Thursday, December 29, 2016

Wrapping up 2016

Another year in the books!!! I think I had a good sewing year and did okay on my goals.

1) Patterns

I have still purchased a ton. Mid year I was planning to fast for the rest of 2016. Big, giant, mega FAIL! :)

I catalog all of my patterns on Pattern Review and looks like I've bought 62 patterns since July 1. Oops.  A total of 102 patterns for the year. In 2015 I purchased a total of 140 patterns. Hey, that's improvement!

2) Fabric

I have purchased WAY less fabric in 2016. According to Fabric Mart, I spent $1,017 over 21 orders in 2015. That number hurts. OUCH! But 2015 was stressful and I'm not surprised. There had to be some SR Harris visits (but not many) and plenty of Hancock visits in there too.

In 2016 that number is $680 over 12 orders. I had one order each in February, March, April, May, June, July, September, December. And I had 2 in August and 2 in October. That is a fantastic improvement!! I had very few visits to SR Harris and lost Hancock this year. I am also good for 1-2 orders from Fashion Fabrics Club so we'll consider that about even from last year to this year.

3) Budget

I didn't end up setting an overall budget but I spent less on patterns and fabric and with Hancock leaving and hating JoAnn, I've been going to Wawak. I don't spend a ton at once but the prices are so much cheaper that they blow JA out of the water on almost everything; even with 50-60% off notions sales. And zippers! I have 19 zippers in my cart right now for a total of around $5.50 (I need serger thread too and with 8 spools I'm at $23 total).

4) Skills

a.) Floaty fabric; crepe has become my friend. Other floaty fabrics can go to hell. LOL!

b.) Sew a blazer; I had planned to give it a shot over break but the fabric I have is much thicker than I think it should be. I had lost 10 yards of lining fabric, found it when I moved, but can't locate it again. Soon. Very soon.

c.) Sew at least 6 Burdas. I've sewn 11 and do plan to sew from December!

There were no actual "fails". I am just uncertain about the length of the black/white top from October and I have the pants marked in my "maybe these won't stick around" pile. We'll see how they fare in the spring when ankle length pants are an option again.

January, April and July's dresses are some of my favorite garments EVER from the year. 

d.) Sew DDs prom dress - did that and used the pattern again to make a gorgeous gown for her concerts!

e.) Sew pajamas - As mentioned mid-year I made a couple of nightgowns and will be sewing PJs from the December Burda. And while I could never actually sleep in full PJs, I want to make a pair with piping and the whole jazz. I just think they're so cute. You know I'm not a "try to do everything with an Indie" type of sewer so B6296 will be the target pattern and I will not be paying oodles of dough for the CCF Carolyn.

f.) Sew a summer wardrobe. I feel like I added cute things but still felt kind of meh this summer. Summer just isn't my season. I think I need to just have all the dresses and live in them.

So, what did I sew?

I didn't keep great records like last year.  I just went through my wrap-ups and PR reviews and I already know some things are missing but that's okay...

Including the month of December, I've sewn a total of 82 items, 75 for myself:

19 Dresses
22 Tops
10 Pants (7 pants, 2 shorts, 1 jean)
11 Skirts
9 Toppers (4 jackets, 4 cardigans, 1 vest)
4 Others (2 sleepwear, 1 activewear, 1 jumpsuit)
7 Items for others (6 for my daughter and 1 for a friend)

I did not slow down from last year as expected. In 2015 I sewed 88 items for myself.

There are a total of 12 items that are no longer in my wardrobe; 1 because I lost all of my sweaters. (I may start crying again at the realization of all that's missing!!). And there are 3 items that are in the naughty box and may not stick around. Of the 15 items, there are:

2 dresses, 7 tops, 3 pants, 1 skirt, 1 jacket, 1 vest

In my ongoing problem category, tops, I've done WAY better!!! Last year I had a 60% success rate. Excluding the lost sweater, I have a 71% success rate on tops this year!



I love everything about this 4/2016 Burda! I should make another one!!!

This Burda from 6/2016 is high on the list too. And it was a FUN project!


New Look 6481 is a WIN. I love this jacket so much!

Butterick 6244 I absolutely adore. What a great save on that fabric. It was in stash for quite a while.


Simplicity 8214; you can't be shocked! :)

WAIT until you see this camel Butterick 5760. It is perfect. It is well sewn (if I do say so myself). I just cannot wait to wear it!!!

The blue boucle version is a close runner up:

The biggest disappointment for me from this year was the casual suit. The fabric was a disappointment and the Kwik Sew jacket pattern was as well. I want to keep them because of the idea of it, but they just do not work well. The fabric is a cotton blend and bags out when worn. The jacket is ill fitting and while I knew that when I finished, it's so much worse every time I try to wear it.

I will post in early January a "goals" post. I will for one be continuing my Burda challenge, amending it a bit. I know I want to continue buying less fabric and fewer patterns, etc. I'll have to think all that through.


  1. What a wonderful, very detailed post. I really like how you challenge yourself and follow-up with how you've done at the end of the year. You are such a great seamstress and I enjoy seeing your makes.

    OMGosh! I have never ordered from WAWAK! I can't believe the savings that you mentioned here. I get all my notions from JoAnn's. I can't WAIT to hit WAWAK in January. You had me at the zippers! I just can't believe that price. Carol Croker Ware has told me that the zippers are better there. It's time for me to try it out. Blessings to you as you move into 2017. Looking forward to see all that you do next year. Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Anita! Oh you're missing out on Wawak! Yes, they have YKK zippers and JoAnn carries Coats and Clark.

  2. You certainly have a statistical and factual mind - I guess that is also the reason you can just get into sewing garments - see it, analyse it, do it. And I think the casual suit is just not your style - if it was a different fabric it would work for you. I wonder what you will manage to achieve in 2017? Happy New Year.

    1. That is so me Sarah Liz! It's all quite straight forward for me!

      Yeah, I think the suit is just one of those win some/lose some things.

  3. I love seeing your year end sewing round up because you are always so productive. Congrats on the limiting the fabric mart addiction. I'm sure that you will sew amazing garments in 2017 too! Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Carolyn! They sure make it hard but I am also much happier when I do order because I chose things quite specifically vs BUY ALL THE THINGS! LOL!

  4. What a delight to review your progress for 2016! I love your productivity, and you had a lot of awesome makes! Next year I want to be like you--make goals, but also follow through! Best wishes!

  5. Love the wrap up posts, you've had another productive year of sewing!

    I must check out WAWAK.

  6. I can't believe how much you get accomplished. you are so speedy! I still love your Burda stripe dress (which I made as well - I might have to repeat that one in a better color, your is so cheerful)

    1. Thanks Beth! Yes! I remember yours! You should totally make another one! I think that is one of my favorite garments ever. It makes me happy to look at it.

  7. I love your wrap up posts!!! Your enthusiasm for sewing is very catching! I've been on a break from sewing for last 3 years (just about to sew again) but all this while, I kept reading and enjoying your posts.

    I especially love the Burda makes. They seem to fit your body very well. Maybe you can try a casual style jacket from Burda?

    May you have a joyful 2017!!!

    1. Thank you so much Kay! So glad you're back at it!

      When I decide I want something specific I always start with Burda because they just work for me! :)

  8. Fantastic year of sewing for you! Loved all your favourites as well - especially the burda dress and of course the gold dress you made for your beautiful daughter. Happy new year!

  9. You amaze me year after year with the wonderful garments you come out with.. Congrats. Love the July Burda dress [I must have missed that post, didnt remember it, ha]. It looks so good on you.. The fit is great.
    Buying fabric and patterns..oh my.. how do we resist??? And stress, oh my, it will fill my carts up, real fast.ha
    Happy sewing in 2017..

    1. Thank you Judy! And yes, it is so hard to resist the siren call of lovely new pretties! :)

  10. Another wonderful roundup: congrats on such a productive year! The blue boucle skirt and the striped Burda dress are my favorites, and you should be very proud of your daughter's formal gowns. I'm certainly looking forward to your planning post, too. =) Happy New Year!

  11. So inspiring and fun! I hear your pain about moving and losing things in the process, I have been there too many times! I am with you on the great deals at FM and it is so hard to resist as well as with patterns. Your casual suit was so cute boo on the fabric for misbehaving. Happy New year and happy sewing!

    1. Moving stinks! :)

      Have a great 2017 Elizabeth! Can't wait to see what awesome things you turn out!

  12. What and inspiration!! I am just getting back into sewing after 20 years raising up kids, getting them educated and married and now it's my time!! And boy, has the sewing world changed. .last time I sewed there was no internet and fabric stores were on every corner!! I gotta catch up!! I found your blog after finding Colette and Melly Sews and surfing from one blog to another looking for apparel sewing and mainstream pattern companies. .if you have any advice for a medium skilled seamstress in the brand new world I would appreciate it. .


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