my 2016 in sewing

last year for the good half of it i sewed as i normally did, guided by my passion. but then for the other half of the year, i started to veer into a whole different direction: only sewing what i needed. truth be told, i don’t think i actually need anything, which is why i haven’t touched my sewing machine for a while now. it pains me for not having any sewing project, but it pains me even more to sew something that i know i am not going to wear. so in order to ease up the pain, here’s my regular ‘end-of-year’ list of what i had sewn in 2016.

that was a total of 17 sewing projects, out of which only 10 are repeatedly worn throughout the year. i could have saved my energy and time just to make these 10 useful ones instead of 17, though of course to be fair i think i learned something out of the 7 non practical ones as well.

6 items were done without any pattern, and 3 were done completely out of some ready made patterns. the rest were done by modifying ready made patterns.

in 2015 i figured out what sewing actually meant for myself, and 2016 was a journey much like that. while i will always love fashion and sewing, and figuring out how to sew something or some shape i want, i took a deeper journey within myself and found that i don’t always have to turn my ideas into being.

i grew up and lived for a long time in a big city. a big city that, as i grew up, tells its people more and more to buy this, buy that, you need to have this, you need to have that. it’s not just the advertisements (which are literally everywhere), but also the people in it. as if not having this or that means you’re poor, or worse, you don’t even belong in this city.

and then i moved here. i don’t live in a big city anymore, though for many years i think my mindset was still the same. i needed this, i needed that, and i had always wanted to dress up differently than others, so the cheapest & best way to do that (other than thrifting) was to learn how to sew. i was excited about this newfound hobby for 8 years, and sewed whatever idea i had in my mind. i had an unsatisfied hunger for new and trendy clothes, and was feeding my hunger by always sewing what i envisioned.

i’m not in any way saying that this is a bad thing. but when i really think about it, count the things i actually wear versus the things i made over the years…. i was suddenly overcame with the feeling of having given births to stillborns (and i apologize beforehand if i offend anyone with this example). i went through all the trouble for things that i couldn’t even fit into my closet, things i ended up not wearing for more than once. that was when i realized i was still the same ‘big city person’, believing that if i don’t sew the latest trends or come up with at least 1 sewing project every month i would be left behind. i had no idea by whom i felt i would be left behind, but that was how i felt anyway.

for a while after that realization, i went through a sort of abstinence period. October and December went without me sewing a single thing. my hands are itching for a new project, but i really need it (my next project) to mean something. i want to feel again what i felt when i first learned how to sew: doing everything nicely, with my full effort rather than ‘just get it done and over with so i can wear it once’. i was calm enough when i wasn’t sewing, and did everything else normally, like reading, etc. but i still have (fashion) ideas, and i still have my own dreams that i want to nurture.

looking back at these pictures of projects i’ve made, i’d like to think that all is not lost even with what i decided to do. i just need to remember what makes me wear an item over and over again, what makes me feel the satisfaction of having completed, and that, yes, they can go hand in hand.

if i have to name my favourite sewing project of 2016 (yes i do, because it’s my own blog!), it would have to be my universe bomber jacket. that was done after more than a month of abstinence, and it felt really good to do something that was completely me and completely useful. i’ve been wearing the jacket a lot lately!

the boyfriend jeans come close at number 2, because i also put a lot of effort to make them my own by the details and they’re the most comfortable jeans i’ve ever had in my life. i wear them like all the time!

the green slit dress is my number 3 because of its simplicity: simple shape, and everytime i put it in the laundry machine & tumble drier, it came out perfect without any wrinkle. no ironing needed! i could wear it straight away again the next day if i wanted to!

the African wax cotton dress is not the most practical dress (it’s stiff and cannot be easily ironed due to its glitters), but i love it so much and have always found occasions to wear it. i once wore it to the COS store and a salesperson suddenly came up to me only to say, “what a lovely dress you have on! and with your necklace and shoes, they all go so well together!” (i was wearing it exactly as in the picture.) since Finns don’t usually comment on one’s appearance (much less a stranger), this was a rare occasion i will always remember!

so i would say that i had a pretty good sewing year last year. time will tell how this new ideology of mine will go, but for now i am satisfied with what i have made so far. i hope 2017 will be that year for me, when i can finally build a bridge between the ‘big city’ me and ‘show me the meaning’ me.


10 thoughts on “my 2016 in sewing

  1. Wooowww, very impressive “fashion gallery” ❤
    I like the green slit dress the most, it makes you look soooo sophisticated!! Next for me is the "sandalsdress", next the bomber jacket, and next is the kimono!! Those are to me the most outstanding and favourite. But all of them are really masterpieces!
    How about sewing clothes for your closest family there, like mom in law, sis in law, nephew? Or does that take the "fun" out of sewing for you (too big challenge?). Just thinking maybe it would help to channel your "itching"? (seriously but also LOL…… )
    Stay positive and passionate about your sewing & fashion 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

    • thanks! when the right moment & idea comes, that is what i intend to do, making clothes/others for other people. but i do still want them to be useful instead of just something they will use once or twice. and deciding that for other people is harder than for myself, because i don’t know what they need/like. 😀 ah well, we’ll see how it goes!

  2. How have you been able to sew so many in one year. I have enjoyed the pictures of them and to read about them. I must say that I, at one point, wondered about how big your closet must be. Looking forward to new projects of yours. Make a new one when you feel for it. Happy sewing 🙂

    • “How have you been able to sew so many in one year”–> LOL, i sometimes ask myself that. 😀 but as i always reply to others, the only reason i can think of is that i don’t go out to do other things on my time off of work. i’m a home person and hence i have time to sew! 😀
      uff, right now my closet has been cleared out of things i do not wear. it’s just the right size, maybe one or 2 new things might fit.
      thank you for the encouragement, i surely will still have new projects coming. 🙂

  3. OH.. wow puni! when i clicked the blog first, i saw the flamingo dress picture and gasped, then i scrolled down and i found myself saying, “so pretty” to all the creations!! they are all pretty and the green dress oozes sexiness 🙂 but it is also very sophisticated. My faves are umbrella dress and African dress I think I just love dresses. Oh no, the flamingo dress is also pretty!!

    The metaphors of how you feel towards the sewing results you made – is very are very true to yourself and I hope after this it will take you to the next level of your passion! 🙂 Happy sewing Puni.

    • here’s one trivia for you: when i first learned how to sew, guess what i made? dresses. like, 5 or 6 dresses in a row! my motto was that women can never have too much dresses! 😀 and you know what, i have a feeling my next project will again be a dress, aaaargh!
      but thank you very much for your support, Oppie! i hope so, too (re: next level) so we’ll see what happens next. 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your reflections! Happy New Year! Even if some items aren’t regularly worn, they were still lessons in design and construction. It does seem like large cities, no matter where on the globe, do seem to put a lot of pressure on people to act, dress, or consume a certain way, especially when we’re younger. You pretty much described my experience with city life in my twenties! :). But I also think as we mellow and grow, it speaks to us less. I look forward to seeing your new projects this year, and to read the stories you share in between.

    • happy new year to you, too! and thank you for the reminder, you’re right about the things i learned from sewing the other items that are worn less. hopefully i’ve learned enough now to also be efficient so i will only make things i will wear again & again. 😉 (since buying a bigger closet is not an option.)

  5. I love this gallery!! I definitely know what you mean about sewing what you actually need versus sewing to sew. Hopefully you can find a way to seek some balance that still allows you to create in whatever you see fit 🙂 ❤ I love everything you've made- though I think the green dress may be my favorite!! Happy New Year!!

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