2017 In Review & 2018 Plans

Hi Internet Friends :)

I had been hoping to get this post to you before the new year but such is the holiday season! I’m going to try and keep things short and sweet by just chatting a bit about some of my reflections of the past year of making and then some exciting projects for 2018.

My instagram #bestnine! I loved this way to look back on all my projects this year!

My instagram #bestnine! I loved this way to look back on all my projects this year!

As most of you know from my Ginger Jeans post, last year started off a bit bumpy in the sewing department. I had lost my ‘sew-jo’ and just wasn’t feeling in the sewing mood despite the fact that I had a long list of ‘to-sew’ items I just lacked the motivation to sit down and sew. I was still knitting so I didn’t totally lose my crafty vibes, I just wasn’t sewing. That all changed after I made my first pair of ginger jeans! Those jeans really were the spark that brought my sew-jo back to life and my top sewing highlight of 2017. I loved that pattern so much that to date I’ve sewn a total of 5 pairs! 4 low rise and one mid rise version, with two more mid rise versions in the works for early 2018 :) why so many you ask? Well, firstly the ginger pattern is amazing, it first so well! Especially for a gal with curvy calves like me, it’s really easy to adjust the skinny leg pattern to accommodate my muscle while still keeping the skinny leg asthetic around the ankle (I guess technically you could do this with any skinny jeans pattern but it really does help that the pattern is drafted for real bodies ya know?) I’ve also fallen in love with the mid rise length after trying it out with one pair and I didn’t want to wear that pair out so I had to sew some more no? #SewingJustification

Ginger Jeans for the Win! 

Ginger Jeans for the Win! 

Along with getting my sew-jo back 2017 saw me tackle another major sewing hurdle, sewing a swim suit AND posting picture of it to the internet! I can’t decide which was harder, making the bikini or posting about it. It was my first experience sewing with Lycra fabric, as well as sewing cup foam and working with underwire. I was super appreciative of Heather’s online course that really helped to expand upon her already well written instructions! In terms of posting bikini pictures online.... the sewing and knitting community has always been a very supportive space where everyone comes together to share advice, provide suggestions when you’re stuck, and overal provide a positive place to come together over our shared love of making. That being said it was still super scary to post bikini pictures to a blog, so I was really proud of myself for pushing beyond that fear factor and sharing that post with you all :) 

#Strong  

#Strong  

 I’ve had a big year of knitting as well! I think 2017 can probably go down as my PB in terms of finishing large projects, starting and finishing a total of 3 cardigans and one blanket scarf (Marylebon cardigan, Veronika cardigan, Galloway cardigan, and the starting point blanket scarf). These totals don’t include some of the other small and medium projects I’ve done like hats, cowls, and shawls for presents and things, meaning that my knitting productivity has really skyrocketed this year. While this increase can, of course, be attributed to increasing my knitting speed over the years, what I think contributed to the most this year was finding a group of knitters to knit with every Monday. I’ve only been going to ‘knit night’ since around September but I really feel like having a community to knit with in person has been really impacted my knitting in a massively positive way! :D

When your nails match your knitting! This is an in progress shot from my Veronika cardigan

When your nails match your knitting! This is an in progress shot from my Veronika cardigan

As usual there are many things that i made in 2017 that I never got a change to blog about. While I’m not going to post pictures of all of these projects, I thought I would share some of my personal faves! Maybe one day I’ll get around to posting them, but for now here’s their chance to shine! 

 

This  Geodesic cropped  top has been a workhorse this spring and fall! I’ve gotten so many complaints on it, my favorite being ‘is that lulu or is that you?’ (Aka did I buy it or make it) 

This Geodesic cropped top has been a workhorse this spring and fall! I’ve gotten so many complaints on it, my favorite being ‘is that lulu or is that you?’ (Aka did I buy it or make it) 

While this Kalle popover tunic did get blogged my  Scout Tee  in the ever popular rifle paper co fabric did not but it’s one of my most worn items. 

While this Kalle popover tunic did get blogged my Scout Tee in the ever popular rifle paper co fabric did not but it’s one of my most worn items. 

Last but not least are these two dresses that I made for the end of the summer and our Bali trip. Both got a ton of usuage but not so many useful photos on our trip lol! The banana print is an  Alder Shitdress  with the ruffled back (which I didn’t think I’d like but I LOVE this view) and the blue is a short  Charlie Caftan ! Both fabrics from the ever amazing BlackBird fabrics. 

Last but not least are these two dresses that I made for the end of the summer and our Bali trip. Both got a ton of usuage but not so many useful photos on our trip lol! The banana print is an Alder Shitdress with the ruffled back (which I didn’t think I’d like but I LOVE this view) and the blue is a short Charlie Caftan! Both fabrics from the ever amazing BlackBird fabrics. 

Finally, what’s next for me in 2018? Well I’m starting off with a few winter/spring projects, including the aforementioned mid rise Ginger jeans, a long sleeve Kalle tunic, long sleeve Matcha top, and two cropped sweaters (one knit and one sewn). I’ve also got a few pending projects for the #fluffyblondemonster which I really have to finish....including his Christmas sweater! (It’s not my fault that the only pattern he liked was in fingering weight!). In terms of really big projects I actually finished one at the end of December that I can’t wait to share with you guys! I also want to try my hand at sewing some bras since I really loved sewing those Sophie swimsuits last year. I’m trying to keep my ‘big ticket goals’ on the small side this year as we do have our wedding coming up towards the end of the year, with a whole host of DIY associated projects to go along with it! I’m really going to try and focus on keeping my knitting and sewing as my ‘mental escapes’ this year to help balance out some of that pre-wedding stress. Of course I say this after already committing to sew my bridesmaids’ dresses so we’ll see how well the ‘mental escape’ portion of of that resolution lasts hahaha!

s always it’s been great to go on this making journey with you guys! I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes this amazing community of ours! 

Me Made May 2017 Review

Hi friends! 

It's been about two weeks since Me Made May 2017 ended so I thought it was about time for me to share a bit of a review and what I learned from this year's challenge :D

I'm proud to say that I completed my challenge (minus 1 or two days where I was migraine-y so I'm giving myself a pass there). I set out to wear at least one me made item each day with at least 1 complete me made ~look~ or outfit once a week. Thanks to my new ginger jeans obsession I often had more than one me made outfit per week! It was super satisfying to have so many me made items to choose from everyday, and it really helped me see how far I've come on this me made wardrobe journey.

Marylebone Cardigan for the win! This may started off pretty chilly so this oversized, snuggly cardigan was a must have and it's featured in a number of the #MMM2017 shots (and of course my eyes are closed in this one..

Marylebone Cardigan for the win! This may started off pretty chilly so this oversized, snuggly cardigan was a must have and it's featured in a number of the #MMM2017 shots (and of course my eyes are closed in this one..

I love the back detail on this cardigan....hopefully I'll get my act together and dedicate a full post to this project in the future, I'm thinking closer to the fall again when it will see more use.

I love the back detail on this cardigan....hopefully I'll get my act together and dedicate a full post to this project in the future, I'm thinking closer to the fall again when it will see more use.

May started off a bit on the chilly side so I often found myself leaning on two of my newly finished cardigans, the Marylebone cardigan and my Earnest cardigan. I finished both of these earlier this spring (however I still need to update my revelry notes :S). The Marylebone is an amazing Bristol Ivy pattern which I splurged and bought Brooklyn Tweed Quarry for. SOOOOOO worth it! Quarry is a really lovely 'fluffy' bulky weight yarn, by fluffy I mean that it's very loosely spun and airy so you get the thickness of a bulky yarn without the weight. It is a bit tricky to seam with because it is so loosely spun, but so long as you give yarn a good extra twist as you go you should be fine. I haven't put the pockets on it or buttons, I'm still debating if the pockets are really needed or not...as for buttons I bought a bunch to add but I'm second guessing my decisions....by the fall I'm sure I'll have a decision made ;)

apparently I had a thing for grey this spring.... well technically last summer since I started this last year but you get the point....Also featured are my favorite Datura Blouse and on the right, Bruyère shirt both by Deer and Doe

apparently I had a thing for grey this spring.... well technically last summer since I started this last year but you get the point....Also featured are my favorite Datura Blouse and on the right, Bruyère shirt both by Deer and Doe

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The second cardigan that I wore a lot was my Earnest cardigan by Joji :) This was knit in Spud & Chloe's fine sock yarn and it was a beast of a project! Because it was such a fine weight of yarn and it's mostly knit in double seed stitch it made for a very long, but so worth it, project. I actually started this shortly before traveling to Mt. Robison last year and knit part of it while on the trail :D To speed up the process I also knit the sleeves two at a time but this was difficult because of the double seed stitch pattern, I had to keep untangling the yarn.....but it was all worth it in the end! I love layering this cardigan for the days that are just a shade too cool, or at work where we've been having heating and cooling issues :S  

Tofino :D

Tofino :D

What I seemed to reach for the most over the month was for one of my many Cheyenne tunics (Hey June patterns), Datura blouses (Deer and Doe), and my two Scout tees (Grainline Studios). The photo one image up has my fave Datura blouse, sewn for last years me made May, in a rayon blend stripy fabric, this guy has seen a lot of wear over the last year! The beach photo show cases one of my most popular Cheyenne tunics, by most popular I mean the one I get the most complements on at work haha! I was inspired by this post by LLADYBIRD where she made an archer shirt in the same flannel. Archer and I haven't really gotten on in the past, possibly because it was something that I tried to sew early on and couldn't get the fit right, but the Cheyenne tunic and I get along real well! I pretty much exclusively sew the popover version, no clue why but that's what I like :

One of my two scout tees, the first is shown in the first photo in that amazing Rifle Paper Co. fabric!

One of my two scout tees, the first is shown in the first photo in that amazing Rifle Paper Co. fabric!

With my two scout Tees (one featured in the very first photo and the other right above) I found myself constantly wishing I had more. I have two cut out waiting to be sewn, and a third fabric choice waiting to be cut, but they keep getting bumped on the sewing list for more 'exciting' patterns. Patterns with more frills like collars or interesting design details instead of 'just a shirt'. It's ironic because what I do need more of are just straight up causal shirts that I can wear to work without a second thought. June's mission is to finish up these scout tees! I just need to remind myself that not everything has to be a challenge, I can just enjoy sewing up a simple top that I know I'll get a ton of use out of :)

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New pattern that I can't get enough of is the Kalle shirt dress! I sewed up this stripy/bird-y one for my 31st birthday and I LOOOOOVVVVEE it! It's such a wardrobe staple kind of top, I can wear it to work and then dress it up a bit to go out later. I'm already sewing up at least two more, one again in the tunic length popover style, and the second as the cropped top version! (I have my eye on some high waisted ginger jeans to wear with that one ;) ) When I first finished this shirt I was seriously undecided.....I had shortened the torso by my standard 2 inches but the back of the shirt was SOOOOO long, like it kinda looked like I was wearing an old school night gown (probably because of the stripes) I had to cut off around 3 inches off of the 'tail' of the back before it didn't make me look super short (and by that I mean shorter than my already short personage)... 

Despite starting off the month with 3 new pairs of ginger jeans AND starting/finishing a 4th pair during May, after looking back on all of my photos I noticed that I really didn't take many photos where you could actually see them! They've become such a staple in my wardrobe that I sometimes forget that 'yeah you made those' and 'yeah you should take pictures where you can see them'. With plans to make a few more, including maybe some more 'funky' versions, I'll have to make sure I document them well :D

 

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As usual Me Made May was a fantastic start to spring/summer! It made me really pumped to get sewing and knitting! I had tons of new ideas from seeing all the different posts! I love being constantly inspired by the amazing #maker community on Instagram and in the sewing/knitting blogger-verse. I also feel like I personally grew a bit, I was able to let go more and be less stressed about taking photos of myself. I even posted makeup-less photos which is kinda huge for me and I think is huge for a lot of women who feel the need to present the most polished and perfect version of themselves when on social media. Don't get me wrong I still had photos where I had my make up all done for work or for a night out like my birthday, but it was really freeing to also just take some photos while camping and at the beach and not be stressed about it. By the end of the month I felt like my daily photo session became more of a 'oh yeah I need to do that, I'll just snap some now' instead of something I was dreading to do. What more can you ask from a challenge than to inspire you and help you grow? :D