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Conversational Threads

What are your sewing resolutions?

Deana | Posted in Talk With Us on

It’s that time of year for new sewing resolutions. What sewing techniques would you like to improve upon this year?

Deana Tierney, Assistant Editor, Threads


  1. crazydog | | #1

    I like to be able to plan the entire project at the beginning and follow through. It seems as if I make changes along the way or did not think it through to start with. I call myself the Queen of Unpicking. Also I would like to be consistent with quality issues. Although I do a pretty good job and get lots of compiments I find myself doing the odd thing the way I was taught in Home Ec. I want things to look as good inside as out. Lastly, I would like to be able to better visualize the final product, and deal with wardrobe planning issues vs making one of a kind "different" items. Thanks for the space!

  2. adelinarose | | #2

    The need to get totally organized in my sewing room, weighs deeply on my progress all the time. I first have to neaten and re-organize, from putting away pattern pieces correctly, to ensuring all table space is clear for the lay out of my fabric. I have seen some sewing rooms and I am still trying to see one that is just neat and well co-ordinated and organized visually. The better organized the more inspired I am.

    1. cree9 | | #44

      I too am always bogged down in getting organized and the pattern pieces that I really lose are the ones from patterns that I have made repeatedly and would like to make more from - I have had some luck with trying not to start more than one project at a time - the trouble with the sewing room is that there always seem to be things that just don't fit into neat categories to be put into boxes or whatever I am going to try throwing the really odd pieces away and then maybe I won't be so blinded by the assorted piles ----

  3. loomchick | | #3

    Master the techniques for bound buttonholes and welt pockets

  4. cynthia2 | | #4

    Learn to design and execute some elegant beading techniques for clothing and learn to sew with real leather.

  5. solosmocker | | #5

    Goal #1 and short term is to get totally organized and into my new studio. That should happen within the next week or two. After that my sewing goals consist of making an christening gown to pass thru the family, a smocked winter coat for my DGD, and something to put into the county fair that will get me a blue ribbon, (I hope! wink, wink). I can't wait to get started!

    1. Josefly | | #6

      To finally use all the info I've gathered from Threads and other great sources, including this forum, for fitting myself and producing customized patterns for pants and jackets and blouses!

  6. LindaFaye | | #7

    I just started sewing again last fall (2006).  After not sewing for almost 20 years I'm finding that it really isn't like bike riding - it is taking time for me to get my old skills back.  I want to continue sewing until I am really pleased with my finished products.

    1. granna | | #8

      I haven't sewed (other than having to hem something or sew on buttons) for about 15 years and I really want to start again but when I look in the fabric and sewing supply stores it seems everything has changed so much.  I know all of the new stuff is probably improvements but I don't how to use it or what I need to buy.

      I need some motivation!! so please tell me how you got back into sewing after so many years of not sewing.

      1. Ralphetta | | #10


        Hmmm, motivation... think of something you want to make.  Think of something that won't take a long time to finish, so you can experience the pleasure/pride of completion. Jump in and get going!  Start with something that doesn't put a lot of pressure on you but will give you an opportunity to practice your skills.

        Doing research and planning is important...but don't use it as an excuse to do nothing. 

      2. LindaFaye | | #13

        It seems that I sewed constantly since I was in junior high school.  I was always sewing something and I wore it (with pride) whether it was perfect or not.  By the time I got married and had my daughter and started sewing for her I had actually gotten pretty good (at least I thought).  For my basic things (pants, blazers) I found a pattern that I liked and that really fit well and made it over and over again.  As a matter of fact, I was determined to make pants that fit, so I just repeatedly made pants.

        I bought a business when my daughter went off to college and it took every bit of my time for 16 years so all I did sewing wise was patch and repair.  Like an idiot I through out all of my patterns, and got rid of all my fabric (sure wish I had saved that stuff).  My two sewing machines sat in the closet (unless I had something I needed to repair) for 16 years.  Then last year I decided to try sewing again because I needed some clothing.  Thank goodness I didn't get rid of my machines or my notions and tools.  So I went on a mad hunt and gathered all my things into one room and started to sew again.

        Since I started last fall I have made a two piece (jacket and pants) outfit.  I started another one, got the jacket made, had to throw the pants out - did not fit.  But today I replaced the fabric and will start the pants again probably tomorrow.  I'm not sewing as well YET as I remembered I once did.  But I am determined!!!  This message board has been very helpful to me.  I've even been brave enough to ask questions here that I thought others would laugh at and gotten some GREAT answers and suggestions.

        I've got two projects in the works now: a wrap blouse and a quilted sewing machine cover.  I'm hoping that I fall in LOVE with sewing like I once was.

        Happy Sewing

        1. sewitfits | | #22

          Hi - I'm new to this discussion board and found myself relating to just about everything that you said. 

          I started sewing when I was 16 and believe me, that was quite a while ago but learned through trial and error.  I wanted to sew because I could not afford to buy the clothes I wanted to wear.  Anyway, for many years, I sewed almost all my clothes and was very pleased with most of the results.  I even started an alterations business and did that for about 7-8 years both full-time and part-time...got really burned out with alterations and hardly ever sewed with the zest I had before this business.  This was a very good money making scheme but I stopped doing it because I want to enjoy sewing again.

          I did make my wedding dress last year and I have been toying with the idea of sewing more clothes for myself again.  Like you, I have projects that I started and some of them are 10 to 15 years old now!  It's terrible!  Every time I have moved, I have carefully moved all my "cut out and ready to sew" fashions with me and I am really ashamed that I have kept buying more patterns, fabrics, all the accessories to complete garments but all I've done is cut out...Seems to be my forte.  It's the actual sewing I have problems getting to.  Well, I have completed a few pieces lately but want to do more.

          To cut this short, I just want to say that I joined this discussion board to get motivated to sew.  I've been reading a bunch of discussions for weeks and can identify with a lot of you gals out there.  For instance, I was very pleased to find that it is "okay" to buy fabrics online!  I have of late, been very disappointed with fabric selections in the fabric stores these days.  It's nice to know that sewing apparel is still a popular hobby as I love fabrics, picking them out and all the accessories too!  Keep up the good work and I will certainly push forward to complete some of those items that are still in style and move forward to making those items I've recently purchased.  We have lot to do!!


          1. LindaFaye | | #23

            Atleast you don't mind the cutting out part.  This is a time consuming part that I am not crazy about.  I have started cutting out more than one project at a time.  Like last Saturday I cut out a pair of pants and two blouses.  I'm working on the pants now, although I messed them up and had to go and get more fabric; and I still have the two tops to do.  Decided to attack the pants first because they seemed more complicated and time consuming.

            Who knows one day you may catch on fire and just start sewing up a storm.  Atleast you have things already cut, and have all of your notions and everything you need to get going.  I have a small television in my sewing room and that helps keep me in place - whenever I can grab some time to sew.

            I remember a plaid outfit I made when in school.  Didn't know the first thing about matching plaids so it didn't match and I didn't mind.  I always felt so special when I wore that outfit (a bolero vest and a drindle skirt) I felt so dressed up!   Always wore it with stockings and heels - and you couldn't tell me that I didn't look good!  That is the joy I want to find in sewing again!

          2. sewitfits | | #25

            Yes!  The JOY Of Sewing is what I've been missing.

            Thanks for the inspirational words.  Unfortunately, I am unemployed and feel so guilty when I spend the time thinking, planning, and wanting to sew when I have to focus on looking for work!  My ideal day would be spending it sewing to my heart's content.  Today it is very gray and raining and this would certainly be a good day to start sewing.

            I think I will plan to complete the most recent things I have cut out...two blouses, like you.  I finished the pants a few weeks ago but it took me forever because I kept doing other things.  My favorite pattern has been Vogue but lately, I'm finding that the Burda patterns are a better fit.  The instructions are a little hard to follow, as they don't seem to go into a lot of detail under the assumption that is the users are experienced sewers.  Have you ever tried them?

            Maybe we need to give each other updates on the status of our projects.  What do you think?  Are you game to set up a deadline date to compete?


          3. LindaFaye | | #26

            I'm game for the updates and maybe a few deadlines.  I am presently still working on these pants.  My body is so out of whack right now.  I'm measuring a size 20 or 22 in the waist and about a 16 in the hips according to how these things fit when I tried them on.  I can't wait to finish them as they have been a pain for me to get together and to fit.  I guess I'll get it right some day. 

            I have never tried Burda and don't know if I can buy them where I live.  All we have is WalMart and Hancocks.  But if I knew I was going to get a good fit I guess I could order a pattern.  Could you suggest a Burda pants pattern that I can try?

          4. sewitfits | | #27

            I'm not sure but I think that Hancocks sells Burda patterns.  I live in a small town too and the only fabric store here is JoAnn's and of course there is a Walmart.  I've never used them for fabric purchases. 

            Burda patterns have all the sizes in one pattern from size 10 to size 22.  That is a good thing because you can use one to make the garment you need. 

            Anyway, I will check with you next week to see how things are going.  Don't get discouraged! 


          5. Ralphetta | | #29

            I love Burda pants.  I've said this before, but Burda pants are cut with the crotch seam much closer to the front than American patterns.  Whereas the American back and front pieces have about an equal extension that forms the crotch, Burda has a long extension off the back piece and a much, much smaller one on the Front.  This fits my body great and the front thighs don't pull when I walk and move.  But, I have more butt, than belly, so that's why they work for me.

          6. sewable | | #37

            My sewing resolutions for this year:

            I must sort and tidy my sewing room.

            Isolate my dressmaking projects and requirements from my quilting fabrics and notions. 

            Sort my most used patterns for easy access and bite the bullet and get rid of patterns I have outgrown or are outdated.  I know everything comes around again but there is always a new twist which justifies the purchase of a new pattern, especially if used several times.

            Buy more plain coloured fabric so that I have more "this goes with that".

            I recon that is enough to go on with!  Happy sewing. Helen


          7. crazydog | | #30

            I have used Burda patterns for a long time, back in the days when none of their patterns had seam allowances or hems. I have always liked them but I think they have simplified some of their patterns in the last few years. It might be possible to find their magazines in your area that have all the patterns in the middle. you can cut them out and use them or preferably trace them so as to keep them intact. Burda's styling is great, more details and seams which improves the fit. have not used a pants pattern however for some time. I think the patterns in the magazine are superior to the "easier" ones in the stores, sorry can't advise where you might find them in your area. Try the Internet? As for pants, I have had more success with using an old pair of pants that I have cut apart and I am not that hard to fit.

          8. Josefly | | #31

            Linda Faye, for your info: the Hancocks in my area, Atlanta, doesn't carry Burda; Joann's does, but that's a 25-minute drive for me. But I ordered a Burda pattern from Sewingpatterns.com and got it very quickly. I've been having a hard time locating the Burda World of Fashion magazine around here.

          9. Ralphetta | | #28

            I understand the "guilt" thing.  But, if you could set aside some time each day to sew and be productive, maybe it would give you a psychological lift and make you feel good...that's helpful if you're unemployed.

          10. sewitfits | | #43


            I have been away from the site for a few days but I did note your response.  Thanks for your input.  On the day I was online with this chatline, I started sewing on the blouse I had cut out for weeks.  Right now, it is still where I left it that day...still unfinished!  What do I have to do to myself (smile)! 

            It's really hard but I will take your advice and start allowing myself to feel free to sew clothes for myself.  Anyway, thanks for your advice.

            So, I'm back online looking for something said to inspire me again today.  It is snowing here and looks very gloomy...the perfect time to sew.  I need to get started!


      3. ctirish | | #42

        I think most of us have had to take a hiatus now and then from sewing. Life keeps reminding us we have other things to do besides sew. When I started sewing again I bought a new machine so I would feel committed, then I went looking for classes to take to keep me from quitting. I started with a pillow project - straight seams - no fitting - I wasn't promising anything to anyone. Find a low or no stress project that you would enjoy doing for your self. I started with the theory that if I threw it out that was fine too. All I wanted to do was get to class 3 times and finish one pillow. It worked out fine and I put the pillow where I could see it most of the time just to remind me I could still do it. Hang in there - if you decide you want to crawl into bed or just go shopping for days, send out a note and we will come to your aid. Remember, there are no dumb questions or mistakes, we learn from what we do every day, good or bad. jane

    2. User avater
      Deana | | #14

      Dear LindaFaye and Granna,


      Congratulations on getting back on the sewing saddle! Keep an eye out for our first special issue of Threads called Sew Stylish. I think  you'll both enjoy it since this magazine is geared toward returing sewers like yourselves. It's the best of Threads techniques all in one place plus some great sewing projects. Good luck and keep at it!

      1. LindaFaye | | #16


        Thanks for the motivation.  I have not ordered Sew Stylist yet.  I've been looking for it in the book store to no avail, but I guess it can only be ordered online.  I still have a fobia about ordering online with a credit card.  But I guess I will have to do it before January 17th so I can get the free shipping.

        Or do you know of any other way I can order it - besides online?

        1. solosmocker | | #17

          I don't know if this is OK with Threads but I have purchased online by printing out the order page and mailing it with my check to the vendor. It hasn't failed me yet. Also, you may be able to find a toll free order number that you could use to order over the phone.

        2. User avater
          Deana | | #19

          Hi Linda,

          The reason you can't find it in the bookstore is because it's not out quite yet. It hits the newstands on February 13th. There is the option to preorder it online on the threads website. I understand if you're concerned about using your credit card online. In that case, I would suggest checking your Barnes & Noble or local shop around 2/13.

          Thanks for your interest!


          1. LindaFaye | | #20

            Thanks, I think I will check with Barnes and Nobles in mid February.

  7. amapola | | #9

    I am going to learn how to fit my body even if it takes me the entire year.  No more projects to keep me from facing my frustrations in fitting.  Wish me luck! 


    1. sewable | | #36

      Hi Amapola, I love your plan to fit your body this year, and recommend strongly that you get yourself a sewing buddy, so that you can fit each other.  I speak from experience that you cannot really do it alone.  Even better, invest in a term (or better still, a year) of sewing classes so that you have the fitting experience of a teacher to help you to cusomise your patterns.  Good luck, Helen

      1. amapola | | #39

        Oh that's a great idea. I know just the person to ask too. Will do both. Thanks, Amapola

  8. Teaf5 | | #11

    To not buy any more patterns or fabric until I make and finish a whole project I already have.  (Like most resolutions, this one will probably be broken by the end of the week....)

    1. gwinnier | | #24

      I'm with you!  It's really embarrassing when you visit your local fabric store so often that not only the clerks, but other customers, recognize you! 

      I've already done the "let's-get-organized" task avoidance - and the quest for the latest fitting tool before I get started.  But I think I'm ready - I double-checked myself before trying to find the flexible ruler in the last issue, and have pressed my pattern pieces. 

      Now if I can just get off this discussion board ...

    2. Potch | | #34

      Ohmigosh! You have stated my exact resolution! In fact I've made and broke that resolution for the last three years! I'm okay on the not buying patterns (except for doll clothes, do they count?), but the fabric I can NOT resist. I see that dollar a yard stuff at WalMart and there goes the resolution. I keep promising myself that as soon as I get organized.....but I really doubt it. I have no sewing self-esteem anymore.

  9. flossie | | #12

    to organise my sewing room (started); to assess projects i have started and left in abeyance and decide if they are worth completing or if i should move on (daunting); to complete projects as I go this year to avoid previous problem (optimistic); to try a new technique each month (started if reading about the technique counts) ; to decrease the stash (unlikely).


  10. From my Stash.... | | #15

    This year I am resolved that I will perfect the welt pocket (following a class I took last fall) and do more on the Japanese method of tailoring jackets. 

    Although it's not not perfecting anything, I'm also going to work on getting over my fear of cutting into very expensive fabric - I find that this delays my important projects for weeks as I work up the nerve to make those first cuts. If anyone has any hints on how to overcome this, I would appreciate it.

  11. thimbles1260 | | #18

    I am still in the beginner catagory for sewing anything other than quilts where I would consider myself an intermediate.  My goal this year is to use my new dress form to come up with a dress, jacket, blouse and pants that actually fit.....something I will really wear!

  12. mimi | | #21

    I would like to hone my custom tailoring skills.  I am in the process of making a pair of pants using a Petite Plus pattern and am amazed that it is working.  I wish I had learned these skills years ago!  The muslin turned out perfectly, and the wool is coming along nicely.

    Once I get the bottom of me figured out, I'll tackle the top!


  13. jacesgrammie | | #32

    To remember everything my mother taught me about sewing. I want complete my daughter's wedding dress, bridesmaids tops and flower girl's dress to justify my daughter's confidence in me.

  14. user-201294 | | #33

    I received a new "Embellisher" sewing machine. I would like to learn to master it and  create as many things as I can with it.

  15. dh2dresses | | #35

    I would like to improve my fine fabric sewing. I am planning an evening gown for my mother in law with double layer chiffon skirt and sleeves, and a bodice overlaid with a beautiful piece of lace that I bought last year on holiday in Rome. I want to be able to fine finish the skirt and sleeve edges with a serger rolled edge. This has defeated me in the past but I am determined that I will not be defeated. I have seen it done on ready to wear, and I hope that wooly nylon will succeed. Any hints and tips gratefully received. Best wishes to every one else with their resolutions.



    1. MaryinColorado | | #38

      Wow! That sounds lovely!  I have used water soluble stabilizer cut in strips for serger rolled hems on fine fabric.  I wrap it around the edge or put it under the fabric and use rayon embroidery thread or fine cotton.  Have also just used serger thread with good results.  If that doesn't work, you might try seams great under the fabric and let it trim off the excess.  Good luck!  Mary

      1. dh2dresses | | #40

        thanks so much for your tips, they sound very easy to do, so I will give them a whirl

        best wishes


  16. fuzzer | | #41

    As many others, I'm getting back into sewing, and my goal is get a pants, top, and jacket pattern fitted to my body that gravity has reformed over the years.

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