crafts · Life · Sewing

Happy New Year!

It’s that time again – time for my annual year in review!  This year I’ve decided to highlight my favorite posts and projects from the past year.  Let’s get started, shall we?


I discussed Sewing rules and how I break them.  I still break all of those rules with gleeful abandon, and I’m sure I’ve added a few new ones!

I made a tutorial for hemming a full skirt.  I have to tell you, I use this method of hemming on over half of my garments and it’s great!  I’ve become more anti hand-hemming this year.  It’s not that I think it looks bad, or that I can’t do it, but I find that I am always having to redo them when stitches come loose!


I made Butterick 5523, which probably wins the award for most warn garment.  I can also recommend the Sophia knit (from or vogue fabrics) because after many washes it has not pilled like many double knits!

Vogue 1225 (Tracy Reese) wins the award for the garment most likely to garner comments from non-sewers.  That’s funny because I wouldn’t consider it my best finished garment ever (I have yet to put in a real hem!)


I traveled to Italy with my chamber group.  I cannot say enough good things about my experience singing in this ensemble – musically it is wonderful, the members have become dear friends, and I got to go to Italy!  We may be traveling to Spain and Portugal next spring, and I’m looking forward to my adventures.

While I was in Italy I completed Me-made-March 2011.  It was a challenge, but I enjoyed it – I certainly put more thought into the mixing of my separates!


I made my three favorite projects this year: Vogue 8728, Butterick 5491, and Simplicity 2219.  The last one is my favorite sewing project ever!  I love the fabric, the style, the color… everything about it!


I developed an obsession with the 1970s and made Vogue 2343 (Diane Von Furstenberg.)  This dress is lovely, but I must confess that I don’t wear it too often – it has a regrettable tendency to grow, as the matte jersey is quite heavy.


I blogged about the connection between sewing and body image, in a post with the most comments I have ever gotten.  I was so touched my the comments and support.  What a great community we have!  This post led to…


I was sad in July – one of my best friends moved away, and I was depressed.  Looking for a way to distract myself,  I thought back to my June post, and I resolved to make new healthy habits.  I started working about for the first time in years, and to my surprise it has become a favored hobby in the second half of the year!

I made McCall’s 6277, continuing my obsession with the 1970s (not a vintage pattern, but in the style.)


I only completed one project, but I did go to the world’s best estate sale!  Right now I am making a dress from this collection.


I have been making a lot of knit projects this fall, including Vogue 1258.  This dress took forever, and sucked up all my time for weeks, but I love the finished project!


I made Butterick 5672.  I’ve worn this quite a lot this fall/winter.


I resolved to make some tops.  After a  year of wearing mostly dresses I was concerned I was in a style rut, and was honestly a bit bored.  The solution?  Adding some new silhouettes into the mix.  I made McCall’s 6167, which I love so much!  I’ve been wearing a lot of leggings and ponte pants, and even found some skinny jeans that I love (from The Limited, in case you were wondering!)


The holiday season is always busy, but this year was crazy – I had a ton of concerts, and I am also preparing to go back to school!  I made McCall’s 6084 to wear in the holidays, and it was a big hit.  Unfortunately, it accidentally got run through the drier, and is just a bit tight in the shoulders, but nothing that can’t be dealt with!

Coming up (goals, not resolutions!)

1. Graduate!

This is a big deal to me.  I should be graduating in May!  This coming semester is going to be busy – I have class 3 days a week, I’m still teaching full time, and I have all my performing groups.  It will all be worth it I know, and I can’t wait to get started (The semester starts January 5th!)

2. Exercise at least 5x a week

I’ve actually been doing well with this, getting 6x most weeks, but I’m setting 5 as my goal since I will be busy!  I’ve completed my Ballet rotation, and I’ve started Chalean Extreme (yeah, I know, the name is terrible, but the program is decent!)  I like the idea of heavier weight training.  I’ve completed the second week and feel stronger already!  I really wanted to try P90X, because a good friend of mine had amazing results, but I know I’m not ready for that yet.  This program is challenging, but lets me ease into the weights!

I’m doing a hiit(high intensity interval training)  workout 1x a week , often the ones at  I do some other sort of cardio either 1 or 2x a week, and take one day off.  I average 45 minutes a day.   I still cannot believe that I actually enjoy all this!  I notice improved energy and mood overall since I started working out in July.

3. Sew things that I actually wear!

I really do wear all those dresses, so I don’t mean that.  What do I mean?  I plan to continue focusing on what I actually wear, and to make choices based on that.  I’ve been doing really well at that.  Since I started considering what I liked, I’ve had very few unworn garments!

4. Stay Organized

I feel better when my things are organized, but I’m not always good at putting them in order!  Right now my sewing space is clean, and it feels great.  I want to try to remember that feeling, and not allow myself to let the clutter take over!

5. Stay true to myself.

I have made great strides here, but it’s always a goal.  I am happiest when I am true to myself.  I’m not interested in playing a role, or in pretending to be some way that I’m not.  The people in my life love me for who I actually am, and those who don’t?  Aren’t worth it.

2011 was a great year for me, and I’m hoping 2012 can keep up!  Thanks to everyone who reads and comments – even when I don’t have time to answer every one, I appreciate them all.  See you in the new year!





15 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. I really enjoyed your post. I went back and read your post on breaking sewing rules and saw that you remove ease from sleeves. How do you do that?

  2. Sounds like great goals. I’m going to Paris for a week in May, so decided to take French class, to brush up on high school/college French. & getting organized and throwing out unuseful clutter is definitely high on my list. & finishing all pre-started projects (limiting new projects?) All good goals. Best to you in the New Year! (I wish I could start some workout routine, a bit more rigorous and comprehensive than my walking to work & yoga weekly, but I haven’t committed myself to anything yet. Thanks for the inspirations…I hope.)

  3. Great goals! Have enjoyed following your progress this year. #5, in particular … so important, can be hard to do … thanks for sharing and have a happy new year!

  4. Happy New Year, Jessica! I found your blog via a crafty tweet and was excited to see you live in Louisville too! I’m looking forward to reading through some of your previous blog posts to see all of your crafty projects. 😉

  5. What a great year you’ve had – thanks for sharing your makes and thoughts with us. Wishing you a very happy new year and looking forward to reading more great blog posts from you in 2012.

  6. Happy New Year! A sewing friend recommended your blog so I have checked out your creations…I am amazed that you can sew so well with knits and they totally look good on you. I work a lot with cotton/blends and so far no knits yet! I need to find out how to sew knits. I will be following you!

  7. I don’t know how long you’re allowed to say Happy New Year before people stop saying so I’ve said it.
    I’ve started working out regularly after 15 pounds of “studying” weight finally got to me last May so fat loss (not weight loss) is not going to be a resolution (not that I do that anymore). The scale does not budge but body composition does. I see less flabbiness and more strength (especially upper body). So I’m glad you stuck to your guns, good job! I was a member of a girl’s gym but like you I got tired of the extra effort involved (i.e. get dressed, drive, get back and shower, etc.) so DVDs are a life saver. Consistency is key as well as eating to fuel the body (not starve it). Currently my weight fluctuates (which is normal) a few pounds but it has not gone up much since last year.
    Getting off my fitness soapbox, I am glad to hear you are making clothes that you wear. I am still knitting, however, I am on a mission to shrink my stash and finish a afghan that is now four years old and still unfinished. It is one I want to finish but the drawback it it is knitted…on one long circular needle with cotton yarn (oh my aching fingers!). I see new knitting patterns come and go and so far I have not seen another afghan pattern quite like it. I get e-mail newsletters from all the online yarn companies so the temptation is still there with every turn of the season. Like I said, I am on a mission.
    Have a fortuitous new year.

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