Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013...hello 2014!

It's the traditional Hogmanay post, where I look back on the year passed and reflect on the coming new year.  This time last year I was still blogging under Second Fiddle and wrote a new year's resolution post over here.  Lets see how I fared, shall we?


Oaked hat in action!  May in Scotland = wellies, bodywarmer, hat.

1.  Craft more for me!  I was definitely better at that this year, completing the Oaked hat, Still Light jumper dress frankensweater, Brick sweater, upcycling teacups to plantpots, converting a t-shirt to a vest, upcycling old sweaters to cushion covers, making myself a scrub top from vintage sheets and making myself a mobile sock.  I also redesigned a tote bag and made my first Sorbetto top for me.  Much better than the 4 projects for me from 2012!

To help with this resolution, I entered the Did You Make That? Sewlutions challenge.  I foolishly stated the following:

Ooo, count me in! I’d like to pledge to make 6 items of clothing for me over the course of the year. I think one every other month is manageable!  

Now, the key word here is 'make'.  At the time I meant 'sew', since it's sewing that I struggle to find time to practice.  Knitting is easy and portable and you can do it for 20 minutes no problem.  Sewing is difficult and requires concentration and space to cut out and lots of moving around and up-and-down from the machine to the iron to the table  = MAJORLY NOT RELAXING.  This year I have only sewn myself 3 items, only achieving 50% of my sewlution.  Cringe, I hate failing.  If by 'make' we include knitted projects, then I count 6 items so yay, success!  No, don't be silly, you failed.  Hang your head and try again in 2014 missy.


My one and only Sorbetto this year.  It's had a lot of wear so far though!

But!  I'm all for learning from your mistakes.  My issues with sewing are as follows:

- I don't know what I'm doing so I guess and bodge and end up with something sub-par.  This makes me disheartened and reluctant to try again next time.

- I'm quite time limited for my crafting, so I prefer to prioritise projects I know I can succeed with i.e. knitting.  Sewing involves lots of setting up and tidying away, which eats into my actual crafting time.  

- Sewing is more expensive in terms of patterns and notions.  I have a lot of stash fabric but to make a specific pattern you need to buy said pattern and the appropriate notions, which is often more than I can afford to spend, especially when a lot of the lovely indie patterns out there that I'd love to try are £7-15 a piece, before notions.  Since I can't guarantee a good, wearable outcome, I'm worried about spending the money, ruining the pattern and having nothing to show for it.


Sewaholic's Hollyburn skirt

I've decided for 2014 that I need to start again from scratch with a nice, easy beginner pattern.  Something that will guide me through but leave me with something I will actually wear and use.  Something ideally in digital format, so if it goes wrong, I can print it again!  Or I need to learn to trace patterns.  To this end I intend to make more Sorbettos, try Sencha (also by Colette patterns) and try Sewaholic's Hollyburn skirt.  These are all patterns that would fill gaps in my wardrobe, but allow me to practice my skills and start again from scratch. In the meantime, my sewing machine and I are taking a break from each other.  There's no point continuing to force it when it just ain't happenin'.  I've got plenty of knitting to be getting on with in the meantime.


2.  Start giving regularly to charity.  This is something I can proudly say I've managed.  I set aside a small amount of money every month to give away and have given to several different charities over the course of the year.  I couldn't settle on just one as there are so many different good causes so I decided to give to a different one each month as caught my eye.  I've given to friends doing sponsered runs or growing body hair, I've given to bucket collectors in the street for national charity days and small, local charities collecting outside Boots.  I saved the last 5 months of the year and gave a lump sum to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home as it's the local charity rehoming centre from which we got Badger and I work with them through the vet school neutering programme.

- Next year I'd like to continue this resolution, it's given me a good feeling to be able to start giving back to the world in a small way.  Hopefully when this internship is over and I'm back on a normal wage I'll be able to increase my contributions as well.

3.  Start doing exercise.  I did really well with this for the first 3 months of the year, training 2-3 times a week for the half marathon.  Then job hunting took over and I got disheartened and ended up giving up training.

I'm not going to keep this one next year, it's not a priority for me at the moment and I'm OK with that, I've made my peace with my health and body for the moment.  Plus, talking about exercise is BORING.  Hand me the wine bottle.

So!  Instead I'm substituting the following:

By the end of 2014, I want to have a better work-life balance.  This internship will be over in 7 months (and counting) and I want my next job to allow me more time to indulge my extra-curricular activities and spend more time with friends and family.  I love being a vet, don't get me wrong, but I love other things too!  How am I going to learn how to sew my own wardrobe when I work 12 days on, 2 days off??

I'm excited about 2014 - it's the year I get married, hopefully get a new job and possibly move house.  Plus, with all the exciting craft projects I've got on the brew, what's not to look forward to?  Have a lovely time with your friends and family and I'll see you all on the other side!

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