Happy New Year, my lovely sewing and non-sewing friends! As I’m slowly recovering after the festivities, I am back on my laptop writing a new blog post, as there are so many more things still to get excited about!
A BIG BIG THANK YOU to all of you out there all over the world who took time to visit, read, comment, encourage, share opinions, advice and good spirit over the two years of Sewrendipity’s existence! I feel really privileged to be part of our amazing sewing community!
So, what was this second year like? I’ve put together a list of Q&As, inspired by Anuschka Rees from Into Mind, which I hope will give a good picture in a format that’s a bit different. However, if you’d still like lists, have a look at my Top 5 Hits and Misses.
But before we embark on that particular road, I had a quick look back at what I had planned in early 2016.
- Make jeans – check!
- Make a coat – fail!
- Make a blazer – check, though for someone else
- Learn Lightroom and improve my photography – check (even if I do say so myself)
- Continue the RTW fast -check with a small caveat, see below
- Blog as much as I did in 2015 (55 posts) – fail, only posted 50 this year, but I really don’t feel bad about it (again, see below)
1. What one project you made in 2016 are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
Grandkids, in 2016 I made jeans for the first time! Yeah, jeans! ‘Nuff said!
2. If you had to describe your sewing 2016 in three words, what would they be?
Learning, patience, frustration. I’ve learned a lot and pushed my sewing limits with my first pair of jeans, my first jacket, my first lined jacket, first fly front zip. All of which required a lot of patience, which is not necessarily something I’m usually too good at. And frustration because it has been a very busy year in my work life, a lot of travel, so I did not have enough time to dedicate to sewing as much as I would have liked to. And although I am always more than happy to drop anything off to make time for sewing, in practice, it just did not work out.
3. What single achievement are you most proud of?
I still kept up with my anti RTW commitment in 2016. I have only bought one item of clothing since 1st January 2015. I am a bit annoyed that I can’t keep my slate completely clean, but it was an emergency purchase (spilled a cup of coffee on my beige trousers and completely ruined them before an important meeting, so I had to go buy a new pair in despair). I have also purged more than in the previous year and for the first time, it does feel like I’ve made a dent in my wardrobe, I would estimate a 15 to 20% reduction. Still far to go, but I can feel an improvement.
4. Who are your special shout-out people in 2016?
I feel so thankful for the continued friendship of my Sewing Bee buddies, Neela, Paul, Annie, Debbie, Matt and Ryan. It’s so cool be be able to still keep in touch and see each other from time to time.
5. Which new skills did you learn?
2016 has been a great year for learning and I have picked up so many new skills that I really struggle to know where to begin. Loads of things I learned from Craftsy, which I had used a little before, but definitely came into its own for me in 2016. I especially loved Sara Alm’s classes on Construction. I now have all the series, thought I have only watched the Waistband & Zippers one and the lining one (and reviewed them on this blog as well). So I would say that learning to sew a fly front zipper and a lined jacket are probably the most important skills I picked up this year.
6. What, or who, are you most thankful for?
2016 was a really great year for meeting amazing sewing people! I think this is in no small measure due to the creation of our very own UK online sewing community, The Fold Line. So a special thank you to Rachel and Kate for getting us together physically and virtually and for coming up with the first UK sewing retreat in Cambridge in August.
7. What advice would you give your early-2016 self if you could?
I would advise myself to stop feeling guilty about sewing and blogging, or rather lack thereof when I didn’t have the time. Making lists is a good thing, but I realised it makes me more stressed than productive. We do need cheeky items that skip ahed of the queue and bring a bit of fun in the middle of a long and complicated project. And sometimes it’s ok just lounging on the sofa instead of making those curtains you promised someone.
8. What major goal did you lay the foundations for this year?
I did a lot of teaching this year, both my alterations course at Sew it with Love in Waterloo in London, as well as my first overlocker course with my dear friends Steve and Joy at Joy to Create in Hampshire. I absolutely love teaching, so I really hope there will be a lot more of that happening in the future.
9. What was the best gift you received?
My husband gave me a few metres of recycled leather from Christmas, which was such an amazingly thoughtful, yet very useful and practical gift. I have been watching a bag making course on Craftsy and of course, I like my recycled materials, so it all came together so nicely. How nice is it when they start really getting this sewing thing properly?
10. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
This year I used my yearly bonus to buy a Babylock Coverstitch machine from my friends at Stitch Again. Of course, we all know that they are fantastic machines, but until you use one, it’s all quite theoretical. And they really are amazing! I know I will use it pretty much until I retire, so check back with me in 20 years, but I think it will be the best purchase ever!
11. What one thing would you do differently and why?
If you remember my Addison sad story here, I would definitely make sure I prewash my fabrics, no matter how big or small they are!!
12. What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
In 2015, I started working with an amazing lady called Julie Taylor, who runs Making for Charity, an organisation connecting volunteer sewists with hospitals that need syringe driver bags for their patients. Julie and I organised a series of sewing events as part of M&S Spark Something Good campaign. Our volunteers made over 1200 bags over 7 events in Swansea, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bristol, Exeter and Leicester and helped so many people in the process. Although Julie was the heart and soul of all events, I do feel so incredibly proud of the part I played in setting them up.
Thank you for making it to the end, guys! Here’s to many more years together on the blog and in the sewing community!
And watch this space for a giveaway in the next post!