2012 Reflections/Inspiration

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing about 2012 by now, but don’t fear– this is my last wrap-up post!  For the 100th time (but I sincerely mean it!), thank you, Gillian!

2012’s handmade gifts


1.) I’m not a newbie?

2012 marked the year that I began to feel comfortable thinking of myself as a sewist and a blogger.  2011 was my first year sewing, and I felt afraid to try new things (and when I did, I had mixed results at best).  I’m starting to feel more confident now, knowing that I have so much to learn, but I can and will learn!  I feel much less fearful and much more excited about what my future holds.  Becoming a member of the Mood Sewing Network this year encouraged me to push myself and to work with new fabrics, techniques, and styles (but really, how could I not push myself?  Have you SEEN the other sewists Mood chose?  They make me quake in my boots!).

2012’s knitted garments (some of them are gifts)

2.) Strive for excellence, not perfection.

There’s a poster in my mother-in-law’s guest bedroom full of instructions for how to live a good life (“Call your mother” is underlined in Sharpie, just to drive that point home).  These words jumped out at me– try your hardest, do a good job, seek to improve… but let go of small imperfections!  Perfectionism can suck all the joy out of making.  This is a lesson that I’ve tried hard to absorb this year, and I hope to carry it into 2013.

2012’s tops

3.) Relationships enrich the act of creating.

I love holing up at home and spending the weekend at the sewing machine, but as an outgoing, chatty extrovert, I’ve come to realize how much joy I draw from the communal aspects of the blogosphere.  I love cheering on and commiserating with you guys, keeping tabs on the projects you’re working on, snooping new patterns, and giggling at photos of your pets on Instagram.  2012 was filled with sewalongs, swaps, and meetups, and it was so fun to get to know some of you better!  Heck, I even met in person: Mika, Kerry, Liz, Kelli, Janice, Cindy, Marina, Inna, Peter, Nettie, Christine, Devra, Tricia, Rachel, and Oona!  I honestly believe that my fellow sewing bloggers are among the coolest people on earth.  Meeting up with other people to sew, learn, shop, and hang out is something that I really treasure.

2012’s Grainline patterns (plus a pair of Simplicity pajama pants)!

4.) Take time BEFORE you start sewing to save time AFTER you start.

I made some successful projects this year when I:

  • measured pattern pieces and compared the measurements to similar garments that fit well
  • made muslins and carefully altered them
  • read others’ reviews of patterns
  • paired patterns and fabrics carefully
  • selected projects that would fill holes in my wardrobe
  • didn’t start sewing at midnight

Any failures I had could usually be chalked up to disregarding one (or more!) of these steps.

2012’s indie dresses

5.) My eyes are bigger than my stomach!

I have so many ideas, goals, and self-imposed deadlines, but I rarely have a good handle on how much I can reasonably accomplish.  In 2013, I’ll try to be more realistic about what I can get done, how quickly I can get it done, and how much fabric (and patterns, oh, no!) I actually need and will use.  I spent most of 2012 feeling like I was buried under UFO’s, to-makes, and piles of fabric!

2012’s Big 4 dresses


It goes without saying that I’m inspired by all of you every time I attack my blogroll!  I’m really not into Pinterest, I don’t read style blogs, I haven’t bought a fashion magazine since I was in my teens, but the sight of a gorgeous dress on one of you has me clicking “buy” on a new pattern before my wallet has a chance to let out a whimper of protest!  That said, my official sources of inspiration have to be the indie designers that had me wiping drool off my keyboard all year long– Kristiann, Megan, Jen, Sarai, Tasia, Charlotte and Elisalex, Cindy, Dixie, Zo, and Katie.  Thanks, gals, for following your dreams and giving me sweet patterns to make up (so I don’t have to draft my own… we all know I fear math!)!  I will gladly shell out my cash to you– since the feeling you get when you wear a brand-new, super cool, unique dress is basically PRICELESS.  Those of you that give your patterns away for free… holy cow, I could smooch ya smack-dab on the lips!

2012’s vintage pattern makes

Final Tally:

I felt like I had a pretty unproductive year, since I’m a pretty slow sewist and my knitting output was greatly reduced by my sewing mania.  But when I counted up my makes this year, I found that I had hand-made 33 items this year!  That broke down as follows:

  • 9 knitted items
  • 24 sewn items
  • 11 handmade gifts
  • 1 skirt
  • 9 dresses
  • 11 tops
  • 4 unblogged items (2 are gifts that haven’t been delivered, 1 is a FO I hate, and 1 I just realized I never blogged!)
  • 14 garments from indie sewing patterns
  • 6 garments from big 4 patterns
  • 3 garments from vintage patterns
  • 3 Tiny Pocket Tanks
  • 3 Renfrews

How do your 2012 makes compare to mine?  What did you make the most of?  What did you wear the most?  And what lessons did you take away from 2012?

Most importantly, Happy New Year!  I sincerely hope that 2013 brings you joy, good health, and adventure!