Sunday, February 11, 2018

Setting Intention for the 2018 RTW Fast

2017 was a great sewing year, but I was unmotivated to blog my makes. Truth:  I like the writing aspect of blogging, but the photography part frustrates and intimidates me! 

This year I am participating in another RTW Fast with Sarah from Goodbye Valentino.  My first RTW Fast was in 2015 as an "ambitious beginner." The 2015 Fast pushed me to increase my sewing skills, even though I no longer wear most of these items.  My reasons have evolved since 2015, so i thought I would dust off this space and declare my 2018 fasting intentions:

1) Wardrobe & Skill Building

 The TunicBible tunic (January 2018)

Self drafted African Waxprint skirt (January 2018)

I lead a casual lifestyle and my clothing NEEDS reflect that.  My WANTS are a different story.. I love sewing for special life events, particularly weddings and travel!  For 2018 events, I am anticipating 3 weddings (2 spring/1 fall) and 1 big vacation coming up later this month to New Zealand.  My 2018 sewing queue is still largely the same as it was during the 2015 Fast:

1. Develop a pant sloper and make some well-fitting jeans 
2. Tailored winter coat
3. Handbag/clutch making

2) Refinement of Personal Style

This is a tough one and I'm still figuring it out. I'm trying to check myself more to see if a particular style actually suits ME. Trends do inform our individual style evolution, but the march of time does too.  And the more I grow my own confidence, the more comfortable I am branching out stylistically!

I posted the above photo to IG last year and it encapsulates a lot of how I feel about confidence, personal style and being comfortable dressing a little different.  I wrote:

Beautiful fall weather in Central Park today wearing my “it’s not fashionable, it’s timeless” #jupeprovencaleand a top that I dyed black with #ritdye. My mom bought me this #lesindiennesdenimesskirt in #arles when I was 13 years old (!) on a family trip. The fabric is typical of the region and is still one of my favorite items of clothing! “It’s not fashionable, it’s timeless” was my mom’s sales pitch to me in the store—as a teenager I was hesitant to get the skirt because i was concerned that my middle school classmates would raise their eyebrows at my fashion choices when I returned home!

GOAL: No particular goal, just want to see how my personal style evolves.

3) Personal Finance

In 2017 I catalogued all of my RTW clothing/shoe/accessory purchases with the goal of spending <4% of my personal net paycheck on these expenses. It was an empowering exercise because it affirmed that my actual spending is on par with the nominal emotional value I (do my best to) assign to designer clothing/shoes/accessories.  Now it's time to take it a step forward and use these micro-gains to invest in my macro-level financial goals!  

GOAL:   Like a lot of married women, my husband manages our investments and I'm pretty clueless about his active strategy. The RTW Fast along with Sallie Krawcheck's ElleVest are together serving as the catalyst for me to learn about investing on my own. This week I set up a non-marital account for the $ I will save from fasting. I am auto- investing an additional 4% net paycheck per month and plan to donate an additional 1% to charity.  Still thinking on where I want to donate.  Hopefully my fasting $ will be able to fund a sewing room renovation in a hypothetical future home or some great trips or whatever it is that my future self would like!

4) Sustainability
Mother Daughter glacier climb in Iceland!

I am trying to be more mindful of sustainability in several areas of my life.   While vacationing with my Mom and sister last summer in Iceland and the Faroes, I read "The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy" by Economics Professor Pietra Rivoli.  The book was primarily about free trade/globalization through the lens of how a t-shirt is made, but it did get me thinking about sustainability and what I can do to make it a more active part of my life.  My vacation surroundings also impacted my read.  We spent a day climbing the Snaefellsnes glacier with a guide who was a passionate environmental advocate. He looked each of us square in the eye and asked us what we were actively doing to protect our environment.  His question and my fumbling response have haunted me a bit. 

1. Buy less, use more: For every one unit of fabric that I purchase, I must make 2 unit from my stash.
2. Recycle my fabric scraps via the H&M recycling program.
3. Finish 3 UFOs (Kelly Anorak, shower curtain, Hemlock tee, Bombshell dress)

My sewjo has been lacking the last few weeks, but nothing motivates me quite like a deadline...or two.  I leave for New Zealand in 2 weeks on a much-anticipated vacation I have been planning for 2 years + I have a dressy-ish lunch to attend a few days prior.  1 stretch suede dress and another vacation tunic + Hemlock tee and white Eleonore jeans are all in my rather ambitious queue! Let's see how I do! 


  1. That is quite an ambitious list of sewing projects. I love an ambitious list! A lot of them are things I’m also interested in so it will be interesting to follow along.
    I like the idea of calculating spending. That’s an interesting concept and I hope your saved money goes to something wonderful!
    My brother-in-law is from New Zealand. I went there when I was 13. It’s a beautiful country and I hope you love your trip. Enjoy the sheep!

    1. I am so excited for the sheep and we are actually staying on a sheep farm in Arthur’s Pass for two nights. What was your favorite thing in NZ? I have been anticipating this trip for so long I can hardly believe it’s almost here.

    2. Honestly? The locals put on a performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The bartender was Joseph and it was #awesome. My mom talked about it for years! I loved the sheep farm too. You don’t see that every day.

  2. Also, one of the best things I did was buy a tripod to take pictures of myself for my blog. It’s way easier to lose that way! I bought a cheap one off Amazon and it works great.

    1. Would you believe that a Sewing friend is letting me borrow her DsLR for the trip!? I took a photography class last weekend and I hear you on the tripod. I am so shaky and need one for sure! my photo skills leave a lot to be desired. I’ve been doing the homework from the class this week and I have to laugh at the results! Photography is hard!

  3. Love your plans, and I hope to be sewing along with you on a lot of this.

  4. great plans and I'm on a mission to sew more pants this year, I made a pattern by copying an existing pair and thus skipped all the fitting of a new pattern. Coat, huh? I would love to make it back to NY and do an intensive coat sewing weekend - we should plan something :)

  5. Great plans! I hear you on sewing needs vs. wants. I'm participating in #2018makenine and I already find myself getting distracted from my "blueprint." I *did* just complete a pretty successful Jalie Eleonore muslin, though!

  6. Really great plans! I hope all your projects are coming along well.

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