05 January 2017

2016 Sewing Year in Review

This is my second attempt at writing this post.  Blogger had a major meltdown and deleted EVERYTHING I wrote...pictures and all.  I was one sentence away from publishing and then poof.  Gone.  I save religiously too.  Anyway.

Last year, I dubbed my sewing adventures as the "Year of the Turtle."  What's slower than a turtle? 

I sewed a total of 27 wearable garments, one accessory, and a few wadders (not blogged).  I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself.  Last year I sewed 21 garments, so maybe this turtle was slightly caffeinated.

The Stats (wearable only)

By garment:
  • 10 skirts
  • 7 tops/cardigans
  • 3 dresses
  • 2 coats
  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 2 jackets
  • 1 messenger bag 
By company:
  • 6 Simplicity
  • 5 New Look
  • 4 McCall's
  • 3 Jalie
  • 2 Burda
  • 1 each of Style Arc, Kwik Sew, BWOF, Hot Patterns, Knipmode, Jamie Christina
  • 1 online tutorial 


Abbey Coat by Jamie Christina:  This is the third year in a row where a coat topped the list of my favorite garments.

I got a chance to wear the coat several times before it turned arctic and I absolutely love it.  Whether worn with jeans, a skirt, or dress, this coat has grace and movement.  My only regret is making functional buttonholes on the front.  The fabric is just too thick which makes buttoning the coat difficult.  Plus, two buttons have already fallen off.  Oops.

McCall's 6884:  Although I made two versions of this pattern toward the end of the year, this is a high favorite.  The fit is fantastic and the style is timeless. I added a 1" band along the neckline of the second version for coverage and to prevent gaping.  I will definitely make more versions in the future.



Simplicity 2447-2365 hybrid:  I had high hopes for this pattern because of my success with Simplicity 2365.  I thought I could use the ruffled front from 2447 with the princess-seamed back of 2365.  In theory, this should work.  But in practice, it didn't.  My fabric (stretch cotton poplin) was too stiff and made sewing it unpleasant.  See the armhole puckers?  Yuck.

Simplicity 1199:  This was a fail mostly due to fabric choice.  The under layer really needs to be made in something light-weight like mesh.  I don't think this style suits my full bust either.

Simplicity 8019:  Every time I look at this skirt hanging in Area 51, I think "you tried it." Something went wrong with the fit and I don't have any desire to fix it.  There are other button-front skirt patterns I can try.

Vogue 1411:  This pattern showed promise, but I stopped working on it because my topstitches started to ravel and I don't know why.  Plus the fabric was too shiny and made too much noise when I walked.  I would show a picture, but I have no idea what I did with the pants.

UFOs carried into 2017
The McCall's trench coat is still not finished and honestly, I should just let it go.  But I can't.  It's going on three years now and I can't bring myself to chucking it.  

Stashbusting Challenge 2016
Last year, I pledged to use 30 pieces of stash and 1o new patterns.  I used 19 pieces of stash totaling 37.625 yards and 11 new patterns.  Half womp?  I'll set the same goal for this year and work hard to meet it.

2016 Sewing Intentions Results
  • make two wool coats:  I made one.  That's half the battle.  Literally.
  • just sew it:  Yaaaaas.  I embraced this intention the most.  Making muslins can be tiring and I don't always have the energy - especially when doing so can zap the sewjo.  I also am getting more comfortable with the adjustments I need to make for certain garments, so muslins aren't always needed.
  • curb the fabric buying:  Yeah wellMy fabric buying is still way down, but it could use more reining in.  Last year, I recorded every inch of fabric purchased and its cost.  I bought 243.806 yards of fabric at a cost that shocked me. I know a lot of it was retail therapy, but still. 
  • use more stash:  Yep.
  • sew the 6PAC:  Did this too.  The last several garments I made were parts of mini wardrobes:  red/black/white and navy/red/fuschia.  
2017 Sewing Intentions
  •  set fabric budget:  I am limiting myself to $600 to purchase on fabric.  Let's see how this goes.
  • use more stash:  This is an ongoing sewing intention.  I have plenty of nice fabric and it's a shame to let it sit.
  • just sew it:  This worked well last year and I'm going to keep at it.  I'll make muslins when I am not sure about fit/adjustments or the design is complicated.
  • Burda a month:  I tried this a couple of years ago and only made it for two or three months.  I have many magazines plus a subscription.  I need to use them!
That's my sewing year for 2016.  I didn't blog as much and can't say that that will change any time soon.  My energy level is all over the place at times and when I finally have some, I use it to sew, do pottery, or go to the gym. 

Thanks to all who continue to read my ramblings.  I hope everyone has a wonderful and peaceful new year.


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