Considering January is almost over I should really do the “reflect back on my 2011 sewing year” thing. I posted 2010’s round up late on Feb 1st 2011 so why break with tradition?
By the way, it’s not my calendar that reminds me it’s almost February, it’s Nerdy Husband as he begins to count down the sleeps until his birthday.
Lots of the blogs I follow have done a 2011 roundup and I’ve really enjoyed reading them all (especially the newly discovered blogs). Even if you don’t blog it’s actually a really good idea to look back at your sewing year. I find it really positive because it’s easy to forget all the things you’ve achieved over the last 12 months. Reflecting on your newest skills and older projects can be inspirational for your future sewing.
My main “resolution” for 2011 was to just sew and blog more.
I wrote 87 posts last year compared to 53 in 2010, but then I only started blogging in May of that year so that was an easy win.
The funky little email WordPress sent me at the start of the year said, “The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed 70, 000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it”…well that is one way to look at it I guess!!
Most of my visitors were from The United States, with Australia and Germany not far behind.
As for more sewing, that was not so successful. You might remember my life was seriously interrupted so the number of items I made was definitely less than last year. You can check out the count on my Wardrobe page (2009 was still my most productive full year of sewing) but here’s a fun little thumbnail shot of 2011’s creations.
So what about the rest of my resolutions?:
Drafting my own pattern – Check! The 1930s Dress (yes I know, still no finished photos yet…) showed me I can do that and I enjoyed the technical challenge. I have since explored more of my sewing books that I own and found a couple of other techniques I’d like to try.
Increasing my fabric knowledge – Check! Despite only containing two finished entries the fabric book is alive and kicking. I have added two other entries that are just pencilled in for now and awaiting beautification. I have been exceptionally good at writing down the fabrics that I buy at the checkout so that when I pull them out of my stash later on I know exactly what they are.
Sewing for Mr Kiwi – Fail! I promised my Nerdy Husband some me-made items which didn’t eventuate. He has gotten a bit more specific about what he wants me to make him this year which helps and I have started investigating patterns for this request. I might even be able to drag him to the fabric store to choose the material.
Lastly, I said I wanted to learn to love my body and I have to say while I am not yet 100% there I have definitely made a better effort to learn which silhouettes and colours will look best for my body type/complexion and my fabric and pattern purchases of 2010 have definitely reflected this. I also joined the gym just for added good measure and it’s amazing the mental lift that can give you. My next step is to make one of those mini-me croquis that have been popping up on some of the blogs I follow. They are excellent for re-drawing the envelope pattern line art on a more realistic figure, yours! So in the next weekend or so I’ll be doing some fun posing and creating my own personal croquis.
So, wrapping up the 2011 blogging:
My favourite Blog Post – The (Belated) Birthday Dress - I think I liked this one the most due to the photography location. It was quite fun to visit somewhere specifically to photograph a new item (and a special one at that) and it inspired me to make more of an effort to get photos done in different locations around Wellington/New Zealand. I haven’t yet but I’ll get there. I also posted this on the day I received my most hits, 512 on October 21st, thanks to a lot of help from Peter at Male Pattern Boldness after I mentioned my mothers Cub clone on his site and received my now infamous mention in his next post
Most popular blog post/ Favourite project/Most Popular Project - In 2010 I did these three categories separately but for 2011 they are dominated by one project, My Wedding Dress.
My How To Sew Your Own Wedding Dress post was the most visited in 2011 and I regularly see that as an exact search term popping up in my stats counter. It’s much more researched than I thought it would be and it’s awesome how many other talented girls are taking on the challenge!
Of course it is also my favourite project, there is nothing else that can top it really. It was by far the biggest and most rewarding project and ended up being a huge boost to my sewing confidence.
While most of the sewing happened in 2010 I did technically finish hemming it in early January 2011.
My second favourite project was the BurdaStyle Book Blouse which I completed in a weekend and sent off all the way to America for the big photoshoot.
In terms of BurdaStyle project hits “A Wedding in Wellington” received 1262 views and second place goes to the NSFW Dress that almost killed me with 793 views. It’s another of my favourite projects, completed while I was living in Perth and it ended up being one of those “ah ha!” moments when I learnt that if I stick with it through all the difficulties it throws at me and nut out the solutions (instead of throwing it in the corner and giving up) then I get a pretty awesome reward…it was good lesson and has probably helped my with the next category…
Current UFO Count - Hrmm, let’s see, in 2010 it was six…How about 2011? I’m not counting items that are cut and about to be sewn (because I always have at least two of those on my table) or the Gok Coat because it did technically get finished. There’s my jeans of course and a couple of others that I’ve put aside for the longer term (mentally counting in my head)…four! It’s ok if you don’t believe me All four are from 2010 so I guess I managed to finish two which isn’t bad and there are no new ones, yay!
Biggest Sewing Fail – No major fails for 2011 that are worth mentioning, yay!
Best New Sewing Item - Isn’t new at all, well, she is to me, of course it’s my beautiful Singer!
Ok, so how about some goals for this year? I guess you could call them “resolutions” if you must.
Better garment pressing during construction - We’ve talked about this already and now I have some fancy new tools to help me :)
Finally finish the Forever (and ever) jeans - this Winter
Rescue the Gok Coat of Doom - also this Winter
Make my 2012 birthday dress - on time this time, so I should start in May
Keep filling in my fabric book
No more blouses - (ok, maybe one more JJ…just kidding!) I rely on the trusty blouse too often and I need to expand my wardrobe toinclude a top selections other than just
Make some pants - As I have previously threatened.
Learn to do an FBA and use it to adjust my future patterns - I wear a D cup and since most sewing patterns are drafted for a B I have pretty much been relying on luck so far for fit. I know that my tops and dresses would fit better and my blouses wouldn’t do that peek-a-boo bra show between the buttons (solved, lazily, with a snap for now) if I could achieve the correct bust fit.
Give up on trying to sew basics, just buy these and have fun sewing the rest - I have an un-written goal of not really buying any rtw clothing (shoes and underwear excluded) and I once lamented about my lack of “basics” to match in with my colourful fabric choices so for the last two years I have endeavoured to sew more basics but I find it so BORING! And hence I have pretty much sewed zero basics. There is no use fighting it: I am simply incapable of buying plain coloured fabrics and then using them. So, new strategy: I will buy those rtw basics, the blacks, browns, greys, whites etc, to match in with my colourful sewing tendencies. Problem solved.
Clean out my wardrobe - I have stitched many really nice clothes, but they get lost in the jumble of bad rtw clothes I own. I know this, and still I stand at my closet uttering the phrase we all know, “I have nothing to wear!” So, in order to see the trees from the forest it’s time to be brutal. Then I can really see the holes in my wardrobe and sew accordingly. I don’t think I’ll be documenting this for you guys, there are some pretty awful items in my closet.
Get my new toy working - I’m talking about the Singer of course, oh and give her a name, when inspiration strikes. This may not happen for 2012 and it is looking like the most economical solution might be to acquire another half-working machine and swapping out the broken bits but I’ll keep you posted.
Take photos of my finished items!! - I currently have 3 items waiting to be photographed: the 1930s dress, my last JJ and the skirt I finished last weekend. I have to stop letting them pile up like that. I used to love dressing up straight away and photographing my items, I’m not sure what happened to that enthusiasm. Actually I kind of do, my new house is tiny and we have nowhere for me to photograph them apart from the balcony, where everyone in our street can see me. I’d love to take photos of more items “in action” out and about when appropriate.
Ok, enough of that – I can’t type and sew at the same time