Last year, I began my blog with some new years plans. It’s been interesting to look back on them and my brand-new-never-read blog of last January! Last year I made two resolutions, firstly to try to follow project #sewmysyle, and secondly to blog weekly/fortnightly over the next year. So how did they go? Read on to the end for a one year on giveaway too.
I made 10 of the 12 projects over the year, and did finish all of them just about in time for the end of month reveal. The two I missed were the Hampshire trousers when I was really busy in October, and December’s Named clothing selection. Neither of these patterns seemed very pregnancy friendly which was part of what put me off, and life sometimes gets in the way! Some of the patterns have been huge successes, (I love both of my toaster sweaters and have just received some Atelier Brunette Dazzle for another one) and I did enjoy having new patterns and designers to try out. However, not all of the patterns worked for me, and 4 of the sewing projects that I made for project #sewmystyle ended up in my fails for the year. I think that some of the patterns just didn’t fit into my lifestyle, and I wasn’t always feeling brave enough to hack them so that they did. One of the more recent ones, the Anna dress I did hack though, and I love how it has turned out, so perhaps there is a lesson in that too.
This was such a venture into the unknown when I made this resolution. I had no idea how often I would want to take project photos, what I would write about or how it would work with the other commitments in my life. I have to say, I think it’s been a massive success! I have posted at least one blog post every week, and I’ve kept up with my self imposed Sunday posting schedule throughout deadlines, holidays and just busy life! I did manage a couple of mini series of midweek posts too, but found these harder to keep up with because they required a lot more planning in the writing and photography, and sadly some of the posts I had planned never got published.
I have to say, a lot of it is down to having a very obliging photographer/husband, who has always been willing to go out for a quick walk at the weekend to get a few pictures, so big thanks to him! But I have also just enjoyed the creative process of writing, editing and sharing what I have been up to. The blog has grown in ways that I could never have predicted at the start of the year- I’ve written guest blogs for Minerva Crafts, tested patterns for Itch to Stitch and amazingly people have both followed and seem to enjoy what I have been up to! At the time of writing, the blog has had more than 2000 visitors this year, and nearly 5000 page views, so thank you everyone that has made me feel supported and part of this amazing sewing community! I appreciate every read, like and comment.
Again life in the next year is going through a period of transition, and it’s hard to know how much time I will have to dedicate to sewing and blogging. My PGCE course is due to be completed in May almost completely coinciding with the due date of the bump. Who know how motherhood and baby will influence my sewing time, but I suspect it might need even better planning in the future. That said, I am setting myself some plans and targets for the year because then I can try to be ambitious in meeting them!
Much as I enjoyed being part of project #sewmystyle last year, I’m not sure that it is the right direction for me this year. I think the projects might feel a little too constricting, especially if they aren’t going to fit me very well while I’m pregnant. I have signed up to the notification list though, so if something jumps out at me, I’m sure it will be added to my sewing queue. Instead, I’m going to be planning my projects a month or two in advance with a bit of wiggle room for extras to sneak in using notecards pinned to my sewing room pin board. Its a system which has worked well for me this year and I like the mixture of structure and freedom that it gives me. I’m going to be focussing on things which are practical and fit in with my lifestyle, and I’m sure a few baby projects will creep in too.
I am going to try to cut down on impulse fabric and pattern shopping by planning ahead. I know a lot of people used the ‘make 9’ to good effect last year so I think I might do something similar. I have a few patterns that I have chosen for the next couple of months which gives me 5 patterns that I have committed to, with 4 wildcards for buying new patterns this year. I’m going to try to keep it at that, with the only exceptions being if I buy a magazine with a pattern, undertake a pattern test or use some of my existing Seamwork credits on Seamwork or Colette Patterns.
The patterns I have chosen so far are:
Rebecca Page Taylor Trench coat (inspired by Emma and her Machine), Sew Over It Lily Top, Seamwork Oslo Cardigan, a Paxton Sweater or two for Matt, and a Megan Nielson Amber top/dress.
Since drafting this post, I have used up one of my wildcards to buy two patterns for the baby. They are so small I am counting it as just one pattern, but I’m hopefully going to be making some cute Brindle and Twig Cuff Leggings and Raglan Tee’s!
I’m still going to be involved in guest blogging for Minerva Crafts (the next one is an exciting test of a new pre-publication copy of Wendy Ward’s latest book Sewing with knitted fabrics) and I hope to join in with other events and sewing community collaborations as they come along.
I am going to keep to the same blogging schedule next year, committing to a post every Sunday, and occasional extras or other series during the week. I’m excited to keep seeing the blog grow so I would love you to keep sharing it with anyone you think might be interested in my ramblings, or feel free to follow me on Instagram and Facebook too.
My 1 year giveaway
It is just over 1 year since I published my first ever blog post and I wanted to celebrate with a giveaway! I have 2m of a lovely Girl Charlee Haccai Knit to give away. It is the same knit that I used recently in my Elmira cardigan and is a beautiful cream with little flecks of colour in it. I also have a few surprise extra goodies to give away including a couple of patterns (blame those lovely post Christmas sales)! All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is to comment with something you would like to see on the blog in the next year. It could be a type of garment post, a change of style, how to, or anything else you can think of. New year is all about new inspiration. I will announce the winner on Sunday 21st Feb, so the deadline is 8pm Friday 19th GMT. All entries have a chance to win, and I will do a random draw to decide the winner.
Good luck, and have a brilliant sewing year!