Happy 2014! (My Sewing Year in review)

As I do every year, I like to spend the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2013!

Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made: 15 Self-drafted (including Pattern Magic), 11 Burda Magazine (aka Burda Style), 8 FehrTrade, 4 Style Arc, 4 Cake Patterns, 3 Christine Jonson, 3 MyImage, 2 Pattern-Scissors-Cloth, 2 Jalie, and 1 each from Elan, KnipMode, Papercut Patterns, Drape Drape, Lolita Patterns, Kwik Sew and Simplicity.

So that’s precisely one garment made from any of the Big Four, but a whopping 23 items I either drafted myself or drafted and then released as a pattern! It’s no surprise Burda is otherwise up in the 2nd place position, and I’m pleased to see Style Arc and Cake ranking highly this year, since I discovered both companies this year. It is a bit disappointing that I failed to make a single Manequim pattern this year, despite reviewing my monthly copies! I must try harder next year to justify the subscription cost.

By my count, I made: 22 tops, 13 trousers (including leggings), 9 dresses, 9 pieces of lingerie (bras, panties, slips, etc), 3 skirts, 3 jackets or cardigans, and 3 bags.

And I realise I’ve been sewing a lot of running gear but the total number even surprised me – 18 of the above were for running!


Instead of a traditional “Pattern of the Year”, this year was more “The Year of the Pattern“! This year was the first I’d had enough confidence to release any patterns of my own, starting off first with my free Lacey Thong pattern in February, and recently, my first two exercise patterns in December, the XYT Workout Top and the PB Jam Leggings! These were all massive learning experiences for me, and I intend to carry on further in 2014, especially since my redundancy means I can devote myself full-time to sewing pursuits.

But to pick out a few of my favourite garments…

My swirl sheath dress – This one was such a long time in the making, but I pulled it off, and it ended up being one of my favourites as well as a lot of yours! The technique used to draft this is one I’ll forever keep in my arsenal, too, so it was as much about the process as the final result!

My Matthew Williamson birthday dress – This is a total va-va-voom of a designer sheath dress, and I really put my all into making it for my 34th birthday this year. I’ve since worn it to several special occasions, and it never fails to make me feel amazing.

My denim-look pleated leggings – It took a second alteration to get the fit absolutely right, but these have been in constant rotation in my wardrobe since I made them. A seriously great workhorse pattern with some really nice details I haven’t seen elsewhere.

My sparky Marie jacket – This jacket and I were inseparable for about 6 months of this year. I threw it on over just about everything, and it worked with pretty much everything I wore. Even though it’s unlined, it’s just a perfect little coverup.

My printed PB Jam leggings – I haven’t formally shown these to you yet (coming in January!) but they’re the pair which feature on the pattern cover. From the second I made these in early November, I’ve worn them pretty much every week. I’ve had more people offer to buy them off my body, more compliments from total strangers, and more, well, fun running in these than any other pair of leggings I’ve made.

Other highlights of 2013

I had a bit of a horrid start to the year with my severe bout of shingles, and a very stressful few months at work, finally culminating in being made redundant from the job I’d held for the past 11 years in August, but I think I’ve taken hold of the opportunity and I’m steering my life into new (somewhat scary!) directions, which I’d have never done on my own. If you’re interested in my running life, I wrote up a comprehensive year in review on my River Runner site, which details how I feel this year has been a good one for investing in my future self. I think that’s probably true for the sewing side of myself as well.

If you’re curious to see how 2012 stacked up to previous years, you can have a look at previous roundups here: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.

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