Friday, 21 December 2012

2012: my sewing year


As we approach the end of 2012 I want to take a little look back through my sewing year and decide what worked and what didn't, what I loved making and what was a disaster. But before I get onto that, can I just say a bit thank you to everybody who took the time to comment on my recent post about my son Charlie. I didn't respond personally to each comment as I'm a notorious softy and would have been a snivelling wreck within minutes. But I want you to know that I truly appreciated each and every one of your thoughtful and honest comments. Thank you again.

Right, moving swiftly on, let's have a look at what I actually made:

Skirts
A surprising fail - I've only worn it a handful of times, maybe because it's a bit black and work like? I don't know, it just feels a bit formal for everyday wear and having scrambled to make an essential black item, I've now realised I don't really suit black….

A third (and probably final) Ginger skirt 
The least worn of my three Gingers, a nice fit, but the jury's still out about wool crepe, I'm not convinced I actually like this fabric. 

My perfect skirt which consequently has been worn a lot.

Dresses
Three Peony dresses, blogged here, here and here.




A great pattern for me as all three versions have been worn a lot. The neckline has been lowered slightly on each make with the most recent one hitting the jackpot!

Love it and wore it to death all through the summer.

Another love story, but this one is a little more dressy so has been worn only a few times. I'm sure it will be my go-to going out dress this summer.

I loved making this dress, but as revealed in my last post, this dress has never been worn. Just the wrong type of dress for my lifestyle I guess. And the fabric doesn't float my boat much either. I don't regret making it though.

Only just been born so still unworn.

Tops
Eight tops, including two plain knit tops (Renfrew and striped Burda top), and four with collars. Most of them have been a success and have been worn in rotation over the warmer months. The ones that haven't quite worked are the kimono wrap top (too much of a fiddle to wear) and the Portobello curtain blouse. The Portobello blouse has some fit issues that didn't become apparent until I'd worn it, plus it only really seems to look good with my denim Ginger skirt which limits how often I can wear it.

Others
Two pairs of PJ bottoms that have been worn regularly.


This wins the prize for most-worn garment. Every day the weather was appropriate, this coat was on my back. It's also the garment I'm most proud of making this year.

So what lessons have I learnt from my sewing this year?

1) Just because you have a garment sized piece of leftover fabric in your stash doesn't mean the resulting garment will be a success. If you're just making it for the sake of using up the fabric what's the point if it's not going to be worn? Much better to save the fabric for something perfect, even if it takes a while to make itself known to you. Or donate it to another sewist - your leftovers may be another sewists dream fabric!

2) If I can perfect the fit on a pattern e.g.the Peony, then I'll make it again and again.

3) Although I didn't make it this year, my denim Ginger skirt is my most worn item of clothing. I need to bear this in mind when planning my next year's sewing (but that's another post!)

4) Buttoned vintage-style blouses with collars seem to be the best type of top for me. The same goes for shirt dresses. Happily, I have lots of pattern and fabric plans for 2013 that will fit right in with this.

5) It's OK to make things for fun and to learn new techniques (see Mad Men dress) if the fabric doesn't cost a lot.

6) It's also OK to spend a bit more on a carefully thought out garment that you know you'll get a lot of wear out of (Liberty lawn tops, polka dot cord).

7) I love dresses and wear them a lot so will definitely be making more of them in my next sewing year.

8) I didn't make any trousers! That will have to be addressed forthwith…

All in all I'm very happy with what I've achieved this year. I've become much more confident in adjusting patterns and adding my own details. I hope this continues with my next year of sewing.

Thank you for your invaluable support, advice and friendship this year. One thing I've learnt that isn't in the list above is that the details of sewing don't matter too much, as long as the process keeps you happy. Well, my sewing has given me a massive amount of pleasure this year and has definitely kept me happy!

A merry Christmas to you all and see you in the New Year. x

42 comments:

  1. You have been very productive. Love all the garments you've made. Also just wanted to say thanks for your support when I've pestered you with sewing questions. You've been a great help :-) Happy Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. It was no trouble at all, glad I could help. I can't believe how far you've come with your sewing this year! x

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  2. I love all of your makes this year Jane. I think my favourites are the grey flower peony and the plain grey one. You always look so lovely - you really seem to know how to put outfits together! I look forward to seeing what you make next year! Happy Christmas!

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    1. Aw thanks Tamsin, what a wonderful compliment! x

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  3. Great post! I love seeing the year put into a round up. All the clothes are pretty and well executed, but I have favourites! I particularly like your polka dot dress and your cherry halter dress.

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  4. Happy Christmas to you and your family, Jane.
    I love seeing your sewing creations...you're always so inspirational!

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  5. I have been following your blog for a little more than a year now and I truly admire your work and how you are not afraid of trying new techniques or acknowledging when you're less than happy with a make. I really enjoy reading recap posts, I always find it very interesting to learn more about the life of those garments: what really happens to them past the "fashion" photo for the blog? I like to know if a pattern or a fabric has been practical or has made you smile when you pull it out of a wardrobe! I'm looking forward to seeing your plans for 2013! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  6. ooo lovely post! I totally agree with ur first lesson learnt and will keep this in mind too in the new year! and I will also plan my makes more to fit in more with what I actually wear! :D great post and happy new year!

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  7. You has a very producted sewing year. Merry Xmas and I am looking forwad to see more from you.

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  8. Excellent round-up! You have made some truly wonderful items this year, and it's interesting to see how you feel about them after some time has passed. Looking forward to seeing what you do in the next year!

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  9. You've been so productive this year! I love how so many of the things seem to be in regular rotation. I didn't sew nearly as much in 2012 as I hoped, and I felt I spent a good time flailing about but I feel I suddenly have lots of ideas for next year. I'm going to assess the things I sewed and knit and see what reflections I get!

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  10. What a fantastic sewing year you've had! Can't wait to see what's coming next.

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  11. Wow, I really like this post and am starting to fall in love with your blog! Can't wait to see more of you in the new year! Merry Christmas!

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  12. Everything is so lovely, my favourites are the Peonies, especially the first one. Santa is bringing me the pattern, so I shall use yours as inspiration! Merry Christmas!!

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  13. You have such a great style and it's always fun and inspiring to read your blog. Wore my Ginger denim skirt with green tights to work today and I thought I sort of looked like you.... :)

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    1. Oh that's wonderful! I'm very late replying to these comments but I have to tell you that when I first read your comment it made my day! x

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  14. It's such an amazing experience and journey as a sewist isn't it? I've found I've learned more about my personal style, what I like and don't like, wear and don't wear, what suits me and what definitely doesn't, and much more in my first year of being a sewist than in my entire 36 years on this earth! ^___^

    Your lovely Peonies are inspiring me to try this again and maybe lower the neckline... I'm wearing my Peony Frankenpattern today, and thinking it's maybe not as bad as I originally thought LOL.

    I know you're ahead of me in your journey but it's good to see the learning process continues ever on even as we become more experienced. You've made some really wonderful things this year, and I know you will continue to inspire us in the coming year ahead ^__^

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    1. Thanks Amanda! I agree, I don't think it matters how long you've been sewing, there's always something new to learn. x

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  15. I can't decide if my fave is the first Peony, the shirt-dress, or the cherry dress! They're all lovely. I really enjoy seeing end of year round ups.

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  16. You made so many lovely things this year, Jane! I love, love all the pops of red :) I really love the polka dot shirt dress and the cherry print dress.

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  17. What a lovely post, Jane. And I feel just as you do, that it's not the details but the process. I think that's what I have really taken to heart in the past year and my sewing output has been so much more, and I have had so much more fun. And yes to dresses - MOAR DRESSES!!

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  18. I love the Abbey Coat and your halter dress. I put a link up to your spotted dress on my latest post of you guessed it...a spotted dress.

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    1. Thanks for the link Gail, your spotted dress is very chic! x

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  19. What a super rewarding year of sewing you have had! Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa is good to you and your family...J

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  20. Jane what fab additions you've created for your wardrobe this year!! And so interesting to see them altogether- definitely a signature hand made Jane style and colour scheme. Have a great Christmas you and yours, and I'm with you ... I've got a dress yearning growing, not having made one for quite a few months....

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  21. I'm so glad to have had the chance to meet you this year! It's been lovely following along with your projects. I heartily agree on lessons #1 and 5!

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    1. It was a real pleasure to meet you too Cindy. Happy sewing for 2013! x

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  22. Jane, I think you've had a fantastic sewing year! Your handmade wardrobe is coming along so nicely and I love how (unlike me) you have many complimentary pieces that work well together! Enjoy the holidays and I look forward to seeing what you do next ;o)

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  23. Jane, I can I make a suggestion. I love some of the stuff you sewed and didn't like. Why don't you make a competition for people who want the stuff you don't want? I am sure most of us would be more than happy to pay the mailing costs.

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  24. Your year been amazing... I loved been part of your journey and all your garments were so inspirational and your coat is my fav item you made.

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  25. All of your creations are lovely! And lovely on you! I would be wearing that coat every chance I got, too!

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  26. Wow, you've sewn so many really great pieces. I think I like the coat the best.

    <3 Melissa
    wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

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  27. What beautiful garments you have made!

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  28. Brilliant round-up Jane, what a productive year you've had! I look forward to reading about everything you make in 2013. Bethx (thelinencat)

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  29. Question: When is a Mad Men Wiggle dress not a Wiggle Dress?
    Answer: When it is a shirt dress!!!!

    You have made some wonderful clothes this year, they all suit you, and you have the knack of co-ordinating your colour scheme so they all work together. A perfect capsule wardrobe. Now to the blue Wiggle Dress:
    1. You look fantastic wearing it!
    2. The colour lights up your face and compliments your hair and eyes!
    3. Take a look at the photographs again.
    So here's a thought. Have your tried the dress with:
    1. Your fab red belt?
    2. Opaque tights and flat pumps?
    3. Red cardigan?
    4. Boots?
    5. With a scarf drapped around the shoulders?
    It would be a great dress for shopping in, meeting friends for coffee,going to a gallery/exhibition or going to the pictures. Going out when you want to feel a bit more glam than usual. My mother used to call garments like this 'going to town' outfits!
    I came across your blog by accident in the summer and am now an avid fan. You have motivated me to do a sewing course where I realised I remembered far more than I thought I knew. It has helped me to reorganise my life to make a little space for me, although at the moment it is only a small window of time but it is better than nothing, a start. My next step is to create my own blog! Eek!!! I was going through a bad patch but discovering your world, and other like minded creaters, has helped me to get back on track. Thank you for inspiring me to get back to sewing.
    Here's to happy creative sewing in 2013. Happy New Year.

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  30. i have to agree with Kitkat Krispie in that you have made some fab clothes, you always put stuff together perfectly! you have inspired me to start sewing again and i always check in on your blog everyday to see what is new.
    on the down side,(my husbands down side) i have spent a fortune on fabrics and patterns, but i say that i wont buy any more clothes, just make them!!
    ha ha i think i will still sneak a ready bought item into the house!!
    thanks for the great blog!! x

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  31. Jane, I would i be able to make a recommendation. I adore a portion of the stuff you sewed and didn't care for. For what reason don't you make a challenge for individuals who need the stuff you don't need? I am certain the greater part of us would gladly pay the mailing costs.
    Home delivery software

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