Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2015 in review and looking ahead

2015 was a great year. In my non-sewing life I finished nursing school and passed the NCLEX to become an RN. In August I started my first job in the oncology/telemetry unit at the local hospital. I love it! What a relief to go through three years of torture and still feel like I am where I'm supposed to be. God is good.

Don't get me wrong. It's mentally, physically and emotionally tough, and there are days when I don't feel cut out for it. The burden of keeping sick people safe is overwhelming at times. So I take a breath, let it out slowly and reprioritize. Motherhood has been excellent preparation for that.

Speaking of motherhood, the girls are so fun. Most of the time. By a slim majority. Ha! They are two and four and I'm pretty sure I'm causing them permanent emotional damage. I do a lot of singing Daniel Tiger. To the girls: "When you need to go potty, stop and go right away...". To myself: "When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a take breath and count to four." And chocolate. Daily chocolate is involved.

Here's my favorite pic from this year of them:

From back in June by my talented neighbor Audra Terry Photography
They are such good friends and playmates. It makes me so happy to watch how loving they are with each other.

On to sewing!

My goals for 2015 were:

- Make 50% of the girls' clothing
- Make more clothes for myself (specifically, workout leggings and a chambray shirtdress)
- Learn to use the serger

With these guidelines:
- Use patterns I already own or free patterns when possible
- Try to use fabric stash first (use two fabrics from stash for every new fabric purchased)
- Explore fabrics beyond quilting cotton

How'd I do?

I think I made 50% of the girls' clothing. In hindsight, that was hard to measure. I buy clothes on clearance at the end of the season, my mom buys clothes and I occasionally thrift store shop.

I made a few items of clothing for myself, but nothing very structured. And my shirtdress pattern was the wrong size range. Wah, wah, wah.    

I learned how to use my serger. In December. When I knew I the deadline for completing my goal was looming. Holy cow! Why did it take me so long? It wasn't as complicated as I anticipated and I love the results.

I expanded my pattern and fabric stash a bit more than I meant to. Ooops. But part of it was expanded by buying more garment fabrics and needed patterns for myself so I don't feel bad about part of it. And I don't feel that bad about the totally frivolous other purchases to be honest.

I did really well sewing with non-quilting cotton. Probably 90% of my projects were non-quilting cotton. And since I'm a bad blogger and don't keep track well, I'm not really sure how many projects I completed this year. Counting them up in my head I got past 50 which totally surprised me. I would have guessed 20-30. I guess I sew more than I realize.

2016 Re-sew-lutions

1) Make more of my own clothes. Something fitted from the black and white gingham voile. The jersey wrap dress I've already muslined and cut out. Winter running clothes from the microfleece I just bought.

2) Do more embroidery. Learn some actual stitches.

3) Make the girls' dresses, leggings, swimsuits, skirts, fancy jackets. Don't feel guilty about buying t-shirts, jeans and underwear.

4) Only buy patterns or fabric as needed if I have checked and don't have something that will work. I have a pretty extensive pattern collection, so I shouldn't need to buy any! Fabric? That's a different story. I still shouldn't need to buy too much, though. To help me meet this goal and bust my stash a little, I'm setting a limit on how much I spend on sewing supplies. I'm being pretty generous at $100 a quarter. $400 for the year. After all, goals should be realistic.

5) Start a sewing journal to keep track of ideas and completed (or paused) projects. I guess some people use Instagram for this, but I'm leaning towards good old-fashioned pen and paper.

6) Finish some of my unfinished sewing projects!

What are your goals for the near future (sewing or otherwise)?

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