2018 Goal Post!

Note: This post will refer frequently to my 2017 Reflections post. If you haven’t read it, go check it out so you know what the heck I’m talking about, then hurry back!

Hey hey! It’s a new year! Which means it’s time for GOALS!

Sewing goals, more specifically, since I don’t think you care as much about my personal ones. Before we dive headlong into a new year, let’s just reflect for a second, shall we?

At the beginning of 2017, I didn’t know much of anything about blogging, affiliate links, photography, or pattern testing, and didn’t even have a registered Instagram account.

I remedied all that by jumping into the PDF pattern world with both feet, testing pretty much everything I could get my hands on in an effort to expand my skills and get some adult conversation that wasn’t focused on the exact number of goldfish crackers each of my children had received in their snack box. It was a wild ride, and I loved pretty much every minute of it. The only downside was that it was a little haphazard- I took whatever came and didn’t plan ahead much, so I’d like to set some specific goals for myself in 2018, with the hope of holding myself accountable (I’ve been known to get distracted by shiny things. Like new fabric. And pretty patterns.)

The Goals:

I posted my #2018makenine on Instagram the other day- but limiting myself to 9 patterns was only the tip of the iceberg! Here are some things I hope to get done this year:

  • Jeans. I made the Dax Trousers for my son, and the Chi Town Chinos for myself, so I feel like I have the tools to create a pair of wearable jeans- which, along with leggings, pretty much make up my #momiform. Although I can buy jeans that fit me, I’d be much prouder to wear a pair I’ve made, and address the fitting issues that I see in my RTW versions.
  • Undergarments. I’ve made swimming suits and thongs– I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t extend those skills to sewing good everyday undergarments. After 2 years of breastfeeding, I’m really in need of something pretty- why are all nursing bras so ugly?
  • Coats. I have a couple coat/jacket patterns I’d like to try. I think I’m often intimidated by the time consuming nature of outerwear, as well as the mysterious application of things like shoulder pads and padstitching. But again, this is a huge hole in my DIY wardrobe, and I think I should try to remedy that!
  • More basics. This isn’t the stuff that keeps you on the edge of your seat, but I need about a dozen more t-shirts, tanks, leggings, and hoodies to fill the gaps in my closet.
  • Activewear. When I’m not sewing or mom-ing around, I’m at the gym or on a run, so I really need more items to fill this need. I have plenty of fabric for it- I just need to make the time!
  • More Capsule Planning: I loved the experience of creating my first capsule wardrobe in 2017, and I really want to do it again. It makes getting dressed in the morning so easy!
  • Mens/boys clothes: I’ve never had a problem getting my “selfish sewing” done- but I also really want to make time to sew up a few things for my biggest fans- my husband and twin boys. They really appreciate when I sew for them, and I need to do it more!
  • Fitting. 2017 was all about learning more sewing techniques, and learning to sew faster. 2018 needs to be more about learning to fit patterns to my body.

The Patterns:

I’ve been solidly on the Indie Pattern Bandwagon since shortly after I learned to sew- but I’m starting to see some deisgns from the Big Four deisgners that I’d like to experiment with as well, so here’s an eclectic mix of new patterns from both camps that I’d like to try, in pursuit of the goals I mentioned above. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a few favorites that are on my mind currently.

Tops/Jackets: I’m trying to get a good mix of basics with unique details and more time consuming makes that will last me a long time.

  • Hey June Halifax– zippered front view. I bought a ton of fabric for this, and just need to order the zippers. I live in hoodies three seasons out of the year- so this one really makes sense.
  • Sewaholic Granville Shirt– Sewaholic patterns have gone a bit underground- but they always fit me perfectly and I love the slightly western look of this shirt.
  • McCalls 7441- This one’s on my table as we speak. The drape on the back really caught my eye- its unique but still quite wearable!
  • McCalls 7199- I have a cardigan like this from Stitch Fix that I’ve worn nearly to death- time to replace it will a DIY version in better fabric. I admit, I’m a little nervous about figuring out Big 4 sizing- so any tips are welcome!
  • Greenstyle Sundance Jacket– I really need a new zip front athletic jacket- my only RTW one has a bum zipper, and is stuck half zipped! I love the lines of this- reminds me of my favorite shop, Lululemon.
  • Style Arc Keely: I’m starting to embrace the ruffle trend, and this one looks like a great place to start.
  • Papercut Kyoto: I saw a version of this while I was shopping on Black Friday, and while my kids begged me to buy it, I knew I could snap up this pattern and make it myself!
  • Blackwood Cardigan– I think I might be the last person to make this up- and for good reason. I love cardigans and have the perfect sweaterknits for this!
  • Lonetree Jacket (Allie Olson)– Everyone and their mother has a olive twill Lonetree- and I’m not afraid to hop on that train! This is one of those more time consuming ones that I tend to put off because I’m easily sucked in by instant gratification, but I know once I make it, I’ll be so glad I took the time.

Dresses: I don’t actually wear a lot of dresses in real life. However, there are just a couple that I’ve been dying to try:

  • Charlie Caftan – I’m honestly not sure if this will be flattering on me, but it looks so good on everyone else I can’t resist.
  • Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress– I love that this dress is nursing friendly, and again, it looks flattering on almost everyone.

Bottoms: Pants and Athletic Tights! I sewed up quite a few skirts last year, so while I won’t rule out the possibility of sewing another one, my goals focus on pants, which I wear much more than skirts, because they are criss-cross-applesauce friendly.

  • Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans– I’m excited to be attending a workshop at Hart’s Fabric in a couple weeks, which will hopefully give me a head start on fitting and sewing these babies up!
  • Jalie Vanessa Pants- I do love me a good jogger pattern- why not try one for wovens?
  • Closet Case Files Sasha Trousers– I had a few bumps on the way to fitting my Chi Town Chinos- if the Gingers fit me well, I would like to make a couple sasha’s for those times when I need a more work appropriate pant.
  • True Bias Lander Pants– I just love the silhouette of these pants- that button fly is perfection. I’ve got the perfect stretch twill and need to make these puppies up ASAP.
  • Birkin Flares- I hope I have time for all these pants I’m eyeing- I usually live in skinny jeans but I love the fit and flare style of these.
  • Greenstyle Inspire Tights: This is my go-to activewear tights pattern- and I have some ideas for a few hacks I want to try
  • Hey June Cargo Pants: Adrianna did a sneak peek of these on her Instagram, and I love a good skinny cargo, so I’ll be buying this pattern as soon as it’s released!
  • Greenstyle Pace Skirt: I never thought I’d jump on board the running skirt trend, but I really love it! There’s nothing like feeling a little girly while you’re working up a sweat!

Undergarments: It feels a little strange to be discussing this with all of you, but in the name of posterity, here are my goals for sewing intimates this year:

  • A bra, My top chocies are Simplicity 8229, the Euler Bralette, or the Watson. I’m hoping to find a workshop for this- all those little pieces are intimidating even though I’ve been wearing them for most of my life!
  • Megan Nielsen Acacia Underwear- this pattern is free, and just came out! I think it will be a good chance to try out my new Coverstitch machine (review coming soon!) and make some good undergarments


One of my goals is to sew more for my husband, and to find patterns that fit him well. I don’t know if I’ll get to all of these, but they seem like a good start!

  • Greenstyle Mandex– these will be perfect for him to wear while he is dirtbiking, as its often cold in the mountains. I seriously don’t understand why he enjoys riding huge pieces of machinery in freezing cold weather, but he does, and while there’s no way I’m going to join him, I can show my support by sewing him up some gear.
  • Jalie Nico Raglan– This mens raglan t-shirt pattern gets great reviews- and I’m hoping it can solve some fit issues I tend to get when sewing raglans for my husband.
  • Thread Theory Comox Trunks– A while ago, I tried a boxer brief pattern, but it fit all wrong and I didn’t know how to adjust it. I’m hoping to have better luck with these- though he says he won’t model them, so all you might get is a flat lay.
  • True Bias Men’s Hudson– My husbands last pair of joggers was purchased while he had cancer, over 12 years ago. I think a new pair is in order, don’t you?
  • Greenstyle Men’s Hampton Shorts– I made the boys version last summer and they were a crowd favorite- now Daddy will have a pair too!
  • Thread Theory Finlayson Sweater– another classic mens pattern. I love the shawl collar and the pullover style.
  • Thread Theory Strathcona Henley– Hubby looked so sexy in the store bought henley that we purchased to match his Trailblazer vest that I immediately went out and purchased this pattern. I can’t wait to sew it up for him!
  • Greenstyle Walbrook Boxer Briefs– I’m going to make these too, and let him pick his favorite style.
  • Ziggy Zipper Hoodie– Same sad story as the joggers. I can’t very well make myself a dozen halifax hoodies and neglect my biggest fan.

The motivation:

While pattern testing has its merits, and I will continue to test a few select patterns, I plan to pull back a bit from testing in 2018.

Buuutttt….I still need to motivate myself myself- so how will I do that? CONTESTS!!!! Sew-Alongs!!! Prizes!!!

That’s right, I’m a sucker for a good contest. I don’t really care if I win, but I’ve entered the following contests to help keep myself on track and continue to connect with other seamstresses:

Ready to Wear Fast of 2018: This one is hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Goodbye Valentino. She’s been doing this for years, and is an amazing seamstress. I think this group is going to be really inspiring. I won’t lie, I love to shop, so this one will be hard, but I’m committed!

Sew Altered Style: I’ve signed up to be a contributor to the Sew Altered Style blog! What makes this one different? It’s all about learning to alter patterns to fit our unique bodies, and styling them to suit! My first post will debut in February, and each month has a theme. This will be a great one to follow along with if you have similar goals!

Greenstyle FitCapsule: I’m helping to host this Sew Along, which will run through 2/28/18. It will be great motivation to sew up some activewear clothes, and hit the ground running (literally) on a new year! There are lots of prizes to be won, and some pattern and fabric discounts as well, so join up!

Who Made it Best: I’m participating in this challenge again with several other bloggers (see the previous post here). Again, its not about who wins, but forcing me to finish something big, like jeans!

52 week Sewing Challenge: When I joined this one, I didn’t realize each week had a theme. I don’t know if I’ll stick to them exactly, but it will be fun to see everyone sewing things up, and might provide a little kick in the pants to not let a week go by without finishing something.

100 Items Challenge: I plan to complete more than 100 items, but again, its a great way to get inspired, and connect with other serious seamstresses.

Shrink Your Stash Challenge: It wouldn’t be helpful for me to spend all the money I save on buying clothes on buying fabric, so I’m challenging myself to think critically about my fabric purchases, and try to sew up more than I take in! I’m almost out of shelf space in my sewing room, so someone really needs to hold me accountable!

SMYLY 2018: This one is all about reflecting on how sewing makes you love yourself. I find body positivity a constant challenge, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to put into words how sewing has helped me focus on building myself up, rather than tearing myself down.


Well, that’s it! My epic goal post of 2018! I feel like I’ve bitten off quite a bit here, but you’ve got to aim high right? If you want to follow along with me, you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

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  1. Auschick on January 9, 2018 at 10:50 am

    I’m so glad you posted this up today. Just last night I was thinking, is it too late to write a goals post? Lol. Good luck with all your challenges! I’d also like to sew more things for my husband this year… We’ll see! I tend to be overly ambitious, which drives him crazy!

  2. Ciara Xyerra on January 9, 2018 at 11:26 am

    My advice is to not shy away from Big 4 patterns. I think they are unfairly maligned for their “fit issues,” but I’ve seen some really poorly-drafted indie patterns in my day. The trick with Big 4 tops is to choose according to your high bust measurement. My full bust is 44″, but if I go with that size with a pattern, I’ll be swimming in it. My high bust is 38,” so I add 2″ to that (Big 4 drafts pretty much exclusively for a B-cup, unless otherwise noted, like with multi-size patterns) & choose the size correlating to a 40″ bust. I do an FBA, & since I also have a prominent tummy & proportionally larger waist measurement, I keep some of the extra space an FBA creates through the waist as well. Wham bam, fit perfected!

    It also helps to take flat pattern measurements when picking a size, & pay close attention to the garment description. A lot of time, a Big 4 pattern shows a model wearing a fairly form-fitting garment, but the description describes the garment as “loose-fitting”. They aren’t joking about those descriptors. I think this is where a lot of the confusion comes from: the pattern envelopes aren’t always styled accurately, so the pattern gets a rep for “poor fit,” even though the fit was accurately described in the specs.

    • Sarah on January 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      This is really helpful information- thank you! Especially the tip aboutusing the descriptors instead of he pattern photo!

  3. Michelle on January 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I pulled back from testing at the end of 2016 and I love the freedom it has given me to sew what I want and need.

  4. Jacqueline Harris on January 9, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Wow, great ideas here, Sarah! Enjoy your challenges too!


  5. Emily on January 9, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Excellent goals! I was able to use a 24 inch zipper on my halifax. It’s maybe 5/8- 3/4 inch away from the top. (I did use the 26 inch on my first one and shortened it appropriately). I sewed a large and I know you’re smaller than me. With the big 4 I also use my high bust measurement and pay attention to how much design ease is included. I sewed a top with 7 inches of ease!!! I sized down one size but I could’ve probably sized down two sizes. I have no idea why nursing bras are so ugly. I think I found a cute one but it was $$$$ so I didn’t buy it. Bras are on my list too. So awesome you made a plan for your husband too!

  6. Carol on January 11, 2018 at 10:11 am

    I love your blogs. You have given me so many ideas for fabric sources and a different perspective on patterns also. Plus, your links to other sources of information have been incredibly helpful as well. I’ve been sewing since I was around 8, for my dolls, and for myself from then on. I’m going on 65. Home sewing has gone in cycles and really looked down on for so many years, and it is such a pleasure to see it taking off again. Plus, there are so many new fabrics and types of patterns available. Thank you again.

  7. Jeanne McCroskey on February 14, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Do you use only a sewing machine, or do you sometimes use a serger?
    Q: Do you know an easy way to sew elastic, with sequins, onto netting for princess dresses?

    • Sarah on February 14, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      I use my serger quite a bit. Yikes- that sounds complicated. I’ve honestly never worked with sequins. I think many people trim them from t the seam allowance before serging. Good luck!

  8. Frith Valk on May 15, 2020 at 12:37 am

    Hi Sarah

    Did you ever get around to making the Greenstyle Sundance Jacket I’m thinking about making one and would love to hear your views on the jacket.



    • Sarah on May 17, 2020 at 9:33 pm

      Frith- I did not. I had some fit issues that I just didn’t want to take the time to tackle at the time- lots of little pieces to adjust!

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