It was late May — mid-year already — when I sewed my first garment of the year, and it had been 10 months at that point since I’d sewn anything. The latter half of the year is the exact opposite story. Whereas this year’s knitting was about settling into a groove I’d been building toward for six years, my sewing practice has been about taking leaps and bounds forward. Up until that white linen shell that got me restarted, my sewn garments these past few years have been almost entirely of the “a front, a back and some binding” variety, but I vowed that this would be the year I’d test out of the lifelong beginner class, commit to sewing some things that couldn’t be done in a single sitting, and change my view of which parts of my wardrobe I’m capable of making myself. I feel like I owe it all the Summer of Basics challenge and the jeans-making workshop that followed. And my serger. Now that was a good decision.
There were definitely still simple little tops: the white linen shell, the grey wool sweatshirt-y thing, and my favorite sleeveless tee in striped hemp and grey wool knit. The jaw-dropping garment of the year was my first pair of jeans. The garments that really changed my closet and my outlook are the four pairs of “toddler pants”: olive (ruined in the wash but still in service on manual-labor days), denim, camo and natural wool. And the most involved thing I sewed this year (or possibly ever) was not the jeans but my Archer button-up. I’ll never forget pulling out the jeans pattern, seeing that it was fewer pieces and steps than the Archer I had recently completed, and thinking “I got this!” Not that Archer is hard, per se — it isn’t — but there is more to it.
And that’s not all I sewed. There were the baby harem pants for Allison plus two refashions: the slipdress and the army shirtjacket. Remaking the latter was one of the funnest days of my year — I had a blast in my sewing room that day, and am thrilled to now have that little jacket in my closet.
Altogether, what these clothes mean is I no longer think of myself as capable of sewing simple tops and dresses while still dependent on ready-to-wear for shirts, pants and jeans (the bulk of my wardrobe, in other words). In fact, I no longer feel dependent for anything! But the other half of the giant impact of all of this is that I’ve learned to actually love sewing, rather than tolerate it. It turns out sewing more satisfying garments makes it that much more satisfying. Lesson learned!
Who knows what I might get up to in 2018.
PREVIOUSLY: 2017 Knitting year in review