First up, it seems my site was having some technical issues recently, but they should be all resolved now. Phew!
Secondly, it’s July! I’m really not sure how that happened. It just seems like five minutes ago we were off on our summer road trip over New Year, and now here we are in the thick of winter. Brrr! As much as I really don’t mind an Australian winter (I used to actively dread the onset of winter when we lived in New York!), I do prefer the warmer months.
I thought it might be nice to put some thoughts down on virtual paper at this mid-point of the year, to reflect on my progress so far this year. Even if it’s all just for myself! After all, my various blogs over the (many!) years have always been first and foremost an outlet for myself to write and reflect.
An obvious place to start is my 2018 Make Nine! It was my first time putting together a make nine grid this year, since I’m really not much of a long-term planner when it comes to my making. I’m intrigued to see how it’s looking!
Okay, well at first glance 3/9 doesn’t seem like a particularly amazing strike rate, but let’s break it down a bit further, because as with most things, it’s not as simple as it seems!
- Sophie Swimsuit by Closet Case Patterns. This one is actually languishing in a drawer, approximately 90% finished – oops! I really do need to get my butt into gear and just get it finished! In addition I’ve also made (and finished!) the Vernazza Two Piece by Friday Pattern Company, so to be honest I kind of consider it complete. It was always more of a general “swimwear” item anyway. I will finish the Sophie though.
- Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns. Done! I’ve actually made two pairs, the floral ones and the white ones. As much as I enjoy the jeans-making process, and as much as I genuinely really like both pairs of my finished jeans, I’m not sure that it’s going to become a regular thing for me. I’m fortunate enough that I don’t find it too hard to find well-fitting RTW jeans, so the effort required to properly fit the Gingers probably isn’t actually worth my time.
- Kielo Wrap Dress. Done! Huge success. I really love my grey linen Kielo and I wore it loads when the weather was warm! So far I only have the one in my closet, but I can definitely see myself making more. I’d really love to make a long sleeved merino knit version for the winters too!
- Harriet Bra by Cloth Habit. Not done. I’m still keen to get to this though.
- Carolyn Pyjamas by Closet Case Patterns. Not done, and I doubt I’ll make these this year. I received a set of both summer and winter pyjamas as gifts for various reasons earlier this year, so new pyjamas aren’t really a need for me this year anymore. Maybe next year. I definitely do still have visions of a beautifully luxe set of pyjamas in an indulgent fabric!
- Blackwood Cardigan by Helen’s Closet. Done! And oh my do I need to make more! My silver split hem Blackwood is one of the hardest working garments in my closet. I adore it. I’m constantly on the look out for fabric to make another one (or six?), but I haven’t come across anything that takes my fancy yet.
- Celestial Dress by Pattern Fantastique. Not done. I’m not sure if I’ll end up making this one. I had a lovely cotton voile put aside for it, but I ended up using it to make my Myosotis Dress. Maybe I’ll swing back around to it in the summer, but right now I’m just not sure if I’m feeing all that volume.
- Hampton Jean Jacket by Alina Design Co. Not done. I have two visions for this one, a classic denim jacket, and also a crazy floral curtain-like version. Haha! I actually have a crazy floral on hand especially for it, but I haven’t got around to it yet. Maybe I’ll put it on the list soon.
- Slouchy grey knitted jumper, pattern to be decided. This is actually well underway! In the end I decided on The Weekender Sweater by Andrea Mowry (that image in the grid is clearly not the weekender). I’m currently working on the second sleeve and I have high hopes that I’ll be wearing this in a few weeks time! (It really should be finished already, but man, that second sleeve is taking me soooooooo long!)
Another goal I’ve worked towards this year (despite not really documenting it) is to be more intentional with my fabric purchases. In the past I’ve had the tendency to buy fabric on a whim without a specific project in mind (or with a vague plan of what I *could* make with that fabric). Now I’m working hard to reverse that process, by having a plan and a vision for the specific garment I want to create, then shopping for the fabric to make that vision happen … And then actually making the garment (not throwing it in a ‘to sew’ pile for a year or two!).
The one area where I’ve allowed myself a little more freedom is in thrifting fabric. I’m probably slow to the party, but I’ve recently discovered that there’s a wealth of unwanted secondhand fabric out there just waiting to be found! The fibre content is often a mystery, but given I’m often picking up 2-3m cuts of fabric for small change, AND saving a piece of unwanted fabric from landfill, it doesn’t really bother me.
I do try to be quite selective about the pieces that I bring home with me. I favour fabrics that I can be fairly certain contain at least some natural fibres like linen, cotton or wool, and steer away from obvious polyesters. I also try to be very disciplined about asking myself seriously whether I can see myself wearing a garment made out of the fabric. After all, that piece of lovely wool twill might be a bargain, but if I’m unlikely to wear that colour then it’s not worth it. I’d rather leave it there for somebody else to give it a good home!
All that said, I definitely have still ended up with some stash items (from both my new fabric-buying, and thrifting) that I’d say I’m unlikely to sew. I’ll definitely be looking to find those fabrics a better home in the future. My ultimate goal would be to have a stash that is small and filled with things I truly adore!
So that’s where I’m at as we pass the mid-point of 2018! I’m really hoping to find my sew-jo again as we get through this back half of winter! The cold weather and the school holidays have almost totally killed my productivity! Last night I sat down to change the thread and needle on my sewing machine and I couldn’t even remember what I’d sewed on it last! Happily, my husband easily reminded me that I finished off my white Ginger Jeans a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps my memory is just terrible?! Haha!