New Year’s Reflections

Happy New Year friends!

I’ve taken a much needed blogging break while I enjoyed the holidays with the family, but I’ve been itching to add a post of my own to the collection of New Year’s sewing reflections that have been floating around the blog-o-sphere, so here I am (tell me its not too late!).

If you’re curious about last year’s “Hits and Misses” post, you can find it HERE.

What did I do in 2018? Let’s look at the numbers…

Before we look ahead, though, lets look back at how Sewing with Sarah did in 2018. In pure numbers, I managed:

  • 89 Blog Posts
  • 119 Garments (that were blogged – probably a dozen more never made it to the big screen)
  • 6 Sew Alongs (and hosted several others)
  • 14 “tips” posts
  • 30 plus YouTube Videos

Not too shabby for a year when I was really trying to find the balance between blogging and family life.

I mean, I love blogging (gives me a great outlet for my inner English/creative writing major), but if you let it, the project can start to feel like a full time job rather than a fun hobby. I love working with fabric sponsors, testing, sharing patterns, etc. but in reality, my full time job is my family, and it became apparent to me in the later part of 2018 that my kids needed more of my full attention than they were getting.

Despite my attempts at Supermom Status, they weren’t getting the best of me when I was staying up until 2AM every night finishing projects, and then dragging myself out of bed in the morning to teach/work/live. There’s not enough coffee in the world to make me function well on 5 hours of sleep, ya know? (Unless you’re one of those lucky people that only needs a minimum of sleep each night, in which case I’m totally jealous!)

I decided that I really need to set (and stick to!) a reasonable stop time, even if that meant getting “less” done- not an easy thing to do for this type A do-it-all-with-a-smile kind of mama.

Would people stop caring about my blog if I didn’t post 3 times a week? I was pretty nervous, but it was a risk I needed to take, and I’m very flattered and appreciative that most of you are still reading and commenting, so thank you!

Most importantly, by backing off a little, I’m having more fun with the projects I do take on, because I feel less rushed. It’s quality over quantity, as they say, and I’m excited to take it into 2019 with new plans and goals!

2018 Challenges:

In addition to my daily juggling act, I also took on several sewing challenges in 2018.

  • Ready to Wear Fast: I’m proud to say I stuck to this one, even if it meant missing out on some killer ssales. I’m not sure how much money I saved, since I tended to buy fabric to console myself (the sewing equivalent of “comfort food”, but it was a great exercise in being mindful of what I consume in the fashion world, and in learning what I really need (and wear).
  • 52 Week Sewing Challenge: I sewed nearly every week in 2018, except when we were traveling (and I even managed to sew a couple times while on vacation, thanks to some great fabric hosts!). However, I didn’t keep up well with the posting part of the challenge, in part because I often can’t post what I make the week I make it, if it’s for a test or promotion, and the rules of the contest forbid posting things you didn’t make that week.
  • Sew my own Jeans! I did this one, with the help of a workshop at Hart’s Fabric. Although the jeans are no longer in rotation, due to overfitting, I learned a ton, and really enjoyed the process. I hope to take another workshop soon.
  • Sew 9 Items Instagram Challenge: Honestly, I can’t even remember what my 9 are. The collage looks pretty on IG, but I forgot about it pretty quickly. Oh well- maybe there’s hope for this year?

Top 5 Hits from 2018:

My Favorite makes for the year ended up being:

Fit Capsules

This challenge is coming up again soon in the Greenstyle Facebook group, and I’m thrilled. I’ll also be hosting a Power Bra Sewalong in the Fabric Fairy Group on January 19th (please consider joining me!).

I nailed the fit on my favorite workout wear items in 2018 (see the post HERE), and I’m excited to take that into the new year by sewing up a bunch more leggings, bras and tops.

 

Forester Coats

These were two of the most time consuming and challenging projects I took on last year, and I’m still so proud of them! Its just recently gotten cold enough to wear mine, so it hasn’t seen a ton of action, but I really love it, and am proud with the time I took to make it nice (extra topstitching, sweater cuffs, etc.).

Mae Sweater by DIBY

I wasn’t sure about the oversized fit when it was fresh off the machine, but this sweater has been in contstant rotation all fall. It’s the perfect accompanyment to skinny jeans or leggings, and I really need to take a minute to make a couple more.

Carita Joggers

These fit right in with the casual “athleisure” style that I’m rocking 99% of the time, and this grey pair is such a great staple. I’ve got another black pair in Super Plush on deck, because why not?

Fox Hoodie (Slim Fit Raglan by P4P)

I took quite a bit of time last year to do two Raglan Comparisons, and the Slim Fit Raglan is one of my favorites out of the eight I tried. The crossover hood is pretty much perfect, and it all came together perfectly in this french terry hoodie. This top was also one of my most complicated projects to date using my Silhouette machine, which I really want to break out more in 2019!

And 3 Duds…

With all those successes, there were still a few duds. Here they are, in no particular order:

Ginger Jeans:

I think this is a great pattern, and I loved taking the time to learn the technique of jean construction. I struggled a bit with the fit, not helped by weight fluctuations over the year. I want to give these, or anther Closet Case Files jeans pattern a try in the future, but the reality is, I can find excellent and well fitting jeans in the stores, so I’m not sure I want to spend the time it takes to make my own, as my sewing time is very limited, and I tend toward projects that produce more “instant satisfaction”, or at least fill a hole I can’t find in RTW.

Cropped Top:

I think the style is cute….on other people. I just can’t love myself in a crop- I feel like they accentuate my tummy and don’t serve much purpose in keeping me warm in the colder months, which is the only time I really want layers anyway.

Velvet Brassie Joggers:

I love the Brassie Joggers pattern, but I was trying a little too hard to be “trendy” here, and it’s just not me. I love these photos, but I didn’t have  single occasion to wear this outfit after taking them…so they’re bound for the donation bin!

Lessons learned: Don’t overfit, and don’t try to be too stylish. Stay true to who I am, and what I love to wear, and make (measured) attempts to keep up with the trends.

All in all, I’m pretty proud of my progress in 2018, and I’m excited to get a jump on 2019 projects!

2019 Goals

So what’s on deck?

SewAlongs

  • Well, I’m starting off the year with a bang, by hosting a Power Bra SewAlong in the Fabric Fairy Group on 1/19! Considering I hadn’t ever made a bra until last month, this is pretty awesome, and I’m excited to share this beginner pattern with all the participants! I’ll host more throughout the year too, and I’d love to hear which patterns you’d like to see done in this format! Comment below!

Sewing Expo to boost my SewJo!

  • I’m planning on attending the Sew Expo in February 2019, along with So Sew English, and some other amazing sewists! I love attending these events because they really bump up your sewjo, and get the new year off to a great start! I do wish they had chosen Hawaii over Washington, but I guess I can’t be too picky!

Spend some QT with my Favorite Patterns

  • I also want to spend some quality time constructing pieces I know will get a ton of wear, such as the Halifax hoodie (zip up version), whipping up a few new athletic capsules, and a repeating few of my favorites from the “hits” list of 2018. These types of projects always get put on the back burner, but they tend to have the most staying power in my closet, and deserve a little attention!

Use my Silhouette More

  • I’m going to try using vinyl on a few more projects, with the goal of getting more independent with using the Silhouette software and heat press (hubby usually assists with these steps, and I’d like to feel confident doing it more on my own).

A Couple Challenging Projects

  • Finally, I want to challenge myself to sew a cargo vest or pants (two things I can never find that fit right), or mabye even a denim jacket. It would also be fun to make a bag/purse/backpack- again, something that would get frequent use and feel like a good opportunity to learn more skills.

Purchase Fabric Wisely

  • I won’t get on here and say that I will forgo buying fabric for the whole year, but I do want to make sure to think critically about my fabric purchases before I make them. I have a HUGE stash of fabric, and I want to make sure I really neeeed a piece of fabric before buying- for me, that means I have a realistic and immediate plan for its use, or its something I’m certain I’ll never in a million years find again, thus necessitating its immediate acquisition.

Well, thats it! If you made it to the end, thank you for following my blog and for your support and encouragement through comments and messages! If you’re a creator, I look forward to seeing what you make in the new year as well- so drop your IG or blog link below, and I’ll give you a follow!

In addition to my blog posts, you can find me on Instagram HERE, and on Facebook HERE. Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog as well, so you don’t miss out on any posts 🙂

Let’s Rock this Year!

– Sarah

 

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19 Comments

  1. Brenda on January 9, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Love this! I’m also trying hard not to buy fabric just because- but I’m having a difficult time sticking to the neeeed definition! If it’s something I can’t acquired later, it becomes a need…see my dilemma?!

    • Sarah on January 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Totally get the dilemma…maybe its just best to stay away from all the shops? But that would involve giving up Facebook, and you know I can’t do that!

  2. Stephen Connell on January 9, 2019 at 11:48 am

    You did an amazing job in 2018. I’m really proud of all you completed and for working so hard to find a healthy balance.

    Our Forester Coats are down right amazing and your Fox Hoodie is just fantastic. We are all so proud to wear your makes!

    You are such a skilled seamstress. Love you!

    • Sarah on January 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you! Love you too!

  3. Diane Cullum on January 9, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Wow! I’m amazed at what you accomplish along with being a mom to little ones! Great outfits…and I would totally wear the velvet joggers at home! I love it when my dh comes in from work and compliments me on what I’m wearing; so I wear the “good” stuff when I want!

    • Sarah on January 10, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      That’s a good point, but I’ll admit, I’m usually toast (half burnt) by 5PM, and my outfit is the last thing on my mind! Maybe someday!

  4. Caitlin MK on January 9, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Great sewing goals! I like how you included your misses. I definitely had a few of those that went straight to the donation box! Looking forward to your sew a longs this year… hopefully I can catch a few!

    • Sarah on January 10, 2019 at 9:10 pm

      Thank you Caitlin! Its good to acknowledge the ones that didn’t work out- so we can maximize our sewing time on those patterns we love! Hope you can join a few sewalongs too!

  5. Lisa Corbett on January 11, 2019 at 7:41 am

    Great blog Sarah. I really enjoy reading your 2018 posts and have certainly learned a lot from you during this (my first) year of sewing activewear. I can totally relate to a lot of what you say, especially the part of staying true to who you are. It is hard to resist some of the very cute patterns but I have to frequently ask myself, “would I really wear that?” I look forward to joining you for more sewing adventures in 2019.
    PS Wonderful comments by your hubby. 😉

    • Sarah on January 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you Lisa! Sewing activewear is addictive, so I’m sure you’ll do lots more this year! I’m looking forward to sharing more sewing adventures in 2019 as well!

  6. Caroline on January 11, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Thanks for the honesty in sewing, esspecially the part on sewing the trend. I fall in love with all the good ideas, but then relize they are not my style or do not fit my life (jeans and tshirts everyday!!). Also the pictures of your makes are lovely!

    • Sarah on January 16, 2019 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you Caroline! Seems like we are on the same page about trends vs. practical life. The only thing I wear all the time that I can’t really make is sweaters, since I don’t have the time or patience for knitting. So I’m giving myself permission to buy those!

  7. Debora VanHamlin on January 11, 2019 at 7:57 am

    I love that you share your hits and misses, because everything you make always looks so good! It’s hard to believe that you hadn’t made bras before. Good job, and I think you are a super mom!

  8. Con is on January 11, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Sarah, good for you refining your goals! I’ll definitely follow you even if our post once a week. On the other side I rarely have time to read blogs but I always make time for yours! I learned how to make the Moxi shorts and Midway Bomber this year thanks to you!! Xoxo

    • Sarah on January 16, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you so much for being willing to come back and check out the blog- I’m glad its interesting enough to keep you coming back! I look forward to seeing what you make in the new year!

  9. Maryfrances on January 12, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Love your round up Sarah. I look forward to your sew a long and also your makes for 2019. The cargo pants sounds awesome. Would love to make some….someday.

    I am pretty knowledgeable with the Silhouette, use one every day in my “Crafty” Girl Business. Vinyl and a heat press are my jam…lol. If you ever need help or want to pick my brain…feel free. I would love to help.

  10. Randi on January 13, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Wonderful post! Like so many other followers, I’m in awe at all you accomplish. I also respect your decision to cut back for more time and energy with the kiddos. As a Grandma myself, I can vouch for the old truth that they DO grow up in a flash. But still, you got so much accomplished in 2018 and I’m looking forward to your upcoming projects and blogs. And I like your “duds”! You look adorable in the layered crop. Happy New Year to you and yours!

  11. Michele DuBord on January 15, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hi Sarah! I found you sometime last year and I love following you! (I hope that doesn’t sound creepy, lol) my daughter is in her 20’s and has 3 kids. She is also going to nursing school and I believe GreenStyleCreations suits her style. I made her the Super G’s and she loves them! I followed your tutorial and it was super easy! I’m writing to you because I would like to understand the world of blogging and how you got started. Would you pm me and let me know how you got into blogging? Im so new to all this that it’s both exciting and confusing all at the same time! Lol!
    Keep up the great work!

  12. Emily on January 17, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    What a year!! And excellent goals! So proud of you for prioritizing your family. Still crushing on your coat!!

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