January 4, 2013

Dixie DIY's Year in Review 2012

I love the new year! New start, new goals, new memories but first I want to review everything that I did sewing-wise in the last twelve months.

2012 Was a pretty big year for me, I dyed my hair purple, sewed a bunch of swimsuits for my summer vacation, I released 3 new patterns (one of which was free), and made about 50 garments and accessories. Not too bad! Let's break it down now -
  • Garments Sewn for Myself: 34
  • Dresses: 10
  • Shirts: 19
  • Skirts: 1
  • Pants/Shorts: 6
  • Underwear and Swimsuits: 2 bras, 1 undies, 7 swimsuits
  • Accessories: 1 wallet, 1 handbag, 1 make up case
  • Sewn For Others: 3 dresses for cousins, 1 baby shirt, 1 shirt for my man, 1 monster quilt
  • Other crafts: 1 failed kite, 1 travel neck pillow, 1 holiday wreath, 1 state shape string art
Now, let's discuss the value of all those me-made items, not monetarily but in terms of wear-ability and how well they met my sewing goals from last year.

To recap, some of my goals were: to make "church appropriate" dresses (ie: cute party dresses that don't look trashy), solid color tops, tops and dresses with sleeves, good everyday dresses, pants/shorts, blazers and solid color coats. On the flip side I was refraining from sewing skirts (already have to many that I don't often wear) and anything without sleeves or clothes that need to be worn with other clothes to feel comfortable.

Colette Macaron with Fabricker FabricsDrape Drape book no. 3
(these two dresses are both "church appropriate" and good for everyday wear, double check!!)

So I didn't sew a single coat or blazer(well, maybe a sweatshirt/blazer hybrid thing). But I did ok in most other areas.
  • Shorts: 3
  • Pants: 3
  • Church Appropriate Dresses: 2, but only one really fits
  • Solid Color Tops: 8
  • Everyday Dresses: 7
  • Stuff with long sleeves/three-quarter sleeves: 7

McCalls 6331Bow BlouseSimplicity 2512

I broke a few of my rules (they're more like guidelines anyway), I made one sleeveless dress, several printed tops and one skirt (but that was a UFO so I'm letting it slide).


Jeans from HellSimplicity 3850
(pants that don't fit anymore)

But here's a big problem - A lot of the clothes I made don't fit. Some didn't really fit from the get-go like my first two pants from the year. The first pair of jeans from January stretched out way too much, those got donated. The second pair of pants from February also seemed to stretch out but were also a little big to begin with.

Victory Patterns Anouk DressRed LolaDarling Ranges Dress
(these dresses don't fit anymore *sadface*)

But then I lost some weight last winter and slowly but surely a lot of my fitted garments got too big, like my first Colette Macaron dress from 2011 and my Victory Anouk dress from January. Both of these dresses are so big in the bust and shoulders now it's not really worth trying to fix. That cutout on the Anouk dress used to show a little bit of skin, now it show half my bra!

My first Darling Ranges dress from March is too big and now gapes in front and is too low, not really fixable. My Victory Lola dress is like a giant sack now.

Most of my shirts fit ok but it's such a bummer about the others. I'm seriously considering doing a giveaway on the blog for those dresses rather than donating them to Goodwill. I'd like to know they're going to good homes. What do all of you think about that?


Pattern Runway Sweet ShortsTulip Sleeve Knit Dress - self-draftedHighly Modified RenfrewBurdastyle Handbook BlouseBurdaStyle Handbook BlouseScout TeeVelvet Scout TeeMovies in the Park ShortsDarling Ranges Version 2.0Raglan Sleeve Knit Dress w/ Crochet BackPecan Street Art Fest Dress
(my most worn me-made garments)

But there's good news! Of the things that do fit I've gotten a lot of wear out of them. My most worn items would be my Pattern Runway Sweet Shorts, my self drafted tulip sleeve knit dress, my short sleeve Renfrew, my two Burda Book blouses (always in heavy rotation!), both Scout Tees, my Movies in the Park Shorts, the 2nd Darling Ranges dress and my black dress and floral dress from April and May.

One Week, One Pattern 3.0Sewaholic RenfrewColette Juniper denim trousersTaffy Blouse
(what doesn't get worn: bad fabrics, bad fit and not so good styles)

What I don't wear as much of - my early versions of my Summer Concert Tee, the rayon fabrics have just fallen to pieces, things snag on the fabric all the time and there are even little holes in the shirt. The fabric was just crap. Thanks a lot fabric.com.

Also my first cowl neck Renfrew is just too tight in the bust to really be comfortable. I like looser knits like my Hot Cocoa Sweater. It's a shame 'cause I loved that honey color!

Also, I thought I'd enjoy the wide leg look of the Juniper trousers but I just never wear them. I think they make me look like I'm drowning in pants. I'm a little upset but hey, you live, you learn.

And alas, those giant sleeves on the Colette Handbook Taffy Blouse have kept me from wearing the top. I feel that with all the billowy fullness at the shoulders I have to balance it out at the bottom but I'm just not sure how to style this top.

***I'm really into making lists and assessments to turn them into new goals so I love making posts like this and reading other bloggers' recap posts. If you've done a "year in review" post leave me the link in the comments so I can check it out. Maybe I'll even find some new blogs to read this year. ;)

29 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your recap! I also thought about holding a giveaway for some of my me-made items, but I think my hubby ended up taking the pile to Goodwill...

    I also did a recap on my blog. Here it is: http://madebytrisha.blogspot.com/2012/12/2012-recap.html

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  2. You had such a great year! I love your style-- it's cute and girly, but wearable and comfy!

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  3. You had a prolific year! Such a shame they don't fit....and you should totally do a giveaway. (Here's hoping I'm the size you used to be....)

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  4. I think the Burda book blouses are my favorite. Followed closely by the velvet tee. Love the recap!

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  5. Great reflective post - and what a huge year you had! Can't wait to read your 2013 goals...

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  6. The BurdaBlouses *were* my favorite, until I saw that you lined the Colette Trousers in a giant print, then I fell in love. :)

    Dixie, you are so inspiring! I can't even thread a sewing machine and I've taken classes, but seeing you do what you love and really sticking to it and meeting your goals really inspires me to exceed my own in other areas of my life! :)

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    1. Thanks! But I didn't line the whole trousers, I just made the inside of the pockets in that printed fabric.

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  7. Year end reviews are a lot of fun. Mine is in two parts
    http://ruthieksews1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/2012-year-review-part-1.html
    http://ruthieksews1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/2012-year-review-part-2.html
    If you did do a dress giveaway youd need to be really clear about the measurements otherwise someone could end up with it where it doesn't fit them either. At least in the thrift store you can try stuff on.

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    1. Thanks, I'd definitely put the size I sewed them in and the measurements. Each of those dresses was made straight out of the box with no fit alterations except for minor things on the darling ranges dress, which makes it a little easier to get an idea of how it would fit on someone else.

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  8. I loved all your me made items they were all so pretty and the best fabrics. What a great year for you that's very inspirational! Shame you can't alter your bigger fit clothes but what a great goal to loose weight and stay so slim! You look gorgeous anyway you will just have to make some more pretty outfits for your stunning figure! I did my top 5 on my blog and recommended your blog cause you have been so lovely and kind to me this year on my posts so thank you for following me and being so supportive. Plus I totally love your blog and all your outfits. Look forward to seeing what you create in 2013!!

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  9. You've done brilliantly this year! I know how you feel about makes ending up too big though! I lost 2 stone last year and most of my makes drown me, which is a shame especially when you've taken time over them. I also want to say good job with your patterns! I'm itching to make the hot cocoa sweater!
    I did a re-cap post over at http://beebeesvintagedress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/2012-good-bad-and-unfinished.html
    Happy New Year Lovely!

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    1. thanks! yeah, with all that effort i really want to wear those clothes but what can you do, if they're too big but unfixable there's no winning :(

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  10. You've had a cracking year and I've very much enjoyed sewing and wearing both my Hot Cocoa sweaters...so thanks for such a great freebie! You've made some seriously gorgeous stuff and I can totally see why your most worn items are the most worn...that tulip sleeve knit dress is to die for! Such a shame that a lot of stuff doesn't fit you, but many congratulation on the weight loss, I reckon you'd get a lot of takers for your 'unwanted' items on your blog ;o)

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  11. You did an amazing job with keeping your wardrobe guidelines to the forefront this past year. You created so many great pieces and I just can't get over the swimsuits. I mean, seven?! Great recap post.

    See my 2012 "award show" on my blog: http://www.artandneedlework.com

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  12. Thanks for such a honest point. I think there are a lot to learn from what gets used and what doesn't and we all have accept it's part of learning. I love reading your blog so keep up with those cute outfits.

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  13. I did a resolutions post->http://bluesewncat.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/resolutions/
    I've been following your blog since roughly this time last year and I want to say thanks for the ideas, patterns and letting us see your gorgeous fabrics, it's a shame about the patterns, I had a pair of shorts that I loved but then they grew and now they're unwearable, my fav piece was your white burda style blouse, the fabric and style were really cute. Till next year.

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    1. thanks so much! i love that white burda blouse, too. thank you for reading, i'll check out your resolutions post. :)

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  14. Oh wow you have been so very busy and I love that you've made such a range of garments with so many different fabric types, colours, prints etc.

    I too find the analysis very interesting though for that I need to have made a few more items!

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  15. I am so impressed by how much you accomplished in a year! I was just thinking that the most successful garment I made in 2012 was your ballet dress in a thick wool-synthetic blend.

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  16. I love these lists, too. You've had a wonderful, accomplished year! I really love the diversity of your wardrobe and the projects you tackle. The clothes are so perfect in our climate, especially all the blouses and tops. It inspires me. Happy New Year!

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  17. You have nice sense of fashion and fancy dresses.

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  18. Oh wow, that's a whole lot of garments! And so many lovelies! I'm still very much in love with the crochet-back jersey dress. Want one! I'm also mightily jealous of your climate. No sun out this year as of yet, and it's freezing... Anyway, Happy New Year!

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  19. I hadn't read your blog in a while, but may I say that you look fantastic! May I ask, how did you lose so much weight??

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    1. hey, not that intentionally. i attribute it to less stress after i got laid off (i didn't much like my job) and not eating out for lunches so often since i didn't have that job, so i guess, portion control.

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  20. Congrats on all that amazing makery! Wishing you a super productive 2013 xxx

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  21. I am a bit sad to read your comments on colette's juniper pants and taffy top. i am getting ready to make both those garments, and was hoping to read favorable comments. the blouse looks great in the picture! perhaps you are just not used to so much flapping fabric around the top of your arms and armpits?

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    1. oh, the patterns themselves are great, it's just the style that isn't really for me. you're right - having that much fabric around my arms seems strange to me and i'm just not used to wearing super wide leg pants like the junipers. but both patterns fit great straight out of the box and i have had success with other colette patterns.

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