Saturday, 2 January 2010

2009 - what worked and what didn't!

It’s that time of the year when we reflect on our achievements and failures of the last year and I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed, and learnt a lot from, reading blog posts from fellow Sewists about their ‘year in review’. So I thought I had better get a move on (before 2010 is over!) and have a good think about my own sewing year.

So, what have I made in 2009?

13 Dresses (I clearly love dresses and want to make lots more!)
9 Tops (I always find it very difficult to find RTW tops to fit, so I’m not surprised there’s quite a lot of these – I intend to make many more in 2010)
3 Skirts (A few more skirts in 2010 would be good)
1 Pair of pants (these were the simplest pair of pants possible, drawstring waist, very dull – must learn to make a proper pair in 2010)
1 Coat (I’m pleased enough with this but it was one of my early makes and, looking at it now, I think it could have been better made – try again in 2010!)
1 Jacket (I like this a lot and would like to make more jackets)
1 Vest/jacket thing (see below about this one)

That’s 29 garments, which is a total I’m quite pleased with. It’s not nearly as many as some of the other wonderfully expert Sewists out there but, as this is my first year of taking up sewing after a break of many years (decades, actually), it’s not a bad count. Plus I’ve made two muslins that never made the grade - they turned out to be too hideous to contemplate making up (so I’ve learnt the value of muslin making!).

Although it’s not necessarily my absolute favourite, most loved, garment, this is the one that I wore the most

It’s BWOF Magazine July, 2007, No. 119. Throughout the summer it was an easy to wear top that was great to wear with jeans or skirts and I loved the brightly coloured soft cotton fabric.

However, rather dwell on the successes I’m going to focus on what didn’t work and why. I made one garment that I’ve never worn at all, not once! It’s this one

Which is from BWOF Magazine, May 2009, No. 108. I’m happy with the way I’ve constructed it, and it fits ok, but what’s wrong is that it doesn’t go with anything else in my wardrobe – the combination of the style and fabric just doesn’t seem to work for me. It doesn’t work as a practical item because it doesn’t keep me warm and if it’s really hot I don’t particularly want another layer. It might have worked as a decorative garment to put over a skimpy evening frock if I had made it in a glitzier fabric but this cheap, rather rough, hessian type fabric has the effect of dressing everything down and fighting with what I’m wearing underneath. I picked the pattern because I thought it would be interesting to make – and it was and it looks nice on the hanger – but as something to actually wear it seems to be a total failure.

So what can I learn from this? Before I make anything I should reflect very carefully on the following. Do I really love the style – can I see myself wearing it and will it go with other things in my wardrobe. Do I love the fabric and is it right for the style?

2009 was the year I started my blog. I love how it helps focus and motivate my sewing efforts (I want to be able to show you nice things!) but the best thing about it is that I’ve now joined such a wonderful community of Sewists. I am inspired daily by the talent, kindness and encouragement of everyone out there. I love reading everyone’s blogs and feel honoured by those of you that visit mine. Thank you to everyone who has commented on my blog, I truly appreciate it.
A Very Happy New Year to You All


  1. Happy New Year to you! I think you've accomplished so much in this your first year back to sewing in should be proud of your efforts!

  2. Wow, that is really a lot to finish in your first year back to sewing! The first year I sewed, all I did were window treatments and slip covers. I didn't even try garments for YEARS. I agree with you about being more critical in deciding whether the style of a pattern is right for me...whether the fabric is right for the many have been passed on to other people because I didn't pay attention to that!

  3. Wow you have done a lot in 2009... I wish I was as good as you... Many more to do in 2010.. Happy New Year! Good luck!

  4. You had a wonderful year! It was nice being able to peep in to see what you have been doing. Thanks for all your wonderful complements they are appreciated muchly.

  5. Happy New Year to you!!
    Maybe your thoughts on your unused garment are why I don't like vests -- I don't really understand them for the reasons you listed above!
    To a productive 2010!!

  6. You have been usually ambitious!! It gives me hope that you've had some wadders too. Yes, I can usually tell in the muslin if the pattern is going to be a disaster. I love your results. I understand about not wearing things - if a piece doesn't match my style concept - I simply don't wear it!

  7. Happy New Year Eugenia . You have had a great sewing year .

  8. Happy New Year! You have definitely had a productive 2009. I have learned a lot from you and look forward to seeing what you have in store for 2010.

  9. Happy New Year! What a great sewing year! I'm excited to see what you have in store this next year! :)

  10. Reader request: I'd love to see pics of some of the dresses you made before you started blogging (13, seriously?). You make such lovely ones!

  11. Happy New Year! You had a wonderful 2009. I can't wait to see what 2010 brings!


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