Monday, January 2, 2012

The most pitiful 2011 sewing review you will ever read

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?)

I sewed:

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...

Christmas 2010

Is now a Big Girl (or a rowdy toddler, anyway):

Daddy, Mommy & Z

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:

    Jazz-playing turtleneck-wearing kitty
  • 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:

So that's that. Thanks for reading and I'm happy to be back with you all in 2012!

Mommy & Z


  1. Happy New year to you and your beautiful family. I have a demanding baby that most nights is not in bed until 10 pm ...I hear you . I am so hoping that this year he goes to bed at a reasonable time like his big brother and I get to sew lots . I love your garments especially the way you use colours and print. I'm looking forward to seeing more soon.

  2. What a year it's been!! It's been great to see you back in the blogosphere (I actually did a little dance when I saw your comment on my blog) and I look forward to following your adventures in 2012! Baby z is such a cutie and I just love your family photos!!

  3. Life happens sometimes - but I echo the above, it's good to see you back! Really glad to hear about the Awesome New Job and that you're both getting on so well with Z.

    (Have I even ever commented on here before? I can't remember. Possibly not. But I've been reading since at least your early pregnancy and thoroughly enjoy your posts, whether or not they involve sewing :-) )

  4. Holy moly - that is one hell of a stressful year you are recounting. I hope you have a very boring (read: easy) year in 2012 full of creative pursuits, health, good work and prosperity. Seriously, pat yourself on the back. You are doing an amazing job keeping everything on track. One day you'll look back and wonder how you had the energy!

  5. 2011 sucked for most everyone I know. Myself included. I'm looking forward to this new year being a good one, as i hope it is for you and your family! :D

  6. Your little girl is so adorable! I know exactly what you mean about feeling like the biggest rock star :) Kudos to you for keeping up the nursing. I gave up at nine months: I think nursing was *by far* the hardest part of the whole pregnancy/childbirth thing for me.

    Best of luck in the new year and I hope you get a little time for your own projects!

  7. Converting patterns to maternity? I need to see that.....


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