Let's start with the crazy 20:20 challenge I set myself back in March. Create 20 individual items from 20 different patterns between March and December. Well, I did it! It was tight, I have only just finished the final button hole on my Ceylon dress and I'll get photos up as soon as I can. There were times when I didn't think I would complete the challenge. I was very behind in September and it took some creative thinking and a few simpler patterns to get me back on track. I won't show pictures of all of them here - you can find the posts in the list at the bottom if you would like to browse, but I will share the six I have worn the most.
While all of the above are worn frequently, the Cami dress has to be my favourite make this year. I love the bright colours, it makes me smile and it is worn nearly every week. My Newsboy cap isn't far behind but only because it is winter here! The Alma is a favourite for work as well as the Beehive Victoria Blazer, which seems to go with so much. The Tova is a wonderful top for staying at home and I wore the Reglisse a lot during the summer months.
As with most people, there are some misses. I haven't worn the Laurel once and the Simplicity 2541 skirt just hangs in my wardrobe as it is too tight across my hips despite fitting well in the toile. I haven't worn the Anise much and think it is because it feels a little short - I should have added an inch to two to the length.
I originally said that only 10 of the 20 items could be pink, blue or black and I made 11. However, I did introduce more purple and green. Green is the real surprise, I've never considered it as an option for me but I actually feel very comfortable wearing it.
This challenge has made me realise that I am rather competitive with myself and that I don't like to be beaten when I have announced an objective publicly. I have learnt new techniques from pattern cutting to fabric covered buttons, French seams to creating my own bias binding, how to do a FBA and sew with a variety of fabrics. I have got over my fear of wearing hats, top stitching, working with silk and chiffon (especially together), and fitting shorts. I've learnt to tackle large projects a step at a time, to enjoy the process of creating and that my hands are not immune to pin scratches.
In addition to what I have made for me, I have sewn a Cooper bag, a dressing gown, a garment bag, seven other Newsboy caps, a quilt, a quilted mat for my sewing machine, some heat pads, four cushions, needle cases, a baby's dress, made an ironing board cover, replaced the lining of my coat and created three outfits from scratch for the magpie photo shoot. I make that just over 50 items since March - phew! I'm pretty pleased with that level of output.
I haven't made any firm plans for the next year but I can guarantee that I won't be setting myself a challenge now, or midway through. I'll probably focus on learning new techniques and improving others. What are your sewing plans for 2014?
Ceylon dress (yet to be blogged)
Miette skirt (yet to be blogged)
Peony skirt (yet to be blogged)