2013 in Sewing

Total Projects: 42
Average Cost: $14
Total Cost: 2/3 one month's rent

Wow, what a year! Things have flown by so quickly, and yet so much has happened! I wasn't sure that I would get as much sewing done this year as things have been happening in real life, too. In between buying my condo, moving, working full time, and 7 different flights to various locations, I was actually able to sneak a lot in! In total, I was surprised to find that I completed 42 projects. I also lowered the cost by $6 per project from last year, most likely because I was able to make a lot of small projects from remnants. Overall, I have found that I am focusing on making more wearable basics for myself, while also incorporating some men's garments and a fair amount of selfless sewing. To top it off, I embarked on my bra quest (still ongoing), tested 6 new patterns, guest-blogged, and participated in the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge. What a year! And no wonder I'm exhausted! Here's the recap:

2013 Roundup

Looking over these garments, I'm really happy with what I've put together. An ongoing goal of mine has been to make more wearable, every-day clothes, and this is pretty much what you see above. I get a lot of wear out of pretty much all of these, and am even wearing one or two of these items as I type. 

This was definitely my year of men's sewing. Looking over these garments, I notice that we mostly focus on making the big statement pieces. I don't fully intend to sew every garment he wears, but making the most of out great-fitting pants and statement jackets and sweaters has ensured that these garments get worn a lot. 

It was fun to be able to use my sewing this year to make some fun and novelty presents for others. With the exception of the fries shirt, all of these presents were made from remnants or from fabric given to me by the recipient, meaning that my selfless sewing was also very economical!

1. Fries Shirt
2. Potholders
3. My Weirdest Make
4. Dr. Seuss Chalk Bags
5. Ornament Exchange
6. Creamsicle Baby Dress
7. Baby Girl Spring Dress

Not Pictured: Made for me Homemade Table Linens and Pillow Cases

In 2011, many of my makes could be classified as party dresses. Around that time, I also vowed to make a lot fewer of them. Looking over my makes this year, I would say I have accomplished that goal: one Billie Jean for Vegas, a sparkly dress for my friend, and then two wearable basics that work great for a low-key night out. Needless to say, I get a lot more wear out of a dressy pair of pants than a dress!

3. Sparkly Top (not yet blogged)
4. Pleather Pants Version 2 (not yet blogged)

In the spring, I spent countless hours trying to make myself the perfect bra. I haven't really finished blogging about this, but I did finally make one that I wear all the time from a highly-modified Pin-Up Girls' Classic Full-Band Bra #1200. I hope to continue this quest in the year to come!

The makes I didn't wear as much fell into two categories: pants that just didn't quite fit, and peplums that I never got quite right. While I wear my ruffled peplum all the time, I think there's something about the circle skirt part that I could never master with this style. And don't forget my first pair of pleather pants, which literally disintegrated the first time I wore them!

4. Jeans

My biggest challenge of the year was the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge. After seeing the Great British Sewing Bee, I was eager to try my hand at competitive sewing, and volunteered myself up for the challenge. I made 6 garments in the course of 5 weeks and came away absolutely exhausted, but very glad I did it. The challenge made me think a lot about fit, how I select my projects, and what I want to accomplish with sewing blogging. I also made some new sewing friends along the way!

3. and 4. Kitchen Sink

Sewing Goals
As if that weren't enough, I also set myself a few sewing goals last winter. I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive to look at the list because I hadn't checked on it since I wrote it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had worked my way through quite a few of them:

Progress on 2013 Goals:

1. Continue making wearable, every-day garments: accomplished! And hopefully this will be a permanent goal...

2. Make a pair of underwear that are sturdy and wearable: this has kind of been accomplished... I ended up focusing a lot of energy and bra-making, with moderate success. I didn't tackle bottoms this year, but I think that is less important to me now.

3. Finish my sweater: accomplished! Not only did I finish my Whales Sweater, but I also knit my best garment yet, the men's Hugo sweater.

4. Clear out the mend/refashion bin: fail! Despite this being the one goal that I actually had in the back of my mind this year, I would say I only got about a third of the way through it when I threw out unwanted items after our move. There's still a few items in there that just need a few tweaks to work out, so I need to get on that in the new year!

5. One of my unstated goals for 2013 was to also be more sewcial. I accomplished this much more than I thought I would, testing out patterns for three different wonderful ladies, participating in a few fabric and gift exchanges, signing up for the fashion challenge, and even writing a few guest posts. I am so grateful for this sewing community!

Goals for 2014:

I'm a bit hesitant to set down very specific goals, but here are some projects I'm interested in working on in the coming year:

1. Make work clothes and play clothes: Over the last few years I have tried to make clothes that straddle both the work and play lines, but have found that that leads garments that serve as pretty boring play clothes and not-quite-right work clothes. By separating out the two categories, I think I will actually have more wearable makes.

2. Take on another project: I am still very interested in bra-making, and would like to make a few more this year. Another project I am very interested in shoe-making. These are both fairly all-consuming projects so I will have to select carefully, but it would be great to master one of these or something similar this year.

3. Focus on fit: The fashion challenge made me focus a lot on how a garment fits and looks on me once I've made it. I'm already getting much better at my construction and seam finishes, and so I'd love to start really focusing on the appearance of the final product.

4. Be more selective: This year I was so eager to be sewcial that I took on a lot of projects. Some of them turned out to be really great collaborations, while others weren't quite my style. I also have trailed off my participation in many of the online sewing communities, so I want to reevaluate that. So my goal is to learn to work with others while still making things that work for me. If I had to make one more dress for that fashion challenge, I think I might have exploded!

5. Clean out that mend/fix-it bin! I'm serious this year, let's do this!! (Fingers crossed.)

How has this year in sewing been for you?!


  1. You made some wonderful clothes this year! I'm really impressed by how much you sewed for others and I'm still in awe over what you and the other contestants made for the Fabric Mart challenge. That was so intense! Have a wonderful 2014!

    1. Thanks Kelly for all your support this year. Happy new year!!

  2. Wow you have had such a productive year. I love your scout tee and your mens clothes look awesome! And you have made a foray into bra making. Great job for 2013!

    1. thanks angela! I was just reading up on your wedding and you've had quite a year, too!

  3. Great post Meg! Love how you figured out your average cost for your makes - I would never be organized enough to do that! Lol :) Your makes are really great - still drooling over your Vegas Billie Jean dress! Can't wait to see what 2014 brings for you! :)

  4. I am so amazed by how much you were able to do in a year! Your scout tee is so cute, and your mens stuff looks very professional. I have really taken it easy this year with regards to the amount of projects, my goal next year is to step it up! Happy 2014

  5. I'm so impressed with how productive you've been, and so selfless with your great man makes! I'm with you on separate work and play wardrobes - it's definitely the better way to go! Happy new year :)

    1. Glad to hear it worked well for you. My work is not super fancy at all so it took me a while to realize, but now I'm more motivated to try it!


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