In Block Printing/Design/ Knitting/ Sewing

My Top Five Highlights of 2016

For this week’s ‘Top Five’ roundup I’m sharing my top five non-sewing related highlights of 2016. This was actually a hard list for me to compile because so much of what I do that feels highlight worthy involves sewing. In fact most of the things on this list still relate to sewing, just in a more indirect way. Oh well, I can’t help it – I’m kind of obsessed with sewing!

Highlight Number 1.) In January I gathered up all of my block prints, scanned them into Adobe Illustrator and turned them into repeating patterns which I then used to open a new Spoonflower shop. It was a huge undertaking to upload over 60 items in various colors and designs but I did it and it feels great to have a portfolio of sorts out there! The simple motivation of wanting to get better at Illustrator and build a portfolio lead to partnership opportunities with Sprout patterns (here and here), plus I got to write a tutorial for Spoonflower’s blog which I’m very proud of. I definitely have a huge passion for designing fabric and creating repeating patterns and I’m looking forward to exploring that outlet more in 2017.

Highlight Number 2.) I was featured in Simply Knitting magazine! Even though I had four magazine features in 2016 this one was my favorite. It was great to put into words how much I’ve fallen in love with knitting over the years and to gush about the magic that is wielding needles. Knitting seriously feels like wizard sorcery to me. The more I learn and the better I get, the more magical it feels. I improved my knitting a lot this year, learned new techniques, tried more advanced patterns and even started developing a pattern of my own! I’d say my love of knitting is now equal to my love of sewing and 2017 is definitely going to reflect that.

Highlight Number 3.) I learned how to dye yarn! This is something I’ve always wanted to learn and never had any clue where to start. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a Craftsy class and discovered you really don’t need any fancy equipment that I thought okay, I can definitely do this. And I did! …and I’m totally hooked. I need to order another batch of ecru yarn and some more dyes but look out for much more hand-dyed yarn from me in the future because I love making it so much!

Highlight Number 4.) This may seem like a strange highlight for some but I felt really comfortable in my clothes this year, both literally and figuratively. Long time blog readers know this online space of mine has basically become a candid look at me trying to figure out how to dress myself, and therefore make clothing I actually like to dress myself in. I’m so inspired and energized by novelty print quilting cottons in bright colors but it’s taken me years to realize I just don’t really wear them or use them like I think I will. I’ve grown to love and appreciate those fabrics in other ways just as I’ve grown to love sewing with knits and making super “boring” wardrobe staples in solid colors. I’ll talk more about this next time in my Top 5 Reflections post, but since I started this blog I’ve organically gravitated towards a minimal approach to my wardrobe and that notion has me super excited for making in 2017!

Highlight Number 5.) This year was the year I felt confident with Adobe Illustrator knowledge and set out to design, illustrate and release a sewing pattern. This was HUGE for me because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In fact, nearly five years ago, I remember telling my boss at the time that I’d like to design sewing patterns before I was 30. Well this year I turned 29 and my tiny little PDF wallet pattern is such a big step towards so many bigger dreams and aspirations. The Pixie Wallet is currently offline because I’m making some updates and re-releasing it under a new brand name (which I’ll share much more about next month), but it sold over 100 copies in the few months I had it online and I’m so proud of that! Look forward to many more patterns from me in 2017 πŸ™‚

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I can’t remember who said it or where I heard it but “Never overestimate what you can do in a year, or underestimate what you can do in five” – That couldn’t be more true for me. I’m often hard on myself for not doing or learning things fast enough or efficiently enough, but looking back over these years and realizing how much I’ve grown and accomplished since 2012 (back when I decided to start blogging about sewing) I feel …solid. Grounded. Like I’m on the right path.

It’s a good place to be moving into a new year.

xo
Rochelle

Week One: My Top Five Hits
Week Two: My Top Five Misses
Week Three: My Top Five Highlights
Week Four: My Top Five Reflections
Week Five: My Top Five Goals for 2017

  • This year has been one of my favourites on your blog. You really seem to have come into your own style-wise and are fearlessly crafting! I love that!

    PS: I like reading about making wardrobe basics.

  • What a good quote to live by! Aspirational and forgiving. I’m glad you’ve found your sweet spot in 2016!