2012 Sewing Year in Review

It’s that time of year when we talk about our year in sewing. I *love* reading these on everyone’s blogs. It’s a good reminder of what we  sewed and it’s such a great opportunity to be introspective.


Here’s almost everything I made last year! I think I’ve made 42 items by my count (some tees and other projects unblogged). I always think I’m totally not productive. Then, this number pops up at the end of the year and I’m feeling pretty good about it. It does include lots of things not for me such as items for Linus and gifts too.

Biggest Change in Sewing

Purple Fridays

This is the year that I really embraced sewing things in sets or themes. Purple Fridays gave me Baltimore Ravens’ themed clothes for the office — plugging a hole in my wardrobe (I always have ‘work’ holes LOL).


My Sweater Knits series brought me four new sweaters and a sweater dress for winter (some will post in 2013. Not enough days left in 2012 to show them all!).

summer shorts

The Summer of Shorts pumped up my summer and casual clothing. I’ve also now got several swimmers for the pool and six basic tee shirts to layer under suits. And, despite not having run in months…. I have great active wear for biking and running — all because I focused my sewing.

It also appears I *finally* started sewing more solids!

Turns out I work well when I have a theme!

Biggest Change in Blogging

Well, I’ve noticed I don’t post many in-progess posts, what might I sew musings and definitely no more tutorials. Why? Well, a lack of time. But, also, there are so many great and informative blogs out there, that I think it’s best left to people who have a real knack for teaching. And, while I have the gift of gab, the internet and sewing community have changed so much in the five / six years I’ve been blogging that I probably just don’t say as much as I used to in general.  I’ve had an emotionally and professionally rough but rewarding year that has ended better than I would have predicted. It’s a little crazy to me that I have an unerasable internet presence and can definitely never hide from the Google / HR police. I also apologize now to the people who’ve written me and I just haven’t written back. I used to be really great at keeping up with questions, comments, and emails. But, my time is more limited and I’ve wanted a bit more control of the amount of time I spend on line. I still enjoy meeting people and interacting with sewing commenters and readers. But, I know I’m not as free with my time and information as I used to be and for that, I apologize.

But, please know that my blog readers are my friends. I appreciate each comment and the time you take just to read the random stuff that does come out of my head. Sewing kept me sane in 2012. Blogging made me happy. And you guys are a huge part of both.


I picked four favorites this year that make me happy every time I wear them.


Vogue 8825 Puzzled Dress. This dress gives me life. It’s the best cut for my frame in a luxiours material if Mood’s silk jersey.

McCalls 6279 Denim Trench Dress. Again, a type dress I’ve wanted to make since I started this blog! Love the details, the buttons, the fit. Love. This. Dress.

Butterick 5522 Tina Turk Dress. This dress makes me so happy! I made it for a then-boyfriend’s birthday. Luckily, the dress lasted longer than the relationship! Over the Christmas break I let the hem out another inch so I’d feel a bit more comfortable at work.

HP 1016 Sailor Pants. These pants are not the most beloved garment I’ve sewn, but they are something I’ve wanted to make for *years* and I’m always excited when I get a pair of well fitting pants in my wardrobe. The cut of the pants are really good for my frame and worked well for my nautical themed stunt dressing this summer.

This year I also focused on ‘projects in my stash’ — items I’ve wanted to sew for years and have the material on hand to make. Three of my four favorites are made from material that was at least two years old!

Most Challanging


Vogue 1252 Tracey Reese. The drafting on this Vogue pattern wasn’t great. This is a beloved dress in my office and it’s grown on me quite a bit. But, I don’t know that I could take it on again given the variables.

Burda 2-2009-124: The Officiant Dress: This dress was a challange to get the fit spot on. Generally, I realized this isn’t the best style for my figure. But, I needed to make it work and spent a lot of time tweaking it. It was worth it as I fit in perfectly with the wedding party. And, the bride and groom thanked me with a nice gift card to Mood fabrics! And, I’ve been asked to perform another wedding of dear friends this May! So, another Officiant Dress is on the way!

Burda Magazine 5-2009-122: Captain’s Ballgown. If I’d had any other option of a floor-length gown to wear to the Captain’s Ball, this dress would not have been finished! Either the draft was off or my body is funky. But, the bodice of this dress took every bit out of me. Plus, the whole silk formal is underlined and *lined*. I’ll be wearing this in the spring to the CenterStage gala and to anything else that I need a dress that touches the ground!

Least Worn


Badgley Mischka Jacket, Vogue 1099. I like everything about this jacket on the hanger and dress form. But, I just never know what to wear it with. I’ve worn it three times this year :-/  I wore it last week with my tuxedo pants and it wasn’t bad. I thought I needed to be taller and leggier to get away with it. But, it seemed to work. I’ll keep trying it with other things.

Learning to Let Go


Happily, I didn’t sew anything this year that I didn’t end up liking. But, my biggest sewing disappointment this year was my tuxedo jacket. It was fraught with problems from jump. I mis-sewed the welt pockets and it was downhill from there. I didn’t have lining when I needed it .When I decided to start sewing again (after getting lining) I was missing a sleeve. I couldn’t find the buttons I wanted. Blah, Blah, Blah. I let her go out to pasture with your encouragement. I havent’ really looked back either. It just took me a long time to say, in the immortal words of N’Sync ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’.

Next: 2013 Sewing Plans and New Year’s Resolutions


  1. Thanks for a great retrospective! Though you didn’t share Linus’ outfits and I was kinda expecting to see a listing of them. 🙂 I’m sure that 2013 will be interesting to share with you sewing-wise!

  2. You did a lot of great sewing this year. My favorite was your ballgown. As many prom and homecoming dresses I’ve made for the girls, I’ve never sewn a gown for myself. Here’s to 2013!

  3. I love your sewing, I find it really inspiring – I only just restarted in spring, partially because I found your blog. I finished my PhD this autumn, and let me tell you, sewing blogs including yours have played a huge part in keeping me sane! It was such a nice distraction, and like I said, such an inspiration. Thank you!

  4. oh what a fabulous sewing year you had! I could not decide which dress I liked best. The officiant dress and the silk jersey are at the top of the list, but then I look at that collection of shorts and my brain freezes up. You have really out-done yourself this year.
    Thanks for splashing so much beauty out into the world.

  5. Thanks for a very interesting review of your sewing year! I like your good, bad and – Hey,no ugly!
    Happy New Year- it’s been too long since we chatted in person!

  6. I absolutely loved (and still love) the Puzzled dress. It is such a great fabric choice and it looks dynamite on you. Thanks for a wonderful year in review. You did a lot of great sewing this year. I’m so happy you added the tuxedo jacket as well, showing that not everything works out. I have far too many of those for my comfort, heh.

  7. What a delightful retrospective. Tina Turk and The Officiant dresses are my absolute favs although I love your full leap into ravens purple. I also giggled that even though we are generations apart, I too seldom wear the Badgley M. jacket that I sewed up two years ago.

  8. I think I drooled most over the puzzle dress but love quite a few in your collection! I’m amazed at how fast everyone is able to put together their year end reviews. I’m exhausted just thinking about doing it and I haven’t had as prolific a sewing year as you all! Happy New Year!

  9. You have no apologies to make to any blog followers. We are blessed with your inspiration and style. You give a lot of us something to aspire to in our sewing. Thanks for all the great posts, and keep it up, I need all the inspiration I can get!

  10. What a great idea of sewing with a theme! I really have enjoyed your purple friday makes and that puzzle dress is amazeballs. Happy new year!

  11. The theme sewing is a great idea and one I have ‘sort of’ followed in the past without thinking it through. I will be applying this one to my sewing this year. A year of great outfits!

  12. Wow, what a fantastic year! It’s so fun to see your projects all together! You had such a smashing year– each piece is amazing! But if I was forced to choose, I’d say your Tina Turk dress is my favorite. Can’t wait to see your makes in 2013!

  13. What an amazing year. You were very productive. I am letting go of my asos knockoff for now. We all have those projects. Happy new year!!!

  14. You’ve had a great year. I agree with your choices of favourites – especially that wrap dress. Your Mischa Badgley jacket interests me as I’ve wanted to sew the pattern ever since it came out. Seeing it on a real person, it is not a stand out.

  15. You had a fantastic sewing year and I have no idea how you managed to narrow your favourites down to just 4, can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2013.

  16. I absolutely love the Puzzle dress, you are so right it is perfect on you. Also I really like it that you most always smile in your blog photos – your warm personality comes through. Here’s to a great 2013.

  17. I love your blog!!!! You are an inspiration. I love your candor, and how you share your bloopers!!! We all have those sometimes. I have learned to let go of projects that didn’t materialize as I had expected. Here’s to 2013 a great year for fabulolus fabrics. I learned about Michael’s fabrics from your blog. I love Sherri and her husband Michael!!!

  18. I love this round-up! Every single thing you made this year was amazing; I see sooo many pieces that I want to rip off, ahem err…. copy 😉

  19. You..GO GIRLIE 🙂 I think you are adorable and a nice person 🙂 LOVE to read your posts 🙂 YES, ALWAYS remember what WE put ‘OUT THERE’ is OUT THERE FOREVER 🙂 HAPPY 2013 🙂

  20. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on sewing and blogging. Yes, you have had a very productive year and your garments were flattering and well made. I hope this year is better. Take care. BTW-Sewing has kept my sane for many years. 😉

  21. Love this recap! You were busy this year. I wonder if doing themes might motivate me. Either that, or it would make me rebellious. I’m very late, but maybe I should actually look back at the past year and see what I’ve done. Love all your purple!

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