A Year in Review: Highlights, Reflections, and Goals

Happy, happy New Year, y’all!! I hope that everyone has been having a joyous holiday filled with family, friends, and fun. I know I have! After spending a week with my family in PA, I’m now in NH with the in-laws for New Year’s. While I still have lots of handmade holiday items to share (like gifts and a Christmas dress!), I wanted to continue where I left off with Gillian’s Top 5 lists. So, off we go!

First of all, personal highlights. WOW were there a lot this year! 2014 has probably been the single most action-packed year of my life to date, what with moving to yet another new city, finding new jobs, and generally getting a fresh start at things. So, in no particular order, here are some highlights!

5. Moving to San Francisco. I never ever thought I’d be a west coast gal, and I do miss the east coast terribly, but I have to be honest – moving to SF has been a wonderful experience so far, and has served as the catalyst for many amazing opportunities.

4. Sewing with the Crafty Foxes of Grey’s Fabric this past summer. Yes, I know it’s technically a sewing event and not really a “life event,” but this was my first time being a part of the IRL sewing community, and it was amazing. Dare I say life-changing? Those ladies are so lovely, and I miss them so much!

3. Working with the Boston Ballet trainee students for their spring showcase performance. This was the #1 career highlight for my time in Boston, and even involved getting to play a few rehearsals at the Boston Opera House! It really forced me to “grow up” as a musician and taught me not to back down from a challenge.

2. Working with the San Francisco Opera. UM YEA, I DID THAT. Literally as soon as we moved to the city I got a call from the opera asking for a ballet pianist to rehearse the SFO dance corps. I just so happened to be totally available, having just moved here, and a beautiful friendship was born! It was truly surreal to work with such incredibly talented artists, and the best part is, they asked me back for the spring!!

1. Singing. While I love to sew, this year really reminded me that music is my passion, especially singing. For the first time since grad school, I’m finally practicing on a regular basis, and it feels AMAZING.

Reflections:

Now for the sewing bits!

5. I love the process of making things. It doesn’t even matter that much what I’m making, so long as I’m creating something with my hands. So I don’t always feel the need to plan out big, complicated projects, and instead want to cut straight to the construction stage. This has its pros and cons – it’s just a reflection!

4. I have a tendency to want to sew whatever is new, without regard to whether or not it fits my personal style. Although it is certainly fun to sew the latest big thing, I hate making things I don’t wear! So I want to learn to be more discerning when new patterns come out, and not just jump at the first thing that looks cute.

3. I need to have a knitting project going at all times. Knitting is often how I deal with stress/anxiety, and I find it incredibly calming. It’s especially good when I need something more mindless than sewing to keep my hands busy!

2. I love to wear handmade. Wearing my own garments gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment, to the point that I try to wear at least one handmade item every day. I just don’t feel like myself if I’m wearing only RTW!

1. As much as I love sewing, sometimes I need a break. I stated a few months ago on the blog that I really wanted to work towards a more balanced lifestyle, and I’ve discovered that I don’t necessarily need to sew all day, even if I have the time. I’m much happier if I also take the time to exercise, practice, or cook.

Goals:

SO MANY!! But here are a few:

5. To blog more consistently – I’d like to try for twice a week if possible. I would really love to build up my readership, and more consistent posting habits seems like a good place to start!

4. Improve my knitting skills. I never had “formal” training in knitting the way I did with sewing, and I feel like it’s starting to show. I especially want to learn more about finishing and altering garments to fit better. I love to knit, and it’s about time I invested more in that skill set!

3. I know it’s not sewing related, but I want to continue learning to cook. I’ve gotten really into cooking in the past month or so, and I love it! So it may occasionally turn up on the blog. I also want to work on improving my personal body image (posting pictures of myself online has been starting to get to me for some reason), and cooking seems like a great place to start forming a more heathy relationship with food!

2. Begin working towards an entirely handmade wardrobe. As I said above, I’m finding that increasingly, I just don’t wear my RTW garments anymore, and I long to have a handmade garment for my every need. Yes, including underwear. So in 2015, I want to start swapping out my store-bought clothes with my own makes. I have no idea how far I get, but I think it’ll be a fun process!

1. Do a better job of connecting with the sewing community, both online and, if possible, in person. I want to comment more on other blogs, meet more folks in person, and generally just put myself out there more. Y’all are so fabulous, and this community just makes me HAPPY!

How about you? What were some of your highlights? What are your major sewing goals?

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4 thoughts on “A Year in Review: Highlights, Reflections, and Goals

  1. There is a local sewing group that meets pretty regularly- usually in Berkeley. Look up “Bay Area Sewists” on meetup.com. There are pattern swaps and fabric swaps and fitting sessions. Everyone is super nice and welcoming. You should come to an event!

  2. It sounds like you had a great year overall–and particularly some amazing musical opportunities! I need to get back into cooking myself. It’s something I enjoy, but getting pregnant totally threw my relationship with food out of whack. Mainly because I couldn’t even look at most of it. So my main goals right now are to start doing that again, and to get enough maternity clothes made up that I can get through the next couple of months without more fruitless searches for clothes at the mall and Goodwill.

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