I thought I would wait until 2021 had actually finished before doing my craft round up for the year. For the first time in 2021 I kept track of all my makes (well most of them anyway) Final count was over 100 items which included when I made multiples of some items but it doesn’t keep count for all charity items I made (pouches, beanies)
Hmm if I had to sum up my 2021 crafting in one sentence it would be “The year of pants” For the first time in a couple of years sewing dominated my crafting for the year and in particular pants sewing. Long pants, undies it was all about covering my butt. The pants sewing frenzy came out of a need for items as I had none or the ones I had were becoming unwearable. We did have a coolish winter and I’m glad I had long pants to get through it. Our summer so far seems to be on the cooler side so I’m still wearing long pants at times. All fabrics for my pants came from my stash so it was good to use some of it up. I enjoyed trying out different undie patterns to see which is the best for me. You wouldn’t think it but there are subtle differences between the different patterns making each one fit and feel a little different, I always thought undies were just undies. My final winners seem to be Scrundie’s and Frisky’s (yet to be blogged) I will make more of them this year.
The majority of my sewing in the first half of the year was to complete my Sewing Bingo Card. I did enjoy the challenge for the most part. It certainly did help get in and finally make projects I had been meaning to do for some time and finish off projects I had started but put aside. As I mentioned in my wrap up post about it I did learn this year that challenges like that aren’t really for me, I’m too self-competitive and need to finish the challenge regardless if I’m enjoying it or not. Sewing for me is meant to be relaxing and enjoyable, if I’m not enjoying it then I have to stop doing it. That is my mantra each time I sit down at the sewing machine but also my long term view of it.
If I had to pick an overall favourite make for 2021 it would be my train case. It was the first item I made all year and one of the most used. This pattern really confused me at first but I went ahead and attempted it being pleased with the end result. In fact one of my last makes for 2021 was another train case which I will share at some point.
Sustainability became more of a focus in my sewing the year. Reading Wendy Ward’s book certainly got my brain ticking with ideas so has listening to the new Check Your Thread podcast. I shopped my “stash” first for supplies before buying any additional items. I was more conscious when cutting pattern pieces out to reduce waste, I looked to use up scraps and off cuts in projects first before cutting new fabrics. Even stuffing toys I used up yarn and thread scraps mixed in with the hobby fill. I have unpicked old items to use in future muslins and kept notions to reuse such as zips. All the unpicked threads and old fabrics have gone into stuffing items. For some people unpicking store brought items might seem a chore but I have actually found it fascinating as it has given me an insight into of the items are made. I hope to continue making more sustainable sewing decisions in the future. I know at times it is going to be harder to make sustainable decisions on some projects but the important thing is that I’m more aware of my actions and try to do what I can.
Sewing dominated my year but when I wasn’t at my sewing machine I was still knitting and crocheting. I’m really pleased with my Virus shawl but to be honest I didn’t really wear it, no real reason I just never got around to it. I’m hoping to get more wear out of it in 2022. I enjoyed knitting my big Adventerous Wrap (yet to be blogged) which seemed to fly off my needles. I learnt how to knit cables and how to put life lines in on ribbing so my knitting skills grew just that little bit more. Each month I used the pages from the Ultimate Sewing Planner by Ruby Jam to document down items I made and the pattern used. This came in really handy and helped me keep track of what I actually made. I remember gifts that I made but I lose track of items I make for myself/Mr StitchNSew or for around the house. I will continue using the planner each month just out of curiosity to remember all that I make including my charity makes which I don’t always list.
Each year I ask myself this question in terms of my gift making. If you’re not familiar with my blog I make the birthday and Christmas gifts I give to immediate friends and family. For the first time in years I felt really organised with my gift making and therefore I enjoyed it. At the end of 2020 I wrote out my “to make” gift list and with the exception of a couple of Christmas gifts for friends I stuck to the list. My first gift was actually finished late December. I gave myself plenty of time to plan out my supplies, do any prep and actually make the gifts. There was only one gift I was cutting a fine line to finish. Around October I planned out my 2022 gifts with the exception of 1 or 2 Christmas gifts for friends. In this past week I have already gotten the majority of the birthday gifts made so that is a huge start on my gifts but it will also mean that my “finished” count will be lower in 2022 as they were all counted in my 2021 makes.
Making for charity was something I continued this year. I have found somewhere local to make beanies for and have a stash knitted but haven’t donated yet. It made a dent in my yarn stash, towards the end of the year I was able to get some good quality yarn for half price to replenish the charity knitting supply. I made a few items for our charity bags and will continue again this year.
It’s the start of January and I don’t know where my crafting is going this year. I don’t want to be making just for the sake of making as that defeats the purpose of sustainable making but I do want to keep crafting as that is important to me. A conundrum of wanting to try ideas but justifying if I actually need it. With making so much in 2021 I still have loads of projects to blog about so I won’t mention when I made them unless it is relevant or ties the items back to an overall gift.
Happy New Year