Monday, December 31, 2012

End of the Year Review: Crafting, Knitting, Sewing

I wasn't going to do one of those year end reviews because I don't think anyone cared. Plus, I didn't think 2012 had been that great to me, sewing or otherwise.

But then I started thinking about everything I've accomplished and I was completely wrong! It may not have been the bang up year that I was hoping for, and I may not be close to where I want to be in life, but I certainly accomplished a lot!

On a professional level, I worked on some pretty amazing jobs. I was lucky enough to be able to be fairly picky about what jobs I took, and as a result, I only worked on fantastic jobs, rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. I also worked on jobs that my friends created, and I ended up loving all of those as well. Slightly unsatisfyingly, I've been brainstorming this past year on what I want to do with my life, and I think I've finally got the answer, though since it involves a career change (and more money to go back to school), I'm not sure it can happen anytime soon. But we'll see.

On a personal level, my boyfriend and I moved in together and our relationship is much more solid than it was a year ago when we were still figuring things out. I suppose figuring things out in any relationship never goes away, but we're closer to being on the same page. We need more conversations, but we're slowly planning our future together, and it should be exciting.

On another personal note, I was sick for much of the year, and I finally figured out (in October) that it was my stupid birth control going haywire. I'm not sure if it malfunctioned or if my body just started rejecting the hormones, but I'm now feeling MUCH better, and hopefully that'll lead to a more productive 2013.


Now for my creative review, I feel like I grew leaps and bounds in 2012.

I never considered myself creative. Perhaps I'd even go so far as to tell people I was the opposite, not so much because I couldn't come up with grand ideas - I've always had a rich imagination - but because I couldn't carry through. My writing is fairly juvenile and anything I wanted to create physically ended up a terrible disaster.

One of the biggest things holding me back was my belief that if someone else could do it better, what was the point in me doing it?

Clearly this is wrong. Do I need to explain this to anyone? Because I could write a whole post on it if necessary.

So now I'm creating, my results and other people's creations be damned. And my results just keep getting better and better!

(Also, not all of my 2012 projects are up yet on the blog so the list is a little incomplete! I may update this page throughout January - or maybe not...)

Generally I like the idea of pinwheel, but not how it's been carried  out. Perhaps I should paint over it and try again?
Ditto with this pixelated one. I loved the idea behind it, but it seemed rather lackluster once completed.
 I also tried my hand at crafting clothing. The skull tshirt was nice in theory, but I'm too pale and small to wear a white, oversized tshirt. I am still interested in this concept, but perhaps with more fitted, darker clothing.

Onto the good parts of crafting! While not technically a skill I learned this year, I did learn it December 2011 so I'm counting it! Memory candles are perfect for everyone. You can put anything on them, and I chose to put nice memories on most of mine and hand them out as gifts. Of course, I didn't photograph THOSE, just this one with my sister and mother in our 80s glory.

I consider gardening to be like crafting in that I've never really been good at it. But I do love plants, so this year, I grabbed my plants before they could die, and put them in jars. Terrariums are fairly simple and look beautiful. I can't wait to make more next year!

Does this count as crafting or sewing? Does it matter? I took a plain bulletin board and figured out how to make it pretty. Or at least, prettier. I just love the cover around the bulletin board, and I'm so glad my mind is now working in ways to conceive of this idea!


I love sewing and crafting (who knew?), but they can be very solitary activities. Obviously crafting begs people to come over and help and have fun, but it can be difficult in NYC to cart around a huge box of supplies from house to house. I was very hesitant to take up knitting because it seemed so awful and I was sure I couldn't get the hang of it, but it's fairly easy, I have a new, productive way of hanging out with friends, and I don't have to make the awful projects if I don't want to. I've only been knitting for a month, so these are some of my basic beginner projects.

My first two projects were the cat blanket and the bunny filled with catnip. You get no close ups of the blanket because of all my mistakes, and there are no features or embellishments on the bunny because I was 100% sure the cats would rip it apart within a day. They did not. (They also love the blanket.)

Because they loved the catnip bunny so much, I made another toy. I do have 2 kittens after all, so 2 toys are necessary. Enter: the mouse filled with catnip.

I decided, beyond cat accessories and the usual beginner project of scarves, that coffee cozies were my best chance of learning to knit so I made quite a few.

Enlarged XO cable knit coffee cozy (with hot chocolate inside!)

His (basketweave) and Hers (XO cable) cozies

The real reason you're here, I'm sure. This was the year I properly learned to sew. I had taken a costume class in college (aka 6 years ago), but I had never drafted anything or really even completed an entire project, unless you count the doll's dress I finished for my final project. And since it was so long ago, I was pretty much relearning everything all over again.

My very first skirt! It turned out nothing like the pattern, but I love it anyway and wear it all the time.

This was the second thing I tackled this year, for the Mad Men Sew-along, and I consider it a failure. I loved the fabric, so I bought the dress incredibly large with the goal of fitting it to me. Technically, it fits much better than before (when it was a tent), but I had never worked with linings or invisible zippers before this, and it didn't turn out as well as I think it would if I re-did it. It hangs in my closet, utterly useless. Perhaps I need to move it to my projects bin in the house...

Another failure was this purse. Generally it looks cute, but something went horrible wrong with the straps and  they're slowly coming apart. The lining also had issues and doesn't exactly fit. Nor did I insert it correctly... It was meant to be a mock-up of what the purse could be, but I felt very uninspired afterwards and did not attempt again.

Hello oversized bow that I still don't know what to do with!
 Luckily I got my act together once the warmer months arrived and started cranking out nicer things!

Instead of tossing, I tailored this dress and continue to wear it all the time. Also, mandatory pics of Grayson and Franklin.
This was supposed to replace the dress I was going to toss (above), but then I ended up keeping both. They're different enough that I don't think it's too strange that I have 2 yellow sundresses in my wardrobe.

Self drafted 1920s inspired dress
1950s vintage dress
 And then I started nesting and churning out home decor:

More curtains
Not quite home decor, but I feel like baby things should be in a similar category. I made these for a baby shower, and my gosh, baby clothes are so tiny (and tough to sew)!

Baby things!
Whew, so that's it for 2012.

I'm looking forward to see what I can accomplish next year. My mother purchased a dress form for me for Christmas, so I can't wait to put that to great use.

Already I'm working on a (replacement) purse for my sister, another jersey dress for spring/fall, a knitted sweater, more curtains, and probably more curtains since I'm getting asked to make them for other people. I really want to make a few more everyday dresses for my wardrobe, a swimsuit, and a cloak for next winter.

Hope everyone continues to have a great holiday! Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. What is the career change? Sometimes I feel like I'm your mother posting on your Facebook page lol