Top 5 of 2013: Reflections, Inspirations, & Goals

Hi, guys!  Hope your New Year’s Eve celebrations are safe and joyous!  My New Year’s Eve’s tend to be quiet and introspective, despite the fact that I’m neither quite nor introspective.  It’s nice to pause in the midst of the holiday madness and reflect on the year past and the year to come– I think I need a little thoughtful time before embarking on another sure-to-be chaotic year!  So today I wanted to share my 2013 reflections, inspirations, and goals.

Reflections: I thought it would be fun to revisit my goals for 2013 and see how I did!

  • Organize my sewing space! Check!  If this was the only goal I accomplished all year, I’d still be happy!  My sewing area was completely and totally out of control, unorganized, and uncomfortable.  We saved up and bought a nice table that has just enough room for my sewing machine, serger, and rotary mat, and I put together a cube storage system for fabric, scraps, UFOs, and odds and ends.  I added a little rolling tray from IKEA for extra storage, and Man Friend gave me a lovely rolling chair for my birthday in November, which really completed the setup.  This setup replaces my previous, ultra-elegant system of two folding card tables and a pile of Mood bags.  I feel SO much saner, happier, and more productive now that I’m not working in the middle of an awful mess.
  • Sew pants!  Total fail– never got around to this.  This year went by at an insane pace, and I never even came close to starting this.
  • Sew a jacket! Check!  I started out 2013 making my Colette Anise jacket.  It was the slowest sewing that I did all year, but it was nice to make something that took more time and care.  I don’t think I’ll ever become a tailoring junkie, but it was fun to make this.  Looking back on this, the fit isn’t perfect (the sleeves are baggier than I wish they were), but it was a great learning project.

  • Identify and make pieces that I’ll reach for over and over again.  Check!  OK, not every garment fits in this category, but I was really excited this summer to hit a stride for a moment when I made 3 or 4 garments close together that really suit my lifestyle and work for me (my Victoria blazer, my Moss Mini skirt, and my Archer shirt).  This will sound really geeky, but it was really thrilling to make things that I would want to buy RTW.
  • Avoid overcommitment! Check minus?  On the one hand, I deserve a check because I opted out of some REALLY super fun sewalongs and pattern testing projects that I wanted to do, but knew in my heart I couldn’t get done.  On the other hand, signing up for a patternmaking class was a colossal failure in the overcommitment department, so maybe I average out to a “C” grade?  While it was sad to skip out on so much fun, I felt much calmer with fewer self-imposed deadlines.
  • Make a sloper!  Check minus again?  This was a #sewingdare from Gillian, and I *sort* of fulfilled it in that I MADE, tested, and drafted from a sloper, but I failed in that the sloper fit a dress form instead of me!  Unfortunately, my patternmaking class made me realize how much tinkering goes into fitting a sloper, even when you draft from careful, careful measurements, so I don’t think I’ll attempt one for myself unless I can find a measuring/fitting buddy who wants to do this together.
  • Sew from my stash!  Check!  Out of 29 projects this year, I sewed 10 garments from my stash.  Considering that 12 projects had to use new fabric (for the Mood Sewing Network), that means I only purchased new fabric for 7 other garments.  Not too bad, although I could do better.  I did a major clear-out of my stash in the spring, so I was left with only pieces that I really love and want to use, so I was thrilled every time I made something with one of these favorites.  I worked hard to shop from my stash for every non-Mood project, but sometimes I just didn’t have anything appropriate.

Stash-busting at its finest!

In some ways, this was a disappointing year for me.  I had a really, really busy year with work, and my patternmaking class in the fall really sucked up an insane amount of time.  I had so many plans this year for fun garments I wanted to make, but it just wasn’t in the cards.

At the same time, this year was really exciting.  I felt for the first time like I was sewing for myself, who I really am.  I had fun thinking about my style and considering which garments would really work for me.  It was also exciting to push myself more and branch out from dresses and tops into jackets and swimwear.  Sometimes it was ugly and messy, but it was nice to keep learning this year.

Inspirations: I’m just so thankful for all of you bloggers who inspire me every day!  Every time I open up my blogroll, I’m just so amazed by what you guys make.  Thanks for being so incredible!

I’m feeling pretty brain-dead at the moment, so I don’t have a list of 5 inspirations, but I wanted to give a special shout-out to Carolyn.  I was lucky enough to get to know her a bit this year, and she is just so inspiring.  She has tons and tons of sewing experience, and is really gracious about sharing her wisdom.  Thanks to her, I now know to keep my eyes peeled in the fabric store for special fabrics and to snatch them up when I see them.  She’s totally right– a fabric like quilted, flannel-back wool completely makes your project!  She was also right when she told me I would regret not buying glazed ponte– even thought I bought it, I regret not buying more!


  1. Sew a pair of pants, FOR REAL THIS TIME.  I wear pants.  I like pants.  Time to sew some @#$% pants!
  2. Delve more deeply into outerwear.  I’d like to make a casual, sporty jacket and get more confident sewing that kind of thing.
  3. Use sewing patterns multiple times.  It’s time to slow down my pattern purchases (SO HARD, YOU GUYS) and make things more than once.  It’s much more cost-effective and you don’t have to spend extra time working out fit issues.  WHY DON’T I DO THIS MORE?!  I want to make at least 3 garments next year from patterns I’ve already used before.
  4. Sew at least two garments for Man Friend.  It’s the least I can do!
  5. Make at least one self-drafted garment.  Time to put that patternmaking class to work!

Before I go, I just want to wish every one of you a happy and healthy New Year!  It means so much to me to connect with so many of you through this blog and your own, and I really am so grateful for the many friendships I’ve made through this little world.  Here’s to 2014!

106 responses

  1. I like the goal of trying to sew more garments from the one pattern – to get value for money…it’s what I’m trying to do right from the beginning of my sewing hobby.


    • It’s a good habit to start! People always say, “Oh, you must save so much money sewing your own clothes!” Well, yes and no… but mostly no since I love buying patterns and fabric and I’ve always hated shopping for clothes– never really been tempted to spend much on RTW clothes, so I’m probably not saving anything!


  2. I just want to know what glazed ponte is… And the sloper/tailoring/all that pattern stuff I didn’t realize how much WORK is involved in clothes making. So tell me, these designers like – you know- the ones–they really deserve all that money for a $600 blouse! hahaha 😉 Love the dino dress by the way, Mia squealed!


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