2015/16 Janus Post

Hello everyone. It’s that time of the year again.
Festive cheers to you all!

It’s been a hard year for me with Mom getting stomach cancer half-way through the year. I had to check out of my sewing room & rush to her side. In the end I could do little for her. She passed away just a couple of weeks before my birthday. I had planned to care for her through the holiday season & wasn’t expecting her to go so quickly. So this has been a lonely Xmas stuck in a now-to-me foreign place sorting out the aftermath of her passing. Not sure if I’ll get my sewing mojo back anytime soon. Then again refashioning a few of her outfits may be a good way to honour her & keep her in my life.

Looking Backward

SWAP items sewn:

Number of items completed:
22 including fixes & wearable muslins.

So depending on one’s perspective I either did rather poorly or really well.

2015 Total: 22 makes
Garment types
1ish Dress (2 skresses!)
16 Tops (2 fixes)
3ish Skirts (inc 2 skresses!)
1 Cardie
1 Bag (fix)
Pattern brands
20 Self-drafted
2 Burda
View all 2015 makes at a glance…

This was the year of the selfies…as in self-drafted patterns. By testing in batches of 3-4 wearable muslins, I managed to breeze past last few year’s tallies in the first half of the year. I’m sure the second half would have been just as productive if not more. But Life happened.

The winners of 2015 …

First up, winner in the most wearable but not too boring stake is my Dolce & Gabbana Wannabe Cardi. I lamented my unsuccessful attempt at mock-ribbing at the time. But the result is still flattering & versatile. Came in really handy when it was hot outside but freezing in the air-conditioned hospital.

The next two I’m proud of because they stretched my drafting & design skills, and weren’t total mess at the end.

I wasn’t sure my Fortuny Top would work out what with the complicated innards – the result of a band-aid approach to draping. But it’s actually quite comfortable to wear. And aesthetically it’s right up my alley with a mix of soft & edgy, feminine & masculine. Definitely much more wearable than it’s previous incarnation as a head-in-the-cloud Fortuny Delphos Wannabe Dress.

My Westwood+CdG Love Child Wannabe Peplum Top is more of an one-trick pony. But by Jove, not only was it interesting pattern-drafting, it was also a mind-twister when it came to construction order. Really proud. Pat on back. Smug face.

The next two made my list for being wearable muslins with an attitude.

Camden Town Kids Wannabe Top started out as a bog standard knit block muslin. Simple addition of puff over-sleeves, a tweaked neckline, plus a play with both sides of an otherwise ugly knit turned it into something much more interesting that’s still quite versatile & right up my alley.

East & Easter Tunic was again an ugly fabric sacrificed for block testing which I manage to salvage with addition of ribbons & soutache. That’s why I can’t even part with ugly fabrics. Sometimes they can still be turned into respectable ladies with the right design. Sorry MR. They’re all staying!

And the 2015 misses…

  • I tried. But sleeveless ruched bust tops & I are just not friends. My going-down-south boobs just aren’t flattered. Witness exhibits A Candy Cane Halter Top & exhibit B Strap to Strapless Mustard Top: Too much expanses above the boobs, too little between the boobs & the waist.
  • And Kimono Kaftan is too delicate a flower for my not too delicate manner. Besides, I don’t get enough beachy holidays to justify it taking space in my cupboard. But it is a nice colour & print. I still plan to remake it into something more wearable in the city.

2015 in closing

  • I’m thankful that the groundwork laid last year panned out into more numerous & interesting makes this year, even if majority of them are still wearable muslins. I have yet to memorialise the blocks into something more hardwearing – they’re still all tracing paper drafts at the moment & easily damaged. It’s quite slow-going. I get confused by so many drafts laying about. But I will plough on, and hopefully add some key missing blocks in 2016, like trousers.
  • SWAPing didn’t really worked for me this year. I kept thinking I don’t have the right block for that design yet. Yes, some could have been made with commercial patterns as well. But I thought I’d get better fit & kept thinking I’m almost there. Hopefully SWAPing will resume in 2016.
  • Jungle-January-2015_1600x100016 May 2015
    This year I’ve been unusually social by my introverted standards, what with joining in with all the Jungle January & Me Made May merriment. But both were very rewarding. First JJ pushed me to churn out 4 makes, including two of my Best Of’s. Then MMM expanded my selfie skills by being too much of a hassle if I were to get out the proper camera-tripod getup everday. Now my smartphone is my weapon of choice. I’ve even got myself an octopusy tripod (Joby GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic) so I can experiment with more angles. Now if only I can master depth of field control on a smartphone, or proper camera for that matter…

Looking Forward

I hope I will get my sewing mojo back soon after I’m home in my lair. Right now it’s hard to imagine what the coming year will be like sewing-wise. I’m still trying to catch my breath & process what had just happened this year.

I know I want to honour my Mom by refashioning some of her clothing. I was going to donate bulk of it to charity, but made the mistake of trying them on first. With my fabric hunter goggle on they appear not too shabby even if the sizing is a bit dowdy on me. She has many prints that I wouldn’t have picked up normally. But as they’re there for the taking, I’m thinking this is my chance to be more like all you Mistresses of Prints (you know who you are!)…

So, first up I think maybe some animal prints for Jungle January 2016. Now you have to help me here as I don’t know my animal prints for ****


I think I recognize a black snake & purple zebra & maybe a brown leopard in my Mom’s safari park, but is that grey spotty velvet in the top left an animal?

I’ve also picked out some blindingly bling gold ensemble for refashioning. We shall see what else I’ll manage to squeeze into my luggage as MR’s present will be taking up a bit of room…


Hand IT over!

(No, he is only getting one.
But I’ve been given strict order to keep the Evil One NRFB.)

And finally,
Happy New Year!
And make many promises that you know you’re never going to keep!
Like taming that stash!

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