Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reflections on 2015 and Goals for 2016

I lost my job in February of this year. I was home for three months prior to starting a new job on June 1st. My old job was in a very corporate financial firm. I now work for a more casual firm in a different sector.  This was a huge change and the biggest sewing challenge for me this year.



Reflections regarding 2015 ~
1. I use to work 50-60 hours a week before adding in the commuting time of 4 hours every day. It meant I was constantly tired ~ especially at the end ~ and spent a lot of my commuting time reading blogs, perusing fabric sites and looking at style.com (which is now Vogue Runway). By the time I got to my sewing machine on Saturday afternoons, I'd pretty much worked out the sewing plan for a garment and only needed to cut and sew.

2. This affected my ability to sew greatly when I was home for three months. Besides not knowing where I was going next, I lost my planning time and I had to adjust to that. It had been over a decade since I'd planned and sewed at the same time...can we just say too much pressure! So I sewed for my granddaughters instead.

3. Then I got a new job and thought that it was business casual.  Spent the week prior to starting the job sewing business casual only to get there and realize that only the Lissette top and maxiskirt worked in my new job's environment.

4. This caused much hand-wringing. Honestly I paused wondering if I'd still be able to sew at all or as much as I previously had because I no longer knew who I was.  I had a closet full of clothing that no longer fit due to my weight loss and was no longer relevant in my day-to-day since I'd changed industries. I was adrift sewing-wise for awhile this year.

5. While determining who I wanted to be & what I wanted to wear and whining about it constantly, I also had to re-evaluate what sewing meant to me. I'd been walking my previous path so long that I no longer knew who I was creatively and that was a huge thing.

6.  I slowly pulled myself out the fog. I knew that I loved maxidresses (lived in them on the weekends in prior summers) and now I could wear them daily so that's where I started sewing...and moved on from there.

7.  At various points, I felt like I knew where I was creatively and sewing wise then a little bit of time would go by and I would be floundering again. So it's been a year of growth and a lot of changes related to both my weight loss and my job change.



So I'm now wearing more RTW than me-made. The most RTW I've worn in almost two decades. I wear more pants now than dresses and my pants of choice are leggings. I know, I know that there is an entire discussion that leggings aren't pants, but I have a much lived in body so there's only longer cardigans and tunics going over my leggings.

My conservative look has been kicked to the curb along with my stockings, heels and pearl jewelry - I'm still trying to work the pearls back into my everyday life! I've also found that I'm still not a jeans girl! It's the one change I can't adjust too. I'm not on autopilot when getting dressed in the mornings - that's going to take a minute but what I wear is totally tied to how I feel that day - rather than what event is taking place at work.

My sewing is a work in progress...




Goals for 2016 ~
1. Develop a new pants pattern with a slim leg that can be made up in pontes and blends.

2. Work more designer interpretations into my sewing. I need the challenge.

3. Use more of the patterns I have on hand. To that effect I've missed the last 3 Club BMV pattern sales because I honestly believe I have so much in the cave that I can use that it will have to be a really special pattern to make me purchase it.

4. I'm going to continue to primarily sew from the fabric collection. There is so much there than can be interpreted in different ways from the original ideas I had when I purchased it. This will help me grow creatively and add some spice to my sewing.  Some much needed spice.

5. Look for opportunities to manipulate, decorate and dye fabric - adding more creative challenges for me.

6.  Figure out how to use my dress patterns creatively as tunics.

7.  Relax, relate, release - I can still sew the majority of my wardrobe - I'm just on a different path now.

Finally my sewing is going to look totally different than in previous years. Since almost all patterns are new adventures, there will be more pattern alterations made and documented. My pattern choices won't just be limited to the new, I'm going to use some of my older unused patterns too.  Their time has come.

I'm looking forward to not only my Christmas Break - some serious sewing will be going on but I'm also looking forward to what I will sew in 2016.  Thanks to everyone for continuing to follow along on my sewing journeys.  This will be my last post before Christmas and I have no idea if I will post before the New Year since I really just want to sew!

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope that you and your families experience the love and joy of the season and that everyone gets wonderful presents or what their hearts desired! 

...as always more later!



55 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas, Carolyn! What a year you have had - I really look forward to following your 2016 journey. Thanks for continuing to share it with us.

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  2. Wow, what a year! You have handled it all in stride. It is incredible how much impact seeming simple life events have on the integral creative pieces of who we are and how we define ourselves. I have been in a creative (and sewing) rut since I landed here in the Arctic and for the life of me I can not find a way out. You are ever graceful and a genuine inspiration, thank you!

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    1. Melody - I've wondered how you're handling the Alaskan life! I think the things you've made have been interesting so I understand how challenging sewing for your new address is. Thanks for the kind words!

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  3. I wish you a very happy and peaceful christmas Carolyn! You are doing well in whatever you tackle, keep up the good work. I always enjoy reading your comments and follow what you are making. Thanks for getting your thoughts out there it is very inspirational!

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  4. Congratulations on the new job and the new sewing challenges! I too am inspired by designers. (and other bloggers, and store windows, and the list is long.) So much so that I thought up the #DESIGNINDECEMBER CHALLENGE! I have details on my blog. But I figure why buy, when you can make it yourself.... And you certainly have! I know you will be successful in making it yourself in 2016. December is almost over but I would love to have you featured in #DESIGNINDECEMBER, this year is probably not enough time, but I am sure that next year there will be plenty of notice! In the meantime, I love your makes and I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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    1. Sure let me know next November so that I can plan something. Thanks for thinking of me for the challenge!

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    1. Merry Christmas Tany - I love your new couture jacket!

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  6. Merry Christmas Carolyn. You have had quite the year, but you have handledit on here with such poise and grace. Ever an inspiration.
    All the very best for 2016 - may it be filled with adventure, inspiration, and joy.

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  7. Merry Christmas and a very happy, exciting. 2016!

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  8. I do know this, that you smile bigger smiles now and that counts for a lot. Have you checked out Silhouette Patterns, by Peggy Sagers? Her patterns are quite versatile and on the casual side as she is a leggings girl herself. I have several and really like them. She has two or three patterns for different styles of yoga pants.

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    1. patsjean - I've made a couple of Silhouette Patterns years ago and there's something that just doesn't work for me...but I really like the line.

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  9. This is lovely - what a great journey, and a good example of how sewing grows and changes with us (or vice versa?)

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    1. If you had asked me last year where I would be this time this year, I would never have been able to imagine this much change and so different a life. I'm just glad that my love of sewing has made the journey with me!

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  10. Merry Christmas Carolyn, and a great 2016!

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    1. Merry Christmas Sigrid and I hope you find an amazing new home in 2016 with a fantastic room with wonderful natural light to sew in!

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  11. Take those pearls with you on your journey! They really can go with everything.
    - a pearl lover.

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    1. Monabel - one of my daughters wears her's everywhere even into the delivery room. I just have to start wearing them - all the time!

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  12. Merry Christmas to you too! Can't wait to see what you sew next year!

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  13. What great inspiration and guidance for ANYONE with a change in life. You know me - I couldn't resist featuring this on my blog, cause this is what sewing is all about - it can change in just the exact direction you want to go where nothing else can. Can't wait to see what you'll do.

    Here are some pants that I've used for my students who don't like the way they look in leggings. They do require more than 25% stretch, as they aren't in the Lycra/natural fiber category (I call that the 10% to 15% stretch area). The top is awful, but the pants are super great New Look 6110
    http://sewingpatterns.com/sub_item.php?item_num=6110new&model=%&new_category=Pants&view=gallery&brand=New_Look&category=Pants&pageGoto=0&pageFormat=3%7C186%7C186&pageCount=1000&search=&return=yes

    Then another pant I've seen work great with ponte, it's actually designed to make with ponte is the Julie StyleArc pant, which doesn't look like much, but it works fabulously on apple-ish figures - ones that carry all their weight above the waist, usually little or not waist, and slimmer hips. I'm not that way, and haven't made it up for me yet, which I'm sure will need some tweaking as I'm more hourglass.
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/StyleArc/search?search_query=JUlie&order=date_desc&view_type=gallery&ref=shop_search

    But these are two great pant patterns that are two of my go-to patterns.

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    Replies
    1. Claire - you are like my biggest cheerleader and I'm so honored that you love my sewing so much. Especially since I aspire to sew like you...thank you, thank you, thank you for being there for me. It is soooooooo appreciated!

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  14. Hi Carolyn. I read your blog faithfully. I am just a tad older than you , but a much less experienced sewer so you provide tremendous inspiration. I wanted to thank you for sharing your journey, particularly the trials and tribulations of change. The fog, the hand wringing - you have reminded us all that the process of change is unsettling - but to the victor go the spoils. Your words are encouraging, and I appreciate your sharing. May you look back at 2015 as a fantastic year - because of successfully navigating so many changes. Happy New Year!

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    1. movingoaklandcounty - thanks for being a faithful reader...it is appreciated. I'm thrilled that I encourage you to continue to sew that makes me so happy. Hopefully 2016 will be creative sewing goldmines for both of us!

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  15. You are such an inspiration to me & many other sewists. I look forward to your honesty & sewing tips when I read your blog .
    Merry Christmas - looking forward to your co tinted journey in 2016

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  16. I so appreciate you sharing your full journey this past year - now all your fog makes sense to me! I sense that you are now back in the joy of sewing and can let your creativity flow. You'll make fabulous garments in 2016! Karen

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    1. Karen - I can truly say that I'm so happy - much happier than I've been in years. I'm glad that it's reflected here and in my sewing.

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  17. When one door closes, another one opens and you begin a new path. So happy that you can experiment with new styles you could have never worn before at work. Adding colors and new treatments and technique will just make you want to get into that sewing room and go nuts! Best wishes for 2016!

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    1. Thanks Mrsmole! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too. Can't wait to read more of your stories in 2016.

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  18. This is my favorite "reflections" post of the year so far! I love how sewing can be both an expression of our inner state and a reflection of our outer lives. Reading other people's thoughts about the process of creating and styling is awesome. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Sara. There are a couple of people I follow who always make me wish my house was next door to theirs. Yours, Carolyn, is one of them. My challenge has been adjusting from a life like your old one (the hours and commute, only wearing clothes that could take crawling around on cement, through racks in the ceiling, getting snagged on various jagged objects), to retirement after 34 years, and a 30 lb weight loss. Egads! It's crazy and fun and confusing and depressing and freeing and.....and....and....and my sewing journey mirrors yours. Right down to the grandkids. It's been so nice to have a friend to go through it with. Merry Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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    2. Elise and Sara thank you! Though Elise I don't know if you'd really want to live next door to me - I'm really selfish with my sewing time! *LOL* However, I'm glad that I'm there for you virtually because I so understand how overwhelming this journey is and no one our age seems to be blogging/talking about it.

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  19. Merry Christmas to you, Carolyn!!

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    1. Liza Jane - I hope you had an awesome Christmas with that lovely little girl of yours!

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  20. Adaptation is the name of the game and you are winning. Good luck on the continuing sewing challenges for your new life. Merry Christmas and a great New Year!

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  21. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. Thank you for sharing your journey. It inspires me. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

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  22. Merry Christmas and I have really enjoyed seeing you make more casual clothes - a fun change. I hope the new year brings you lots of sewing time and inspiration :), happy holidays and happy sewing time, Beth

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  23. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I can so relate to what you have written as I retired a year ago and am also having to rethink my wardrobe needs. It is quite a challenge.
    I have been reading your blog for years and have always admired your creativity in making your TNT patterns work for you. I know you will do the same with new silhouettes and I look forward to seeing what you create.

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  24. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Sewing Fanatic!!! I followed your 2015 adventures with great interest and I am looking forward to 2016! I say keep up the inspiring and good work. You are an important part of my sewing life! all the best!

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  25. It's been a year of changes and re-evaluation, Carolyn, and I enjoy reading your musings and explorations. Your creativity shows up in all your ventures and I too look forward to seeing where this new path leads. Hope you enjoy sewing time and other good times during the holidays and all throughout 2016.

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  26. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

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  27. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family. Love your blog, I learn so much.

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  28. Merry Christmas! It has been an interesting year for you. Hope 2016 is smoother with lots of fun creative sewing :)

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  29. Best of luck to you in 2016! I know you will rock once you get settled into this phase!

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  30. Happy holidays to you and wishing you an amazing year ahead.
    Patti -Anaheim Hills, CA

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  31. Have a nice holiday, and a good 2016. I look forward to what is next.

    ~ Sally-Ann

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  32. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Carolyn!

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  33. Have a wonderful Christmas, Carolyn! Looking forward to following along in 2016!

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  34. Merry Christmas to you and your fam! Best of all that’s good for 2016!

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  35. First of all - merry Christmas to you and your family!

    I hear you on the weight loss sewing slump. I was adjusting everything but then realised I have a stash! Use it! And make comfortable clothes that still look good as I'm shedding the weight. A job changes is sadly not on the horizon for me, but if it did change, I still wouldn't be very corporate.

    You've had a gigantic year. Time to celebrate all your achievements and realisations!

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  36. Thanks for sharing your sewing journey! I enjoy your work and look forward to your posts in 2016!

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  37. Wow! Where have I been? You look fabulous. I think I found all the weight you lost! I have certainly been in your shoes about evaluating my identity and who I want to be. For me, it also spilled over into my sewing. I think it's good to self evaluate periodically. Congratulations on the new job and the new you!

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