Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Permission Granted



Last winter I purchased two hellebores. One survived, the other didn't. This year the blooms came early, delicately colouring my winter garden. Delicate pink with yellow interiors, marvelously made.


Last January I set myself a challenge. I was very quiet about it as is my wont when I'm unsure that I'll be able to carry through. The challenge: no purchased clothing. Everything, other than underwear and socks, was to be stitched by yours truly. I bought a new bathing suit before the challenge because I wasn't about to tackle THAT!

January came and went - I created a travel wardrobe for our trip to Mexico that worked well. The week after our return I began subbing for a week, then two weeks, then a couple of months. The sewing fell off sharply. 

I stitched furiously in May and created a summer wardrobe that served me well (added to the Mexico items). Summer was very busy and I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I'd hoped. 

Then I began teaching in the fall. I've managed to finish just one jacket for myself and a few other small projects for others. I ended up buying two pairs of pants, a t-shirt, a cardigan and a wool winter coat. 

In the end, though, I counted up what I'd sewn - 21 items, including a couple of jackets, a cardigan, several t-shirts, a couple of skirts, blouses and dresses. Not bad. The collage shows some of what I've sewn. I get awfully tired of posing for photos and seeing so much of myself.

When I gave myself the challenge, I had no idea that I'd be working so much. I felt like a bit of a failure having to purchase clothing, but when I sat back and took a look at my life, I gave myself permission to change things up. Circumstances change so expectations of what can be accomplished have to change, too. And in the end, I'm pleased with most of what I've sewn. Just one real wadder. 

Have I challenged myself the same thing this year? Nope. I'm still teaching. But I'm continuing to sew slowly, when I have the energy and focus. It's something to enjoy, not a duty to perform.

Have you had to adjust expectations recently? Any challenges you've set yourself?  

26 comments:

mamasmercantile said...

Some wonderful makes, well done. Life for me changes on a regular basis as I care for my parents and husband, I adapt to their needs as I go along. It seems to work for now. Best wishes for 2016.

Dewena said...

What an accomplishment! You should be well pleased with what you did. I love them all, especially the dress you're twirling in!

The challenge I've set for myself in 2016 is to de-clutter, an ongoing struggle but one I'm serious about this year.

Jojo said...

Love this challenge and I also love that you kept your challenge under your hat until you had achieved your goal. What a great wardrobe too! You must be so proud. Whoohoo!

Mrs Tiggywinkle said...

Clever girl! As a non-sewer, I am dead impressed by your skills. Don't beat yourself up about having to buy some clothes, you are right in that life throws unexpected things at us sometimes and derails our plans. What you actually achieved is impressive. x

podso said...

Excellent, Lorrie. And to do that while you were working. I don't know if it's much cheaper anymore to sew like it used to be, but certainly you know the garment is well made with good fabric.

Yes we all need to learn to forgive ourselves a bit and add flexibility to our persona.

cucki said...

Well done dear..very pretty makes ❤️

Deanna Rabe said...

Lorrie,

You're amazing! Wow! That's such a huge accomplishment!

Deanna

Sara - My Woodland Garden said...

Oh, I love that mint dress! You have created such beautiful items for your wardrobe.
I can sew only simple things, but I hope to improve this year. I gifted myself with a sewing magazine subscription. :) It's very inspiring - and very helpful for a beginner.

Stephanie said...

Oh Lorrie, your wardrobe is beautiful! Indeed, what an incredibly accomplishment! I bought fabric a year ago to make a skirt and guess what? It's still sitting in my craft room waiting to be used :) You are simply lovely, sweet Lorrie.

Happy day to you! Hugs!

September Violets said...

Wow! Twenty one makes is amazing! You look great in the photo shoots, especially in the twirly skirt ;) I stopped sewing for myself because things weren't fitting properly and it was becoming a waste. I would make something, and end up putting it in the goodwill bag. Not very cost effective! You are inspiration to try again though.
Wendy

Elizabethd said...

You made some lovely garments, Lorrie...how you fitted it all in I don't know!

Vee said...

Wow! What a lot of great clothes. I especially like the photo on the lower left of your collage. As for expectations? I reset daily.

Amy at love made my home said...

Wow, you did really well and look so wonderful in all of your makes!!! Well done you!!! I hope that you enjoy your slower sewing this year and your teaching too! xx

Happy@Home said...

I am most impressed by your sewing skills. What a lovely wardrobe you have created. Pulling them all together in this collage seems a nice way to recognize and appreciate your accomplishments.

ellen b. said...

Beautiful Passion Rose. Mine are popping up out of the ground already here! You really made some very nice items for your wardrobe. That's a great talent to have!

Margie said...

As someone with no skill with the thread and needle, I salute you for sewing 21 items of clothing, Lorrie! I totally agree that we need to give ourselves permission to change up the rules when things don't go as expected (the sewing police won't arrest you for purchasing some clothing!).

Gina said...

I love your wardrobe. WOW - you sewed those! Excellent job! Sewing is not my strength but I'd love to start again. I think one of my challenges is to dress myself up as well as I dress up my home.

bj said...

I think you have done a wonderful job and your clothes are just adorable. Good for you.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Wow! I see some other WOWs in the comments! You look amazing and that was quite a challenge. You are so slim and look cute in anything. I don't think I could fit things to my figure! haha! I love that jacket, it must have been a challenge. Well, I made doll clothes and felt like that was an accomplishment! lol But I'm going to take a break from that for awhile. You really did GREAT! It's hard to do a lot of extra things when you work. Hugs, Diane

materfamilias said...

Very impressive! Both how great you look in your clothes AND that you could manage this much sewing while living such a busy life! Also impressive that you have the wisdom and maturity to cut yourself some slack when necessary while still recognising what you've accomplished. Well done!

Ida said...

Well I say you did a fantastic job with all that sewing and you look very cute in it. My favorite has to be that blouse near the right with the pretty colored flowers.

Cheryl said...

Wow!! Whether you strictly met the goal that you set or not, just think of all that you accomplished! You created some beautiful things! I think my favorite is the pink (or is in melon? coral?) jacket, but they are all so pretty.

Life is all about making adjustments, isn't it?

Poppy said...

Happy New Year, Lorrie!

All your creations are lovely and look very pretty on you! Your 'take' on taking on a new project, like your sewing, is wonderfully refreshing, that it is 'something to enjoy, not a duty to perform'. And how right you are about focus and energy - throw in absence of time limits, and voilĂ (!), you have the making of a masterpiece!

Poppy

Anneliese said...

Congratulations on pretty well accomplishing your goal! I enjoy seeing you model. With no sewing to the rescue for me, I wonder what the challenge not to purchase any clothing would be like? It would be hard. Well, so far so good. =) Ha!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

You look beautiful, Lorrie, in all your homemade wardrobe! What an accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself.

Jill said...

Good for you! Cute clothes too! I'm also happy that you didn't hold yourself to something that just didn't work out.