Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

I'm enjoying reading everyone's "end of year" posts.  I've even found a few new-to-me bloggers by looking through other people's blog rolls and reading their "end of year" posts...

Once again, I'm cutting it close with my own "end of year retrospective" post.    I was thinking of skipping writing this altogether to go work on my Sewaholic Thurlow muslin, but I'll work on them after finishing this!

How much? Of what type?
This year I made 14 garments (6 dresses, 3 skirts, 2 shirts, 1 slip, 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of corduroys), plus 5 pairs of underwear, 1 bag, 1 apron, 1 pillow, and 3 pillowcases.

Dress review
Since I only made 6 of them, it's easy to review them....

Favorite dress:
argyle concept dress done!
The argyle concept dress.  
It's a Frankenpattern but uses NewLook 6071 as a starting point.
First time I made my own piping.

First dress of 2012
New Look 6067 done
New Look 6067 

First time using a narrow hem foot

Butterick 5638 blissfully done
Butterick 5638.

 Dress that made me almost give up sewing entirely
Burda Style 7253
BurdaStyle 7253 

Dress that's like a wearing a costume:

BurdaStyle 7287 done
BurdaStyle 7287

Dress that is fine to wear in the general public but will never, ever be worn to a sewing event:

New Look 6968 done
New Look 6968
Worn in public....

Biggest project:
My first pair of jeans were full of firsts!  

J Stern Jeans day 3 in progress
My first pair of pants with a front fly zipper.
First time using an edgestitching foot.
First time using jeans topstitching thread and topstitching needle.
First time using Wonder Tape.
First time using a shank button.
J Stern Jeans day 3 in progress
First time I embroidered my name in a garment.

My second-ever pair of pants:
J Stern Designs corduroy jeans done!
My cords. 

Favorite underwear of 2012:
oh the inaugural UW of the year
Favorite skirt of 2012:
July 2012 New Look 6843
New Look 6843 skirt, redone 6 years after the first version. 

Favorite 2012 shirt
It wasn't for me!  I broke a few of my personal sewing rules to make this shirt for a friend of mine as a going-away present, and she loved it!
Simplicity 2892 on my friend

Misses in 2012: 
This fabric is terrible. After sitting in it for 10 min it looks incredibly wrinkled.  I think the pattern is great though, and may try it again.
New Look 6103 view A done!
New Look 6103 

The one shirt I made for myself this year was a horrible failure--I'm not revisiting that one.

Noteworthy items 
I was honored to be the Pattern Review Member In Focus for January 2012
Member in focus page

New Look 6067 was featured on the New Look Facebook page, while it was still in progress!
New Look's Facebook page on 1/17/12 with my NL 6067 in progress dress:  Thanks for the love, New Look!
Sewing-related Trips
In April, I met up with blogger Vanessa in Atlanta during a work trip, where we went to Gail K Fabrics, Atlanta Thread and I later went to Whipstitch
Vanessa, me and our fabric purchases at Gail K fabrics

In May, I attended Pattern Review weekend in NYC for my third year in a row of PR fun!
me and Swatch at Mood
Me with Swatch at Mood Fabrics 

In August, Antoinette and I attended Male Pattern Boldness Day in NYC.
me, Peter, Antoinette
In September, Bonnie and I attended the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan.  It was SO fun to have Bonnie there with me in class! 
Me and Bonnie with samples we made at Jennifer Stern's jeans class.  
And it was great to see Lynnelle again!
me with Momma Askey and Lynnelle  

Classes/2012 goals
I took two Pattern Review classes: "Breaking Your Serger Out of the Box" and "Blue Prints to Blue Jeans" both by Jennifer Stern. I also took Jennifer's hands-on class "Professional Jeans Construction" at the ASE.
She is such a kind, patient instructor and without those classes I wouldn't be using my serger, and I definitely wouldn't have made pants that fit! (those were two of my 2012 goals--use my serger and make pants with a fly front).
my dressform final padding
I finally bought a Roxy dressform and padded it out in Fabulous Fit.  It has changed my life!  (Another 2012 goal completed--actually that goal dates back to 2009 or so!).   Read all about the experience here.

Unmet 2012 goal:
I never learned how to blind hem nor use the blind hem foot on my machine.

2013 goals:
  • To learn how to use more feet, especially the blind hem foot and walking foot
  • To learn more about my brand new sewing machine!
  • My new Brother Project Runway Limited Edition PC-420

  • To complete all the online classes I bought on-sale at Pattern Review and on Craftsy (I went a little overboard buying classes.)
  • To continue to refine the fit on all my garments
  • To make a binder of all the stuff I have collected at sewing conferences
  • To start reading the sewing books that have been given to me over the past year, or purchased by me
  • DSC09961
  • To get the twitter feed working again on my blog
  • Start thinking about redesigning my blog 
  • figure out how to make lined zipper pouches. I spent more hours than I care to admit trying online tutorials and could not make a decent looking one!!! 
  • Attend PR weekend in SF in April, and possibly the ASE in Sept.

Overall I made less than in previous years, but I learned more. I became a slower seamster, but am more careful and did more things the "right" way.  I had more successes and fewer failures.  I learned a lot of new skills and bought a lot of new tools for my sewing room (and reorganized the space, twice!)  I am still kind of shocked that I made my first pair of fly-front pants.

And to you, my dear readers:  Thank you for reading and commenting and helping with my questions--I appreciate your  kind words, sweet thoughts, and tender encouragement every step (and mis-step) of the way! 

Wishing you a new year filled with joy, health, and successful sewing!!


  1. I am so hugely impressed! I still marvel at those fabulous jeans! Happy New Year!

  2. You had a great year, c'mon you made your own jeans and a pair of cords! That's some grown up sewing! I'm sure you will make even more progress in 2013 and I'll be reading along and cheering you on! Happy New Year!

  3. That NYC trip was a super-duper highlight of my year! Thank you. I closed down my blog tonight! Happy New Year! xoxo

  4. What a great year's output! My favourite is still your costume dress; I think that's the one that led me to your blog in the first place. Happy new year!

  5. Great collection of garments and you did an awesome job with the jeans. Happy New Year.

  6. You had such a wonderful year Kyle! I am so glad I made your year in review = ). Also, I feel like I just caught up on the six months I missed reading your lovely blog.

    I loved reading your goals for the new year. Please let us know what you think about the Craftsy classes once you take yours. I have seen some things about them,and am curious myself.

    Happy New Year!

  7. What a great year! Your jeans and cords were amazing. Happy new year!

  8. Wow, so many firsts. Had you not mentioned it, I would have never known! You'll love your new machine. I have a Babylock (also made by Brother) and use the thread cutter and up/down feature all the time. I look forward to seeing more of what you make! Maybe I'll see you in SF!

  9. You had a wonderful sewing year. Thanks for sharing.

  10. What a great sewing year! It was fun to be able to catch up in person this year. Next up San Fran!!

  11. You accomplished so much this year!
    I'm taking Sandra Betzina's class Fitting Pants on Craftsy and loving it!

  12. Such an impressive year of sewing. I'm need to really look further into the dress form ~ I keep thinking it will be a game-changer....

  13. Yiou've had such a brilliant year, I just adore those raspberry cords!
    Happy New Year!

  14. What a great year! I am especially impressed by the jeans.

    A machine blind hem is really easy. You'll be thrilled at how quickly it makes a nice-looking hem.

  15. Way more goals than I have. Congratulations on the new machine and the wearable pieces you made last year.

    Happy sewing!


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