Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Sewing Round-up

Before I share with you my sewing plans for 2013, I thought I'd do a round-up of all my completed projects from 2012.

First on the list - and first to be completed - was the winter pansies dress. It's a useful, comfortable day dress and has seen a fair bit of use over the course of the year. I might revisit the pattern one day with a few tweaks to the design, as I do like the style of the bodice.

My second completed garment was a long time coming, having lain unfinished for at least 18 months. Again, the skirt that almost never was proved itself a useful addition to the wardrobe - you can't really go wrong with a neutral pencil skirt, and it goes with all blouses and sweaters.

Inspired by Ginger Rogers, the Carefree Valentine dress was a bit of a labour of love. Unfortunately I didn't get quite the fit I wanted, and as a result I haven't worn the dress as much as it deserves, but since the wool crepe is lovely to wear (even though I'm supposed to avoid black), I'm going to make an effort to get it out more through the rest of the winter.

Ah, the Little Rock dress! Scheduled for March and finally completed in May. There's a lot I love about it, but unfortunately it doesn't really live up to my vision. For a start I didn't really crack the fit, especially in the back bodice, which is far too baggy, and as a result I've not worn it much (also it's pretty dressy for day wear - even for me!). Really I need to take it apart and re-make it - maybe that can be a 2013 project?

I had a bit of a lull for the rest of March and April, then picked up again in May with the Ballroom Belles tea dress. I really like this one, and I wore it a fair bit over the summer. The fit isn't perfect, but it's comfortable and a nice colour and I do love that print.

Mostly it's the simpler projects that are the most successful - the fruit salad sundress came together very quickly, straight from the pattern, and after I completed it in May it was one of my most worn dresses of the summer.

Ditto the Jubilee dress, completed in early June from the same pattern (though I altered the neckline style). At the moment it's sitting in my mending pile waiting to have the underarm seam re-stitched (one drawback of kimono sleeves - they're much easier to sew than set-in, but they do have a tendency to pop their stitches), but I'll make sure to tackle it before the spring.

I had a huge creative block over the remainder of the summer, though I did manage to hand paint and sew new living room curtains in July.

When autumn came around it brought back my creative mojo (unexpectedly, since normally I just feel like hibernating when the weather turns colder), and October was a frantically productive month. I sewed two skirts, two blouse and finally acomplished an alteration that's been waiting for years - making a new waistband for my vintage cherry petticoat (actually scheduled for March, but hey, better late than never!).

The WAAF blouse is up there among my favourite pieces ever - it was another "straight from the pattern" project and it could hardly be a better fit.

I made the second of the year's four pencil skirts in mini houndstooth check. It hasn't seen much action as yet as the wool is quite lightweight and I made it late in the year, but I reckon it'll be useful in spring and summer through to early autumn.

One of my more ambitious projects of the year (the crazy projects are always the most fun to sew!) was the cityscape circle skirt, which was literally months in the planning before I actually took the bull by the horns and got on with it. I've worn it a couple of times but I need to re-do the waistband because I didn't interface it properly and it's gone all crumpled - a good lesson not to cut corners in sewing.

The productivity continued into November, when along with my own sewing I completed several items (a cape and a number of blouses) to sell in my etsy shop. It was also sew-along month, and I made two pencil skirts. The first in teal wool has already seen a lot of wear and it's only in its first month - definitely a good make.

Perhaps the quickest - certainly the smallest - project of the year was a beret to match this skirt, which represented my second small foray into millinery (after my leopard print pillbox back in January 2011).

Like its teal sister above, the coral herringbone skirt is also proving its worth - I've worn it several times already, and I can definitely see it featuring in outfits right through spring.

I made this blouse in fabric recycled from a UFO (unfinished object, that is) - a circle skirt I started waaaayyy back, before I realised this cotton gingham is far too lightweight for a skirt (hence its unfinished status). I actually intended it to sell, but as no-one rushed to buy it I've appropriated it for my own wardrobe - I'm getting very into blouses and I can see it being a useful everyday piece. (If you'd like one, I can make to order).

Hands down my most glamorous sewing project to date was my Christmas dress in gold lamé brocade.

Completed in the closing days of 2012, my coral silk satin blouse rounds out the year's sewing.

So that's all the completeds, but what about the items on the hand-making schedule which didn't materialise?

  • I had hoped to explore a bit of millinery in 2012, but don't seem to have got around to it - although I did manage the one beret. Hopefully I'll be able to branch into millinery a bit more this year.
  • The sailor dress which was on the schedule never got made, just because I could never find the right fabric - for the 40s style I have in mind I need something medium weight with a good drape, like a heavy-ish rayon crepe, or a rayon-linen or rayon-wool blend, and in just the right shade of bright navy blue. The quest continues in 2013...
  • Of the four spoonflower projects I had hoped to complete, I achieved only one (the Ballroom Belles dress above) - purely because I couldn't afford the fabric. Fingers crossed that 2013 brings more funds for my fabric habit, because I would really love to cross some more of those off the list.
  • I wanted to start making my first quilt, but didn't get that far. However I have settled on a design, so watch this space...
  • The dominoes and daisies tea dress has been shifted to the spring because just as I got around to it autumn arrived and I started concentrating on more seasonally appropriate projects. I've done the required pattern grading and the muslin is finished, so it's all ready to go.
  • There was another circle skirt on the list (just as nutty as the cityscape skirt - you're going to love it!), which has also been shifted to 2013.
  • Another planned tea dress fell by the wayside when the fabric I had bought last year turned out to be in the 'wrong' colours for me. I may still make it, to sell, but it's been deprioritised.
  • I didn't quite get round to the pinstripe pencil skirt I'd sketched in for November, but it will come, and quite soon I think.
  • I had a pair of 1940s overalls and "something in tartan" on the list - both were sort of 'someday' projects (you know, if I ran out of things to sew - as if!).
  • The red 40s skirt which was due for completion in December is actually nearly finished - it just needs a button at the waistband and the hem sewn - so you can expect to see it soon.

Okay so there was a fair bit that didn't get made, but I said at the start that the schedule was more a guide and that I didn't expect to make every single thing on it. I still completed a good eighteen full projects for my wardrobe, with a few other little make-do-and-mends along the way. And of the projects that didn't quite make it, I have taken at least one step towards most of them - whether it's purchasing the fabric, or grading the pattern, designing the applique or even just selecting a pattern (that still counts as a step!).


  1. Still in total awe of your awesome sewing skills :D

  2. Fantastic completed projects! I can't wait to see what you design in 2013.


  3. Love all your projects! Especially the Christmas bombshell dress and all the adorable blouses!

  4. We always have lists too long to realistically manage, what an amzing productive year! :)

  5. I swoon over everything you make and wear. Huge fangirling here. :)

  6. I sew enjoy all your posts, thank you sew much for sharing. Wishing you lots of abundance for 2013!

  7. What amazing sewing projects. I am inspired to have a go myself this year, maybe make a skirt to go with my knitted cardigans.

  8. I only wish I looked half as good in my sewed outfits ;)
    Here's to a fruitful new year!

  9. I love all your projects. Especially the Ballroom Belles tea dress, the Jubilee dress and the WAAF blouse. Can't wait to see what you make in 2013.

  10. You are a sewing force to be reckoned with, my goodness! I am in nothing short of awe over all of your wonderful projects and really think you got a lot done in the span of just twelve months. Incredible, inspiring, and absolutely beautiful work, Charlotte!

    ♥ Jessica

  11. Fabulous, I'd love to do a millinery course myself, but there's nary a one near me.

  12. You've done so well with all your completed projects. I've also decided that this new year is the year my wardrobe gets a lot more glam vintage items handmade the way I want them. It's such a skill to be able to make your own clothes why waste it hey haha:)


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