Haaaaaapppy New Year, friends! I didn't realize how much I liked these 'year in review' blog posts until I started reading the ones in my feed, and I just couldn't resist jumping in and adding my own. That might explain why it's been 2018 for a few days already, but I got there in the end at least!
2017 was a pretty cool year for me. There were fewer major life changes than 2016 (I got engaged, got a new job, major house improvements happened, went to Hawaii) but that gave me time to hone my skills and get good at some new things (6 pairs of Ginger Jeans and finally, a perfect bra fit!), and at being an adult in general (we got a worm bin! and our garden looks sooo good! I got a promotion at work! I finished creating my sewing corner!) Also, Jon's gone back to school for Paramedicine and not to get too sappy here but seeing someone do what they're clearly meant to be doing in life really pushes you to try to do the same. So I'm working on that. Just as soon as I figure out what exactly it is I'm meant to be doing, because let me tell you how much that idea changes daily...
On January 1st of this year, Jon and I did that whole 'spend the first day as you intend to carry on' thing, and went on a wild adventure - woke up before sunrise to hike 17 kilometers up a peninsula to the Cape Brett lighthouse and slept in a cottage from the settlement that used to be there. It was a victory for my shoulders (I usually have trouble carrying a pack because of some nerve issues) but unfortunately not for my knees and hips - I was too sore to hike out the following day so we took a water taxi and that turned out to be a beautiful way to see where we'd been the day before. Also - did you know that seagull chicks are spotted? I did not.
Since this is the time for resolutions: This year I'm taking part in Goodbye Valentino's RTW Fast, so I won't be buying any clothes of any sort for the next year. I'm not imagining this is going to be a huge struggle for me (it's now been one year and seven months since my last RTW clothing purchase) but I like goals, and holding myself accountable for things, and I like the sense of community you get from doing a thing like this with a group of other people, so I've put my name on the list. I'm going to try to challenge myself to make more complicated items (man, have I fallen hard for tailored blazers) but I'm also conscious that the wedding dress is going to be taking up more and more of my time this year, so we'll see how we go. Now - on to the good stuff!
This year, I made five pairs of Ginger Jeans (my first pair was in December 2016 for a total of 6 now) - and I've since cut the (very twisty) legs off of the first pair to make a lovely pair of high waisted denim shorts. It hardly counts as a refashion, but I wasn't wearing them at all and now I am so I'm going with it.
In July, we decided to expedite the wedding planning process, and I started a vlog to document my dressmaking journey. In a few weeks I'll be in the US and I'm preparing to buy the fabric I'll need for that project while I'm there!
I also began writing a blog segment called The Monthly Draft in September, which takes you through the process of drafting and sewing a garment to your measurements - it's been so much fun to get deep into the technical details of those projects and share them with all of you! So far we've made a pencil skirt, some sleeves, underwear, and a body block! (The Monthly Draft will be back in February - I needed a short hiatus for some Christmas sewing)
Lastly, I worked on my first-ever fabric store collaboration on the blog, showcasing some of the gems that Draper's Fabrics has on offer with a self drafted silk dress and tencel top that I've subsequently worn at pretty much every available opportunity. It was so much fun to challenge myself to something a bit outside my comfort zone! (PS check out the discount code in that post! As of the time of writing, it's still valid ;) )
The Most Successful Award goes to my partial band bra draft - a version of which you'll find on my body about five days a week.
The Most Worn Single Project Award goes to my square sleeved cardi. If it's not on my body, it's generally in my bag, draped over the back of my chair, or within arm's reach.
The 'dud' award goes to the mid-rise Ginger Jeans - there's technically nothing wrong with them, but I don't wear them unless everything else is dirty, the waist height is just not my style. I suppose that project is closely followed by the garter belt - it's fun and different and I like it, but for all practical purposes I've worn the thing about twice since I made it. I'm happy to report that everything aside from these two has been a success story so far!
In sewing related reflection, I started this year needing to do a pretty severe wardrobe overhaul: the selection of clothes I brought with me in my suitcase to New Zealand just wasn't cutting it anymore. In about August/September, I started slowing down with the basics and starting to make things that 'elevated' rather than 'filled' my wardrobe (don't get me wrong - filling was highly necessary at the beginning) - and that's a trend I want to carry on over with greater purpose in 2018. My first project of 2017 was a loose fitting t-shirt, and my last was a fully lined and interlined wool coat from a 1950s pattern with hair canvas reinforced front panels stitched in by hand. (blog post coming soon-ish).
2018 is shaping up the be the Year of The Dress, but I hope it's also going to be the year of adventure and risk-taking: the opposite of the safe foundation that I built for myself in 2017. I guess only time will tell what happens!
Most importantly, 2017 was the year I started to really try make new friends and give the sewing community a part of my life. I say sometimes that sewing is a really solitary activity (and I like it that way for the most part) but moving to a new country as an introverted adult doesn't really lend itself to making friends, and you - you who read and comment, and you whose blogs I read - along with my Instagram friends (This year I met my first Instagram friend in real life! As of the end of 2017, I've met thee!) - you guys are so important to my happiness and sanity, and I hope I manage to contribute to yours as well. 2018's going to be more of the same at least as far as that's concerned, and I couldn't be more excited.