Last year I was able to reflect back on a productive year, with lots of hits and misses.
But I also reflected that my life was changing. Spending more time in the country, winding down a little, recognising I had more than enough clothes. And so it has come to pass. I know there are some prolific makers out there and their output is truly impressive. But I feel a bit fraudulent – producing a regular blog, but not making enough clothes! I never want to make something just to write about it.
The blog, which always seems to have a life of its own, is changing too.
It is supposed to focus on making things. It drifted from sewing and pattern cutting and fitting, into knitting. I re-dedicated my blog to the task of Making Life more Beautiful. And finally in about October I got this idea of writing a book which is so demanding I don’t really know what I was thinking.
This year I have made about 24 items, and three partly-complete items. That’s something every two weeks or so, which is reasonable.
For Gus (the unfinished ManSwap) a pair of cords, a green polo neck and a navy blue wool jacket.
For Brenda, a nice piece of painted silk.
With Amo a summer dress and with Bella the glittery Christmas skirt.
By the way Esme made two amazing things for Christmas. One was Esme’s version of Baileys – made with Irish whisky and cream. And the other was a home-made Christmas cake, decorated with a Greatgrandma lookalike, sitting in a chair on a Chinese rug. Very authentic and totally delicious.
For myself I sewed two pleated skirts and one jacket. I dyed the fabric for the jacket and hacked an old Vogue pattern until it looked something like the 1937 Chanel original. I really like the jacket and want to have another go to get closer to Chanel.
The skirts got worn a fair amount, but all three items are summer items. I made some Style Arc Talia trousers, but they were a disaster.
I also knitted 15 items for myself.
- Two Heavenly sweaters, from Ankestrick
- Three Elizabeth Zimmermann yoke sweaters (blue, pink and beige)
- An EZ yoked sweater made into a cardigan
- Two EZ raglan sweaters, one striped and one ombre
- Two EZ New Zealand sweaters, one sleeveless
- Three sleeveless jerseys, inspired by Karen Templer
- A crochet skirt, inspired by Carolyn Smith
- A short-sleeved, light weight jumper inspired by Helmut Lang
I started an EZ NZ jumper for Nick, but it is too bulky and firm. I can see that I need to rip that one back. And you have heard the saga of the crochet skirt for Esme.
In addition I learned to weave, make silver jewellery, leather purses and boots.
It wasn’t a bad year for making. I really got into knitting and learnt quite a lot. I was really proud of the knitalong I organised. Lots of you participated and made amazing colourful, yoke sweaters. I think I have personally reached peak jersey actually. I probably don’t need any more jumpers. Next year we have signed up for a photography course, because as this blog shows many of my pictures are a bit rubbish.
I am also thinking of joining in the Sewing with a Plan. But just sewing along in a meandering way, rather than setting tough targets and challenges for myself.
And now for something completely different! Because book making is a rather sedentary craft I thought I might choose a fitness challenge.
I read that the best way to keep fit is to do press ups. Or burpees. Which as well as having a disgusting name are completely impossible, involving a squat, a press up and a star jump. Press ups and burpees feature in some of the classes I attend but, while I try the press up, I pass on the burpees, concentrating on squats instead.
So my New Year’s Resolution is to get to 100 press ups a day! They don’t have to be one after the other, just completed in a 24 hour period. My baseline is that I cannot actually do one full press up at the moment. Anyone want to join me?