Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win

My year-long "make-a-garment-a-month" challenge is finally over. I've made 12 pieces; one was a bit of a disaster, the rest were successful in varying degrees.  

I set myself this challenge for a range of reasons. One of them was to feel in control of something at a time when, in specific aspects of life, I didn't feel like I had much agency. Looking back, I don't think that was actually the situation, but the choice element of this challenge was very motivating.  

To add to the challenge, I decided I wouldn't buy any clothes during 2012 except underwear or footwear and I pretty much stuck to this until late December when I paid for 1/3 of a swimming costume (the other 2/3 was a gift).  

Every blog entry I have written for this challenge is named after a song (usually one that I like). In most instances, the content of the song had nothing to do with the content of the blog entry. Choosing the titles has been a fun, sometimes time consuming aspect of the project. This one seemed right (from the last Beastie Boys album), and reminded me of something I read on Edinburgh-based poet Graeme Hawley's website:

"In the English language there is this ridiculous rule about double negatives equalling a positive. However, in Scots language negatives are accumulative. The more negatives used, the more negative the statement is".

So maybe I won, maybe not. I missed several deadlines but managed 12 garments in a year, which is a good few more than the previous year. I learned how to use an overlocker, and that making trousers needn't be scary. 

So, a review featuring the best, the most useful, and the worst garments of the year. The worst, by a country mile, goes to this skirt :

The pattern wasn't the problem, it was just my poor choice and effort that made this such a turkey. I chose some old fabric that wasn't right for the job. I should also have made a toile so I could get the fit right, but instead I ploughed right in and this is what I got. It's at the bottom of the wardrobe. I threatened to make it into a bag...this hasn't happened yet.

Next up is my favourite garment of the year. This was an easy pattern, I found lovely fabric for it and felt fabulous wearing the finished dress. I pulled out all the stops with this one as it was for my friend Kath's wedding. I knew she and her gentleman D would be putting Herculean efforts into making everything lovely so that everybody would have a great time, and I wanted to make something suitably smart in honour of their special day. So here it is plus a cocktail hat, which was a last minute project the night before the wedding. The hat was fun to wear (don't usually get to dress up this posh) but when I took it off for the evening do, I had a jaunty angled red line across one side of my forehead where the hat had been. It didn't fade for a few hours! 

Favourite and best garment of the year

Last minute hat worked out nicely

Finally, most useful garment of the year. It aint pretty but it's probably been worn more than anything else I made in 2012. I made another one in a smaller size which is a better fit, but this remains a useful, if not particularly elegant piece of clothing.

Sirdar Nomad Jacket Design E
I'll keep sewing and knitting throughout 2013 (and most likely writing about it), but I won't be setting deadlines. I want time to finish projects to a better standard than I could achieve in the space of a month. Plus it would be good to make time for other adventures...

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