Oh my goodness, 2015 was such a wonderful year. Now that I’m safely on the other side of it I’m so thrilled to announce I accomplished my primary goal for the year. Yep, I did it!
I made a vow at the beginning of the year to buy nothing new with my Nothing New Project and I succeeded. Every piece of clothing that newly entered my life this year was sewn by me or bought used. Yet, I don’t feel like I compromised on being stylish and feeling lovely. I plan on sharing lots more about the whole project in a later post but wanted to share the joy of accomplishment with all of you in this look back on the year.
Of course, I’ve been slow to reflect on the year and even slower to really appreciate it. The end of the year was so hectic (hence the near-silence here in this lovely space!) it sort of cast a shadow over the whole year. It’s funny how that happens, the immediate moment so easily stains all previous moments. But after surfacing from the end-of-the-year artisan market, the holidays and some tough conversations about what is ahead I’m so happy to look back on the year. After all, this was my first year in print! Having a project in Mollie Makes was truly a stupendous feeling.
Beyond concrete achievements, though, my goal at the beginning of the year, was to explore more of my own creativity and my own style with creative adventuring. I also wanted to recognize that exploration as a practice and remove the pressure to BE CREATIVE or FOLLOW MY GUT with a gentler and easier mantra of “PRACTICE following my gut and let it lead my creativity”. It was a nice, habit-forming kind of thing and it definitely informed my decisions especially when it came to the fabrics I used. But more than anything, this year was marked with a huge growth in my community outside this blog and a ridiculous amount of sewing. Ridiculous.
For just my own closet, I made 23 items of clothing. Pictured clockwise up above are my Adora Dress, Camas Tunic, Marigold Blouse, Bess/Alder Tunic, Sailor Top, Gwen Henley, and Hacked Plantain tee. Almost all of them hacked or tweaked a little.
The boys received thirteen new items. Two pairs of comfy pajamas bookended the year and in between were wedding shirts and pants and even the beloved mailbox costume.
What expanded in my world the most this year, however, was the amount of contributing I did for other blogs. This was a pretty new venture for me. I had a great time contributing to Andrea’s Notebook, Betz White’s Sewing Collective, UpCraft Club and as a part of the Blank Slate Pattern Team. I’m looking forward to more contributing in 2016 but I’m going to scale it back a little bit. In my enthusiasm for joining creativity communities, I stretched myself a little too thin and ended up stressed and often completely out of time for my own work.
It was a great opportunity and I got a chance to pull together some seriously creative and exciting DIY projects in 2015. Some of my favorites were the Date Night Clutch Pattern, Field Study Tote, My Laurelhurst Cardigan, DIY Fabric Magnets, and my cozy Zinnia Jacket.
You know what else I did A LOT of this year? Sewing for Cloud 9 Fabrics. In all, I stitched up blouses, jackets, sleep sacks, tank tops (22 of them!), aprons, cardigans, napkins and more in 13 of the fabric lines they released this past year. I can’t even keep track of the total but it was more than 40 items. It was so much fun to get to know the lovely women behind Cloud 9 even more and see my stitches pop up at Quilt Market and in fabric promotion collages around the internet. Like seeing an old friend!
Despite all of the sewing, I was able to steal small bits of time to explore the creative adventuring I was searching for at the beginning of the year. (Below are my hand-stamped thank you cards, painted wooden blocks, reuseable valentine’s gift wrap and my self-designed cloud mobile. I also took time to doodle out random, silly song lyrics.) I didn’t keep it up all year. In fact, lots of time I forgot completely to strike out and try something just for the pure creative pursuit of it. But when the mood struck and I had time/memory, I pursued a little creative adventuring. Normally, I’m the type of person to admonish myself for “not sticking to it”….the type to think that if I didn’t do it all year, the small efforts I did make aren’t valuable. Thing is, I realized that by starting out my year with creative adventuring at the forefront, it rubbed off on the rest of the year.
As if it wormed it’s way into my brain just enough to spread itself onto all the other things I did. I’d like to think it started a little something of a habit but that might be too strong of a word…something more like creative adventuring became a bit of a whisper before each new venture.
And that little brain worm certainly played into the biggest undertaking of my year, The Great Pattern Hack. I could not have been more excited to partner with Michael Miller Fabrics and twelve amazing bloggers for our take on tweaking patterns and playing with great fabric. For so many aspects of sewing, we sewists follow the rules and do all the things right. It was great to be a part of a blog hop that was about breaking the rules and hacking our way through to something new…just enough to dream up something fantastic.
Oh my goodness, this post got long and rambly. If you are still reading this you are probably thinking…man, this woman is going off in all different directions. Maybe that sums up the year a little as well. It did go in lots of directions and it was fantastic for it.
Of course, of all the things I did. Of everything I did this year. Hands down, my complete favorite thing was the Re-useum…creating art from reused products…organized with Jane from Buzzmills. That would be that sunny summer day, when the kids and I built a village out of old paint and cardboard boxes. So, if you want to have a great 2016 I suggest you put a bunch of cardboard in your yard and join the little people in an adventure.
Here’s to an amazing 2016, my friends!
Edited to add: How could I forget? I did so much teaching this year! In all 11 classes for a total of 66 hours of teaching at Rock Paper Scissors. Teaching makes me so happy. I’ve often thought of it as a ‘rudder’ to my ship at sea. It keeps me connected in-person to other sewing enthusiasts and so often I’m feeding off their creative ideas just as much as they feed off of mine. When I’m not teaching I just feel a little lost, a boat moving in circles. This year was especially wonderful because I had an amazing crew of women that started with a beginner class and kept taking all my classes thereafter. By the time the year was over, we had spent nine Tuesdays together. It was hard to say goodbye! I can’t wait to see more of all of my awesome students in the year to come! We already have some fantastic classes planned.