Thursday, 30 June 2016

Notes from mid way through the year

June has been a very mixed month. I started off blazing through my sewing queue and feeling full of ideas, and then spent the second half of the month in a total slump. The slump is mainly due to (tediously renewed) illness, as well as the distracting (and distressing) political situation in the UK right now. It didn't help that after a couple of weeks of nice weather at the start of June it has done nothing but rain and be decidedly chilly for the last fortnight, with more of the same forecast for at least the first third of July. It's hard to feel excited about making summer clothes when you're huddling into your winter cardigans. For sure it put me off making any more sundresses!

While it might not look like it outside, it is in fact almost the start of July. As we're somehow therefore halfway through the year(!) I should report the following progress on my goals for the year:
  • I struggled a bit with my budget through the first half of the year, but I'm back on track now -- at halfway through the year, I have precisely 50% of my budget left. I've also successfully curtailed a lot of my pattern buying, so I'm well on track with my specific budget for patterns this year.
  • Stash-wise, I am somehow more or less at parity compared to 1 January. That is not at all what I intended, of course. My goal was to be approximately -45m for the year overall and it would have been nice to be half way there by now. Unfortunately, I stress bought a lot of fabric at various points of this first half of the year instead. The only good thing is that I've also had an extremely productive six months, so while I've bought 57m of fabric in the last six months, I've used 57.4m. To put this on context: this is about the same amount as I bought and used in the whole of 2015. I've also been doing a lot better with using fabrics I've bought recently, rather than buying for stash -- I've already used about a third of my new purchases and have immediate plans for most of the rest. I have to admit that sometimes the battle to reduce my stash doesn't seem worth the effort. I've still got ambitions in the direction of an overall decrease this year, but as long as I don't end the year with more than I started with I'd probably still consider it an overall success.
  • I always have a few specific skills and garments on my list of Things To Do This Year as well. I'd already checked off outerwear on my list for 2016 when I made my red raincoat by the end of the first quarter (although I also anticipate making more outerwear in the fairly immediate future). This quarter I can also put a tick in the boxes next to making a woven dress (I actually made two: 1, 2); making something with contrast top-stitching (twice, again, both of them skirts: 1, 2); finishing one of my planned knitted objects (a sweater); and making one of my planned bags.
I think that's a pretty good result for the first half of the year, and I'm actually pretty excited to get on with some of the other goals I set for myself this year, like making a lined blazer, once I roll into sewing for the autumn.

More immediately, I still have the ends of my summer sewing to complete. I have two major outstanding summer sewing projects: to (finally!) get on with my unlined jacket made with the linen I dyed back in February and to make a pair of woven, fly-fronted trousers.

The jacket has still not materialized because I just couldn't figure out what pattern to use. I kept picking out patterns and then changing my mind before I even got to the point of making a muslin. I think I've finally, truly, honestly picked a pattern this time, so I plan to try to move ahead with that shortly. (Maybe.)

Trousers are another big project. You may vaguely recall that earlier this year I tried out a trouser fitting exercise. I did learn a huge amount from that experience but it was also frustrating and exhausting. Since then my measurements have changed enough to mean that if I try again I'll need to start with a different size. Hopefully the difference is small enough that not all my hard-won observations in Trousers: Round One will be nullified. I just need to find a good pattern and get started again, I guess. I'm a bit nervous about the fly front as well. It's something I want to conquer, and at the same time I really struggled with it the two times I've tried it before on skirts so I know it's not straightforward.

Around the larger projects, I have plans to make some fairly easy woven tops and one or two other little things that have rattled to the surface of my sewing queue. I just need to feel a bit better and be less slump-y before I start anything.

1 comment:

  1. I so admire how you set goals and track everything so meticulously! And 57 metres sounds amazing, esp as I don't recall any duvet covers or curtains in there. Believe it or not, you are an inspiration! I do hope your health improves this month. I think the political situation may take longer.