Dec 30, 2012

Walk of Fame/Shame — Highs and Lows of 2012 Sewing

Everybody's doing it. And even though the best things I made this year were actually made in 2011 (make sense to any of you?), I'm throwing down my best/worst of 2012 post.

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!


  1. your hits really were hits, trying to think of a fave of them and I love them all. What a great year!

  2. I am a skeeball fanatic!! You have no idea. I'm really good at cornhole now (some call it baggo-- I know, cornhole sounds disgusting) and I credit all my skills to my skeeballin' days. Haha! Ok, that comment wins the award for weirdest ever. The cardboard skeeball game is so, so awesome. I also am a huge fan of the twilight sparkle costume.

  3. OMG ... your video (and song) is fantastic!! I'm not even in your family but I'm definitely regifting all around mine. :-)

  4. I recently made the no-muslin mistake as well on a dress I just made. Ugh, I hate that! I just want it to fit and I hate that I was stupid enough not to test out the pattern size before putting so much work into it.

    That video was so great! You are so creative, I absolutely love that idea. If I'm anywhere near NY when you make it next year I will so be an extra, ha that would be awesome!

    Your cardboard skeeball game is also ammazing. I think it's safe to say your fames definitely outweighed your shames this year.

  5. Gosh, your hits are just so, so great. Can't wait to see what you make next year! And shit, I've cut a few patterns that I'm really regretting now... I need to force myself to do the boring task of tracing.

  6. Epic bombshell dresses but I must admit that twilight sparkle costume rocks my world... I'm a sucker for unicorns! ;) Can't wait to see 2013's makes!

  7. you are just too stinkin' creative! love those bombshell dresses... i say wear them every day.

  8. I think that it looks like you had a very productive year. We all have good and bads. I am glad that you are willing to show both.

  9. I started following your blog in 2012, and your bombshell dresses were my absolute faves:) Cardboard creations are the best fun - have you seen this blog ? Lier has the best cardboard creations - and she makes some really great play things for her kids. It's another one of my fave blogs.

  10. Your walk of fame highlighted brilliant creative garments - beautiful sewing! Don't be too hard on yourself for cutting the patterns out, I have a few patterns where I even cut the 'lengthen here' lines, and now don't know which bottom half matches to which top half!!!! So, I just don't make up those patterns now...

  11. I leave a response еach time I like a pоst on
    a websіte or if I have sοmething to contrіbutе to the dіsсusѕion.
    Usually it's a result of the passion communicated in the post I looked at. And after this post "Walk of Fame/Shame - Highs and Lows of 2012 Sewing". I was moved enough to post a comment ;) I do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind. Could it be only me or do a few of these comments appear as if they are written by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at other online social sites, I would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a list the complete urls of your communal sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?
    Look at my web-site : Modern Country Music

  12. Thank you for sharing both high and low's! I also love sewing for others, but for some reason I mostly end up sewing for myself. Maybe cause it's less of a problem if the garment is imperfect when it's only for me?
    I hope your man will soon fit into his shirt again, it's a beautiful shirt! Also, I loved your bustier dresses =)

  13. 1. Holy space balls! That skee ball game is awesome! I want one for my house!
    2. I second all those lessons learned.
    3. I really like these re-cap posts!
    4. I hope your hubs can wear his shirt again soon! And I loved that burda dress and the jacket you made, it's lovely!

  14. I'm with Rachel - I can't pick a favourite out of all of your hits! 2012 was obviously a good sewing year for you :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...