（日本語は英文のあとに続きます。Text in Japanese will follow English）
Happy New Year! I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2014.
I love reading everyone’s posts on their successes, failures and reflections in 2013 in terms of me-mades and have been looking forward to reviewing my own progress in 2013.
I started to sew at the end of 2012 and back then my very ambitious 2013 New Year Resolution was to not buy any clothes and make them all myself!
Let’s see how I did…
Total number of items made = 13
1 pair of pants
2 bags (for presents)
I did stick to the not buying clothes resolution (except for several t-shirts) until the last month of 2013 when I bought a down jacket for a trip (I did try to google a pattern for a down jacket!) and also got a pair of pants and a top using a gift certificate which I received for Christmas (guess I had to:-)
Sticking so relatively stubbornly to my resolution despite my snail sewing pace meant that I was running out of things to wear for work (clothes were looking worn due to heavy rotation, clothing from years back which should stay in the closet until the “style/cut” comes back were prematurely put back into the rotation…)
Anyway, let’s take a look at what worked and what didn’t:
In the summer I rotated heavily between the Belladone and the Laurel (to the point I cut down on wearing the Belladone because it was looking overworn due to the delicate double-gauze fabric). The Wing Dress was one of the first things I made but due to super clear instructions it was well-made and endured a year of frequently being worn underneath suit jackets, etc. I am surprised to say this, but one of my most worn dresses year-round turned out to be the cheongsam which I was initially hesitant to wear out. In the summer I wore it on its own or with a thin cardi, and in the winter I wear it under sweaters and cardigans. Lastly, the Alpengluehen cardigan is super warm and comfy, and I love the way it looks. I have been wearing it excessively since I made it.
MOST COMPLIMENTS RECEIVED
The Alpengluehen received many compliments from family and friends – perhaps one of the reasons is that I wear it out so often?! The Laurel was definitely the garment which looked the most like a non-handmade item and hence that was probably why it got paid compliments. Finally, my Belladone didn’t look as well-finished, but yet owing to the interesting design I got asked where I bought it:-)
MOST PROUD OF
The Sudoku dress required a lot of thinking since I had to alter the pattern quite a bit, I patiently finished a muslin, and the inside is also finished nicely…where did that patience of mine I had back then go?? The Alpengluehen: I love the color of yarn and buttons I chose. The airplane messenger bag was the first time I worked without any pattern/instructions and made something on my own!
Nothing wrong with them, but I just rarely reach for them in the closet. The Chardon skirt would be more worn if it was not in linen (and hence wrinkled less) and of a slightly shorter length. The lacey sweater and the elasticated waist skirt #2 are just not very me I guess…
I received very kind compliments on the Editorial pants from my wonderful fellow hobby seamstresses when I posted it. However, I have only worn them twice and think I will not wear them again. The gabardine material does not hold the crease, the buttonholes are fraying and there is a awkward bunching up at the crotch. I really need to buy of those pant patterns with super detailed instructions (ie. from Colette) to master how to sew a pant with zipper fly before challenging a Burdastyle pant pattern again). The Danielle dress was one of my first makes. I still like the silhouette but it is too tight across the bust and waist, the zipper pulled at the fabric at the back, not to mention that the tweed material is super itchy despite being lined. Back then, fresh off the sewing machine I had proudly worn it to a work event… it was really an unforgettable experience to wear itchy fabric during a (already not so relaxing) work event!
**these are only the completed failures… there were also quite a few undocumented, unfinished failures which are somewhere in my closet…
MAJOR LEARNINGS IN 2013
It was my first complete year of sewing and my skills sharpened a lot in the year. Towards the end of the year, I became comfortable sewing without first using Chako-paper and a tracing wheel to trace the exact sewing lines onto the wrong side of each fabric piece first! This saves a LOOOTTT of preparation time and I am hoping that my sewing speed for 2014 would increase as a result!
Other learnings: I can now also line garments, make my own bias tape…
SEWING/KNITTING RELATED GOALS FOR 2014
1) LESS THAN 100% is OKAY: I will continue to sew/knit as much of my own clothes as possible but will buy the things which I am not good at making yet (ie. pants) so that I can still look well-presented for professional situations.
2) PLANNING THE FABRICS: You know that stash I was talking about busting in a previous post? Well, it is almost 98% still there (horror!) Now I know the reason for this – I had bought most of these fabrics when I first started sewing – when I never thought about what my style is, what kind of fabric would make the garment look more professional, etc. I just bought a load every time I come across a fabric store/fabric online shop! Now a lot of the fabric are very nice and not cheap at all, but there are many which I don’t know how I can make into a garment I will wear. So my goal would be to plan more carefully, using a sketchbook to plan my projects and taping a piece of the planned fabric to it as inspired by Katie at What Katie Sews. I have already bought a sketchbook and made some sketches… it is fun! I will also allow myself to acquire a bit of new fabric if necessary (gasp!) but only if I have a clear plan and pattern to make in mind!
3) MAKE 1 – 2 ITEMS FOR LOVED ONES: My Mom and husband are so supportive of my handmade quest so I have been feeling guilty I have yet to make them something (the only unselfish makes in 2013 were the mini messenger and airplane messenger for my sister-in-law’s kids).
4) MAKE A COMPLETE MUSLIN: I did that when I was relatively new to sewing, but it just took so much time and after I made the muslin I was too lazy to change small imperfections anyway… Recently I only do it half-way until I give up – making a muslin half-way does not really give one a picture of the fit of the garment and is actually a huge waste of time and resources. In The Colette Sewing Handbook, Sarai Mitnick mentions that we should think of ourselves as both a custom clothier and the client – that we should spend as much time working to get the right fit as we do sewing. I will keep this in mind next time I am trying to cut corners with muslin-making!
On a side note, my sister-in-law who gave me the Burdastyle Handbook for Christmas last year (it was on my wish list and I was so happy!) gave me the Colette Sewing Handbook for Christmas this year! I had wanted it for awhile but was hesitant to buy it myself since I thought I already know the things that beginners – which the book is aimed towards – should know. I am so happy I got it since it actually contains a lot of tips and easy-to-understand advice on pattern alteration which are new to me!
Thank you for reading this long post and for reading my blog in 2013. I look forward to reading your posts in 2014!
スカートのChardonはもう少し短ければ（さらにリネンのようなしわができやすい素材でなければ）出番が増えると思います。Lacey sweater とskirt #2は特に何か問題があるというわけではないが、どうしても着る気にならないのは、私の好みでないだからかな。
1) 100%じゃなくても大丈夫: なるべく手作りを続きますが、少し妥協します。パンツなど自分でうまく作れないものは買う。
2)計画を持った上で生地を買う:洋裁をはじめてから生地を大量手に入れて、その生地を使わなきゃ！と思いながらまた新しい生地を買ったりしました。その理由は、洋裁を始めた頃に買った生地が、計画性のないまま買ったもので実際に私の好みの服にはなれないものが多かったです。今後は、集めた生地をなるべく使うよう、What Katie SewsのKatieさんのようにスケッチブックに作りたい服をスケッチして、その服に使う予定の生地を貼ってきちんと計画することにチャレンジしてみます。これで少し成功したらご褒美としてまた少し新しい生地を♪
2014もTomatoes and Jasmineをよろしくお願いいたします♪