Misc: The 20/21 challenge

Social media abound with challenges, small or big, to keep us committed to our sewing projects. I find many of the challenges fun and inspiring, but personally I don’t have the urge to join in very often for various reasons. Setting my own personal challenge could prove to be different, but it’s too soon to tell.

When on holiday this summer I made a list as a starting point for a personal “challenge” or project that easily could go on throughout the year until next summer. I made a rule, too: There are no absolutes or strickt rules. I don’t have to stick to this at all, and I don’t need to produce much in the monthly category if I don’t have the time or urge to do it. If I want to sew something entirely different, but of course I can. It’s set up a bit like exercising – you don’t have to do it, but it’s good for you if you persevere.

So – what is the point, then? I think having a frame like this could help me to focus on fewer things, because I tend to become overwhelmed by too many choices, and I become indecisive and frustrated. If I concentrate on learning new techniques or upping my skills instead, maybe I’ll be more creative and get more quality sewing time. My list is as follows:

  1. August: Shirts
  2. September: Outerwear
  3. October: Trousers
  4. November: Loungewear
  5. December: The black dress
  6. January: Knits
  7. February: Jeans
  8. March: Basics
  9. April: Blouses and skirts
  10. May: Summer dresses
  11. June: Sleeveless tops and shorts
  12. July: Swimwear

I am definitely going to adjust this as I go, a year is a long time. Time will tell if I stick to this or not. The list will get linked to a summary post as I go along. If this is a success, I might make another list next summer – that could be fun!

The monthly focus is only approximately. Some themes require a lot of time (outerwear) and others are quicker (tops, tees), so if I need to drag the September outerwear theme into October, that’s fine etc. When I begin a new theme, I consider what I want to achieve and plan a couple of projects accordingly. Two or three objectives are enough, it’s important to be selective. The first three months are outlined below, the rest are in development and can be outlined later.

Notes for August – shirts

  • Sew better collars, button holes and cuffs
  • Try new patterns already in my stash
  • Bonus: Make a dent in my fabric collection

Notes for September – outerwear

  • Practise lining
  • Sew notched collars
  • Understanding interfacing in coats and jackets

Notes for October – trousers

  • Sew zippers
  • Sew welted pockets
  • Better fit

Notes for November – loungewear

  • Hoodie
  • Trackpants
  • Better use of my coverlock

Notes for December – the black dress

  • Winter appropriate
  • Versatile
  • Lined

Notes for January – knits

  • Sourcing good quality knits
  • Better use of my overlock
  • Warmth

Notes for February – jeans

  • Topstitching
  • Fit
  • Sourcing good quality denim

Updated 2021.19.01


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