From scratch

Au revoir 2014!

After going about 3 months without sewing, I finally found my sewjo again. I already have some plans that I sometimes find terrifying after abandoning the craft for so long, but if I think about how I spent my last week (in bed, playing Farm Heroes) and how I’ve spent these past two days (sewing like crazy!), then I’m quite optimistic about those plans. So instead of reviewing my makes from 2014, I decided to take a look at my resolutions from 12 months ago, to find out how well I’ve done this year, before I set new goals for myself for 2015!

Tick1. Start a Fashion Design course

I signed up for this course as I wanted to find a way to put all the inspiration into action. I haven’t done any new projects since the one we had to work on for 3 months, which is a bit of a shame. At least if I had the right idea, now I know I could start developing designs using the techniques we were taught.

My collection was based on the Tarahumara tribe living in Mexico. I’m planning on writing a bit more on this, but here are a few photos of it for now:

Tick2. Start learning French.

Je ne parle pas français. Still. I did try it for 3 months, but I only realized that learning a new language as an adult, in a group, is too frustrating and somehow slow at the same time. For me, at least. I haven’t given up on the idea totally, but this is not a priority right now.

ex3. Start playing cello from September.

Did not start playing cello. Will not start playing cello in 2015. Will keep on listening to this one though. (No need to look at the video. Really.)

ex4. Make a wedding dress for a friend.

This is a fail, but I did not chicken out! My friend got married sooner than we both expected, so instead of making a wedding dress, I ended up making a baby sleeping bag-turned-blanket for her. It will hopefully come in handy to take the little one home from the hospital. I’ll show you pictures of the finished blanket with the baby inside, until then, here is what it’s made of:

fashion design pic 11

ex/Tick5. Finish my UFOs & use up my stash.

I did not manage to touch my “core stash” (that box below) unfortunately. However, I managed to use up quite a few larger scraps I have been hoarding for a while.  I made 4(!!!) garments this way, one of which is probably my all time favourite piece of clothing (not pictured).

I also made a habit of posting sneak peaks of projects I was very excited about at the time, just to give up on completing them right before the finish (adding buttons, hemming, etc.), but going through the posts I realized that I have finished just about as many as I left unfinished this year. Here are a few of these:

All in all, there is definitely room for improvement on this one, so I’ll be trying hard to come up with a good solution for this year and get rid of the contents of this box…

stash diet1

Tick6. Make a dressform.

Done! 🙂

ex7. Try fabric dyeing.

Not done.

ex8. Make/wear handmade jewellery.

Nope. I did buy/wear some awesome (mass-produced) jewellery though…

Tick9. Dress more adventurously.

I think the evidence of improvement in this area is my newfound addiction to vintage Japanese kimonos. I bought these 3 beauties in the past 3 months and the 4th is on its way… Now all I need is warm weather!

ex/Tick10. Be more consistent with blogging/ stress less about failing to do so.

Me Made May was an amazing challenge that helped me get used to posting more frequently than ever before. Then came the summer. Then 6 weeks of 7 day work weeks. Then the Christmas holiday…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I was – at some point during this year – more consistent with posting. BUT. I did spend the second half of the year rather guilt-ridden for not making blogging (or sewing, for that matter) a priority. Sooo…apparently I still don’t have a clue how to get this right.

Tick11. Join a sewing group, preferably create find a local one.

Success! Kind of. Ladies and Gentlemen, I co-created a knitting club in 2014. Yup, it runs every Thursday at the local pub, we have dinner, gossip chat and knit for a few hours after work. The members are actually my colleagues, including my boss (she is the pro!). I have just learned how to knit properly (my mum had previous attempts to teach me, without much success), and I managed to pick the hardest first project ever. Obviously I have already ditched the pattern and started freestyling, so if it all goes well, I should have a top by May. 🙂 Oh, and out of pure jealousy of other club members (who are on their 3rd scarves already), I’ve also started making the simplest snood ever. See?

fashion design pic 10

fashion design pic 9

ex12. Sell something I’ve made.

When I started sewing about 3 or 4 years ago I had this eureka moment. I still remember making my first dress, without knowing anything about dressmaking at all, listening to jazz in the background and having this unexplainable smile on my face. I just knew this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. So 3 (or 4) years on, even though I quite like what I do for a living, I would still love to do something in the future that involves sewing. As for now, after spending this past year with half-heartedly coming up with business ideas, I decided to give myself a break and keep sewing for what it used to be: FUN.

Tick+1: Fall in love.

Well, this was a really exciting and fun year in this department, but I did not actually fall in love…just yet! (I will still give myself a point for trying!) 😉

And that makes it even! I have succeeded to do just as many things as I have failed to do. Do you guys have any recycled or new resolutions for 2015? Any tried and trusted methods for making yourself finish what you have started?

Btw, happy New Year!


5 thoughts on “Au revoir 2014!

  1. Oh, man… I go crazy with resolutions every year. 2014 wasn’t an easy year for me, so this year, I’m going for mostly fun stuff – trying out new hobbies, joining clubs, decorating the flat. Apparently the trick is to set yourself tangible goals, like ‘cook fresh meals once a week’, rather than vague ‘don’t eat microwave meals all the time’ type things. Happy New Year!!!

    • Your new resolutions do sound like fun, what new hobbies are you thinking of? I set myself vague goals all the time. I’m planning on focusing on my body a bit more this year after spending a year not thinking about what I eat really. I have a very hard time makeing sustainable changes, in pretty much all areas in my life, as even if I tell myself to do something once a week, I’ll skip doing it just as well as I would skip it if I had to do it several times a week. Anyway, it’s probably time to try to take it slow and see what happens. 🙂

      • Oh, I am amazing at making vague goals all the time; in fact a new resolution has just come to me – carry a notepad at all times to note new resolutions. I really fancy having a go at weaving, or shoe making, or screen printing. I also need to work more exercise into my routine – it’s tough as I have a looong commute so I only exercise by walking at the moment (just looked it up and it’s about 2.5 miles each day, so not terrible, just not exciting!). Try not to get disheartened and give up if you skip your resolutions, there’s always the next day to improve!

      • Hah, that notepad sounds handy! 🙂 Shoe making must be really cool, but I think that’s one of those things that requires quite a bit of commitment as you need to get all these specific tools. Although if you think about that feeling you get when you put on your handmade clothes for the first time, walking down the street in your handmade shoes must be amazing! Your experience in sewing will definitely be a big help if you get started. I’d actually love to try my hands at weaving too!
        I’m cycling everywhere which is definitely loads more exciting than walking (I hate walking TBH), so I see what you mean, but surely walking 2.5 miles a day counts as your cardio, so I would just add whatever does not feel like a burden to do. Although I might not be the best person to give advice as apart from cycling I don’t enjoy many forms of activities… 🙂

  2. Pingback: Me-Made-May 2015: The last week | The Secret Costumier

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