Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Goodbye 2021, hello 2022!

It doesn’t feel like a year has passed between writing these last two yearly recaps. It seems crazy to me at how quickly time has flown! (Maybe it just does that in the midst of a global pandemic?)

Despite my lack of consistent updating, the crafting and making at Self Assembly Required HQ had been pretty consistent throughout the whole of 2021. I tried my hand at punch needling, paper marbling, quilting, bargello, boot making, bag making, clay sculpting, though much of this didn’t make it to the blog or Instagram!

I also tried my hand at gardening on an allotment (it didn’t go well) and I got a little motorbike that I’ve just started to get comfortable on!

I managed to knit a couple of sweaters and sweater vests this year and have realised my previous forays into those super chunky knits were basically a complete waste of time and money as I find them impossible to wear (you knit and learn, right?). My complicated lace intarsia sweater was my favourite knit of the year. I think my knitting skills have improved loads since Covid as I’ve just had so much more time to do it!

I started the year with an optimistic Goodreads challenge of 52 books in a year, or one a week. I only managed 30 (oh the shame!) and a lot of those were kinda trashy… Apparently if I’m not in the mood to read, I just can’t do it! I’ve set myself a more reasonably 30 something target this year though I’ll be keeping track of it in my new bullet journal instead!

My soundtrack to the year was Billie Eilish’s second album Happier Than Ever (backed up by a continuing love of Taylor Swift’s Evermore). I really need to expand my music tastes but I find it comforting to play the same old stuff in the sewing room!

I’ve made all sorts of clothes this year but it’s clear my love of over sized gathered midi/ maxi dresses continues! I don’t know if it’s just a comfort thing or a fashion thing or a combination of both but I can’t seem to get enough!

I’ve managed to make loads of items and just not photograph, blog or ‘gram them which is very unlike me – maybe I’ve finally reached my tipping point with all the social media stuff? – so my output is probably much more prolific than the blog might indicate! I definitely feel less obliged to post than ever before though that’s probably good thing.

I contributed to two publications this year! This first was a sweater tutorial in Mollie Makes that was published in March this year.

The tutorial covered how to draft and sew your own colour blocked sweater! The one in the photos is the sample I made for it.

The second was a ‘My Sewing World’ article in Simply Sewing which was a little insight into, you guessed it, my sewing world…

I was lucky enough to get away on a few little staycations throughout the year which were lovely breaks from the Covid norm. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time in the U.K. and just enjoyed seeing so many new places. I visited Cornwall, West Yorkshire, the Lake District, Brighton and Norfolk.

My plans for 2022?

I’ve not made many hard plans for 2022 at all yet! I think I’d spent so much brain power on planning Christmas and New Years that I haven’t yet had time to think about the upcoming year much!

I’d like to travel abroad again though that might just be wishful thinking for the time being.

I’ve got a pottery class lined up for January and I was gifted a Japanese woodworking kit for Christmas to add to my hobby list!

My sewing plans are ever growing and ever changing so it’s always hard to pinpoint what coming up next. I don’t have any big projects or collabs coming up so it’ll most likely be influenced by whatever random inspiration that may strike! I’ll do my usual fabric ban for as long as feasibly possible – hopefully that’ll help me make a dent on my fabric stash!

If you’ve made it to the end of this ridiculously long post, well done! You have a fantastic attention span!

Wishing you and yours all a very happy new year!

Love, Emily x

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  1. So lovely to read your thoughts on the past year. You have certainly achieved a lot. Thank you for all your posts. I love your style and enjoy reading about them. Happy New Year and all the best for 2022

  2. Really loved this look back – and forward. I’m always so impressed by the amount of making that you fit into your days, and the beautiful garments!

  3. Happy New Year! I love the reflection on the previous year. I think a LOT of us were feeling burnt out on social media, and so this was even more fun to read, due to the surprises! I just ordered a bullet journal and I’m excited to get into this year, too!

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