Sunday, January 5, 2014

Top 5 Reflections & Goals

First of all, Happy New Year, everyone! :) Hope you all had a nice and relaxing start. Mine was just a bit exciting, since I started my new job on Jan. 2 (as an assistant doctor in a shared cardiologist and GP practice), and it was still a bit chaotic (mostly because there's quite a few new people working there, including the GP), but I'm sure it'll be interesting once we work out a routine.

So, on we go with the Sewing Reflections! Is this a good place to sneak in my statistics? I love me some figures and pie charts...

Sewing Reflections 2013: 
1. I made quite a few things. 18 dresses, 6 tops (I counted my blazer as a top, too), 6 bottoms (including two pairs of leggings), 6 home dec items (chair covers and cushions) and 6 "others" (namely, 5 pairs of knickers and one pyjama). That's 42 items in total! I didn't even realize I was that prolific!

2. I didn't reach my stashbusting goal of making 3 in 4 garments from stash fabric. More like... slightly more than half. I also bought way more fabric than was my goal, 27 lengths of fabric in total! Since I used 15 of them right away, I ended up with 12 new lengths of fabric still in stash. I used up 15 lengths of fabric from stash. That means I still ended up with a stash that's 3 pieces smaller! ;)
Actually, I should admit that I also bought 8 garments second hand for refashioning and only used 2. And I have some larger scraps left over from some of the used stash fabric. So... yes, my stash did grow a bit during 2013. Wait - I also gave away 6 lengths of fabric! So let's call it a balance. ;)

3. I sew a lot of dresses! Then again, I wear a lot of dresses, too. Of the bottoms I made, three were skirts, but only one is really for every day wear. The third, actually, is still unblogged and needs some alterations. I need to make more skirts in 2014!

some of the dresses of 2013

4. There are still some gaps in my me-made wardrobe. Actually, I think almost all of my me-made garments fall either into the category of "Sunday Picnic dress" or are pretty casual, so now and then I acutely miss some going-out-for-dinner-and-drinks clothes. And now I also need some office clothes!
 the skirts of 2013

5. Overall, I think I'm happy with my sewing in 2013. While some garments get worn more often than others, there weren't too many outright misses. Two things that still challenge me are a good fit in the bust and (sometimes) matching the right fabric to a pattern - or at least not buying crap fabric. ;)
the tops of 2013 (though there are  two more unblogged)

In non-sewing reflections, of course, it also was an exciting year. I crammed knowledge into my head for almost 6 months out of 12, ending with my board exams, so now after 7 years of studies, I'm a qualified physician! Looking for a job took a pretty long time, before I was accepted as an assistant doctor in a GP/cardiology practice, where I interned a couple of mornings every week for the past two months, and finally started a full-time position last week. I also started on a doctoral thesis (I know that in a lot of countries, the "M.D." is awarded upon completion of studies, but in Germany you have to do actual scientific research and write a thesis - which I'm now doing, with my focal point being gender differences in prevention medicine), so there will be a lot less free time than last year. Still, my working hours are such that I have two afternoons and don't work on weekends, so there should still time for some relaxing sewing and knitting, and all that other stuff I do to relax. :)

Goals for 2014:
1. I'd like to do something to close my wardrobe gaps. Sew a couple of slinky tops and maybe a lacy dress for fancy occasions. Make some fun denim skirts, and maybe even a pair of shorts or two. And there's definitely room for a few more basics like undies and tank tops, too!

2. This year, I'll be wearing office clothes 5 days out of 7! In the colder months, this will definitely mean black trousers and white collared tops under a solid coloured pullover or vest, though I may be branching out into white jeans and short-sleeved blouses in summer. So that'll be well-fitting trousers (I'm thinking Thurlows) and collars on my to-conquer list!

3. Work on getting a better fit. This is an ongoing project really. ;) I like a close-but-not-tight fit in the bodice, and while that's pretty easy with knits, I still find it challenging to get a fit I really like in my woven dresses. So I guess that either means buying more stretch wovens, or taking the time to make a well fitting sloper/muslin...? We'll see.

4. Another ongoing project, of course, is the status of my fabric stash. I actually like the amount of fabric that is on my shelves, but I know that there are still some fabrics in bags and bins and drawers, some that I know I'm probably not going to use, some I just don't know what to do with. So my big goal this year is to reduce my stash to only the size of my shelves, where I can see it, plan with it and sew with it. The rest is going to be used or given away.
The Stash
5. Try out new patterns. You may have noticed that I re-use my patterns a lot, and I love doing that! Partly because the tracing and cutting process isn't my favorite, and because with second and third makes, I know what to expect. But it also means that I haven't used about two thirds of my patterns yet, and that isn't counting the ones in my Burda/Ottobre magazines! So, let's make this a concrete goal: I'm going to use at least five new stash patterns in 2014. I can also think about at least five patterns that came out in the last year, which I haven't bought yet but would love to try... But we'll see how that fits in with my other goals. :)

So, quick question: what is the one pattern that you definitely want to sew in 2014?