2023 Sewing Goals

Do you set Sewing Goals? How about New Year’s Resolutions?

I’m not a particularly good goal setter. I tend to go with the flow and decide on a course or objective as needed. When I was in my teens, I frustrated the guidance counselor because I had no timeline for an undergraduate degree followed by a graduate degree or professional certification. I just jumped into whatever landed on my plate and went in that direction. Note that this has made my life quite varied and fun, but maybe not as ‘accomplished’ as it could be!

Once I started sewing, I realised that it was not only fun but also rewarding to set goals for my sewing practice. So in 2018, I did a Ready to Wear Fast (there’s a page up top), and then in 2019 I started setting goals to develop particular skills, like welt pockets.

Those welt pockets stayed on the list until 2022 when I finally did a couple and I suppose I can check that off the list now because I can do one with instructions in front of me.

So what for 2023?

Over the holidays, I thought a lot about what challenges I wanted to set for myself for 2023. A regular feature on my YouTube channel is sharing monthly sewing challenges. Reading through the year-long challenges and what others are planning was fun but setting a goal of nine particular garments isn’t really of interest to me. I don’t feel like there are nine things I need/want at this moment.

Instead, I found a couple of things that are more my speed.

The We All Sew Blog by Bernina offered a printable checklist for Sewing Goals (available here). It’s a manageable list with space for 3 projects, 3 techniques and a few other general categories. It was easy to select just three things.

Top 3 Projects:
  1. Perfect Pants (that’s perFECT, not perfect) – Continue on the Top Down Centre Out method route with the goal of ending the year with well-fitting patterns for wovens (with pockets) and knits (for casual).
  2. Do a pattern destash! How have I wound up with hundreds of patterns?
  3. Continue working on my wardrobe of ‘elevated casual’ basics.
Top 3 Techniques to Learn/Try:
  1. Linings – I would like to learn how to add a lining to anything. PLUS, learn to line woven trousers. A pair of lined, wool trousers is almost essential for this climate.
  2. Applique – for craft and home dec sewing. I took a class a few years ago but I’m afraid it didn’t stick.
  3. Zippers – the other night I watched the Great British Sewing Bee and several of the contestants added zippers without any problems, all while under the pressure of the contest. I want to be able to do that!
Sewing Challenges

In terms of sewing challenges for the year, I’m trying to balance time sewing with thinking that everything I sew needs to be showcased here, on Instagram or on my channel. We all love to show off what we’ve made, especially if we don’t have sewing friends in real life. But it can become a burden. I’m not going to promise to do (or not do) anything but will instead see how I feel and if I’m placing undue pressure on myself just for an internet contest.

That said, there is one challenge that really spoke to me and I am committing to this one – Sew Thoughtful – which is an IG weekly challenge that is intended to take a gentler approach to sewing. Instead of focusing on production, you set intentions for the week and think back on past projects.

I am trying to generally be more mindful in life, and to really be present when I sew. Maybe I won’t have to rip out so many seams if I actually focus on my sewing instead of having squirrel! moments.

If you would like to follow along and are on Instagram, search for #sewthoughtful hosted by @SewLttleTime

What are your plans? Have you set any sewing goals for yourself?



I belong to the Atlanta chapter of the American Sewing Guild. The annual meeting was this past weekend, and the guest speaker was Sarah Gunn.



Sarah is well known in sewing circles as the blogger behind Goodbye Valentino. I’m paraphrasing her story, but about five years ago she got tired of spending huge dollars on garments that she could sew herself. Hasn’t every sewist thought the same thing? So she put herself on a Ready to Wear fast for one year, and she sewed instead of buying. She blogged about her experiences over the past five years, and the journey that her RTW fast and blog has taken her. It’s a great story!


A couple of things struck me as I listened to her presentation:

First, she made beautiful clothing in gorgeous fabrics. She didn’t make yoga pants or t-shirts (well, maybe she did, but if she did she didn’t show them). Sarah is from South Carolina and as a transplant to the South, I will say that I’ve noticed that Southern women tend to take more care with their appearance. No offense fellow Canadians, but in general, Southern women really amp up the style. As Clairee said in Steel Magnolias, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize.” Southern women really know how to accessorize.

Second, I listened to Sarah’s story and looked around the room at the 100 or so women at the ASG event. So many women are returning to sewing in their 40s and 50s. We all have the same story to tell … we’re tired of clothes that don’t fit, or crappy fabric that doesn’t wash well, or being force fed styles that we hate. Many of the women I know have money to spend on clothing for the first time in their adult lives – but they can’t find things they love in retail stores.

After the presentation I perused Sarah’s trunk show  and was completely inspired. Sarah wears her own sewing to white tie dinners, to charity balls, and on her everyday errands. The garments she makes rival anything in stores. If she can do it, why can’t I? Why don’t I buy the best quality fabric, and take the time to create things that are just right for me?

Over the past year I have purchased a few really nice pieces of fabric. There’s a wool silk blend that would be perfect for a winter dress, two cotton knits from France, a Tana lawn from Liberty,  and some stunning silk. All bought and paid for and doing me no good sitting folded in a plastic box in my closet. So Saturday night, after debating over patterns for probably a month, I held my breath and put scissors to a grey pure virgin wool coating I purchased in Calgary last August and I began to make my cape. Sunday I steamed and clapped the front seams and I marveled at the beauty of quality fabric. The design is simple, but I think it will be beautiful once it’s fitted and finished properly.

I appreciate the women (and men) who share their projects and challenges through their blogs. Seeing real people succeed gives me confidence. Thanks Sarah, for the inspiration!