Once more into the (planning) breach

Happy New Year! …a bit late, I know. I’ve never been that into New Years as a big, important holiday (as evidenced by the lateness of this post), and I’ve never really made resolutions or done a big look back or anything, but (maybe because I’ve been reading everyone’s great year-end posts) it feels right to do a bit of reflection this year.

2011 was a pretty good year for me, I suppose. (11 is my favorite number, after all!) I posted 29 reviews on PatternReview, made several more things that I didn’t review, and wrote up the tutorial for my messenger bag that I’d been thinking about for eons. I also participated in Self-Stitched September, which was a big step for me. It definitely made me want to wear things I’d made all the time! I started the year mostly making big-event type dresses, and ended wanting to spend my sewing time on practical, comfy things I could wear every day (more on that later). Let’s see, the item I’m probably proudest of is the orange polka-dot silk halter dress I made in May for a friend’s wedding (success with silk!), followed closely by my voile maxi birthday dress. The item I’ve probably worn most is my V1224, which I thought when I started it that I wouldn’t like it or wear it at all! And I found a great TNT jersey dress pattern in McCall’s 5893, which I’m excited to make more of this summer. And overall, I’ve basically gone from being somewhat of a shopaholic to not being interested in clothes shopping at all. Of course, it’s been replaced with fabric shopping… but I am glad to be not buying so many RTW clothes. And, not to forget, I started this blog!

In non-sewing matters, my biggest achievement in 2011 was probably cycling. A year ago this week I bought my fancy road bike, and since then I’ve ridden over 3,000 miles! I’ve gotten so much more fit than I’ve ever been in my life, and discovered the exhilaration of coasting at top speed down a mountain that I’ve just ridden up. In July I rode my first half-century (50 miles), and just a few weeks ago I rode the most difficult route in our area (with 4,700 feet of elevation gain), and now I feel like I can do anything! I’m hoping to do more organized rides this year, and maybe even a full century (100 miles)… and also to sew a bike jersey or two. Hobby merging!

And now for my future sewing plans. The other day I sat down on the floor surrounded by my stash and put together a bunch of patterns and fabrics, then laid them all out on the table:

Yeah, so that’s probably not going to happen. I won’t go through all the patterns in detail, but I will say there are a lot of knits and everyday sorts of things, something I learned from my fall sewing that I needed. I also would like to participate in Tasia’s Minoru Sewalong (I’ll be attempting it in buffalo check nylon, I think). Also, a lot of these fabrics are from pretty deep in the stash, so I’ll be entering some things in the PatternReview stash contest (though I have no chance of winning – some people are going to sew up like 25 yards, I think! Crazy). But it’ll be good to get to some of these fabrics at last.

So here we go with 2012… I’ve already completed a couple things I’ll post about soon, and now I’m going to start cutting frantically and see what I can get done next!


  1. Judith said:

    You should get the same buzz sewing up and down this mountain of fabric as you do on the bike. Great to hear how fit and healthy you are feeling – keep at in this year…

    • aleah said:

      Ha, that’s a great point! Sometimes the actual mountain seems way easier, though… 🙂

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