Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Recap

I always love doing the yearly review. It makes me feel so productive to see it all tallied up.

This year I made:

Tops - 7
Dresses - 7
Jackets - 8
Skirts - 4
Cardigans - 1
Vests - 1
Kids clothing - 5
Maternity dresses - 1
Knitted garments - 3

That's a total of 37 garments completed! The year before I made 45, but of course at that time was not making baby clothes.

My favorite item from this year was my plum wool military jacket:

Surprisingly, I've made a number of things that I'm just not crazy about. The knit twisted bubble skirt hits me right at the bottom of my thigh muscle and makes my legs look extra wide. The Cynthia Rowley border print skirt poofs out unflatteringly in the tummy area because the fabric I chose for it is a bit stiff. I like the fit and design of my pink zebra print knit top but the fabric is of cheap quality and has already started to pill at the underarms. I also like my white sweaterknit cardigan but it doesn't seem to go with anything in my wardrobe since it's so thin. However, I'm holding on to most of those items for now. They are well made and I'm thinking they might fit differently once I get rid of these extra 10 pounds.

By far, the biggest What Was I Thinking garment was my yellow linen jacket:

I have tried and tried to style this jacket in a pleasing manner. It cannot be done. The sleeves are atrocious! I may decide to redo them at some point, but for right now it'll be living in my "needs attention" area of the closet.

I set some lofty goals for myself last December. Was I able to meet them?

1. Enter at least 1 contest at
No, I did not do this. I am going to stop setting this as a goal since I've yet to follow through with it. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what I think about PR lately. I kind of feel like I am wasting my time writing reviews there. So few people even look at my garments anymore. Are they seeing them here instead? I don't know. I still always look there before I start a new project. But, I digress.

2. Make at least one jacket each month.

Well, I did make 8. That's not one a month but still is a pretty good number. I got a little tired of making them. Some months I was excited to make one and some months I felt pressured to fit it in. I did make more jackets then the year before, and that was really the goal in the first place.

3. Make more knit/casual dresses.
I made 4 casual dresses in 2009. This year I made 3. Boo.

4. Make more pants.

Ha! Now this was just poor planning. I knew I was pregnant in December when I set these goals. What was I thinking? Oh, now I remember. I thought I would find a TNT pants pattern in January and sew several more pants throughout my pregnancy using it. That did not happen.

5. Continue learning new knitting techniques.
Finally, one that I actually completed! I only made three knitted garments this year, but I did indeed learn new techniques with 2 of them: making an I-cord and short rows.

Overall, though, I did not meet my goals. I really should have gone back to that post throughout the year to remember what was written there. Sigh.

Okay, onward and upward, right? Here are the new goals for 2011:

1. Sew more casual knit dresses.
I love to wear these during the summer. It is effortless style, IMO. Throw on a knit dress and some cute sandals and you are ready to go!

2. Make pants.

At least one pair. I mean, really, what am I so afraid of?!

3. Continue making lots of jackets.

I love the put-together feeling I get from wearing a well fitting jacket. However, I'll not be setting myself a number goal this year.

4. Learn some of the sewing techniques included in my new book The Party Dress Book.

5. Continue learning new knitting techniques.

Thanks so much to all you wonderful people who have taken the time to visit my humble blog. It has been such a joy these past two and a half years to be able to share my love and passion for sewing with other like minded individuals. I may not always get back to each question asked, nor have the time to respond to you personally, but please know that I appreciate each comment left. Alright, enough cheese! Have a wonderful, productive and dream-fulfilling New Year!


  1. A couple of things. I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year. You sew as much from BWOF as I do, so that's always a plus :) I love what you've done with jackets and have really inspired me to try more. I am totally in awe of your sewing skills too. Makes a me a bit sad my parents left San Antonio over 10 years ago!

    Keep posting to PR. When you blog, people who 'know' you may read your blog more often. But, there are still scads of people who don't bother with blogs and quite often forget who made what. So, PR is still a great resource for that. I've noticed the drop too, but it's still the first place I go when I want to check out a pattern.

    Love your recap, keep up the great work.

  2. Hi Amanda, I think you have done amazingly well this year (oops last year - 2011 here). Just love that purple military jacket! Look forward to seeing what you do in 2011. Happy New Year

  3. Good goals. My husband got me The Party Dress as a Christmas gift, so I'm looking forward to learning and practicing from that one, too.

  4. Hi Amanda,
    I appreciated your McCall's perfect dress SPR review, with your clear instructions on what to do for a SBA! Best wishes to you and your family!

  5. Oh, I meant to add, I think your sewing skills are fantastic! ALL of your garments look professionally produced, spot-on, meticulously detailed, and perfect! :)

  6. Happy New Year Amanda! I too enjoy reading your blog. You've had a great year but you forgot the best made-by-me item of all, your daughter. :)

    Keep posting your reviews on PR. I know it feels like no one is reading, but it's still my first stop before I sew a pattern. It would be a shame if we lost this resource, which will happen if we all stop posting our reviews over there. Reviews are too hard to find on blogs.

  7. Fantastic garments, isn't it so helpful to look back and see what you made and how much you have worn it? Your military jacket is super, as is the yellow jacket. I am with you about PR, I still write reviews but so few people comment, makes you wonder about how many people read what you have written. On the other hand, it is still the first place I go to check out a new pattern.

    Happy New year.

  8. Happy new year to you, too! I've admired your beautiful jackets all year, as well as the tidy and professional insides of your garments! Love your purple coat as well. Thirty-seven garments - that's quite the accomplishment this year!
    Can't wait to see what you do with the party dress book - I got it too!

  9. Happy New Year. I lurk around here, more often than on pattern review. but I always check pattern review before starting a project, so please keep on posting there.

  10. I have as much fun reading your year in review as you do putting it together. I'd say you were quite productive, especially knowing how much time a newborn takes :-) As far as PR goes, I've noticed the same thing. I wasn't posting reviews for quite awhile but have begun doing so again. Even though there aren't as many people commenting as their used to be I know it's one of the first places I look when I'm not sure about a pattern.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Amanda!

  11. Happy New Year Amanda! I've enjoyed following along with your work this year as much as I've had in previous years. You are truly the "Queen of the Sewn Jacket"! You make the best one's. Can't wait to see all you do in 2011!

  12. Happy new year! I love reading your blog and seeing all the great things you make. I agree about the knit dresses - I'm also resolved to make them this summer, because I love wearing them more than any others!

  13. I'm not a big PR person but I think the pattern database is the best thing about PR and even though there aren't as many comments anymore...having well written, well photographed pattern reviews really make the visits to PR worth it. I think the lack of comments is because there is just so many people posting reviews now makes it quite a bit to sift through.

    Okay that was a lot longer than I meant. I really wanted to say that I enjoyed seeing your end of year review and can't wait to see what you make during 2011.

    Happy New Year!

  14. I too always head to pattern review when I want to make a new pattern - it just makes sense!

    Keep posting there - it is worth it!

  15. You've done wonderfully well with your resolutions, considering the new addition to your family this year. May the New Year be as fruitful for you in many wonderful ways!

  16. Don't stop posting to PR!! I was just there today, searching for a review of a pattern specifically from you, because I value your opinion on patterns so much. It was a McCalls top that I though you had made and reviewed, and although there were lots of review by others on it, I searched until I found yours to decide if I was going to choose that pattern over another. Just because I don't comment on every review, doesn't mean I don't go there daily and value the wealth of information on it! Hope that helps you in your decision.

  17. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    I have not had the same oomph for PR lately myself, but still find it my go-to-resource for checking out patterns before attempting them. Keep posting there, it is probably just more lurkers than commenters lately.

  18. Hi Amanda.
    Before I write anything else let me wish you a wonderful year 2011!

    I have to say, that I really admire your sewing skills and I secretely hope that one day I'll be able to sew as perfectly and profesionally looking garments as you :-).

    To your feelings about PR - I might not be very active on PR, but I ALWAYS have a look on PR before sewing any piece of garment. Even before buying new patterns, I use to check up on them on PR, if they are worth purchasing. And I believe there are many other sewing enthusiasts who really appreciate the effort that the PR reviewers put into their work.

    Happy sewing in 2011!

  19. HNY! Love reading your blog. Your fitting and finishing is amazing! Have you tried 'shaving' the pills off your top? Use a disposable razor, wear the shirt and shave might buy you a little time. Works well with Merino wool pilling as well....

  20. I have to agree with the PR thing.The only things that will get comments are the older ladies who make simple T shirts or sometimes something different.Some of the new sewers have posted fabulous stuff and nobody bothered to complement them

  21. Hi Amanda. A very happy new year to you. You have had an amazing sewing year in 2010 - I have been so impressed and inspired by everything you have made. I'm really eager to see what you make next year.

  22. You have had a great year of sewing Amanda! I've really enjoyed watching your work and so looking forward to 2011!! Can't wait to see how you top (challenge) yourself next!! Happy New Year!

  23. I really enjoy your blog and look at all your dresses here. I only look at PR when I'm working with a new pattern that I have questions about. So I may not even see your garments at PR. Besides, I'm not on the same "wave-length" as PR. For some reason I find PR hard to navigate.

    Nice goals for the new year. You might think about setting a number goal. i.e. Instead of more dresses, one dress per season (4 total) or something along that line. A definit goal is easier for the psyche to zoom in on. It will have you saying "oh I should do a dress now" and you will.

  24. That plum military jacket is divine! What a great way to recount the year! I have been following you for at least two years now, and you still keep me interested! I agree with the comment posted about your beautiful made-by-you daughter needing to be included! Thanks for all your inspiration, and best wishes for more great garments in 2011!

  25. I enjoy reading about what you have sewn. Great reviews with spot-on ideas on how to improve the garment.

    You have made an amazing number of garments this year with most fitting quite well and styled.

    Your blog is an inspiring sewing blog to keep me and others striving to sew better and more often.

    Happy New Year!

  26. Happy New Year! Love the plum jacket. Please keep posting reviews to Pattern Review because it's a great archive.

  27. What a great year of sewing...and I've enjoyed reading about every bit of it! Please don't give up on PR. You've inspired me to get sewing again and I hope to post my own reviews there soon!

  28. Amanda, great year for you - one of these days, we need to get a SA group to fabric shop - I am about an hour from the south side of SA.

  29. I enjoy every post you write here on your blog and admire your creations. I am especially impressed that you kept up your productivity with a new baby AND a couple of little boys. Wow!
    I am glad you mentioned PR so I could read the responses. I will take the same advice and keep posting reviews although I don't have enough time to read a lot there. Happy New Year!

  30. I always love seeing what you create and was particularly impressed this year at all you were able to sew even being pregnant. Here's to a great 2011!

  31. Can't get my breath at your output and keeping up a blog with photos, home schooling children and then a new baby. Just when do you sleep?

    Keep up the good work. Oh, and my opinion that baby weight has gone.