A 2008 Retrospective

First, the current stuff: the party is now officially not a costume party anymore. *sigh* Guess I’ll just have to hope for a Halloween party this year. On a happier note, I did get a lot done yesterday– made a cover for my 2009 day planner (it’s a hardback book that I got at the store because of the fun printed cover, but it was already getting a bit beat up in my bag and I wanted to add a pen holder because pens get lost in my bag very easily. So I made it from clear vinyl.) And I also made 7 ornaments for Saturday’s Christmas party as take-home favors for my friends. Today I went to Joanns’ and got some fabric that was on sale and was just screaming cute spring/summer top, and my big splurge item– a knitting machine! I’d been contemplating one for awhile– it’s well-established that I don’t have the patience or skill for knitting (or crocheting, for that matter– too hard on my carpal-tunnel-prone hands). But I love sweaters, since I get cold easily, and I get frustrated with how hard it is to find sweaters that I like that I can actually wear, since my skin is highly sensitive to wool. Seriously– all I have to do is touch a ball of wool-blend yarn, and I get this prickly feeling that takes at least half an hour to go away. And if I actually wear the stuff, watch out. And I also get frustrated with how hard it is to find sweater knits so I can sew my own. So I figure I can either try to knit an actual sweater on this thing, or just make sweater fabric and sew my own. Gotta go with my strengths here. So we’ll see how this endeavor goes!

Ok, on to the main topic. Last New Year’s Eve, I did a year-in-review post for my crafty endeavors, mostly out of curiosity to see what I had accomplished. And I decided it would be fun to do it again to compare. (Besides, I’ve been seeing lots of year-in-review posts on the sewing blogs as of late… just delayed so I could get my end-of-year cramming in!)

Part 1: 7 Things I’m hoping to accomplish in 2008 (revisited)
1. Finally learn how to make jeans that fit!
Didn’t get this one done. However, I will consider starting to learn how to do a fly-front zipper as part of the pantsuit a step in this direction. As well as actually getting a pair of pants to fit!

2. Get better at working with knit fabrics.
I think I did fulfill this goal– the serger helped immensely!

3. Use up some of my stash.
Well, I didn’t refrain from buying fabric. (I’m not sure that’s possible for me.) But I did manage to use up a few pieces I’d had, as well as make some things out of leftover scraps!

4. Finish the two scrapbooks from my grad school years, the Chile album and the road trip album.
Partially done, since I essentially finished the road trip album this week. And I think I may have done a couple layouts of the grad school ones– didn’t touch Chile this year at all that I can remember. I got a bit sidetracked by stuff like making an entire bachelorette scrapbook for Julie. And being a bridesmaid. And sewing. And, you know, work and stuff.

5. Even though I didn’t sign up again [for Wardrobe Refashion], I still want to sew as much of my wardrobe as possible instead of buying things new.
Now this one I did! Particularly since I did end up resigning at WR for the past 6 months– and haven’t fallen off the wagon once!

6. Try a project from this book that I got for Christmas.
Didn’t do that either. Though we did use it as designs considered for Susannah’s wedding jewelry…

7. Though it’s not crafty, persay, I do also want to work on my cooking skills a little. In particular, I want to learn how to make those Chinese pork dumplings, and how to better cook without recipes.
Well, I didn’t get the Chinese dumplings down. But I did try several new recipes this year!

Part 2: The Numbers

Clothing items sewn (new): 16
Clothing items sewn (reconstructed): 8
Bags or bag-like things: 7
Other sewn accessories: 4
Household stuff (pillows, blankets, etc.): 7
Baby stuff: 1

Everything else:
Articles of jewelry: 31
Scrapbook layouts : 19 2-page spreads, 58 single pages (in Julie’s scrapbook)
Cards: 2
Artist Trading Cards (ATC’s): 4
Christmas Ornaments: 15
Book cover for my 2009 planner (which I finished yesterday): 1

Items given away: (Since one of my hopes for this year was to make more things for people other than myself.) ~15 (counting Julie’s scrapbook as one item)

Favorite sewn-from-scratch project: the green and gray dress. So comfortable, love the fabric, and the serger made it sew up like a dream!
Favorite reconstructed sewing project: The Doolittle Blouse. I had a lot of fun figuring it out, and ended up wearing it a lot!
Least favorite sewing project: The paisley mandarin jacket. It’s not that I don’t like it, persay… I just don’t like it with anything actually in my wardrobe. So I’ve never worn it. Unfortunately, it’s not the only thing I haven’t worn that I sewed this year… I never got a chance to test out the hiking skirt, and though I really like the look of the chevron blouse, by the time I got it done, it was too cold for me to wear it.
Favorite jewelry project: The autumn leaf set— it’s the one I’ve ended up wearing the most. Despite the propensity of the necklace pendant to fall off on occasion. (Need to fix it again, actually…) And I don’t really have a least favorite of these.
Favorite non-jewelry accessory: The dragonfly wallet. It’s cute, it’s recycled, and it’s seriously the best wallet layout I’ve ever had, purchased or hand-crafted.
Least favorite non-jewelry accessory: The leather Diana bag— not because of the look, but I’m still not happy with the craftsmanship. I’m using it right now, and I’m seriously afraid that the strap is just going to rip out one of these days. But with all the leather-sewing problems I had, I have no idea what to do about it! (Incidentally, I also discovered by accident that I never actually sewed the lining in the bottom shut… oops.) On the positive side, though, I do like the actual style of the bag, and would be quite happy to sew it again. With easier materials to work with.

Part 3: What I’ve learned/goals for 2009

Even though it seems like my craft output is rather down in some areas (though much higher in some others), I do feel like I accomplished a lot.

  1. I made pants that fit!
  2. Tried some crafts new to me, like ATCs (a big deal, since I really hadn’t done any art since I dropped that as a major in favor of turning my music minor into a major) and card-making.
  3. I did make more gifts this year.
  4. I learned how to really use a serger.
  5. I’m becoming much better about “greening” up my crafting– using stuff on hand, using recycled materials when I can or trying to recycle/use up the leftover scraps.

Goals/possibilities for 2009:

  1. I think it might be interesting to try to sew one of those mini-wardrobes– like the SWAP-type thing. (Though not for a contest for sure!) I’m dreaming very much of summer clothes as a result of this thought…
  2. I’m going to say that jeans-making goal again. I still need them. Even more so, since I ended up wearing holes in several of my older pairs as a result of my part-time job. (All the ones that remotely fit me in the first place…. go fig.)
  3. At least START that jewelry organizer I’ve needed for years!
  4. Finish the grad school-era scrapbooks. If I have time to get caught up past that, great. But since 2009 will mark year 4 since I graduated, it’s time! Especially since I probably only have something like 10-15 spreads left between the two of them…
  5. Fine-tune my organization plan to get caught up on these scrapbooks faster!
  6. Continue crafting more for others, either as gifts or as some kind of volunteerism for worthy causes.
  7. And I guess I should probably add make a sweater that I like on the new sweater machine!

4 thoughts on “A 2008 Retrospective

  1. You had a productive year!Great goals for 09! And let me say jeans are not hard at all to make.. just make them and see! They are just time consuming with all the topstitching!


  2. Wow, that’s a pretty comprehensive review of 2008 and a good plan for 2009. You make me think that I need to start tracking what I accomplish and thinking about my higher level objectives… It looks like you had a really good year in 2008! Best wishes for 2009! 🙂


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