Getting a new sewing machine was definitely one of my 2016 highlights. I had no qualms about spending some serious money as I hardly ever buy big ticket items and sewing gives me so much pleasure. I upgraded to a Janome XL601, a machine I could grow my skills with. It sews so smoothly and is easy to use. It’s worth every penny for the drop in bobbin alone. No more tangled threads or running out of bobbin thread mid stitch.
Joining Instagram was an unexpected highlight. I’m always behind the times with social media – it took me two years to start this blog. Now that I’m on it, I’m seriously addicted and check in regularly to get my fix. It’s great for engaging with other sewers and is so easy to use. And it’s so, er instant! You post something and get feedback immediately. I used to look forward to my blog feed but that’s been usurped by IG and I dip into the #sewcialists feed most days. I also took part in #bpSewvember2015 which was great fun. I found so many new people and blogs through this. I still like reading blogs and they are invaluable for fit and construction tips. I hope they don’t die off completely.
I have an ArtFund card and go to a lot of exhibitions. I love fashion and costume shows and my favourite was the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A. The show was truly breath taking in terms of content and display. Another highlight was going to the Balenciaga museum in Spain. I spent hours in there, jaw on the floor staring in wonder at his designs. As you can see from the photo above, the dresses are extraordinary.
I also did a bit of re-fashioning, thanks to Portia’s re-fashioners challenge and Karen’s Made up initiative. They were both really fun to do and having a deadline meant that I finished my projects. The Datura top had a former life as a M&S mans shirt.
The first part of the year was spent tackling my numerous UFOs. It felt like a chore at times, especially towards the end but two of my UFOs ended up in my top 5 makes so it was worth doing. I’m pleased to say they haven’t built up again and the only piles I have are bags of cut fabric ready for sewing.
It’s been a productive year and I sewed 27 items, including one coat, 14 tops and a few pressies. I sew far too many tops and need more trousers and skirts to have a functioning handmade wardrobe. Not bad, given that I had to spend precious sewing time due to job hunting twice this year.
I achieved nearly all my 2015 goals: finishing UFOs, sewing trousers, a shift dress and a dressy top. I failed to ration fabric purchases and added to my stash big time. However I did use a lot of what I bought so I’m not being too hard on myself. I’ve finally catalogued my stash which I hope will curb my spendthrift ways.
Goals for 2016
After sewing up UFOs for the best half of last year, I want 2016 to be all about fun sewing. So my goals are:
# 1 – Sew a holiday wardrobe
What’s more fun that wearing handmade? Wearing handmade on holiday.
# 2 – Sew more skirts and fewer tops
Desperately need more summer skirts. I have a hunch I’ve worn the same RTW skirts on every holiday for the last 8 years.
# 3 – Casual dresses
# 4 – More solids
I’m a print addict. Sewing more solids will give me more wearing options.
# 5 – Sew from stash and not buy fabric!
I can hope!