Friday, October 11, 2013

second year

Hey, it's another blogoversary. Two big years! Toddlin' about. I did not make it an Oliver + S gift, though.

I know my posts are pretty few and far-between, but my blog is actually incredibly important to me. My readers are ace, and you all keep me motivated and inspired to keep sewing, learning and sharing. Friends & family have expressed admiration that I've found an activity I love so incredibly much. I always tell them that I probably wouldn't have become so committed to sewing if it weren't for my blog and the amazing people who read it and support me. I don't want to take any of this (or you) for granted!

This past year of blogging has been a pretty big one, I think, at least in terms of collaboration and participation. Some highlights:

1) I participated in my first Me-Made-May, which was surprisingly easy (aside from the daily photos) because I've actually built a pretty robust handmade wardrobe. I haven't bought any new clothes off-the-rack since August of 2012! Though I do need more sweaters and am scared of learning to knit them. 

2) Made several garments in a short time period for Season 1 of the Project Sewn competition, hosted by the Simon + Co. ladies, and won second place

3) Stood as a judge in the Super Online Sewing Match hosted by Sew Mama Sew. Congrats on your win, Kelli

4) Got Sew Bossy with one of my favorite bloggers, Cirque du Bebe

5) Had Corey's cameraman jacket featured on Jesse Thorn's popular menswear blog, Put This On. Men actually visited my blog! A LOT of men. Hai boyz :-* 

6) Bought a better camera (Canon Rebel). This is a minor change because I don't use it that wisely -- and I'm such a noob at photography -- but this has helped clean up the aesthetic of my blog a bit so I'm happy I made the investment. 

Last year for my first blog anniversary I calculated some stats and posted superlatives on my year of sewing, so I thought I'd do it again to see what's changed. I am a grant writer by profession...and a data nerd... so it's only natural that I want to share some measurable outputs.

Between October 2012 and October 2013, I have sewn 66 garments, 51 of which were for myself and 44 of which have made it to the blog. You're probably thinking "Cool," or "wtf get a lyfe." I had both reactions myself. I love sewing but I also just love wearing new clothes, so sewing quickly is important to me. And we all know I'm not making silk taffeta ball gowns over here. IF ONLY, right.

The distribution of categories is similar to last year, no surprise. I wear dresses and skirts 90% of my life. The only difference, really, is my output of men's clothing. In my first year of sewing/blogging, I made Corey one shirt that never got worn. This past year, I made him three shirts, three pair of shorts, and one jacket. And two Henley tees that weren't counted in the total because I finished them after I made my pie charts. He wears his handmade clothes constantly, so it's win-win. Win: I make him clothes. Win: he does the dishes?

Last year, more than half of my handmade garments were never worn or had been discarded, taken apart, or given away in disgust. This year I still have several duds, but most of those were impulse sews that didn't take much investment of time or materials. My UFOs are a different story I refuse to tell, though. Shudder.

Here are some superlatives for the things I've made in the past year:

MOST WORN: definitely this navy corduroy skirt, made from the Colette Beignet pattern. I wore this constantly last fall and winter. It shrunk in length, but I still sneak-wear it to the office and pretend it's acceptable. I wear my other buttonless Beignets pretty often, too, because I like the shape on me, and they're lined, structured and don't flutter around in the wind.

LEAST WORN: I made this white blazer for round 1 of Project Sewn, and I think it's the sole reason I won that round! Unfortunately the sleeve cap is rotated weird, and the lining is sticky, and I promptly stained it, rendering the whole garment basically unwearable. I'm still holding onto it, though, for the memories or something.

MOST READ BLOG POST: Well, actually my most read blog post continues to be the Round Pintuck Pillow Tutorial (people love pillows!!), but as for posts published in the past year, the review of my Janome coverstitch machine is in close competition with the Cameraman Jacket post. Seems like a lot of people have a coverstitch on their wish list, and it helps that I got a shout-out from Sunni (A Fashionable Stitch) about it. Guys, I'm still so glad I bought one. All my knitwear has awesome stretchy hems! It just feels so pro. So Coverpro, if you will.

FAVORITE FABRIC: I think people think I'm crazy when I wear my flamingo dress, but I can't get enough of it. I won this beauty in a giveaway hosted by Marie (A Stitching Odyssey), so it makes me think of my bloggy friend every time I wear it. It's just the perfect fabric: stretchy with great recovery, lightweight but opaque, slinky but stable enough to cut and sew, cute enough for summer but warm enough when layered for winter. And it's covered in flamingos, c'mon.

BEST BLOG SUPPLEMENT: Instagram. Yeah, yeah, I know. Translation: laziest blog substitute. Blogging is already time-consuming enough, so I've always limited my sewing web presence to my blog and sewing-specific platforms like Burdastyle and Pattern Review. I hate Twitter (too much text, marketing, and di@logue confusion), and Facebook is too littered with high school acquaintances saying boring things. To better connect with sewing bloggers elsewhere, though, I decided to try out the visual platform of Instagram. Turns out I love it, and think it's a great way to share behind-the-scenes sewing stuff as well as other parts of my life with fellow bloggers (though it's still mostly sewing BS with the occasional cute animal). Though it's social media, it feels more personal than blog comments. 

Unfortunately its greatness means that I've been resorting to posting finished projects on Instagram and not bothering to follow up with a blog post. The above photo shows a top I made my friend Charlotte using the Grainline Scout Tee and some fabric I won in Liza Jane's recent fabric giveaway! That may be disappointing to some, but it satisfies my "Look what I made!" impulse without forcing me to commit the hours involved in photo shoots, photo editing, text write-ups and linkies. Still love my blawg, though, and I know a lot of my #1 homies aren't on Instagram (yet). Anyway, follow me if you dare: @foursquarewalls


Speaking of hours of commitment, this blog post needs to come to a wrap. Thanks again to all of you who read my blog and encourage and challenge my sewing. I wish I could wrap my arms around the whole globe and give you each a squeeze. Until then... cheers!