2018 Top 5 – Hits, Misses, and Highlights

It is that magical time again: Top 5 season! I had hoped to have this post (and the next one) done before the end of the year, but you can see how well that worked out! #sorrynotsorry But better late than never!

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If you’ve been with me a while, you’ll know I look forward to this every year, as it’s a great opportunity to look back on my past year of sewing and see how my naive set-last-year goals materialized (or didn’t) and evaluate how valuable all my projects really were. And I love a good navel-gazing postmortem on my year, if I’m honest. ๐Ÿ˜‰ As per usual, I will do 2 posts instead of 5 for this, since I find they group together well this way. But first,ย SEWING STATS!

In 2017, I managed to sew a whopping (for me)ย 31 things. One of my goals for 2018 was to meet or surpass that; if I count every single garment I made, I did it! 2018’s grand total was 39–a 25% increase over last year. (It would be 40 if I counted my hand-knitted sweater, but I’m keeping this count sewing-only.)

2018 Sewing Projects

(Sorry the chart is tiny–it won’t get any bigger for some reason!)

Categories are:

Tops – Medium Blue (7)
Skirts – Orange (1)
Pants – Gray (6)
Dresses – Yellow (7)
Layers – Light Blue (5)
Costume – Green (2)
Friends & Family (F&F) – Dark Blue (11)

That’s a pretty good mix of things! Obviously the F&F category was by far my biggest single category last year, and I was a little surprised when I tallied that up. None of those 11 items have been blogged, though. 4 of those items were adaptive shirts for a friend I love as she dealt with treatment for and recovery from a serious illness, 1 was a Driftless cardigan for that same badass friend, and the other 6 are for my main squeeze-slash-personal paparazzi, Tom. His were all those baseball t-shirts that I’ve made him before–he knows what he likes! I don’t have photos of the specialized tops or gifted Driftless of course, so you’ll just have to take my word on those! Neither do I have photos of Tom’s finished t-shirts all together, but here are the photos I do have of them:

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#1 of 6, before thread trimming and a final pressing…

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These eventually became full-fledged t-shirts

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The very shitty but very helpful diagram I made to help me remember what pieces to cut from which colors…

I’m proud to report that, apart from periods of extreme temperatures, these t-shirts get worn all the time! (And are still complimented frequently by his friends and co-workers, which blows my mind.)

The category with the most growth over 2017 was Dresses, and Tops had the biggest decrease in count YOY. I did fail to blog a few tops, and one of those I still can’t show you because it was a pattern test and it is unreleased as of this writing. I CAN NOW POST THAT BLOG BECAUSE TODAY IS ACTUALLY RELEASE DAY!!! So look out for that!

You’ll note 2 more new categories for last year: Costume and Layers. Costume is exactly what it sounds like, and Layers are things like cardigans. You saw one costume piece in thisย recent post, and the other was something I made to sell so I have no photos of that one for you. Once again, I failed to blog 4 of my 5 Layers pieces, but here they are along with the aforementioned unblogged tops:

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McCall 7471

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4 Driftless Cardigans

Overall I was pleasantly surprised to see a mostly even distribution of my output in 2018 (sorry, skirts! I swear I love you). Now that we’ve done the stats, here are my Top 5 Hits:

Top 5 Hits

  1. Lander Pants
  2. Ariana Dresses
  3. Otari Hoodie
  4. Tamara Top
  5. Heather Dress

The Landers were far and away my biggest wardrobe Hit last year–I wore them so much!! I am planning a few more pairs for 2019 also. My Ariana dresses and Otari hoodie were straight-up staples also, and the Otari has the added bonus of being my first-ever pattern test. The Tamara is perfect for wearing with jeans on in-between days during Spring and Fall (and I feel very cute in it), and the Heather dress is perfect winter garb on days where I want toย look a little nicer but still be comfortable. I already made that pattern again (something about January makes me realize I need Heathers, apparently) and I’m probably not done with this pattern yet! โค

Now, unlike 2017, I don’t have any outright FAILS for last year–yay! But I will choose my least-successful projects and rank them, because why not?

Top 5 4 Misses

  1. Jailbird Hudson Pants (unblogged)
  2. Gray Driftless Cardigan (unblogged)
  3. Adaptive T-Shirt Mk. II (unblogged)
  4. Obnoxious Yellow & Navy Hemlock
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The aforementioned Hudson pants and Hemlock tee serving their purpose

First of all, let me just say that all of the above items were worn multiple times. The first two are failures of fabrication: the Hudson pants were made from a fabric with no vertical stretch, so they’re not the most comfortable things to wear; the gray fabric of the cardigan has NO recovery and I swear to The Almighty Bobs that it is not long for this world.

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OBEY THE BOBS!!!

As for the adaptive t-shirt, there was one version that just did NOT want to get snaps installed in it–literal holes were torn in this knit top in the struggle with the snaps, and even then there were still pokey edges in a few places. I felt like a very lousy friend handing that one over (“Hey, sorry about your health crisis but maybe stabbing yourself with snap prongs will help you forget about it, urwelcomekthanxbai!”), but having only made 4 total tops I figured it was better to hand it over than not. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Bless my friend, she wore it anyway and still speaks to me. #itsamiracle And the Hemlock, while perfectly wearable, is just not something I like wearing in public between the shape and the color; it has been demoted to sleepwear, which is a pretty good outcome actually.

With the business out of the way, let’s move on to Highlights!

Top 5 Highlights

  1. Personal Knitting Triumphs – In 2018, I tackled cables and made my first sweater! I also met my personal goal of completing at least 13 knitting projects last year, which is very exciting. I actually surpassed that goal also, getting to 15 finished projects. Spoiler: they were mostly socks. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  2. MOAR REMODELING!!!!! – This is barely less exciting for me than my knitting, people: we got so much work done! I am hoping to do a separate post to show you everything eventually but for now, here is a list of what we did: refinished the upstairs floors, replaced the front and rear entry doors, totally revamped the landscaping out front, replaced the porch roof, and replaced the kitchen ceiling. And as a small-but-mighty bonus, we also had our guest room painted (a mere 7 years after moving in…yikes). Whew! The floors are the most staggering achievement, simply because they offer the biggest transformation IMO. (The landscaping is a very close 2nd there.) Plus it’s a great feeling as a lover of old houses to be able to restore something to its former glory after decades of wear and abuse. I can’t wait to show you everything!!
  3. Abbey 1, Student Loans 0 – I PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS LAST YEARRRRRRR. For real, I don’t like parties but this made meย almost want to throw one. I was able to pay them off early (by like, 8 and 11 months respectively, but still) and it still feels weird not to have to pay them every month. Full disclosure: I was one of the lucky ones. I had very little student debt to begin with compared to my peers (being a nerd can literally pay), and was some-crazy-how able to land a good job right out of college at the start of The Great Recession and remain gainfully employed full-time in the years since. Having said that, I reserve the right to party my metaphorical n*ts off over this achievement!
  4. Tales From The Crypt Redux – I mentioned this in a previous post, but I was honored to take part in this event again, and not as an emergency understudy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ This time, my “character” was a talented 23-year-oldย  young lady who took part in Ziegfeld productions on Broadway during the Roaring 20s. It was a privilege to tell our guests about her (albeit a hard thing to do, since this is a mausoleum). I hope I did her some justice, if not in looks (she won many beauty contests…this is not my reality LOL!) then in showing her bubbly personality and love of her work and life. Eerily, this young lady very nearly got cast as Ramon Novarro’s leading lady in a movie (she was too tall for him!), and our production was mere days before the 50th anniversary ofย his death. Spooky!
  5. Family – I know, I hit this one every year! But last year was a big one: Tom and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. โค We also still have all three fluffy kids, which with Tycho’s age and medical history is never a guarantee. (He’s crankier than ever ๐Ÿ˜‰ , and 2018 was also his 10th “Adoptiversary” and that was a wonderful milestone.) 2018 brought many challenges for us, from Tom’s job uncertainty to some private family issues that I won’t get into here; I’m glad that we’ve been there for each other and can laugh together, like andย love each other, play MarioKart, and talk shit about people who deserve it together! ๐Ÿ˜‰
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Big ugly sweater!!

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My first-ever cabled project on its very satisfied owner!

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That’s right: I made cowls for my sister’s bassets. I’mย that knitter, apparently.

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This isn’t even all the socks I knit last year–2 pairs aren’t photographed!! xD

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Remodeling sneaky-peek; this is definitely a “Before” photo!

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Fffffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkk YESSSSSSSSS

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Fancy lady

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Familyyyyyy

Well, that does it for my first Top 5 post for 2018! I’ll be back soon with my Reflections and Goals post, just as soon as I finish writing it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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:

Untitled

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

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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

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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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (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! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!
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Literally every finished knitting project for 2017!

Band

Band in action!

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YASSSSSS

Family

D’awwwww

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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. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for reading!!

 

Top Fives, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights!

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It’s Top 5 time again! Thanks to Gillian for hosting once again, and to everyone out there who has shared their own thoughts and data under the prompts–I look forward to reading these posts every year!

Since I always enjoy reading other people’s recaps this time of year, I figured I would share my own! I will do two separate Top 5 posts this year: one for hits, misses, and non-sewing highlights, and another for goals and reflections. I’m not a prolific enough sewer (YET.) to justify separating out those first few things, LOL! So without further ado, here we go!

Top 5 Hits

This is a tough one, because I had almost all successful projects this year. For the sake of expediency, all my Sharking is ineligible for the rankings. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Buffalo Check Archer – This shirt has gotten so much wear in its first few months of life! I am also a big fan of the snaps.
  2. Dude Jeans – Bragging rights + workmanship = Definite Top 5 project. I am still really proud of these jeans!
  3. Holiday Outfit – I worked with lace for the first time and powered through some mojo-busting creative challenges to get this project finished. I am very happy with the dress and know it will be worn again!
  4. Penny Raglan Trio – I’m counting these as a cluster; the rose gold and green striped versions get worn the most, but I am really glad to have all three of these tops in my wardrobe.
  5. Moss Mini Skirt – Again, this got worn quite a lot when the weather was warmer. It’s not getting worn as much now because it turns out I don’t have tights that go with navy. :-/
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Archer, Dude Jeans, Holiday Dress, Penny Trio, and Inside-Out Moss

Top Misses

As with last year, I don’t really have 5 misses in my 2016 catalog. But here are things that had issues:

  1. Penny Raglan Take 1 – Utterly unwearable; below is the only known photo of it, actually. The fabric was just too heavy for the pattern IMO and the colors were not a good look for me. I also hate the original neckline: it looks sloppy on me. Recycled.
  2. Dirty Bird Pot Holders – These are here because of Clover’s Chaco Liners, which stained the finished product and resulted in them having to be washed before I could gift them; because the fronts are paper pieced (so grainline doesn’t really matter), they warped out of their painstakingly-squared-up shapes. Fuck you, Clover Chaco Liners.
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Sad Penny, Dirty (Chalk) Bird

That leaves us with the in-between things; these things are liked (or loved!) but got overshadowed by more versatile things.

No Man’s Land

  1. Jungle January Dress – Full disclosure: I love this dress and have worn it a handful of times. It just doesn’t get “go-to dress” status because, you know, Zebra + Electric Cobalt Blue. Although I do have lipstick to match it now… ๐Ÿ˜€
  2. Kielodoscope – Love. I made it right as the warm weather started to wane though, so it didn’t get more than 2 outings this year.
  3. Sleeveless Striped Archer – Again, I love this one. It’s just highly seasonal until I can knit some baggy sweaters to wear over it in the colder weather!
  4. Dude Sweatpants, Takes 3 and 4 – Total successes, but sweatpants are not that exciting–especially when they’reย a repeat! I didn’t even blog them (I did share a pic of one pair in an unrelated post, though).
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Jungle, Kielo, Archer, Sweatpants

I made 19ย things this year, including 6 sharks (3 big ones, 1 medium one, and 2 miniature ones). Not bad, although the sharks certainly artificially inflate my count! The shark-adjusted sewing count stands at 13; that accounts for finished items only, and does not include anything that got pitchedย after completion. Not bad!

In 2015, I made 14 things; 13 of them were garments. So by that metric, I am only 1 garment short of last year’s figure (my 14th thing in 2015 was a shark; my 13th thing this year was the set of potholders). I had certainly hoped to do better than that this year, but things happen!

Speaking of things happening, that brings me to my last thing for this post: Non-Sewing Highlights!

  1. Learning to knit – Life-changing achievement, you guys. I am hooked. So far I still only make socks, but I have plans to move on to cowls and sweaters very soon! ^____^ I am very grateful to my friend Betsy for taking the time to teach me–life (and my stash) will never be the same again!
  2. Bathroom remodel – This is also a big deal, for both time and $$ reasons. Our house is 106 years old and still had the original claw-foot tub in the upstairs bath; those are nice (and highly coveted by some folks), but it just wasn’t right for us. We now have a very modern, very functional (and up-to-code!), very beautiful bathroom upstairs and it was worth every penny, every frustration, and every minute of work. I’ll share a post about it soon! (And don’t worry, the bathtub went to a good home–I would never trash such an iconic piece of our home’s history unless I had absolutely no other choice! I’m pretty sure they could take away my History degree for something like that!! ๐Ÿ™‚ )
  3. New lappy – This blog is now brought to you on a new laptop as of May 2016! Mine was from 2006 and had survived moving from England to the US (I bought it in the UK out of necessity during my semester abroad–that currency exchange HURT, man), functioning as my sole source of television and movie entertainment for 2 years, and a metric shit-ton of pet hair/kitty stampedes/wanton dog paws and various other abuses. It even survived a hard drive wipe after being infected with a virus that attacked the core of its Windows operating system! I was used to its quirks, like the British Pound currency symbol where the # sign is (I couldn’t be bothered to change it from its original UK English settings…), but it was time to retire it; while I do miss having Windows XP, it is nice to have a fully-functioning machine again!
  4. Family – Okay, this feels like kind of a cop-out because my family is always in my life regardless of what year it is. But this year lacked the health crises of 2015, and Tom and I are hours away from celebrating both our 8th wedding anniversary and the 10th anniversary of our first date. (Awwwwwwwww.) We’ve got all three of our babes with us, and it feels like we’re in a nice groove right now. Family-wise, it’s been a really good year. ๐Ÿ™‚
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New socks, New Bathroom!

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Awwwwwwwwwwwww

So that’s it for this portion of my Top 5! I’ll be back with my Reflections and Goals in a separate post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reading!

Will you be sharing your 2016 round-up? Did your sewing live up to your expectations this year? What do you want to change–or keep up!–in 2017?

 

2015 Reflections and 2016 Goals

Welcome! Consider this my version of a “Top 5” post, if you will. (And thanks to Gillian for masterminding this recap series–it’s been such fun to read everybody’s posts these last few weeks!)

Had I been more productive in 2015, I would have done the whole Top 5 shebang. **Actually, after looking it up, I finished 14 things in 2015–that’s 2.3333333 timesย as many as I finished in 2014!!!!! I am awed.**

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So in light of this BRAND NEW INFORMATION, here are my Top 5 Sewn Projects of 2015:

  1. Marfy 3093, Version 1.0
  2. True Bias Men’s Hudson Pants
  3. Marfy 3093, Version 2.0
  4. BHL Anna Dress
  5. McCall 7103 (aka Sherk, aka Dunuh)
    Honorable Mention: Style Arc Tamara Top
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Marfy 3093

The first iteration of the Marfy pattern has been worn so many times that I have lost count–nearly once per week since being finished! I think it is my best work to date (sorry, Anna dress) and I am really proud of it. Isn’t it awesome to fill a hole in your wardrobe that you didn’t realize existed??

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Men’s Hudson Pants

I guess this is sort of cheating, since the pants weren’t for me, but seriously: Tom wears a pair of his Hudsons every. single. day. When both pairs went into the washer this past weekend, he ruefully put on a RTW pair of sweats and kept asking if laundry was done yet. He is eager for at least one more pair, so I know they’re a hit!

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Marfy 3093 #2

Marfy 2.0 is also wonderful, but I don’t reach for it quite as often simply because my work wasn’t as excellent as on 1.0. (And I also got pizza on it the last time I wore it–I KNOW–and have washed it, but still have to re-starch and iron the collar before I can wear it again. I am nothing if not lazy.) But it is much-loved and does get worn!

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Anna Dress

Ah, the Anna dress…I love that I got it done and that I was able to wear it. The flaws in it–and trust me, they are flaws–are unnoticeable to most people, and the fabric is BEYOND amazing, so I won’t be dissuaded from wearing it to future formal events.

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SHERK

SHERK! I love this thing more than a 30-year-old ought to love a giant stuffed animal, but I can’t help it. He will be the first of a handful of these, I’m sure; I’ve already agreed to make one for a co-worker’s granddaughter for her 2nd birthday. I am just glad that my friends and their son enjoy the shark so much–that’s such a great feeling!

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Tamara Top

The Tamara top gets a lot of wear when the weather is cool/cold (solid polyester + snug fit = cold seasons only). It was definitely a good addition to my wardrobe this year!

And now, my Top Fails or Misses:

  1. Named Shadi Skirt 1.0
  2. Named Inari/Shadi Scuba Set-acular
  3. BHL Anna Dress
shadi skirt 2

Shadi Knit Skirt

Obviously this Shadi skirt is my biggest fail of the year–it was literally unwearable in polite society. I did wear it to the first night of my sloper class (Nina said to wear something tight for measuring, and I knew EXACTLY what to put on!), but after that it was unceremoniously cut up, the elastic salvaged, and the scraps of skirt thrown away. Womp womp.

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Shadi Skirt + Inari Top

I dearly wanted to love this set. REALLY wanted to love it. But I never, ever wore it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The crop top is fine on its own, but I don’t have enough slim-fitting, high-waist bottoms to pair with it for office-appropriate outfit building. “But Mads,” you’re probably thinking, “isn’t that why you made the matching skirt?” Why yes, dear reader, it is. But I just couldn’t get comfortable with the idea of wearing such a tight skirt in public. I’m no prude–I despise “modesty” doctrines, etc.–but I just felt very self-conscious in it. (That’s right: even scrawny people can have body confidence issues!) The skirt is STILL unhemmed. It’s such a shame, because that incredible fabric deserved better. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Maybe 2016 will be the year I get over it and wear at least one part of the set…

Anna Dress-27

Anna Dress, with accurate facial expression of my feelings

Come on, guys: Anna had to make this list. Even if I wear the dress, love the fabric, and got tons of compliments on it at the party I wore it to, I cannot pretend that the flaws aren’t there. I see them every time I look at the dress. It is what it is.

No Man’s Land

Neither of my 2 Inari Dresses made these lists because they fell into that weird middle ground of being worn sometimes but not constantly; they’re neither hits nor misses, I guess! Vintage Simplicity 1281 didn’t make the lists either, but it got worn pretty regularly. My only complaint about that one is the fabric, whose favorite thing to do is still wrinkle. My Anna skirt got a lot of wear in the summer months, but is definitely a seasonal item when you live in OH!

Iย think that’s everything from 2015!

Goals:

Last year, I did something very similar to what I’m about to do: laid out vague goals–big picture items, if you will–to strive for in the coming year. I do have a project queue, but it gets edited all the time, fabrics get reassigned to other theoretical projects, and stuff definitely “cuts” the line regularly. I prefer to let my inspiration be my spirit guide on this peyote fabric-fueled journey through the creative realm rather than make prescriptions. That being said, here are a few general things I’d like to be able to say I did in 2016:

  1. LIMIT THE BUYING. I don’t mean RTW–I’ve been unofficially RTW fasting for almost 2 years. I mean fabric shopping. I have so much fabric that storing it has literally become a problem. A problem I cannot solve unless: A.) we win the lottery and buy an entire IKEA warehouse and/or a bigger house, or B.) I sew through some yardage. I know which of those is more realistic, so I’m going with that. I LOVE sewing, and now that I have more free time to devote to it, I am hoping to make some real headway here in 2016. This was among my goals for 2015, and I failed very badly.
  2. Fill wardrobe gaps. I still lack tops/blouses in a way that really limits me, and more pants wouldn’t hurt either.
  3. Make some activewear/outerwear things for myself. I need these things, but not in a “SEW THIS FIRST!!!!!!!” sort of way. But it would be fun and different for me, for sure.
  4. Dude sewing. Tom has a long list of things he needs and/or wants, and while he does not expect me to make him a wardrobe, it is something I want to do.
  5. Lingerie. I need bras that fit, and I am trying to go pad-free. (Which, in my approx.ย 30A size, is damn-near impossible to find in a store.) I have what I need to get started, and I’m hoping this is my year. Underpants would be nice too, but those I can just buy if it comes down to it.
  6. Keep up with the sewing spreadsheet I started late in 2015. I am recording fabric and patterns that I have, fabric I would like to buy for a specific project I have in mind (and where to find it), a project queue (this changes depending on my mood or inspiration, but it does help get my creative juices flowing), and a selfless sewing idea list. The fabric and queue are the most up-to-date tabs so far.

Reflections:ย 

Non-sewing stuff in 2015 was a definite mixed bag. We nearly lost Tycho, but his amazing vets saved his life. (Talk about emotional whiplash…) I got promoted. I had braces, but they came off in March. I got bad family news. I made new friends. I took a leave of absence from my vintage job. (That one counts as both a high AND a low–I cherish the store and the family I have there, but my body couldn’t cope with my schedule any longer.) Overall, things could have been so much worse, and I feel lucky to have made it through another year.

I did spend a lot more time in my sewing room in 2015 vs. 2014, not least of all because my work schedule is now strictly a 1-job situation. My output doubled (!!!!!!) from 2014 to 2015, but I did accomplish much more than the final tally for 2015 would suggest: my patternmaking classes resulted in an increase in knowledge and understanding of my craft, and I have lots of bits and pieces from those sessions hanging around. Those classes really changed my life, adding new skills and friends that I never knew I needed but now could never do without. I can only hope that 2016 is a continuation of these good things, and hope that this new year brings you all health, happiness, and peace in whatever form it may take. โค