I do really enjoy doing a sewing wrap-up post each year. I think there has been a lot of “we overestimate what we can do in a day but underestimate what we can do in a year” going around, and for me that it totally true. I am addicted to my Todoist app, but I’m constantly thinking I can do like 30 things a day when it’s usually closer to 8. However, I was definitely surprised when I looked back at how much I made this year, despite feeling like I haven’t been sewing at all.
So, without and further ado, here’s my look back at sewing in 2022:
In 2022 I made:
- 0 Tops
- 1 Pants
- 1 Jumpsuit
- 0 Skirts
- 3 Dress
- 1 Coats/Jackets/Capes
- 1 Sweaters/Cardigans
- 0 Athletic Gear
- 3 Sleepwear/Undergarments
- 0 Costumes/Cosplay
- 0 Accessory
- 4 Home Dec/Crafts
- 5 Refashion/Mending
TOTAL: 10 Garments + 4 Crafts + 5 Mending Projects = 19
So, technically I made 10 new garments, which is actually not too bad! I will say I actually super enjoyed making my smaller crafting items this year, probably because they involved a lot of embroidery. I’m also happy to have mended several things (mostly pants) to help keep their longevity up for hopefully a few more years.
Pattern Brands I used in 2022:
- 1 Burda (Non-Magazine)
- 1 BurdaStyle Magazine
- 0 Butterick
- 2 McCall’s
- 0 Vogue
- 0 KwikSew
- 0 Simplicity
- 0 New Look
- 0 My Image Magazine
- 2 Patrones Magazine
- 4 Other
Interestingly, last year I predicted that Patrones was making a bit of a move on Burda as my go-to pattern brand of choice. While I’m going to say that if I want something to turn out with a minimal of fuss I’m going with Burda, but when I don’t mind tinkering with fit to try and get some special fabulous style, I’m going with Patrones. My pattern picks were pretty much an even split between Burda, Patrones, and Big 4/1, though I am going to say that the Pin-up Girls Ruby Bra pattern should get a special mention in the “Other” category because it’s definitely going to become a TNT. Most of my “Other” patterns are self-drafted, so maybe this is an indication that self-drafting is going to be a bigger trend for me next year?
Top 5 Skills Acquisitions
Interestingly, I feel like despite having very little sewing projects this year, a lot of them explored new skills, which has actually been quite fun!
(5) Fancy Stitches. I’ve used decorative stitches before, but this year I learned how to set a custom pattern of decorative stitches on my sewing machine. The results were super fun and I want to find more ways to use this again in the future!
(4) Using Notion for Organization. I started really using Notion this year to organize and plan my sewing projects. I feel so much more comfortable in the platform and I really love the efficiency of the process. I’m hoping to do some dedicated blog post updates on how I manage my sewing life organization soon.
(3) Embroidery Techniques. I used embroidery on a lot of projects this year, and I learned a lot about combining designs and how to work with hooping different materials and using different types of threads. I feel like there is still so much to learn, but I’m really enjoying the process.
(2) Pattern Drafting. This was on my list last year as well, but this year I self-drafted several styles of underpants following the Craftsy video tutorials. I continue to really enjoy learning how to draft patterns, and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how well they usually turn out.
(1) Bra sewing! While I already had a lot of skills with sewing knits and stretch fabrics and inserting elastic, creating the cups, sewing with foam, and adding wire channels were all new to me. I’m afraid I’m going to become a bit of an addict, but I’m also looking forward to continuing my bra-fitting journey and moving on to exploring techniques to change the style lines and materials.
Top 5 Sewcializing Events
Is it a cheat if I only have a top 3 and they are the same as last year? I think I’m going with that anyway:
(3) Interacting on blogs and social media. I’ve really enjoyed seeing everyone’s makes on blogs and watching sewing content on YouTube. I’m also loving what all the machine knitters out there are making this year – you all are trying to drag me down a new rabbit hole, I swear!
(2) Pattern Review Sewing Bee! I’m really happy I was able to participate in the Bee again this year, making it all the way to round 3. It’s always so fun to feel part of the community in the bee, and converse with the other crazy people who keep this up for weeks heading into the later rounds.
(1) Sewing days with my sister! I’m so happy my sister and I have been doing sewing days together and our sister bra sew along! We’ve also gone fabric shopping in New York and discussed wardrobe planning and other long term sewing goals. It’s a lot of fun having someone else understand the passion of sewing and being along for the ride, and it’s fun to have a sewing buddy to help keep pushing to finish projects when you are tired or hit a bit of a sewing slump and just need a little motivation to get out to the creative space.
Top 5 Misses
So, honestly, I’m pretty loath to call anything I made this year a “miss” except perhaps my first project of the year:
(1) The only real “miss” for me was my Patrones Jumpsuit. The intent was great, but I never actually wore it. I think this is just so oddly specific – the giant bow is just not something I’d wear in normal life and I need to figure out a top to wear under it. It’s just such an odd mix of holiday festiveness and PJs that I never think to pull it out when I’m going out anywhere practical.
Top 5 Hits
I feel like this year I had more than 5 hits, for sure. I really liked everything I made this year! I’m not going to count non-sewing things in this list, but I am going to give them an honorable mention. I really did have a lot of fun making my sister a hussif and making some yet-to-be-blogged holiday gifts which I’m sneak-peaking here!
For my actual Top 5, it’s really challenging to come up with a ranking, but here’s my best attempt:
(5) This is a bit of a toss up between my black McCall’s Dress and the Sewing Bee Jalie Tania coatigan. I think I’m giving it to the coatigan though. While I really love the LBD, right now I associate it mostly with more somber occasions, whereas I’ve worn the Tania to some fun events with family, so just because of the mental association I think it bumps into the top 5.
(4) My Burda Party Dress. I made this to attend a wedding and it was great – such a comfortable dress! I need more no-fuss fancy dresses in my life, now that I am finally having more events to wear them.
(3) My personalized hoodie. I made this for the first round of the sewing bee, and then didn’t wear it all year because it is soooo warm. I’m finally getting to wear it now and I love it! It’s so cozy. I need to make more fun casual clothes because those are the things I wear a ton.
(2) My Peacock Patrones Pants. I haven’t actually worn these a ton, but I love them. This is the reason I love doing the bee – something I never would have thought to make on my own has become one of my most loved projects of the year! The embroidered buttonholes are so cool; it’s my new favorite technique.
(1) My first Ruby Bra! Although this isn’t a perfect fit, I learned so much and I am really happy with how it turned out. I think this might be the start of a new sewing obsession, and I’m really excited to play with more creative styles in the future!
Top 5 Reflections
I don’t think this year’s refections are quite so introspective as last year, but I do think they are pretty accurately depicting where I am right now on my wardrobe sewing journey.
(5) I didn’t sew as many things as I would have liked, but I probably sewed more good things than I expected. This year had relatively few fails. I’m not sure if that means I just didn’t sew enough or if it means I’m getting better at picking projects, or if it just means I’ve finally reached a skillset where I can competently assess how the mix of fabric, style, and fit are going to work for me. Maybe it’s a little bit of all of that, but whichever way, I’m really happy that I had so many successful projects this year.
(4) Sometimes I do my best work on a deadline. All of my Sewing Bee projects ended up in my Top 5, and none of them were on my sewing radar for the year. This is probably related to necessity being the mother of invention, but there is something about the nature of the Bee that really pushes creativity in different directions for me and it’s why I love that competition so much.
(3) I have a finite amount of energy. Again, this is something I think we all know, but I really felt it this year. Having things kick back up into gear I was really strongly reminded just how much I was doing before the pandemic, and why I needed to slow down. Things are not quite so crazy, but I’m being mindful of how much time I have to dedicate to various projects, and how much energy I can actually realistically put into them after working a day job and a side gig.
(2) I should never say never. This year I completed my sewing trifecta of “I’ll never sew” items by starting bra sewing with my sister. I also completely 180’d my initial gut feeling of “I’ll never post this to the internet if I do sew it” because it was just an interesting an fun project, and I was so pleased with my construction that I just had to show it off.
(1) I really need to rethink my sewing goals and wardrobe needs. During the height of the pandemic, there was always this sense of needing to plan things for “but when we go back to…” sorts of events. I think 2022 was the year I finally started seeing what things I’m actually going back to, and honestly, it’s really not what I expected. I was fully expecting to be going back to in-person work much more frequently, but instead I am still largely working from home. I was not expecting to be working out as many times a week as I am. While I was expecting to travel, I feel like I’m always cobbling together outfits from things that I can classify as “well, I guess this still fits” instead of actually considering what I’d like to wear. My wardrobe has been needing an overhaul for a while, and I did put a lot of thought into that pre-pandemic. During the pandemic there was such a sense of “why bother” that I didn’t really follow through, and even this year it was a lot more random projects that were leftovers from past plans or random makes that were based on newer needs. I think I really need to do a life assessment and figure out what I actually need in a wardrobe and perhaps even more figure out what my actual sewing priorities are heading into the new year.
Top 5 Goals from 2021: How’d I Do?
At the end of 2021 I had a few things I was hoping to get done this year:
(5) “More nerdcrafting. I haven’t really done too many projects that were related to fandoms in the past few years, and I think this needs to change. Either fandom related crafts or cosplay projects would fit in this category. I have so many ideas for Wheel of Time related sewing goals, so hopefully some of these projects will come to my cutting table soon.” This sort of happened! I did make my sister a Starless Sea embroidered hussif, and I used some fun nerdy fabrics in yet-to-be-blogged gift projects. While I didn’t get quite as much done as I would have liked, I’m going to give myself a pass on this one.
(4) “More digitizing. I’d like to be able to finish the online courses I’ve bought, so that I can increase my digitizing skills, hopefully making the process faster and easier, with fewer wasted test-stitches. I’d also like to share more of my digitizing process on the blog if I use embroidery more in upcoming projects.” Well, I did do more embroidery projects this year. A lot more, actually. But I don’t think I did quite as much digitizing as I would have liked. I bought a lot of designs or modified them, and tried some new to me techniques, but I didn’t do a lot of original designs myself. So I’m going to give this half credit.
(3) “Complete more of my planned sewing projects, especially from the mini-wardrobe plans that I never completed. I’ve had the fabric pilled and ready, and so many of the patterns traced, and I still really want to make a lot of the garments that I planned for this project.” Well, I did make the McCall’s dress that was part of that original plan, and I’ve been working on getting a button down shirt pattern in the works, but that’s about it. I’m going to give this a fail because I think I’ve largely been ignoring this plan for other projects.
(2) “Sew a new wool coat. All of my previous wool coats are in that “slightly too small” category, and while we don’t really have winter in the same way that other places have winter, it’s still good to have one nice warm coat. I’ve got fabric and a pattern and plans, I just need to make it happen.” This didn’t happen, but I did sew a new hoodie for the Bee, which is pretty much “winter coat” levels for where I live. Still, I find myself often wanting something that my current outerwear options aren’t really providing, so this is probably a goal I should keep in mind for 2023.
(1) “Sew a button-front shirt. This has really been my white whale of a project. Every time I’ve tried to find a pattern and adjust it in the past (and by “past” I mean as far back as 2012), it hasn’t gone well. I’ve stalled, stewed, and eventually moved on to a different project. I did the same in 2021, when I tried to find a good starting pattern for a button-down blouse, but eventually moved on to a simple knit top. But for 2022 I say – not again! I have drafting powers now, and even if I can’t find a good starting point using a commercial pattern, maybe I don’t need one if I have a book with good instructions.” So, this project definitely had a “I made progress!” moment when I tried the Kwik Sew pattern I’m probably going to run with. I did not actually make the shirt but 2023 is going to be the year!
Well, 1.5/5 isn’t the best score, but I think there are a lot of cases where I could argue for partial credit from a generous grader because at least I started on most of these goals, even if I didn’t totally finish them.
Top 5 Goals for 2023
Well, since I didn’t really finish up most of my goals for 2022, I will probably have several of them on my list again this year:
(5) Be more intentional with scheduling sewing time. I think that I need to really schedule time to sew and be dedicated to it, otherwise my plans really drop off and I end up not really making much of anything. Having a lot of projects in progress has been both a bit crazy this month, but also very motivating to get into my sewing room and work on something. So maybe my goal should really be to always have a project in progress? Even if that project is working through online classes, reading a sewing related book, or catching up on a sewing podcast. I think I just need to have something going to keep the motivation in place and get me going back to my sewing space regularly.
(4) More pattern drafting. I have really been enjoying drafting undergarments based on the Craftsy class instructions, and I really liked drafting my trouser patterns a few years ago. I am always shocked how well self-drafted patterns turn out, though I’m not sure why I am… they are literally my own measurements! I’d love to spend more time learning this skill in the new year.
(3) Return to blogging a bit more. I was really happy I started a monthly wrap-up series this year; it at least kept me posting even when I didn’t feel like I had a lot to write about. I’ve had a lot of post ideas percolating in the back of my brain for a while and I’d like to get back to writing about more topics than just summarizing what I did or didn’t finish in a month. I think I will keep up with my monthly reviews, but I also want to get back to writing more about style inspirations, sewing organization ideas, pattern inspirations, and more. I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to my reviews of every pattern release that drops, but I do miss looking at pattern trends and inspiration for what’s new.
(2) Come up with a new wardrobe plan. I feel like I’m really back to square one in a lot of ways. I did a lot of thinking about this before the pandemic, and I’ve come up with a lot of mini wardrobe ideas that I’ve never really executed over the years. I feel like now that I have (what I hope is) a somewhat predictable schedule for the next year, I need to take a real assessment of what I have, what I actually need, and what I want to sew. I definitely want to work on some fun projects that will test my skills, but I also want to be able to fill some wardrobe holes I’ve noticed over the past year or so.
(1) I want to finally sew a button-front shirt. This is my cursed project. I’ve started and stalled on it about 5 times over in the past few years, and it’s been on my to-sew list for over a decade. It didn’t fully pan out in 2022 but I can feel it… 2023 is going to be my year!
2022 Final Thoughts
It’s funny how much time distortion has impacted the past several years. I can’t even really think how to sum up my 2022 sewing. It’s had some highs, but also I didn’t really sew much of anything for a majority of the year because of being sick, busy, or tired. I still think this year is a success though, because I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve worked on this year and I would classify most of my finished garments and projects as successes. I think the projects I made this year might be some of my favorites in a long while and I’m happy with quality over quantity right now. I am also happy with all the new things I got to learn and experience this year, and how I’m feeling very energized around sewing right now. Overall 2022 has been a year of highs and lows, but I’m happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish with the time that I’ve been able to dedicate to sewing and I’m looking forward to what the new year brings.