Life of Johanna / Video

Video: Sewing goals for 2017

We are nearing the end of 2016 so I thought I should share some of my sewing goals for 2017. Some are big and some are small, but I love the goal setting aspect as it really helps me venture out and learn new sewing techniques and such.

In the video I mention the following posts:

A tutorial on how to attach a twill band to a t-shirt on the blog Baste and Gather.
For more insight into my trouser fitting struggles, here is my post from 2009: Pant sew-along Fitting the pants
Plus, the story of how the time I participated in a tailoring workshop and a tailoring Q&A follow-up post.


  • Kay
    December 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Fantastic hearing you talk about your goals for next year!!!

    I love the coverstitch goal – I have a Janome 1000 CPX and I would you to hear what you learn with your coverstitch.

    Time to make my own sewing goals!

    • Johanna
      December 12, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      You should. goals are fun! Once I get more comfortable with all the functions I will do an update to my original Janome Coverpro review I also plan to make a new video tutorial on coverstitching showing all the best practise routines I’ve learned over the years

  • Anne
    December 14, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I really enjoyed your video! Hearing about your goals is quite inspiring. I look forward to seeing what you make…and to your e-book! I have yet to sew active wear. Sewing a good workout legging would be a real challenge for me… One I am not quite ready to tackle, but promise myself to do someday soon! For now, my next projects (goals!) include making a shirtdress and a (lined?) spring coat made out of recycled jeans. Making buttonholes and lining a coat will definitely stretch my sewing skills. Modest goals which will lead me to bigger ones…in due time! 🙂

    • Johanna
      December 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

      Wow a coat made out of recycled jeans, that sounds like an awesome, environmentally sound and super creative project! Agree about small goals, they are so important and I often find that new techniques will be much more successful if I really take the time and do several samples before I attack the real thing. Excited for you about your spring goals

  • KathleenS
    December 31, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Johanna,

    You asked what might be good to cover in your activewear book. I am interested in sewing activewear (I’m a runner) but I am intimidated by it. I am fairly experienced with woven garments, but less so with knits, even though I’ve made plenty of knit t-shirts, tops and dresses. I regard activewear as the hardest category of knits.

    I admire the items you’ve made, but for me when I see you’ve drafted them yourself I feel “well, I can’t have that then.”

    Some things I think you should cover are:

    *How to start from a pattern, rather than drafting your own. So, tips about:
    — how to choose a suitable commercial pattern
    — how to fit it (in relation to activewear in particular, which is of course frequently very fitted)
    — how to add the details you are demonstrating. For example, a pocket. That is something I would see as achievable, and hence worth attempting, but I would want precise instructions for how to draft it – where do I place it on my pattern? how do I determine how wide/long it should be? etc. I would not find it helpful to be told something like “make the pocket the size you like”.

    *How to evaluate and compensate for a different fabric? (more stretch? more drape?) i.e. different from the one the pattern was designed for, OR different from a previous fabric I used successfully to make the same pattern.

    *I am particularly scared of rippled edges. How should I finish necklines, armholes and hems so that they aren’t rippled to start with, and don’t stretch out of shape quickly when I start to wear the garment?

    * What equipment is necessary for an activewear project? I do not have a coverstitch machine. I hope that I would be able to start making activewear without one. If I found I liked making activewear then I could consider the purchase later. This might also be true of an overlocker. I have one, but if someone doesn’t, is it possible to start making activewear in your opinion or not? And then what other (smaller) equipment/tools are essential to have? Nice-to-have?

    * Are you planning to cover shelf bras? How to add them to a pattern? Fit them?

    I hope this is helpful. Of course you’ll have your own ideas for what direction you want to go in and what kind of readers you want to cater for (and I realise that it may be different from my suggestions).


    • Johanna
      January 1, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to give such thoughtful feedback. I have already copied your comment and pasted it in my notebook 🙂 As for using a regular sewing machine, I will give a lot of attention on that aspect, because that is the realty for most sewists who are getting into sewing knits. Especially coverstitch machines are not a very common occurrence I suspect. And a lot of the focus on the book will be how add activewear details to more basic commercial patterns (compared to the ones I draft myself) such as pockets and other details. And you make great points about the fit, that is something that is super important too, and depending on the fabric can make a huge difference, we’ll see how I can explain that in book form 🙂 Again thank you for the very valuable feedback!


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