Hello again, happy new year!
Here’s the promised second half of my reflections from the year – general sewing reflections, and goals for next year. Given that the reflections inform the goals, I’ll start there.
1: 2015 Goals
Looking back at my 2015 goals, I aimed to sew a semi-professional wardrobe for next year (started, although I’d like do more of the same), sew shirts/shirtdresses (two of each – although only one successful garment of each type), build an arsenal of new techniques (sort of – I’ll call that a success, because there are things like collars that I was scared of and am now confident, and I use french seams almost all the time now) and participate more in the online sewing community (eh, maybe). We’ll say that’s about 75-80% success, so that’s good – especially since I’d forgotten all but one of the goals!
Turns out I like red a lot – here’s a few things I’ve sewn in that colour this year. The dark reds are what call out to me most – I bought wool for another knitted sweater recently, and I had to carefully avoid making one exactly the same as the last – but I enjoy brighter reds as well. I’ve also had a fair bit of success with dark blue and purple, and I’d like to have more charcoal grey and chocolate brown garments to put in there. I am wearing paler colours in summer, but those are what sing to me.
3: Making for others
I’ve made a few things for friends and family this year – from memory, about three dresses, threeish quilts (one’s not finished and one was made as a team effort) and one dressing gown. I really love making things for others, although only for people who will appreciate it – it’s super exciting to know you’re making the exact right thing for someone, and the satisfaction of seeing them wear or use it is incredible. (The quilt above, showed up in the first baby pictures I’ve seen of the baby it was made for – I’ve not met him yet, but I’m glad they’re using the quilt!)
4: Sewing vs. Buying
Somehow, accidentally, at some point this year, my mentality switched from “I need x clothing, I will buy it” to “I need x, I will buy fabric for it”. This was most noticeable in underwear and cardigans – them being the really and truly wardrobe necessities that I worked out making this year. This has, at points, led to a little wardrobe stress – I feel like I ought to make things if I can, but sometimes I buy the fabric and fail to actually make the garment, so I don’t have what I needed but I also don’t feel like I can buy it. Working on that one, next year.
For me, sewing is a fun thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s also a relaxing thing. I’m sure you’ve all hit the stress of a project turning out wrong, or having to unpick repeatedly, or giving up and finishing a garment shoddily because you’re sick of it. I find machine sewing exciting because you can see the garment coming together, but hand sewing and knitting are what put me in a calm place. So long as I don’t have a looming deadline. I’ve actually knitted very little in 2015 – time for some more this year!
My goal for this is to pay more attention to making and wearing sustainably next year. To pay attention to where my fabric is coming from – insofar as that’s possible – and get more wear out of old garments by repairing them where I can (whether homemade or bought).
I’ve done more of this than I thought this year (see the statistics footnote), but I’d like to work on making my own knitting patterns as well as playing around a bit more with details on sewn things – though I don’t think I’ll bother making a sloper from scratch given that I’ve got a couple of basic fitted bodices that fit me well already. I found a beautiful library book for doing this with knitting patterns, and I’m so keen!
3: Learn other textile crafts
What I call this to myself is “other ways of playing with fabric”. I want to try spinning or weaving this year, and maybe some embroidery or an art quilt. I have no intentions to try all of the above, but it would be fun to do one or two of those – I love sewing, but I also just love playing with beautiful things, and new ways to do that are always welcome.
4: Make a coat
I have the fabric. I have the buttons. I have the lining. I just need to actually do it. My goal is to do this before June, so as to be able to wear it in the winter.
5: Make my own wardrobe basics
I alluded to this before, in saying I’d started to buy fabric instead of items. My goal this year is to make my undies and cardis in a more timely fashion than I have been, and work towards making my own socks (they take a while to knit, though, so I don’t expect to knit all my socks this year).
Ok, see you around in 2016, and good luck with your own goals!
If you want to see other Top 5 round ups, head over to Crafting a Rainbow. And if you like numbers, see below!
Footnote for those who like statistics
I made a spreadsheet of things I made this year. I’m not entirely sure it’s complete, but it’s at least an indication of what I’ve done. So here’s a few charts of what I’ve made (there are 22 items included in these charts, by the way).
No surprise: that more than a third of what I made were dresses. Surprise: that 45% of what I made was self-drafted – almost all the self-drafted things were knits, though, and there were repeats of the same pattern in there. Well over half of what I made took a week or less, but two things were two months. The shortest was only an hour – underwear.