I’m a little late to the year-end reflection party, but I’m late to most things. I won’t try to sum up all that 2020 was for the world. It was tough on all of us, but it was different for all of us too. And for me it was hard, humbling, lonely, beautiful, joyous, claustrophobic, confronting and terrifying. I won’t go into everything, but I will say I did a lot of sewing.
In the Numbers
- 90 Meters of Fabric (approximately)
- 48 Projects
- 14 Projects for others
- 4 UFO’s
- 4 Pattern Tests (Pattern Tests marked with *)
- 12 Collaborations (Anything gifted is marked with **)
My Buggy Birthday Wilder Gown is without a doubt my favorite make of the year! I made this dress for my 29th birthday, and let me tell you, it makes me feel young. It reminds me of a time when I wasn’t concerned about having a “functional” wardrobe and I wore whatever the heck I wanted. Don’t get me wrong I love functional garments made up in solid colors so everything matches together, but sometimes you just need something fun and carefree.
Mustard Fleece-backed Sheridan**
Speaking of functional, solid garments, this Sheridan Sweater I made for a Minerva blog post is easily most worn me-made piece of 2020. I made it in February and have worn it almost every week since, even in the summer! Despite more washing and wear than any of my me mades, the fabric has held up better than any of my other home sewn items. It’s so versatile. I wear it all year round and it goes with everything in my wardrobe. I think the raised bateau neck, elasticated sleeve and cropped length make such a beautiful combination!
Pink Linen Heidi
I love this Heidi dress so, so much. It’s so simple and pretty and comfy. I just love it! My biggest goal for my sewing practice centers around creating garments that feel good to wear, both in terms of comfort and expression. This dress exceeds those goals. It’s definitely comfortable, but more than that I feel more like myself when I put it on.
Flops & Fails
Most of my failures don’t reach the photo phase, because I usually toss it in the naughty bin or try to refashion it into something else before the finishing stage. These three, however, had to be finished because they were either pattern tests or for the Minerva blog. It’s so disheartening to spend so many hours on something that doesn’t turn out wearable. But I can’t say that I didn’t learn along the way. Here’s what these three projects taught me.
- This Lyric 1354** (a mash-up the Love Notions Lyric and Simplicity 1354) taught me that I should stick to my sewing instincts about pairing patterns and fabrics.
- On paper the Lima Dress* seemed like such a winner, on my body not so much. Now I know that I don’t like wide necklines paired with statement sleeves.
- My Gilbert Top* taught me that I can enjoy a good sewing process even when the fit is a bust. But also, measure the pattern and make the damn broad back adjustment!
Pattern of the Year: Wearable Studio Heidi Dress
I made my first Heidi dress in summer of 2019. This year I made three more! It’s my instant go-to for a summer dress. I love making them. I love wearing them. There will definitely be more in summer 2021.
Fancy Photos & Sewcial Sharing
I learned this year that I really love sharing my makes. It’s almost a separate hobby. This year I’ve had a lot more fun in front of the camera and I’ve gotten more comfortable sharing more stylized and expressive photos. Here are some of my favorites.
Heading into 2021
As much as it feels good to kick 2020 out the door and yell “good riddance!” I can’t ignore that every hard thing we faced this year will follow us into the new year. And so will the good stuff. I’m grateful to be stepping into 2021 with a deeper understandings of compassion and justice, and a more grounded sense of myself. I’m as best prepared as I’ve ever been to work with my chronic illness, continue to dismantle white supremacy, and endure a pandemic.
As for sewing, I’m really excited to create this year. I feel much more at home in my body and style. I can’t wait to share my Make Nine! I’m also extra motivated to sew my stash this year. I spent a lot of 2020 “building my stash,” also known as panic buying, so I definitely have enough fabric to get me through most of the year.
In terms of “leveling up” or skill building, I have no plans. Every year I feel the pressure to set goals like taking on jeans-making, expert fitting, or couture techniques, but like I’m still in trauma/survival mode. I need to prioritize my making as a source of rest and joy. I’m choosing to set myself up for success by mostly sewing easy patterns that I’ve already made. It’s a little boring, but it’s what I need.
So here’s to 2021!
May we have the strength and perseverance to face whatever it brings with compassion, joy and ferocity.
Happy sewing friends.