It’s back… Gillian‘s Top 5 year-end review round-up! I really love reading these posts– it’s so fun to hear people analyze their output for the year and I especially love to see everyone’s favorite makes of the year. I love seeing what makes you happiest about sewing!
Alright, let’s dive right in with the misses! Rather than specific garments, this time around I wanted to write about some problems that plagued my sewing this year.
Miss #1: Not sewing for my lifestyle.
Oy, why do I do this? It’s dumb to make things that don’t work for me, but I still do it all the time. Take this dress, for example. There are virtually zero occasions in my life that this is appropriate for. I wore it once, to a work party, felt pretty silly in it, and managed to rip the lining during a rowdy game of ping-pong. This was back in June or July, and I haven’t had a real desire or need to fix it, which tells you it’s just not a good fit for my lifestyle. There are some fit issues, too, but it’s a color and style that are best suited for, say, a garden party or something, and I’ve definitely never been to one of those. It was fun to make, but I don’t feel comfortable or cute in it. I have limited time to sew, so I need to be wiser about what will actually work for me so I have fewer duds hogging up time and closet space!
Miss #2: Complete inability to stay on top of gift deadlines.
I first started hand-making things because I wanted to have special (but cheap!) gifts for the many babies in my life. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with sewing, but little projects for dear friends have taken the backseat and been given way, way late or worse, not at all. These two little dresses were mailed off to friends way after the baby showers and way after the babies were born. My dad’s birthday blasted past weeks before I finished his sweater. Handmade Christmas gifts? Didn’t happen, besides one knitted hat. I wish I had budgeted my time better this year so I could show my dear ones that I love them with special gifts.
Miss #3: Abandoning projects that needed fitting work.
I think I muslined three patterns this year that needed work and never went back to them when I saw they would take some time to fix. I had really limited time to sew this year, so I didn’t want to get bogged down in fitting nightmares, but at the same time, I don’t want to only sew things that fit easily or not address problems that need fixing. I don’t want to be a sewing quitter!
Miss #4: Not using tried & true patterns.
This is the opposite of the last problem, but I only used a couple of patterns more than once this year! It’s a really good way to save time and ensure good results, but I was a sucker for the new and shiny and just had to try so many new patterns this year that I only made a second item from one pattern for myself once this year! That’s so silly, and it means that patterns cost more money when I don’t use them more than once. On the other hand, I used the Renfrew and Briar top patterns multiple times for my sister, and that made it easy to stitch up pieces for her in a flash.
Miss #5: Not sewing for my dude.
This is a bad one. I sewed 29 items this year, 21 for me, 5 for my sister, 2 for my friends’ babies, and 1 for my dad. Not one single thing for Man Friend, and he was even sweet enough to model my dad’s sweater, even though it was too tight for him! This is definitely the thing I feel worst about this year. I planned to make him a tie and a buttondown for Christmas, but I just couldn’t find the time. Must remedy this in 2014!
Alright, let’s leave this misery behind and move onto a happier topic: my 5 favorite garments of 2013! Let’s go in reverse-order, shall we?
Hit #5: Leopard-Print Lola Dress
This might be sort of a boring pick, but it deserves a place on the list because it’s still, to date, the only dress I’ve ever worn to work. I’ve worn it out and about running errands, to work and a nice dinner afterwards, to church, and just around the house, and it sorta works for everything. It’s just so easy to wear and it’s LEOPARD PRINT, duh!
Hit #4: Bombshell Swimsuit
This is a bit of an odd choice, since I never go swimming and I don’t love the grandma fabric paired with a more conservative cut than I usually wear, but it was just so enjoyable and surprising that I actually sewed a swimsuit that it has to make the list. It was a really fun process– I felt like I passed a huge new sewing milestone, but without any pain and suffering!
Hit #3: Victoria Blazer
I just love this blazer so much. I’d never sewn one before, and never really even worn one, but I wear this all the time and LOVE IT. I love the shape, the fabric, and the feel of wearing a lined blazer. It’s a really fun garment, but still totally wearable– AWESOME! I’ve enjoyed feeling more put-together at work this year, and a huge part of that was putting on my big girl pants and starting to wear blazers!
Hit #2: Archer Button Up Shirt
Dude. I love this shirt. When this pattern was released, I felt like it had been designed just for me– this is exactly the kind of shirt that I wear on a daily basis. It was so fun to put together a buttondown for the first time, and the sewalong was insanely helpful. It was so thrilling to me to feel like I was making something that was absolutely made for me and that completely fit in with my style and wardrobe. I was slow finishing this after a mishap with pearl snaps, but once I finally did, I wore it all the time and I feel so very proud that I made it every time I see it. Thanks, Jen! I want to make 12 more in 2014!
Hit #1: Ma Deuxième Belladone
This is my favorite dress of all time. I love love love the pattern, and I finally used a special fabric that I’d been saving for ages to make it. It so perfectly suits my style, and it fills a major wardrobe gap, what I like to call Saturday dresses. A perfect Saturday dress can go from the bagel shop to the laundromat to the grocery store to the movies to dinner with friends, all while looking cute and feeling comfortable. This is totally that dress. I love it. I want to marry it. It just makes me happy!
Alright, how about you guys? What were your big hits and misses? What was your very favorite garment this year? Anything that makes you want to bury your head in the sand and forget it even happened? There’s no judgment here! Spill the beans!