Monday, 26 December 2011

A Year in the (Sewing) Life

2011 has been quite the year.  There was travel in 4 (or 5?) countries, new experiments and collaborations to undertake at work, a 3 month strike with no income, the loss of a family member, a new school and a new language for my son, a new lab for me, conferences to speak at and prepare posters for, the ever-increasing difficulty of managing an independent-minded toddler, a collective agreement to negotiate between the Board of Directors over which I preside and the daycare staff ....I'm hoping that 2012 calms down a bit.
One constant throughout the past year has been my renewed efforts to find time for myself to sew, and everyone out there in blogland has been a great help.  Or should I say a great enabler.  I sometimes find my mind drifting when I'm in a meeting that is dragging on a little too long (....I wonder what would be the best pattern to use with that new purple gabardine.....).  I sometimes stay up too late looking at vintage patterns for sale on Etsy (It's purely to study the construction details on the envelopes, I swear).  I sometimes check out my blog roll when my kids are watching TV and I can't stand one more minute of Toupie et Binoo.  As far as addictions go, it's a relatively innocuous one.  And it's much more socially acceptable to have someone walk in a catch you reading Burdastyle than sneaking a smoke or a drink at work.  Unless you happen to work for Sterling, Cooper, Draper and Price.  
Without any further ado, here is my sewing year encapsulated:
I brought back a fabric hoard from Cape Town (pictured in the upper left) and did a little Cape Town to Canada series:
You can see that there are still a couple of unused fabrics there; I'd better get cracking before the year is up.  Plus, I'll need some more room in my storage for the hoard I plan to bring back from Botswana this February!

I started Sewing Through the Decades with Debi and Sarah:
I had randomly pulled some patterns from my collection that spanned 1940s-2010s, and planned to make one pattern from each decade.  The only one I didn't get around to finishing was 1950s.  I thought about doing a reissued 50s pattern with modern proportions, because the proportions of the 1950s patterns I own are insane.  Whereas I have a bust:waist differential of only about 5", the 50s patterns assume much, much (MUCH) more.  Like 10".  That's crazy.  I lost enthusiasm and put it on the back burner.  Maybe some perfect pattern will come my way and make me change my mind about the New Look silhouette, but for now, I'm going to call it a day.

I also went from reading Mena's blog to participating in The Sew Weekly:
It was great to join the community and draw from each other's projects and advice.  I'll probably continue to participate whenever a weekly theme coincides with free time + a previously planned project + fabric and notions already lounging in my hoard.  Mena is changing the format in the coming year, so there may be the chance to be a featured member from time to time.

You can see that there is some overlap between these three groups of projects.  If motherhood has taught me anything, it's why do one thing at a time when you can do two (or three)?  It's the only way shit gets done around here.

Oh, and I almost forgot!  The weekend escape to NYC to meet up with a bunch of people I had never met and only knew by their web pseudonyms.  Luckily, the weekend did not become the subject of an after-school special and was a legitimate meetup of sewers (sewists.  sewintists.  whatever.):
Those ladies (and gent) know how to have a good time.

That's 2011 in a nutshell.  I may as well post this today, since I seriously doubt that I'll be able to do any more sewing before the 31st.  I had 9 people staying in my house over Christmas, and now that they are gone, it's just me left to do the cleaning, cooking and child care while my man tries to get through a mountain of student papers and exams that are due.  
Happy New Year everyone!

(ms. oona just turned me on to Thinglink.  I'm going to give it a try.  Bear with me until I get it all figured out, but it should results in links within each photo subset.)


  1. Great round-up of the year! I just love it! It was so great to meet you and here's to a fabulous 2012!

  2. That Thinglink thing is awesome - I love it! It was so fabulous to meet you and hopefully we'll be able to run into each other again soon!

  3. You have sure been busy! I wish I had gone to New York too! And your other trips sound amazing!
    Happy New Year!

  4. Hi - just discovered your site and love what you have done in this past do you find the time???
    Off to have a peek around the rest of your site...

  5. @Debi, Meg and Justine: ditto. When's the next meetup?!?
    @Doobee64: see my "About Me" info regarding how I divide my personal time. It's all about priorities ;)


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