As is traditional, I like to take the opportunity at the start of a new year to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous calendar year.
Somehow I keep getting more and more prolific each year… and it’s a bonus that you get to watch my hair grow as you skim downwards, ha!
(Click the above to en-biggen, or right-click here to open it in a new tab to get a better look
You’ll notice a few at the bottom that I haven’t shown you yet (seriously I only just finished the maternity maxidress with mere hours to go!), but all the rest can be seen by clicking the Gallery link on the top left of the site, then clicking through to the full article.
To make a few statistical analyses of my own, by my count:
- I’ve sewn 7 dresses, 18 tops, 8 trousers, 6 skirts, 6 jackets/coats, 2 bras, a ton of panties, and other miscellanea (cat toys, boat stuff, mixer covers, shopping bags, etc!)
- The number of times I’ve sewn with pattern companies: 15 Burda magazine, 9 KnipMode, 2 Mannequim, 3 Colette Patterns, 3 Jalie, 3 Lekala, 2 La Mia Boutique, 2 Patrones, 2 My Image magazine, 2 vintage, and 1 each from Paco Peralta, Hot Patterns, Vogue, and Christine Jonson (so that’s only one Big Four pattern the entire year! I’m oddly proud of that!)
- I taught 2 sewing lessons to help 3 friends learn to sew!
- I’ve sewn gifts for 8(!!) other people (and 3 cats!)
- I was published this year, with my dress variation instructions in the BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook! OMG!
I’m not sure what I did to deserve this, but this latest issue of Manequim is chock-full of lovely silk blouses! Over the past few months I’ve been wearing my silk blouses all the time – with jeans as often as with skirts! I wear them out to casual weekend outings as much as to the office or dressy dinners, and the blouse I made from the February Manequim (twice!) is my favourite of the lot.
So I foresee quite a few of these making their way into my Fall wardrobe in and around work on some other, bigger projects…
But let’s look at all my picks from this issue!
I really like this lavender sheath dress, especially the little sleeves, but I’d alter the back so it’s not quite so low. I don’t normally wear this colour, but I think it looks really light and fresh on this model, especially considering it’s coming into Spring in Brazil.
This yellow cocktail dress with its angled, pleated bodice and skirt is possibly my favourite dress of this issue. It’s a size too small from me, but there have been enough similar styles in the past that I should be able to mix and match to make it work anyway.
Thank you all SO much for all the feedback on my pattern shortlist earlier this week. It’s so incredibly helpful to hear from others which have worked and which haven’t, and to get me thinking on what I most like to wear (and what I don’t!).
Since I tend to email commenters personally but not put my responses in the comments themselves, I thought it might be helpful to answer a few general questions from the comments. I’m not really seeing this as an overly dressy/posh/fussy dress – for me, the linen dress on its own would be something I’d wear to the office, out to lunch with friends, or out in town, and the motif I bought in Paris is just a sort of permanent necklace. I always overdress anyway, and I’m not envisioning this as anything “left for best” in the slightest! Believe me, there’s very little I keep aside and out of my daily rotation!
Nancy K suggested a tunic might be more wearable than a dress, but I had to admit to her that I really, really don’t feel comfortable wearing tunics. There’s just something about the awkward “too long for a top but too short for a dress” length plus too many layers that just makes me feel self conscious. Whereas I wear dresses and skirts almost continuously in summer (compounded by the fact that I don’t wear shorts)!
Finally, I decided against a bunch of lovely sheath dress patterns purely for linen/wrinkle reasons, and my thinking that these would probably have more horizontal wrinkles from sitting than full-skirted numbers. I’m debating whether I’ll underline this dress or not for that same reason, but I suppose it all depends on if I can find suitable cotton or silk lightweight fabric for a good price while we’re in France.
Enough with the commentary – I finally decided on dress #102 from the KnipMode 03/2010 supplement (one I didn’t even scan in my initial review! gasp!).
My first gift is a very special one, because it’s from all of you!
I recently received a Google Adsense payment, and I always try to spend these exclusively on sewing supplies to feed back into this site. The last payment bought me four Patrones issues and some Spoonflower knits, for example! But I’m trying to pare down my fabric to fit in my tiny sewing room, and I already have more patterns than I can sew, so I thought I’d spend the windfall on some really nice interfacings from Fashion Sewing Supply!
You bought me:
- 2 yards Pro-Weft fusible interfacing, Natural
- 2 yards Pro-Weft fusible interfacing, Black
- 2 yards Pro-Tailor Deluxe fusible Interfacing, Dark Grey
- 2 yards Pro-Woven Fusible Interfacing, White
- 2 yards Pro-Woven Fusible Interfacing, Black
This should be enough to keep me in interfacing for a year years, and this stuff just feels incredible – the Pro-Tailor stuff especially feels so silky soft! I can’t wait to try this stuff out…
For my birthday, I received some sewing books that I requested!
It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was first laying out my initial plans for this mini wardrobe, but now I’ve had some time to step back and have a look over what I managed to accomplish last month. I made this wardrobe mostly for myself, to use some luscious fabrics from my stash in combination with patterns that really appealed to me, but I also kept one eye on the contest requirements running over at PaternReview.com to make sure I remained within their rules, too. Here’s my entry into their contest, or you can just read on below…
I started with a blue viscose, draped knit top that I’d bought from ASOS and really liked, but I wanted to wear with both casual and dressy bottoms.
To coordinate, I sewed:
1. Jalie jeans – I’d made a muslin but the waistband was horrible so I had my work cut out for me on this pair using great quality stretch denim from Mood in NYC, plus some London streetsign fabric for the waistband facings and pockets. I used my vintage hand crank Singer machine for all the topstitching, plus I got to use my vintage buttonholer attachment and high quality rivets for the first time! I fixed all the waistband issues in this pair and these are now my favourite jeans. Read more…
Me-Made March has been in full swing for a month now, and as I stated in February, I’ve been playing along at home, but taking photos of what I wear every day is just completely infeasible for me, so I’ve just kept a record of what I’ve worn instead.
I did something similar a few years ago and it was really helpful in observing what I tended to wear throughout the week and which items I turned to most often. I can’t actually remember the last time I wore an outfit that didn’t contain at least one “me-made” item (not counting weekends, where I live in grotty, boat-DIY clothes), so this challenge isn’t really that challenging for me! It’s what I tend to wear anyway!
- Tues. Navy blue riding trousers & purple cashmere turtleneck (RTW)
- Wed. Taupe corduroy skirt & turquoise mohair sweater (layered over a RTW white long sleeved top) (so yes, I am wearing the exact same outfit as shown in my citizenship post, right down to the same tights and boots!)
- Thur. First Jalie jeans & plum and green lace Patrones top
- Fri. Foldover wool trousers (so warm!) & RTW black long sleeved top
- Sat. Two 40th birthday parties! Burda September cover dress
I’ve avoided all talk of SWAP (Sewing With a Plan, roughly – sewing a bunch of garments in terms of a wardrobe instead of separate pieces here and there) even though everyone else around me was doing them. For the most part, it was because I bought fabric for specific projects and I created these as the feeling took me.
However, since I’ve lost weight, my wearable wardrobe has decreased considerably and I came to the realisation last week that I don’t own any trousers that aren’t jeans, period. I’m also doing more presentations at work that require me to dress a bit more nicely, so after 5 years of wearing teeshirts and jeans to work, I have a large hole in my wardrobe in that regard, too.
Going to America last month and the subsequent fabric and pattern buying orgy left me with the supplies for a wide variety of garments. So naturally my mind turned to the best ways I could see to use both patterns and fabrics to fill these holes in my wardrobe.
I’ve devised the following plan, though I realise it will more than likely take me the entire fall and winter to accomplish it.