Happy New Year everybody! The book is officially closed on 2016 and personally, I was getting worried that damn door was never gonna shut. I know there are battles ahead in 2017 but it feels refreshing to be on the other side. I’m feeling optimistic and ready. Our family had a lovely, restorative winter break complete with waterpark adventures, puzzles, family time and so many games! (Friends with elementary-aged children, do yourself a favor and pick up the game Catan Junior.* It’s such a fun game for everyone!)
Looking back on 2016, I feel proud. Guys, I did it. I stuck to my continuing goal of buying no new clothing for a second year. That is two straight years of only making or buying secondhand clothes. My Nothing New Project is going strong with no end in sight. And, honestly, this has become a bigger focus of my attention that I will be talking about a lot more this year.
As for 2016, I made myself 24 different garments. I’m proudest of my olive green, silk-lined Minoru Jacket, which I wore throughout the spring and fall. My favorite handmade item, though, are my Lounge Pants. I just cannot express the joy I get from swishing around the house in these wide-legged rayon pretties. My most-worn item is definitely my Esme Tunic, which I find a little surprising. I was so worried that the shoulders made me look like a linebacker but I find I’m grabbing it out of my closet for so many different occasions.
I made a lot less for my kids this year than in past years. For the most part, they just aren’t that interested in wearing handmade and I am not interested in forcing them. Individuality and all that! I did make a few raglan tees and kept up the tradition of making them pajamas. I also had the indulgent opportunity to sew a sweet girl’s dress out of Ghanian fabric for a friend. And, we had a blast making our ice-painted shirts.
I made my husband boxer shorts, though. And, he wears them ALL THE TIME. Way more than I even expected. So, I’m making some members of the house happy with my stitches. (I will be releasing a boxer shorts pattern, soon, BTW.)
I also continued to explore other ideas, just for creativities sake, such as painted bubble gauze blankets, hand-stamped fabric buckets, planner covers and new suede-touched wristlets.
I also had the great pleasure of continuing to work (play) with the lovely Cloud 9 Fabrics! I made samples for Quilt Market and otherwise, created things to show off their amazing textiles. I was able to work with the upcoming Stay Gold line from Aneela Hooey; the latest knits collection, Sidewalk Knits from Rae Hoekstra; Bird’s Eye View from Sarah Watson; and the super mod collection In Theory from Jessica Jones.
In addition to all of this sewing, I also taught! I was really happy to expand and start teaching at two locations in 2016. In addition to ongoing classes at Rock Paper Scissors, I also started running classes at a new fabric shop in Westfield, Urban Sewciety. Between the two shops, I taught nearly 60 hours. More importantly, I caught all that fantastic buzz off my amazing and talented students.
Two other monumental things happened this year. The first is that I was able to attend the wonderful Craftcation conference in California. Not only did I learn so much at this conference but I connected with so many incredible people. Artists embracing their craft so completely that it felt like pixie dust sprinkled on my own dreams. Some of the pixie dust is still there and it inspires me every day. I also had the honor of creating chair pockets for all the kindergartners in my town! It’s a fabric legacy, y’all.
It’s been a wonderful, textile-filled year. I’m always glad after I look back on a year, it takes me out of the current, immediate moment and helps me center in on the bigger picture. Can’t wait to keep sewing, sharing, and crafting my little world on into 2017.
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