On 2016

Hello friends! It is a new year, and there is time for thinking about the old one. Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow runs an annual sewing top 5 series for blogging reflections, which I did in a more formal way last year but, yeah, it’s already 2017, that’s not happening. However, we’ll have some basic favourites and reflections at least, because I like reflecting on things.

Favourites

I made a bra! It was a few months ago, but I’ve had some issues with the getting photos business – I finally got a few poor-quality photos the week before Christmas. The socks are so wonderful, although I put a hole in the toe today – time for some darning! The dress speaks for itself (witchy dress!). The top in the middle has been an absolute staple for class time. And that hat is dearly beloved because I’ve never been a person who wears woolly hats before, and my ears thank me greatly for it.

IMG_1835

This dress gets an honorary place here as my Favourite Make Ever. It’s two years old, and has all sorts of things that are not perfect about it (because my skills are much better now) but I absolutely love how I feel when I’m wearing it, to such an extent that I almost bought the same fabric again when I saw it in the store last week (for the first time since 2014 – it was odd).

Reflections

I’m going to start with my 2016 goals – that’s easy.

1: Sustainability. Well, I’ve definitely repaired things more this year – in particular, my increasing stash of knitted socks – but I haven’t been thinking so much about where my fabric comes from or using scrap stash. I think there’s more work to do on this one (moves it into 2017 goals pile…)

2: Self-drafting. Hahaha that hasn’t happened. It’s not going to happen next year either – I am getting more confident with alterations, but full-on self-drafting takes too much time for my life at this point (med student and all). To be honest I’d forgotten this was a plan. Although now I think of it, I did make up a number of knitting patterns this year, so it’s not entirely a lost cause.

3: Learn other textile crafts. I deliberately left this vague to have room for whatever drew me last year, and that worked out well for me. I have learnt to spin, although I have not yet spun enough quantity for any sort of garment, and I embroidered one of my Christmas presents (and it was stunning – can’t wait to show you a photo).

4: Make a coat. I did not do this one – it is sitting, cut and begun, but I didn’t begin sewing until at least September and I just didn’t have the motivation to keep going when it was no longer winter. This one will be 2017 as well.

5: Make my own wardrobe basics. I did this, to an extent I’m not sure I expected – cardigans, class clothes, merino tops, undies, tights even… and a bra. Which I’m surprised I didn’t specify as its own goal, actually. I definitely want to make more bras, and more staples. It’s pretty rewarding having basic clothes that fit me well and are comfortable and that I made (and that are almost all merino, too. I love that stuff).

Other reflections – It’s been a busy year. I gave over a couple of months of sewing time to make bridesmaids skirts for one of my flatmates, and that turned out to be a bad idea – the problem wasn’t actually the making of them, as they were pretty simple, it was that I said yes to a thing without knowing what my workload was going to be without that thing, and therefore took on way too much (I agreed before I’d started the class year – turns out placement is super intense and I hardly sew when I’m on it, especially things for other people. Who would have guessed).

I have knitted a lot this year. To the best of my memory, it was 5 pairs of socks and one slippers, 2 sweaters, 1 hat, and my first ever shawl, as well as learning to spin, darning some of said knitted items, and doing a little embroidery (since I’m using a hand spindle, these all take up the same time slots as knitting, to some extent – although I don’t often spin when I’m out of the house). Welp, that’s a lot of productive. I have some pretty high knitting goals for the next year, but looking at what I’ve achieved actually makes them seem manageable!

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve actually got a pretty functional wardrobe, and most of it is handmade – I can’t remember the last day I wore nothing I made (it helps that I’ve made all of my favourite underwear). So I’d like to focus on bigger projects, and slower sewing, and making things that I love.

2017 Goals

1. Make a coat. Yep, this is straight from 2016.

2. Spin enough yarn for a full garment. I’m thinking a bulky winter shawl or a cardigan/sweater here – something soft and warm and entirely mine.

3. Sustainability. Darn. Mend. Track down where fabric’s coming from. Buy second-hand.

4. One Year One Outfit. This is moonlight has been hosting this challenge for two years now where you aim to make one outfit in the year from entirely locally sourced fabric, dyes, and notions. I have no idea if she’s hosting it again this year, but I am aiming to do it anyway. For me, in New Zealand, this mostly means wool. I’ve been experimenting with producing fibre from NZ flax recently, but I’m not sure where I’d go next, so maybe that might be an option? I also picked up a book on natural dying, written by a New Zealander, on New Year’s Day, so here’s to experimentation.

Four is enough. I have a side goal of blogging more often – the problem’s been my lack of camera, though, and I haven’t yet solved that, so we’ll see how that goes.

Happy new year!

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