Hello 2017!

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 5520

Why hello and Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a great holiday season!  It appears my 3 month sabbatical has come to an end and I am glad to be back.  I have some big goals for 2017 that I am excited to share.  But first, let’s talk about how I finished 2016.

My stash definitely grew this year. I brought in 261.75 yards of fabric!  Yikes!  But what is a fabric hoarder to do when a local Jo-Ann’s closes?!  I did end up using 116.25 yards of fabric though.  So, really I only added 145.5 yards of fabric to my stash.  Still that is a lot to add to the stash and brings my total stash to 836.5 yards.  EEPS!

Musings of a Seamstress - McCall's 8891

I made 45 garments in 2016.  They were mostly tops and dresses for myself.  I played it pretty safe in 2016 and made a lot of repeats.  My sewing year was about making quick and easy casual pieces.  The tops in these pics are some of the last garments I made in December.  All three are patterns I have previously made multiple times.  Even still I do enjoy them, but I wish I had made time to make a few more frosting pieces and a few less cake pieces. In case you are unfamiliar with the reference, cake are the basic everyday garments and frosting is the fun special one-off garments.

Musings of a Seamstress - Simplicity 1062

What does this mean for 2017?  It means a whole lot more sewing needs to happen.  I have a short goal list this year.

  1.  Shop my stash instead of the store.  I have enough stash that if I sew up a hundred yards a year, it would take just over 8 years to use it all!  While I know I will give in and purchase some fabric this year I really need to focus on stashbusting.  My target number is 150 yards.  I am hosting a month for the Stashbusting Sewalong again this year, which will help out with that.  More on that at a later date.
  2. Make more frosting!  I have been planning some more in-depth pieces for 2017.  To start, I will finally be making the Grainline Studio – Cascade coat.  It has been three years since I made my last winter coat and two years since I made Eric’s wool coat.  I am due to make another now.  I also want to sew less casual knit pieces and more wovens.
  3. Participate more in the online sewing community.  I have not been as active as I would have liked to have been.  I have been watching from the sidelines but I need to jump in the game with everyone else.  This month I am participating in the 5th annual Jungle January, which is always a favorite of mine.  I will also be blogging on the Whatcha Wearin January.  There are a few other sewalongs I have signed up for too, and of course the sewing photo-hops on Instagram.

 

What are your sewing goals for 2017?

So long 2014. Hello 2015!

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to write for this post for the last week.  I have so much to say about what I did last year and what I want to do this year both sewing and personal.

Personally, we made some major strides towards being able to bring our baby home!!  I know I have been pretty quiet on this topic for the last 6 months.  I haven’t wanted to share to much until we were ready.  Well I have shared already how we got a new car for me that will be spacious and safe to drive our child around in.  We also renovated our bathroom, taking it from being a leaking mess to being a beautiful space.  We still have some other renovations that need to happen before, like replacing our floors that were damaged from a leaking dishwasher and water damage from when we first moved in.  These have to be replaced as the floor boards are so warped and damaged I would be afraid of our future baby hurting themselves.  However,  the bathroom and the car are not even the biggest step we made this year.  Eric has been working very hard at work for the last 8 months and it has finally paid off with a huge promotion for his work life and our finances.  So big in fact that we have a goal to be signed up with our adoption agency by April.  Whew!  Big goal but we can do it!

Sewing is a completely different story though!  Let’s start with a few stats.  I used 99.5yds of stash fabric.  Seriously, half yard off from 100 total yards.  Grrrr…. Tallying in new fabric used, I sewed up 122.25 yards!  That much fabric is gone and out of my stash!  Then on top of that number I also mailed out 378 yards through my Share My Stash adoption fundraiser!  That means I got rid of 500.25 yards in 2014.  Unfortunately, I did buy 181.5 yards and was gifted 17 yards.  Even with those purchases, I still put a decent dent into my stash.

I made a total of 25 items for myself.  With a 25% of those being tops, 20% pajamas, and 16% being dresses.  Those three categories account for 15 of my total garments.  I was going to post my top 5 favorites and top 5 disappointments but I don’t really have any.  I really like everything that I finished this year.  I also made 18 garments for others, mostly costumes.  That is pretty common for what I make for others though.  Eric is really the only other one who gets actual everyday garments.

So, with all that I have done last year I spent most of last week thinking about what I want to accomplish this year.  I have gone back and forth, and finally decided that I just can’t do it all!  🙁  I picked only a few things to focus on this year and they are some of the bigger projects I have been wanting to accomplish.

1.  Quality of quantity: Last year I started to look at buying better quality fabrics.  I am spending less and less on fabric from Jo-Ann’s and instead sourcing better and slightly more expensive fabrics online.  I want to continue this.  I still have way more fabric than I will probably ever get to sew up, so I definitely do not need to buy for quantity’s sake and my wallet could use that money for other things, like the baby!

This same theory will apply towards actual garment construction too.  One of the goals I considered making was sewing double the amount of garments I made last year. Like I said, I really want to accomplish some of the bigger projects this year to get them out of my mind and into reality, so quantity will have to wait.

2.  Blogging and social presence:  After finishing the Adoption Dress Project at the end of 2013, I took a step back from blogging and posting to most social media.  Mind you I said posting, I still stalked all the blogs and Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, but I didn’t post regularly.  I am guessing there will be a lot more  adoption info to post this coming year.  Since I am going to focus on some bigger projects this year I want to do more work in progress posts and tutorial for different techniques.  I still need to write out a plan for this though.  I am also planning on participating in more of the sewalongs and themed months.  I have already signed on to host a month of the 2015 Stashbusting Sewalong!

3.  Big projects: So what exactly are these bigger projects that I keep talking about?  Well, for starters, I am going to be working on an Albion coat for Eric this month.  I made the muslin in December and it fit perfectly.  Then the holidays got so crazy and I just haven’t had time to sit down and make the final version.

After that I am going to make new costumes for the Renaissance Festival.  These will include a legitimate long leather tunic for Eric, which I already have the leather for, and my long thought about noble costume.  The tunic won’t be too hard as the pattern and design of it are pretty basic.  The real challenge for it will be sewing the leather.  It is going to fit in great for one of the Stashbusting themes.  I look forward to it.

Then there is my new renaissance costume.  I have been planning this thing for over 2 years now.  I have pretty much everything I need, except some trim, and it is time to finally make this happen.  I have been putting it off partially out of fear and mostly because of the time I know I need to put into it.  The last noble gown I made took me 6 months to complete and it didn’t have nearly the amount of bead work this one will have.  I will need to start this project within the next couple of months to make sure I have it ready by September/October.  This is definitely going to be a posts of the process project.

Finally, after all of the costuming craziness is done, I want to make myself another winter coat.  I have a few techniques that I use that I have not seen anyone else post about that I want to share.  They make coat construction amazingly easy and not nearly as intimidating as I used to think it would be.

In between those big four projects I do want to sew at least one garment a month that fits into the Stashbusting themes.  This is because there are some themes that I have never tried and I think it is high time to change that.

Whew!  No pictures and all talk about plans.  If you made it though this entire post, thanks for reading.  I am impressed that you stuck out all my babbling!  Now what are your plans?