2012 in review, part 1: Life happened.

I know it’s not quite the end of the year yet, but since there is going to be absolutely nothing that changes anything I’d write in this post between now and New Year’s, I thought I’d just get this out of the way early. (Gives me more time during the Christmas-New Year’s week to focus on actually, you know, working on my wedding dress.)

One of my long-time favorite quotes is this one, from a John Lennon song: “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” I think he hit it pretty spot-on there (even if I tend to not like his post-Beatles music). Obviously, this year did not go as planned–but in the best possible way. If you’d told me this time last year that I’d be engaged, I probably would have laughed in your face. So since I generally review the goals and plans I made at the end of the previous year in this traditional post, I’m going into this with the disclaimer that life definitely had other plans. On with the show!

Since I basically have nothing crafty to show right now, in order to avoid this being a massive text-only post, I’m breaking this into two parts. So this part is basically a review of my goals from this year, and looking ahead to the next.

Part 1: My 2012 goals, as stated here: 
1. Continue chipping away at the fabric stash. And whatever other stashes.
The verdict is: Mixed success. On the one hand, I did use up several pieces of fabric, including several that had been around for years. (The lining being the piece in the latter project.) On the other hand, I did end up purchasing several things. They’re mostly things that will get turned into curtains for the townhouse, since I haven’t really been in the habit of stashing home decor things. And, you know, yards and yards of fabric for a rather unplanned wedding dress. I’m ok with that, because like I said, these are special circumstances, and these high-yardage projects will take huge bites out of that total all at once. (After the dress, it’s back on the wagon for sure!)

As for those other stashes–I think I used up one type of yarn. I did get rid of some beads by giving them away. So that counts, right? 

2. I have a handful of specific projects I’d like to sew. #1, the jeans. It WILL happen this time. #2, a jacket or two. #3, the Lonsdale dress I’ve been envisioning for at least six months. Aside from that, I want to leave things flexible for seasonal sewalongs and the like.

Now this one I totally nailed! Exhibit A) Jeans!! Exhibit B) Two jackets (and a raincoat!). Exhibit C) Lonsdale!

I guess it’s a good thing I left that flexibility loophole in there, since I am now on month 3 of total sewing monogamy.

3. On the reconstruction end of things, I’ve had an idea simmering in my mind for a couple of months now. Since I’m already an Anthropologie fan, I’m setting a little mini-challenge for myself. Once a season, I’d like to choose a garment from the current catalog, and make a recycled piece inspired by it. Perhaps even with a tutorial, if the interest is there. (I was originally thinking once a month, but again, I’m trying to avoid over-committing myself. And once every 3 months sounds reasonable.) Also, I’d like to reconstruct often enough to stay a part of the Refashion Co-Op.

Total fail. Not only did I not do this mini-challenge at all, I got shuffled out of Refashion Co-Op months ago. Oh well.

4. Continue working on my knitting. Specifically, I’d like to make something with a cable that actually looks like a cable, something with multiple colors in the same project, and at least start that afghan that will take me years to finish.

I did not make a cable project. But I did make a striped hat.  In the most technical sense of the word, I did start the afghan one night…. I just had to rip the entire thing out because the gauge of the yarn was waaaaaay off with the size of needles that the original pattern had called for, and I haven’t gotten smaller needles with a big enough cable yet.

5. Keep chipping away at the scrapbooks as I feel inspired to.

I did finish a couple of pages here and there. So I’ll call this one a win.

6. Get better at picking projects that will help me make complete outfits. (I have a couple of orphan pieces that I still love and I want to wear them.)

I kind of feel like I haven’t really had an opportunity to test this one out, to be honest. But I do think that things like Me-Made-May and my “fashion diet” this fall and winter has made me much more aware of what holes in my wardrobe need plugging.

7. Make some more things for others. I can be a terribly selfish crafter.

And for the most part, I still am. I did make a few gift projects this year, though, and I did spend some precious sewing time resizing t-shirts for my bestie and crafting a skirt for my sis-in-law (which is nowhere remotely close to being done, since I’ve only worked on it when she’s been around.)

In 2013, I’d like to….

  1. …finish my wedding dress, obviously. Nothing like an immovable deadline and the pressure of everybody that I know being aware that I’m making it to motivate me! There’s also other handmade things planned as far as reception decor goes, so I’ll lump that in here too. 
  2. ..find a way to work craftiness in on a more daily basis. As I was preparing to write this, I was struck by how few things I’ve made this year, compared to every other year since I started this blog. I understand why, because I’ve never faced a year where I was dealing with starting a new relationship, getting engaged, starting the biggest sewing project of my entire life, and having virtually no time to sew for an entire season due to regular 6-day workweeks. But it still saddens me a bit. I know that things will get crazier right around the wedding, and I may not have time to sew or craft at all then. Aside from that, I think I’d like to try Tilly’s thought about just taking 15 minutes every day. Surely I can do that, even if it’s not necessarily sewing. (It’ll probably be way more than that for awhile, now that I’m almost done with the retail job for a few months and will be sewing like my life depends on it so I can finish as much of The One Dress as possible before that starts up again. So this is more for when I go back to more regular work.)
  3. …get my craft stuff organized. It’s pretty much a necessity, since I’m also going to be moving all of my stuff within the next 6 months. Some things, like the majority of my jewelry-making supplies, are already at my fiance’s townhouse. Thankfully, I do get an entire room, and a guy who actually thinks organizing is fun and is excited about the challenge of getting my stuff in there in a way that is both neat and functional. (He already spent hours of evening time getting all of my beads organized and consolidated into a few containers, even though I told him that if he’d wait a few days until we could hang out again, I’d help him…did I get a great guy or what?)
  4. …make the townhouse ours. It’s already started, since we’ve repainted several of the rooms, and as I just mentioned, I did move a few things there that I don’t foresee needing before the wedding. I am looking forward to having a place to decorate, and already have fabric for two rooms’ worth of curtains–as well as plans to reuse some stuff so I don’t have to make all the curtains. So yes, I’ll probably be talking decor a little more than usual, at least for a little while. Hope you all don’t mind.
  5. …still keep chipping away at those scrapbooks. Which will probably be easier after the wedding, since we’re setting up the closet in my sewing room to be a scrapbook/jewelry-making nook. Complete with a table so I can leave half-finished layouts out on it instead of putting everything away all the time!
  6. …sew a few basics–or cake, if you will–that will help tie various parts of my wardrobe together. I’m thinking specifically about some pants of the Thurlow variety, assuming that the pattern works on me, since I am in dire need of some pants that aren’t too short for me. And maybe another pair of two of jeans, since I very well may wear these jeans out within the year from constant wearing! (I already have several pieces of fabric stashed for this purpose, so I shouldn’t need to buy too much there.)
  7. …as mentioned before, get back on the stashbusting wagon. Some stash purging will definitely be in order!
  8. …IF time permits, try another mini-wardrobe. I’m thinking specifically for the honeymoon, and that I’d like to pull it together using mainly pieces that I already have in my wardrobe. If I finish the dress in enough time, making one or two things would be great. (You know, since I basically have zero pairs of shorts that fit me and we’re going somewhere tropical. Thurlow test, anyone?)
  9. On the knitting front–I started this sweater months and months ago, kept picking it up and putting it aside because it was giving me all sorts of issues, and finally just put it into complete hibernation once The One Dress came up. I know that if I can just get through this top part (enough to make sure this will look good), it will be a great learning project. So I would like to either finish this particular sweater, or find another use for that yarn that will work for me. (Either way, it would be nice to get through one sweater next year.)
  10. On the blogging front, I really would like to make some changes around here–a new blog design, if I can figure out how, and most definitely improving my photographs. I know that’s a huge weak point, and I’m hoping that having a little more space (and a better chance of having a photographer on call) will help me out there.

That seems like a lot, doesn’t it? But I do know that at least some of these things will happen out of pure necessity. I’m trying to leave these goals mostly open-ended, since I don’t really have much way of predicting what sort of effect this sort of Really Major Life Change is going to have on my crafty life!

Next part to come later this week…

2 thoughts on “2012 in review, part 1: Life happened.

  1. I love that you don't get hung up on the “fails” – there's no point! 🙂 I made less things this year too, but that's life, right? It ebbs and flows. Instead of making things I probably danced a bit more (oh, and worked more) 😉


  2. No pressure on the wedding dress, hehe! Part of me wishes I'd been sewing back when I got married, but then part of me realizes that would have been a lot of stress on top of going to school and working. Luckily you know you have the skills to actually do it well, so it's just a matter of muslining and putting in the time.


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