Sewing Year in Review

I already did a post on what I considered to be the best and worst Burda patterns of the year, but I thought I should also give a look at what were the best and worst of my personal sewing adventures in 2011.  Although I had hoped to finish a few more projects (which are stalled while I wait for my replacements for a broken serger blade – yes I broke it already!  The stupid pin was hiding from me…), I actually did a lot more sewing this year than I thought!  I completed 35 sewn objects, which is quite a lot!  Breakdown by type, I made:

8 Tops
4 Dresses
5 Pants
1 Skirts
5 Coats/Capes/Jackets
5 Skating Costumes
7 Other (crafty items, aprons, etc.)

Overall I would say most of my projects were successes, but there were a few disasters.  One was a disaster of construction, the second a disaster of style, and the final was a very poorly drafted pattern.  In my opinion, my worst pieces from the year:

Burda 8292 – my awful poly shantung coat

 The Burda coat is not a bad pattern.  In fact, it is a really great pattern.  The problem is I rushed the making of it and used crappy materials.  I assumed going into it that it was like a Big4 envelope pattern and made too many pattern adjustments that simply didn’t need to happen.  Seeing as how it is a Burda, what I should do is go back to the original pattern, trace of a size 40, make a muslin, and fix the problems, which, honestly, is probably only a swayback adjustment and raising the pockets.  I actually really want to make the short version of this coat too, but in my priority que it isn’t that high, so I don’t know when I will get around to it again.  But there will be redemption with this pattern because it is just too good to waste.  In terms of finished projects though, this is by far the worst – poor fitting, bad materials, bad construction.  It should be a dumpster diving wadder, but I have been keeping it around to salvage the buttons.

Simplicity 4014 – horrible dress pattern

As for the Simplicity pattern – it is probably the worst that I have used in terms of choosing the wrong style.  The location of the seams are just not flattering at all – they would make anyone look wide from the front, and the location of the bust darts doesn’t help.  I originally bought the pattern because I liked the shape of the skirt, but in the end the dress was pretty much un-wearable.  Definitely worst pattern of the year.


This is a case of a project turning out well, in spite of a crappy pattern.  The pattern doesn’t line up well after being printed, and the pattern pieces are not symmetric.  If they were printed to be cut on the fold, this pattern would save a lot of paper and frustration.  However, I would say the finished project turned out super cute in spite of the wonky pattern and my less than perfect plaid matching.  The only reason this is in the “bad” category is because the pattern is not good, though people tend to be able to get good results regardless.

Overall I would say I had a lot more success stories than epic failures.  Looking back I would have to say some of my favorite pieces were:

My lace skating dress – passed my Gold Medal in it, so it is a sentimental favorite.
V8727 for my sister.  Looks so great on her!
BS-04-2011-109.  Love the fit!
My dance dress for competition.
My figure dress for competition.
V1051 – I still need to make a good version from nice fabric.
V8626 – my sister’s wool coat.
BWOF-01-2001-120/121 – my wool coat
BS-07-2011-103 – easy knit top – easily the most worn item
BWOF-09-2003-104 – not my fav style, but these pants are comfortable.
BS-06-2011-114 – I practically live in these PJs.
BWOF-01-2006-101B – I like the details a lot.

Difficult to pick a favorite, but I would have to say the favorite thing I made in 2011 was:

My BurdaStyle Dress!

I think it is the combination of the fabric, the color and the style, plus the unexpectedly good results that make me love this dress.  After wasting a lot of time on the tragic fail that was Simplicity 4014, I was so happy to end up with a great dress from Burda.  The fact that I pretty much made this by desperate last-minute stash-busting doesn’t hurt either.  This is the type of dress I could never buy in a store, and would have never considered wearing before I started to sew.  I hope I have another occasion to wear this dress in the future – I love it so much!

So that is what I accomplished this past year, sewing-wise.  I really think this year I improved my techniques, and pushed myself to learn as much through reading books and sewing blogs.  Been thinking a lot about what sorts of sewing things I want to try to work on in the coming year.  Tomorrow I will post details about the basis of my sewing plans for 2012 – the current state of my stash!

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