31 December 2012

2012 Sewing Year in Review

Completed Garments
I think this was a very productive and skill-enhancing sewing year.  I finished my Lady Grey Coat (worn almost daily) and upped my sewing skill on PR to "intermediate."  Woo!  Here are this year's stats:
  • 7 tops
  • 5 skirts
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 2 pairs of pants
  • 3 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • approximately 44.5 yards of fabric sewn
If you're interested, patterns and fabric used for each garment can be viewed on this page.

Incomplete Garments & Wadders
When beginning this next set of projects, I had really high hopes of completing them.  I worked through muslins for all and had even sewn one of the patterns on two separate occasions.  Alas, each project was tanked completely due to user error.

  • Vogue 1224 (dress):  I was most disappointed with the failure in this garment because it could have been avoided.  After sewing a muslin and deciding on needed adjustments, I absentmindedly used the regular pattern pieces instead of the adjusted pieces to cut out the fabric.  I held onto this fabric for a full year waiting to make this pattern.
  • Jalie 2559 (jacket):  Poor fabric choice contributed to the demise of this project.  The muslin fit great and required little adjustment.  Unfortunately, wool flannel was not the best choice of fabric.  It was too thick to make the curves sharp and
  • Vogue 8805 (dress):  I tried to make this work, but it was too shapeless and overwhelming on my short frame. 
  • Simplicity 2560 (cardigan):  Fabric choice, again, led to the demise of this cardigan.  This pattern benefits most from a fabric that has some thickness.  Rayon modal is not advised!
  • McCall's 6279 (dress):  I definitely intend to return to this pattern this Spring.  I have to re-work the pattern alterations and follow the interfacing instructions. 
Attempted Garments
When I think about the number completed garments, it seems like I never sew!  Honestly, I do.  I've had some bouts of inaction throughout the year due to life-stuff, but I do manage to sew.  It's just that some of my garments never make it out of the muslin stage.  This year I attempted, but never completed, the following: 
  • 2 Dresses (Butterick 5490, Butterick 5350, plus others that ended up as wadders)
  • 5 Tops (Butterick 5328, Kwik Sew 3436, Simplicity 2447, Vogue 7903, Vogue 1260)
  • 1 Cardigan (McCall's 4923)
  • 1 Skirt (Vogue 8426)
  • 4 Pairs of pants (Colette Patterns Clover, Jalie 2561, Jalie 2909, BWOF 11-2006-102)
See?  If all of these worked, the total number of completed garments would be much higher.  Kwik Sew 3436, McCall's 4923, and Vogue 8426 all have promise if I tweak them just a bit.  I'll give them a second look in the coming year.

Contest Win
My second contest win occurred with this year's mini wardrobe challenge.  I've tried this contest several times in the past and am so happy to have completed and win!  My favorite of the four pieces is the skirt.  It is very flattering and more flirty than the traditional pencil skirt.

Favorite Garments/Looks

left:  McCall's 6078 & Jalie 2908
right:  McCall's 6559

 Jalie 2908

I was seven pounds from my target weight back in April when the first picture was taken.  I could tuck in my shirt and not have the dreaded muffin-top.  Well as fate (and muffins) would have it, I am still seeking my target weight, but I'm far from where I was in April.  Ugh.

Anyway, the garments that got the most wear this year were my Jalie jeans.  I can't speak highly enough about this pattern.  I've made eight pairs so far and definitely see many more to come. 

McCall's 6559 is the super-sexy-sew-in-a-flash knit dress.  The pattern only has two pieces and barring crazy user error (like burning a hole in the first version), it can be sewn in no time.  The only thing is the neckline is scandalously low - an easy fix, no doubt.

Most Labor-Intensive

left:  Simplicity 2473
right:  Colette Patterns Lady Grey

From fit to construction, both of these projects tested my sewing fortitude.  Lady Grey gets worn daily when the weather isn't too cold.  I have yet to wear the Simplicity dress out on the town.  Maybe one day this Spring...

2012 Sewing Intention Results
I'm happy to say that I met all but one of my 2012 sewing intentions!
  • Jeans contest on PR:  Completed and entered.
  • Advance to "intermediate":  After completing Lady Grey, I upped my sewing skill to "intermediate."  Even though I have yet to master the collar stand, I think I've done pretty well with lots of other sewing skills.
  • Fabric-light:  I definitely bought far less fabric this year and intend to do the same next year.
  • Stash sewing:  Yup.  Shopping the stash is still in effect!
  • SWAP contest on Stitcher's Guild:  I didn't come close to finishing the 2012 swap, but I've got plans and motivation to participate in 2013.  Stay tuned!
2013 Sewing Intentions
  • Shop more of the stash:  It's no secret that I hoard have a lot of fabric.  I'm going to continue seeking out fabrics in my stash first before making new purchases.  That doesn't mean I won't buy anything, I'll just be more aware of my buying habits.
  • Make a full-length winter coat:  Since first seeing Renee's coat review on PR, I have developed the desire to make a super toasty full-length winter coat.  I love my Lady Grey coat, but it's too short and not warm enough to endure cold winters.  I have the issue of Burda from which Renee's coat was made and will include some of the tailoring skills used in making Lady Grey.  This coat will be no weekend project, so I hope to get started on it in May so that it's ready to wear by the time it gets cold.
  • Another SWAP on Stitcher's Guild:  I want to do more planned sewing and the rules for this year's contest are very relaxed.  We're to create an eleven-piece wardrobe consisting of two five-piece coordinated capsules linked by the eleventh garment.  More information to come!
  • Make a bra:  I have all of the notions, fabric, and patterns to make my first bra, I just need the motivation.  I'm a little intimidated by problems with fit and I haven't gathered the courage to give it a try.  Sigrid's bras are wonderfully made and I can no doubt learn a lot from her tutorials. 
  • Sew all of my clothes for one year:  I saw this challenge on PR and joined.  I pretty much sew most of my clothes anyway, though I do buy activewear and lingerie.  I want to see if I can abstain from buying any ready-made garment for one full year.  I might have to make an exception on bras, though.
I want to wish everyone a happy and successful sewing year!  Until next time, be well!



  1. Happy New Year and you definitely had a productive sewing year, keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Sheila! Happy New Year to you as well. May the year bring you excitement, peace, and lots of new fabulous garments. =)

  2. You've made some really lovely items! The jeans are awesome - I hope to try that pattern out this year.

    The blog "cloth habit" is running a bra sewalong in January you might like. Good luck! :)

    1. Thank you! Jalie 2908 is a great pattern and I urge you to give it a try. I have a couple more jeans patterns that I won't even bother using because this one fits so well.

      Thanks for telling me about the bra sew along. I'll definitely check it out.

  3. Wow...What a productive year you've had!! This is such a great (and substantive) review. I'll have to benchmark it for next year. We have some of the same patterns. It's great to see them sewn up. I especially liked Vogue 1250 and McCall 6078. I have both in my stash and been hedging on moving forward with the projects. The jeans were also great--I'm inspired to tackle a pair this coming year as well.

    1. Thank you! I have yet to see V1250 look bad on anyone; it's so flattering and simple to make. Sewing jeans isn't difficult at all. If you've made pants with a fly-front, you can definitely make jeans!

  4. What a year. Looking forward to seeing what you do for 2013. It was your simplicity 2473 that sealed it for me and I can't wait to finish it.

    1. Thanks Farhana! I'd love to see your version when its finished.

  5. You have had a very stylish year. Those jean fit beautifully. I love the colors in your wardrobe.

    1. Thank you Lisa! I love the Jalie jeans pattern. If you haven't tried it yet, go for it!


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