Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Year That Was (2014) and the Year That Will Be (2015)

I've been enjoying everyone's end of the year posts - I find the retrospectives fascinating and educational.  I think you have to look back in order to figure out where you want to go in the future, so with that in mind, here's mine:

I bought more clothes in 2015 than any time since I began sewing in 2002.  I think turning 50 was the catalyst - on the one hand, dressing too young only emphasizes your age, ("mutton dressed a lamb") and on the other hand, now is the time to experiment before true old age sets in.  : )  All my clothes purchases led me to believe I really hadn't sewn that much in 2014, but a review of my blog tells a different story.  I sewed much more than I thought!  Here are the highlights:

I began the year with a favorite, my yellow skirt, McCalls 3341:

And I liked it so much, I ended the year with another one from the same yellow wool from Mood, made with Simplicity 1541

Next up, I made the Tippi Hedren suit, which really was a labor of love:

I wear the jacket all the time - particularly with jeans and the silk charmeuse lining never fails to thrill me.

I also made this dress to go with the jacket, but it was an utter failure due to the lightweight fabric/wrinkling and I only wore it the once:

It has been banished from the house.  So has this ill fated vest which Vicki ordered me to never wear again:

I haven't given up on the vest idea, mind, I just need a different pattern, so look for more of this in 2015.

A rousing success was the Gertie pants, Butterick 5895, in which I went to Gertie's sewing retreat in April to tweak the fit.  I made a lot of these and love them:

Look for more of these in 2015 as the spring approaches!

I became obsessed with linen this spring/summer and had no less than three makes.  The Gabriola skirt:

Sadly, these were not resounding successes.  I only wore the Gabriola skirt one or two times, mostly because it is too big.  Same with the McCalls 6696 shirt dress, but mostly because it is a little too snug in the hips, and the sleeves are too long for hot weather, which is when you would wear linen.  The Grinder dress got more wear than the other two, but at the end of the day, linen wrinkles (duh) and much of the time, I just don't want to deal with the wrinkling.  I think I love the idea of linen way more than the actual, you know, linen.

My big project of the year was learning to make jeans which was incredibly satisfying.  And I can report that I wear the end result all the time:

These won't be my last pair - I'm loving these!

And I made three skirts this summer.  My Style Arc jeans skirt:

Another Simplicity 1541:

And the ever popular Vogue 1247:

All three are well loved, and I anticipate making another of the Style Arc jeans skirt in the selvedge denim that I made for my final pair of jeans.

The refashion that I did was kind of a bust:

as I only wore it once.  Just too boring and uninspiring to wear, but I enjoyed the challenge of the making.

One project that I made, but did not blog about, was Gertie's slip pattern, Butterick 6031.  I made the slip (and panties) from her sew-along.  While the panty pattern didn't work for me, the slip did.  I wasn't able to get a decent photo - it's just a slip and I'm not about to model it for all to view on the internet - so I didn't blog about it.  I wear it all the time.  It turned out exactly like the photos Gertie posted.  It is comfortable, useful, and pretty.  I love it.  And I love Gertie's sew-along for it because her instructions are step-by-step, hold-your-hand kind of instructions which I need.  This slip was my very first knit project, and I really needed Gertie to tell me what kind of needle to use, and what my stitch length and width should be for every single seam.  Gertie tells you everything you need to know and assumes nothing.  Awesome.  I have bought additional fabric to make another one soon.

And my biggest failure this year was my annual Christmas dress.  I took photos of it literally wadded up on the floor once I realized it was not going to work, but it is such a colossal failure, I can't even be bothered to download the photos from my camera in order to post.  It was all due to the fabric, a synthetic metallic white/silver icky fabric I got from Hancock's, and why I thought I could make this work is beyond me.  I've bagged it up so I can get to Vicki for her future Christmas postcards, as I need to get it, and the bad juju, out of my house.  I blame too much holiday sugar and gluten which impaired my sewing judgment.

So what is up for 2015??? Another jeans skirt, more Gertie pants, and another slip for sure.  And I've already started working on another vintage wool suit (pink!).  AND, I have ordered a new sewing machine!!!  I love my Bernina 145, but while making jeans I realized there were a few limitations - I need a larger machine, with the ability to sew through many layers of denim if I want to keep making jeans (and I do).  My Bernina is 12 years old, and while it is a workhorse, a little updating wouldn't hurt.  Plus, I'm one of the few sewers I know of that has only one machine - a second one would be a welcome addition.

So I ordered the Juki F-600 from Ken's Sewing Center.  Mostly because Michael did.  Kidding.  OK, not really kidding.  Michael aspires to sewing I want to do and he seemed to do his homework before he ordered.  And the price was right.  I had seriously considered buying another Bernina since I have already invested in so many of the Bernina feet, plus it is the machine I am used to.  But to get the larger machine and some of the features I wanted, I was going to have to spend close to $ 4,000.00.  Uh, no way.

I'm looking forward to its arrival, but bonding it with it will take months, of course.  Forward, 2015!


Vicki W said...

After you get the new machine I may have to bring Mom over to see it. She hates her machine and really needs to get something else!

Cathinka said...

I love your skirts. They fit so well.

KimP said...

Thanks so much, Cathinka!

Chabe said...

Love your "wearable" sewing! The 3341 is also my favorite skirt. I've made a mid-calf length that I wear a lot, even though the fabric is not the best and it does wrinkle. Cutting on the bias gives such a nice drape, I can look good in a longer skirt even though I am only 5' tall!