Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 5 Misses and Top 5 Reflections of 2013

I feel like these two go well together.  So many of the reflections and learning experiences are related to the misses so I'm doing both lists in one post.

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

We'll start with the misses:

1. It's interesting that some of these misses are from the same outfit as a member of the hits list.  First miss is the top from my March outfit.

I really like this top.  It's cute, fits well and I never, ever wear it.  It doesn't even cross my mind when I'm trying to come up with something to wear.  I'm not ready to get rid of it just yet though.  I'm dragging it to the front of the wardrobe to see if it grabs me in the next couple of months.  If not, it will be going.

2. The trousers from April's outfit.  I was (and still am) pretty inexperienced in the mystical art of fitting pants.  These were unsuccessful at first, improved with alteration, but still not to a standard that I'm happy with.

3. May's shirt.  I knew that I would be making several sleeveless shirts this year.  This was the first and by far the least successful.  The armhole facings flip out constantly, I prefer bias binding facings for casual shirts now.  The collar band hasn't caught the facing so that bunches and flips out at the neck too.  These are things that are relatively easy to fix, but the fact that I haven't bothered tells me that I'm not in love with it.

4. The jeans I made for July.  Learned some big lessons on these ones.  Denim too stretchy, pattern a bit dodgy, finishing a bit rushed.  The fit is a little off, but nothing too bad, until they've been worn half a day and they sag like crazy.  I also botched the trimming of the zipper and live in fear that I'll zip up too enthusiastically and it will come away.

5. The most recent fail is due once again to the wrong fabric.  The fabric I used for the coral bodysuit in the summer wardrobe is not stretchy enough so it sits all wrong in many places.  I am hopeful of salvaging this one, it has potential to work as a tee so I could still turn this miss into a hit.

On to the reflective portion of the post.  I've learned so much this year about myself and my skills, and I have spent a long time considering how I can best use my skills and my passions to shape my future.  It's been a reflective year.

1. On the sewing front, I learned so much about fabric choice.  All those things that people tell you and information you read gets thrown out the wind in a rush of enthusiasm to start a new garment.  These wrong fabric choices are the only way I learn really.  I'm like a teenager, I have to make my own mistakes to learn.  To much stretch, not enough stretch, too much slink, not enough drape, I've had them all, and have only made the same mistake several times with each type of fabric before it's sunk in!

2.  SLOW DOWN!  I've been talking about this all year.  It was one of my goals for the year but it still took a long time to walk the talk.  When I slow down and focus on each process the end result is better finished quality garments.  Included in this is to do the same for myself as I do for others.   I take so much care and time making garments for other people because I want that garment to be lasting quality piece that they can be proud of.  It has taken nearly the whole 12 outfits to be doing the same for myself because really, I deserve well made clothes too!

3.  On a personal front, managing my mental health became an important part of my year.  I suppose the most important part of that for me is talking about it.  The more people I talk to about my struggles this year, the more support I have, and the more I learn about how other people are coping with their challenges.  The black dog won't beat us if we stick together and take care of ourselves and each other.

4.  One of my big goals for the year was to sew.  All the time.  I wanted to get some decent sewing miles in my hands.  I wanted to make a variety of garments, try new things and devote the majority of my down time to being productive.  I wanted to sew like it was my job.  This is exactly what I did!  The time I spent at the machine has paid off nicely.  The simple act of doing some sewing every day has done wonders for my work.  Like any pursuit really, the more you do the better you get, the easier it becomes, and the more you can do!

5.  Linked in to that last point is the biggest realisation for the year for me.  Through all the sewing, the challenge of 12 outfits for me and then for Darron as well, from sewing through the good times and the challenging times, there has not been a moment when it felt like a chore.  Every stitch, even the frustrating, disappointing mistakes have been filled with joy as well.  I love this.  This is what I need to be doing.  I always knew that I loved to make things, it just took me until this year to understand that I can actually make a career from this.  This has lead me to apply to return to school to expand my skills and learn a whole bunch of new ones so that making beautiful things can be a productive and viable career for me.   I finally decided what I want to be when I grow up!   I can't wait for the day when my business cards read Designer and Custom Dressmaker.


  1. A wonderful way to start a fresh new year with an exciting challenge ahead of you. You have the love and support of your family and friends to aid you on your journey

  2. Some true lessons there - especially the talking and sewing for our mental health. Exciting news about going back to school to polish up your skills. 2014 will be great.

    1. Thanks Kirsty, 2014 is definitely going to be great!