Victoria Baylor’s 10,000 Hours of Sewing Challenge

Being a BurdaStyle lurker/sometimes student of Burda Style Academy’s video classes, Victoria Baylor’s tailoring and fit courses sparked my interest, which led me to her website, Ten Thousand Hours of Sewing. Of course I immediately fell in love with the idea of taking her challenge, which she outlines in depth:

10,000 Hour Sewing Challenge Rules

I have to do the following:

-Try to Complete a sewing project each week (2 weeks max for complicated projects.

– Devote 1000 hours a year to sewing or doing sewing related activities. This amounts to 83 hours a month or ~3 hours a day.

– Keep track of all the time I spend sewing and reading, studying, or watching sewing related materials and post it.

– Explore pattern drafting

– Explore draping

-Familiarize myself with the work of famous fashion designers.


This helps me meet related personal goals of blogging more about my learning process, and to complete more projects before my attention deficit pulls me off in some other direction. Since my sewing interests are very broad, my self-challenge is broad too–I’m including my work on the sewing machines themselves, since they’re the tools of my attempted craftsmanship. I’m also kind of lumping in my vintage book digitization efforts, since I’m getting myself elbow deep in vintage sewing wisdom on a semi daily basis.


Here is my personalized version of the challenge:

Official Start Date: 1/1/16

-complete one sewing project per week

-digitize two resources per week, whether that’s vintage fashion, sewing lessons, or vintage patterns for reproduction

-1000hrs/year or about 3 hours per day

-produce one digital pattern per week

-blog about my obsessions/progress/struggles/obscene tirades twice per week

It’s a lot. But I do a lot as it is, and this will help focus me, I think, and make me feel more accomplished about how much I’m learning (and have learned) over the last two-three years of teaching myself even if I still am not happy with my basic bodice sloper after said three years.

So here’s what I’ve been working on/reading on over the last week and a half since I started tracking my hobby time:

12/22/15 1hr working on 1904 treadle. It now sews proper stitches, adjusted shuttle tension, cleaned tension assembly. Needs to have the stitch length mechanism freed up.

12/23/15 20min studying infinity scarf construction

12/24/15 2hrs sewing infinity scarf and my scarf tie chiffon blouse project

12/25/15 2 hrs reading my Xmas gifts! The Cut of Women’s Clothing by Waugh and Vionnet by Betty Kirche (i feel so loved <3)

12/27/15 2hrs doing fashion research on blazers, waistcoats, Victorian era hoods (because I was cold when I was reading and that’s how my brain works)

12/28/15 1hr sketching and studying designs

12/30/15 1hr reading Waugh, 2hrs working on chiffon scarf tie blouse, 1hr researching wrap patterns

12/31/15 1.5hrs research on shrugs and boleros. 45min sketching and planning coat project. 3hrs designing and testing shrug pattern. Finished object: black chiffon shrug!

For a grand total of…17h 35min!

Which is pretty remarkable given that I also fell down a David Bowie rabbit hole over the holiday because I JUST found out he has a new album out this week. And as if David Bowie in his natural state wasn’t enough postmodern wonderful, here’s Michael C. Hall, performing the new single as David Bowie, before the album even comes out. (Michael C. Hall is the star of an off Broadway play cowritten by Bowie called Lazarus, a continuation of The Man Who Fell to Earth.) swoonage, all around.

Happy holidays 🙂



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