What’s In The Jar?

Sewlutions 2013

The original jar wasn’t big enough.

So, I finally printed off all the 187 comments and settled down for a session of serious ripping up of paper. You guys wrote over 10,000 words between you, did you know that? With the radio on and a puppy cuddling against my feet, I placed resolution after resolution into the jar. I also kept track of what people had vowed to do in 2013. Interested to find out? The top five most popular Sewlutions are in the pie chart below:

Online Graphing

Making a jacket or coat was the clear winner, and the Minoru Jacket received seven specific mentions. Indeed, it was the most popular pattern to get a name check. (The Bombshell Dress came second.)

I was surprised to see the number of people who wanted to conquer jeans/trousers/pants. We clearly have a bee in our bonnet! It makes sense – a good pair of jeans or trousers is a staple of most wardrobes. Which makes me wonder:

Does the sewing we see in blogs accurately reflect the sewing we need in our lives?

The most popular blog posts are usually about gorgeous dresses. It’s obvious why – all those colours, prints, details, flounces! A pair of trousers… Not so much. Here’s a photo of me wearing jeans. We can admire  great fit, but it’s not quite the same swoon factor, is it?

Sewing underwear was also popular, Menswear got a decent look in, as did learning a new technique. Very interestingly, only two of you wanted to make a skirt. This tells us something, I’m sure, I just don’t know what! Skirts aren’t aspirational enough?

Other highlights for me were the unusual Sewlutions:

  • Scruffy Badger has vowed to make a retro swimsuit. I can’t WAIT to see this!
  • Maria Denmark made a Sewlution to release paper patterns this year. Isn’t that exciting?
  • Lladybird wants to sew from a 1957 pattern on her 1957 Featherweight. What a cool idea.

So, we’re up and running. See that jar brimful of Sewlutions? Any time between now and 31 December, I could reach into the jar, pull a name out at random and invite us all to check in with them and see how they’re doing…

You’re not just answerable to me now. You’re answerable to my readers. Bwahahahahah!

In The Jar

STOP PRESS! There are two exciting Pattern Pyramids! Crafternoon Nap has some great patterns here. The deadline is 13 January, so get in quick. Plus Scruffy Badger has just launched her Pattern Pyramid and there’s a whole lotta goodness going on here. You lucky people!

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38 Responses to What’s In The Jar?

  1. JacqC says:

    Oh, you ended up with a huge task – it’s such a good idea though so I’m not surprised. The fear factor of a random callout is hilarious, I have this image of hoardes of bloggers ambushing one another! I too cannot wait to see Winnie’s retro swimsuit, you just know it will be brilliant 🙂

  2. 5currantbuns says:

    Ah, but it is the “holy grail” of skirts…I fully expect there to be lots of skirts during the year but its if I can find the one skirt that makes me feel that I am not just putting on my work “uniform”

    Hats off to you for all the work involved in cataloguing all the resolutions, we should get you an award at the end of the year too for being the mistress of the jar…

  3. Fwaire says:

    How interesting! I am definitely looking forward to the names being pulled out and seeing what people have done! 😀 Thanks for taking your time for this! such a good idea!

  4. Fiona says:

    I hope I can hold myself to mine, can’t wait to see what everyone else comes up with!
    I’ve nominated you for a blog award! You always make such wonderful contributions to the sewing/blogging community. Here’s my post about it http://chainstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/my-first-blog-award-nomination.html

  5. houseofpinheiro says:

    this idea was pure genius, thanks for the stats.. im a geek and love them…

  6. black label says:

    ooooooo how interesting! love the stats. have a good sewing 2013 all x

  7. Jenny says:

    This is such a fun, interesting idea! I really can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with. I am joining you all in spirit since I didn’t join in on time. My plan is at least a garment every month this year, skirts included. I really like the stats too!

  8. Sewer from across the Pond says:

    Skirts are plenty aspirational to me. 🙂
    I’d rather see on a blog a beautifully executed simple garment than poorly made up fancy one.

  9. Vicki Kate says:

    Gulp! That’s a lot of scrutiny! Thank you for doing all this though, it’s an extra push and a bit more incentive to stick with it!

  10. Roobeedoo says:

    Hi there – um, are you sure the Crafternoon Nap giveaway is part of your Pyramid? I think this is a separate New Zealand-based venture, started by sewers in Wellington. It must be getting really really hard to keep track now that the idea has spun out world-wide!

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  12. Danielle says:

    I look forward to the check-ins and seeing how everyone is doing! (I’ve purchased a few dress patterns, so I’ve taken the first step!) 🙂

  13. Marie F. says:

    That’s is really a good idea! And I am looking forward too for the check-ins. I haven’t put anything in the jar, but I just wanted to mention how I appreciate your blog. You have inspired me to try double-gauze for a Cambie dress, I even bought the same fabric (same shop) but the pale blue version :). Thanks !!

  14. oonaballoona says:

    i’m not sure if i said this in my head or in the comments, but the inside of your noggin must be a wild and wonderful place.

  15. Sunni says:

    So much fun!!!! I’m very excited about the check-ins. Yay!

    I think you bring up a very very good point, and its something that I noticed last year with myself and with others too. “Does the sewing we see in blogs accurately reflect the sewing we need in our lives?” I don’t say this in a rude spirit because I’m clearly guilty of sewing garments that aren’t needed, that don’t get worn and that can’t be worn on an everyday sort of level, but I think its an interesting observation that here in the blogosphere there are many garments being made that don’t really reflect what we are actually going to wear everyday. I started really noticing this with my own sewing last summer when I found that I had practically nothing to wear for the summer months because I had been too busy making clothing that couldn’t be worn and that doesn’t match my lifestyle. Meaning things akin to cocktail dresses and items that require a lot of serious discomfort in one form or another. Now I see that the harder thing to pull off is being able to translate the beauty and fun of an upscale dress into something that’s everyday wearable, comfortable and doesn’t require the wear of uncomfortable shoes or accessories (like corsetry!). Just my own two cents, but I’m so glad you posed this question!

  16. Diane says:

    Hi Karen – erm can I ask what my beginner’s challenge in the jar is? Before you hunt me down for not having done it!

  17. Marie says:

    Fascinating breakdown Karen! I’m a bit terrified that you may call upon us before 31 Dec…be prepared for panic and chaos ;o)

  18. Shelley says:

    Haven’t stopped by for a while, so I didn’t my Sewlutions get into the jar. Good luck to everyone who got their sewlutions in on time. I think it is such a great idea, I have started my own jar–it will be interesting at the end of the year to see how many of the sewlutions were accomplished.

    As to the question you posed, I think you hit the nail on the head–ordinary, everday clothes don’t have the blog impact of a great cocktail dress. For myself, last spring I resolved to spend my time sewing clothes that fit my lifestyle and my body. Last summer, for the first time in years, I had a choice of clothes to wear in my closet. I found having that choice to wear something I made almost every day, as opposed to the “special occasion” dress was quite addictive. I plan to continue “sewing for my lifestyle” in 2013. That’s the list I’ll put in my jar!

  19. Chaisson Thompson says:

    I just found your wonderful blog by doing a random search for sewing blogs. This is such a brilliant idea, and I applaud you for the work you’re putting into it! I’ll be avidly following to see what the results will be!

    Liz (shesewsseams.wordpress.com)

  20. Crikey that is a lot of resolutions! You should indeed check in, or maybe people could message you once they have completed theirs and do a little round up feature? I am yet to start on mine (unless buying fabric counts? that counts right?)

  21. Ooh, love the idea behind this and can’t wait to see what everyone manages to get done!


  22. Stevey says:

    Hats off, that’s really a lot of work you put in it so far. I didn’t join the Sewlutions because I don’t know where my sewing will take me this year. The only thing I know is that my son will have to bear with me going to some of the fabric shops you recommended in a post soooome time back when we visit London in February, buy some fabric there and sew something with it THIS year. And the thing I want most right now is a plain, blue corduroy everyday skirt, so that somehow swings in with the mood, too.
    (Lol, that London trip is partly your fault, you know. Remember that Me made June post back in 2011 with Hugh and his son who is a guardman? My sons were asking me all day about it and we had to look up heck knows what and the older one has been hooked ever since. This year he didn’t want a birthday present and no birthday party, he wanted to go to London. So here we come)

  23. lisa g says:

    love the random accountability check! i for one enjoy seeing the everyday wearable items on blogs, though i agree, the impractical frills tend to dominate. personally i can’t justify the time and expense of making something that won’t get worn much, unless i find a real steal fabric-wise! i do try to incorporate fun details (inside or out) to elevate the makes that are less drool-worthy. just because i sew basics doesn’t mean i can’t have a little fun!

  24. grtescp says:

    I missed entering the sewlutions, but I too am really interested by the stats – another aspiring Minoru jacket sewer here!
    I certainly sew less than I might because most things I know how to sew don’t match my lifestyle – I am a jeans and big bulky sweaters person, I am always cold and I never wear skirts, ever. I tend to sew more bags and wallets because I can always use them, or try to sell them on etsy 🙂

  25. Zoe says:

    Love it! Thanks so much for taking the time to compile this fascinating data Karen! I don’t think the lack of skirt pledges is because they aren’t aspirational, I think it’s just that most people start by making a skirt when they first learn, and I have a feeling most of the pledgees are already addicted to sewing! I also LOVE the idea of you picking a name out the jar now and again and asking them how they are getting on with their pledge. Maybe target the 12 garments in 12 months ladies for the early months as they should definitely have something to show for themselves fairly early on in the year. That would be so much fun.

  26. Erika says:

    Love the statistics, thank you for taking the time to putting it all together! I think Zoe has a point that for many of the sewists with a year or more of sewing experience, skirts are a fortress already conquered. Not that one can’t learn more, but maybe it’s not a challenge any longer.

    I also find it very interesting how many are re-evaluating what they sew and for what kind of wear. I’ve always felt slightly boring; there I’ll be, sewing a navy skirt for everyday wear and people are talking about how they would never devote their sewing time to boring fabrics, colours or garments. I’ve sort of felt like the odd one out, but no more! Everyday wear is springing up all over the web and I love it!
    One reason that poped up regarding trousers being more aspired to than blogged about: they’re just so darn tricky. I’ve just spent two weeks tweaking a trouser block pattern, and I’m still not convinced it’s ready. It will however hopefully work for what I intend to use it for: sweatpants =) It doesn’t get more everyday than that, does it? Nor more weird, making a block pattern just so I can get comfy homewear!

  27. LLADYBIRD says:

    Dammit, you called me out! Now I can’t keep my sewlution hidden in a mass of comments 😉 haha but in all seriousness… I found my 1957 pattern. So, yes, this will happen! 🙂

  28. This is such a great idea, not surprised you got so many sewlutions in the jar! The check-ins are going to be interesting, I’m semi regretting not making a resolution of my own, chickened out though 🙂

  29. ZoSews says:

    Oh dear me. That random checking in scares… might have to actually start something!!

  30. makeitgiveit says:

    I love this and what dedication you have shown to us your readers!!

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