Since I started this blog over a Christmas holiday, back in 2011, Christmas always feels like an anniversary, and a good opportunity to look back, just a little.
During 2016, inspired by fellow vloggers, particularly Kate & Rachel from The Fold Line, I started a vlog. You can see all my videos here. Before I started this blog, I was quite self conscious about having my photo taken, but posing for blog photos soon saw to that (although I’m still more comfortable with Phil behind the camera than anyone else). Similarly, until recently I wouldn’t have contemplated filming myself but I’m really enjoying creating – and particularly editing – the vlogs, and have lots more planned.
I have a bit of an addiction to organising things! During 2016, I organised the third annual SewBrum meet-up, which was attended by over 100 sewists and raised £465 for The Eve Appeal. I also teamed up with Kate & Rachel from The Fold Line, to organise the Sewing Weekender, sewing holiday, which brought together 59 sewists for a weekend break in Cambridge. I really enjoyed working with Kate and Rachel to plan the event – I’m not sure I would have had the nerves, or capacity, to organise a similar event alone, and planning as a team is so much more enjoyable.
I took part in the Big Vintage Sew-along blogger tour, the Christmas Linden Swap, the World Book Day blog tour, and pattern testing of Capital Chic Patterns Sangia and Cuba Libre, Megan Nielsen’s Sudley blouse/dress, and Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan.
I had a number of sewing related magazine articles published; a profile of the RSC Costume Department, a guide to some of the best fashion and textile museums around the world, and to creating your own yarn, all for Seamwork. I also had a profile of Ernest Wright & Son published in Love Sewing and an interview about natural dyeing in Sewing World. Visiting Ernest Wright & Son in Sheffield for the Love Sewing article was a particular highlight, I had the most fun day and totally fell in love with the factory and company.
I got more involved with the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, taking on the (voluntary) role of creating and managing Association Instagram and Twitter accounts (both with the username guildswsd) and producing a monthly newsletter for Guild members.
Phil and I visited Cornwall, Reykjavik, New York, Boston, Amsterdam, Paris, and Istanbul. While in New York and Boston, I got the chance to shop for fabric and natter with fellow sewists, and I finally (on my 21st visit) tracked down where to buy fabric in Istanbul!
Oh, and I was nominated for Sewing Blog of the Year in the 2017 British Craft Awards, ‘Sewing’ category.
Finally, during 2016 I managed to complete all of the sewing and knitting projects pictured below. I had planned to undertake / blog more natural dyeing projects (all of my previous posts can be found here), and a series on British textile history (I managed a single, solitary post, about Birmingham), but there’s always next year!
And on a non sewing/blog note, I feel (at the grand old age of 33) more confident and comfortable in my own skin than I ever have. It wasn’t that I was previously especially aware of feeling self-conscious or awkward (I remember being really shocked as a small child to be told by a teacher that I was shy), but I feel in the last year I’ve reached a level of confidence in my self and my opinions, and – in the nicest possible way – stopped caring about other people’s opinions of me, which makes me more outgoing, happier, and hopefully more fun to be around. I think sewing – and, in particular, being part of the sewing community – has contributed to this, in addition to being in a good place work-wise, and being surrounded by great people at home and work.