Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adios 2011!

It's the last day of the year ... time to wrap it up!   I summarized the first half of the year back in June, and good thing since it seems a million years ago now.   This has been the year of serial sewing -- making multiple garments from the same pattern.  Butterick 6149 (four very different variations), Sew Serendipity's Claire Cami dress (four pretty similar variations), and my own mash-up of Sewaholic's Crescent skirt (four for schmeebot, nine for me) got the most love, but I also made a couple of dresses from Anne Adams 5753.  

Here are the counts for this year (sorry, no pretty infographic):

Dresses:  13 (hopefully 14 by the end of the day!)
Skirts:  11 for me, 4 for schmeebot
Other:  2 camera pouches

Thirty-ish items -- woo hoo!

I started a blouse but it ended up in Waddersville and I walked away from it.  I can't recall any other categorical failures.  I had to re-do a few dress bodices and I started American Weekly 3794 which totally did not work for me, but I was able to morph Butterick 6149 into a similar style, and it became one of my favorite dresses of the year.  It was also the first time that I had attempted pattern re-drafting, and it turned out not to be so scary.

B6149 inspired by American Weekly 3794

That's not to say I wear everything I made.  I do wear most of the skirts, but the dresses don't get as much love as they should.  Some of the vintage styles come across as a bit costume-y for everyday, but I love sewing them and don't plan to stop.   (I might sell some on Etsy though.)  The Claire Cami dresses I just kind of forget about, as I tend to reach for t-shirts and jeans on the weekend.

Here are a few more of my favorites for the year (and hm, three out of four have birds on them):

Original B6149
Claire Cami dress #3
Aviary dress (B6149 variant)
Birds of Norway skirt (Crescent variant)

But my most favorite garment of the year?  I just finished it!   Photos coming soon!

The best thing about sewing in 2011 was getting the bodice of Butterick 6149 to fit me well:  it proved to be a great starting point for fitting other patterns.   It's the reason I had so few wadders this year.   When I put my B6149 bodice pieces over another pattern, I can quickly see how darts need to change, and where I need to add or remove width.  It would be nice to get a princess-seamed bodice similarly figured out.

I took a look at my final post from last year, and while I didn't have an exact count of garments made in 2010, I think I finished a few more projects this year than last.  As for the non-sewing 2011 goals I mentioned in that post, I only did the last two:  selling some of my cameras and contributing more to the knowledge communities at work.  I should do more of both those things in 2012.   I failed to draw regularly, but I'm going to get back on that horse this year.   My house is still messy and I still eat cake for breakfast sometimes, but I did try to do battle with those particular demons even if the result was somewhat less than transformational.

I don't have any sewing goals for 2012, other than to keep on making stuff I like.   But there are lots of things I dream of doing:  get going with knit tops (a wardrobe staple for me),  make a bunch more skirts, since I wear those to work a lot nowadays, make some blouses I like (store-bought blouses rarely work for me), try a 1930s pattern, make more 1950s dresses since they always turn out to be my favorites, and finally cut into some of that Liberty fabric I got in London last year.  I'm sure I'll discover other things I want to do as the year unfolds.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who reads my blog, and especially to those of you who provide feedback!   It gives me perspective on what I've done -- sometimes it's hard to spot fit issues, or to get past the frustration of making a particular garment, and that's where y'all come in.  I enjoy reading your blogs too -- I'm not always the best commenter, as I generally read blogs first thing in the morning or at the end of the day:  not the best times for me to string together a coherent sentence!  I will try to do a bit better this year.


  1. What a great summation of your year Andres! You've been so productive and I particularly love how you found a handful of patterns that really work for you! I still need to figure out a lot of fitting issues, but that's half the fun of it eh! Good luck for 2012, I look forward to seeing more of your creations!

  2. What a productive year you have had Andrea! I particularly love your Claire Cami and your B6149. I really like seeing how you manage to make patterns work for you, by making adaptions and using features from other garments that you know work well. Here's to an equally productive 2012 :)

  3. Love your recap! And I really love your American Weekly inspired dress! Happy 2012!!

  4. Happy New Year! You got a lot done the past year. My favorite is the red and white Butterick dress. I think you did and awesome job and it looks great on you.

    Good luck and all the best for 2012!

  5. Congratulation on a very productive year. You made so many pretty clothes. All the best to you in 2012! It will be fun to see your drawings too. Do you plan to post them?