Threading Lightly

Adventures in amateur sewing

and I feel meh


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The year ending 2016 – a look back

Everywhere you read, 2016 was a bad year for many people.  Celebrity deaths, elections with bad outcomes, unusual weather…it is definitely a year people love to hate.  I happen to agree, as 2016 wasn’t my year either.  Losing my job caused my depression to come back, mixed with some horrible anxiety and panic attacks.  I ended my summer with an epic ankle sprain that is still giving me problems.  Even as things improved the second half of the year, there was a lot of disappointments, difficulties and stress.  These last few months have been pretty stable, but I find it more comforting to call the whole year a wash and just keep looking to 2017.  It really can’t come fast enough.

But before I say goodbye (or good riddance), I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on my makes from the past year.  At first I was afraid this might be a waste of time since it feels like I got nothing accomplished this year.  At least not as much as I wanted to.  But looking back at all the projects I did complete, I noticed that I did actually get more done than I thought.  So here is a look back on some of the most impactful projects of the year.

Greatest Sense of Accomplishment: Fleece Vest

fleece vest-front

Of all my makes, this one really surprised me with the result.  With no prior experience working with fleece and no muslin attempted, I just dove into this two-fabric garment.  My adjustment using corded elastic with an adjustable stopper instead of regular elastic at the bottom ended up working out as well. It feels so good when things you envision come together.  The only thing I wish I had been able to add is zippers on the side pockets, since this is a great feature on my store-bought vests.  Oh well, maybe next time.

Project Giving me the Most Trouble: Summer Romper

Happy romper

I am overly pleased with the end result of this piece, despite having actually finished it in the fall.  That being said, confusing pattern directions led to some frustrating nights on this one.  I didn’t have as many problems as other projects from previous years, which is probably because 2016 seems to be the year I didn’t make pants.  However, this is the first time I have made something that I’m not sure I could duplicate.  We’ll see…but having another romper isn’t a huge priority at this point anyway.

Garment That Got the Most Use: tie between Sweater Tunic & Tie-Bow Blouse

IMG_3174final sheer blouse

Both of these got a lot of use in 2016.  The sweater tunic made an appearance at a lot of casual functions and received the most compliments, while the blouse showed up at networking events and my new job.  It’s great to have homemade clothing you can wear all the time.  It makes all the effort you put in totally worth it.  Looking back at all my projects from the year, I am pleased that so many of them are in my regularly worn wardrobe.

2016 may not have been the best year overall, but it definitely produced some great outfits and really cemented some of my sewing skills.  I have slowly been improving on things – such as taking the time to make sure things fit correctly when they are finished.  There is still more improvement to be done, but that is what makes sewing a challenge!

 

Looking Forward…

I really hope 2017 lives up to everyone’s expectations as a kick-butt year.  For me, there will be some new challenges.  I have committed myself to run my first marathon next October in Chicago.  I will also be running for a charity, so this is the first time I will also be raising money for a cause while I train.  I will be running for the American Brain Tumor Association – it feels good to be able to give something back and use my love of running for the good of others.  It may be a year of change as I am thinking about moving to another part of the state.  There may even be some some international travel in the near future.  I just really hope I have the job stability to make it all happen this time.  As for sewing, my 2017 focus will be on trying to stay with current trends and stay ahead of the season with my clothing makes.  Oh, and probably some new skills and techniques thrown in.  Always be improving!

What did you like best about 2016 and what plans do you have for 2017?

and I feel meh


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See my vest…in textured fleece

Kwik Sew 3813Pattern: Kwik Sew K3813

Some key takeaways:

  • Wait to buy your separating zipper until you confirm the final length
  • Make sure your fabric works for the arm binding, if not you can use spandex or knit

Just as spring made its way in New England, so did the cold weather.  For a winter which saw 70 degree temperatures on Christmas Eve and only 2 snow storms, this spring sure is cold!  We had more snow storms in April than in March, and now that it is May, I can’t walk around my house without a sweatshirt.  Or a fleece….which brings me to….

I decided to make a fleece vest!  I started this a bit on the late side – as in after winter was technically over.  Glad this cold weather started up, or I would have felt completely foolish!

This was a pretty ambitious project.  I have never made anything like this before, and half-way through making the vest, I was worried I may be in over my head.  However, the results of this one are very positive!

When I first decided to make this pattern, Continue reading