Looking back, I feel that I have been really blessed. 2017 was a year of opportunities for me despite being a beginning sewist juggling a part-time job (teaching English) and household responsibilities. I managed to test several patterns for my daughter and myself, join a couple of blog tours and even be an ambassador for Sewing Portfolios. I didn’t really know what to expect when I jumped on the pattern testing bandwagon, and I’m thankful to various pattern designers for believing in me (including a few I didn’t blog about).
To me, pattern testing was fun because I got first dibs on a pattern (not to mention for free), and it was a little bit like joining a sew-along, though with higher stakes. A lot of times, especially at the beginning, I wasn’t sure if I had the skills to make the garment in question. However, I tried to reassure myself that, since the designer picked me, I would be able to do it, albeit by learning a new skill(s) along the way. A confidence boost doesn’t do any harm, right? In the process, I dusted off my under-used DSLR, a Canon 7D I purchased in Japan 7 years ago, and started capturing precious moments with my daughter. Receiving commission from affiliate links was an additional perk, although that’s not the main driving factor. Blogging also helps to hone my writing skills, so that’s killing many birds with one stone!
Sewing is at once creative and practical, and I’m sure that’s the reason why most people who pursue it as a hobby do so. I used to make cards but wasn’t very motivated to continue after a programme in church ended, plus I was itching to pick up sewing after seeing some friends post pictures of their makes on Facebook. I wanted to let my daughter wear something handmade as well as update my own wardrobe (more on that later).
I’ve since met and gained lots of inspiration from sewists around the world through Facebook, Instagram and Bloglovin’, which is one of the best parts of this journey. I know I’m lagging far behind, but that’s not going to stop me from continuing at my own pace and in my own way.
This year, I’ve decided to do less pattern testing for various reasons. I’m ashamed to say this but I’ve amassed way too much fabric and way too many patterns! Since PDF patterns are intangible in a way, it’s easy to lose track of them, and it’s not until I organised them by garment type using the Trello app that I realised I’m going to take a few years to finish sewing all of them. 😳 (I can’t recall the first blog where I heard about Trello, but another blog named Attack of the Seam Ripper has a series of 3 tutorials on using it to organise fabric stash, project deadlines and pattern stash.) I shall have to systematically tackle what I have on hand first.
Besides, even though my daughter is a ready model (most of the time), I’m not. I’m no model material and not that comfortable with being photographed (or showing my face in photographs), but pattern testing requires that to a large degree. I have preferred sewing for Miss A for another reason – her garments require much less fabric and are great for practice. Now that I’m more confident, and since she has enough clothes, I would like to go on to sew more for myself.
I considered joining #2018makenine on IG but I realised that I simply can’t decide on just nine. In fact, I had difficulty keeping it under 30! I am going to be ambitious here and mention quite a few patterns that I’m hoping to attempt in 2018. Since I completed over 20 projects last year, there’s a possibility I’ll be able to complete at least that number on my wish list this year, and hopefully more.
I made collages as a clear reminder of what I would like to make, and trust me, it was painful when some didn’t make the cut. How did I make my final decision? I may have them in print already, or have in mind which fabrics to use or how to coordinate them. They range from casual to dressy, and some could be worn to work. Most of them are fairly easy to sew, or may just push my skills a little, with the exception of a few.
Skirts / Shorts / Pants
Although I’m fairly petite, my waist and hips are often in a bigger size range , so making separates would be easier, since I won’t likely have to blend sizes. However, I still love to wear dresses and had to shortlist “some” *ahem*. This list, in particular, will probably take me to 2019. 😳
I already tried making a Lodo Dress last December but have yet to complete it, since I don’t fall neatly into one particular size range and ended up needing swayback adjustment. Due to the need to make adjustments and toiles/muslins, I probably would need more time to make the dresses. It’s going to be a mad rush to complete a cheongsam that fits well before Chinese New Year, but I’ll just have to try.
It can get so cold at work and other air-conditioned places, and I like the look of these two cardigans.
Even though I said that my daughter has enough clothes, I’m not going to leave her out altogether! I’ll be happy to twin with her on occasion.
Do you have some of these on your sewing list too? I’d love to hear from you. It’ll be nice to have company!