In the style of Janus, thought to be the titular deity of January, it's time to put on two faces - one looking backward to the past, the other one looking forward to the future. I always feel it's good to take a moment to contemplate successes, failures and road blocks of the previous year in order to come up with realistic plans for the next.
Last year I finished 12 items. Six of them were Knipmode patterns, three Cashmerette, two Vogue and one Deer & Doe. You can find them all under Finished projects on top of this page.
Last January I started the KnipmodeChallenge2017, with the main goal to use my magazines more often and to get a set of standard adjustments in order to nail the fit. Since half of what I made comes from the magazines I consider the first part a success. I made progress on the fit but it's still a bit hit and miss. My favourite Knipmode garments were the winter coat (most worn) and my velvet birthday dress.
|Knipmode coat and Knipmode designer dress|
Another two Knipmode patterns are still in the toile stage. One, a potentially fabulous red skirt, looked completely different in the larger block due to weird grading decisions. I'll pick that one up again in spring. The second one is a lovely top that will look good in fabric with more stretch. If only Knipmode would be more specific when it comes to fabric recommendations: a pattern is either for a woven or a fabric 'with stretch'. The latter can be anything from cotton sateen to spandex. In this round of fabric roulette I guessed wrong. Will try again!
Many thanks to everyone who joined me during this challenge, on blogs, Instagram and Pattern Review. It's been fun!
In 2017 I finally finished the French jacket that I started three years earlier. I loved the process so much! From selecting the fabrics, the quilting, hand sewing, planning the trim to sewing on the chain, I loved every minute of it. The jacket turned out a bit large and the colour isn't my best but despite these flaws I've been wearing it a lot. So soft, so easy to pack and it goes with everything.
Other favourites are the Cashmerette Concord T-shirt variations, especially the white one with statement sleeves and the royal blue swing top with v-neck front and back.
|Cashmerette Patterns Concord T-shirt|
Now what are my sewing plans for 2018? Honestly, I don't know. I sew what I wear, and what I wear depends on the adventures that lie ahead. Will we drive north or fly south for the summer holidays? Any formal events to attend? We'll see what comes up.
I need a few work appropiate jackets, practical outfits for gardening, walking the dog and cycling in the rain and some tops and dresses for fun events like going to festivals and concerts. And perhaps a party dress or two.
I'm always tempted to join a few challenges at the beginning of a new year but when you're sewing at my pace you have to pick your battles carefully. I like seeing everyone's #2018makenine plans on Instagram but really, that possibly means planning ahead my total output for the year right now!
The challenge that really made me want to jump in was #januaryjacket, hosted on Instagram by @lonestarcouture and @julie_starr. Dorcas and Julie have the awesome tradition of sewing French jackets together each January by long distance. This year they invited everyone to join, which I happily did. It's a challenge with very loose rules and my only condition was I could finish my jacket by January 2019, which was accepted. It's wonderful to follow the progress of these experienced French jacket sewists! I've already started planning my jacket and I'm considering buying Susan Khalje's online Classic French Jacket class. Any thoughts about that class?
|Potential fabric combination|
I was also seriously tempted to join the #2018RTW fast hosted by Sarah of the Goodbye Valentino blog. During Christmas break I came to the conclusion that I already kind of completed a RTW fast in 2017. (I only bought a pair of jeans that I have not yet worn)
I decided against joining because due to not buying and slow sewing last year I probably need to fill more wardrobe gaps than I can handle with sewing alone. That's okay. I'm not aiming for a 100% handmade wardrobe, 90% will do.
Instead I'll be cheering for the over 1000 participants and give my own twist on this fast by starting with sewing jeans to make up for that one buy.
I'll also be buying sustainable fabrics from Enschede Textielstad and sew garments with fabrics woven from recycled or locally sourced yarns.
Well for someone without sewing plans that's already a lot of commitment! This means that I'll only join other challenges like Make a Garment a Month (#magamsewalong hosted by @sarahlizsewstyle ) or #curvyyearofsewing when the monthly themes coincide with my own plans.
Did you join any challenges? If so, good luck and happy sewing!