A Year of Sewing: 2013

When this year started I thought I would be sewing a functional wardrobe for all seasons.  What I ended up sewing was quite different.  I think the numbers speak for themselves…

10 Tops
0 Pants
2 Skirts
7 Dresses
6 Coats/Jackets
4 Sweaters/Cardigans
3 Skating Costumes (for me)
42 Skating Costumes (for others)
2 Home Dec/Crafts


Wow.  That is a lot of sewing.  I am a bit surprised at the number of dresses and skirts I have sewn (since I feel like I don’t often wear them, though I have been making more of an effort recently), and a bit dismayed at the lack of pants.  I need pants.  Next year I really must do pants.

I feel like I’ve tended to average 1 project per week (basic tops can get sewn in a day, and jackets can take me up to a few weeks, and there are at least a few weeks a year I am not sewing, but averaging it out over the previous two years I tend to get about one item per week), but this year I sort of blew that average out of the water.  Most of the things I sewed weren’t actually for me, and skating costumes aren’t exactly the slowest of projects (though the amount of beading I had to do mitigated that somewhat), which definitely had something to do with my insane productivity this year.  I didn’t quite add to my wardrobe as I had hoped, but of the things I did make for myself I do have a few favorites:

(1) The Peacock Skating Dress

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 8.16.32 PM
My Galloping Peacock Figure Dress!

Ok, this isn’t really adding to my wardrobe, but this is definitely one of my favorite things I have made, ever.  I love the fit, the color, the stone work, and I even placed at nationals in it!  Really was a stand-out project for me this year.

(2) The Accidental Steampunk Jacket & Blue Linen Jacket




Ok, so technically this is two projects, but same pattern, so, um, yeah, I’m counting it once.  The steampunk jacket was something of an unexpected make (I had been planning my linen version since the magazine was released, but decided to make this leather-ish version after starting the other one), but has turned out to be one of my favorite projects of the year so far.  It looks great with a ton of things in my wardrobe and I am always excited to have a chance to wear it.  I expect the linen version will be a wardrobe favorite next spring and summer.

(3) Teal/Black Cowl Neck Sheath Dress


This dress was a quick make, but I love it!  Simple, easy to wear, and very versatile as it works nicely with leggings and boots just as much as with tights and heels.  Perfect for layering, classic style, yet comfy and cozy.  Definitely one of my favorite new wardrobe items for the year.

(4) March Burda Lace Cardigan/Skirt Combo


I fell in love with the outfit in the March Burda magazine, and had to re-create my own version of it.  I love the cardigan and the skirt, and they look great together.  I haven’t had much occasion to wear them (I didn’t make the cardigan until fall), but I expect they will see a lot of use next year.

(5) Teal Zig Zag Peplum Cardigan


I wasn’t really on board when the whole peplum trend happened, but this cardigan pattern may have changed my mind.  So much so that I made three versions of it.  In one night!  The teal zig zag version might be my favorite though – super versatile in my wardrobe and the fabric has the perfect weight for the peplum flounce.

(6) Teal Blazer


This is definitely one of my most-worn pieces.  It actually saw so much use the lining is fraying already.  The collar gave me a headache, and there are some fit issues I will need to address in future attempts, but the style is great.  I need more blazers in my wardrobe.

(7) Teal Fall Jacket


It was a pain to sew, the corduroy picks up fuzz balls like nobody’s business, and there are minor sewing flaws all over the jacket.  But I still really love it.  The lining and buttons are special, and is a nice weight for fall, so it has proven useful in the wardrobe.  It is one of those projects I had been planning for quite some time, so I am really pleased to see it finished.

(8) Twist Top Maxi Dress


I had never been a big fan of the maxi dress trend, but this pattern from the February Burda got me to change my mind.  I love this dress for summer, and I think I might make a shorter version in the future.

(9) Patrones Party Dress


This was an unexpected project that I whipped up early in the year.  I surprised myself by being able to figure out this puzzle of a pattern despite lack of useable instructions (I can read limited Spanish, but neither my skills nor google translate were helpful in this situation).  I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to wear this since, but it was a fun project and I am happy I made it.  Definitely makes me want to try more Patrones patterns in the future.

(10) Green Fleece Hoodie


Ok, I know I shouldn’t be so excited by a fleece sweatshirt, but this is one of those projects I find myself wearing all the time and loving.  It was easy to put together and is slightly nicer style-wise than a sweatshirt I could buy RTW.  It has been great for casual outings.  Might need to find a beefier sweater knit to make a second version in the future.  It is a surprise favorite, to be sure.

That wasn’t everything I sewed this year, but definitely some of the highlights.  It was definitely a learning year sewing-wise; I’ve learned a great deal about how to sew for other people’s shapes and preferences, as well as learning how to balance the workload of sewing for a growing number of clients.  I expect I may be at least as busy (if not more busy) sewing for people next year, so I don’t know how much selfish sewing I can plan on doing for the next several months.  That being said I can’t help but plan out next year’s sewing at least a little bit.  Check out tomorrow’s post to see my sewing plans for 2014!

9 thoughts on “A Year of Sewing: 2013

  1. Your output is impressive – more time & energy now since the PhD is done?

    I really enjoyed your series on creating a skating dress, but could not get the comments to post at the time.

    Your peacock dress is one of my favourite creations in all of blogosphere for this year. Beautiful on so many levels.


  2. not one who usually comments on blogs but just to congratulate you on a very productive year… i really enjoy reading your blog since you are a burda girl like me… and we both have a soft spot for teal (as evidenced also in the majority of your picks!)… hope you have a happy and productive year next year as well 🙂


  3. OMG! 2013 was a creative sewing year for you ~ loved all of your outfits, you seem to pick the perfect pattern/colours for yourself. Can't wait to see what you whip up in 2014 … J


  4. How productive were you last year! Did you manage to sleep at all? AND I think you should count the accidental steampunk jacket and the linen jacket as two. My favourite is the galloping peacock. Absolutely.


  5. Wow – I'm so impressed with how many items you've sewn. I love the peacock skating costume – I love hand embellishment and making sparkly costumes, though demanding, looks very fun! 😀

    LOL, PhDs really do cut into the sewing, don't they?



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