2020: A Year in Review

31 Dec

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again – the end of it! I think it goes without saying that we are all gonna be breathing a collective sigh of relief when this bad boy finally gets wrapped up and pushed back to our history books.

Considering how infrequently I update my blog, I almost didn’t write this ~2020 Review Post~. But, to be completely honest, it doesn’t feel like the proper year closure if I don’t include a round-up review here. This year, I’d made a real effort to be more intentional with what I do share on the internet. And I love writing these posts, reminiscing about the last 12 months, and reading them in the future. Also, this shit took like 4 days to write so y’all better read it LOL. So, anyway, now let’s talk about meeeee.

I know 2020 has been a very, very difficult year for a lot of people (most people, probably). But I’m just gonna go ahead and say it – my year has actually been pretty awesome. In spite of all the wrecked shit that happened over the last 12 months, I haven’t merely survived – I’ve actually thrived. This year has been therapeutic, eye-opening, and honestly quite empowering.

Some highlights (and also low-lights – can’t have the rainbows without the rain blah blah blah) of my year:

Work + Career Updates:

  • I had a pretty solid kick-off with workshops and taught in New Jersey, Florida, Nashville, and New York. I met some fun people, ate a lot of steak, and of course touched a lot of butts! I was on track for the whole year to be so grand but, as we know, COVID-19 had other plans in store for us. It was a real bummer cancelling those carefully planned dates throughout the year, but – what can you do?
  • Once things started shutting down, I got my butt in gear and offered Virtual Private Lessons via video chat. This was a godsend for me in terms of socialization – living alone can be isolating in itself, but being stuck in forced isolation threatened to make it worse. By giving myself the ability to continue to do my work while also socializing with people, it really helped with my mental health and overall sense of well-being. I taught a LOT of private lessons those first couple of months! That being said, I had to take a break over the summer (more on that below) and narrow down my availability to something that was more manageable. I love teaching and I love chatting about sewing, but I still don’t love sitting in front of a computer LOL. If you are interested in taking a private lesson in 2021, you can sign up here!
  • Luckily, I landed a big gig shooting catalog and e-commerce for Talbots. Tennessee had finally reopened for small gatherings (I know someone is going to say something shitty so here you go – just keep it to yourself. We were safe, legal, and no one got sick in all the months we worked together. Byeeee) which made this possible. It ended up being a huge amount of work, over many days spanning into multiple months of shoots. I tailored a LOT of garments – hundreds and hundreds of garments. It was a blast!!! I worked with some awesome colleagues, met some amazing new people, and got out of the house on a regular basis. Working on this shoot allowed me to remain independent while still earning an income, and again – my mental health really benefitted from regular socialization. Also it’s fun to work with professional photographers, they can set up for some really rad selfies (see above!).
  • Despite the pandemic cancelling so much stuff at the beginning of the year, I was still able to work on a few fun projects for clients with my freelance tailoring gig. A couple worth mentioning – another music video and fitting the most beautiful evening gown I have ever laid eyes on (it was an HONOR to touch it).
  • I ended up getting a part time job – at a tailor shop! I work as an in-house tailor for Oak Hall here in Nashville. I met the head tailor, Loretta, on a shoot earlier this year and we immediately bonded over sewing. I wasn’t planning on doing any part time work this year, but this opportunity came right at a time where I was needing to get out of the house on a regular basis (after shooting for Talbots started to slow down) and it felt like a gift from the universe that I’d be a fucking idiot to turn down. I have learned SO much working with Loretta and all the wonderful tailors who are employed at the shop. Everyone is so generous with their knowledge, and so happy to share it. One thing I learned about myself is that I love to sew – I don’t care what I’m sewing, I just want to sew! So being able to work in a shop with fun machines and tools (y’all, we have an industrial button hole machine!!), and learn new skills regarding fitting, alterations, clothing repair, and a million other things – it’s pretty awesome. It’s like being enrolled in school, except I’m getting paid to be there. It’s a wonderful job in a wonderful environment and I just cannot believe that I get to do this!!
  • I finally got my shit in gear and had business cards made! I feel like a real professional now!

Home Updates:

  • I have loved being in my home so much this year! Being able to watch all the little changes in my yard + neighborhood has been so fun, and I’ve really enjoyed making my house more of a home in 2020. I painted my name on my mailbox (a lifetime goal of mine, ha!), started a small herb + tomato garden (note to self, tomatoes need a LOT more room! Ah, live and learn), dug a fire pit, and bought a hammock!
  • I added a chandelier to my dining room!
  • My studio got a couple small updates as well! I painted a mural on the wall behind my dressform, and replaced the shelves by my ironing station. More room for more plants – yes please!

Other Updates:

  • I was supposed to go to Italy in May – my first vacation since 2017! – and, well, I’m sure you can guess what happened to that LOL.
  • I got stitches for the first (and hopefully only!) time this year. Cut my finger real good using a rotary cutter and went right through the nail. I’m happy to report that my finger is fully healed and you can’t even see the scar. But still – watch those rotary cutters!
  • This year, I really wanted to branch out and explore other creative pursuits that aren’t related to sewing / work – so I am learning how to draw and play piano! Both are activities that I really enjoyed when I was younger – I played piano for about 8 years as a kid, and was really into drawing as a teenager – that just fell off my radar once I started getting older and busier. Both are going really well! I have been drawing every day, and while I’m definitely still an amateur, I can absolutely see improvement and really just enjoy the process. I bought an electric piano over Thanksgiving weekend and have been working my way through a self-teaching guide – let me tell you, as someone who used to be very very good at piano (I look at my old books and think – how??? did I fucking play that??), it is humbling to start back over at the beginning. I had to re-learn how to read the music, how to make my fingers move the correct way. I’m still very much a beginner, but it’s so satisfying to practice and play and slowly hear myself develop my skills and muscle memory. Plus, it’s super super fun. I forgot how much I simply loved playing piano.
  • Another really big thing I learned this year, although not necessarily a highlight (I guess it depends on how you look at it LOL), is a better understanding of my food allergies and intolerances. After allergy testing and extensive elimination diets, I found out that I’m allergic to grains. This includes things like rice, corn, oats, and of course wheat. Yes, I know how bad it sucks. Rice has been a major staple of my diet for years, and learning how to live without it has been… really hard. But after cutting these out from my diet, I feel better than I ever could have imagined. I no longer get headaches or stomachaches, I sleep like an ANGEL, my mental clarity and focus is insane, and the random patches of eczema that I always dealt with have completely disappeared. I won’t lie, eating out is really difficult now – but it’s not so hard to make those substitutions when cooking at home (foods like Japanese glass noodles, cauliflower rice, and cassava flour have been wonderful discoveries this year). And it’s totally worth the effort, because, again, I feel AMAZING now. I did not even realize how poorly I felt in the past until I stopped feeling that way.

Sewing Updates!:

  • Because I was so busy this year with sewing for work, I didn’t sew as much as I tend to do in the past. Which is totally ok – I’ve mentioned before that my wardrobe doesn’t really have any holes, and I’ve tried to be conscious of the things I do add to it. Taking a hard look at why I do/don’t wear certain garments – is it the color? Shape? Fabric? Style? Fit? etc – was the big goal for this year. I actually kept a spreadsheet LIKE A BIG FUCKING NERD for several months while I sorted these thoughts out, and it was super helpful!
  • 2020 was the year I was inspired to dramatically narrow down my color palette! I know a lot of sewists revel in the fact that we can make and wear anything we want – which is awesome! – but I found there were a lot of colors that I did not wear, simply because I did not like the way they looked on me, or they didn’t go with anything else in my closet. By narrowing down my palette to a more limited range (warm autumnal colors are my JAM), I found that my wardrobe coordinates much more effortlessly. Of course, this also limits fabric buying options – I’m pretty surprised at how many shops and fabric lines almost exclusively carry cool colors!
  • Speaking of fabric buying, I worked a lot from my stash this year! In fact, from mid-March until now I’ve only bought fabric a total of 3 times. Considering how frequently I upped my stash last year (nearly every shop I taught at had me leaving with a small purchase), this was a win for me!
  • Finally, while I wasn’t sewing as many garments from scratch this year – I did manage quite a bit of alterations and repairs! I pulled out a stack of existing clothes in my wardrobe that weren’t quite “right” in some way – and I made them right! I know the majority of the sewing world loves to talk about how much they hate making alterations, but honestly it’s one of the most sustainable ways to sew (tell me you’re trying to be sustainable and then in the same breath say you’d rather make a whole ass new pair of jeans than alter the waistband of a pair you just finished… right.). In my experience, most alterations take an hour or less and are rarely as complicated as they might first appear to be. And, as I mentioned before – I just really love sewing. I don’t even care what I’m sewing, as long as I get to sew!
  • On a more personal note, I made a conscious effort to post less and be a little more private with my sewing life this year. I’ve learned that, for me, regular posting (whether it’s here on this blog or via social media) contributes to a sense of urgency to continually publish fresh content, at the expense of my own personal enjoyment. In the past, I’ve felt guilty for not wanting to go into my studio and sew – which is some bullshit, if you ask me! My creative practice is a way to keep me happy and centered, and trying to adhere to a posting schedule or force myself to make something when I’m not feeling the inspiration has the exact opposite effect. By enforcing some personal boundaries in that regard, I’ve re-kindled my love of doing things… just for the sake of doing them, and not necessarily because I want to share the results. It makes the learning process more fun, and makes the inevitable mistakes feel more like an important lesson rather than a big failure. Furthermore, creativity ebbs and flows. Sometimes I want nothing more than to spend all day sewing, and sometimes I would rather focus that energy on something else (I have a lot of other hobbies that are not sewing!). I don’t want to feel like I’m forcing my creativity because I have some weird self-imposed deadline that no one but me cares about.

Favorite Makes of 2020:

The Lightweight Sweater: I knit a few sweaters in 2020, but hands-down my absolute favorite is the Beauty School sweater from Poison Grrls. I wasn’t exactly sure how a short-sleeved wool sweater was going to fit in my wardrobe, but let me tell you – I have worn the SHIT out of this bad boy throughout the entire year. It is the perfect shape, weight, and color for all seasons. I used Brooklyn Tweed Peerie yarn for this one, but I’d love to knit another in something more luxe, like cashmere ❤ (PS – I also altered those pants I am wearing! The legs were originally way too wide, and now they are perfect!)

The Bias Dress: I didn’t make a load of dresses this year, but one that really stood out was the Sicily Slip Dress. This pattern reignited my love for wearing bias-cut garments (form-fitting while still comfortable!) in fun fabrics (this one is from Blackbird Fabrics). Such a fun dress to make and wear, and it always make me feel fancy even if I’ve got on sneakers.

The Push-Up Bra: Lingerie-wise, my new favorite bra pattern is definitely the Lansdowne Bra from Orange Lingerie. The partial band + plunge style isn’t something I normally wear, but I love those cleavage-enhancing effects!

The Backpack Tote: So I love sewing backpacks, and this one was no exception! I made the Maywood Totepack (using a kit) early in the year and it’s been SUCH a great (and stylish!) way to carry all my shit around when I’m on set. I love that the straps convert to either a backpack or tote, I love the water-resistant exterior, and I even love the interior pocket that was responsible for me cutting off the tip of my finger.

The Re-Dyed Sweater: Not a new make, but a successful revamp of an old one! My Martine sweater has been a long time favorite, but I’ve always hated the color (turns out I don’t like the way I look in light grey… who would have guessed). So I dyed it a more appropriate-for-me olive green and am stoked with the outcome!

The Painted Jacket: I thrifted this jacket in June 2019 and finally got around to painting it in 2020! The design is copied from a Patrick Nagel painting and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

The Big Reconstruction: Oh, and here’s a big one – my reconstructed blazer! I had so much fun working on this project and I learned a TON. I actually did this before I got my tailoring job at Oak Hall and the experience was a great introduction to the sort of tailoring I now do on a regular basis!

So what’s in store for next year? Well – back to teaching jeans workshops, I hope! (you can see my ever-hopeful 2021 schedule here!). I’d love to go back to traveling, when it is safe to do so. I’m also hoping that Nashville gets a little bit of a break this upcoming year! From devastating tornados (hi, we still haven’t rebuilt from that!), to the freak Derecho, to protest rioting that burned down part of our downtown, to our epic COVID-19 stats (I always wanted to be #1 but maybe not exactly this way lol) and now to the Christmas Day Bombing… its been a rough year for my city.

Overall, this has been a really, really good year for me. I almost hesitate to say this because I know so many people struggled in 2020. But since I started on my journey of self-improvement and hard introspection at the end of last year, I’ve been in a better mental place than I was for the last 10+ years. Don’t get me wrong – dealing with shut downs, cancellations, isolation, and fear of the unknown was definitely stressful and a little anxiety-inducing. What I found this year was that I was equipped to deal with whatever shit that got thrown at me and take it right in stride. For me, 2020 was a year to be brave and make myself a priority. My personal mantra was “Just try it and see what happens!”

I’m going to wrap this incredibly long (sorry) post with a quote that I recently discovered that has really resonated with me this year:

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of “getting to know you” questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes. And he went WOW. That’s amazing! And I said, “Oh no, but I’m not any good at ANY of them.” And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: “I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.” And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could “Win” at them.”

Kurt Vonnegut

Amelia & I wish you all a happy, safe, and emotionally fulfilling 2021!

85 Responses to “2020: A Year in Review”

  1. Sharon Costello December 31, 2020 at 1:32 pm #

    Never apologize for feeling good! It has been a terrible year for most people and I am so happy that you found a way to get yourself through it in a healthy way! I look forward to each and every one of your posts whenever they come. You inspire people through your sewing and in what you share. Happy, Healthy 2021 to you!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm #

      Thank you!

    • Inclement January 2, 2021 at 6:25 pm #

      Something I always admired back when you had a Twitter *and* an Instagram *and* a blog was that they were all different – you didn’t just rehash one on the others – same with this, yay!

      Congratulations on making lemonade out of 2020 – the lemons must know you like them so they returned the favor lol.

      • Inclement January 2, 2021 at 6:33 pm #

        (That was not meant to be a reply, argh, what is my problem.)

      • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2021 at 10:39 am #

        LOL I’m glad you appreciated it – it always annoys me when people rehash the same info across multiple platforms, so I try not to do that! But, obviously it got a little overwhelming which is why Twitter eventually got dropped (also, fuck Twitter for character limits I HAVE A LOT TO SAY).

        Thank you! ❤ Happy 2021!

  2. Betty Finn December 31, 2020 at 1:39 pm #

    This was so much fun to read, and I haven’t even finished reading it all. Very inspirational! Congratulations on making a wonderful year happen!

  3. Betty Finn December 31, 2020 at 1:41 pm #

    What brank of cutting table do you have, and does the top of it exand?

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2020 at 2:30 pm #

      I built it with various parts from IKEA, and no it does not.

  4. hoosier69 December 31, 2020 at 1:44 pm #

    Lauren,

    I’ve been following your blog for a few years now and thoroughly enjoyed reading your year end review.

    Would love taking one of your workshops in the future!

    Take care and happy 2021!

    Elaine

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2020 at 2:31 pm #

      Thank you! I’d love to have you in one of my future workshops 🙂 Fingers crossed!

  5. Elizabeth de Sosa December 31, 2020 at 1:45 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this awesome and generous post. As for the most beautiful dress…the shoes! They are enchanting. Thank you for this glimpse into your fantastical and magical life, Ms. Sewing Hero!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2020 at 2:31 pm #

      Oh those SHOES! We all about died when I pulled them out of the bag. Just absolutely breathtaking. And you are welcome! ❤

  6. Kat December 31, 2020 at 1:46 pm #

    Love your year end in review posts! This year has also taught me to learn to respect my personal boundaries and to have some separation from social media. Keep being your bad ass self and doing what you love!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2020 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you! And likewise! Yay for us enforcing our own personal boundaries!

  7. Lorie Braam December 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm #

    Thank you. that was a wonderful inspiring read. You have made my day a little brighter.

  8. Michelle December 31, 2020 at 3:32 pm #

    I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and loved reading your 2020 re-cap. You have a refreshing perspective on creativity/sewing/social media/hobbies/life. You gave me some interesting ideas to ponder for my own self improvement. Wishing you a happy 2021!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:13 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear that! I hope your 2021 is magical!

  9. Heather Myers December 31, 2020 at 3:58 pm #

    Soooo good to see your blog! I planned to inquire by Jan 3 if I didn’t see one.😊 (I’m not an Instagram person – 1 Facebook product is enough for me.) Wahoo for a good year for you – you definitely made lemonade! Thanks.

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:14 pm #

      Haha I totally hear ya – I’m not a Facebook person. Honestly, I don’t think I’d be on social media at all if I didn’t need it for my business!

  10. Jen Seymour December 31, 2020 at 4:25 pm #

    You are one of my favorite blogs to follow and I always find what you have to say so interesting! Thank you for continuing to post, however infrequently.

  11. Ruth December 31, 2020 at 4:48 pm #

    Happy New Year! I hope your 2021 will be epic. I’m extremely happy to hear that you had a good year. Can’t wait to see what you get up to this year (I’m in 2021 already).
    Love that little story at the end. Super motivating. Thanks for sharing. Off we go, another journey around the sun. Wheeee!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you! I hope your 2021 is equally as epic! Here’s to another trip around the sun! ❤

  12. Tanya Nuttall December 31, 2020 at 4:50 pm #

    Lovely to read your year’s review and to know there were so many positive experiences for you. Thank you for your blog posts however often you choose to post them – they’re always great to read – and all the best to you for an even more fulfilling and very happy 2021.

  13. Catherine Saxton December 31, 2020 at 9:27 pm #

    Lauren Darling, I was thinking today driving home from work, that I hoped 2021 included Camp Workroom Social and a class taught by you. Still “Proud like your Mama”. I think of you every time I decrease bulk in my seams and “cut that shit away”, just this afternoon in fact, when I finished my torn apart Coco dress that my serger ate the collar into a raglan t shirt! I could go on and on, but just know I loved reading your words, I love how real you are. Thanks for teaching me real skills. I extend a heart felt Happy New Year! I wish you Health and Joy. BCNU 🙂 Catherine PS. We are in the process of possibly building a granny flat over our garage, moving in to that, renting the Dome to the kids, and turning the other space into my sewing space/studio. Every year I get a little closer to my dream of a Surf/Sewing Camp!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:17 pm #

      Catherine!! I SO hope we will be able to make it back to Camp Workroom Social in 2021 – fingers crossed (and all the positive thoughts for a wonderful outcome, no matter what it may be!)! I think you every time I use my Big Yellow Bowl (which is OFTEN!) so I guess we are even 🙂 PS if you get that Surf/Sewing Camp – let me know if you need a jeans instructor 😀 One of these days I’m gonna come see you at the Dome, dammit!

  14. Abbey December 31, 2020 at 9:52 pm #

    Oh how I’ve missed your posts, Lauren! But you are totally correct about this being your blog and posting when you feel like it. Stressing over posts is a sure fire way to lose interest in something you love doing and we can’t have that! 😜

    So happy that you figured out that grains have been the culprit at the core of your discomforts. Finally determining food allergies/ intolerances is such freedom, mentally and physically.

    Equally happy to see that you were able to be employed this year. And that gown was total GORGEOUSNESS.

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:18 pm #

      Oh gosh, it’s amazing how much better my life has gotten when the stress and anxiety of food making me ill is basically gone! Eliminating certain foods is always going to be touch, but the outcome is so, so worth it. I cannot even describe what a positive experience it has been. Even if it means I can no longer eat bar nachos LOL

      Thank you for comment! I hope you have a wonderful 2021!

  15. Sarah December 31, 2020 at 10:23 pm #

    Enjoyed your blog post!! As a fellow Nashville sewist, I’ve got to know…does Oak Hall do buttonholes with the industrial machine you mentioned for local sewists? I would totally pay for professional buttonholes on a winter coat or similar…my machine hates thick fabrics!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm #

      I don’t think we do – we use it a lot at work (our jackets come without button holes so we can shorten the sleeves as needed) and there is only one person who knows how to operate it (it’s very old and a little… sassy. Ha!). But I’ll let you know if that changes 🙂

  16. Anonymous January 1, 2021 at 12:41 am #

    What a wonderful quote to start the year off. Thank you.

  17. Anna-Jo January 1, 2021 at 4:39 am #

    I’m so happy to hear you’ve enjoyed 2020! I’ve found lots of good things too, and have really enjoyed reconnecting with vegetable gardening. I’ve also learned not to be so harsh on myself in terms of productivity, and to focus on enjoying the experience of sewing (or whatever else I’m doing). I’m definitely looking forward to the world returning to normal, though! I’m hoping one day when the kids are older I’ll be able to take one of your UK based classes 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:20 pm #

      Oh I’d love to come teach in the UK! Hopefully that can be a reality at some point for both of us and the stars will align 🙂

  18. Sada January 1, 2021 at 7:45 am #

    Hi Lauren,
    Way to go–making lemonade out of lemons!.

    I reproduced your cutting table and it is the most used item in my sewing room for so many tasks.

    Thanks for the update.

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:20 pm #

      I’m so happy to hear this!! Yay for big awesome cutting tables! ❤

  19. Lisa G :-) January 1, 2021 at 7:46 am #

    Lauren,

    What a perfect blog post to be the 1st one I read in 2021!! I am so very happy for you and all the joy you’ve found over the past year. As an eternal Optimist, I get kinda annoyed with all the people who are NOT starving or homeless that post about what a terrible year they had in 2020. It was definitely a different year full of challenges, but my low point of 2020 was when your jeans class was cancelled in Jacksonville, LOL. Thank you for sharing your thought processes and growth in so many areas. It really is wonderful to follow the journey of a beautiful, creative soul seeking and finding happiness. I hope you never stop posting, but only when you feel like it, haha! People frequently ask me why I don’t sew for profit, and I already know it would suck all the joy out of it for me. I hate the pressure of just making something at someone’s request! The quote you shared at the end is spot-on; I love it! Happy 2021 – may your tomatoes be as big and sweet as your cantaloupe!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:23 pm #

      Oh GOSH I totally know what you mean. I try not to judge other people’s feelings because mental health is a very real and personal thing… but it was hard not to feel mean and sarcastic when my non-single (and still employed working from home) friends complained about quarantine. Like… don’t tell me how you crave human interaction when you LIVE with someone! Come on! But maybe that’s more of a situation where you should really just know your audience 🙂

      I’m so sad I wasn’t able to make it out for my second trip to Florida this year, but I’m hopeful we’ll be able to pick it up at some point in the future! Fingers crossed!

  20. Heather January 1, 2021 at 7:57 am #

    You rock! Thank you for sharing. So glad you are doing well and had such an amazing year! I hope your 2021 is even better! You are so talented 😎 Thanks also for the quote at the end- needed that ☺️ Happy new year! ✨

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:24 pm #

      ❤ ! Thank you! I hope the quote inspires you as much as it as inspired me!

  21. Kathleen January 1, 2021 at 9:14 am #

    Happy 2021, Lauren! So glad to see you back on the blog and doing well. I was just looking at some Vogue patterns on sale and thought of you :). All my best to you this coming year!

  22. PsychicSewerKathleen January 1, 2021 at 10:04 am #

    Happy New Year Lauren! So nice as always to see you here 🙂 Your post won’t go to waste I promise – they are inspirational, joyful and so visually satisfying! I’m so happy to read you had a fulfilling 2020 – for many it HAS been a fantastic year socially and personally – a needed “change moment” 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:25 pm #

      Thank you!! It’s been a wonderful year for me, for sure, and I’m so grateful for it (but also grateful it’s finally over HAHA!) ❤

  23. Connie Turner January 1, 2021 at 11:05 am #

    Its good to hear from you and I enjoyed your year review. I really love that denim jacket WOW I’m looking into food issues too. I’m tired of having a upset gut.

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:26 pm #

      Good luck with your food issues! Going on those allergy diets was basically the opposite of fun, but I’m so glad I did because I feel AMAZING now! I hope you find out what your body is rejecting and get to feeling 100% asap!!!

  24. Connie Turner January 1, 2021 at 11:13 am #

    Also, your cat is so pretty. Thanks for sharing with us.

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:26 pm #

      Amelia says “thank you!!” she knows she’s beautiful but she always loves compliments 🙂

  25. Lily January 1, 2021 at 12:15 pm #

    LOVED your long post. Knit with cashmere? Try alpaca first. As someone who has been tailoring (I have 50 years on you); still learning and enjoying the process; Go Girl!

    • LLADYBIRD January 1, 2021 at 1:27 pm #

      I might have to look into alpaca because I’m not finding any cashmere I love (it’s either variegated or cool colors… boo!). I love your attitude! I hope I never ever ever stop learning new things, no matter how long I sew! ❤

  26. Hailey January 1, 2021 at 3:27 pm #

    Happy New Year! Loved the post 🙂

  27. Michelle January 1, 2021 at 11:38 pm #

    Thanks for checking in! I am engrossed in machine embroidery right now and loving all there is to learn. You caught me when you would review Vogue patterns……I hope you dont lose that habit! Boy you would get me laughing. Best wishes.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2021 at 12:06 pm #

      ha I get this comment all the time… I post reviews when there is some weird-ass shit to make fun of! Vogue hasn’t really flown their freak flag in quite some time, hence why I don’t post them lately 🙂

  28. Katarina January 2, 2021 at 4:04 am #

    Reading about your year has been great. I’ve been following your blog for ages so it’s kinda like touching base with an old aquaintance. Even though we live in different parts of the world, have very different jobs ect. there are a lot of things (mostly about making and internal changes/ growth) that resonate with me and feel similar. Also it’s super impressive to me to read about your work. Seems like it’s time to start following you on instagram.
    Cheers, Katarina

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2021 at 12:08 pm #

      Thank you! Instagram is the platform I use the most, definitely a lot more action happening there than here!

  29. Rocket City Sewist January 2, 2021 at 8:19 am #

    I’m so glad your year has gone well! I took your jeans making workshop at Craft South way back in February and every time I put those jeans on, I thank you for the suggestion to not interface the waistband. Even after “the year of baking” I can still wear those suckers and they are my favorite jeans!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2021 at 12:08 pm #

      I love it! Yay for stretchy waistbands!!!

  30. Liz January 3, 2021 at 11:22 pm #

    So fun to read! And girl….I was ALSO supposed to go to Italy in May and would’ve squealed in joy, and invited you along for kayaking, if we had run into each other! You’re also making me think more seriously about food allergies. I’ve had long running falling-asleep issues, rosacea, and sloooooowly worsening eczema. I have a terrible feeling it’s dairy and should probably investigate.

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2021 at 10:42 am #

      OMG I totally would joined you LOL. Maybe in the future our paths will cross in Italy! I *will* go when it’s safe and they are open again!

      Good luck with investigating your allergies! I’m not gonna lie – it’s a huge, giant, shitty pain-in-the-ass bummer to find out that something you love is on your body’s no-go list. And the initial detox diet(for lack of a better term) is not fun!! But see how you feel, and see if it’s worth cutting those things out forever, or even just most of the time. It was for me, and while I miss things like rice and corn chips, I don’t miss what they did to my body 🙂

      • Liz January 8, 2021 at 1:33 am #

        Yes to Italy when Americans are allowed abroad again! I lost my travel partner (not, like, to death – he just found a gf and so we won’t be traveling together), but I’ve done a ton of solo travel and loved every moment, so Italy will still happen at some point.

        Yeah, agreed, the foods I have been sensitive to in the past I haven’t missed because of their side effects. But it was weird shit like raw carrots and apples. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️😂

  31. diaryofasewingfanatic January 4, 2021 at 11:02 am #

    Lauren – it’s been wonderful to watch your journey this year and so glad that I got to see you before the world shut down! I’d noticed the pull back from social media and it’s good to know the reason why. 2020 was strange – either it affected you adversely or you did really well. Here’s hoping that some of the things we enjoyed “before” will happen again in 2021!

    • LLADYBIRD January 5, 2021 at 11:07 am #

      Carolyn, I have often thought about our dinner in January and am so grateful I got to see you before shit really went down! I hope we can make that happen again in 2021 – and also that we don’t have such a long gap between seeing each other!

  32. tinaor January 4, 2021 at 11:08 am #

    What an inspiration your post was – celebrating many good things from 2020. Lovely to read success! (Not belittling your struggle with grains, etc, just enjoying the positives here.)

  33. Marg in Canada January 4, 2021 at 11:38 pm #

    Been reading your blog for years and I always enjoy your updates, personal or sewing- I hope they continue! I know you’re on IG but reading a blog post feels so much better.. even if it’s a short bullet point! Have you read Barbara Emodi’s “flypaper thoughts” posts? Its an interesting way to make blogging more sustainable when it’s hard to find time to blog.

    I really would love to see the guts of that Dolce and Gabbana dress….

    • LLADYBIRD January 5, 2021 at 11:16 am #

      I’ve never seen those flypaper thoughts posts so I had to look them up… it’s definitely an interesting concept! I’ve tried to do shorter posts like that, but the fact is that I cannot stop the word vomit from coming out of my fingers when I sit down to type 🙂 I can’t help it; there is so much that needs to be said HAHAHA

  34. Bonnie January 5, 2021 at 1:41 pm #

    This was a great post! Thanks for writing it. I’m so glad 2020 has been good for you.

  35. Kristi January 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm #

    Thank you for that post! It was just what I needed to read. You’ve inspired me to get back to the joy of sewing, and to try some new projects. Maybe I’ll learn to knit?? Happy new year!

    • LLADYBIRD January 7, 2021 at 12:21 pm #

      Yay, I love to hear that! Happy New Year! ❤

  36. Sassy Lass January 6, 2021 at 11:33 am #

    Gosh, Lauren. Love your blog – year after year. Keep rocking out with your (tailoring) chalk out!

  37. That's Sew Amy January 11, 2021 at 10:53 am #

    I’m glad you’ve had a good year and have taken time to focus on yourself. How did you figure out your food allergies? I’m gluten free and it’s made a huge difference. I had always heard people say food can be an issue but I wasn’t ever really ready to give up my favorites. Finally, you get to a point where you just want to feel better. Also, I feel you on the blog posting. I went on a hiatus because I alway felt like a failure because I didn’t post enough or whatever. It’s been freeing 😂

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2021 at 11:46 am #

      I worked with a doctor and took some tests over the summer, then went on a couple allergy elimination diets to further narrow down the specifics. I think you’d classify what I have as more of an intolerance – like I’m not going to go into anaphylactic shock if there is a grain of rice in my food, but, I’m absolutely going to feel like shit for the next couple of days. Sticking with it in the beginning was not easy but it has been worth the effort in the long run! Not to mention – if I feel this bad physically, then what is it doing long-term to my body to continue to consume stuff like that?

  38. Michelle Rivera January 11, 2021 at 8:02 pm #

    Amazing!!! Thank you for this post. I’m so happy that you had such a productive year. You are seriously my hero. What a post!! What a year!

    • LLADYBIRD January 12, 2021 at 10:54 am #

      ❤ thanks friend!! Miss you!!

  39. Tamsin William-Powlett January 15, 2021 at 11:52 am #

    I love reading your round up posts (your whole blog really) and it sounds like you have a pretty great year which is good to hear! I really like the quote at the end – something to think about and remember when trying something new! I hope 2021 continues to be good for you!

  40. Emelie January 18, 2021 at 2:06 am #

    I really love to hear people talking about the good things they experienced in 2020. We all know it was a horrible year in so many ways for basically everyone, it really goes without saying. But focussing on the positive stuff makes it feel like the year wasn’t lost, as so many say, and it makes dealing with the difficult things easier. At least for me, that is.
    All the best for 2021!

  41. Erica January 26, 2021 at 11:29 am #

    Hi, I have followed you off/on for awhile and wanted to see if you’d done your review of the new Vogue patterns which is always hilarious. I am thrilled for you. You took full control of what you can control and it’s inspiring. You are deeply exploring your creativity ever more.
    Good for you, glad you had an awesome year. LOVE the Vonnegut quote. Thank you. Cheers to you!

  42. Alison January 27, 2021 at 11:52 pm #

    I’m late to this, but I always love to read your blog posts! So happy you had a good year.

  43. Faserz February 22, 2021 at 1:25 am #

    Great to know that it has not been a bad year for you. You found good opportunities to grow.

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