Monday, January 6, 2014

2013: Year in review in (not) sewing

Happy New Year!

I managed to sew so little last year that I wasn't planning to do a "year in review" style post, but upon reading everyone else's in the sewing blogophere, I thought that it might be worthwhile to write one of my own for personal use/reflection. Our family moved three times in four months last year, and my machines spent most of that time in storage. Given that and the fact that I have a now-highly-mobile toddler, I guess I should be happy that I got any sewing at all done!

So, without any further delay, here is what I sewed in 2013:

Breakdown by recipient

  • Me - 11 projects
  • My daughter - 4 projects
  • My husband - 1 project
 Total number of projects: 16

I do promise to sew more for my husband this coming year! In fact, HotPatterns just released a new Men's t-shirt that will jump to the top of my sewing queue when it arrives in the mail:

Mr. HP Nice-and-easy T's

DH desperately needs some new t-shirts preferably (to me), ones that don't have sports team logos on them. I've had the Jalie men's tee pattern for a little while, but have had concerns that the Jalie men's body type is completely different from my husband's and was dreading re-drafting the pattern significantly. If the HP men's draft is similar to the women's, it will be a little more forgiving to those of us who have some extra pounds. I am really looking forward to trying this one out.

Breakdown by project type

  • Knit tops -  7
  • Knit dresses -3
  • Leggings - 2
  • Pajama sets - 2
  • Handbag - 1
  • Halloween costume - 1
I stuck almost entire with knits last year, which makes sense given that I focused mainly on easy, instant gratification projects with my lack of time and scattered attention.

Breakdown by pattern company

  • Cake patterns - 4 patterns tried, 7 projects completed
  • HotPatterns - 2 patterns tried, 3 projects completed
  • McCall's - 2 patterns tried, 2 projects completed
  • Jalie - 1 pattern tried, 2 projects completed
  • Simplicity - 1 pattern tried, 1 project completed
  • Blank Slate - 1 pattern tried, 1 project completed

Personal trends of 2013

I didn't make this decision consciously, but looking back over the past year's projects I see that I got multiple uses out of a pattern a lot more often than I used to. I'm really happy about that, given that I'm drawn to indie patterns that run a bit more expensive than the $0.99/$1.99 patterns that you pick up on sale at Hancock's and JoAnn's. I'd like to stick with this. Also, as I noted above, I stuck almost exclusively with sewing knits last year. I expect both of these trends to continue into 2014.

Highlights of 2014

Favorite project

Honestly, I think that my favorite thing that I sewed last year was my daughter's Halloween costume, which I made from a McCall's pattern. This project took forever, but I'm really happy with how it turned out:
World's cutest skunk

Most-used project

Hands-down, my most used project would be my HotPattern's "Mommy tote". This is a really great, versatile bag that can hold an awful lot of stuff:
HotPatterns Mommy Tote

Most interesting pattern tried

I loved, loved, loved the draft-your-own pattern concept that went along with the Espresso leggings, and I loved how fast and easy these were to sew. I've made two pairs so far and expect to make many more next year:

Espresso leggings + cat

New-to-me pattern company

I tried a Blank Slate download PDF pattern a few months ago and loved how the top that I made for my daughter turned out. I really like a lot of this company's designs; they're a lot more practical for an active young child than some of the other kid-oriented indie companies. I mean, ruffled sundresses and ruffled pants are cute and all, but my daughter wants to play in the mud and splash in puddles. Sundresses also just aren't practical most of the year now that we live in Seattle. In any case, the one pattern that I tried from Blank Slate was encouraging and I expect to make more from them:

Blank Slate Beachy Boatneck Tee

No wadders!

I have no idea how this happened, but I somehow avoided having a wadder all year last year. I think that this was due mainly to luck and sticking with easy knit projects, but it was still nice to not "waste" any precious sewing time or fabric. Obviously, I don't expect a repeat of this in 2014.


  1. Now that is one rocking Halloween costume. Gorgeous.

  2. I love the bag and the costume. Also, I broke down and ordered the leggings based on your review/ blog post. I personally don't like footless leggings, but this sounds like a very useful pattern to have on hand.