Hello, hello, darlings! Freshly returned from the virtually internet-less Cuba, where I enjoyed the most wonderful 3 weeks of relaxation, you will pardon the delay in presenting you with the customary year review + goals and resolutions New Year post.
In fact, please pardon the lack of customary reviews and goals (though I will put down a few reflections, just for records’ sake).
On the plus side, I have just about celebrated my 3-year bloggoversary, on the 31st Dec, but I was too deep in the clutches of jet lag to be coherent enough to write about it.
A BIG MASSIVE THANK YOU TO ALL MY READERS, OLD AND NEW! THANK YOU FOR STICKING WITH ME FOR 3 YEAR!
So, as I was saying, the planning part of this post will be very shot.
My sewing plans for this year is to have NO PLANS AT ALL!
I have realised over the years that trying to stick to a plan generates a lot of stress and guilt that frankly, I don’t need in my life right now.
However, I do want to slow down my sewing, and tackle more complicated projects, like coats and tailored jackets, and definitely another pair of jeans. And maybe, shock-horror, sew more for other people. And make a bag with all the trimmings.
And that’s it!
Now… Back to the reflections bit…
2017 was a better year than I thought. Nothing major happened, but there were a lot of fun firsts, though not as much sewing as I would have liked.
This year I visited two of my favourite places ever: South Africa in February and Cuba in December, plus a fabulous Italian adventure in May. I absolutely ticked three of my bucket list destinations so 2018 will have a lot to live up to!
And I also managed to tick off an amazing list of activities:
- climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town
- swimming with sharks in Gaansbai (albeit in a cage)
- seeing a leopard in the wild in Krueger National Park
- drinking chianti in a vineyard in Chianti
- scuba diving to see a coral reef
- dancing salsa in Havana
Now, on the sewing front…
Yet another year without making a proper coat, but not for lack of trying. There were attenuating circumstances. My sewing room was in disarray for almost a month before we left for Cuba, so really ran out of time. But I have chosen a pattern, I have the fabric (from the stash, which is even better) and I’m rearing to go.
I love that again I have sewed some of my favourite items for the second year in a row. I feel that my style is beginning to crystallise more and more, resulting in a wardrobe that is me-made and makes me feel amazing about myself. I have sewn a bit less this year, for various reasons, but I feel they have been more meaningful garments, that reflect my style and that get worn a lot, even if perhaps not the most complex ones.
In no particular order:
I feel I have cemented some techniques and feel more confident to tackle any pattern or fabric. I also feel quite chuffed with my fitting, I have had no major fitting disasters this year and no items ended up in the recycling bin.
I also have a new sewing room that I love (big reveal coming soon), which was a really long time in the making for various reasons, but which feel almost perfect for my sewing needs.
For the third year in a row, I have continued my RTW fast, with absolutely no clothes bought this year (except tights). I also have toned down my fabric shopping as well, bar the 3 visits to Abakhan, and ditto for patterns. I have also tried to sew as much as possible from the stash, it’s large enough, so I don’t really have issues finding something that would work.
2017 has definitely been the Burda Year, as I have sewn loads of awesome garments based on their patterns. I do have a bit of a Burda Magazine habit, I must confess, and I bought almost all the issues in 2017, plus a few back issues that I really liked. I feel I do get a lot more for my money, so many patterns to access, and I feel their style really appeals to me and where I want to take my wardrobe.
On the blogging side, I have invested a lot in learning more about the science of it, how to optimise my SEO, how to write better, as well as dedicating a lot of time to promoting my posts on a multitude of social media platforms. And it definitely worked. I posted less than in previous years but got more traffic and more engagement. For the first time, I introduced a blogging schedule (which I may or may not stick to all the time), and I reached out to the community for guest bloggers. I have been balancing my makes posts with more musings/opinion posts and I loved starting a dialogue with the community, like in the post about sewing guilt.
But perhaps my most exciting project of this year was launching the Fabric Shop Directory Project, which is my way of giving something back to the sewing community, in this case, a directory for fabric shopping in different cities of the world. Please let me know if you want to make a contribution, either by writing a guide for your city or by sending me a guide that you wrote (or have come across), or by requesting a guide for a city that I haven’t included yet. And of course, by spreading the word.
And that’s it.
Now bring on that 2018!