2012 in Sewing

Total Projects: 28 (plus two more that I haven't photographed yet)
Average Cost: $20.43
Total Cost: 2/3 one month's rent
Total Patterns Purchased: 9?
Knitting Projects: 3

Well, it's that time again to reflect on my past year of sewing and get ready for the new one! Overall I'm quite pleased with what I've been able to do despite my limited time this year. I'm currently anxious to get started on this coming year's sewing, but there is only so much time in the day to get everything done that I want to! My highlights for the past year have included making some really great, usable clothes that I wear a ton. I also made a lot of gifts for others--not sure why, but I think I might have actually enjoyed it. My biggest failures came in the shirts/tops/blouses department, where I probably had the least number of things that fit well. Here's complete a look at 2012:

It was the year of the presents! While I have previously documented my disdain (along with many sewists) for making for others, for some reason I made a ton of homemade gifts this year: for friends, for family, and for babies that aren't even mine! Of course, this made Christmastime extremely stressful, but I have to say that I am quite pleased with the twelve items below.

  1. Beaded Scarf - made for manfriend's mom
  2. His and Hers Shirts - made for my brother's and his womanfriend's birthdays
  3. Fur and Silk Bathrobe - made as a surprise gift for my friends
  4. Peacock Scarf - made for a school silent auction
  5. Men's Minoru - made for manfriend's birthday (still not blogged)
  6. Retro Remnant Jacket - made as a 'thank you' for my mom
  7. Baby Bunny Hat - made for a coworker's baby shower
  8. Baby Quilt - made for another coworker's baby shower
  9. Girls' Coat and Teddy Bear - made for manfriend's little sister

In my attempt to make clothes that are wearable and fit my lifestyle (last year's goal #2, below), I made some work-friendly clothes this year. I can't say the goal was met 100%--only one of the items below (the striped pencil skirt) is something that I reach for often. As for button-up shirts, I am exploring the idea of making some blouses or possibly even purchasing some button-up shirts (I love my store-bought shirts but the ones I make just don't turn out right!). Hopefully this coming year I'll have some more easy-to-wear yet put-together pieces.

  1. Vintage Blouse - OK fit, a bit too loose
  2. Lightening Bolt Shirt - OK fit, a bit too tight
  3. Striped Pencil Skirt - wear all the time!
  4. Paper Bag Skirt - worn once
  5. Cubicle Chic - new decor for my new office

Along with work clothes, I also made some "every-day" clothes that were easy to just throw on and go.  This section contains some of my favorites and most-worn items of all year: the boyfriend tee, my clover pants, and the coat.

  1. Pan and Bones Top - while I loved the fabric, I never worn the shirt, and ended giving it away
  2. Spring Forward Blouse - the top never quite felt right, but I have a re-make in mind
  3. Go Bears! Top - after touching up the ink, this will be ready for game day next year!
  4. Collared T - I LOVE this fabric but need to widen the back for better fit
  5. Coat - with the weather getting colder again, I have been wearing this coat almost every day
  6. Pants - these may be one of the best-fitting pants I own, and I have more planned for 2013
  7. Boyfriend Tee - love this shirt! so comfortable and wearable, and the perfect size

In 2011, I made a ton of one-time party dresses. This year, I cut back a lot on the poorly-made, one-use garments, but I did manage to squeeze in a few pieces that were just for fun. Some of them have even become my go-to's for special occasions, like my winter wool dress and my comfy flare drape dress.

  1. Flare Drape Dress - easy comfy party dress
  2. Summer Bustier - for the festival season
  3. Bathing Suit - a good muslin
  4. Winter Wool Dress - a get a ton of wear out of this!
  5. Pom Pom Flowers - part of my ongoing apt decor
  6. Casual Magical Dress - cheap fabric didn't last, but fun dress!

So with all this sewing, how did I do on my goals from last year? Let's take a look:

Goals from 2012:
  • Better fit: Now that I've got the construction down, I want to perfect my fit 
    • Work in progress: I'd say I got about 50-50 on this. There's a quite a lot of things that have become wardrobe staples, but also quite a few that I need to redraft or use different fabric for. I feel pretty well set up for 2013 though!
  • Be inspired by looks that fit my lifestyle and body: Just because it looks good on the runway and I CAN make it doesn't mean I SHOULD make it (an extension of the No More Sundresses goal) 
    • Work in progress: Getting better. I have recently been impressed with how much I've been wearing my stuff. Also, with less time to sew, I have had more time to think about my projects and how I would wear them, so I've been able to make more useful things. 
  • Make a coat: The wool is on its way! 
    • Accomplished: I made this up in the beginning of the year. I didn't wear it a ton then, but have been getting a lot of use out of it lately. Overall success!
  • Make pants: Clover here I come... 
    • Accomplished: This one took me a while to muster up the courage to do, but I'm so glad I finally did! I love my clover pants and I have plans to make more even better. Best of all, they fit better than a lot of my store-bought jeans!
  • Lower my average cost: Stop splurging! 
    • Failed: I got a raise this year, so I splurged on some things, especially those that were gifts for special people or big-ticket items. While my average cost per garment went up from $14 to I did, however, have a median cost of $10/garment, which is pretty good. 

Goals for 2013:
  • Continue making wearable, every-day garments: shirts/blouses, pants, coats--I could use more of these in my closet. This will be measured by the ratio of things I wear regularly to things that didn't quite work out. Bonus if they work for work and play!
  • Make a pair of underwear that are sturdy and wearable: I have made attempts before, but it's time to make something that is useful and lasts!
  • Finish my sweater: it's been a WIP for almost a year now, time to finish up those sleeves!
  • Clear out the mend/refashion bin: that thing is just taking up space now. Get on it!


  1. Wow! You've made some pretty awesome things. I love the striped skirt you made for work. I've been meaning to make one for myself with some left over fabric. This just reminded me. Thanks!

  2. It's super easy, too! Can't wait to see yours!

  3. Wow! Twenty eight garments?!?! You rocked girl!


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