I find doing something like this is instructive: looking at what self-made things I loved best this year tells me a lot — most importantly, that my favorite projects weren't even for myself. (And many of them weren't even sewn). Which explains why I have nothing to wear.
This shirt was perfection. Unfortunately Ryan's new job demands much more sitting than he's used to, and he has to work really hard to keep his weight down. So this shirt doesn't fit him right now, and I cut the actual paper pattern for the size medium (resolution for the New Year: trace, goddammit!), which means I would have to grade it up to a large if I want to make him another that fits. That seems like a lot of work. Instead I'll just hope his new gym membership makes a difference.
I'm still really proud of this one — even though on Halloween my kid refused to wear the hood because she was hot (we were outside and it was cold, but her Scandinavian/Canadian blood runs hot; lesson learned. Next year she can go as Tinkerbell, who basically dresses like a burlesque performer).
3. Bombshell Dresses
This clearly illustrates why I don't have much that's practical in my closet this year. I love making bustiers, I guess, and spent the better part of my few sewing hours making these three dresses. Still, looking at the photos above, I just want an occasion to wear these dresses I made.
I wore this jacket a ton this year (thanks to global warming, it has been appropriate in nearly all seasons in NYC in 2012), and got compliments on it every time I did. I still want to make another, but this time with pockets on the outside. I just can't deal with no-pockets.
I love the print on this dress I made using Burdastyle's Cap Sleeve Dress with Dirndl Skirt Pattern — which required A LOT of alteration to make fit so nicely. (I also nixed the dirndl skirt because I already have hips, thankyouverymuch. I drafted an A-line skirt to go with this bodice instead.)
Honorable Mentions (all the stuff I made that you can't wear):
This took so many hours to make, but it was so fun. And now I'm contemplating career choices that involve building in cardboard.
This took me nearly a month to make, and involved learning so many new things. I can't wait to make next year's video. We already have a concept and a plan (Anyone in NYC want to be an extra?)
And now for the WORST of 2012:
I would still stand by this pattern (McCall's 6404) and this concept, it's just the fit is bad around the knees, and the faux leather is cheap — so I find little black flakes everywhere when I wear them. Yuck. I'm currently ripping them apart, so I can try to remake them in solid grey. I love the ponte knit I used, and don't want it to go to waste.
I can't reflect on this one without getting mad about this wasted fabric. I love this cotton print, which I also used to line my Minoru coat. But I didn't make a muslin to test the fit, and the neckline gaped so badly, I ended up cutting off the skirt and throwing a waistband on it.
Alright, I know that's only two misses. But I didn't sew as much as I would have liked this year, so I didn't have as many chances for failure as I did in past years. Still, the lessons I've learned from looking back are:
• Trace your patterns; don't cut. People grow!
• Test commercial patterns by making a muslin before you cut into your fabric. (I know; duh.)
• Avoid cheapo fabrics; you won't end up wearing them because they're hot, uncomfortable, and fall apart.
Happy New Year everybody!