Janus Post 2-for-1! (2016 & 2017)

First thing first:
Festive cheers to you all!
Hope you all enjoyed your year-end holidays
whatever festive occasion you were celebrating!

Now getting back to business…Oops. Don’t know what happened there. I tried. I really tried. But my blogging mojo went completely MIA. Sewing mojo wasn’t as bad, though I did run out of steam towards the end of the years. And I don’t know whether I was just feeling blah in general, but most of my makes these last two years feel like misses in one way or another judging by the fact that I haven’t been wearing most of them.

And now I might have to ditch some of them altogether because came my birthday this year Muffin Top / Swimming Ring move in. I was on the road at the time and all the skirts & pants I had with me suddenly became too tight at the waist. Not sure whether to admit defeat & start sewing for my new figure or fight it with better food habit & exercise. I’m pessimistic because I am approaching menopausal age and that’s when my Mom filled out too. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the fuller figure that bothers me (as long as I still feel healthy & pain-free), it’s the change…and all the wasted effort to perfect the fit these past few years. I’m not good with changes. I’ll be crying over the favourite pieces that I can no longer wear.

Looking (Way) Back at 2016

2016 Total: 14 makes
Garment types
2 Accessories
1 Jackets
2 Pants
3 Skirts
1 Sweaters
5 Tops
Pattern brands
9 Self-drafted/-draped
3 Burda
1 Style Arc
1 Vogue

2016 was a year of endings and new beginnings as I paid tribute to my Mom in Jungle January and got married in India-inspired bling by end of the year. I also dip my toe into pants/trousers-making and made more of an effort to shop my Stash. Sadly I only managed to use up 2…out of my 375+ pieces.

The winners of 2016 …

Based purely on wear count I would have to say the winners were the Stripey Tops and the Orange Fluff Sweater & Jacket. Can’t beat the stretch comfort of knitwear with just enough design twists.

And the 2016 misses…

  • Burda Trousers. Because it’s too uptight & the fit is still not quite right. The front crotch bubble makes me blush. The waist had no breathing room even back then before I got my new midriff insulation. And it’s hemmed for heels – too dressy & torturous for these couple of comfort-seeking years.
  • Choli Blouses. Mostly because of limited sleeve mobility & comfort. What’s a choli blouse if I can’t dance (badly) in it right? It’s a real shame I didn’t perfect the fit before I made these two choli blouses with beautiful embellishments – one of which took me ages to embroider myself.

Looking Back at 2017

2017 Total: 19 makes
Garment types
2 Accessories
1 Jackets/Dresses
6 Pants
2 Skirts
8 Tops
Pattern brands
16 Self-drafted
1 Burda
2 Closet Case

2017 was a year of the pants/trousers blocks. And refinement of my knit and choli top blocks. There were more muslins than I can remember. Many weren’t so wearable because of design or fit failures. Hence the lack of motivation to finish the blog drafts I started about these.

Blogging UFOs

2017 was also the year of the wraps. I took my own medicine & tried out the wrap approach to moulage-making. It started with the leg wraps and eventually a torso wrap as well. Shame my body decided to change shape afterwards, so how useful they will be I do not know any more.

The winners of 2017 …

Again based on wear count the winners have to be the Ginger Jeans – this despite of hardware failures (buttons & rivet that came undone). I will most definitely have to make more as my RTW jeans are all suffering from too much love. But I may have to alter for my new bigger middle.

The Bag & Wallet trial run also got plenty of wear. But the construction needs much improvement and my experiment with fabric lamination didn’t quite hold up as well as I’d like.

The Shawl Neckline T actually turned out better than I initially thought when I finished it. It’s such a classic & flattering silhouette that it got plenty of wear despite the less-than-perfect fit. I kind of regret getting rid of the pattern now.

And the 2017 misses…

Most of the other tops felt like misses as I couldn’t find inspiring ways to style them. The Burda top was my foray into loose boxy clothing. I thought I better start planning for menopause-wears. You know, for when hot flashes attack and the paddings pile on! But this top wasn’t it. I couldn’t rock it despite sizing down. Even after pulling back a bit on the boxiness with pleats I’m still not feeling this top.

But my biggest misses in 2017 have to be the ‘wearable’ muslins for the Slim-Pants block because of imperfect fit. The gingham ones I wear at home where no one will see the rumpled back thighs. The dark brown ones I will have to alter somehow – I went overboard with back crotch adjustments, so they actually don’t feel comfortable at all.

Looking Forward to 2018

I think I have the Slim-Pants and Choli Blouse blocks sorted. Kind of. Or as good as they’re going to get if still not perfect. And that’s assuming my figure doesn’t change much more and it won’t be too difficult to accommodate my new midriff padding. I should really make another wearable muslin for both.

But I have more pressing clothing needs to sew for. A lot of my RTWs need replacing, like coats & jeans. And I should really also start sewing in earnest for menopause. So more volume and layering, preferably in cool & breathable fabrics. Shame I have way too few plant-based fabrics in my humongous Stash. I promised DH not to feed my Stash, but…

And I probably should also finish all those blogging UFOs. We shall see if I can even remember enough details to finish.

What about you? What sewing promises will you be making (and maybe not keeping) for the New Year? xxx 😛

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8 comments on “Janus Post 2-for-1! (2016 & 2017)

  1. I love your summary, Pia. And I feel your shape-changing pain! I suppose this is why toiles are always necessary. :/ it seems to be a never-ending challenge, even with TNTs and moulages. I keep reminding myself that it’s the process, not only the finished product, that gives me joy.

    I’ve missed your posts: your tenacious problem-solving journey for excellence in fit is so inspirational. I, too, have begun many posts and abandoned them, so, here’s to 2018 and the courage to finish posts about things we don’t like much!

  2. Whaaaaa? You made a wallet? You made a wallet! I so desperately need to know how this worked out, what you used, and so forth. I’m coming to the end of my pile of useful thrifted wallets and and just need to bite it and make one.
    And as ever, all the best to you and yours and your stash. 2017 kicked me hard, but I have hope as always for 2018.
    WALLET

    • I’m still experimenting with wallet-making. The one I made is serviceable, but definitely not professional looking. I did find an useful tutorial for leather wallet (http://makesupply-leather.com/leathercraft-tutorials/4-tips-for-making-a-bi-fold-wallet/). But as I was using thinner fake leather & fabrics, I had to improvise a bit & resort to brown paper sample to work out seam allowance & sewing order. It definitely is fun though to make your own customised wallet. So go for it! And better luck with 2018 – it’s been crazy few years. I too am hoping 2018 will turn out better.

  3. Hello Pia – how nice to read your two year summary! I keep blogging, but have only sewn a few items this year. I love reading about your struggles for perfection, and believe you nail it every time. You helped me make a perfect bodice block, for which I am very greatful. Happy New Year to you!

    • Thank you! I enjoy reading about your wide-ranging creative adventures too! I’ve fantasized about making my own shoes, but don’t think I’ll ever get around to that. So it was quite satisfying to live vicariously through your blog. Looking forward to more! (Sorry, I’ve been a bit too lost for words to comment on your blog posts. Would love to be able to just hit the thumb up button if there was one }:-)

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