Saturday, 19 January 2019

New year reflections

I have been a little bit absent from the blog of late and as the end of 2018 approached and I was reviewing what I had done this year, I realised how little I had documented either here or on Instagram this year. This made me a bit sad as I like having a record of the work I have done and the opportunity to look back and review what I feel has worked best for me.  At the beginning of 2018 I didn’t have the headspace to set myself any goals or consider what it was I wanted to achieve, as a result I don’t really have a sense of what it is I’ve done this last year. I also took part in fewer challenges or events this year which has made me feel a bit disconnected to the community, although I did go to one of the london stitchers meetups which was a really lovely way to connect with other sewists in real life and not have any pressure to sew something for it. With these reflections in mind, I have a number of thoughts about what I would like to do in the next year. 
My favourite makes of 2018.  A maxi Anna dress and my green wool Flint trousers.

One of the positive things about my lack of documentation and engagement in community events was that I took sewing much slower this year and for the most part made things that I like and wear.  Rather than being completely focused on sewing the latest pattern or making a whole new wardrobe, I also gave myself space to make some bits and pieces that were not clothes (or at least not clothes for me) which allowed me to slot sewing more successfully into the wider context of my life.  I made a friend’s wedding veil this year and while it was entirely hand sewn, not my favourite thing to do, it was lovely to feel that I was adding something unique to her special day.  I also made some bits and pieces from scraps to fit with my wider sustainability goals, such as reusable make up remover pads and handkerchiefs.  These have seen a lot of use and it felt good to prioritise something that wasn't clothes.  They were actually really satisfying to sew as they were so simple and it allowed me to be really mindful about the sewing rather than engaging in my usual stresses because I'm doing something complex.

This was the only photo I took where you can see the veil properly!  It goes so well with my pjs!

This year I decided to select #makenine patterns as, even if I don’t make them, I like having a framework for my makes and to organise my thoughts of why I did or did not complete a make.  My selections are in themed clusters.  First off are a couple of vintage patterns, one of these I haven’t made before but fits firmly with my love for the 1970s, the other is a 1960s pattern which I made a wearable muslin of a few years ago and I wear all the time, and have just had to take apart and finish all the seams-the muslin was made before I got my overlocker, so I feel it may be time to add another one of these to my wardrobe.  Next are a couple of tops, I am ALWAYS on the search for good tops.  I have already made one version of the SOI Clara and love it but the Megan Neilsen Dove has been in my stash for ages and I haven’t got round to making it up. The next item is the SOI Joan dress which also has been in my stash for ages without being made up.  The next few garments are ones that seem super scary to me and I want to try this year.  The Rumana coat, I have never made a coat with as many pieces and elements as this one but I bought the fabric for it when I was in Hong Kong last year and cut it out around Halloween and then put it on a shelf and ignored it!  Hopefully I’ll get it done before the season for it is completely finished.  A bra has been something that I’ve been wanting to tackle for ages but the it seems super tricky to me and assembling all the hardware etc was putting me off so I’ve booked myself onto a class to have my hand held through the process.  I’ve been eyeing up the ginger jeans for ages and having dipped my toe into the jeans world a little with my Mia jeans, I’d like to take on this more complicated project.  Making my own trousers has been a real game changer for me, as this was always the area I struggled most to get ready to wear that fitted me.  On that note, my final pattern is the Lander pants which I purchased in the lack black Friday sale but haven’t had a chance to make up yet. 

As ever I would like to work my way through some of my stash this year.  While in general I have been quite good at not buying too much fabric in the last couple of years, my purchases while in Japan and Hong Kong have meant that overall I’ve had much more fabric in than out.  I would like to reverse this trend this year.  I already have pieces ear marked for 5 of my #makenine so hopefully these should make the initial dent in my stash but the aim is to try and make it through a bit more, if for no other reason than we need some more space in our spare room! 


To ease myself back into sewing again this year I made myself another Renfrew cowl necked top.  I wear my previous version all the time, in the colder months I probably wear it for part of every weekend so figured another one would not go amiss.  This top uses a surprising amount of fabric-it’s that cowl and as I used some scraps left over previous projects, one of the cowl pieces had to be pieced together to make it all fit but I’m really pleased with it.  It’s a great layering piece and I’m sure will become another staple for the cold season.  It was nice to start with something simple and wearable and it has given me some motivation to sew some of the other projects I have in mind. 

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