I’m not going to lie: I love it when people tell me they like something I’m wearing. This isn’t to say it happens on a regular basis but when it does, it gives me a little thrill. Does sartorial success get any better than this? I may muse to myself, whilst basking in the afterglow of the occasional compliment.
Yes it does, as I discovered towards the end of last year.
“Oh, I love your dress,” said a colleague at work.
“Thanks,” I replied, following the words with a delighted pause. “I made it myself.”
It’s one thing to have someone admire your choice in clothing; it’s roughly one million times better to have someone admire something you made yourself, if only because it answers that anxious little voice in your head that wonders if people can tell you’re wearing something handmade. It turns out that, barring the entire garment falling apart, no-one is looking closely enough to see that you’ve had to take in the seams of your otherwise perfectly-lined bodice or that you don’t quite have the patience to hand-sew an invisible hem. All they’re noticing is whether they like it or not.
I’ve since realised the only way to maximise my chances of experiencing the ‘I made it myself’ thrill is to make more things. Make all of the things, as I wrote in my list of plans for 2015. Yes, even more things than I made last year which, incidentally, filled an entire laundry basket when I gathered them together a couple of days ago.
Foolishly, I actually thought I’d be able to stack everything into this photogenic wicker basket and be done with it. Nope. I was dreaming. The procrastinator in me was somewhat surprised to discover how many times I’d thwarted it and actually gone and achieved something other than a list of excuses.
Let’s start with the knitting.
1. A knitted skirt. (Yes, really.) 2. A cotton top. 3. Grey socks. 4. Stripy socks. 5. Purple socks. 6. Black and white socks. (Noticing any sort of sock theme here?) 7. Red lacy socks. 8. Beige lacy socks. 9. Blue cabled 1920s style hat that I pretty much knitted twice, thanks to using the wrong needles by accident. 10. Purple cardigan. (Soooo warm and cosy.)
I hereby declare 2014 to have been the Year of the Sock. Not included in the photo are: a pair of socks I forgot about and five pairs of socks knitted for friends and family. Even better, the grey, purple and black & white socks were made from my own pattern! Sadly, no-one has been complimenting me on my socks but I like to think that’s because they’re so blown away by my dresses in silly prints that they never have a chance to glance downwards.
So that’s my knitting for 2014. It’s also a photo I like to call ‘Study of a knitter who didn’t realise she was obsessed with purple’. I’m not allowed to make any purple things this year unless I have a Very Good Reason. This has apparently translated into my ordering wool yesterday in deep pink and a dark red that’s second cousin to purple. So I’m trying, but I’m not moving very far from my apparent colour obsession.
Fortunately, the only obsession to be found in my sewn garments is a harmless fondness for prints. I only started sewing half-way through the year, but I still feel I managed to produce a decent collection of garments.
1. Linen skirt. 2. Cotton skirt. 3. Cotton top. (I made this and 6. to wear for the Maroondah Carols but it ended up being too cold to even consider it.) 4. Cotton dress. 5. Cotton dress. 6. Stretch drill skirt.
Number four was the dress that earned the compliment, but number five is the dress I love to bits.
All up, that’s seventeen garments made just for me (if you count the socks I forgot to include in the first photo). That’s not too shabby! And 2015 is off to a good start with a dress in the works, a cardigan that’s this close to being done and another jumper well under way.
With any luck, I’ll be enticing sartorial compliments left, right and centre in no time!