Yay, I love doing these posts! It’s so interesting for me to go back to the beginning of a year and see where life was at vs life today, and I love reading these sorts of reviews and updates from everyone else, too.
Rather than make a big photo collage of every single thing I made this year (which is what I usually do, and honestly, just kind of over it at this point), I want to focus on a few pieces that did and did not get worn/loved. There was a bit of a shift in my blogging this year – even if no one else noticed it (which is quite likely), it definitely affected my output and the things that ended up in my closet. I participated in far fewer collaborations/sponsorships this year – no pattern testing, very few fabric freebies (other than my monthly MSN makes, which you will tear from my cold, dead hands), no blog hops, and only a handful of gratis patterns. Compared with how much I ate that shit up in the past, I really toned things down this year – and I absolutely think it was for the better. My wardrobe certainly reflects it, anyway.
Oh, and if you want to see *everything* I made this year in all it’s entirety – you can always Lurk My Closet ;)
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So, here are some of my favorite pieces from 2015!
Ginger Jeans // 1
Ginger Jeans // 2
GOD BLESS MY GINGER JEANS. Both of these pairs have seen soooo much wear over the course of this past year – the first pair even went all the way to Peru with me (considering I traveled with only a backpack and minimal clothing, that’s a big compliment!). Whatever mystery denim I used for that first pair is super legit, and I wish I’d bought more of it. I can seriously wear those things for a solid 2-3 weeks without them bagging out and looking frumpy. And, of course, I’m happy to finally have a Cone Mills denim pair. These don’t fit quite as well as the first pair (I am thinking that I should not have gone up a size, and instead embraced the painted-on legs), but they are still light years better than almost all the pants I’ve ever bought retail (I won’t snub the OG I+W ones, though, because they are pretty good). Plus, they were fun to make with all the colorful topstitching.
Honorary mentions are required for my Red cotton twill Gingers and Ginger Jeggings. I was NOT expecting to love those jeggings as much as I do (and tbh, I rarely wore them at the beginning of this year), but they are super comfy and get busted out at least once a week now that it’s cold.
Butterick 5526 // 1
Butterick 5526 // 2
Butterick 5526 was, again, a big winner for this year. I just feel really good when I wear shirts made from this pattern, not to mention how much I enjoy making them in the first place. A collared shirt is the easiest way (for me, anyway) to wear jeans or shorts without being completely casual. Plus, I can layer them under sweaters in the cold months! Win!
Stretch & Sew Bikini
Super proud of both of these swimsuits. I really nailed the fabric selection (which sounds super dumb, but that shit can get overwhelming really fast when you are presented with practically every option in the WORLD so much that you forget what you actually like), and got a good fit that looks good and feels secure/comfortable. The Watson definitely got more wear, but mainly because I finished it much earlier in the season. I am looking forward to wearing out that paisley one next summer :)
Silk Crepe Modified Saltspring
I made a lot of little silk summer dresses this year, but this one is probably my favorite! It’s really easy to throw on when you don’t feel like figuring out an entire outfit, and the shape is perfect for wearing in the heat. Plus, elastic waistband. Yes.
Plaid Flannel Carolyn Pajamas
I am actually wearing these right now, as I type this. These are the BEST pajamas I have ever worn/made – the fit is perfect (unlike any RTW I’ve ever owned) and they are so warm and snuggly. I really love this particular plaid and it makes me happy every time I look at it.
Crazy Aztec Waver Jacket
This jacket was my favorite thing I worked on this year! From selecting the fabric, to planning all the little details, to starting construction and finishing with wearing it – I loved every step of the process. Not to mention, this jacket makes me so freaking happy. It’s definitely a loud statement piece, and it probably even borders on looking a little ridiculous, but I just love it so much. As a side note, for those of you who are curious to know what I did with the remaining fur – I made it into a pillow for my bed. It’s even more ridiculous than the coat and it’s awesome.
Hand-woven Sway dress
Another project that I really enjoyed working on! It was so cool to be able to meet with the fabric designer for this fabric, and to actually know where my raw materials came from. The fabric turned out absolutely beautiful and was a real treat to work with. I took my time and made sure to really appreciate each step of the process, and I am super proud of the finished dress – even if it’s a relatively plain/simple garment. Also, wearing it feels like wearing a blanket, which is basically the best thing ever.
Silk Leopard print Boylston bra
Blue Lace Watson soft bra
I made quite a bit of lingerie this year, but these two pieces turned out to be my favorites and definitely get the most wear. The Boylston is so much fun – I love the leopard print, I love that it’s silk, and I LOVE the shape it gives me. I actually feel really really beautiful when I wear it, which is always good in my book. The Watson is equally beautiful, and also perfect for being comfortable and lounging around (not that the Boylston isn’t comfortable – but the Watson doesn’t have underwires, so, hells yeah y’all). Again, I feel beautiful when I wear it. Can’t argue with that.
Portside Travel Set
I use this every time I travel, and it has been INSANELY handy. It’s especially good for a back-up bag, to pack flat when I’m trying to travel light – in case I buy too much
shit fabric and need to check something on the way home.
Now, for the opposite side of the spectrum – the pieces that did not get quite so much love in 2015:
Faux Leather-Paneled leggings
I don’t know if I ever actually wore these out of the house. I just feel silly in them. Shiny legs probably just need to stay a part of my past, I’m thinking.
Floral Francoise dress
I love how this one turned out – I think it’s a beautiful combination of fabric + pattern – but it just doesn’t feel like me when I’m wearing it.
Colette Myrtle dress
Super cute dress in theory, not so great in practice. Basically, every time I leaned over even a little bit, the entire front fell forward and you could see straight down to the elastic waistband. I tried to make it work, but that’s just a whole lotta nope.
I felt secure in this thing at first, but then I jumped around and decided it was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. This suit frightens me.
McCall’s 6887 Ikat dress
Loooove this dress, but the fabric is really thick so it’s a little too tight in the boobs and difficult to move my arms around in. I am thinking I may cut off the bodice and salvage the skirt into a separate piece, though, because I really do love the fabric.
Gold Ginger jeans
Awesome, except there wasn’t enough stretch in the fabric, rendering them too tight to be comfortable.
My 2015 Best Nine, according to Instagram.
I feel like most of my makes were hits this year (it was REALLY hard to narrow down *just* my favorites – I loved them all, except for that handful of misses), which is a really good feeling. I focused a lot more on my tried-and-true concepts – both in pattern and fabric – and they certainly did not steer me wrong. While I did have a few misses, I can at least objectively point out *why* they were misses, which in itself is important and a good learning experience. I spent a lot less time this year chasing trends, and instead made things that worked with my lifestyle and fashion preferences. A lot of repeats, sure, but hey at least it makes getting dressed that much easier!
Another thing I’ve focused on this year is making the time for clothing repairs. I know I’m not the only person who hates the idea of opening something up to fix it – ugh! But I am all about that sustainability, and it’s pretty ridiculous to let something stay broken/crappy/ill-fitting because you are feeling lazy. Especially when the repair (or alteration) doesn’t actually take that long to do! So I’ve made it a point to do those necessary tasks – from replacing broken zippers, to re-fitting a bodice, to changing out buttons, even completely removing sleeves and adding a bias facing in it’s place. It never takes as long as I think it will, and I feel good that I’m giving stuff in my closet a second chance.
Last year, I mentioned that I wanted to take a step back from blogging so much, because I was starting to feel like it was controlling my life in a negative way. Blogging sucks up a LOT of time, and I was also starting to fall into that trap of sewing just for the sake of content. The amount of excess in my life has really made me feel hypocritical, not to mention the feeling of getting my self-worth via likes and comments. That’s just not the kind of person I want to be. Having been in the habit of doing this for years now (forreal, y’all, I think this blog and I are well on our way to becoming domestic partners), it felt pretty weird to essentially take giant steps backward, but I don’t regret my decision. It’s surprising how much more free time I have when I’m not tied down to a blog schedule.
Standing by the Amazon, with my bestie.
Hm, what else happened in 2015? Some highlights:
– I turned 30 this year! Yay!
– I traveled quite a bit this year, and that was pretty cool! Went to Philadelphia, New York (twice!), Florida, Peru, Portland, Boston, and Mexico. 2015 was a good year for travel! I taught 3 classes – 2 Pants Making Intensives in Brooklyn, NY, and one Long Sewing Weekend in Portland, ME. As always, I’d love to travel more next year – back to NY and ME (you have both stolen my hearts!), of course, and I’d love to check out some new places as well. I’ve always wanted to go west – maybe next year it will happen :)
– After a full year of living in color, I went back to a more natural tone for my hair. Having fun-colored hair was, well, fun, but I do enjoy the opportunity to blend in with the crowd these days ;)
-I had a major move at the beginning of the year – from right in the city of Nashville, to the tiny lil’ town of Kingston Springs, TN, about 30 miles west, population 2800. I live with my best friend and our house is in the woods. It’s pretty awesome, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Nashville. I mostly just hate the drive – because I hate driving, period. So that kind of sucks, but it’s really the only negative part (and I’m looking into buying a new[er] car in 2016, so I may change my mind on that! Who knows, maybe driving is fun when you’re not operating a total piece of shit hahaha). It’s pretty neat to live in the middle of nature and have things like a garden and a pig (oh yeah, my roommate totally got a pig). And I have a pretty sweet sewing set-up here, so that’s always nice!
– I got a big tattoo on my leg. And I knit a sock while it was being done hahaha
– 2015 was the year I completely stopped using Twitter. The notification system was driving me CRAZY – either I got “ghost” notifications on my phone that wouldn’t go away no matter what, or I never got any notifications whatsoever! Fuckin’ Twitter! I gave up on it about halfway through the year and I’m sorry if anyone tweeted me, because I promise you that I did not see it. Haha! Pretty much the only non-blog social media platform I use these days is Instagram.
– On a more grown-up note, I bought myself a really fancy purse this year. As a longtime carrier of cheap/thrifted purses, this is a big deal to me.
– One of the biggest experiences I had this year was traveling to Peru with my best friend in June. This was less of a ~sewing-related~ trip and more of a personal journey of self-discovery and change, which is why I didn’t really discuss it much on this blog. Half of that two-week trip was spent in the city of Iquitos, where I participated in several ayahuasca ceremonies in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. To say that shit was profound and eye-opening doesn’t even really scratch the surface. It caused me to take a hard look at myself in ways that I hadn’t before, and really think about things that I had previously been ignoring and pushing to the side. I came to terms with things that needed to be addressed, and overall it was a very very positive and life-changing experience. It’s kind of like, really really really sped-up therapy, haha. I’ve spent the remainder of this year processing through everything that came up during that experience, and making massive changes in my life. It’s been extremely hard, but it’s also been extremely worth it. If I’ve completely confused the shit out of you at this point, I recommend watching the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule, (also on Netflix) as it’s pretty fascinating and that’s what prompted me to decide to go to Peru in the first place. If you just think I’m a weirdo… cool :)
– One of the hardest things that I’ve dealt with this year is the end of my relationship with Landon. I don’t really want to discuss it on this blog, mostly because it’s personal, but I will say that it was amicable and we are still friends. We had a lot of issues that we could not work our way through, and mutually decided to part ways in November. We were together for nearly 5 years, so it’s been hard, but I know that ultimately it was the right decision. I have a wonderful support group here, and I know I’m gonna be ok.
Overall, 2015 was certainly a really challenging year for me. There was a lot of great stuff that happened, and a fair amount of bad stuff as well. I feel like 2015 was a weird – if not completely shitty – year for a lot of people – not just me! Overall, I’ve come out on top, despite all the negative stuff that was thrown at me, but lord, I so look forward to closing this year out once and for all.
Anyway, I don’t want to end this post on a sad note, so, here’s a picture of me celebrating my birthday with hot chicken and some aliens. You were ok, 2015. But now you gotta make way for 2016.