Happy New Year, gentle reader(s)! ;)
This post is a grab-bag of recapping 2017, showing off my Christmas gifts, and looking forward to 2018!
As 2017 is done, I have now been blogging for a year. I find I enjoy it as much as I feared (yes, it has been a huge time-suck!), but that it's also done what I hoped: kept me accountable for finishing projects and served as a portfolio I could point potential clients and interested friends to. On my first post, I said I'd limit my posting to once a week, but soon I had such a backlog of posts and so much to say that I upped it to twice a week: Mondays and Thursdays, usually.
Who reads my blog? My mom and sister and friend Rosanne are the only ones I'm sure of, though some friends say they "check in occasionally", which probably means they check in when I mention the blog or am blogging about a project I did for them! When I look at the stats Weebly provides for free, I see that most of my "referring sites" seem to be bots. Either they're bots, or some Chinese-based mostly blank website about tennis balls actually has a person behind it who really cares about bias tape. I dunno.
Another thing that I've learned is that, though I had high hopes, I'm really not going to do the Dreamstress' Historical Sew Monthly challenge. Last year I did two challenges and started a third one, but not on time. Part of the problem is that I had so many things to do that were more interesting to me (apparently, I like reading about historical sewing but I like sewing for today!), and part of it was that the challenge, which was formerly centralized to the Dreamstress' site, was last year split between her site and another person's blog, and I couldn't figure out how to comment on the other person's blog (I never did find a way to share my Teneriffe Lace with the others doing the HSM2017!). And the 2018 challenge is spread between the Dreamstress' site, Instagram, and Facebook (I am not on either site). As I said in my first post, I have made a deliberate choice to "limit my online activities in order to prioritize in-person interactions", so I won't be doing social media. I still enjoy reading the Dreamstress' blog and being inspired by her and by the other bloggers I read!
MEANWHILE, FOR CHRISTMAS...
Then a lovely friend bought me some Tulip brand applique needles, which are made of awesome! I already had some Tulip needles with the gold eye and chrome finish, which I love, and now I have smaller ones with the lengthwise polish that limits friction with the cloth. I tried them right away and was pleased at the difference a good tool makes in the pleasure of the work!
Remember when I showed you my stash? Well, it's grown. Like The Blob. The pile next to my bureau is now two taller piles! So I have made a pact with my housemate, whose quilting stash is likewise bulging: In 2018 we will buy no new fabric-- except such fabric/notions/thread might be needed to finish a project that we're making with stash fabric. (Obviously, this limitation to stash does not apply to the custom work I do where I buy fabric just for a client or they bring their own!) So for instance, if I want to sew a skirt, I must use fabric I already have. But if I then realize I need hem tape or something, I can go to the fabric store to get it--just no trawling the remnants section! This will go on until my stash is exhausted: either all gone or reduced to scraps too small to make a single garment. This will free up my floor space, and do justice to all the beautiful fabrics I have.
I'm also really interested in working with the vintage patterns I have, particularly the ones from the 1940's and 50's. In this, I'm particularly inspired by Laura Mae of Lilacs and Lace, who not only makes beautiful garments, but also shows the construction details so I learn the interior tricks that make the exterior look so good!
I plan to continue posting twice a week in 2018. Thanks for reading! (You too, bots--where would I be without you!)
2/19/2018 Edited to add picture of stash on bed.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
Blogs I Read