2014 in Sewing

More than just a reflection, I consider my year-end round-up to be my final verdict on all of the things I've made this year. Often things are blogged and posted before I've gotten a chance to truly wear them around, wash them, and break them in, so the year-end post is my chance to take a good look at what actually worked and what didn't. It's also fun to tally up my makes, put them all together, and see what I've actually accomplished this year. This, of course, can help set the tone for the year to come.

This year I made over fifty individual things, and managed to blog most of them. I also had the opportunity to test some patterns, guest blog, teach a BurdaStyle class, and was published for the first time in a print magazine! On the home front, I finished some planned improvements to the apartment, got our new puppy, studied for the GRE, and applied to grad school. I did not cook as many home-made meals as one should, clean the floors nearly often enough, get in shape before Hawaii, or get 8 hours of sleep every night (like tonight). Let's hope it was all worth it!

Total Projects: about 50
Average Cost: about $14
Total Cost: less than one month's rent

I should probably be ashamed to tell you how often I've worn some of these pieces. After my custom bralettes, my Hudson pants have by far and away been my most-worn item. I don't wear them much out of the house (except for the occasional dog walk), but I pull them on just about every night when I get home from work. They are so comfy, and in black they look good with anything. I have also been obsessed with my Bonnie Top, which gets worn just as soon as it comes out of the wash. It's got the comfiness of a t-shirt but still looks put together for work and meetings. My Plaintain shirt and skinny jeans have also been go-to staples, although both patterns could use some tweaking in the new year.

1. Bonnie Top
2. Summer Scout
3. Plantain Tee
4. Hudson Pants
5. Jeans
6. Bralettes: Polka Dot, Lace, Mustard

The year started out with me making a lot of tops for myself. The simple ones work well, but I am noticing they have to be a bit more special than a kimono tee to make my 'most worn' list. The Weekend Archer was a good make, and the floral blouse, though a bit tight in the underarm, proved to be an excellent TNT pattern now that I have it all fitted.

1. Silk Top
2. Woven Top
3. Split-Back Tee
4. Fave Top
5. Weekend Archer
6. Floral Blouse
Not pictured - Quilted Scout

This year I had vowed to sew more specifically for work-related things, and the ponte blazer and Burda pants did a good job for that. I also managed to make myself a custom bike rain cape which came in VERY handy at both the beginning and end of the year: though silly, it makes a big difference if I get caught without it. I also made something for fun - the jumper which I wore during the holidays last year and this year. This year I want to make a few more unusual shapes, including culottes and overalls, just to push my comfort zone a bit.

1. Biking Rain Cape
2. Ponte Blazer
3. Ginger Jeans
4. Burda Pants
5. Jumper 

I continued my vow to sew fewer dresses this year, but the ones I did make got a lot of wear, especially when traveling. My Maya Dress is definitely my prettiest make, and the knit dresses were a win for comfy vacation traveling. I should also mention our matching Cal shirts here, which were pulled out for SEVERAL games and have attracted many requests from friends who want their own.

1. Maya Dress
2. Striped Dress
3. Hawaii Dress
4. Cal Shirts
5. Bathing Suit
6. Lingerie
Unblogged: Bathing Suit #2, Pajama Shorts

Towards the end of the year this year, I noticed myself making a lot of things for others, which may be why I'm feeling a bit behind on my personal sewing right now. Of course, who can resist sewing for Ms. Beatrix Kiddo? While last year I sewed a lot for Mr. Made, this year was definitely all about the pets. For baby showers, baby pants were my go-to gift, and I even got in some mens sewing with a shirt for my dad and some birthday makes for Mr. Made which haven't made it to the blog yet. 

2. Dog Coat 
Unblogged: Dog Sweatshirt, Dog Pajamas, Dog Bed, More Baby Pants, Jedediah Pants, Men's Button-Up, Scarves

My misses this year fall into three categories: poor fabric choice, fit issues, and poor design choices on my part. For various reasons, this year I had a number of my projects disintegrate after wearing. My floral archer was made from delicate vintage fabric that raveled when washed, the fabric used in my cowl top was cheap, and for some odd reason the perfectly new fabric used in my Sutton Blouse and ruffle tee also degraded after washing :( My fit issues largely came from garments that were too snug at the armpits, too loose in the bust, or both. I could try to tell you I will muslin more to avoid these issues in the future, but I probably won't. Finally, for some garments I just made poor design decisions - I chose a wrinkly fabric, or the wrong fabric, or cut the neckline too low... It's ok, I've got more in the works!

3. Cowl Top 


Overall, I think I did a pretty good job of sewing for my lifestyle, with a few lessons learned along the way. Last year I said I wanted to focus on fit and designing clothes specifically for the office or play, and I have made some progress on this front. The more I learn about fit the more I know I have to learn, but I've become increasingly interested in how the 'pros' are doing it. 

I also vowed to finally tackle the mend-it bin, and I'm glad to say I did! This had been a goal for at least two years, so I'm relieved to finally check that off my list. Of course, a new one has surfaced in its place... 

I also wanted to take on another project like bra-making and I did... to some extent. That project turned out to not be sewing related at all, however, but rather applying to grad school (which at times seemed like another part-time job). Getting back into the academic setting (or at least applying to be) got me thinking a lot about the role of sewing in my life. I realized that not only is it a fun hobby, but it also helps to balance the rest of the work that I do. While I didn't sew much during those months busy months, I have gained a new appreciation for continuing to work sewing into my busy schedule. So instead of a long list of goals for this next year, I want to focus on making sure that I keep sewing as a part of what I do, even if that time gets reduced. Looking at the projects above, I'm excited about the possibilities ahead!

Hope everyone has a happy new year! Here's to many more months of sewing ahead!


  1. eesh, grad school and accompanying applications are certainly akin to a second job! And there's anxiety to conquer as well... You made such great things this year! Your practical clothes are fantastic, and those cat pillows!!

  2. What a great year you had! You have such a fun, cute style!

  3. Wow! You made a lot of great stuff!

  4. Awesome! Love how clean and crisp your round up posts are - that must take a lot of time to edit all those, but it looks so cool :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, definitely a bit time consuming, but my photoshop skills are definitely improving, which is a good bonus when writing a blog!


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