Here at Cashmerette, we believe that you can have whatever style you want, at whatever size you are. This time of year, it can be easy to get sucked in to messaging about what you “should” want for yourself and your body in the next year. But we’re here to tell you that you are not required to buy into any of that. You are not a “before” picture, and you are allowed to love yourself at exactly the size you’re at.
But there’s definitely something nice about a new beginning, and it can be a fresh start in a really positive way. For me (Ayelet), I love setting aside time at the end of each year to reflect on the last year and think about what tweaks I’d like to make in my life that will allow me to feel even more fulfilled and connected to myself and others. I’m not quite sure what resolutions I will set for myself this year, but I know that I will not be setting any resolutions out of shame or feelings of inadequacy—only out of self love and excitement for the upcoming year (and decade!).
If you too have been thinking about what resolutions you would like to set, here are a few ideas for Cashmerette-endorsed resolutions. (Please note that whatever resolutions you choose to set for yourself, those resolutions are valid and admirable—if you want to make a change in your life, whatever that change may be is okay in our books.)
Resolution #1: Make more time for sewing
Is there anyone among us who feels like they get all the time they need to sew and couldn’t possibly use more time? For me, there is no such thing as too much sewing time, and I think I’ll still be craving more and more of it when I’m retired. Our hobby of choice is an inherently time-consuming one, and with new patterns and fabrics coming out all the time, there are always new projects to get excited about. Unfortunately, no one has yet figured out a way to milk more hours of a day, and there have been a lot of discussion in the online sewing community about how to find more time to sew.
If you’d like to find more time to sew in 2020, here are a few suggestions worth trying:
- Spend a little time thinking about what your biggest roadblocks are for finding time to sew. Is it a packed schedule that leaves you very little down time? Is it a lack of energy at the end of day? Is it the feeling that you need a large chunk of time in order to even start sewing? Identify the one or two main challenges that are keeping you from sewing more, and apply a little creative thinking to figure out how those challenges might be adjusted or overcome. For example, if you don’t have the space in your home to set up a permanent workstation, could you find a way to reconfigure your furniture to accommodate a folding table that can be put away when you have guests? Often we convince ourselves that our lives/schedules/spaces are inflexible, but if sewing is a priority for you, you should set up your life in a way that reflects that.
- Ask your partner to gift you dedicated sewing time on a regular basis. Choose a time during the week when your partner can handle house and family obligations on their own and schedule that time for sewing into your shared calendar. (If they love you and want you to do the things that make you happy, chances are they’ll more more okay with this concept than you might think.)
- Read pattern instructions in bed! I love doing this even though my wife teases me about it to no end. When I try a new pattern for the first time, I use the pattern instructions as light bedtime reading. As I read the instructions, I go through the steps in my head and try to understand how the pattern fits together. Then, when I’m actually sitting at the machine, I’m not spending as much time parsing through the instructions and can get more sewing done. (The one caveat with this is that I often will get so excited sewing a pattern that I then can’t fall asleep.)
- Give yourself permission to set aside your other hobbies. I used to say that my hobby is collecting hobbies. Knitting, crochet, embroidery, paper quilling, embossing, drawing, jewelry making, weaving, tatting—I have tried it all and love it all. But this past year I told myself that I would set aside those other hobbies in favor of sewing for the year, and if I missed them, I would pick them back up the following year. Doing so liberated me from the pull of those other projects, which freed me up to do more sewing. And I have to say, I didn’t really miss any of them—sewing is by far the favorite child. (And now when I need craft projects for on the go, I take hand-sewing projects.)
- Be more intentional with your upcoming sewing plans. Do you lose time between projects because you don’t know what you want to sew next? I always find that I have a million ideas when I’m the middle of a project, but am immediately hit with decision paralysis right after I finish it. Writing out or drawing your upcoming projects (such as with our Curvy Sketchbooks) can be great way to help yourself move from project to project, among other benefits!
Resolution #2: Curate a curvier and more body-positive feed
We all know the media does not reflect back to us the types of bodies we have. But the great thing about social media is that you can curate your own feed and follow only people and brands that reflect the world as you know it. Seeing a regular stream of images of curvy women in my feed goes a long way in breaking down my long-held notions of beauty and worth—I can’t recommend it enough.
Here are a few ways to curate a curvier feed in 2020:
- Check out who we follow on Instagram here to find new curvy accounts to follow. We’ve been curating our feed for years and have discovered so many amazing makers and celebs as a result.
- Follow accounts that curate curvy sewing imagery. We love the Curvy Sewing Collective and the House of Curves and they help us discover even more curvy makers.
- Follow hashtags used most often by curvy makers. #CurvySewing and #CSCMakes are two of our faves for this.
- If someone’s account makes you feel bad, unfollow them. Yup, we give you permission to unfollow (or mute) even your closest friends if seeing the pictures they post bring you down.
Resolution #3: Take on a complicated project that stretches your skills
Wherever you are in your sewing journey, chances are that there’s a big, challenging project you’ve been working up the courage to try. Is that project sewing jeans? Is it making a bathing suit? If you’ve been waiting to feel ready and fully capable to take it on, I’m here to tell you that you are already ready and capable. Pick that one thing you’ve been wanting to do and make a schedule for how you’re going to make it happen. (Or if you’re like me, you can overachieve and sew your first jeans, swimsuit, bra, and coat all in the same year.)
If you’d like to tackle a complex project this year, we’ve got a few resources that might help you:
- Our Jeans Making for Curves workshop walks you through every step of the Ames Jeans making process.
- Our Swimsuit Making for Curves workshop walks you through every step of the Ipswich Swimsuit making process, including both views (one piece and bikini)!
- If you’ve been wanting to master the perfect button up shirt, our Shirtmaking for Curves workshop is ideal for learning how to sew a Harrison Shirt.
Resolution #4: Own a wardrobe for the body that you have now
You deserve to look nice and feel beautiful and confident TODAY, not at some future date when your body might be different. Even if you aren’t completely on board with how your body looks now (which is totally understandable—even the most body-positive among us have those moments of doubt and self-hatred), you deserve to have a stylish wardrobe for that body, right now. Don’t wait any longer! Whether you’re sewing clothes or shopping ready-to-wear, treat yourself to high-quality garments and fabrics that fit your body as it is. Any person of any size can look fantastic in any style, no exceptions.
Here are a few suggestions for owning a wardrobe for the body you have now:
- Start the year with a big closet purge. Move everything that doesn’t fit or doesn’t make you feel your best out of the closet, whether that be to a donation bin or to a box under the bed or in the attic if you’re not ready to part with it at that moment. Getting the clothes that don’t fit out of your regular view will help you reduce those pesky bad feelings that you may feel when seeing those clothes each day.
- Take your measurements regularly. It only takes a few minutes, so why not do it between every project or every other project? And don’t forget to take your measurements sitting down! If you need a little extra help choosing your size in Cashmerette patterns, you can always email us at email@example.com.
- If you try on a piece of clothing at the store or sew a garment and it doesn’t fit, it’s not because your body is wrong, it’s because the garment is not the right size for you. Our Fitting for Curves workshop can help you diagnose and remedy a wide number of issues you may encounter when sewing your own clothes.
I hope you’re feeling inspired and excited for what the next year (and the next decade!) have in store for you! Will you be setting any new year’s resolutions for yourself? We’d love to chat about them with you in the comments below.
Happy 2020, everyone!