IKEA curtain to summer dress

Happy 5th Birthday, Blog!

Today marks the 5th anniversary of this blog! Well, technically not this blog, as it started as the Small Things blog over at Blogger.com. As you might know my sewing and blogging journey began with an inspirational holiday and a challenge to make my own clothes for a year. 5 years and 100+ garments later and here we are! As always I’ll look back on the past year to see what has happened, what I’ve learned, what I’ve made and what is left of the previous years.

I think the past year has been the most eventful so far when it comes to blogging and sewing. The anniversary post from last year marked our move to this space. We’ve released three sewing patterns and I’ve made Paprika Patterns into my full time job. This change has also changed the nature of this blog: it’s no longer just outfit posts, but also tutorials and other posts specifically related to our patterns. I’ve had the intention to keep going with the blogging projects that I had, but I’ve found it to be difficult. I have no lack of inspiration or things to sew, but blogging just takes up a lot of time. I would love to give more attention to the Pattern Magic projects, altering Thrift Store Treasures on a regular basis. However, I’ve found that you can’t be a sewing blogger and a pattern designer at the same time. Of course I still blog, but pattern making comes first now. It has to if I want our business to grow and sustain us.

Let’s move on to what I’ve made this year! 19 items in total, not counting pattern samples that I don’t actually wear. Of those 19, I still have 16 and am still wearing 14. Not a bad score! I’m still making wadders though, even though I don’t always recognise them right away. Those two jersey tank tops I made are both gone – one neckband shrunk in the washing machine and the other was too high. I’m getting more rigorous in purging my closet. No mercy for unworn clothes, even if they are handmade!

Last year I made a chart that shows how many items I made each year, and how many are still left as we speak. In the updated chart, nothing has been left from the first year, except the spirit of the yellow hoodie that lives on in the Jasper Sweater/Dress. Only one item is left from the second year, the white shirt that is still a favourite. Year three was a good one: I am still wearing 5 items from that year, including my military winter coat and the pink shirt that later evolved into the Onyx Shirt. Last year wasn’t great – 9 items made of which I still wear 5. All in all that means a total of 25 handmade items in my closet right now. I bought a sweater and a top last month – together with some jeans they are all the RTW that is left.

The life of handmade items

A conclusion from all this is that practical always trumps pretty for me. The items I wear most are my button down shirts, jeans and simple tops. I love wearing the skirts I have too, but maxi skirts still aren’t the best gear for our daily walk through the woods. What I also love is combining feminine fabrics/colours with masculine shapes – like the diamond print Archer, or the chevron stamps on the pick shirt. It’s okay if the fabric or colour is a bit girly, but it has to be balanced by a boxy shape. Another thought is that I wonder if my closet purging habits aren’t interfering with the idea of slow fashion. It’s getting a bit better, but I was throwing out handmade as fast as RTW. I’m not sure if fast handmade fashion is much better than just fast fashion, but my style keeps evolving and I can’t very well stop sewing! I have about 100 fabrics waiting for me after all…

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  1. Congrats on 5 years! There have been a lot of changes for you. I hope the future continues to stretchand remold you.

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