Thursday 30 December 2010

2011: Resolute!

Wowzers! Where the hell did 2010 go? It was an amazing an eventful year for me. It started in Spain, and I saw the new year in as a Burdastyle featured member. The birth of Stash Bustin' followed shortly. I also concocted an idea to attempt Me-Made-March, inspired by the fascinating Makeshift project. My own endeavour pushed me out of my sewing comfort-zone, and made me attempt new areas of previously unconsidered makery, like undies and coats. After a fascinating and valueable month, a new challenge was born: Me-Made-May. This time, I was not alone. I also spent a sizeable amount of time during the first half of the year writing for the Colette Patterns blog, not to forget a short-lived stint as a regular writer for Mixtapezine.

My summer was a crazy time of work, play, culling, packing, saying goodbye and travelling through France to set up a new life in Brighton, UK. September brought another challenge along the same theme: Self-Stitched-September. This time, I was even less alone. It was a tricky month for me work and life-wise, but never more had I felt the relevance of doing these challenges. A while later I scored the best job in the world, which miraculously brought together my love of sewing and my deeply held feelings towards sustainability and somehow allows me get paid for my efforts. Phew!

Looking back at the beginning of the year and where I stand now, aside from the glaring geographical and meterological differences, I feel a world away from the start of 2010. I've finally started to get a clear sense of my own style, and am finally producing garments for myself that I love to wear. My principals, beliefs and interests are much more alligned than they ever have been. I feel I've set myself up pretty well to pursue more easily in 2011 the investigations and experiments into living more fulfullingly. I've been nourished by the incredibly creative people in crafty/DIY/eco blogland more than I can express, and hope to have inspired others in a similar vein.

So, what of 2011? I love the begining of a new year as an opportunity to review my recent past and to evaluate my hopes for the future. So if you'll indulge me, here are my sewing/sustainability based resolutions for 2011 (in no logical order):
  • Spend more time 'giving back to my community'!!! By that I mean making some of my self-drafted patterns into free downloadable PDF's and making some How-To's
  • Continue to organise challenges which encourage the use and appreciation of handmade and refashioned garments
  • Work hard on currently-undisclosed exciting organising project with my recently made new homegirls Steph and Lisa
  • Work hard on currently-undisclosed exciting writing project with my super-talented graphic designer homegirl Silvs
  • Work hard on currently-undisclosed exciting sewing project that may hopefully make a tiny bit of money
  • Investigate the possibility of renting some workshop space, which would only be justified if the above resolution came to fruitition
  • Read, write and talk more about sustainability, economics and ecological concerns, topics and possibilities
  • Research what's happening in my local community on above issues and get involved
  • Meet more creative homegirls and homeboys in my adopted city
  • Meet in the flesh some of the amazing creative peops I've 'met' online
  • Make the most of my current fortunate situation, and sew almost exclusively with secondhand fabrics, rather than regularly indulging in fabric shop purchases
  • Make a pair of vaguely wearable shoes, even if they can only be worn for short distances in absolute dry conditions!
There's probably some stuff I thought of earlier today which I've forgotten (it's pretty late now), so I reserve the right to ammend and add to the above list as I see fit. This year I seem to have gone for quite challenging, attention-focussing resolutions. After all that 2010 brought, I kind of feel ready to bite off some big chunks of challenge! If you are also a fan of making resolutions (like Tilly clearly is!), what are they? Do yours tend to be specific aims, or wider broad brush strokes? What did you learn from 2010?


Karen said...

What a great wrapup of a very creative year! It's inspiring to see your plans. Hmmm....I need to come up with my own manifesto related to creativity and sewing in 2011 today!

jen said...

I love making my own and reading other people's resolutions, the start of a new year is such a great time. I we share a few resolutions in the form of figuring out how to make our original patterns into downloadable pdf's (I am bad at the tech part, do you know anything about that?!) and procuring an out of home work space. Can't wait to see your super secret projects and keep reading your excellent blog in the new year!!

Tilly said...

Ooh how exciting! Your super secret plans sound very promising and if they've got anything to do with your expertise in sewing and sustainability I'm sure they'll be a marvellous success. Go Zo!

Eddie Roued said...

What a year Zoe! For me 2010 has also been I giant leap forward in terms of crafty/creativeness. It was the year I started two new blogs: Historic Crafts and Grey Duckling, met a lot of very interesting people online (yourself included). 2011 will be the year where I also move geographically (more on that later) and where I evolve the blogs and ideas.
My first idea is to start doing more giveaways and interacting more with readers and such. I have already begun with my first ever giveaway for New Years. Such a buzz!
You have inspired me to sit down and have a look at what I did in 2010 and what I want to achieve in 2011.
Thanks, and Happy New Years.


carlycrafts said...

It's always great to look back and realise how much things have changed since the start of the year, even when you don't initially thing much has happened - sounds like you've achieved loads! And your secret plans sound exciting...

I'm looking forward to you sharing your creative talents with how tos, it's the best thing about the bloggy community. And your dedication to avoiding 'new' fabrics etc where possible is truly inspiring. Happy new year and good luck with the resolutions!


Alexandra said...

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you xx

Tasia said...

Happy new year to you! I hope the secret-plans work out as you want them to. I admire your commitment to sustainability - and making your own shoes, wow! Look forward to seeing where 2011 takes you, all the best for the new year!

Marie said...

Wow, 2010 was quite a year for you and I get the impression that 2011 will be just as action-packed. Can't wait to follow your progress!

Like you and Tilly, I also have some resolutions that I will be jotting down shortly...mine are quite broad, but a good start I hope!

Zoe said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments and sharing your own resolutions, so interesting! I wish you all a fabulous and creative new year. 2011 is going to be amazing! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Veronica Darling... said...

Congratulations on such a big and changed year of 2010, and can't wait to see your plans for this year! Love all these secret projects and peeps planning!

I feel really positive about so many of your points above, and it's so great to be blogging alongside you from this side of the world! Yay DIY/sustainability! xoxo

Catherine said...

Happy New Year! 2010 was the year in which I took up sewing, for the first time since school, after meaning to and wanting to for ages. Luckily, to help me on my way, I won a sewing machine back in May via Cloth magazine! Although I want to learn all the techniques I can, I do worry about where the fabric and notions come from and about all the stuff that already exists in the world before I start adding stuff I made! I have been learning to sew, therefore, by refashioning what I already have or stuff that I find secondhand (or as I've said before, stuff my mum in Essex finds!). My small fabric stash is all vintage or secondhand. Obviously I am buying new stuff too, but I try to minimise this. My aim in 2011 is to build on what I am learning and to systematically work through what doesn't work in my wardrobe and either re-work or re-home them! I am finding that my creativity is really re-awakening - I have so many ideas! - and alot of that is with thanks to your blog, other sewing blogs, Cloth magazine, certain books (a fab 70s one in particular!) and Wardrobe Refashion - which will be missed. Anything that you might be secretly working on along these lines would I am sure be fantastic and I wish you all the best with your plans. There are definite gaps in the market. So exciting! If there is anything I can join or help with (from afar - I am in the north east) please let me know! Congrats on an amazing year and I hope 2011 makes it pale in comparison for you! Oops sorry for the long comment!

Something in the Way She Sews said...

Gosh! You have achieved so much in 2010, I can't wait to see what 2011 will bring.

I have come up with 11 sewing resolutions, the first being to start a blog, the other ten can be found on the blog.

Zoe said...

Thanks so much Catherine for your long comment. It is so nice to hear of more people who feel the same about not wanting to add more 'stuff' to all the piles of stuff that already exist, and who is committed to using secondhand stuff where possible! I'm positive though, that learning to sew gives people the tools to ultimately reduce the piles of unwanted stuff on the planet, by repairing and refashioning rather than chucking away.

I'm sending you a heaps of positive thoughts for your exapnding sewing career! You know Catherine, a certain Me-Made-March '11 is coming up on the horizon, which you could participate in even at the lightest level if you don't feel ready to go entirely handmade?! Keep it in mind, I'll be posting about the up and coming challenge in the near future.

Veronica Darling, I couldn't agree more! I feel like we are totally in the same DIY/sewing/sustainability zone, just at opposite ends of the globe! So exciting to know that you are out there thinking similar things....

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