Before I look ahead, I'd like to very briefly look back. In terms of making my own clothes, 2011 far surpassed my expectations. From an initial optimistic list of just over half a dozen garments at the beginning of the year, I ended up making:
Seven dressesTen tops
Two pairs of trousers
Total: 25 garments!
I blogged recently about the five items in my wardrobe that I turn to again and again, which seem to sum up my personal style. However, the item that wasn't on that list, probably because it was a bit too special-occasion, was my Oolong dress and I think it deserves a mention.
I struggled with both the silk lining (soon abandoned for a muslin underlining) and the bias cut on this dress. But on both counts, I received amazing feedback and advice from my readers, enabling me to finish the dress and giving me a much needed lesson in patience. I've worn it on three occasions, and every time I've known that it's the most perfect dress I could have chosen. Praise indeed!
So what else has been going on this year? Well, the main change I've made is to have kept to my initial six month Wardrobe Refashion pledge for virtually the whole year. The exceptions being a few items of knitwear and one pair of trousers I bought with a birthday voucher (does that count?) As a result, the distance between the items in my wardrobe which are handmade and those that are shop-bought has narrowed considerably. I'm also pretty ruthless about throwing out shop bought garments that don't make the grade. I'd really like to continue in this vein for 2012, so here's a rough list of plans (not resolutions!) for the coming year:
To use as much of my stash as I can
A no brainer really but perhaps writing it down will actually help me keep to it!
To refashion the handmade garments that haven't quite worked
There are one or two things that haven't been a success for one reason or another, so if I can, I'll be refashioning them to get them to work.
To give away the garments that I've never worn
In a few rare instances, the item I've made is just wrong for me and will never be worn (I'm thinking of my ladylike dress here) so I'll be giving them away. Far better to let somebody else get some use out of it, than have it sadly neglected in the wardrobe, never seeing the light of day. So watch out for a New Year giveaway along these lines.
To treat my vintage patterns with a bit more care and respect
Ahem. Yes I really need to work on this one. Buying them all nice new plastic covers would be a good start. I'd also like to try to date the elusive ones.
To try a few new sewing techniques
I'm thinking specifically of piping here though I'll try anything that takes my fancy.
To get to grips with my overlocker
This really should be top of my list as it's non-negotiable! The lovely Lauren recommended this book which is FAB - it goes through all the basics, as well as demonstrating all the other uses an overlocker has. It's perfect and I'm hoping it will help me to use my overlocker for more than just neatening seams.
To really think about what I want to make and what I'm likely to wear
This will almost certainly result in me making fewer garments, but I'd like to really take my time with them, perfecting the fit and finish as much as I possibly can. In terms of what I make, I'll be keeping the faith with Colette patterns and fully intend to dabble with vintage patterns again. I'll choose carefully next year though - only making the garments I really lust after. Like this Economy Print dress on the right hand side.
And this McCall's 6245 top, which Roobeedoo very kindly let me borrow and copy. Don't you just love sewing bloggers?!
To make more dresses
Yes, I know I made seven last year, but I do love dresses, and having met Roisin from Dolly Clackett and swapped dress notes, I feel that a few more than seven is a mere drop in the ocean.....!
So there you have my plans, they're a bit all over the place but I think that makes them a little more attainable. Thank you to everybody who has taken the time to read my blog and to comment or correspond with me during the past year - I really have loved every minute of it. I'd like to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. Enjoy your new sewing year, wherever you are. x