Gown, scaled up and sized from Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion

My Rapunzel costume from Tangled was partially self-drafted, with modified Regency sleeves and a modified corset pattern

Even when I'm not directly drafting patterns, I've found it helpful to study them. This is one of my favorite photos of all-time, taken while I was doing research for my zone-front gown, with Tigger helping me study.

This entire gown was self-drafted and hand-sewn - I can't wait to see what comes next!

4. Blog regularly. This kind of goes along with my first two goals, but I've also found a lot of intellectual value in writing about all of my projects this month. I've had to think through them all again, and after looking back I've found new inspiration, as well as a few new ways to do things. The community of seamstresses and costumers is also a fantastic one, and I don't want to lose touch with such a great group. I intend to be a little less shy, and to comment on other's blogs (I have cherished every single comment I received this month, as well as all of the support on the facebook group - you guys are the best!). I also want to make sure that I'm keeping the people I don't get to see all the time in the loop; lots of family and friends from back home read this blog, and I think about them when I write. I want my parents to know I'm doing well (sewing is something I love to talk with my mom about, and my dad is one of my biggest supporters), I want my friends to be able to see the weird career path I've embarked on (I love seeing what they're doing with their lives!), and I want to bring a little bit of joy and learning to everyone. I definitely write some posts with certain people in mind (Lindsay, I have another garter project planned!), and I personally enjoy being able to reflect on my own work as time goes by.

          I know I mentioned it casually earlier, but I'll speak with a little more detail here: I am definitely going to be doing more monthly blogging challenges, although I won't be doing one for all thirty days of September. September is National Sewing Month, so expect something at least once a week - I'm trying to find prompt inspiration to guide me, so if you have any suggestions of things you would like to see, or if you would like to join me in my next blogging adventure, please let me know! I'm also hoping to start completing the Historical Sew Monthly challenges, and to potentially do another daily sewing challenge in October leading up to Halloween.

Hopefully you've all enjoyed the past month of blogging with me! I have one more prompt for tomorrow, and then we're headed into September. As always, if you have any questions, anything you want to see me sew/write about, or simply want to talk about sewing, just let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Cool goals! I would suggest [not that I'm an expert, just old] that you try touting your lovely bonnets and caps and garters first. Minimal outlay on materials, no real sizing issues. Get a bit of a rep from doing those, and make sure there are always pics of you in all your finery that customers can see. Building clientele can be very slow, and you MUST have thought out contracts beforehand, or you can be badly stung. Good luck, and keep posting!