2012: The Year of the Sewing Machine

When I went to Florida for Christmas, my mom handed down her twenty-year-old Singer machine.  You would not believe how excited I was (and still am).  I don't care that she bought it when my brother was born.  This thing is a work of industrial art.  It has an automatic buttonholer!  It embroiders!  There's a computer with five needle settings!  I sewed on it while I was at my parents' house, and as soon as I came home, I packed up my machine to make space for my new one.

Last year was a huge year for me in more ways than one.  Besides moving, and moving in with my boyfriend, I started to become my own person.  I took up new hobbies.  I can cook!  And sew my own clothes!  I had a lot of setbacks, too, but part of my outlook for this year is to not focus on those.  (The hissy fit I threw when we got home from Florida over a broken roaster is in the past.  That was last year, geez.)  One of my resolutions for this year is to finish up old projects and start on new ones--as you probably have seen, because I know you follow every moment on this blog, there's a new page at the top that tracks what I'd like to complete this year--because I hate leaving things unfinished.  This may be why I had so many twelve-to-fourteen-hour days last year.  I can't leave work knowing that I'll have a mess in the morning.  The same goes for projects.  I've had a handful of different patterns sitting around in Ziploc bags, getting more crumpled by the moment.  No more of that!

I'm actually a little proud of myself for taking on these new hobbies and activities last year, not to toot my own horn, because I tend to be more introverted (and lazy) than that.  As fearless as I've been in the past, I've become a big ol' baby lately, and I think anything that helps me overcome that (having to learn how to install zippers or whatever) is a good thing.  I'm still terrified of plenty of other things--driving to Baltimore, for instance, or taking the Metro at 1 AM--but every little bit helps.  Plus it's really fun and I love being able to say, yeah, I made that!
Sew, Mama, Sew! asked some questions on their blog this morning, and seeing as how I've been absent as of late, I figured I'd answer them as a kind of jumping-off point.  I'd like to be more proactive in the blog this year, so what better way than to actually write in it?

    What were some of your favorite things related to sewing this past year?
    Seeing as how this is my first year actually sewing, instead of just watching my mom sew, I was really happy with all the resources available to me.  There are free patterns and tutorials everywhere!  Anytime I needed help with anything, I could trust Google to throw me a blog.  The internet is a powerful thing.
    What sewn projects have you seen this year that you absolutely love?
    Anything from Colette Patterns and Oliver + S are immediately crushworthy.  I can't say how many pictures I've favorited on Flickr just because they're gorgeous or they're a basis for inspiration.  I find so many great projects on Noodlehead and Made by Rae--I think those women are powerhouses and can do no wrong.
    Do you have a favorite sewing book or pattern from the past year to recommend?
    I received the Colette Patterns book for Christmas and already have plans to make four of the five projects--I never find that many in sewing books!  I was so happy to see there wasn't a wrap skirt included for beginners.  Ew!  I really recommend the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress and the Amy Butler Spice Market tote.  Both are easy enough for a beginner to get through, but they produce really amazing results.
    Are there any trends you’re over and done with?
    I'm not a quilter, so of course I'd love to see more apparel-based tutorials and projects.  However, I understand quilting isn't going anywhere!  Honestly, I'd love to see more usable items.  So many times I flip through a sewing book or magazine and see projects no one needs.  How many mug rugs must we have before we realize we've never seen one in use?! 
    The biggest selling point for me is necessity--it's easy to talk me into buying something if I can see a need for it.  That's why I buy so many patterns from Colette, Oliver + S and Amy Butler.  They're modern and classic at the same time, and appeal to me as a young woman.  I want to use these patterns and can't wait to get my hands on them.  We need to stop making just for the sake of it, and instead, start putting our talents to good use.
    What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
    I'm of the social media generation (I remember when my college was added to Facebook so I could finally join), so it seems like just another part of my life.  I love that it has connected me to so many big names in the sewing industry--I've tweeted with Lizzy House and Sarai Mitnick and follow all my favorite companies on Facebook.  I stock my Google Reader with sewing blogs.  It's honestly where I get 99% of my inspiration.
    Can you tell us what to expect from you in 2012? Any big projects or life-changing goals?
    Ha!  God only knows what to expect from me.  I hope to sew many more wearable projects this year.  Personally, we're hoping to move toward the end of the year, but before then, I'd like to go to New York and Philly while we're right here.  I'd also like to visit my grandma at some point.  I'd like to be much healthier this year.  I think I went to the doctor more this year than all the past years combined (not true--I like hyperboles).  
    Isn't any goal a life-changing goal?  What's the point of it if you aren't going to better yourself at the end?
So here we go!  It's 2012.  Let's sew some dresses before the world ends.