I have actually managed to complete a few projects this year so far though, using my regular machine and a fair amount of good old-fashioned hand-sewing (who knew I actually had patience for that sort of thing?). I had bought this really cool sheer, but with fluffy yarn woven through fabric, and immediately knew I wanted to make something like this:
This issue I had with that is that every single pattern I could find for a shrug was about half the length, which looks terrible on me and makes me look like an extremely short fat person, which I'm not. So I busted out my handy dandy dress form (not sure if I ever did a post on that, but it has quite the story behind it as well), and draped away until I came up with a super easy pattern that seemed to work. I ended up binding the edges, which was the whole hand-sewing bit, which took a couple of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to complete. I also recently discovered bias-tape makers, which are amazing and I now use all the time. I am not a fan of the feel of pre-made bias tape, and it's awesome to just whip some up out of whatever fabric I want. Anyway, without further ado, I present the Long Shrug:
About a week after I completed it though, I somehow managed to find instructions on making a long shrug without even trying, so if anyone else wants to try it out, check it out here.