I got a bit bored of people saying 2016 was an exceptionally bad year. A few rock stars died and the people voted for some unpalatable choices. But come on – compared to years gone past we didn’t have so much to worry about. In the Western World at least we have eliminated much disease, absolute poverty and have created a wobbly support system for those most in need. Life expectancy and child health is overall improving annually and most of us have lots of choice. In my pocket I have a device that extends my brain power so I can know and do so much more than before. Not everyone is so lucky and progress is hard. But in my optimistic world view nothing is impossible. Humanity is amazing and can, with a will, conquer most things with time, commitment, investment and technology.
Sorry. Rant over.
I am happy with my lot.
I realise I have many advantages and benefits, and I am very privileged. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the fact that we have been able to buy a second home this year. As someone who works in homelessness and housing I had to consider this carefully. We have worked hard to make and save the money and I cashed in my pension and sold up my valuables. We plan to holidays here rather than fly off to fancy places. We will share our good fortune with family and friends.
My other huge advantages are in having an amazing husband, Mum, children, step children and grandchildren; and having a job I love and believe to be important.
What are my resolutions?
- Carry on knitting, learn more techniques and produce better quality garments
- Do the MANSWAP for Gus, really getting to know more about making menswear
- Run a 10K race for charity (from a standing start – I don’t really like running)
- Read a book a week
- Spend more time in the country, learning about our new area
- Be kinder and more understanding; listen more
- Finally do a jewellery class, with Nick
And my own sewing plans for the year?
I still think I have too many clothes. But I feel this year, once we have readjusted to a new life style (town and work in the week; country and leisure at weekends) I may need to make some wardrobe changes too. I feel like a big chuck out, really paring things down. In the country I have been wearing Uniqlo leggings and long sleeved Ts. I have several colours of top and they look nice layered; my bottoms are all navy. These items are warm, snug, lightweight and flattering. And reasonably priced. I was not suprised to read this : “The collection is a firm Vogue favourite, thanks to innovative technology that retains heat in winter months despite coming in the softest, thinnest of layers to allow for extra stretch and mobility.” (Vogue magazine). M&S also now make these tops and leggings too.
In the country (at this cold time of year) I wear my “base-layer” constantly as:
- nightwear (we had no heating or hot water for a while, so this was necessary)
- house-wear (when we are at home in the day it is now so warm and comfortable that i just wear these items in the house with bare feet (underfloor heating) or slippers
- underwear (when I go out on walks the base layer forms a warm shield against the cold – serving as vest and long johns). Over the top I put jeans or trousers, a hand knit, a couple of down jackets and my leather coat/waterproof, with wellies or walking boots.
However I have a few ideas percolating.
- As I sew the MANSWAP I may make up some of the items for myself too –
- this includes a pair of cords
- a bomber jacket
- and maybe a white shirt
- a pair of jeans
- Inspired by making silk for Brenda I want to make a summer dress with some hand painted silk (this has been a plan for a very long time)
- I would like a long, evening cloak in green velvet
- Some of the items I previously discussed for a casual wardrobe
- Something for work – a nice jacket, dress or skirt, a suit would be ideal – perhaps using one of my vintage couture patterns
- A few presents, for example little purses which I saw on Jenny @lilaccat’s instagram
- Non-clothes items eg cushions and chair covers for the new house.
As you can see, nothing pressing and maybe I won’t sew much for myself this year. The SWAP, the soft furnishings, plus knitting will keep me busy until May.
I realise these plans may disappoint the purist. I hope you will stay with me even if you love pictures of ladieswear straight off the sewing machine!