Sewing Top 5 of 2019: misses & highlights & reflections & goals

Okay! I started to write this post on the 22nd of January and then there was life! So, now that we are in this strange pandemic atmosphere I thought this is an excellent time to finish my ‘Sewing Top 5 of 2019

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As it’s mid-July 2020 now I’m going to make one blogpost of part #2 and #3 of the #SewingTop5 series from ‘The Sewcialists‘. So here are the 2019 misses, highlights, reflections, and goals.

Sewing M i s s e s

“Misses” is a very elastic concept! It could be some projects that totally went wrong, or that you didn’t wear. It’s also possible that you have sewed your garment ok but that when you wear it doesn’t feel like you. Or maybe you destroyed it by accident!

fives on it
fives on it – poem by a friend (alligatorzine).

Looking at my sewing of last year here are some of my misses in random order.

#1 The Mary Quant dress in Mahlia Kent fabric

I started sewing the Mary Quant dress, a free pattern from the V&A museum which was designed by Alice & C° patterns, with the brand new Mahlia Kent fabric I bought in Paris in February ’19. (Look below in the highlights.)
Man, was this fabric hard to work with. Due to the woven geometric print, it frayed like hell. So it was hard labour to cut and sew it. But in the end, I managed and I even got as far as the construction of the collar and the neckline. Unfortunately, I cut out the undercollar and the neckline facing from the main fabric. I should have used lining fabric that would have made the construction doable. Now it just was bulky!
I hope to find the courage to unpick it and finish it in a neat way. A perfect project for next fall.

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The “frayed” inside of the Mary Quant dress.
Mahlia Kent fabric
The beautiful Mahlia Kent fabric. Prewashed!!
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Print Matching Pocket!

#2 The shrinking of the Zadie Jumpsuit.

Although “The joy of prewashing your fabric” was one of my reflections of 2018 I did not always act on it. So you can imagine the horror when I got my Zadie Jumpsuit out of the washing machine and even immediately felt that it had shrunk! I CRIED.
After this debacle, I prewashed EVERY, EVERY piece of fabric I used for sewing.

Zadie Jumpsuit.
I guess I cannot raise my arms anymore now!

#3 The tearing of my first culottes

I was so happy with my first complete self-drafted culottes pattern. I was even happier that I could sew it out of a piece of fabric I bought at the small fabric stall on a local Tuscan market. It was only 3 €! In retrospect, this should have warned me because when I wore the culottes for the first time on a dinner date the fabric just ripped at unexpected places. The tears are beyond repairable because the fabric is in fact exhausted! Luckily I made already a new pair of culottes this time out of brand new fabric.

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Exhausted fabric!
Culottes
Second pair of culottes in brand new fabric.

#4 Being a scatterbrained sewist!

I guess this title needs no further comments. The main reason for not finishing my ongoing sewing projects is that I’m always so inspired by all the fabulous projects and challenges I see every day within the sewing community. So, I easily abandon the project I’m working on and start a new one. I love starting a new project so that’s how I create a lot of WIPs and UFOs.

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A scatterbrained sewist!

H i g h l i g h t s

Life isn’t only about sewing! Or is it? So here are my non-sewing highlights of 2019. No surprise that these highlights are not so different from those of 2018 and 2017.

#1 Our grandson M.

From January ’19, when his mother went back to work after her maternity leaf, our grandson M. stays with us every Wednesday. Needless to say that this day is the highlight of our week.

grandson
The cutest!

#2 Podere Santa Pia

Also in 2019 was staying at our holiday home in the South of Tuscany the best thing of our life. And being there with our family and friends makes it even better.
It is a tradition to take a goodbye picture every time we leave. We call it the #ciaosantapia photo session.

ciaosantapia

#3 Spending time with family & friends

The special highlight for our family in 2019 was the diamond wedding anniversary of my parents. Even more special was that we could celebrate it on the farmhouse where my father was born and where they lived until my father moved to an elderly home.

Greatgrandparents
My parents with our grandson M.

A special family gathering was the celebration of four generations within my husband’s family.

Four generations
Four generations on the red couch.

Always a highlight for me is when we have a Sunday pizza night with our out-of-the-house living children. These are great nights with a lot of laughter and love.

pizza night
Pizzanight!

Days spent with friends are also happy days. Even more when we visit together museums or art shows (which is my highlight #4)

#4 Visiting museums

I said it before I can be totally flabbergasted by seeing a good art show. This year I had the pleasure to see again a good show at my favourite Musem De Pont in Tilburg (Ann Veronica Janssens & Richard Long).

Ann Veronica Janssens
Standing in awe for the work of Ann Veronica Janssens.

We also saw a very interesting show of René Heyvaert at the Museum M in Leuven.

René Heyvaert
Work of René Heyvaert.

#5 City trip to Paris

Paris is only a two and a half-hour drive away from our house. So once and a while we go there for a day. We went the 16th of February ’19 which was an exceptional sunny day. Paris is always fun but being able to buy some fabric at the Mahlia Kent store (see misses #1) made it even more enjoyable.

Paris
Stravinsky Fountain of Niki de Saint Phalle

Sewing R e f l e c t i o n s

When I reflect on my sewing in 2019 two happy facts pop up and they are both related to the sewing community. I attended The Sewing Weekender in Cambridge and I started going to a sewing class.

#1 The Sewing Weekender in Camebridge, UK

Sewing Weekender
Where is Wis?
Photo from the Foldline

I was over the moon when I scored tickets for The Sewing Weekender, 31st August – 1st September ’19 in Cambridge, UK. The Sewing Weekender is an informal meet-up of sewists organised by The Foldline and English Girl at Home. It’s two days of unlimited sewing, whilst chatting with sewists, and listening to very passionate speakers from the sewing community.

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I started and nearly finished my green perth dress at The Sewing Weekender.

What I liked the most was finally meeting all these fabulous sewists I know from the online sewing community IRL.
Attending the Sewing Weekender was so inspiring and gave me a lot of energy. I hope to go to many, many Sewing Weekenders in the future.

#2 Sewing Class

More than three years ago I started following patternmaking classes. Although I learned a lot, these classes were more on a theoretical level. In September’19 I enrolled in two other classes which were more practical orientated: Making Pattern Trousers for yourself & Sew Your Selfmade Patterns. These are great classes which I enjoy deeply. And I already have good results: my culottes and a basic trousers pattern.

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Sewing G o a l s

Sewing goals for 2020!

Just like last year I’m going to be very brief here. As I did not reach my goals for 2019 I’m going to repeat them for 2020.

  1. Finish all the UFOs and WIPs
  2. Don’t create new WIPs!
  3. Keep on sewing whenever you feel it!
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The last picture of 2019, taken on 31st December – sewing at my happy place, Podere Santa Pia.

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