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Hello 2011

2011 January 2
by elizabeth_admin

Happy New Year my friends!  I don’t know about you, but I am excited about 2011.  Bring it!


Thanks for following me to my new home!  I hope you will update your reader feeds to include my new url, SEWN and that you’ll keep visiting. 

Please take a gander at my new header.  Notice anything different?  Big changes are afoot.  I hired a very talented designer to help me with my new and improved look and feel.  I came up with the name and she did all the rest. 

You probably noticed that along with a new banner at the top, I have finally changed my blog name.  Sew A Beginner was so…  last year, so limiting and so not me anymore.  I’ve been sewing now for a little over two years and considering all that I’ve learned and made (two coats people.  TWO!), I think I deserve to promote myself out of the beginner ranks.

I chose SEWN as my new name because I like the simplicity, directness, succinctness and freshness of the word.  It describes the majority of my output.  In short, I love it!

But that’s not all that’s new.  The super secret surprise to which I have been alluding the last couple of months can be revealed now that my new name has been unveiled.  I am opening an Etsy shop within the month; it will be called SEWN Market.  I have modest goals for this new endeavor.  I will sell things that are simply designed, small and that maximize the high quality fabric I will use.  If I make just enough to pay for my fabric addiction, I will be happy.  I know there are some of you out there that might recall me waxing poetic on how Etsy is not a workable paradigm for building a business.  About how you can’t scale up if you are the only person doing the sewing.  That there’s a cap on how much one person can produce.  And that that’s why the industrial revolution came about.  But I’m not shooting for the moon.  I don’t expect to be the next Tea Collection.  My goals are much more modest. 

I have been corresponding with Johanna of The Last Stitch of late.  She has her own Etsy shop for her Floremark line which has been quite successful.  Johanna has given me great advice on how Etsy works and how to go about setting up a shop.  I am very appreciative to her for sharing her hard-earned knowledge.  Check out her work!  Out of my research with Johanna and other on-line sources, I have decided that, due to the economy of size, most items I will sell will be for intended for children, but I won’t count out an adult accessory here or there.  Who knows.  The possibilities are endless.

But back to the new year and acknowledging the past year…  


I learned the following skills in 2010:

  • successfully used a twin needle on stretch fabrics
  • how to use my vintage Singer Featherweight
  • made my own shoulder pads.  Word!
  • made yards of ruffles on little girl dresses and nightgowns
  • became a champion topstitcher
  • conquered back stays even going as far as retrofitting one in my fall coat
  • applied lace to linings, little girl dresses and even a collar!
  • made underlining a hallmark of my sewing process
  • Drafted. My. Own. Curved. Skirt. Facing.  Word Squared!
  • Figured out a cheater FBA through lots of on-line research
  • gathering (despite the best efforts to thwart me by my ex-boyfriend)
  • two words: Collar and Stand
  • understanding how to read pattern directions (this was a personal triumph)

This list isn’t as long as last year’s, but I’m still quite proud of it.  There are some pretty advanced things on it.  There’s only one item which I might need a remedial course in:  Don’t drink and sew.  😉  


GOALS MET (or not)

Now that the news is out of the way, let’s talk goals.  Last year, I set the following goals:

  • sheath dress  — I made not only one sheath dress, but 3.5!
  • blazer/jacket  — umm… this one did not get any attention except for a passing thought a couple of times.  This is definitely on the books for 2011.
  • use sweater knits for a cardigan sweater set  — yeah, I didn’t really even think about this one.  Maybe 2011?
  • welt pockets — the blazer/jacket of 2011 will probably take care of this neglected item on my goal list.
  • find some TNT’s like Carolyn — I found two TNT’s, B5147 sheath dress and S2452 pencil skirt.  I still need to find other TNT’s though because I am not entirely satisfied with these.  But like Scarlett said, I’ll think about that tomorrow.  😉  
  • perfect my invisible zipper — I can’t recall how many invisible zippers I inserted this past year, but I don’t think I have perfected it yet.  But the good news is I have a strong suspicion that there are many invisible zippers in my future.
  • more lined skirts — I made 3 versions of S2452, so I think I definitely nailed this one.
  • a tailored shirt — Does Thor’s camp shirt, KS 3146 count? It did have a collar and stand, so I’m calling this one checked off.
  • make a charmeuse or chiffon blouse — yeah, this one got completely ignored.  Oops!
  • participate in at least 1 Pattern Review contest — I participated in the natural fibers contest in the summer.  I didn’t win or even make it to the semi-finals, but I am glad I have entered at least one contest.  I am not sure I am drawn to entering any future contests though.  I don’t think my response has anything to do with losing, but more with I didn’t feel really challenged by it. Probably a wardrobe contest would be a lot more challenging, but I am fearful that it would kill my sewing mojo.  Sounds like a double-edged sword to me.
  • make at least 25 garments (one of which should be a complex pattern like the trench coat) — I made 23 garments (of which 10 of them were gifts).  I also made 32 accessories (not including the knitted items) which brought my tally up to 55 items.  I will consider that goal more than met. 



  • I need more TNT’s people!  Like a princess seamed sheath dress, a knit top, pants, a jacket/blazer, etc)
  • Blazer/Jacket (see first goal above):  This one has got to be knocked off in the first quarter.
  • A Charmeuse or Chiffon blouse: I need this for my work wardrobe
  • Make at least 30 garments (at least 18 should be for me and not gifts)  I need clothes STAT!
  • Welt Pockets:  I’d really like to knock this one out this year.


SEWN Market GOALS FOR 2011

  • Make and list at least 21-24 bibs in the first quarter
  • Test different children’s garments for sale-ability
  • Do more research into pricing and marketing


Well, this post has gone on long enough without one picture.  I will leave you with my wish for you this new year. 

May you all have endless sewing mojo and the time to use it. 

28 Responses leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011

    Love your new look blog Elizabeth! You’ve done really well with your sewing and it’s been lovely to see your progress. Keep going! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog.

  2. Rosie permalink
    January 2, 2011

    First in and congrats on all your accomplishments and way to go on the Etsy shop! I look forward to following your blog. Happy New Year!

  3. January 2, 2011

    Great idea to update your blog site and congrats on starting an Etsy site. I want to do that eventually too – with the same modesty of goals.

  4. January 2, 2011

    Ahhh… so this is your new home :)!
    So glad to find your new blog and that I can keep on reading your sewing-fun.
    Happy New Year to you & Jack (& your sewing machines too)

  5. January 2, 2011

    I love the look of the new blog! Good luck with the Etsy shop!

  6. January 2, 2011

    Love the new look! What an exciting start to 2011!

  7. January 2, 2011

    Love the look of the new blog, and it suits you perfectly! I wish you a fantastic 2011 and best of luck with the new business!

  8. January 2, 2011

    The new blog looks wonderful! I definitely think you’ve outgrown the “Beginner” label. I can’t wait to see what gets “Sewn” in 2011!

  9. January 2, 2011

    I like the look of your new blog, especially now that you are now sewn-ot a beginner! Good luck with your etsy store!

  10. January 2, 2011

    Congrats! Here’s to a fabulous 2011!!

  11. January 2, 2011

    congratulations! I love the new look and that potrait of you and Jack (earlier post) is gorgeous. Good idea to get great pics done now. I wish I had better pics of my DD at that age.

  12. January 2, 2011

    Wow! Look at you being all grown up now…loving the new website! Good luck with the Etsy Shop!

  13. Lindsay T permalink
    January 2, 2011

    Wow, it looks fantastic! Denise did a great job. Looking forward to big things from you this year, m’dear!

  14. January 2, 2011

    I do have a question though – what’s a TNT i’ve seen them mentioned a lot lately all over the place!

  15. January 2, 2011

    What a great look for your new blog! I’m glad you haven’t disappeared; I wondered when Sew A Beginner vanished yesterday.

    Your plans are interesting, but are you aware of the new (-ish) federal regulations regarding goods for children? There may be some serious legal obstacles that you might want to be aware of before you sell children’s goods.

    I know Dawn, of Two On Two Off, was one blogger who shut down her home business (selling baby slings) due to the new regulations regarding costly testing of materials used in children’s goods. She might be a good resource (along with Mr. Google) for what you may be facing in terms of liability.

    I don’t mean to be a downer, but this is just the sort of thing that you’re better off knowing going in, rather than once you’ve gotten head over heels.

  16. January 2, 2011

    congratulations! Love the new header, and good luck! (and hope what Noile says works out)

  17. January 3, 2011

    Exciting news! Loving the sleek look of the new blog, and can’t wait to hear more about your new venture!

  18. Mae Wilson permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Re your search for a new princess seamed sheath dress TNT pattern- I love Simplicity 2648. It’s well drafted and has the option for different cup sizes. Because it has a waist seam, you can use it as a ‘base’ for tops, a skirt, and dresses with a variety of ‘frankenpatterned’ skirts.

  19. Jan Sturtevant permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Great news on all fronts! Pricing Without Fear is a good book, if it’s still around. If you can’t find it, I’d be happy to send you mine for as long as you need it. Good luck with navigating the mfg. of clothes for kids…it really makes me mad that govt. makes it so hard for individuals to have a cottage industry.

    Wonderful design for your new blog!

  20. January 3, 2011

    Good luck with your new venture! Great to have a new project for the new year. I wish you every success.

  21. January 3, 2011

    Great name for the new blog! And I love the new design too. Best of luck for your 2011 goals.

  22. January 3, 2011

    Love the new place!!! And your esty shop should be a winner.

  23. NuJoi permalink
    January 3, 2011

    Happy New Year! Congrats on the new blog. Best of luck to you.

  24. January 3, 2011

    Lovely new digs you have here! Great way to start a new year! Happy Sewing!

  25. January 3, 2011

    Your new blog looks great! Good luck with you new endeavors!

  26. January 3, 2011

    Nice new blog! I’ve updated my blogroll and will keep following. Can’t wait to see your new creations. Happy 2011!

  27. Cayce permalink
    January 5, 2011

    wow! cool new blog and can’t wait for SEWN Market to open on Etsy. I think there are a lot of other accomplishments you can list in 2010….maybew they don’t photograph so well but they still count! : )

  28. January 9, 2011

    Wow, how very exciting!! It’s been an amazing year for you in 2010. You’ve learned so much. Sewn is a great name for the new blog and new venture. I wish you all the best for your sewing adventures in 2011!

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