January 6, 2017

Some Goals For 2017 (Such Surprise, Much Wow)

Everybody tired of reading about goals and new years resolutions? Too bad! No I'm only joking, you don't have to read mine too, though I don't seem to actually tire of reading about people's goals, perhaps because goals are full of hope and hope is nice.

Lets see how I've done on last years goals...

1) Learn tailoring techniques and make some suits: Well I didn't really learn any tailoring techniques last year, and I only made the one suit (my plaid suit). Still, I'd really like to learn some proper tailoring skills so this stays on my list.

2) Make at least 4 historical costumes: Nope. I made 1!

3) Make more dresses: Well I made almost the same amount of dresses in 2016 as I did in 2015, but seeing as I made less separates in 2016 I'll call this one a win.

4) Focus on the Forties: I did okay with this goal, I certainly made more directly 1940's inspired dresses in 2016. I still want to work on making more complex and accurate 1940's repro items in the year ahead.

5) Knit 5 sweaters (more of a crafting goal I'll grant you): My knitting completely fell away this year, I cast on the V&A victory jumper and then never got further than 10 or so rows...Opps!

Well so much for the costuming and knitting plans! Though to be fair I spent a lot more time working in 2016 as I moved into full time so I had less time for creating in my free time. What about some blogging goals from last year?

1) Update/Use Tumblr: Nope. Still can't get it together for Tumblr!

2) Start making YouTube videos: Well I made 10 videos in 2016, so I suppose that's not nothing but it certainly doesn't match up with what I had intended my channel to be!

3) Hit 15,000 views per month: Ah yes, the numbers, the thing we aren't suppose to admit we care about. I won't be coy, of course I want my projects and posts to reach people! I have been so lucky that The Closet Historian has grown so much this year, and my goal of 15,000 page views a month reminds me just how far I have come as this little blog of mine now reaches over 20,000 page views a month! Thank you so much to all of you who stop by to visit, it means so much to me!

4) Do at least 1 DIY a month: I didn't posted many DIY's in 2016, but I really like the few I did. I'd like to do more in depth sewing posts and tutorials on some pattern drafting things in the future!

5) Write more informational and issue-based posts: Not so much, perhaps in 2017!

Well, it's lucky I've got a whole new year to achieve bigger and even brighter things. This year my sewing goals are as follows:

1) Improving the quality of my finished garments. I can be really impatient and skip things like finishing raw edges, interlinings, or fiddly details I see as too time consuming. Since I got my mom's overlock working I have been better about finishing my raw seams, but I'd like to use nice seam binding even more. This goal also includes my wish to pick up some tailoring skills to improve the quality and finish of any jackets or coats I may make in 2017.

2) Focus on fit. I wrote recently about trying to fix my bolero pattern and how I then fell down the rabbit hole of fixing my bodice pattern, well I really need to fix the fit of all of my patterns. Mostly this means perfectly fitting my bodice pattern since I use my basic dress bodice as a base from which I pattern everything else. I need to stop thinking "eh that's good enough" when really I could be fixing things!

3) Make more complicated garments. I tend to make simpler garments with less draping, ruffles, pleats or fiddly design details, again mostly because I am impatient, I want to go from idea to wearing things too quickly. Well I need to stop reusing the same styles over and over with a different neckline, I need to spice it up!

4) Replicate at least 1 vintage item in detail. I'd like to actually completely reproduce a vintage dress or blouse instead of just taking inspiration from various pieces. I already have a 1930's dress I've been eyeing as a good project to flat out copy down to the last detail, but I'll have to see if I can find a good fabric.

5) Make a late Victorian bustle gown. As long time readers know, I made a Victorian corset, shift, and lobster tail bustle ages ago and then never got around to making a gown. This year I need to make the damn gown! Mostly it is the expense of silk and/or wool yardage that has held me back from going after the gown, but I hope to be able to save up and spring for it this year.

As for blogging goals, I think I'll wrap those into a more general list of goals for the year. Ahem...

1) Get better at Instagram. I looove Instagram, I love following other vintage gals, vintage sellers, travel photography accounts and my friends. I also can't pretend that a lot of what used to make up "fashion blogging" as an industry has moved over to Instagram. I love old school blogging so I'd never leave the internet (it is my home ha!) but I can't say I don't envy those who have built up a great Instagram. It's sorta harder to figure out what makes people discover and follow an Instagram account compare to following a blog, but I hope this year I can do better on what is one of my own personal favorite platforms.

2) And speaking of social media platforms, I want to make more YouTube videos in 2017! I made 10 videos total in 2016, and really I'm only proud of say, 3 of them? I want to learn to be more at ease in front of the camera, and how to make better travel vlogs (by like you know, actually filming myself and talking...!). I also want to film some hair tutorials of course, and to that end I have been sprucing up my bathroom in order to be able to film in there. Getting better at travel vlogging will be super important too, because I may already have ticket booked to jet off somewhere pretty special in April ;)

3) Personal Finance for dummies. Just kidding, I'm not that terrible, but I still need to be stricter with my budgeting this year and save up for some epic travel I want to do. I'd also just like to learn more about managing one's personal finances in general, like learning about credit and boring things like that ew. Still, it's an uber important part of adulting I still know very little about so I need to make an effort to learn!

4) Read more. Gosh it pains me to say this! I think I'll have to force myself to read, like set a schedule (read on Thursday nights for 2 hours, etc), which seems absurd because I love to read! Still, I have somehow fallen out of practice with reading as much as I'd like to, so I need to get back on the reading wagon!

5) Learn Japanese. Wait what? Yes, I said I want to learn to read and speak Japanese. Out of left field?Sorta. Umm that's much harder than French? (which I attempted to learn back in high school). Yes, I know. I have already made progress learning 2 of the three kana scripts, hiragana and katakana, which I had been practicing diligently until December hit and work took over my life. Now I've got to jump back in with even more focus, refresh what I've learned so far, and then jump into learning kanji, vocabulary, and grammar. I have already invested in the recommended textbooks and everything, I've just got to do the work. What made me want to start learning Japanese? Well I fell for Japanese culture (and gorgeous textiles) all over again in 2016, and I want to travel to Japan eventually. Plus I think I need the challenge, the brain work as it were.

6) Finish the book and submit it to agents & publishers. It has been my constant goal to finish the fiction book I have been writing for oh umm--what is it !!6!! years now for so long it is getting old. I have got to iron out the kinks and start shopping the darn thing around. I have poured my heart and mind into it for so many years now, I have just got to finish and share it with people.

Well, those are my goals for 2017! What about you? Are you planning on doing anything new and challenging like learning a language or a new skill? Why not dream big!


  1. The awesome folks over at Tofungu should be able to help with the Japanese. If nothing else it's fun to spend time reading about Japan on their website :)

    1. I actually totally used that site for help learning hiragana and katakana! It's really well designed, I'll have to look around more on there :)

  2. It's really interesting to see all of these goals and how you fared. You're an ambitious lady! I think it's important to push the brain cells though. Good luck with the Japanese. I learnt some at school. Hajimimashte, Watashi wa Porcelina san. That's all I can remember... x

    1. I wish they had offered Japanese at my school! I took French and was pretty bad at it! I wouldn't of had the courage to try it then anyway I suppose, but now I am finding studying the kana really interesting so far. I can't wait to learn some vocabulary!

  3. Goals are good! They help keep life interesting. Learning Japanese is an impressive one. I learned a bit of Burmese, and found it hard as there's nothing similar to the Indo-European languages I know in it, but somehow things do click after a while. I'm guessing Japanese will be the same.

    Good luck with all your aims.

    1. Thanks Mim! I think the idea of learning Japanese sounds so difficult (as an American who speaks only English) that it is just crazy enough to sound extra fun to take on! Some people sky dive, I'm going to attempt learning kanji!

  4. I'm always impressed by people who have definite goals and who revisit them to see how they got on. Your goals all sound very interesting, good luck with them.

  5. Hey, setting goals is really important! Even if you don't quite meet them, it's important to have a road map for where you want to be a year in the future.
    Just to pick the two goals that I thought were the most interesting, I really hope you complete your Victorian gown, because I can't wait to see it. I also think it's really cool that your interested in learning Japanese - good luck, and have fun!
    Zella Maybe

    1. Thanks Jessica! I really want to make the Victorian gown so hopefully I can find a suitable fabric that isn't crazy expensive. I have been dreadful at making time for Japanese so far though, I need to fix that!


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