Wrapping up 2018: Sewing

Hello 2019, and happy new year blog friends! Well, I don’t know about you but to me it feels both wildly overdue and impossible at the same time to have arrived at a brand new year. Instead of trying to make sense of it all just imagine me making some wild gestures and muttering incoherent while I attempt to say something funny or smart about it. Anyway as the title suggest, I am not here to make any grand speeches about 2019 (yet). Instead I want to look back at 2018 for a bit more. Of course I had planned to type and post about all a recap of the year last week when everyone else was posting them but the last days of the year, with all the holiday stuff going on, can be so full and even though I had gotten quite far with my wrap up post and might have been able to finish before the new year if I had made a point about it, I decided not to stress it and just take the task into the new year. First week of the new year is the last week to do your wrap up posts amiright?

So here is my annual looking back on the year post. My main take away of 2018 is that it’s impossible that this year was just 12 months long. I feel 2018 was at least ten years. Not because it dragged on and on, on the contrary I feel so much has happened and changed (and changed and changed again) in my life that it cannot just have been one year. To be honest I felt like December alone should have lasted a year given the amount of stuff that was going on. Most of that happened behind the scenes though, so hasn’t made it to any of my tiny screen accounts. What has made it to all my various screen outlets is the making that I did this year.

I always like reading people’s year reviews and looking forward to the year. I also enjoy writing them myself and I always come away with the feeling that I accomplished more than I thought when I started writing the post. This year is no different. I thought the start of the year was extremely slow for my making, and while that was not entirely untrue, I had also just forgotten quite a few things of what I did or misdated when I made them.

So let’s have a look at my year in sewing:

The year of focusing on basics

I started the year with sewing some basics. This started a sewing basics-kick that lasted almost the entire year. I don’t know, but if I had to stick one theme to my sewing this year “the year of sewing basics” would have been a good candidate. Anyway it started with this t-shirt I made at the start of the year. I made some more truly basic stuff this year but none of them made it onto the blog. It’s  hard to motivate myself to post about them cause I have way less to say about them. Maybe I should make a bumper post with a couple of similar items in them? We’ll see. I didn’t actually wear this Jane t-shirt a lot this year and I’m still trying to find out whether it is because something is bothering me with the shirt itself or whether it’s because I just don’t wear T-shirts a lot in general.
Continuing on the sewing basics theme I signed up for the Summer of Basics for the first time. The goal was to give my woefully lacking summer wardrobe a boost. I’m so happy that I joined this challenge, looking back I think I succeeded in my goal, over the summer I regularly wore the items that I made. In general I think these three items are among my favourite sewn things ever.
The Ninni’s were an unexpected make for me. I don’t often wear trousers and wasn’t at all sure about the reappearance of culottes on the forefront of fashion when they first started to appear everywhere. Haha, joke’s on me as this has been my most worn summer piece. It’s super easy to wear and and a real heat battler especially made in such a lightweight flowy fabric.
I worn this so much that I’m thinking of making another one next summer. It’s also a real good reminder that it’s not always the most involved and time consuming projects that turn out to be the real wardrobe winners.
The year of pushing skills 
 The Yari jumpsuit was another unexpected but satisfying make. It hasn’t been worn as much as the culottes, but that is also in part of the type of clothing that a jumpsuit is. I feel jumpsuits are a bit of a statement piece, but this summery linen piece is toned down enough for everyday wear. I was really feeling linen in this summer’s blistering heat and the Yari filled that linen jumpsuit shaped hole in my life perfectly. I really pushed my construction and topstitching skills for this project. I still think this is one of my technically best sewn things to date.
After finishing this jumpsuit and the Ninni culottes I really started to feel a lot more confident both in my sewing and in my summer wardrobe. I always had huge difficulty in dressing for warm weather in a style that still felt like “me”. I think these pieces might be a step in the right direction in developing my summer wardrobe further and that is a huge (HUGE) win for me.
My final summer of basics sew was the Kalle shirtdress and this was perhaps the pattern I would have been most confident of it becoming an wardrobe winner if you’d ask me at the beginning. It is true, it has become a wardrobe winner. It was also, unexpectedly, the most tedious to sew and took the longest, not just of my summer of basics makes, but of all the things I sewed this year. I guess it is a testament to how much I like this dress that I actually still want to make more of these. It was my first proper shirt dress, or any shirt kind of clothing that I made and I learned a lot of new things with this dress (burrito method! Collar construction!) as well as pushed my skills in other areas, such as topstitching and neat finishes with delicate fabric. The latter of these also explains errr… why this project took so long.
The year of pushing comfort zone 

This year saw me pushing my comfort zone in various ways. I tried a bunch of new styles in term of clothing like culottes and jumpsuits. I broke through a mental block on taking modelled photos that I expertly put there myself in the first place at the start of the year. I properly got into sewing and posting about summer clothing, which as lame as it sounds was spectacularly out of my comfort zone.

I also tried some new dress, pants and short lengths this year. Or, returned to some depending on your outlook: I wore miniskirts in high school, but that long ago enough to make this feel like new territory to me. Like with this this dungaree dress: I distinctly remember taking these pictures on an icy cold day in March just after voting in the elections over here. I was and still am very pleased with this make. It’s possibly one of the coolest things I made and one of the more successful projects. I like that I re-purposed fabric from a failed make and turned it into something I did like.

The year of acquiring new skills and crossing off big goals

Finally I sewed and posted about my first bra. This had become a personal sewing holy grail after having it as a loose goal on the back of my mind for years. I can hardly believe that I finally broke through it! The bra is this year’s show-piece price, my masterpiece, the pièce de résistance, the crown jewel of my sewing this year. I made my first bra after wanting to do so for a looooong time and it is a big deal for me.

I felt a lot of pride and joy from this one, but I have to admit that I hesitated about posting it and  just felt a bit weird and awkward about it in general. At the same time I hated that feeling and I recognize the social systems in place that make me feel that nervous and I wanted to push through that (and also just want to show you guys what I make and help others but you get the idea). I haven’t completely rid myself of those feelings but I’m glad I pushed through enough to post them anyway.

I’m so happy, proud and somewhat relieved to finally have this goal crossed off of the long list. Bra fitting and making is a steep learning curve but I feel like I learned a ton already and I really enjoy throwing myself deeper into the craft that is sewing so I definitely consider this a success. I can’t wait to develop my bra making skills further in the new year.

The year of figuring stuff out

I feel like I made strides this year into finding out what I like in the clothing I wear. Particularly with sewing I feel I made a big step this year. I’ve been a dedicated knitter for a lot longer than I’ve been sewing garments and always felt that my sense of what I like and don’t like with knitting was always light years ahead of my style and preference development in sewing. This year I’ve thought more about the overall picture and style I want to communicate and in turn have made progress in figuring out my non-knit style better. A  repurposing the fabric from a previous make to make Eloisa made me think more actively about what components go into making me enjoy a wearing a piece of clothing.

I did  part of Colette’s wardrobe architect and Fringe Association’s slow fashion October prompts this year. (I did this offline for myself and -shock horror- didn’t record this online anywhere) but found them helpful in figuring some things out about myself. I’ve now got a much better idea of my fabric, print,colour and shape preferences. I still have more ground to make up in this area, and of course taste and style are ever changing but I’m really pleased with my progress and the work I did in this area.

Finally, the verdict 

My favourite sewn make of this year is surprisingly, ahum, the bra. However, given that I can’t (comfortably) wear it I feel that doesn’t entirely count. So of the other items my favourites are the Kalle shirt dress and the Ninni culottes…closely followed by the Yari jumpsuit and the Eloisa Dungaree dress. Given the difficulty I had to pick a favourite I can safely say that this year’s sewing has been a success!

I’m excited to see what next year has in store for me. I have some ideas as to sewing goals and things I want to develop but nothing is set in stone yet. So that was my wrap up of my sewing. Stay tuned because I got two more wrap up posts to go before I sink my teeth into 2019 including all my knitwear. -I feel I can be as extra as I want on my own blog-

Take care friends and see you soon!

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