#2017makenine is very popular this year with at the time of writing this 699 public posts on Instagram featuring the hashtag. The concept, as I'm sure you're aware (started, I think, by Lucky Lucille) is to post nine sewing patterns or goals you wish to make/sew/achieve during 2017 and then to actually make those!
I thought about taking part and then I thought again. I'm not very good at following through with plans, when sewing related at least. I'm good at making them, but over the last couple of years when I've tried to do something similar I've failed. Pretty quickly. Last year I'm not sure I actually made anything I'd said I wanted to.
Failing to meet my goals or stick to my plans kind of makes me anxious, and added anxiety is definitely something I can do without.
It's weird, in other areas of my life I like plans. I like knowing what I'm doing and when I'm doing it. I'm not very good at being spontaneous - spontaneity also makes me anxious. And I've often wondered why, when I like knowing what I'm doing when, I fail to meet sewing goals I set myself.
Sew Busy Lizzy's blog post today has given me the answer. She talks about why she hasn't set herself sewing goals and as I read her post a light bulb went on in my mind.
Perhaps this is because my motivation to sew isn't often practical. I sew when a fabric inspires me... I am hit by the urge to try a pattern... I am suddenly obsessed with having a specific garment... all of these things and more. My motivation is primarily creative - not practical.
As I read her post I realised that I feel exactly the same. Unlike some people, I rarely sew to fill a gap in my wardrobe that needs filling, or even to learn a specific skill.
My urge to sew comes from creating things that excite me, things that no one else has. I might see a designer dress or a coat in a magazine and decide that I want to try and recreate it. I might suddenly have a desire to make a denim skirt out of the fabric I bought to make jeans with. Not having a plan enables me to do this.
Sewing - as well as other creative pursuits - helps me feel calm and eases my anxiety. Having set plans that "must" be followed stifles this and actually has the opposite effect. Of course, there are exceptions; sometimes I have to follow through on a plan, but overall the flexibility to sew what I want, when I want and not beat myself up if I don't achieve a self imposed goal is what's important.
I have vague ideas of things that I might like to make this year. I will try and make use of some of the patterns I already own, rather than buy too many new ones, but I am a sucker for the "new and shiny". Likewise with fabric and I may well have a destash at some stage, as having too much fabric that maybe I'm not totally in love with anymore also makes me anxious. Sadly, that doesn't stop me buying more!
I'm going to a wedding in April, so it's likely I'll make myself an outfit for that, but if I don't and I end up buying something instead, then who really cares? All I know is that I'm giving myself the flexibility to sew what I want, when I want.
I'm declaring 2017 the year of sewing without a plan. Anyone care to join me?