Friday, 28 December 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!!!

Bloody hell. At the start of 2012, I thought the year, our second full year living in our adopted city, would be a fairly calm affair. I predicted settling into our new 'grown-up' lives and the consolidation and continuation of lots of the projects we already had on the go. I entered 2012 more secure than I have ever been in terms of where I want to live and who I want to spend my life with. But I can't say the rest of the year was in any way 'calm' or 'settling'. It reminded me quite firmly that you can't really plan for anything; or more precisely that you must be prepared to have your plans knocked about and you must be happy to alter those plans as life monkeys around with them.

I can't really discuss a round up of 2012 without mentioning that it was the year in which I got married. As much as I'd like to make light of it, for fear of coming across as a stereotypical princess-bridezilla, getting married was a pretty absorbing experience. We got engaged just before Christmas last year, and even though we planned a relatively short engagement, I totally under-estimated how stressful and consuming planning a wedding would be, even a low-budget and relaxed 'do like ours. We took a very DIY approach which one the one hand was great because it made everything more personal, affordable and 'us', plus there wasn't too much relying on others who might let you down or inflate the prices of stuff. But on the other hand, taking so much on ourselves meant there was so much to think about and work on. It was a bit like having an end-of-year dissertation hanging over your head: it was very difficult to ever properly relax because you'd feel like there was something you should probably be doing, or that if you took your eye off the game for a minute you might over-look something major, like rings or footwear! But all that aside, it was a wonderful day that everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed. But I never plan to do it again!

Source: via Zoe on Pinterest

The other major thing that happened this year, whilst we were neck-deep in wedding arranging, was both Pat and I losing our jobs and as a result deciding to have a crack at being self-employed. Of course, there is never a good time to loose your job and/or find your income drastically cut, but the fact that it happened to both of us within a couple of months of each other felt like quite a kick in the teeth at the time. But I have to say, there is a part of me that relishes big seismic changes like that, especially ones that free you in some way. It has been an insanely rocky eight-ish months, but rolling with the punches and constructing a new way of life has been very invigorating, and I am so happy to report that it has solidified rather than weakened our relationship. As things have panned out, our finances have flipped and for the first time since we got together, Pat has been in the position to be the one to pick up the financial slack when things have got difficult. It's a really strange position for me to find myself in and not an entirely comfortable one.

In terms of sewing, 2012 was kind of a year of three parts for me. Until the Summer, I was really prolific. My then-boss was on maternity leave and I had taken the helm at TRAIDremade, making daily design and construction decisions with almost complete freedom. The sweet set up of a permanently free cutting space, sewing machine and overlocker meant I zipped through my own sewing projects, racking up new garments and refashions at a rapid rate of knots. Then the wedding makery took hold and I had to throw myself into making my wedding dress, the bridesmaid's dress and Pat's waistcoat. But after those were done my sewing took a massive nose-dive. I think that was due to the combination of lack of sewing and cutting space when the studio closed and the loss of mojo from all that important non-frivolous sewing. That said, I did release two free downloadable sewing patterns this year, that I'm very pleased with.

My main plans for 2013 are self-employment related. There are so many things I've now got myself involved in that now form what can loosely be termed 'my work'. I need to figure out how to get them to financially support me AND I need to figure out how balance my time so I can do them all without being the massive stress-head I've recently allowed myself to become.

But arguably more excitingly, I have big plans, hopes and schemes for my sewing this year, which include:
  • Get my post-wedding, post-reduction in sewing space sewing mojo back. I can already feel it working its way back, plus some ace new sewing patterns have found their way into my stash recently which can only be a good thing for my mojo. 
  • Have a major clear-out and be brutally honest about which self-made garments no longer fit or are looking too tatty. 
  • Focus on creating a look that bridges the gap between what I feel comfortable wearing and what I would ideally like to dress like. In part this means creating better fitting garments that feel good to wear, but I think it also translates to actually wearing some of my fancier creations!
  • Host another awesome Me-Made-May!!!! Personally, I'm hoping to have some great new garments to wear that are closer to how I dress in my imagination than I have worn in past challenges. 
  • Tackle lots of the wonderful sewing patterns that have been languishing in my stash for ages. I have so many vintage gems as well as newer ones that are crying out to be tested.
  • Work through some of my enormous hoard of secondhand fabric, AKA do some serious Stash Bustin'. There is some great stuff in there and it should be enjoyed as fabulous garments, rather than residing in plastic bags stored away like it currently is. 
  • Make some garments that closely resemble some of the amazing visual inspiration I've been collating for yonks on my laptop and on Pinterest.
  • FINALLY make a freaking diner waistress dress or maybe blouse!!!!!

Source: via Zoe on Pinterest

I wish you all a wonderful new year! I hope it brings you fun and excitement, plus relaxation and calm when needed. Thank you so much for stopping by and/or following my blog for the last year, I promise my blog will remain at the heart of my creative activities in the forthcoming year and it'll be worth swinging by from time to time! Big love to you all xxx


Sewing Sveta said...

Wish you good year!! Thanks for your blog!

Kate said...

Zoe, your blog will always be one of the most inspirational sewing blogs that I am probably ever going to read on the internet. I've been following you for the past two years and all I can say is thank you. I know exactly how you feel too about taking on a wedding. All my sewing time was sucked away but, in the end well worth it to have not done a wedding like everyone else! Best wishes in the New Year and can't wait to see what you have in store for us! I will also be back for the MMM challenge! -Kate

Marie said...

Blimey Zo, what a year you've had indeed! Such a roller-coaster and although I'm an avid reader of your blog...seeing it all summarised in one post is something else! You and Pat are clearly resilient and talented people and I wish you both the best of luck with your 2013 endeavours! I can't wait to see what you'll be sewing and to follow your self-employment journey!

Kay said...

Zoe, What a roller coaster ride this year for you! And you came out stronger and shinier!

Happy New year! May the new year be all that you wish for, with extra dashes of love, luck and laughter!

Miriam said...

zoe I completely love your blog. your creativity, your re-purposing inspiration and your awesome attitude to life which absolutely shines through your blog and is a joy. I so look forward to being there for the journey in 2013

EmSewCrazy said...

As I said in my blog post, yours was the first blog I began to follow so you have made a big impact in my sewing life this year!
Hats off to you for hanging in there through all the changes! You gotta watch that Life, it's always being sneaky and changing things up on you!
I'm so excited to see how things go with your self employment path. It is similar to what I want to do someday so I am watching closely and taking notes!
I'm also super excited for Me-Made-May! I hope to participate for the first time and am sewing with that end in view!

didyoumakethat said...

It's been one hell of a year and ... you survived!!! Well done to both of you. You're undefeatable now. I hope you pop a cork on NYE.

Crab and Bee said...

I'm so excited for Me-Made-May! Congratulations on your year, it's sounded thrilling (if not restful) and I'm so excited to see how 2013 shapes up for your self-employment adventure!

Carolyn said...

You've had a tumultuous year! and yay! for hanging in there and making the most and the best of your abilities and your immense talent! I'm looking forward to seeing what directions you take in 2013, and naturally looking forward to Me-Made May as well :D

Stevie said...

What a rollercoaster of a year Zoe! Its been great reading your blog and meeting up with you over the years, I think we could fit in another Brighton Sewist meet this year!
Congratulations again to you and Pat, Both on the wedding and surviving this year!
Wish you all the best for 2013

Kirsty said...

I'll definitely be popping by to see how things are working out. Well done on surviving beautifully a full on and taxing year. I always find you totally inspiring so looking forward to seeing you have a great 2013 and a second Me Made May!

Dora said...

Happy new year, Zoe! I hope 2013 is a little easier and less stressful for you and Pat. You're one of my favorite bloggers and a constant source of inspiration and Big Thoughts.

Tilly said...

Aw... thanks for keeping up such a cracking blog throughout a turbulent year. Here's to a super successful 2013 for a super talented lady. xx

Catherine said...

A very happy new year to you both. You clearly survived a crazy year. I know I have said it before but you're so inspirational. I for one will defo be reading your blog. I might even get by bum in bear and join MMM! I hope you had an awesome Christmas. Hope to catch up in the new year. Lots of love, Catherine x.

Jacq C said...

I really look forward to your posts popping up in my blog reader. Thank you for so much inspiration during such a busy and turbulent year. Best of luck and much happiness in 2013 :)

johanna@projects by me said...

I'm so looking forward to MMM '13, since I didn't participate this year.
And good luck with everything in 2013!!
Happy New Year!

Amanda said...

What a crazy year! I wish you all the best for 2013- may your self-employment be enjoyable and sustainable, may your sewing be epic and may that diner dress be made and worn with pride. Can't wait to see how you rock out 2013 style!

Anonymous said...

I felt exactly the same way as you did about my similar wedding experience this year. Never doing it again.

I'm inspired to do a year end wrap up on my blog (which i've been neglecting) and make some goals for 2013. I would love to participate in MMM 2013!

You are such a gem, Zoe!


Anonymous said...

Happy 2013! I hope the new year brings good things your direction! And gee whiz, make that diner dress already! ;)

velosews said...

Wishing you all the best for 2013. I love MMM now that I've tried it.
You've done so well Zoe.

Sarah said...

what a year you've had! I am still in love with the colour on your wedding dress! all the best for the coming year and your self employment plans!! looking forward to reading more from you :)

Zoe said...

Thank you all soooo much for your lovely sweet comments!

Happy New Year everyone
Zoe xxx

Len said...

Happy New Year Zoe! It's certainly been a rollercoaster of a year - I look forward to seeing what you get up to in 2013. I'm sure it will be inspirational, as always :)

Lily Bean said...

Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 holds nothing but joy and success for you and your husband in all you do. Thanks for sharing your life with us and being an inspiration! XOXO

Miriam said...

oh and also - I'm totally stealing one of your dressing goals for my post tomorrow too!! but I am linking it back to you of course :o) x

Scruffybadger said...

Zoe, you are such an inspiration, thank you for all you've shared with us via your blog. And such a memorable year. All the very best for 2013 xxx

jen said...

I'm sure amazing things are in store for such a talented, sweet lady in the upcoming year. I can't wait to see what you accomplish. A happy and creative 2013 to you!!!

Sølvi said...

What a great round-up post, I love the goals you are setting for yourself, and I wish you the best of luck in the life as self-employed. And I am sooo happy that you have decided to host another Me Made May. Woohooo! :-)

ZoSews said...

What a huge year for you. Good luck with your goals for 2013! I have bucket loads of patterns and stash fabric to attack as well... trick being to not acquire any more now.

Alessa said...

Happy New Year, Zoe! Sounds like 2012 was a roller coaster ride for you - hopefully 2013 will be a bit more relaxing. :)
I'm already looking forward to MMMay!

Anonymous said...

It has been amazing following your adventures through your crazy threat and I look forward to reading about all that you do in 2013.I have complete faith you'll achieve the goals you've got listed here!

Joo Mi said...

That is a nice candid wedding photo of you both. I am not too surprised to see you in a teal dress but I was surprised to see him in a nice suit. This is because the first photo I saw of him was where he had much longer hair, almost Afro looking and he just did not look the type to wear any kind of suit. Nowadays many South Korean brides wear white wedding dresses but traditional hanbock wedding dresses are quite colorful. White was also once considered the color of death and shaman priestesses (witches or spirit mediums) in ancient Korea. said...

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