Bring it on, 2013

Happy new year everyone!  As I write Gary has opened all of the doors and windows  to blow the new year in throughout the house. I love this custom, I love the significance of the new year and the opportunity to make a fresh start and set out some intentions.
Now I haven’t reflected on 2012 properly yet, and with such a lot of blogging to catch up on will make this a catch all: mini review and look ahead, all in one.

This is now my second year of not buying anything RTW (except sportswear & undies) but even there I have ventured into vest & knicker making & even made my own running top.  

My running stats show that I’ve a new level of commitment & always astound me:

I’ve been on 109 runs in 2012, run for over 83 hours, covered a distance of 483.5 miles & burned off over 55,000 calories.  Yeah!  That feels good!  All set for 2013 on that score….just need to get over my grotty cold 🙁

My 2012 sewing year has been following a practical route, filling wardrobe gaps but with the addition of the odd whim, but making 62 things for me. As a consequence it’s felt like a year of sewing separates, illustrated below:

When compiling this I was shocked to see just how many tops I’ve made (26 in total, a couple yet to be blogged).  I was also surprised that my dress count was higher than I expected (8) as to me it feels like far fewer – I am currently suffering from an apparent N.E.D syndrome (Not Enough Dresses).  Dolly Clackett, can you advise? 😉

So I’ve seen that there have been lots of very interesting “Top 5 makes” (both hits & misses) being blogged which is a great idea, but challenging! What are the criteria to help you decide?  If you are like me, what passed earlier in the year, in different weather, feels out of reach & I am drawn to newer makes which I have been wearing a lot.  However, I shall focus on 5, but will cheat a bit & apply it to patterns as opposed to garments.  This feels sensible for me, since the success of a garment is dependent on the style, fit & pleasure in making it up with the feeling at the end that you want to make more.  What better sign of success?  So based on that, I am also surprised (but it’s very logical)  to see that Sewaholic Patterns is by far the winner (& they are all inde patterns).  Here starts my 5:

Sewaholic Renfrew cleans up & is an obvious choice.  I have made 9 this year including one gift for my Mum (which she hadn’t realised was made by me until she looked for the care label!!!) & an as yet unblogged but awesome fleece version.  I have been loving my merino version & the plain grey marl one also gets pulled out weekly.

(hopefully clicking through all of the pics will take you to the original post)

Sewaholic Thurlows– I have only made one pair but they fit like a dream & are exactly the kind of trousers I love – suitable for work & yes, even not work.  They can be dressed up or dressed down & as soon as I finished them (as part of Lladybird’s sewalong) I wanted to launch myself into making more.

Sewaholic Cambie Dress – I have made two of these, and was lucky enough to be a tester.  They fit so well & are adaptable to different occasions – work & play time when I want to make a bit of an effort.  I feel so girly in the full skirted version & have worn the polka dot A line version heaps to work.

Colette Violet blouse– I have made four so far & am basing my current make on it with some redrafting (oooh…exciting!!).  I just love its styling: Peter Pan collar, easy pretty fit, & whilst I mainly wear it to work, I LOVE wearing it to work.  It also featured as my One Week, One Pattern (OWOP)  item…

By Hand Charlotte skirt – this is a new comer, so why did I chose it?  Well, I have to say that it’s another pattern that I adore, & my second version is already cut out.  I have worn this to work & also on a Sunday.  It works both ways- work & play (I think I am spotting a hidden criteria for having chosen my top 5).

But can I also give a couple of other big shouts to those things that wanted to be in my top 5.  First of all big shout to Maria Denmark’s patterns as her tops (of which I have three: Birgitte tee, Day to Night Drape Top & Kimono Tee) are SO versatile & fit into my work/ play wardrobe perfectly.

I also want to make another Victory Patterns Hazel dress as every time I wear it (usually to work) it gets complimented & being jersey is great for wearing when I have to get changed into fitness gear & stuff it in a bag to take home – much easier than separates, & a bit more robust being jersey.

So that’s last year’s leaders.  But then on top of the sewing, what else have I discovered this year? Why, I have a fondness for a spot of tomfoolery !

This blog has provided me with an excuse to mess around and I’m so grateful to everyone who reads this blog and tolerates me in my silliness….let me tell you I am suitably encouraged to carry on in 2013 and have a few ideas up my sleeve. Sewing’s fun, right? And so is blogging and connecting with this wonderful world of like minded sewing and crafting enthusiasts.

So in 2013 I shall not make any resolutions but have pondered about how to carry on the good work in alignment to being clearer about my lifestyle preferences for this coming year (with the aim to develop them as habits).  In a few words, there is too much clutter in my life in general, books that I don’t need that gather dust, clothes that I don’t wear, kitchen cupboards containing jars with sell by dates as old as my cat. “Things” get in the way both physically but even more importantly psychologically.  It’s time to get more minimalist, clear out clutter, & in terms of sewing, get a lean mean fighting fit wardrobe filled only with quality well fitting clothes. That means getting rid of the things I don’t wear any more and concentrate on quality not quantity. Reduce sentimentally clinging to things because “I made it”.   I feel I’m getting there, but will I ever finish?  I think I am aiming to reach that critical mass, where I feel I don’t have too much but equally most everyday occasions are well provided for.  This requires thoughtful planning & buying so that I have that nirvana-wardrobe with outfits rather than singular garments.  (Remember the rule of 3)

It feels organic & an on-going process.  At some point I will be able to take out as I add – this will be an indication that I’m closer to my goal.  However, too much planning & order would make me VERY unhappy, so not to deny my need to be spontaneous & frivolous completely I am going to permit myself a fanciful & fun makes allowance.

So what this translates into in a more nutshell like form is:

  • Quality not quantity – including attention to detail & thoughtful planning
  • Be more scared (ie use that more expensive fabric, tackle more complicated garments, bigger projects, get closer to perfecting fit)
  • Carry on the blogging fun (a catch-all for some ideas I have been brewing up  🙂  )
  • Sew a dress a month

There.  What do you think?  I am already pretty clear about the immediate items in my “quality” list & will share them in a later post.  As the title says, Bring it on 2013!  Let’s make it a cracking year.

46 thoughts on “Bring it on, 2013

  1. Sam

    I suffer from the opposite problem to you, I seem to make more dresses than anything else! I think partly the reason is because I don’t like blouses – collars never seem to sit nicely on me, and I tend to suffer from gapping between the buttons of button up blouses. Of course I should be able to solve this if I make my own!

    I’m definitely with you on the quality versus quantity thing. It’s actually something I want to apply to any clothing purchases I make, because I’m NEVER going to give up buying clothes, but I can just as easily apply it to things I make as well.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Now I consciously tried not to make too many dresses last year, as they surely are so much more tempting as makes, don’t you think? But clearly I didn’t satisfy the dressmaking urge enough & was too disciplined as I pine for it now!! Yes, I am really going to try hard to raise my quality game now….I have a few lengths of good fabric that I have been putting off slicing into (scared!)

  2. Tilly

    Happy new year, Winnie! It’s been a pleasure following your blog, please continue to use it as a platform to mess around – it brings us so much joy! Here’s to airing, decluttering, and more silliness in 2013 xx

  3. Corinne

    I find your year end/new beginning post very inspiring. You are prolific and entertaining at the same time. Finding the balance we each need to live our best lives personally, creatively and professionally is always a balancing act. You seem to be very well organized. May the best of 2013 be yours, Happy New Year!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Corinne, you make me chuckle, thank you for your encouragement & for being so supportive. Yes, I agree it’s a juggling act sometimes to manage everything we need to & then what we want to as well. It doesn’t always come to plan, so at least New Year provides the opportunity to regroup & refocus….helps to understand what is important to us each personally. I have to say that my time in the kitchen has suffered in 2012, much preferring a simple veggie dish (with a few repeats in the week) to allow more time sewing!!

    1. Scruffy badger

      Hi Elizabeth, a happy new year to you too, and thank you so much for your kind comment! I’m so glad you like my witterings and thank you for your support!!

  4. Vicki Kate

    Happy New Year! I love the sound of opening all the doors and windows to blow it through the house. Please keep up the tom-foolery, it’s fabulous fun! Here’s to 2013!

    1. Scruffy badger

      Ok, will do Vicki Kate!! I don’t need much persuasion 🙂
      Thank you though for your support 🙂 I know I can be rather an idiot !!

  5. LinB

    Happy new year! It’s raining here, so won’t open the windows and doors to let in the damp. One year we tried what a library book said was a Scottish custom: jumping off a sofa into the new year. My husband, our then-8-year-old daughter, and I stood on the sofa, held hands, and jumped off the sofa at the stroke of midnight. The sofa slid violently backward across the floor, slamming into the wall behind us. We nearly broke our necks. Now we just all sit around the television, sipping champagne and clicking through the channels to find the least obnoxious music.

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Oh you crack me up Lin, thanks for that tale of new year adventure!!! We stayed in last night too, desperate to make the midnight hour….and tv fireworks were good enough for a cold sufferer!

  6. Roobeedoo

    Woot! Love your pie-chart! And so much achieved 🙂
    I am also tentatively planning more dress-making in 2013. Eek!
    Oh, and it tickles me that your mum was hunting for the care label – my Girl had the opposite problem with her Drafting Cardi – she assumed it was from a shop because it had a label in it!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      And there am I thinking I could get some labels this year, but maybe I shouldn’t ?!
      Yes, this is the tentative year of the dress, and I have just found out that there’s a family wedding in April. Sounds like a posh special new frock to me !?!

  7. M

    Happy new year! I love the idea of opening all of the doors to let out the old and in the new. Our apartment only has three windows and one balcony door, though, and living on the northern Pacific coast means rain and cold. I’ll let the weather stay outdoors and open the doors in my imagination.

    We have very similar goals for 2013 (and one identical!). I’m looking forward to seeing all the wonderful dresses you make this coming year. Any specific patterns in mind for your 12 dresses?

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Hello and thank you for your comment, I’m going to come and visit to see our shared goals!!
      I have some ideas for my dresses, of which there have to be some vintage patterns made up. My problem will be keeping only to 12 when I think I have rather a lot to chose from. First is likely to be the tiramisu, and I know I have a wedding in April so that might be a quality item, a special vintage pattern I’ve been meaning to make for a while….interesting and exciting !!

  8. Helen

    Happy New Year. Looking forward to more sewing and silliness in 2013! I am with you on the clutter/reducing unneccessary stuff thing. I was going to make a cake last night until I realised the baking powder was two years out of date… Ahem… Clearly it isnt just the fabric stash that has got out of hand in my house!

  9. Liz

    Happy New Year to you! Wow 62 items is an amazing achievement, thank you for sharing and always being entertaining, I love reading your blog it always makes me smile. Keep having fun in 2013 (I think you will)

  10. MrsC (Maryanne)

    Happy New Year to you too Winnie! xo I totally understand about the psychological impact of clutter. It makes me feel like I have to carry it all around in my head and drives me doolally. If I can’t tidy up, I can’t get on with it and I can’t be bothered tidying up so I don’t do anything! I can never be minimalist, but I cannot abide clutter either, which for such an untidy person causes a few issues hehehe. So I end up having big clean outs or ups. And throw outs, or sell ups!
    I adore your silliness; may it never wane. And I love how you have really thought through what is important to you. That’s what life is all about!

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Mrs C, I find clutter slows my energy down. I already find that I cannot start any fun me sewing whilst there is general day to day mess (eg dirty dishes ) but I resist decluttering & have hidden things behind cupboard doors & in drawers. Thing is it’s as if I have become suddenly sensitized to it & it’s bugging me now. I SO hate clear outs, but will have to tackle it I suppose….
      Thank you always for coming back & your lovely comments. happy New Year to you too 🙂

  11. Tamsin W-P

    What an interesting and thorough round up! I love your posts and the silliness that generally ensues! I wish that I could be as prolific as you and quite often, as silly as you – I find it quite hard to not take myself too seriously, especially when it’s just me and camera remote! Heres to a great 2012!

      1. scruffybadgertime Post author

        Ahh, it’s the camera that makes me silly I’m afraid – if I didn’t I’d be bored with the same old view!! But that’s just my way of coping! Happy New Year to you Tamsin as well 🙂

  12. Ginger

    What a great year you’ve had! My hat’s off to you, ma’am! I’m looking forward to seeing more dresses from you, and I’m glad you’ll be keeping up the bloggy fun– I always look forward to your posts! Oh, and thanks for reminding me of your “rule of threes”– so good to keep in mind when I’m planning future makes!

  13. Helen Made

    I definitely need to take a leaf out of your book and make a few more tops, and also venture into the trouser department…dum dum duuuumm. Can’t believe how many things you’ve made this year though, very productive! Here’s to more entertaining shenanigans in 2013! 😀

  14. liza jane

    Woo hoo, pie charts! I love it. You’ve had a fantastic year. You have been very prolific, but everything you’ve made is very wearable and a winner in my book. And I wholeheartedly love all your disguises. Please continue 😉

  15. Joy

    Yay for a great 2012, and Happy New Year!
    I always love seeing others’ bar charts.
    And I’m blaming you for my purchase of the Violet Blouse pattern. Fabric indecision is plaguing me, but I hope to have some of own versions this year.

  16. Alessa

    Oh my gosh, how can you be *this* productive, plus run marathons *and* have time for silliness and blogging?!? 😀
    It’s a pleasure reading your blog, not only for the beautiful garments but also for the humour and the smart thoughts. Happy New Year!

  17. missjoiedevivre

    62 things? I am in awe, AWE I say. That is incredible! And to do it while allowing your silliness and tomfoolery to bring delight to all of us – that is superhuman. Your photos were accurate all along!

    Your goals for 2013 sound great and I look forward with delight to reading all about your progress. Good luck with them all!

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