Sunday, 29 December 2013

20:20 Challenge complete and year in review

2013 is drawing to a close and it seems only right to reflect on a year's worth of sewing. 

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. 

Six most worn

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. 

Top misses

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. 

Other makes

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?

20:20 Challenge:

Anise jacket
Ceylon dress (yet to be blogged)
Miette skirt (yet to be blogged)
Peony skirt (yet to be blogged)

19 comments:

  1. Wow! That's quite a challenge, congratulations on completing it. And I am staggered at over 50 items! I'll look forward to seeing your Ceylon because I got that pattern for Christmas. It's a shame you don't wear your Anise jacket too much, because it's fantastic. For what it's worth, I don't think it looks to short in the photo. Re sewing plans, the other day I made a list of my fabrics and the patterns I want to make from them. The list has been in my head for a while, but I wrote it down while I had the time. Good luck with your 2014 sewing plans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lynne. I haven't given up on the Anise fully - I'll try it again when it gets a tad warmer next year. I've also gone through my stash recently to see what I can pair up with patterns. Can't wait to see what your plans are.

      Delete
  2. very impressive - this is a challenge to be very proud of!
    If you were to do it again would you consider increasing the number of creations? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knowing me I probably would! I loved the idea of making two items a month so with a full year, I would probably opt for 24 items. Any more would take the fun out of it I think.

      Delete
  3. My goodness, that is impressive! Will you do something similar in 2014, or will you give yourself a break?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Helen. I won't be doing this challenge again anytime soon! It will be interesting to see if the habit of making two items a month sticks without the pressure.

      Delete
  4. Congratulations! What an achievement. Can't wait to see what your plans are for 2014.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kirsty. Same with yours!

      Delete
  5. You must have been sewing like a mad thing this year! Your 20 from 20 achievement was impressive enough, without adding all the additional items you made as well. Fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam. The end of the year was particularly busy!

      Delete
  6. 20 garments are impressive on their own, but from 20 different patterns.... that's fantastic! And I love that even with such a massive project on your hands you still made time for all of that unselfish sewing too. Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm amazed at what I managed to fit in but with some smaller projects the numbers creep up.

      Delete
  7. Excellent output! I really love that you're wearing the hat even though it was initially out of your comfort zone, because you look adorable in it!

    I'm the same way about being competitive with myself. I also feel like some of the participation things stretch me too thin. I pretty much took last year off from "joining" but I'm ready to join a few things this year. I completely understand the need to step back a bit, especially after you've done such such a huge challenge as you did!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thanks for the comment about the hat. I have a grey one that gets a reasonable amount of wear too! I'm looking forward to seeing what "join ins" come up next year - I probably won't be able to resist...

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on completing your challenge! It's amazing that you made 20 different garments and among them even 2 coats/ blazers! (I also really like the layout of your blog. Probably you changed it ages ago and I ally noticed today when ot using bloglovin) the only set goal I have for 2014 is to make a blazer as well! That will also polish up my skills :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Daniela. I'm pleased you like the new design. I figured I needed something fresher. Good luck with making a blazer this year. They can be time consuming but well worth the effort!

      Delete
  9. Good work on completing your challenge! I've just looked back at your original challenge post (I think it was before I discovered sewing blogs, and I've seen you refer to it, but don't think I've actually read the original post) - I'm impressed - it's probably something that I ought to do (especially as I'm now thinking, having seen your list, that I have way too many clothes!) but I'm not sure that I'd have the courage to do so (I tend to get attached to things...), so well done for tackling it. Maybe I will have to have a good wardrobe sort out once I'm in the new place and have everything in one place, although I might need some help in being disciplined and actually getting rid of things ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kelly. I recommend clearing out the wardrobe - you make space for new items to sew! Perhaps a bit before the move and then once you're in?

      Delete
  10. This is such a fabulous collection of projects! What a year :D

    I'm not much of one for setting specific goals - I tend to get halfway through and find that the initial idea only half works, and I end up giving up and getting disappointed. But I do want 2014 to be the year of Clothes, as I'm pretty happy with my crochet, knitting and quilting skills. It's dressmaking that scares me, so it's time to conquer that one!

    ReplyDelete

Do you have thoughts about this post? If so, please leave a comment - I really appreciate them! I read them all and try to reply as much as possible.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...