Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obligatory End of Year Post

I've enjoyed everyone else's end-of-2008 wrap ups and plans for 2009, so I'll throw my entry into the mix. I am jealous of Cidell's slideshow; flickr's application isn't as fancy. The album for the above inferior slideshow is here.

By the numbers:

35 PR reviews in 2008
42 total garments reviewed (as I made duplicates of several patterns)
17 dresses--8 woven, 9 stretch
2 skirts
21 tops--10 blouses, 11 stretch
2 outerwear jackets/coats

14 unreviewed as yet, though I'm not sure this is a complete tally
9 dresses--5 woven, 4 stretch
3 skirts
1 blouse
1 hat

2 utter wadders: the green version of Vogue 8386 and my hideous attempt at BWOF 10/2007-115, which was absolutely grotesque and I didn't want to waste time taking photos to show how awful it was on me.

7 months of 2008 BWOF issues sewn from (January through June and October), in addition to some patterns from previous years

56 total garments (or thereabouts--I keep thinking of things I've forgotten and am sick of tallying): 26 dresses, 22 tops, 5 skirts, 2 jackets/coats, 1 hat
1 item sewn per week, as an approximate average (though my sewing is generally more like two items one weekend, none the next)

3.5 travel wardrobes (Vietnam, Paris I, Germany, and for Paris III I used one Germany dress and made a new skirt)

2 new (to me) machines, my treadle and my serger

1 new skill (welt pockets)
2 improved skills (perfect invisible zippers and I no longer fear buttonholes)
1 new interest (remaking sweaters)

133 yards purchased (this is probably too conservative)
40-50 yards gifted (this is a total guess on the contents of the amazing Carol Collection, which I didn't measure)
94 yards sewn (approx)

The numbers are interesting! To me, at any rate. LOL I feel like I fall back on easy knits too often, but based on this I am exactly even on knits and wovens in tops and dresses. I make a new dress every other week! No wonder the dress section of my closet is completely full. I buy too much fabric, but I already knew this.

Least Favorite: BWOF 10/2007-114

Favorite is way too difficult to decide, which is a good thing, right? So I have to do it by category

Favorite Knit Dress: Vogue 8386, my Goddess Dress. I think I got the most compliments on Simplicity 3775, but it's only my third favorite after this and the Duchess of Windsor dress.

Best Blouse: BWOF 01/2008-108, the yoke front blouse. Not necessarily favorite, but definitely the best.

Favorite Knit Top: Knip Mode 04-2008-113. I hesitated to call this one the favorite because it has novelty on its side. My H&M knockoff top, which I've made in two colors so far, is less distinctive so can be worn more often and I really like it. But I get tons of compliments on this Knip Mode and feel great in it, so I think it will stand the test of time.

Favorite Woven Dress: New Look 6394, my maxi dress from my 21st birthday dress pattern. (I've excluded my yellow party dress, McCall 5382, from the calculation since it's of limited wearability.)

I tried to figure out which item would be Most Worn, but other than my corduroy jacket and my green coat, which I don't think really count, I favor all of my little sewing children pretty equally. It helps/hurts that I have a billion clothes and don't wear many things more than 4 or 5 times in a season!


Looking forward to 2009...

Well, I don't know if it's zen contentment or slothful complacence, but I'm pretty happy with where my sewing is now. I make a good mix of clothes, my techniques are adequate to my standards, I am satisfied with the complexity of the projects I undertake (I love the look of tailored garments, but it's just not in my personality to develop that skill-set *or* to wear the clothes), my speed/productivity is satisfactory, and I generally do a good job choosing fabrics and patterns that suit me (with a few obvious exceptions!). I blog about twice a week and that seems about right. I do well balancing sewing mania with a social life--as tempted as I've been, I've not canceled a social event to sew (though I could probably be accused of deliberately not booking my social calendar to its fullest possible extent so I can have more sewing time).

I will add my old chestnut resolution to the list, learn how to put in a fly front; that's the only skill I think I should have but don't. It would also be good to get a little more fluency in bias. And I will try to keep up with doing reviews better. Sure, learning to padstitch would be cool, but I am in no hurry and if I never get to it I won't feel like I robbed myself.

My real goal is to continue to wear something I've made every day, eventually with the plan of phasing almost all ready-to-wear out of my wardrobe, other than pants/jeans and sweaters. And should I ever actually tackle my perennial resolution, maybe even those will come out of the closet, but I'm not in any hurry there. To that end, I *still* need to make more winter work tops, despite my Two Weeks of Winter Work Tops project of last winter. So I must persevere with the sleeves of longness representing the season of coldness for which I have much hateness.

Thanks for spending the year with me! Here's looking forward to miles and miles on the sewing machine odometer (I really wish such a thing would be invented) in 2009!


Cotton Picker said...

It's always an interesting read when I drop by here. Looking forward to reading about your 2009 projects.

Happy New Year.

Lisette M said...

It has been so much fun following your sewing adventures. I look forward to reading your entertaining posts for years to come. Happy New Year!

Shannon said...

You had a great year - here's looking forward to the same in 2009!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Great review Trena! I have a hateness for the coldness too so I "feel" you there! *LOL*

Have a happy New Year!

cidell said...

How have you not mentioned our best friendshipness as the greatest accomplishment of your sewing career? Mon Dieu!

We're going to do the fly front when I come for inauguration weekend.

Lindsay T said...

Well I think you've had a great year year in sewing and made some fun things. I'll keep checking in on you in 2009; happy New Year!

Susan said...

Here's to an even better 2009! Your projects are really good and I enjoyed going back to look at some of your previous posts.

Lori said...

What a great 2009, thanks for sharing your sewing.

CShelley said...

I envy your wardrobe, your creativity and your 2008 results. I especially enjoy seeing what you make because I think we have similar body types so I know what works for you works for me! Keep the good stuff coming!

Anonymous said...

Hello There - thanks so much for all your lovely work - I think the 1950's 'vintage' look really suits you - I have just started sewing again after a v. long gap since school in fact. I have picked up a Vogue pattern 2055 Calvin Klein from a charity shop which is very easy (emphasis on very easy) and one I wanted to do years ago. However it is not so easy if you haven't sewn in a while and mix up the pattern pieces a little. Yep and cut it out. Hell. I need to build up confidence, I have been dipping in and out of your website and the Spanish couture gals one since July - it is great getting this sort of support - sewing is very therapeutic. From the days I did do a lot of sewing (makes me sound ancient - I am not) I always bought the most expensive or the most good quality materials I could - I don't see the point in toiling hours working on poor materials - I would recommend silk velvet as opposed to cotton velvet - you might find this easier to work. And you are making a signature garment, not a piece of throwaway? I am using your origami pleat tutorial to put an asymetric pleating detail and adding in pockets, I will be finished 'one day'. Cheers - Sally

Sigrid said...

Good post. Enjoy seeing your work.

Happy new year!

shorty said...

I have really enjoyed your blog this year and can't wait to see what you have for next year. I love your style! I do hope to someday only wear clothes I have made but I am much further from that goal than you! Have a great 2009!!!

Alexandra said...

Great review! Love the numbers.

Happy New Year!

badmomgoodmom said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I enjoy reading about it!

Check out the latest in a string of bad recession chic meets new year's resolutions articles:,0,6503223.story

Notice they don't mention making or remaking anything yourself. Are you old enough to remember when Elle magazine published a monthly sweater pattern? Or when Vogue magazine devoted one or two editorial pages monthly to things their readers could sew with Vogue Patterns?

Cindy Lou said...

Hi Trena-- what a great 2008! Love, love, love your Goddess dress, and agree with you on the S. M. odometer. :)
I'm blogging again at

about sewing and teaching kids to sew--

Will continue to follow!