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2013: The Year of Unselfish Sewing

2013 December 29
by elizabeth_admin

I always put off this post at the end of the year, but I am always surprised what I find out when I do the work for it.  If you had asked me if I had sewed more for myself than others this year, I would have said heck yeah!  But when I tallied everything up, I was completely surprised.  The final score was Selfish Sewing – 32 and Unselfish Sewing – 43.



How did that happen?  Well, there was all the work I did for my friend Tim’s sweatshop.  There were a ton of birthdays.  Jack needed sleeping bags for his toys and a scabbard, not to mention the PJ’s and  his Scottie Dog costume.  Oh and there were the crowns.  And let’s not forget there were some unintentional garments for my sister (the most recent here).  So you put all that together and the number is kind of huge.  Here are some charts just for Phyllis because I know how much she loves them.  😉

Unselfish Sewing



For myself, the notable trend was skirts.  I seemed to make a ton of them this year, in fact 10 in total, not including the Vogue disaster.  New Look 6035, the A-line skirt was the favored skirt pattern.  I made 5 of those puppies alone and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon especially now that I know it works for knits as well.  I love that silhouette on my body.  It’s perfect for me!  As we say in my family.  And then knit tops were a  close second for favorite thing to sew.  I can definitely see how my new SoCal life has changed my garment sewing focus.  I am no longer a dress girl.  I’m a skirt girl.  Pure and simple.

Selfish sewing



I sewed up 2 vintage patterns, the Advance 8612 blouse and the Eva Dress 1929 party frock  for my Gatsby dinner.




New skills learned this year include:

  • Lingerie sewing — I made three lace panties that are so pretty.
  • Fly zips — The Kwik Sew 3614 instructions for fly zips were idiot proof, loved them!
  • Draping — A surprise class that totally kicked my 2-D butt, but what a game changer.  Now I just need to get a more realistic dress form.
  • Off-topic: Painting — I love taking the classes and painting at home.  In fact, I’ve already lined up the next class!
I repainted my koi painting

I repainted my koi painting



I have one UFO that I would like to finish as soon as possible, my faux fur vest.  My sister saw it on my dress form while visiting for the holidays and said I should really finish it.  I know it will look fabulous when I make the final tweaks for fit.  I just have to get over the need to unpick all that catch stitching.  Sigh…

Fitting has been a huge struggle for me this year.  I was pretty close to quitting sewing altogether at one point.  If it weren’t for my fitting buddies who were just an email away, I probably would have quit.  I can’t thank them enough for sharing their expertise and their patience with my endless questions.



As always, meeting up with fellow sewists is one of my favorite things to do.  And then you throw in fabric shopping and I’m in heaven.  I went to LA a few times this year and the National City Swap meet.  Let’s not forget PR Weekend in San Francisco which allowed me to see my East coast friends again.

Finding my style icon (LFN) really made my year too.  Now I can focus on things I know I will love to wear and not have so many orphans or misses in my wardrobe.



But I have to say that giving the sewing machine to my niece Katie was the best part of my sewing year.  I hope she enjoys sewing just as much as I do.




As I said, NL 6035 is my favorite skirt pattern right now.  My favorite make from this pattern has to be the striped knit version I made in one hour before a holiday party this month.



Despite all the mistakes I made in making the Grainline Archer shirt, I love wearing my wearable muslin of this pattern.  I love the color and the back gathered section.  I love that I made a shirt.  It seems so complicated to me.



My waistbands o’ steel shorts were my best sewn garment this year.  I think that fly zip is da bomb!



The Gatsby dress I made this year, while not very flattering to my body type, was sumptuous to sew.  The silks I used and the trim I added were so luxe.  Ah silk.  I love you so.

My latest sewing project, the Gatsby Dress

My latest sewing project, the Gatsby Dress


Thanks for sharing my 2013 navel gazing.  I hope you had a productive year too!

8 Responses leave one →
  1. December 29, 2013

    Wow! It’s interesting that you sewed more for others than yourself…I’m impressed! And it’s also interesting to see that the garments you sewed for yourself have changed with your lifestyle. You’ve had a great year and you’ve inspired a budding sewist, kewl!

  2. December 29, 2013

    I’m looking forward to what you sew in 2014 – new boundaries to be breached and new patterns to be tried….

  3. December 29, 2013

    Very impressive with all the unselfish sewing, that is fantastic. I enjoyed your recap and can’t wait to see your 2014!

  4. December 29, 2013

    Fascinating wrap-up post. You are very giving with your sewing…

  5. December 29, 2013

    You had a productive year! I am very impressed by spreadsheets and graphs 🙂

  6. December 30, 2013

    What a busy and productive year. My fave is that wonderful Gatsby dress — so perfect!

  7. January 1, 2014

    Go you with that unselfish sewing! Love your bar charts.
    It was a lot of fun to meet up with you in SD!
    Happy New Year!

  8. January 3, 2014

    Wow, You had a fabulous and prolific sewing year!

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