Like I’ve done every January for the past few years, last month I completed a creativity challenge. A lot of artists do creativity challenges, and each one looks a little different! For me, my challenge was to design one print every other day through the month, and to find inspiration for the next print on the other days. It’s the exact same format I followed last year.
Some days it was super easy to get it done, other days it was simply unmanageable – either because of time restraints or a lack of inspiration/motivation (hello, winter and life during COVID). Either way, however, I got. it. done. Yes, I fell a little behind a couple of different times throughout the month, but I always managed to catch up, and I’m so glad I did. I now have fifteen brand-spanking-new prints to start off the year and boost my portfolio. I’ll be adding them to my Spoonflower shop soon!
I’ve grown a lot as a designer in the past year and a half, and one thing I’ve found to be so true is quality over quantity. I used to think the more prints that I cranked out, the better – but, truth be told, most of them were very poor and didn’t help me in my career at all. Now, I see that it’s better to spend more time on one print and to really make it amazing, rather than to settle for overly simplistic prints in the name of productivity.
I will share that I wouldn’t say I love every print I made during this year’s challenge, or even that all of them are solid designs. That being said, there are still a few that I do love, and I’m sharing them below. Here’s to many, many more designs and lots of growth this year!
At the risk of sounding like an overeager 4-Her, I wanted to share what sewing projects I completed this past year! I’m doing this in part for me to review and see all that I made, and also to share with you so that you get the itch to start making something. It’s sew rewarding!
To put it in perspective so you know how much I usually sew: 2020 was a blockbuster year for me. I don’t usually sew as much as I did this past year, mostly due to placing priority on other projects, but this year I found that I really enjoyed it and don’t regret one single moment that I spent sewing. Also, shoutout to covid for giving me more time at home to sew. 😉
An important note is that I will never think of myself as a seamstress, and I say this because I will always love the design part of projects more than the construction. I don’t usually use patterns when I sew (although I did for three projects this year because they can be helpful), because there’s really no design involved when you’re just sewing something from an existing pattern. Instead, I value the creative process of making something from scratch over the speed of using a commercial pattern – and that’s one reason why I will never be a super prolific sewer, aka seamstress. And I am okay with it!
One last thing – this was a great sewing year for me but not a great photography year – whoops! So we’re working with some less-than-stellar photos for many of my projects, but you still get the point.
PROJECT ONE: Baby Blanket
If you can see past the gigantic pillow in front of it, that’s the double-sided baby blanket I made for our baby boy. I actually made three of these this year, all with different fabrics, and for different babies. Pattern: none.
PROJECT TWO: Baby Gown + Hat
This was super fast and super adorable to make, so I made two sets. Also, WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT TINY BABY BOY?? Pattern: here.
PROJECT THREE: Leather Bag
I’d bought this beautiful suede-lined mint leather years ago and was tired of it wasting away, so I made a cute tote bag out of some of it and now use it as my teaching bag. Pattern: my own.
PROJECT FOUR: Masks
I’ve made several of these, using different patterns, and BLAH. But it looks like I’ll keep making them for awhile. Pattern: various.
PROJECT FIVE: Halloween Costumes
This was, by far, my most time-consuming sewing project of this past year, and I’m thrilled with how it turned out! I made elements of my children’s Halloween costumes (Madeline and the tiger!): a Madeline jacket, baby cap, and sewing and attaching a tiger tail to a purchased footie pajamas that I’d painted as well as a black ribbon to a straw hat. Patterns: my own.
PROJECT SIX: Baby Baptismal Gown
Oh, the time I spent on this one for it only to be worn for a couple hours ever. Still worth it! I used white silk for the gown and fine english netting from my bridal veil for the sleeves and ties at the hem, and then paired it with a baby blue pater pan collar. Pattern: my own.
PROJECT SEVEN: Christmas Stockings
I had made my daughter a Christmas stocking last year, but I didn’t really like how it turned out, so I made a new one this year, and made one for our baby son as well. It was fun to pick out different fabrics to pair together, and I think these will grow well with them. Pattern: here (not quilted).
PROJECT EIGHT: Dopp Kits
I made zippered dopp kits for a few of the men in my family for Christmas, and failed to take a single photo of any of them. Whoops! They were pretty easy to make and I think they’ll last awhile. Pattern: here.
This post is for all of you Prime members who still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping! 😉 If you’re not a Prime member, then you’re probably going to have to finish your shopping in person because shipping is so s-l-o-w right now from most retailers! Anyways, enjoy scrolling through my current favorites, and have a merry Christmas.