Tuesday, 1 March 2022

2021 in review

2 months into the year and I finally finished editing the year in review post. Dreadful! It was perhaps a bad idea to wait until I was caught up on all the other garment posts.

Here's all the stuff I sewed in 2021.

 3 green everyday shirts. One in a sage green linen, which is now one of my favourite shirts.

And two more in a lighter, mint ice cream coloured linen, one with some contrasting dark red bits and one without. 

I like these well enough, but the fabric is a bit too bulky for an 18th century style shirt, especially on the longer of the two.
I also made a little matching cap from some of the scraps. I like wearing this kind of cap indoors when it's cold, but this one is my least favourite of the 3 I have, as it came out a bit too tight. 
A dark grey linen shirt.
And a plain white one, all hand sewn.
A flannel nightgown made from a fabric I block printed a few years ago, and then the same pattern sewn up in a soft brown rayon.
Comfortable and practical, and I'm glad to have them finished, since they were sitting cut out for quite a while.
3 sleeveless nightgowns
Not useful for most of the year, but very good to have in the summer.
I do wish I hadn't bought this grey cotton though, the little holes on the hem snag on my embroidery frame when I walk by it.
In April I had a photoshoot with Hailley Fayle, which was fun, and ended up looking nicely autumn-y because the leaves weren't out yet.
I made 3 pairs of pants. A fully lined black cotton pair that are nice in winter weather.
A navy blue linen pair which is great for summer. I definitely need to make more linen pants! The difference between these and even thin cotton ones in hot icky weather is incredible! These had also been on the unfinished projects pile for well over 2 years, so it's good to have them done.
And a pair of purple ones in a rather bad quality cotton.
An unlined linen waistcoat in one of my very favourite colours. It's nice to have a new one of these, since the white one I made a few years ago no longer fits.
And the Werther's Wrapper waistcoat. That was a completely ridiculous and impractical project, but lots of fun, and I think it's my best youtube video.
The weird ship print waistcoat. Another thing from The Pile that had been unfinished for at least a year.
The leafkerchief. My goodness did this ever get a lot of attention on the social medias! I'd have taken more progress pictures if I had known so many people would also want to make one. That blog post has many, many times more views than normal.
A few months later I made a yellow and a brown one, but they aren't blogged yet. I filmed them as part of a video tutorial, and will post about them here when I get around to finishing that.
Update: The video is done!
I made a couple of little experimental acorns out of fabric and thread. I like them and can think of many decorative uses for them, so would like to do more at some point, though I'm not sure when.
This monochrome blue monster embroidery was another thing I'd started a few years ago and forgotten about, but I dug it out and finished it. I found the perfect blue frame at the thrift store, so it's hanging on my wall now.
And a couple more embroidered monsters. 
I also made boring but functional curtains for my bedroom window, did a couple of minor waistcoat alterations, made a couple of boring bags and a mask, and re-covered my ironing board after I tried to wash the old cover and it shredded.
Somewhat related to sewing: I also started walking to the thrift store after work a few times a month, and have found some nice fabric there, as well as a lot of silver plated dishes. I've been using some of them to keep things organized on my sewing table.
I started accounts on Spoonflower and MyFabricDesigns last fall, and started making repeating patterns again! My first batch of new patterns consisted of frog toile, monsters, and dinosaurs, but I also added some older prints from textiles class in college. More recently I've borrowed a drawing tablet and bought a copy of Clip Studio Paint, so I'm excited to be able to make even bigger and more complicated prints!

The last thing I sewed in 2021 was this pillow cover for my sister. When we were looking at the winners for the amphibian themed Spoonflower contest she really loved this one (Frog Magic by Pameloo Art) so I included a big square of it in part of a fill-a-yard and sewed it up for a Christmas present. I didn't get a picture of the back, but it's a nubbly silk noil in the same green colour as the frog, and it overlaps and closes with 3 wooden buttons.
Now it's time to look at the goals from my previous year in review post and see how I did.

"More wardrobe basics." I did pretty good! 5 plain shirts, 5 nightgowns, and 3 pairs of pants isn't a lot, but it's considerably more everyday clothing than I usually do in a year.

"Not resist hand sewing something if I feel like it." I did a fair amount of hand sewing on a few of the shirts, and I still have trouble finding motivation for machine sewing, but I think I did more machine sewing in 2021 than I did in 2020. 

"Continue to be restrained about fabric buying, and if I do buy fabric, try to focus on wools and linens." I did ok at that. I got a great deal on some wools, and got some linen for more shirts. I also bought some cotton, but most of it was from the thrift store. There are some very nice, tightly woven cottons to be found in the form of bedsheets and such, and I also got a lovely bit of handwoven wool plaid for less than $2. And I did not buy any silk fabric! 

"Make more youtube videos." I only did 4 more, but I am pleased with them. I have a bunch more ideas, and some partially filmed, but I haven't worked on any in a few months. I think this will improve once I get a more powerful computer, because one of the things slowing me down is the fact that my laptop is tiny and somewhat old, so it can't handle editing long videos. It gets extremely laggy and sometimes just freezes, and it's very frustrating.

"Do at least half of the Historical Sew Monthly 2021 challenges." Wow, I really fell off the wagon for that one. I only did one HSM item the entire year. (It was the hand sewn shirt) In hindsight that probably wasn't a great goal to include in the same year as "more wardrobe basics", since a lot of my everyday wear is very strongly historically inspired, but not accurate enough to qualify for the HSM.
The only other properly historical thing I finished last year was the ship waistcoat, which didn't really fit any of the challenges.

All in all, not bad. It was a small and manageable list of goals. I think the main thing I really regret from last year's sewing is all those times I left work early because I ran out of stuff to do, when I could have just brought some projects to work.

Speaking of which, goals for 2022:

Bring most of my machine sewing tasks to my workplace to do on the industrial machine when there's no work to do. Business has been very very slow at the suit store where I do alterations, and sometimes there's enough work to fill my shift, but often there's barely anything, and leaving early after having spent 50 minutes on the bus to get there is an awful waste of time. So recently I've started bringing machine sewn projects to work (which my boss is fine with) and there are no distractions there, so it's much easier to focus. 

Get a more powerful computer. I bought my laptop secondhand a couple of years ago, and it's fine for most things, but not for editing videos. I got it shortly before the thought of making sewing videos had crossed my mind, and if I'd known I would have gotten something different.
It's also not ideal for all the digital drawing I've been doing. It works, but I keep wishing my screen was bigger, and sometimes with large files it does get a bit laggy.

Try to keep a good balance between time spent sewing and working on repeating patterns. I really like making patterns! There are so, so many patterns I want to draw, in addition to the many things I want to sew, and I want to try and divide my time fairly evenly, and to take regular breaks and stretch. It's very easy to get really excited about a pattern and draw for too long at once, which is bad for your hands. 

Do more Historical Sew Monthly items than I did last year. This ought to be easy, since I just have to do more than 1.

Make more wardrobe basics, and do some planning to figure out what things I'd get the most use out of. I still need more pants and shirts, and I keep wearing the same brown wool waistcoat day after day during the cold part of the year, so another plain wool waistcoat or two would be good. 

1 comment:

  1. You really accomplished quite a bit. I adore your little monsters and would love to buy a digitized embroidery pattern for them. I have no idea how practical that is to create.
    The sage green shirt is very flattering on you, especially with the brown waistcoat.