I’m often late about it, but I do like to wrap up the end of the year – both personally and in terms of my sewing and knitting and all that.
Top 5 makes
These are mostly things that make me feel wonderful – the burgundy dress is super flattering, the wrap pants make me feel dramatic and Fashionable, while also being a fail because of not actually having enough wrap for me (I passed them to my sister, who I hope is wearing them as much as they deserve! Next summer another pair…), the merino dress is a wonderful mix of stylish and comfortable (I’ve worn it across the world, as it makes a fantastic aeroplane/train dress), and the summer dress makes me feel curvy in the best way. As well as being light and lovely. The bra is less about how it makes me feel, and more about how awestruck I am at how well the construction turned out, and how clean everything looks. But generally, all of them are things that I put on, and directly I feel fantastic, and that’s what I’m after in a made thing.
I only found three; I choose to believe this is because I had a good year, rather than because I made things that I didn’t photograph and proceeded to forget about. All of these I wear or might wear, but have fit issues. (As mentioned above, the pants have gone to my sister). The floral dress is too heavy and therefore long and wide in every direction; that’s a lesson about fabric selection. The top is weirdly fitting and the shoulders are oddly sitting.
(There are also a couple of knits that aren’t exactly flops, but also aren’t quite what I hoped for – but I loved the process of knitting them, and I’m ok with the result, so I don’t exactly want to put them here.)
- I did not make a coat. I did not make a One Year One Outfit project, though I started – and did the research. I did spin enough yarn for a garment, but have yet to knit said garment. On the other hand, I have darned and mended far more than ever before! So at least I did hold to one of my 2017 goals. And I love having hand-mended clothing, although I do tend to put off doing it – one thing that worked was inviting some friends to a mending afternoon in the middle of the year, might do that again some time.
- I love making things for other people. I had Christmas with a fair few people I didn’t know this year – I stayed with a friend’s family, because of being on the opposite side of the world – so I decided I had time to knit them a hat each, on the principle that a) it’s winter and b) everyone likes knit hats. This was a wild success; it has been crazy satisfying seeing my friend’s boyfriend wearing his hat literally every day since I gave it to him (it somehow magically suits him really well as well, even though I’d never seen him in my life when I was knitting it). And there were four babies I made things for this year. Actually, gifts took up a surprising proportion of my knitting time – maybe 3/4, now I think about it – I knitted one pair of socks, one pair mitts, and one cardigan for myself; and four hats, four baby cardigans (of varying levels of complicatedness) and one and a half pair of mitts (very complicated, and I lost one mitt before making the other!) for other people.
- Bras! I now feel vaguely competent at bramaking! All three from this year are in my suitcase overseas, which says something. I am keen to keep working on making more though!
- I’ve realised it’s really important for my mental space to have times when I’m only doing one thing – when I’m totally focussed on whatever it is that’s in front of me. I think some people call this flow, but I came up with this early in the year when I had not done any sewing for a long time. I sat down for a whole day when I had a day off class, and sewed quilt blocks without much purpose or aim, and it was such a healing thing. I mostly get that time from spending solid times crafting – and particularly either sewing at the machine or spinning, knitting doesn’t really do it for me. I took my spindle overseas for this reason, though I admit to feeling a little ridiculous packing my roving on the aeroplanes. (I should definitely finish that quilt when I get home.)
- Finish my coat. It’s taken long enough.
- Spend May 100% me-made (I only need leggings and another bra to make this work)
- Knit a whole thing out of my handspun (leaving this open as to what, but so far I only have one quantity large enough for knitting – working on the next though!)
- Make my graduation dress – scarily, 2018 is graduation year for me! I have some great silk and a pattern in mind, now, and I’d really like to be wearing something lovely that I made when I graduate.
- Learn new techniques – crafting is about learning! I’ve learned things this year – about visible mending, brioche knitting, spinning and other yarn processing – and of course I want to keep doing that.
2017 has been a slight rollercoaster of a year for me – I had my final exams of my degree in October (as mentioned, I graduate at the end of 2018, but I have no exams left) so that was clearly a major factor in the year. I had many placements, some fantastic and some terrible, and I had the whole deal of moving to first one, then another country on the world from my home for a few weeks, alone. My flatmates had a baby, and so did other people who I love. It has been a year of love from those around me, and I feel like I’ve been very lucky in the people I’ve had to share it with. Wishing you that 2018 is full of the richness of life and people who you can trust and share life with.