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2013 – reflections, inspirations and goals

It’s a week in to the new year, and I shall carry on from the hits & misses post, on to what 2013 brought in terms of reflections, inspirations, and goals for the next year of sewing and crafting.

Reflections

I take forever to get personal projects done. I think alot, I plan, I make changes to patterns, I hem and haw. Part of the hurdle is my very space-limited apartment that means I have to unpack the sewing machine every time I use it, and cutting out fabric is a puzzle piece, trying to make it fit between kitchen chairs and couches. Combined with working on 5 or 6 projects at once means I forget what I’m doing between each time I pick it up. Which actually leads to putting it away again since I get frustrated not knowing what is going on!

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On the plus side, I’ve been happy with some refashions I’ve done this year. I’m not so attached to things I make that I’m unwilling to redo them. The yellow scarf for example – I’ve knit that twice now. It just didn’t work the first time around, so I frogged it and started again. I’m thinking of doing that with a shawl I crocheted many years ago, and this summer/winter dress that I’ve worn all of once will get a contrast color waistband and a shorter length. If something just isn’t working and isn’t getting worn, it’s clutter – even if that something is me-made.

Inspirations

The patterns coming out of independent pattern designers this past year has been blowing my mind! There are several swoon-worthy newcomers, like Thread Theory and Named, but I’m seeing a trend across a lot of the indie designers of fashionable, on-trend looks that are *designs* first and patterns second. I think how they style their shoots and the fabrics they choose have been a huge part of this. Bang-up job guys!

   
The Julian Knit Dress by Named Clothing, and the Model #1 from Sandnes Yarn’s 1315 DIY pattern booklet.

Also, ikat-prints. I don’t know why. Maybe because they tend to make things look less home-made? Maybe because it’s a non-frilly pattern, but one that isn’t cold? I’m getting more and more comfortable with prints in general, but my heart beats a little faster for those ikat-prints.

Goals

The goals I set myself for 2013 are somewhat fulfilled – I did make colorwork mittens, 2 pairs of them actually, just not for myself! I took on several unfinished projects and brought them to completion, but it’s funny to see how my list of planned things to make remain pretty identical from last year to this one! I think one hurdle for several of the things I’ve listed (a boatneck dress in a beautiful Liberty of London fabric, a magenta pencil-skirt, and a pinstriped blazer) is that they require a whole lot of preparation – drafting the pattern, or seriously altering one, muslin-fittings, etc, and so I am a little daunted by the amount of work and I just don’t start. I’d like to think less – and this is related to my next goal – and chip away in small but steady pieces til I get it done.

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I usually have many projects going at any given time, jumping between them. I think given the tendency to forget where I left off, and the challenges with the space I have available, I’d be better off working mainly on one project at a time. I often feel like I don’t have time to sit down for a block of time to sew, but lately with working on the Minoru jacket, I’ve been doing 10 minutes here, 15 minutes there. That means progress – progress that wouldn’t happen if I was waiting for a good time to do a 3-hour session! This also means I leave my sewing machine out for longer periods of time, but that’s a trade-off. (I’m telling you, tiny space!)

And finally (this is kind of a big one) – I have so many ideas that needs patterning and testing and refining, but I’d really like to release a full scale garment sewing pattern in 2014! Wouldn’t that be great!

pattern_presentation_underwearMy first one – a free underwear pattern.