This will be my last Top 5 post for 2017 and is a little collation of the last few topics in Gillian’s Top 5 series, which you can read all about here. These comprise my sewing reflections, non-sewing highlights and a few goals for next year. I tend to be the sort of person who thinks “Who on earth would be interested in my highlights?”, but I enjoy reading other people’s, so there’s my answer, I suppose. You can also read my posted Top 5 sewing hits and Top 5 sewing misses should the need hit you (and we all know which one is more fun to read ;))
Wardrobe progress: I’ve been sewing for about 2 years now and one of my “goals” from a year ago was to try and make more garments that coordinated, rather than just the stuff I like that doesn’t match anything else in my wardrobe. I think I’ve been fairly successful in that with the completion of a number of wardrobe basics, including the Scout tee, Lindens and various cardigans . Most days I wear at least one, if not two me-made items and that will only increase now I’m making the likes of jeans.
Another aim I had was to get more social in real life and meet some more sewists. I only did one class this year, but managed to meet the lovely Jo of Stuff Jo Has Made after she moved to Seattle, and also Erin, who moved back to the States after living in the Netherlands for many years. We started up an occasional sewing night at my place with my first sewing friend Angela (it seems weird to say this since she’s really just a good friend rather than a “sewing” friend, but you know what I mean), and so far it’s been a lot of fun! As well as this, I joined the Sewcialists blog team, which I’ve really been enjoying and through this got invited to a fabric swap held by Meris from the Fabric Alchemist, where I once again got to chat sewing with a bunch of nice ladies.
I determined that, for the time being at least, challenges are good for me. Some people find challenges or Instagram group sewing projects cheesy, but I enjoy them. It keeps me focused, I love seeing what other people are sewing and I’m a social person by nature, so I like to feel part of a community. If that’s cheesy, I don’t really care I’m afraid. Unsurprisingly, the challenges where you choose your own patterns have been more successful for me, such as #makenine or #memademay, but I still enjoy trying out new styles, as in #sewmystyle. Me Made May was one of my favourites this year because it really gave me a good objective look at my wardrobe and helped me plan more effectively.
4. I have too much fabric. Yes, I know that almost every sewist thinks that. And I definitely do not subscribe to the guilty sewist syndrome. I deplore the term “selfish sewing” (doing something I like for me is not selfish) and have no guilt about spending money on fabric, patterns etc. This is my hobby! However, haha, I do still have way too much fabric. I would have to increase my sewing rate 1000-fold to get through it. Therefore, I really want to focus on using up (or seriously denting) my existing collection this year. I’m not banning myself from buying fabric, but I want it only to be for something very specific I think.
My first goal is to try and take better photos. I don’t think my photos are totally terrible, and my husband does a nice job, but I think I can do better in terms of setting, light and so on. We still tend to take them in a bit of a rush, so I’d like to be more systematic about it. Crafting a Rainbow’s Better Pictures Project seems to be a good place to start.
The next two goals follow on from what I was saying earlier. The first is to continue my efforts to be social and write for other blogs, since I definitely enjoy those things. The second is to focus on my existing fabric collection.
Next, a pretty specific one. Start Christmas presents much earlier! A combination of not getting everything finished in time again (by some margin), extremely expensive postage from the US and the benefits of using up stash all make me think this is a. good. idea.
Finally, I’d like to finish a few UFOs this year. I don’t have a massive number of them, but I do have a few things for which I was probably just a little inexperienced at the time I started them, and which I think will still turn out nicely. I’d like to pull them out and finish them off – after all, I’ve already done a lot of the work!
In the non-sewing world, my number one, no-choice, just-do-it priority is to get my driving license. I’ve completed the theory test already and just need to knuckle down in the New Year with a few lessons and pass the practical. Now we’ve moved away from the Big Smoke, I really need one.
2017 was a good year where we put down some more roots here in the Pacific Northwest. We bought a house in Bothell and I got a room in which to sew! I was a little concerned about moving out of Seattle, being more of a city girl, but it’s turned out to be very relaxing and not far from civilization at all! 🙂 Even better, a whole bunch of people moved into our neighbourhood around the same time as us and we have a bit of a social thing going, so that’s made all the difference!
As mentioned above, I met new people in the sewing sphere, new people in my neighbourhood, and a few new mums too. I like meeting new people!
My husband and I are both overseas travelling types and, I won’t lie, the restrictions US vacation time puts on us is still difficult for me (it’s crazy and it’s been proved so many times that a bit more holiday results in happier workers and more efficiency/productivity.. urgh… I digress). Nevertheless, we managed to get away to California for a long road trip, which was wonderful. We also tried to take advantage of weekends and had a beautiful, if compressed, trip up to Canada and some fun camping and hiking at Mount Rainier and the North Cascades, to mention just a few local places. Oh – and I got a surprise trip to Las Vegas with a friend back in January. That was a blast!
Even if we can’t travel overseas as much, we try and keep busy here in Seattle. Our babysitter gets some good business from us and I was really happy that my immediate family pretty much all visited at various time this year. It was so good to see them! Highlights included: some great bands including Franz Ferdinand, Pedro the Lion, Arcade Fire, War Against Drugs and Explosions in the Sky; a bit of theatre with Cabaret, Ira Glass, Alec Baldwin and Peppa Pig (!); plenty of nice meals and smaller shows and exhibitions with friends (Kusama, Wyeth, Comic Con, etc.)
Finally, I got my butt in gear this year and started triathlon training. I only started in October and it’s a slow start, but we’re aiming to complete a sprint triathlon in the summer, so slow is good I think. Sometimes I feel I’ll never get any fitter, but then I realise I am, which is a great feeling! I ran/walked a few 5ks in 2017 and want to do more in 2018. This also means I’m going to try and sew a number of sport-related items – a swimsuit, sports bra and more leggings amongst other things.
And I think that brings this mega-post to an end! If nothing else, it’s great to have a look back at your year and solidify your thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly. I had a lovely 2017 and I hope to be lucky enough to have an equally fun next year. I wish the same for you and yours and send you my every best wish for a wonderful 2018!