I wasn’t going to write a 2015 recap of projects because although I made quite a few things, I didn’t blog very many of them. It also feels really weird to be writing a recap of 2015 halfway through January 2016, especially since I have already started concentrating on projects for this year, so I decided to combine the two posts.
Before last year, I hadn’t been able to sew regularly because I wasn’t able to keep my machine out and available all the time, I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, and I had other responsibilities that took up most of my time. Part way through the year; however, I was finally able to have my mom’s machine out and start (and finish) some projects. We spent most of the Spring gutting and remodeling our house, and I wasn’t able to complete very many because of the amount of time it took. Once I started going through my blog and looking at finished projects, I was surprised to see how much I actually did finish – it was a lot more than I expected.
I am very proud of several of my finished projects for several reasons – either I tried a technique I hadn’t used before or the project turned out really well.
Twice a year, Todd and I participate in a weekend-long immersive LARP (live action role play). My character, Tessa, is an elf, and due to some unfortunate circumstances and wardrobe malfunctions, I needed new costume pieces.
I ended up making a completely new outfit, including this cloak, which I absolutely LOVE! It is reversible, but I wear it with the red side out most of the time. I did not originally make it with arm holes, but after our first event last year, I added them in the side seams.
One project I am really proud of is my oldest daughter’s t-shirt memory quilt. Emma gave me a garbage bag full of her high school t-shirts, including ones she received at State Championship events, and asked me to make a quilt out of them. Several of the shirts had patterns on both the front and back, so I designed the quilt so that the backs of the shirts were directly behind their front counterparts. It was the first time I sewed with t-shirt knits, and I was able to get the quilt made without too many difficulties. Emma loves it!
My youngest daughter, Reagan, has always marched to the beat of her own drum. She has a quirky sense of humor, intelligence beyond measure, and, for lack of a better term you never know what smart ass remark is going to come from her next. She is adventurous, has a passion for learning, and she loves to laugh. She has a style all her own, and she still loves to have me sew for her. She picked out the fabric and pattern for this dress, and it quickly became one of my favorites. It is the first time I have sewn with godets, and we both love the extra fullness they give to the skirt.
Continuing on the daughter theme, my middle daughter, Harley needed a costume for Fall Spirit Week, which also happened to fall the week of Halloween. She told me she wanted to be a Ravenclaw Quidditch Player, so we got some blue fleece and silver lamé for the cloak, and for the “sweater” we purchased two sweatshirts – a gray one and navy blue one. This cloak and sweater project was the first time I tried machine appliqué, and it all turned out great; however, if I ever made it again I would do the appliqué before assembling the cloak. Spirit Week and Halloween were both successful!
The thing I am the most proud of this past year is not “making” related, rather it is a personal achievement that has forced me to step way out of my comfort zone on multiple levels. I auditioned for the Elgin Opera House production of My Fair Lady, and I made the cast. Since starting rehearsal, I have had to learn to sing and act, and I have had to dig into my former dance training to remember how to make my feet move and step. In the process, I have become so much more comfortable with myself. I am proud of me!
There are several other projects I finished and blogged that I am proud of, as well. You can see check them out here: Tessa’s Quiver, Layer Cake Newbie, Traveler’s Journal, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, Lillyella Stitchery Basket, Quilts for Christmas, My Tornado.
I really didn’t think I had accomplished very much this year, but once I reviewed my notes and records, I realized I actually completed a lot more projects than I initially thought, I just had not blogged very many of them. In addition to what I did blog about, I also finished three skirts, covered seven pillows, made a quilt out of the extra fabric from the pillow covers, finished two shirts, made an underdress for my LARP costume, and crocheted about a million dishcloths.
After spending so much time reviewing projects I completed last year, I spent quite a bit of time setting some goals for the upcoming year for my blog and for me, personally. I am not a resolution maker, and I try really hard not to set myself up for failure with unattainable goals. I have a difficult time measuring the time I have against the time it will take to accomplish a task. I have gotten better about it, but I was still scrambling on Christmas Eve to finish a couple sewing projects for the next day. Another area where I struggle is having a large number of projects I want to make, the material to make them, and having absolutely no idea where to start. I have all these lovely projects just sitting at the ready waiting for me to pay them some attention.
Which brings me to my actual goals.
- Post at least once weekly
I am setting the goal to post once a week, but I am going to aim for twice a week. I know there will be weeks when I don’t have time to post weekly, but I am hoping with enough forethought I will be able to at least publish weekly.
- Stick with the Try Something New Every Month project
I joined a monthly group called the Try Something New Every Month. The idea is very basic – try something new craft-related every month. The organizers of the group, Stephanie and Rebecca, had a list of subjects to try as a suggestion, but I decided to create my own list because there are so many sewing-related techniques I have never tried and want to learn. I wrote about my January Project experience with hand embroidery HERE. I am really happy with how my project turned out, especially since I was trying two new concepts (embroidery and tea dyeing). This finished piece is now hanging on my daughter’s bedroom wall, and she loves it!
- Finish my Craftsy Class – The Sassy Librarian Blouse
I purchased The Sassy Librarian Blouse class from Craftsy earlier this year, and I have not had the time
courage ambitionto start it yet. You see, for this blouse, I will have to do a Full Bust Adjustment, which I have never done. In addition, I have some beautiful fabric I want to use to create it, and I am scared to cut into it.
- Organize and Prioritize Sewing Projects
I have a ton of projects either in progress or ready to start. I have promised myself not to start any new projects that aren’t already on my list of works in progress. Once I have them all listed, I am going to prioritize them by when I want/need them to be done and pop them into my editorial calendar accordingly.
- Establish an Editorial Calendar and stick to it.
In my head, I have worked out what I want to accomplish each month, but unless I get it written down on paper, I won’t be able to stick with it.
- Work ahead.
I am trying to make sure I am working ahead on projects, especially the ones that have deadlines. If I am working ahead, then the weeks that are busier and I don’t have a lot of time will still have projects to show for them, and I won’t be scrambling to finish projects at the last minutes.
I am going to utilize several tools to help me reach my goals. I keep a daily planner, and I plan to write the month’s goals on the monthly page layout. I will also break them down weekly so they aren’t so daunting. The hardest thing for me when I make goals is forgetting them partway through the year, so I think that by having them written down and in front of my all the time, it will be easier for me to achieve them.
I am hoping that with the implementation of written goals and and editorial calendar, I will be able to meet my goals this year.
Linking up at Stitch All The Things.