Friday, 26 April 2013

A couple of goals

I've been thinking a bit lately, and I've decided on two goals for myself.

Can I tell you a secret, interwebs? I know I'm doing a PhD in Psychology, and it's a big thing, but I don't want to do it for the rest of my life. When I left school I went and studied fashion design, psychology was my second choice. When I was 23 all my small joint problems became one big massive ball of chronic pain, and an insurmountable boulder in my path down a fashion career - everything I though I might enjoy involved handling stuff, and any kind of gripping, turning, holding, moving, repetitive action, particularly with my wrists and hands, was a big pain-inducer. So with much frustration and many tears I went back to learn something different.

I started studying psychology with the intention of doing a PhD and getting a job doing psychology in some form (not just using it as a base for work involving people in someway like a lot of people do with an undergrad psych degree). At that time, sewing had become a maybe 30mins once or twice a week thing, and in time I sold my three industrial sewing machines, my mannequin, and my patternmaking table. It was done with a lot of sadness and regret. And every now and then I would wake up from a dream doing my dream job as a patternmaker and I would wake up and cry because I STILL wanted to do it, even though my body was trying to tell me it was impossible.

So here I am six years later, and I've learned a LOT about managing my activities and pain. Sewing still hurts me, but I'm slowly learning how much I can do at a time, how much is sustainable. For a long time it wasn't just the pain holding me back, but that it tore at my heartstrings every time I sewed or designed something, knowing I couldn't do it as a larger part of my life, let alone a career. But I'm finding that I kind of NEED to make things, it helps keep me sane. And so with a bit of planning out and breaking things into small steps I'm starting to find a few things manageable. My sense of style requires that I make clothes for myself. My desire for quality clothing (and a very small budget) requires that I make clothes for myself (I am hopeless! at clothing shopping, everything seems so badly sewn or not quite right somehow). And I'm starting to think these things just might be possible.

So here's my goal: Be a patternmaker by the time I'm 50.

I turn 30 next year, so I have 20 years to figure it all out and slowly get there. I can use my psychology to support my family in the meantime.

When I was studying fashion design 10 years ago, small independent patternmakers didn't seem to exist, not that I knew of anyway. But I've seen a few start cropping up over the internet the last few years, so I've been starting to dream again. No rush, no hurry, but a small dream to work on in the background over the long-term.

Oh, and the other goal? To reshape my wardrobe so that I can be wearing skirts 5 days a week by the end of the year. I need a few more skirts for a start, but also more tops that work well with skirts.


Anonymous said...

First: <3
Second: have you checked out Craftsy?
Third: I want to wear more skirts too

khhast said...

ooo last time I was exploring craftsy (a few years ago now) they didn't do that, though they look hard to search through and not overly professional looking (I'm picky! But I like quality). I was thinking more along the lines of Colette Patterns (ladies) or Oliver + S (kids), and similar to those you can find at
I'd be wanting to do quality patterns (preferably printed, not pdf - so many easily made problems with pdf) with great instructions so they are really accessible but still awesome looking finished garments.

Anonymous said...

Mmm I think the patterns on Craftsy are still self published so if would depend on the pattern writer (like ravelry downloads). It's probably good for me because I'm not at a stage I can start from scratch but know enough to be able to modify or interpret.
PDF are nice and portable but do mean there is some requirement that the user print and stick it correctly. Printed are harder to distribute.

I think Craftsy is still mostly focussed on the classes it runs and patterns are a bit of a sideline.

Also what shoes do you wear with skirts? It's not warm enough for sandals very often here but I don't want to wear boots all the time. My sneakers have a hole in the foot so I need new shoes (currently wearing my waterproof boots most of the time).