Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Year in Review & Resolutions for 2012

Hum. I seem to have read a good two dozen review and resolutions posts in the last week, so I'm not all sure I should even post this. Then again, I started writing this post even before Christmas - I'm also kinda grumpy from a cold right now, and a deadline that is looming, so maybe it's just that. Also, this is the first year where I've been sewing from (almost) beginning to the end, so it's kinda nice to look back, see what I made and if I stuck to my resolutions! If you're bored by all the resolutioning, you may skip this post, though. :)

What I made: 11 dresses (and 3/4 of a 12th, which by now only needs hemming), 6 tops, 4 from-scratch and 3 refashioned bottoms (plus two refashions for friends). 26 garments in all, 5 of them refashioned! I also took up knitting and made: 8 scarflets, 1 scarf, 3 pairs of mittens (and the beginning of a hat). Not a bad year, eh?
three of this year's dresses, from the Summer Essentials sew-along
I also participated in various challenges and sewalongs, like the Colette Spring and Fall Palette challenges, participated in Me-Made-March and Me-Made-June, and I got to co-host the Summer and Fall Essentials Sew-along together with Ali and Sarah!
Summer Essential tops

Let's see how I fared with my resolutions:

1. Taking more time and an eye for the detail with my garments.
To be totally honest, this worked out a bit so-so. It seems I'm still a fan of quick'n'dirty, sometimes I feel in a hurry and just want to finish something, which works out in having to rip the seams and doing it again. It's very silly! However, I did my first muslin, found out how to insert an invisible zipper, found a nice method of attaching linings to dresses, used a serger for the first time...  The "taking more care with construction" will definitely stay on my list of resolutions.
Crepe dress - probably my best construction, I made my first muslin for this

2. Spring cleaning!
I think I cleaned out my wardrobe reasonably well this spring. I swapped quite a few items away during a garment swap-meet with my friends, the rest went to charity. I'd love to have my sewing stuff a bit more organized, but with the limited space I'll have to think about a system that'll work. I wasn't incredibly organised in my sewing, but I think that's just the way I roll. I have a list of potential things to sew, and some get done, some don't...

3. Making a Wardrobe Capsule.
This is something I haven't done, and I may attempt it now that I have the Colette Sewing Book in my hands. I like the idea of finding 5 favorites and extrapolating from there.
Fall Essentials dress

4. Begin creating a balanced wardrobe of handmade and existing RTW garments.
I think this is working out pretty well. At least I get the feeling that I manage to combine my handmades and my RTW garments pretty well.
5. Make at least every second garment from existing fabric.
Yes! This also worked out! 13 garments (including 3 refashions) were made with fabrics or garments that were already in my stash as of Jan 1st, 2011! That's exactly half! This is also something I'd like to continue.
fabrics used as of yet: four of these, two in the soon-to-sew list
So, what are my plans for 2012?

1. Taking more care with quality and construction! That includes starting to use other seam finishings than pinking and zigzagging. And not letting me rush myself!

2. Continue using my stash for at least every second garment, and not buy too much additional fabric. My stash isn't huge, but I don't have a dedicated sewing space and the fabric and all of my sewing utensils are sharing bookshelf space. Decluttering and finding a workable system for storing my notions would be good, too...
3. Use at least six of my yet-unused patterns this year! Like the Lonsdale dress, the Pendrell blouse, the Negroni shirt and New Look 6000, which I had to buy after seeing Scruffybadger's scrumptious version...

4. Spend a little more time on adjusting and drafting patterns. I'm still in love with the idea of having pattern blocks that can be adjusted with details to make practically any kind of garment.

5. Keep knitting - maybe even a sweater! - and start making those accessories that I've had on my to-make list for ages. Like, bags and purses, jewellery, brooches...
knit scarflet and fabric flower brooch
There are also a few more little goals I have. Occasionally joining the Sew Weekly, a (weekly?) me-made outfit post, taking part in Me-Made-May... I also liked the Colette Palette challenges a lot and will participate if there are going to be any this year.

I probably shouldn't make any more resolutions, since I'm starting on my year of internship come March, and while I know it to be far less gruelling than, say, portrayed in Grey's Anatomy, it will essentially be an unpaid full-time job. Ah well, lots of people work and sew. There's still the weekends. :)

Since I haven't said it yet (grumpy! ;) ) - Happy New Year and Happy Stitching in 2012 to all!


  1. Happy New Year, Alessa! I love your post and we have a lot of the same goals in common. :) You have such a great sense of style and I would love to see more outfit posts!

    Definitely keep knitting, too! Love your knits!

    I have decided to stop sewing pants. The whole process makes me grit my teeth in frustration! No fun. I'll thrift pants from now on. Much better! LOL!

  2. what good usable idea. Happy New Year

  3. Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what you make this year. :)

  4. Die Sachen, die du in 2011 genähst hast, sind wunderhübsch. Ich wünsche dir ein schönes Jahr 2012 und freue mich schon jetzt, mehr von deinen Vorsätzen zu lesen! Liebe Grüße aus Berlin nach Berlin, Ulrike

  5. I'm glad you posted, Alessa! I love seeing all the wrap-up posts because, for blogs I only started following this year, it let's me catch up :)

  6. All of your 2011 outfits look really nice and stylish ...I love the neckline on the red dress with the white polka dots.
    One of my favourite seams that is really easy to do and looks so nice and tidy when finished is a French seam...good with fine or sheer fabrics.Flat fell seams are a good one to try too.
    Good luck with your studies and "unpaid job" will be worth it in the end ...and there WILL be time for sewing I am sure!

  7. Love your outfits and goals :) I'm excited to see your other creations for 2012!

  8. I've loved all your projects and I'm so impressed at your output when you are studying full-time, what a fantastic year!
    I wish you a great 2012; best of luck with your studies and I hope you continue to enjoy making stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make next!

  9. I have so enjoyed seeing all your makes, it is hard to choose a dress I like best. Good luck with the internship. I am lookign forward to seeing what you make next!

  10. Happy New Year, and love this round-up! What a wonderful wardrobe of handmades you have! :-)

  11. What a productive year you've had! I've always loved how "you" your garments are and how cohesively they work together ... they always leave me thinking, yes I want something just like that too! Look forward to seeing what you make in 2012!

  12. your resolutions are a great inspiration. I am also trying to use up my stash and make projects from patterns I have. I incidentally also bought New Look 6000 recently. Looks so charming!

  13. Well done on accomplishing so much last year. I've loved keeping up with your me mades, & am so inspired by your use of colour (& am a sucker for your polka dots too!)I am amazed at how much you can do whilst studying on such an intensive programme .... so well done you. Your 2012 goals are spot on & am so glad you're carrying on with the knitting! All the best for a wonderful making 2012 :-)