Hello! It’s the last day of 2023, and I’m feeling miraculously motivated to look back upon my year of making, and see what I made, how it worked out and generally do a bit of retrospective musing on the things to come… first of all I’m putting up some favourite photos/outfits, one from each month of the year. I made everything I’m wearing in each picture, barring some shoes…
Actually, it was funny for me looking back to find some favourite pictures because to be honest I had a bit of a photo slump this year. I stopped enjoying taking pictures of myself and struggled to find any motivation in it, particularly during the last four months.
What did I make this year?
So, I made 64 items this year, including 3 knitted items, 2 underwear sets comprising a bra plus two pairs of matching undies, 1 leather bag, one wallet, and 30 items for other people. The absolute biggest and most involved project for me this year was of course Lainey’s wedding dress. Yes, it sounds like a lot, and of course it is! That stash is not going to reduce itself!
Cassie and were absolutely over the moon to add two new patterns to our Carolyn & Cassie Pattern Co stable this year; the Pinjarra twinset and the Meelup skirt. It seems like this has been the Year of Basics for our tiny company! It feels great to have some more tried and true patterns that we truly believe in and wear ourselves very frequently. And we’re excited about moving onto more adventurous design next year. #bighint
Stashbusting vs new fabric
I’m still diligently working through my stash, and not buying or accepting new fabric. I’m pretty proud of my restraint… in fact the only time I worked with new fabric this year was Lainey’s wedding dress! I’ve worked through quite a lot of my collection and it’s all looking quite manageable nowadays. Realistically, I estimate I have maybe another year of not buying new to get rid of absolutely EVERYTHING, maybe even less? Exciting thought! but we’ll see how that goes! #fingerscrossed. Wish me luck!
Regarding the very large wool stash I’ve inherited from relatives’ … I’m planning to enquire about donating most of it to my grandson’s daycare/kindergarten actually, because realistically it would take me years to knit my way through that. I have to be realistic about what is achievable!
Hmm, no surprises here, but of course Lainey’s wedding dress is by far my favourite make of the year! as well as being the most involved. This was a pure labour of love, into which I poured my heart and soul. Although there were challenges… I still have slight ptsd about that hem! I’m pretty proud of the final product and felt like Lainey chose an absolutely beautiful design that I was genuinely in love with myself too. I’m so thrilled with how beautifully she shone on this day, which was a truly lovely time in every way.
Some other favourites makes of the year are:
I’m really happy with how both this pretty pink Pinjarra cardigan and this little blue Jade mini skirt turned out, and I’ve worn both of these pieces pretty frequently. The ivory tee is my most most worn item of the year! I really need to make another, to take the pressure off!
For creativity, I was really happy with this weird little outfit!
And, so random, but I was thrilled with this little knitted set that I made for baby Gilbert! Making things like this, and the purple/raspberry set above just reinforce for me the joy I feel with making something useful from scraps and bits and pieces that otherwise suggest nothing. I need to embrace more projects like these because they are nearly always the most rewarding and satisfying to me.
ooh gosh, that’s tough, because I didn’t really make anything this year that stands out negatively… strictly speaking there are a few items I’ve only worn once so far, but they are all things I like!
I made a whole bunch of things from this rather terrible paprika-coloured stretch fabric, all of which have a tendency to stretch out, and it was a relief to get this ghastly stuff out of the stash. However, all of them been worn a bunch so I can’t really call any of these a true fail either! Theo insists the red T-shirt is his favourite top!
What did I wear?
My most worn items can be summed up neatly in the following #ootd photos.
Everything made by me, in fact I wore close to 100% me made clothing as usual. My most worn items are my ivory merino tee (23 wears), my Oxen Fibremood Jill dress (top row, middle, 21 wears), and jointly my navy Miette knitted cardigan and yellow merino Pinjarra cardigan (18 wears each). Honourable mentions go to my green Karijini dress (top row, left, 16 wears), and as usual my yellow raincoat, the number of wears I did not count… I’m also not counting my black tights, hand knitted sock, handmade sockettes nor any hats, all of which were very worn more than anything, of course!
other doings in general
I’m still learning Japanese, it’s been nearly four years now! and I am excited to announce we’ll be visiting Japan again next year. I’m thrilled to be able to try speaking a little, as well as catch up again with my lovely friend Yoshimi.
I’ve kept up my outfit of the day blog over on Tumblr for 10 years now! Wow! I’m pleased I managed this, however like I mentioned at the beginning of this post the habit of taking a photo of myself everyday has started to become tiring and I’ve decided to gently let it go. Actually, correction; I’m abruptly letting it go! 10 years is quite a long time! There have been plenty of times in the last year I’ve almost forgotten about it and have to hurriedly take a picture just before putting my pyjamas on… haha. Whoops! I think you’ve got to sometimes take stock of whether an activity is contributing to your happiness, or if it’s become a chore; and take the appropriate action. I may or may not take the occasional picture if I particularly love my outfit, but definitely not daily, and will most likely post only instagram from now on.
Finally, if you’re still reading, then thank you very much for sticking with me for another year! I really appreciate everyone who does and who chooses to leave a kind and generous comment every now and then; each and every one really makes my day and I’m so thankful for all of you.
I hope you all had a wonderful year, and wish you all a happy, healthy, rewarding and creative 2024 ahead!