Well, 2020 is nearly over. How do we reflect on such a year? I don't really feel like looking back at some of it, but there were lessons and high points even in such a long and stressful year. I feel like there were things to learn, and so I've tried to reflect on those elements. And I've also looked at the goals I set around this time last year, and tried to decide what any future goals should be.
Looking back at my favourite makes and my highlights of the year, I realize that continuing to try new things and maintaining a sewing community are really important to me. This year that took place in new ways, but finding a way to continue rather than just dropping all connections was super valuable.
I also found that doing meaningful things with my sewing, like working with Amnesty International and even starting a Boomerang Bags group to help reduce textile waste and plastic use, was satisfying in a concrete way, so will be looking for more ways to do things like this.
Taking care of myself physically to increase energy and enjoyment of life was a key discovery this year. Exercise was a stress relief and sanity saver for me, alongside my sewing -- I made 47 items this year, a fair bit more than I usually make. I think being at home for a few months and having the materials and time to sew made a big difference there. And, I still really love colour and print, and prefer more natural fabrics -- so I'll be continuing to sew with things that make me happy.
Somewhat surprisingly, on looking back at my 2020 goals, I seem to have met most of them at least in some small way!
I had set a goal to sew from stash -- I ended up sewing 51 more metres than I brought in. Joining the 50 Yard Dash challenge on PR really helped me track this. Of course, having fabric and thrift stores closed for so long likely reduced my consumption automatically as well. But I also planned to Slow Down my sewing; with lockdown I sewed more than ever before, making 47 items this year. Only three of those are wadders though, so it works out overall.
I'd also set the goal again, like I do so often, of sewing some menswear. But this year I actually did it! I sewed my husband a pair of summer shorts to replace his aging ones, and he likes them, and wears them -- a success. Plus I made him a fancy cravat just for fun, and a matching mask or two.
I also planned to go through all my Craftsy classes -- well, with the Bluprint implosion this year I ended up speed watching all my pattern drafting courses before things settled somewhat and we were told that Craftsy was rising again and we'd still have access to our classes. I still haven't gone back to do all the work in those classes though.
My last goal for 2020 was to draft a pattern for myself. Well, I did draft a very basic pattern, and am now tweaking it to get it just right. I've made a prototype and am planning on a couple more to get it perfect. Then I'll see what I want to do with it!
So what about 2021? What are my goals? I've really been pondering this. After this last year, I'm not in the mood to set as many big goals -- who knows what life will be like? But I do need some goals to work toward and guide me, and like always, I don't feel bound by these goals, they're just suggestions to help me stay on track. With that said, I did come up with a few things I want to do in 2021.
1. Stash Management
I was able to sew up 51 m. from my own stash this year, and in doing so I really explored what I have in my house. I have too much for my own comfort, and lots of it is from so long ago I don't really want it anymore (ie: quite a bit of poly blend fabric). So my 2021 goal is not only to sew from stash, but to really clear it out and organize it, so that what I have in my house is fabric that I really want to use.
2. Pattern Drafting
This is really two goals in one:
a. Work on my current simple pattern and get it finished to my liking
b. Do the work with my Suzy Furrer Craftsy classes and the Sara Alm flat pattern making book I bought, and learn what I need to learn.
I've designed a number of simple embroidery patterns, which I really enjoy doing. I'd like to get them digitized this year so I can share them/sell them.
4. Social Action
This year I really enjoyed participating in opportunities to highlight social causes, using my sewing. So I'd like to search out more opportunities for the same in 2021 and use sewing/embroidery/crafting to work together with others to make change. To alter the social fabric, so to speak.
I think that after the year we've had, some reasonable, concrete goals are where I'm at. So that's my plan, and let's hope that all our plans for next year aren't derailed by any other unpleasant surprises. Wishing all the best in looking back and looking ahead for all of you as well.