2017 Top 5, Part 2: Reflections and Goals

Top 5

Welcome back! This is my final post of the year* ( šŸ˜¦ ), and the thrilling conclusion to my Top 5 recap of my 2017 sewing!

*Sorry peeps, I meant to have this ready before the New Year began, buuuuut I didn’t make it! At least I started it before 2017 f*cked off, right? šŸ˜‰

Let’s get into it with…

Top 5 Reflections

  1. I sewed a lot! – For me, anyway. šŸ˜‰ I’m really bowled over by how many things I finished this year, and the fact that most of them were successful additions to my wardrobe. It is a much different feeling than when I reflected on 2016, that’s for sure!
  2. I have a lot of clothes – I am not a “Capsule Wardrobe” person, nor am I a minimalist. I like clothes! But I have a lot of them, and there are many pieces that I don’t wear. This is partly due to my climate, which has highly variable seasons throughout the year; but part of it is down to just being the sort of person who struggles to get rid of stuff. :-/ My sewing still can’t provide everything I need (YET!!), but that doesn’t mean I need to keep things needlessly!
  3. I have a lot of fabric – Again, same as above–minimalism isn’t my jam. But I do know when I end up with too much, and I’m there! But I must say, my abundant stuff is very well cataloged. šŸ˜‰
  4. Inspiration Paralysis – This was more of a Q3 and Q4 problem this year, but I’ve felt kind of overwhelmed by all the things I want to make lately! I need more basics, but there are some things I have been desperate to make for months, too. The end result is that I don’t sew anything: my creative brain short-circuits and I just chill out on the couch instead! Or I may buy fabric for one of those must-make items but not start it! Not cool. I haven’t found a way to get around this that works for me–yet. (And no, the answer isn’t “start multiple projects at once.” That kind of chaos in my sewing room leads to a different kind of paralysis, and I’m not doing it!) But I think one key thing will be to make a note of those big, tempting, day-dream projects: I have a Fashionary, and I have an Excel sheet. Maybe if I put them down somewhere, I will feel like they’re getting some of my creative attention without distracting me from stuff I will be able to incorporate into my closet sooner (and with fabric I already have).
  5. Selfish Bitch – Obviously this is a bit tongue-in-cheek! But I really am disappointed in my sewing output for others this year. My bestie wants potholders for her mom, and possibly tea towels as well; my sisters should have Dirty Bird potholders of their own; Tom deserves more jeans and things!
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Fabric spreadsheet snapshot! Spoiler alert: there’s a TON of fabric on there. O_o

Beryl

A prime example of a thing I want to make and bought wild fabric for, but that isn’t terribly practical. (Photo property of Named Clothing.)

With these reflections in mind, I do have some (vague, as usual) goals for 2018! But first, let’s see how I did on 2017’s goals, shall we?

2017 Goals: Recap and Evaluation

  1. Cull the stash. Yes and no. šŸ˜‰ IĀ did destash about 20 pieces on eBay starting this summer (and basically broke even between shipping and what I sold them for–it wasn’t really about making $!) AND donated some to a local craft store. But I also bought plenty more fabric than I sold OR sewed.
  2. Make my jeans. HELL TO THE YES!!!! Finally. 2018 will hopefully be the year I kick all the RTW skinnies out of my house in favor of self-made pairs!
  3. Make basics. YES!!!!! Lark tees, jeans, warm-but-interesting tops, a black denim skirt…I did it.
  4. Conscious, Handmade gifts. Meh. Tom got a birthday sweater thing, plus another sweater thing and fingerless mitts for Xmas, so that’s good. (He also received 3 pairs of knitted socks this year, but not really as “gifts.”) Bestie got 2 pairs of socks AND a cowl knitted for her birthday (she really loved them!!). But otherwise, that’s all I managed. My 5th reflection above sums up my disappointment here. I also still need to make a baby shark for Dunuh’s owner’s new baby sister! O_o
  5. Draw stuff in my Fashionary so I don’t forget my ideas. Mostly fail. I was wayyyy better at doing this earlier in the year, but fell off the wagon. But per Reflection 4, I should probably revisit this in 2018!

As far as I can tell, I’m about 3 out of 5 on those (I’m giving myself partial credit for numbers 1 and 4!); not bad, but not great. That brings us to my goals for 2018:

  1. Cull the stash some more! I have lots of pieces of fabric marked for destash, I just need to get them out and get them listed. Hopefully with a full 12 months of this, I will get rid of plenty of stuff!
  2. Make at least 1 basic item for every “shiny” item! I figure this will help me make peace between the side of my brain that knows we just need to get dressed and the other side, which wants to make more exciting, spur-of-the-moment-inspiration/”concept” pieces instead. Addendum to this goal: keep track of my ideas better!
  3. Make a new winter coat. This has been on my list before, I know! But I’m starting to feel scruffy in my years-old RTW coat and I’d like to make a good, everyday coat to replace it. I also want a bold color for this project, which means I need to find material. O_o If anyone sees a good deal on lemongrass-colored wool coating, let me know! šŸ˜‰
  4. Keep my sewing area(s) clean and tidy. This is always a problem for me–I hate tidying up and cleaning (I am my father’s daughter!), and always neglect my sewing areas at some point(s). In the new year, I want to keep my sewing room and the guest room–where my fabric lives–tidy enough that I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone who doesn’t live with me saw them. I have to be honest: this will be as hard as keeping my stash under control, but I’m gonna try really hard. šŸ˜¦
  5. Match or exceed the number of garments sewn in 2017. As I’ve said, my goal is to replace all my RTW stuff with things I have made–I am serious about that. In order to help me get rid of RTW clothes AND fabric, I will need to keep sewing at 2017’s pace or better. This will be a fun challenge!
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Simplicity 8470 View D – Future Winter Coat! (Image property of Simplicity.)

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Color-coded highlighting denotes stuff I’m going to list for destash

Garment Type

My 2017 results–aiming to top this in 2018!

On the whole, I think my 2018 “Goals and Shit” are pretty boring, but hopefully they’ll help me grow and enjoy my hobby in the coming year. And you guys, I accidentally added a garment to my 2017 tally on 12/31/2017–I made an entire top from start to finish!! Ridiculous, right? šŸ˜‰ So technically my 2017 count is now 31, so I have a slightly bigger challenge for myself in 2018! I am off to a running start though, because I MADE ANOTHER TOP TODAY. That’s right: I hit 31 things on 12/31, and on Day 1 of 2018, I made my first garment of that year. Who am I?!?!? (To be fair, I cut both projects out the other day, so that was one less thing to do!)

I hope your 2018 is off to a great start–I’ll see you all soon!

Do you set sewing goals for the year to come? Do you enjoy reflecting on the past year and seeing what you’ve accomplished and learned, etc.? (If you wrote a blog post about it, feel free to link to it in the comments so I can read it!) How do you balance sewing things you need with inspiration/impulse sewing?Ā 

 

2017 Top 5, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights!

Top 5

Hey, everyone!

It’s that magical time again: Top 5 season! I look forward to doing this every year, so I hope you all don’t mind reading about it. šŸ˜‰ Gillian’s link-up post is here, if you want to find even more Top 5 posts!

As usual, I won’t do a full battery of separate posts for each section (Hits, Misses, Highlights, Reflections, Goals) but will group them together in my usual fashion (Hits + Misses + Highlights, Reflections + Goals). Before we dive in though, here are some “Mads Stats” for my 2017 sewing!

Total Garments Made: 30!!!!! WUT. Seriously, this deserves confetti, guys! This is by far my highest output ever; in 2016 I only managed 12 garments (plus 1 set of potholders and 6 sharks…), and 2015 was only marginally better at 13 (plus 1 shark). FWIW, I have my “fail” garments in that tally, because they were completely finished before they were designated as “fails.” More on those in a bit!

I am somewhat shocked at my productivity this year, because I felt like I was really busy in 2017 (for me–we introverted homebodies have a decidedly skewed perspective on what constitutes a hectic schedule)! But maybe having more commitments helped me devote more of my downtime to my sewing, since I knew I didn’t have All The Time In The World. šŸ˜‰ Whatever happened, I am hoping to keep it going in 2018–my goal is to replace all my RTW stuff with self-made, after all!

So I made 30 things, but what 30 things did I make?? Below is a little chart that breaks that down:

Garment Type

As you can see, Tops were my “top” category this year! šŸ˜‰ Pants look pretty robust, but that includes the 2 pairs of Hudson pants I made for myself so it’s a little misleading. “Other” is where I put my lady tux jacket and the two Burda 6718 sweaters I made for Tom. (One was a surprise gift for Xmas, so you haven’t seen it yet!) I count those more as outerwear than tops worn by themselves. šŸ˜‰ And Skirts and Dresses were pretty neglected categories, but hopefully I can do something about that in 2018.

As to my Fails, I actually had 5 of them (according to my parameters–my sewing, my rules!); here is where they occurred:

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You guys know I tend to put things in both the Hits and Misses category sometimes, and that’s what’s happening with the Pants and Other “Fail” items in that chart: those are my tux trousers and jacket. One top Fail and the dress Fail are ones that you all haven’t seen: the top was a t-shirt for Tom (the one that shrank a whole bunch in the first wash), and the dress is one I made this summer that I ended up hating. :-/ But in all, I’d say that 5 fails out of 30 things sewn is pretty good! It’s also not a surprise that the most populous category had the highest number of Fails–that’s to be expected.

Since most of what I made this year was for me (yayyyy!), I won’t be counting Tom’s stuff toward my Hits and Misses this year (his stuff is all Hits though, hooray!). So without further ado:

Top 5 Hits

  1. Hudson Pants
  2. M7471 (same post as above)
  3. Black jeans
  4. Navy/white striped Lark tee
  5. Blair Shirt
    Honorable Mention: Both of my Reeta shirtdresses and my tux

Shirts and Sweats-31Shirts and Sweats-29

Shirts and Sweats-1SSJ (14 of 25)

11.24.17 clothes dump (24 of 42)

pink shirt-striped shirt (11 of 17)

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Before you wail on me for putting sweatpants at the number 1 spot, I want to point out that they are in that spot because I wore them more than any other thing I made this year–by far. As in, every single night that it was cold or chilly (or over-air conditioned), I wore my Hudson pants to bed. I am so glad I finally made that pattern! Now I just need MORE!! (Sorry guys, I am not a very sexy sleeper–function over form is my pajama jam!)

The rest of my Top 5 is mostly about the same concept: how important things were to me getting dressed once they were made. The Blair is kind of an exception to that, since it’s very seasonal in Ohio, but I am really proud of it–it’s just one of my favorite things I’ve made!

That brings us to my Top 5 Misses for the year. These are my Fails from the 2nd chart, although I don’t have a photo of Tom’s sad shrunken t-shirt for you.

Top 5 Misses:

  1. Tuxedo Jacket
  2. Tuxedo Trousers
  3. M7591 Dress
  4. Men’s Raglan T-Shirt, Mk I
  5. Selja Knot Tee

abbeytux (15 of 16).jpg

abbeytux (6 of 16)Dress (1 of 13)

SSJ (9 of 25)

My tux had to be in the Misses category, too–I am just not super happy with how it turned out. I know I can do better. šŸ˜¦ That M7591 dress, though I wore it out of the house twice, is just super unflattering IMO and I don’t think the colors are good on me either; I can pretty much guarantee that thing is being recycled. (Yes, that’s right: I went to all the trouble of taking blog photos of M7591 but never finished the post. That doesn’t bode well for a garment, does it?) And the Selja is just a poor-fitting top all around, and I hate my stripe-matching fuck up. I only wore it twice (3 times if you count blog photos). It’s probably getting recycled, too. šŸ˜¦

Now it’s time for my Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights of 2017! I just made it to 5 of these, guys–some of them aren’t particularly earth-shattering, but they made my year better!

  1. Knitting – 2017 was my first full calendar year as a knitter, and I am still totally in love with this hobby. šŸ˜€ ā¤ Not only did I branch out to cowls and fingerless mitts this year, I set a personal goal to knit 12 pairs of socks in 2017 AND I DID IT! (And incidentally, half of them were made for other people!) I also started my very first sweater, and although it isn’t even close to being done, that’s a big milestone. And my sister gifted me Bristol Ivy’s new book for Xmas, so I have plenty of inspiration for my 2018 knitting already!
  2. Band – I auditioned for a 90’s alt-rock cover band in January and somehow they took me. šŸ˜‰ (I maintain that it’s because I am a girl, and girls in rock bands–even if they’re hack musicians–is super 90’s…) It’s been challenging but also a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to us being more active in 2018! It’s also been a great excuse to sew crazy shit, like my glow-in-the-dark skirt. I’m hoping to make Gig Sewing a “thing” in 2018 as well!
  3. New Axe – Related to #2, I bought a new guitar this year! I haven’t bought a guitar in 7 years, so this is a big deal! Since the band typically plays hours-long sets, I need a backup for my JagStang. So what did I get? A Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus! It’s literally their own knock-off of the original Fender Telecaster Plus from the late 80’s/mid 90’s era. (Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead had one–need I say more?) The original Tele Plus is long discontinued, and while you can find them used, they’re ridiculously expensive. Lucky for me, Fender makes this version for a wayyyyyy better price. Which is good, because I have an art sticker that’s been burning a hole in my proverbial pocket, just waiting to be slapped onto a guitar–I wouldn’t do that to a pricey one! šŸ˜‰
  4. Family – Frankly, any year that we are still a family of 5 is a good one! Tycho has had more health concerns this year, and we are trying to enjoy whatever time together we have left. Tom and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary in 2017, which is ridiculous! šŸ˜‰ And my aunt is moving back to Ohio after many years in another state, which is exciting.
  5. Tales From The Crypt – This year, due to another performer getting sick, I was asked to help with a really cool event at a local historic mausoleum, Greenlawn Abbey. I got to dress in (authentic!) 1910’s garb and tell visitors about a particular person who is buried there. The setting is breathtaking, of course: the mausoleum dates to 1927 and is made of granite, with an interior of white marble. Not only that, but the preservation association working to restore and publicize the site has done incredible work and is all volunteers. (The Abbey fell into disrepair over the decades since its completion, and was truly in a sorry state when these folks stepped in.) I have attended this event as a guest, so it was really a privilege to be asked to participate–these are real stories we’re telling, after all! I am considering joining the association officially next year, if I think I can commit the time. And if not, I still plan to help as much as I can!
BeFunky Collage

Literally every finished knitting project for 2017!

Band

Band in action!

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YASSSSSS

Family

D’awwwww

GLA Collage

Tales from the Crypt!

That’s it for the first part of my Top 5 for 2017! I’ll be back very shortly with my Top 5 Reflections and Goals. šŸ˜€ Thanks for reading!!