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 was SO surprised when this issue turned up last week! This is the first time I’ve had a copy of Manequim in my hands before the month printed on the cover! Usually I receive it in the first week of the month, then Burda and Knip arrive somewhere around the middle of the month (though KnipMode publishes a month ahead of the others).
I’ve seen lots of variations on this horizontal-seamed shirtdress out and about in London! Just the other day I saw a lady wearing one with a navy and white stripe on the bottom and solid turquoise across the shoulders… It looked so good I made a mental note! Or I can see this as a great way to wear that difficult burnt orange colour that’s so popular right now – put it on the bottom half so a different colour is next to your face.
I’m not fond of the jacket on the right (way too much like a fussy Chanel jacket!), but I really like the vest on the left with the lace trim. It’s also a multi-sized pattern, which is useful.
For the last two issues, Manequim have been overloading me with totally amazing silk blouse patterns. I’m relieved to say this is the only one in this issue, but the tucks and twists here are so unique! I also really like skirt pattern and the colours they’ve chosen here – perfect for a Southern hemisphere Spring.
As I mentioned last week, I made this blouse the weekend we got back from Hungary. It was a really quick make, with only a few seams and minimal closures, so even including some thread tracing and french seams didn’t really lengthen the project time. In other words, it was exactly the sort of project I needed right after a holiday!
Burda 09/2010 #110 is the sleeveless version of this top and one of the, oh, eleven must-sews for me from this September 2010 issue. It’s been one of my absolute favourite issues since the moment it came out, so it was nice to make something other than the cover dress for once!
I mostly made this to coordinate with my upcoming grey wool skirt suit, but with our unexpected hot and sunny October (29C/88F!!!) in London, you’ll get it see it worn now in a summer style, paired with my silver tweed KnipMode skirt. I imagine the weather will cool off enough by the time I finish the suit that you’ll get to see it layered underneath the jacket as I intended!
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!).
I’m finally over my post-wardrobe exhaustion and able to sew again, so I carried on with my March mini-wardrobe plans and made the seamed trousers from KnipMode Oct 2010 (#8):
(hmm, why are they covering the waistband in their only magazine photo?)
I also thought I was due a “quick knit top” so I pulled out Jalie 2806 (a gift from LynnRowe on PR!) so I could try out those fantastic tulip sleeves, with the thought of maybe using them on the spring/summer version of my Burda September cover dress…
I had just enough of Ditto‘s wonderfully soft and supple plum bamboo/lycra jersey leftover from my plum and green lace top for this, so it was clearly meant to be! For the trousers I used the same Fabric.com stretch twill as in my navy riding trousers, though in different lights this goes from looking pale grey (nice!) to baby blue (not so nice!). But the combo of pale trousers and dark top feels very Spring-like to me.
I’ve now finished the fourth garment in my March Mini Wardrobe plans and I think you’re going to love it as much as I do!
I bought some utterly luscious grey leather when I was in New York in September, and I’d thought about a few different patterns (even going so far as muslining one I never showed you), but I finally settled on the long, slim pencil skirt from the August 2010 Burda magazine (#128).
Since we’re talking about leather here and you cannot unpick any stitches once they’re sewn, I made a muslin, which revealed a few minor fitting issues which needed fixing in the final skirt. Other than that, I shortened the length to make it above the knee (which also eliminated the back vent) and removed the centre front seam to improve the look.
This was a total surprise when it appeared in my postbox last week, as I’d only received the December issue a scant week or so before that (I believe December was just delayed from the holidays and my subscription starting later in their publishing cycle). I must say, I always let loose a little squeal and do the happy dance when I see one of my magazines in our postbox!
Brazil are still in the middle of summer, so there are a lot of shorts in this issue, but it’s an awful lot more wearable than the bulk of December to my eyes!
This pleated, banded sheath dress is exactly what Manequim do best! To me this looks like it was taken straight out of Victoria Beckham’s closet, I swear!
This might be my favourite dress of this issue. On first glance, it just looks like a basic shape, but if you look further you can see a huge amount of crazy diagonal seaming, and if you look closer again, you can see that some of the seams have exposed zippers that you can open for little flashes of skin! It’s only one size larger than me, too, so it’d be simple to size down a smidge.
My favourites of 2010:
Standout moments in sewing land:
Continuing on my quest for more long sleeved tops and dresses as the weather turns decidedly chilly here in London, I’ve pulled out KnipMode 09/2010 #11 from my stash for a quick and versatile knit dress.
The dress is a pretty basic shape – a rectangular skirt (same for the front and back) at a gathered waistline with a basic V-neck bodice and long sleeves. But the twist is that there are two triangular waistband pieces in front to help cover that waist seam, visually cinch in the waist, and create interest in an otherwise basic dress.
And I had the perfect fabric – when we met up with Karen for drinks when we were in Philly a few months ago, she brought me this lovely and soft poly/viscose/lycra(?) jersey for me as a gift! How nice! So I thought it’d make the perfect winter dress.