Top 5 of 2016

I’m joining in with the Top 5 posts again!

But I’m doing it all at once, since I’m both lazy and out of time… Since it’s now 2017 and all. Be prepared for an epically long post.

Top 5 Hits:

hits

  1. My Ginger Jeans. I have been wearing the last two, as well as my first real denim pair, pretty much nonstop for the past month. It helps that it’s jeans season, and that I don’t own any RTW pairs anymore, but the sheer amount of times these have already been worn and loved is extensive.
  2.  Plum Drop. Not only did it win me a contest in Indie Pattern Month, but its gotten a lot of wear. In summer at least! The fabric is pretty terrible, but I can always make it again in a better quality knit when this craps out!
  3. Chambray Shirtdress. This one looks terrible on camera (and yes, to the person who wrote an nastygram on my IPM post, I understand why you’d think it needs so many alterations… But it does fit well in real life. Thanks to the Monthly Stitch moderator who saw the comment, removed it, and sent a sweet note to me about it. I appreciated it, even though I never did respond…) In real life, it’s basically become my favorite dress. As soon as it comes out of the wash, I iron it, and wear it basically the next day!
  4. Amber Julia Cardigan. This one is fairly recent, but I have worn it at least once a week since I made it. And there was that one week that I may have worn it 4 of 5 workdays… I only didn’t wear it that 5th because I realized how often it had been worn…
  5. Whale of a Coat. This one is certainly the newest, but it fills a massive hole in my wardrobe, and should get a lot of wear this season and hopefully beyond. I’ve worn it in the unfinished state at least 5 times, and once now that it’s complete. It’s comfortable, it doesn’t ride up a lot when I raise my arms. I can pull my arms ahead of me easily, driving in it is a dream, etc. And it’s warm!

Top 5 Misses

misses

  1. Party Skirt. I made this early 2016, or maybe late 2015, and I wore it the one time. I’m not a fan of wearing glitter, shiny things, etc. (Though shiny things will always distract me from my focus), and I don’t know why I think this’ll be any different.
  2. Black Nettie Tees. These get worn all the time, so why are they a miss? The fabric I bought for these is so poor a quality that they took less than 6 months to become translucent (which I realized in 2016, so I’m counting it in this round up). I need to make these workhorse shirts in a higher quality fabric, so I can get an equal amount of wear without the downside.
  3. Ariel Skirt. This fabric was too light for the task at hand, so I shouldn’t be surprised that it didn’t work out overall. I want to make another skirt like this, but I’ll try a new pattern variation, and a heavier weight of fabric. Meanwhile, this skirt is going to become a shirt, if I can fit it.
  4. Handmade Sandals. These worked for my Nausicaa and Kaylee costume, but they aren’t comfortable enough for usual wear. I’m not getting rid of them for now, but they probably won’t get worn much.
  5. 2016 Goals. While I did finish 3 of the 5 goals, the two that would really have helped my sewing overall did not get completed (drafting real slopers and buying quality materials over cheap and crappy ones)

Top 5 Non-Crafting Highlights

  1. DragonCon. There are no words to describe how much this convention meant to me. For being my first and having it be so wonderful and successful, it was perfect. I hope to go back next year!
  2. Dancing. I’ve been ballroom dancing for between 5 and 6 years now, and since I started social dancing, my skills are improving as both a follow (typically the woman’s part) and a lead (typically the man’s). I’m spoiled that the ballroom and swing community around here is robust, and it’s led to both dance-friends and real friends for me!
  3. Friendships. My two best friends in the entire world I met when I was abroad. They’re my musketeers, and the three of us have never since lived within the same five hour radius since, which makes it difficult to hang out as a trio. When they were able to join me for DragonCon, it made it a wonderful experience. But since these friends live so far away, I obviously need alternative companionship. My first year in my grad program, I got close to a few people, and then most of them moved to a satellite campus (I was given a choice and the more intriguing option was to stay at the main campus), so I had a year with few close friends, though in 2016 spring I started to become close with some ballroom friends, and now I’m especially close with one. Definitely a best friend contender. It’s nice to have friends and companions with similar goals and interests! I’m definitely happier!
  4. End Date for Master’s. I’m a third year in my program, which is already slightly strange for a Master’s but now I know that sometime in this calendar year I’ll be graduating.
  5. My new bike! I’m not one for exercise, but I know it’s a big part of keeping healthy, so I opted to buy a bike that I’ll actually use to get places, so I’m not just exercising in place. I’ve made some bags to go on my back rack, and I’m looking into making long term versions, now that I’ve had a few months of wear. Cardboard and cotton do not do well in the rain… and uncovered bike seats don’t either.

5 Reflections

  1. I wear my makes when I don’t get to adventurous with them. I’m okay with trying new silhouettes, but at the same time, I’m not going to wear miniskirts, or full circle skirts made out of fabric that will fly up easily, etc. I know what I like to wear, and what I like to sew. If I stick with that and work to create variety within that, I’ll enjoy both creating and wearing garments.
  2. Costuming is a rush that I can’t shake… I had my first real experiences of wearing costumes I’ve made this year. I never really got to experience Halloween when I was younger, and I wasn’t comfortable being in the spotlight on stage, so costumes were something I made, but never really wore. Now, it’s nice to know that I can wear them with pride, and get noticed! I’d like to get better at emulating characters that I’m attempting to look like, but that’s something I may be able to work on with practice. How to get that practice, I’m not sure, but I’ll be working on it.
  3. Spending money on quality material is a good goal, but one that I’m still not quite ready to do yet. I’m still a student, so when I have the chance to splurge on quality, I want to do so, but if I have to buy cheap stuff to learn on, I’ll do it. I’m still learning myself, my skills, and my interests, so I’ll size up on a case by case basis.
  4. I’m probably never going to want to sew bras and underwear. Camisoles either. I bought the Watson bra pattern, and I’ve made up a version (that needs to be fixed… I didn’t stretch the elastic enough.). But it didn’t make me want to make another. At least not enough to make a real bra, and I’ve had an underwear pattern printed for a few years now, and I keep not making them. So I’ll never have an entirely me made wardrobe. Sometimes its good to admit that I “need help,” or rather that quality RTW still has a place in my life. Similarly, I will not be able to make Italian Wedding Soup as good as Wegmans brand, and Spaghettios are delicious on special occasions. Even though I know neither are the best things to put in my body. But sometimes nostalgia wins out.
  5. I like sharing my skills with others. When the musketeers decided to do DragonCon together, and we decided on a few group costumes, I was able to share my sewing skills with them, and help teach one and advise the other on sewing techniques and tricks. Then the makerspace in my building opened up, and apparently I’ve become the resident sewing “expert” and I’ll be teaching the intro to sewing machine classes for a bit of this upcoming semester.

5 Goals for 2017

  1. Start/finish my costuming projects in a timely fashion. I’m big on dragging out projects. And I can finish things quickly. I’m just not good at following through with it. So I have plans to make or update or finish six costume this year, and I’d like to follow through.
    1. Make a fascinator for the TARDIS, and make/obtain a sonic screwdriver, etc.
    2. Create more accessories for my Nausicaa costume. I’ve got Teto, but I’d like to make the flare rifle, the gloves, the hat, the boot covers, etc.
    3. I’m working on the prop from the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode The Moment, and I’d like to also make the costume Billie Piper wore to go with it!
    4. I’ve been working on the Cinderella ballgown from the live action version, and I’d like to finish it before summer.
    5. The movie Penelope has been a favorite of mine, despite some flaws, and I’d love to have a costume for Penelope, especially because some of it will work in real life too. I’ve already thought a lot about it, and I’ve started practicing with prosthetic making, but I have a long way to go…
    6. The Doctor Who episode Face the Raven is a hard one to watch, since it involves the death of a companion, but I love what Me/Ashildr wears in it, and I want to go all the way from a collection of clothing/jewelry to costume.
  2. Learn to smile and become more loose in photographs. I will freely admit that I was a stick in the mud in early college, and I’ve been working on becoming a more free person in life and at heart. I smile a lot, but I’ve learned (from what other people tell me, and what I see in my own photographs) that when I think I’m smiling, it doesn’t always show to the real world. Now, I’m fine with that for interactions with people. If I get to know them, they’ll start to get it. But I don’t like having to sift through all the photos I take to find the one with a smidge of a smile. It would be nice to be able to take a few and be visibly smiling in more than half!
  3. Work on props and accessories in addition to sewing clothes/costumes. I have enough clothes. Not that I’m going to stop making them, but I’m not desperate to make anything right now because of a void in my wardrobe. So if I shift my focus to making things that will help my life or my costumes to get easier or shine, that will be best overall for my life and plans. Also I got a Dremel for Christmas, and it’s so fun to play with!!! I need more excuses to get sawdust all over my dining room.
  4. Work down my stash. It’s started to overflow my space. Some of it has plans attached, some is marinating while I think over plans, and some of it is meant for muslins only. But the overload needs to be dealt with.
  5. Attempt to address fitting issues before finishing a garment. Muslins should help with this, but also fixing or attempting to remedy these issues before “declaring” it finished should help these kinds of issues from causing garments to end up on the alteration pile.

Here’s to 2017!

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