Hello, lovely readers! While I realize that it's almost the middle of February, I wanted to do a quick little post about what I've been up to so far in 2018 and my plans for the rest of the year.
First, we'll start with what I've been up so far in 2018. I have been sewing - A LOT. While I've mentioned this briefly in an Instagram post, I've never really talked about my anxiety here on the blog. Basically, I struggle, on a daily basis, with differing levels of anxiety. I have a super duper genetic mutation (nothing cool that would offer me X-Men status, unfortunately) that causes my brain to misfire, which, at this stage in my life, causes my brain to go into "fight or flight" mode, of which it struggles to come back out (as a teen going through puberty I had epilepsy that my doctor now thinks was a result of this same mutation). Because of this, I have good days and bad days with varying levels of anxiety/panic. While I am on a regiment of supplements and see a therapist, I have also learned quite a few things I can do at home to help when I'm feeling especially panicky. One of best activities that helps calm my anxious brain, is sewing. I find the combination of creativity and the structure of the organized steps in sewing help to bring me back to "normal." All that to say, I had quite a few more bad days than good in January, which culminated in an abundance of sewing! Here are a few of the items I made for myself in January (excuse all the selfies. I haven't been able to wrangle my photographer for more professional pictures) :
While I'm not particularly drawn to ruffles on my tops (large busts and ruffles aren't friends), I really liked the dropped shoulder ruffle on this one. It makes for a "fancy" sweatshirt/sweater and it's super comfy.
This was my dress for the #sewmystyle challenge for February. I'll talk more about the challenge in a bit, but I do really like this dress. I lengthened the sleeves to make it more Indiana winter approved. The ponte I used is from Stonemountain and Daugther fabrics and it is so amazing. I had never seen a lighter weight ponte like this and it sewed and wears like a dream!
These pants really surprised me. I wasn't sure how I would like the wide-legged cropped pant, but decided to try this in a beautiful rayon crepe also from Stonemountain and Daughter. I love these pants so much and can't wait to make another cropped pair in a lighter weight linen and probably a pair of shorts for this summer.
This blouse is part of my #makenine (I'll talk more about this in a bit as well) and I was pleased with the end result. This shining star of this one was the fabric. It's a cupro twill from Blackbird Fabrics and it is heaven. For those that aren't familiar with cupro it is similar to rayon in it's processing, but instead of being made from tree pulp, it is made from the parts of the cotton plant that are normally discarded. It feels and sews a lot like sandwashed silk and I can't wait to sew with this fabric again!
I made these three items during a knit sewing session. I had cut out all three patterns earlier in the week and had them ready to go in their little bins. With all the prep work finished, these babies sewed up in no time. I love all three, but am especially obsessed with the cardigan. I wear it ALOT! Both fabrics are from Blackbird Fabrics.
I bought this pants pattern last month because I was intrigued by three of the four views. I decided to start with view B in some cheap cotton twill I had in my stash (maybe from Hancocks). While the fabric feels and wrinkles like a cheap cotton, I was so surprised by how much I like these pants. I have such a short torso and would NEVER be able to buy paper bag, high waisted pants in a store, but through the magic of sewing, I love the finished results! I haven't had a chance to wear them yet because its been so darn cold, but am looking forward to wearing these with slides when it warms up a bit!
These pants were also a pleasant surprise. I think I've been looking at myself in a skinny leg for so long, it took a moment to appreciate the wide leg, but I'm totally digging the 70's vibe of these corduroy babies! I've been experimenting with different tops I like with these and this turtleneck is my current favorite!
On top of these makes, I also made the following at my sewing retreat at the end of the month
- Sophie Swimsuit in view A
- Marlborough Bra (this took a few makes, but I came away with a fantastic fitting one!)
- 2 Cashmerette Springfield tops in Liberty Tana Lawn
- V9267 view A in a St. John's charcoal double knit
- Carolyn Pajamas view C also in Liberty Tana Lawn
I don't know if any pictures will appear of these makes. I may take some flat lays of the bra, swimsuit and PJs so you can see what I've been up to and then catch the other three next time I'm wearing them. All in all, an extremely successful sewing retreat, mostly because I finally nailed the fit on a bra pattern that I'm super excited about!
Ok, while this is shaping up to be a fairly lengthy post, if you'd like to stay with me, I wanted to talk about my year going forward.
Challenges I'll be participating in this year:
- #Sewmystyle - This challenge is hosted by Jessica of JessicaLorraine.com and is a challenge where you sew the pattern of the month each month throughout the year and then prizes are randomly awarded to the participants. January was the Sunny Dress and February is the Rumana Coat. I spoke about the Sunny dress above and will go into detail on the Rumana Coat in my next post. I'm excited for the challenge of sewing patterns I wouldn't normally pick out for myself and have been pleasantly surprised so far!
- #rtwfast2018 - The ready to wear fast is a fun challenge sponsored by Sarah Gunn from GoodbyeValentino.com. The point of this challenge is to abstain from purchasing any RTW (aside from underwear, shoes, and socks) for the entire year. The point is to force yourself to either go without, get creative, or make anything you need for the year. The rules for this fast on her site if you're interested!
- #makenine - I'm honestly not sure who started this fun challenge, but the idea is to pick nine patterns you want to try throughout the year and then post them on Instagram for accountability. My #makenine are below and as you'll see I've already sewn 7 of the 9! I maybe should have assigned more difficult patterns . . .
- Marlborough Bra
- Rumana Coat
- Sophie Swimsuit
- Carolyn PJs
- Sasha Trousers
- Lander Pants
- Sutton Blouse
- Blackwood Cardigan
- Vogue 8577
My big news for the year is that, because of the anxiety, I'm taking some time off of client work. I'm not shutting my doors completely, but am definitely cutting WAY back. I'll be picking up the odd project every now and again and then doing sewing for my family, but the rest of my sewing time is going to be completely "selfish." I have already cut back quite dramatically and am feeling the positive effects. This is going to be good for my mental health and allow me to focus more fully on my two kiddos that will be starting middle school in the Fall (what?!!!). That being said, I'm looking forward to experimenting with my style this year. Because sewing opens so many doors when it comes to style and because I feel like I have become one with my own personal body and fitting needs, I'm looking forward to trying some silhouettes that I have adored from afar, but not been able to buy in a store for my particular shape. While I realize not all of these will turn out as successes, I am eager to start exploring and taking you guys along for the ride. I'm anticipating an increase in posts over the next year as I sew through both my pattern and fabric stash. With this increase of posts, there will probably be an increase in more spontaneous pictures. My photographer (aka husband) can be a bit tricky to nail down for a photoshoot and while I will still be doing some of those, I don't want to have to wait on him to share my progress so selfies or children photographs it is!
So, here we go! I'm really looking forward to what the year has to bring and keep an eye out for my next project. I'm doing a little mini blue and white capsule for the winter/spring transition and I can't wait to share my plans. I have been completely inspired by Emily Hallman and her collections that she puts together. I'm also obsessed with her southern, feminine style! I also be sharing my final two coat projects of the winter in the coming weeks. One is the Rumana Coat that I sewed for the February SewMyStytle and the other is a Closet Case Clare coat that I "needed" to make with leather sleeves.