Karen asked if making charts helped me plan and if I planned my projects far in advance. The charts you saw in the statistics post were drawn from a database where I've entered what I've sewn and all sorts of information about each item. If I'm very honest, I would have to say that I do this mostly because I'm compelled to. I LIKE databases. If my hobby were different, I'm sure I'd have a database for that. Come to think of it, I have spreadsheets of books read, birds spotted, miles biked, kid's measurements, and things I plan to buy (like sewing notions, gifts and schoolbooks).
Do I plan my sewing projects far ahead? I keep a list for each person in my family: what they need and what I want to make for them. That helps mainly with shopping (keeping my eye out for fabric and notions for all those planned projects while I'm shopping for one item) and with helping move on to the next thing without wasting time in indecision.
Other than that, planning too far in advance feels awfully restrictive. I really admire those who can plan a 12 piece matching wardrobe and actually pull it off. I've really been inspired lately by Shannon's method of creating outfits. Yes, many of the pieces will work with other wardrobe items, but bending my mind around just 2 things at a time is very doable for this poor frazzled brain!
A number of you commented on the fact that I didn't sew ANY big 4/big 3 patterns! I really started sewing apparel with Burda Magazine and Ottobre and I have not been disappointed. I've sewn 2 or 3 Simplicity and McCall's patterns, but those little tissue paper stuffed envelopes just don't reach out and grab me the way the pattern magazines do. This coming year I hope to make a few things from my very small collection of Japanese pattern magazines.
And then, of course, there's the option of drafting it myself. Ideally, I can make anything I want. Patterns give you the benefit of not having to reinvent the wheel; pattern drafting gives you total freedom (which is, um, very dependent upon your skills and sense of style, of course).