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Past, presents, and looking ahead

January 2, 2012

This pup is always looking ahead. Always.

Wow, it’s been a few days since my last post. Twelve, to be exact. Not that y’all are on pins and needles or anything ;) I’m behind in keeping up with your blogging and sewing progress, as well, so please forgive. I have some reading ahead of me.

In the meantime, here’s a tantalizing treat that Ryan and I made for Christmas gifts this year. Carolina barbecue sauce. Mmmm mmm. To be humble and honest, I only assisted in the canning process, then made the packaging. We also roasted up some granola, baked chocolate pecan cookies, framed prints for my siblings and I stitched up this trivet from fabric scraps.

I’m a yo-yo addict. It started when I made yo-yo brooches with vintage buttons for wedding favors (I think I’ve mentioned that before), and continues to this day. I now intend to make them as I go, at least cutting out the circles from all those little leftover odd-shaped scraps. Stitching the circles into yo-yos between larger projects will then be a breeze. Maybe I’ll have enough for a quilt someday. If not, then I guess I’ll just have a collection of jarred yo-yos, specimens in my wunderkammer of projects past.

I also made this half apron for my sister, as a thank you for a gift she’d given me. It’s the Amy Butler Domestic Goddess apron, which I needed to stitch up anyway prior to teaching the class on it. Good thing I made a sample, too… I streamlined the sewing a bit and mitered the corners, which looks far better than the bulky folded over sort. The instructions for this were a bit misguided, IMO, but that’s another story.

Poor R, I didn’t start, let alone finish, his gift – a Negroni shirt. So, I wrapped up the pattern, fabric, thread, pearl snaps snagged on eBay a while back, even the interfacing. He asked if I expected him to sew it, too. Ha! I totally deserved that! Even better, he noticed Colette made a men’s pattern for the first time while shopping for me. “Oh look, Lav! Colette has a men’s shirt pattern that looks pretty nice.” Silly man, if only he’d known I’ve had it in my stash for months. I suck. I also gave him an artist’s book, and not just any artist. This person just happens to be a friend of ours, and she self-published a book last year on blurb. Support your peeps :)

The only thing I asked for was the Colette Sewing Handbook, and baby delivered! I’ve been reading it from the beginning, a rarity for me when it comes to projects books. Although it truly is geared toward the beginner, there is something to learn for everyone. I’ve been particularly interested in the sections on focusing on one’s personal style. I often find myself drawn to things that I love the idea of, the look of on others, but in the end just don’t make me feel like I look my best. That’s why I’m going to forget the whole notion of a circle skirt. I might try one just to confirm this notion, but bets are that I’ll feel frumpy and costumey in one, despite loving them on others. And that brings me to the whole year-end perspective, year-ahead goals part of this post.

I’ll keep it short and sweet. And utilize WordPress’ annual report feature (how fun was that?!). Sixty posts this past year. That’s an average of 5/month, which is cake to some. But for me, this was the year I finally gave in to sharing more, feeling less self-concious about the whole blogging thing, and just going for it. I also decided that commenting on other blogs is a good thing. In the past, it just sort of creeped me out. But it’s better to actively participate in the creative pursuits of those I read, than to just be a wallflower. That’s what I decided, anyway. I went to the Sewing Summit, had a blast, was totally inspired and met new friends! I participated in Self-Stitched September. My 2010 goal of a garment a month was surpassed (I think?). I used my stash, finished aging UFOs, found a local stitch ‘n bitch. I even started teaching sewing lessons. Okay, so that was just last month, and one class was cancelled last minute. But still! All around, 2011 was a revitalizing year in sewing and life for me. 2012 is going to be off the charts.

I haven’t wrapped up my fall sewing palette garments, but I knew at the outset I’d be sewing them into winter. The main thing there is to finish the Clover pants. My most recent skirt was more of a whim, and the one prior (part of the challenge) was given away. So I think I’ll make a basic red skirt to take the place of the grey one. The red sateen was intended for Clovers, but I made a yardage mistake when purchasing fabric. Now that I have the Colette book, I’m going to revise my intention for the violet chiffon, and also make a black twill Meringue skirt. It’s a basic, but a huge wardrobe hole. In reference to the green patterned silk in the lower right, that upcycling project will also need to be revised.

I’ve left off some more personal goals, but here are some that I aim to accomplish this year. I’m not really the New Year’s resolution type, but I do believe in setting clear, attainable goals. Vagueness has never served me well in that department.

  • Create every day
  • Sew all my own garments
  • Sew with a purpose (meaning a working wardrobe, even if that means sewing the “boring” basics)
  • Finally make some panties
  • Work my way through my stash, and if there is a textile that I know I won’t use, donate/swap it
  • Post at least 3 x week (Are y’all ready for that?!)
  • Read a book a month
  • Brush up on Russian while I sew (online/download suggestions very welcome!)
  • Watch less Netflix
  • Work/create/sew for myself (not in a selfish way, but a don’t worry about the latest hot fad way)
  • Teach more sewing lessons (in fact, I’m doing another zipper class on January 19)

I don’t want to get all mushy, but thank you, friends, for reading, commenting, encouraging, writing and sharing your own life in cloth. And for being hilarious and lovely. Here’s a toast to 2012, from me to you! May your bellies be full, but your creativity hungry.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 4:33 pm

    Happy new year Lavender! You’ve definitely had a great year from the looks of this post! I love the idea of making yoyo’s as you go along in the hopes of one day having enough for a quilt. So nice to remember back on the garments the fabrics came from also. We have pretty similar lists for 2012…I really want to sew some undies too but I keep chickening out! Maybe we should have some sort of unmentionables sew along? Haha! Anyway, here’s to a great 2012!

    • January 5, 2012 4:52 pm

      You mentioned it, so now we have to do it! Only I don’t think I’ll be modeling my unmentionables on here. Hellz no! Cheers to 2012!

      • January 6, 2012 5:04 pm

        Haha it would take a LOT of money to get me to model anything like that anywhere…like all the money in the world! I would consider laying them flat on a table though…

  2. January 2, 2012 11:07 pm

    Happy new year, Lavender! I look forward to seeing what you create. Best wishes!

  3. January 3, 2012 12:10 am

    Lavender, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you and reading your blog this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what you accomplish this year. Happy New Year!

    • January 5, 2012 5:11 pm

      Thanks, Lizz! You’re the bomb, and here’s to stitching up a storm in 2012!!!

  4. January 3, 2012 8:50 am

    Great post! I’m joining Lizz in saying it’s been a pleasure reading your blog. I felt the same way about commenting, why would anyone care what I thought? Then I started to comment, then I realized I wanted to join the conversation. It’s a great place to be.

    I also got the Colette book for Christmas. Today I’m tackling my sewing room so maybe I can actually do something in it!

    All the best for 2011, that’s a good list of attainable goals.

    • January 5, 2012 5:10 pm

      Aw, thanks :) Let’s throw caution to the wind and comment away!

  5. January 3, 2012 10:04 am

    Hooray for a good year! It was so fun meeting you and I absolutely love your blog. Those sound like great goals and I can relate to most. I’ve been watching Netflix for most of December instead of making things.

    I’m excited to see your project board come to life! Those are beautiful fabrics.

    I love your gift ideas. The packaging is super cute, too. I’ve kind of had it with knitting for everyone else starting three months before the holidays. Next year I’ll be canning for sure. I think that would be appreciated more anyway.

    Here’s to 2012! ::clink::

    • January 5, 2012 5:09 pm

      Cheers, Steph!!! Canning’s the way to go, for me at least. I realized in making that trivet that I’ve grown to hate craft sewing. Not hate, but definitely not as patient with it.

  6. January 3, 2012 5:20 pm

    Yummy gifts and pretty yoyos! Good goals for 2012 – and I love your project board! The blue Duwberry prints are so pretty! :) Happy Stitching!

  7. January 4, 2012 11:24 am

    If I hadn’t stumbled across your blog last fall, I would never have known that a fabric store finally opened in my neighborhood–the South End. So thanks for that!

    • January 5, 2012 5:12 pm

      Awesome! Have you been in on Wednesday nights? I don’t go every week, but hopefully I’ll see you there sometime!

  8. January 4, 2012 8:30 pm

    Hi Lavender!! I love reading your blog. And I love reading others’ comments. It helps me feel as though I am part of something and also helps me to know that others struggle with sewing things too. Your creativity is inspirational!
    Oh, and I am also a yo-yo FANatic too! I have jars full of them also- any suggestions as to what to use them on? I have made necklaces and brooches, and have “garnished” many gift packages and clothing….
    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    • January 5, 2012 5:14 pm

      Yo-yo love!!! Other than what you mentioned, plus quilts and pillows, I don’t really know what else to do with them. Just love making them. I kinda hated making that trivet, though. Ha!

  9. January 6, 2012 12:12 am

    happy 2012! I too got the Colette book – isn’t it marvelous??? I’m working on a royal blue silk noile Meringue right now – can’t wait to see your version too :) Cheers!

  10. January 8, 2012 7:10 pm

    thats a deadly idea to have a little momento from each sewing project!
    i know what you mean about lurking/commenting on blogs – i still don’t comment on everyone’s blogs that i read but i love getting comments so i really should. I am very glad you overcame your self consciousness though cos you leave pretty amazing comments and i feel like we’re getting to know each other a bit via the ol’blogs!
    btw – brush up on russian?! can you speak&/read it??? i got as far as buying a language tape thing (back when tapes were where its at!) but got stuck at the alphabet :-/

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