I'm afraid I don't have a fabulous run-down of a ridicuoulous number of lovely sewn garments to show you or an inspiring and witty Best and Worst list... because 2011 was a year of Very Little Sewing for me. I won't even bother with a mosaic (what do you all use to make those, anyway?)
- 3 toddler dresses for little Z.
- Some softies with my husband's art on them to sell at cartooning conventions:
- A non-wearable muslin for a pair of trousers. More on those soon! (I'm actually wearing the muslin while writing this post, if you must know.)
- A mis-calculated hem on some IKEA curtains... which I still haven't fixed.
Oh, and I almost made:
- A really bizarre Muppet/The Thing Halloween costume mashup for my husband. Here's his sketch:
The prequel to John Carpenter's shape-shifting alien horror movie The Thing had just come out and the new Muppet movie was about to be released... so Masheka's idea was to be some weird guy partially morphing into all these Sesame Street Muppets with giant teeth. I started to make the Kermit cowl and cut into a purchased Cookie Monster costume to make the belly--
... but about ten minutes after I sat down at the sewing machine, little Z started vomiting everywhere (she was sitting on her Nana's lap at the time)--and did so every hour or so for about two days (stomach bug, poor girl).
So I didn't even really start on my Doctor Who-related Halloween costume, which was going to be some kind of Tardis dress constructed from various deconstructed American Apparel items:
Yeah, that's it. If you just count finished garments, there are three for the whole year--about as many items as I used to make in three weeks during my pregnancy in 2010. Don't be jealous!
In Non-Sewing Stuff:
The really big thing that happened was that my Little Baby...
Is now a Big Girl (or a rowdy toddler, anyway):
She can run, she can climb, she can brush her teeth, talk up a storm, dance circles around me, sing the ABCs (well, as far as "C", anyway), tell you how old she is ("Uno!"), put on Mommy and Daddy's shoes and clomp around the apartment... it's awesome.
Also awesome: she finally figured out how to fall asleep before midnight without three hours of nursing to get her there--and STAY ASLEEP until 7 a.m. Which leaves me two or three hours every evening to spend with my husband, clean up around the house, read a book--or sew!
Each morning when I wake Z up to nurse and snuggle, I lie there just overwhelmed with gratitude that she came into my life, thinking about how much I love her and how lucky I am to have her. When I come home from work and she runs to the door yelling "Mommy! Mommy!," I feel like the biggest rock star in the world.
So I don't regret a moment of the sleep-deprived blur that was most of the year--the waking up three or four times a night, the bedtime struggle, and the total lack of Me Time.
Anyway! The other 2011 non-sewing big stuff, good and bad:
- BAD: Cartoonist Husband got laid off.
- GOOD: Cartoonist Husband rocked the stay-at-home-dad thing. In addition to being a great and supportive husband who buys me orange peep-toes and the Colette Sewing Handbook, Masheka is also a wonderful, nurturing and patient father. And I am so grateful Z has gotten to spend so much time with her Daddy. (Pssst! Check out the fantastic new comic anthology he's in, African-American Classics).
- BAD: I got laid off, too. In fact, my entire company got outsourced. Considering my husband had lost his job a few months earlier, this was really scary for us--but I landed an awesome new job before I even got a chance to collect severance.
- GOOD: I got an awesome new job. I work in nonprofit marketing now and I love what I do and my organization so much that even on the most stressful and busy days work doesn't even feel like work.
- BAD: We discovered Z has life-threatening allergies to sesame, peanuts, dairy and eggs. And we learned the hard way--by having to make a frantic 911 call and ambulance trip after a tiny bite of hummus (which contains sesame paste) caused her face to swell up beyond recognition.
- BAD: our cat Riley died suddenly. You might remember the little turtle-neck-wearing furry guy from this post. One Friday night I came home from work and he was listless, the next day he stopped moving and had to be rushed to the emergency vet, and by Sunday he was dead from kidney failure. Z didn't exactly know what was going on, but she knew enough to wipe the tears from my face and give me a hug. RIP, Riley:
- THE WORST: We spent way too much time in hospitals. An extremely close relative got suddenly very, very life-threateningly ill, and spent several weeks in the hospital, part of it in the ICU. I took leave from work and the three of us flew out of state to be close to the hospital during this awful time.
- THE GOOD: That relative is now home from the hospital recovering. And our awesome friends were really supportive during that rough time.
Where I've Been and What's Next:
- 2010 for me was about rediscovering my love for sewing and dipping my toes into the sewing blogosphere. A lot of the 17 garments I made that year (until I gave birth in June and went on craft hiatus) might not seem all that impressive in retrospect--simple skirts, knit tees--but since I was making maternity clothes from non-maternity patterns, I learned a lot about alterations and even a bit about drafting. I got confident with serging, practiced different finishing techniques, tried tricky new fabrics and made up my first vintage dress pattern.
- 2011: Not much sewing. See above.
- 2012: As excited as I am about getting back into sewing, I don't want to make too many promises. I am a full-time working mama, so the time I have to sew (or blog) is very limited.
I'd like to make a well-fitting pair of pants or two. I'd like to make up some of the Colette patterns I unsuccessfully tried to muslin into maternity versions. I'd like to sew more of my vintage dress patterns, including at least one from this mail-order collection. I'd like to make a shirt for my husband. I'd like to play more with flat pattern drafting. I'd like to perfect a few well-fitted TNT patterns and make them in different fabrics with different variations to avoid having to fit everything from scratch each time. And I'd like to make some more fabric designs on Spoonflower and sew them up into some really special children's clothing for Z.
So that's that. Thanks for reading and I'm happy to be back with you all in 2012!