2011: a year in retrospect

22 Dec

yeesh, has it already been a year?! soooo much has happened in the past 12 months, i hardly know where to begin!

the very first sewing-related thing i did this year? immortalize my love for sewing by branding it onto my body – forever (an evil cackle seems appropriate right now):
tattoo
ISN’T SHE DARLING? this was taken immediately after it was finished.
done by jonny lashley at kustom thrills in nashville.

here’s a collage recap of every garment i made for myself this year:
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
2011 sewing recap
(click on the photo to see the pattern i used!)
did you count them? that’s 27, plus a scarf! damn gina – that’s like sewing a garment every other week! and here i was thinking i barely made anything this year :B

i also made two small collections to sell locally – spring 2011 and summer 2011. the rest of the seasons don’t exist because i’m burnt out on making a bunch of clothes for other people. also i’m selfish and i want to keep everything i make. so there you go.

some non-sewing related points of mention:
- do you see all the changes i made to my hair over the course of the year? lol! i went from red, to orange, to bright red, to faded red, to dark brown, to black brown. bangs, no bangs, long, short, curly, straight. clearly i love playing with my hair, like, a lot.
- my very best friend (like, reaching life-partner status best friend) joined the peace corps & moved to macedonia! i miss her SO much :(
- best friend was also my roommate, so i had to pack up & move! double bummer! but i like my new house & it gave me a new sewing room to paint & decorate, so all was not lost.
- i met the most amazing guy and he turned my world upside-down. seriously, even my cat likes him – and she hates everyone (except me, obviously. bitch, i buy your food!). we actually just celebrated 6 months last week! blog world, this is my boyfriend, landon:
MY BOYFRIEND IS A BABE
GAWD he’s such a babe.
- my beloved s10 pickup bit the dust, and forced me to learn how to navigate the public transportation options here in nashville. it wasn’t too bad! i also rode my bike a LOT. i eventually bought a new-to-me red ford ranger (what can i say? i’m a truck girl :)), which is awesome but the process of paying it off has definitely put a screeching hold on buying a plane ticket to macedonia :( at least for now.

and now for the sewing-related mentions:
- i made my first pair of pants! and then another and then another! i am still having some fitting issues, but i think i’m heading in the right direction as far as fitting the lower half of my body. i have discovered i have a short crotch & a protruding butt. well, okay then!
- speaking of pattern fitting, i have made leaps & bounds as far as my fit is concerned. i now almost always make a muslin before cutting (or at the very least, a quick tissue-fit) and i have learned little tweaks to make the pattern work best for my body.
- this year, i forced myself to slow down & enjoy the actual experience of sewing. to me, sewing is like riding a bicycle – what is the point of rushing through it to finish as fast as you can? if you’re in a hurry, buy something ready-to-wear (or drive!). slow the eff down & enjoy the experience! as a result, i have garments that are as lovely on the outside as they are on the inside. and they wash & wear soo much better!
- i participated in my first pattern testing experience & ended up with a sweet biking jacket. this was my first experience with sewaholic patterns, and i was definitely impressed with the ending result.
- a couple (small)blog changes – i added a new page of my handmade clothes if you just want to lurk the finished projects. i signed up for a pro flickr account so now you can see ALL my photos – including old ones like the apartment i lived in for 4 years (it’s really cute!). i finally changed my banner, since the original was, er, part of a picture from the threads website :X ahem. and i have a lot of new followers! yay! hi everyone! :)
- not sewing, but i learned how to knit! and then i finished my first scarf! YAY! knitting is something i’ve wanted to learn for yeeears, so i’m thrilled to actually be learning this new skill :)

now for 2012… i have a few goals!
- i want to make another coat! i already have my pattern & fabric chosen (still debating on a lining). this baby will be fully tailored, wooly, beautiful, etc. can’t wait to start it!
- i want to perfect my pants fitting! pants are sooo easy to sew up, it’s really the fit that causes so much hair-pulling. once i get that down, i can churn those babies out one after the other.
- this is a pretty lofty ambition (and likely not something that can be completed by the end of 2012 – it might take a couple years. well, that is, if the world doesn’t end on 12/21/12, y’know), but i want to start phasing out my shitty rtw clothes & replacing them with handmade or vintage clothes. i have a LOT of clothes, and a giant chunk of them are stuff i have just to “have” – like the suit pants that don’t look very good on me, but i keep because it’s nice to have suit pants. or the tshirts that get increasingly ratty, but they are allowed to stick around because it’s good to have tshirts on hand. i don’t even buy new clothes anymore – everything i accumulated this year was handmade, thrifted, or vintage. i no longer fill gaps in my wardrobe with junky stuff from the mall, so now it’s time to start replacing the junky stuff i already own.
- i want to make some men’s clothes! men’s button-ups & ties are at the top of my list.
- knitting: i only have two knitting goals this year. i want to learn colorwork and make a pair of meow mitts. and i want to knit a cardigan – the agatha is EXACTLY what i want. it’s pretty ambitious, but i want to at least start it in 2012 :)

as far as specific garments i want to sew up for 2012, all i can think about is spring right now! i have lots of pretty warm-weather fabrics hoarded up, visions of shirtdresses & cotton circle skirts & pedal pushers dancing around in my head :)

so there you go! that’s my year in review – it’s been a crazy one! i can’t wait to see what 2012 will bring!
what about y’all? anything happen in 2011 that totally rocked your world? did you accomplish something (sewing-related or otherwise!) that you are especially proud of? have any burning goals you want to reach in 2012? let’s hear them! :)

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27 Responses to “2011: a year in retrospect”

  1. Miss Crayola Creepy December 22, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    I posted my goals here: http://misscrayolacreepy.blogspot.com/2011/12/goals-for-2012-or-year-of-colette.html

    LOVE the tattoo! I would someday like to get a vintage sewing machine tattoo. I’m so excited because now that I no longer work in a bank I can get my arms done!

    My eventual long term goal is the same as yours. I want to replace all the cheapy clothes in my closet with handmade, nice quality pieces. Plus, it’s nice wearing something that no one else will be wearing :)

  2. Amy December 22, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Congrats on a wonderful year! It’s been fun to follow along, and I can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store for you. Hopefully you’ll be sharing stories about a trip to Macedonia, quality time with your handsome man, and lots and lots of sewing.

  3. Jane December 22, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    My burning goal in 2012 is to conquer my overlocker! I love these round-ups of the year, yours is especially good because I’m nosy, and it’s always interesting to get snippets of people’s non-sewing life! Talking of which a) that tattoo is adorable but it must have hurt like hell b) yes, your boyfriend is indeed rather handsome!
    Thanks for brightening up my blog year, I LOVE your blog and the things you make – your blue polka dot Ceylon is still my favourite dress ever!
    Merry Christmas Lauren! x

    • lladybird December 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

      jane, if you don’t already have this book, i HIGHLY recommend it! it taught me a lot about the machines & what they do and how to fix problems that might occur. and it’s pretty affordable!

      interesting, the tattoo didn’t hurt – there aren’t a lot of nerves behind your ear. however, when he started digging into my hairline (basically where the strawberry is), THAT was painful! it didn’t last too long, though!

      yay! merry christmas!! :)

      • Jane December 24, 2011 at 8:40 am #

        THANK YOU! Just ordered it from Amazon – it looks exactly what I need. Merry Christmas again. x

  4. Ashlee December 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    I am so amazed (not to mention slightly intimated but mostly immensely inspired) by all that you have sewn for yourself this year! Such fantastic pieces. Sheer awesome, good on you! Cheers :)

  5. Andrea December 22, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    I really like everything you sew (it’s true !) but I think my favorites are that plaid Peony and your Simplicity 3061 dress. But whatever, I’d gladly take and wear anything in that montage. Congrats on a great year.

  6. Poppykettle December 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Sounds like a lot of sewing planned for 2012 – Mee too! I’m looking fwd to seeing your end results :) enjoy Christmas & happy new year!

  7. Marie December 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Yowzers, you made 28 gorgeous things in just one year!!! What an achievement…I feel ashamed of myself! I’ve seriously loved discovering your blog this year and I look forward to all your posts, so I can’t wait to follow your progress in 2012!!!

    I think my biggest achievement this year was learning to knit on a whim and I’m loving it! I’m experimenting for next year…I’m not setting myself any concrete rules or aims…could be a good thing or a bad thing ;o)

  8. Norine December 22, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I’m a recent follower, and I just think you are adorable. I like the 2011 recap; I’ll post one of my own when I get to it :) In 2012, I’m determined to figure out my fit. The garments I made in 2011 have been off. And its discouraging. I bought the book (Fit for Real People), so I should be good to go right?

    • lladybird December 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      fit for real people is a GREAT resource! fitting can be a weird thing to figure out, but once you fit a few garments, you can start getting the hang of it & it is easier to diagnose (and fix!) fitting problems. good luck! :)

  9. didyoumakethat December 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    I love your tattoo. Your boyfriend is too cute for school! You’ve achieved so much and you’re a real inspiration. Onwards!

  10. Heather December 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    You made such pretty things! and he IS handsome :)
    I’m about two weeks away from my 24th b-day, and I was thinking of trying to do a “25 before 25″ and sew 25 garments before my 25th. Is that too ambitious for a beginner? I’m about halfway through with Colette’s meringue.

    Can’t wait to see what you sew in 2012!

    • lladybird December 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      that is a GREAT idea & i don’t think it’s too ambitious at all! you should definitely do it!

  11. Lisa December 23, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    Loving all your items I honestly love the fabrics the styles everything. I am particuraly interested in pants fitting at the moment . I have recently completed a 2 day palmer pletsch course on fitting pants( the one that goes with the book ) . I am trying to finalise the fitting of a slim pair of pants very similar to the Clover . I really want to get down the fitting issues and make more things that are perfect fit wise in 2012.

  12. Kimberly December 23, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    That’s a really fun look back at this year! Gratz on all the fun sewing and firsts and excitement in your life this year. I got a tiny start into menswear this year, sewing up a few things for my husband. I hope you get to give menswear a try in 2012; it’s a fun change.

  13. Kim December 23, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year! My goals for 2012…learning to fit garments to my body (including how to make and use muslins.) Using what little time I have for sewing more wisely, like cutting out patterns and fabrics after my monsters (I mean sweet angels!) go to sleep so I can spend my rare free daylight hour (minutes) at my machine. I’m still new at this, but I love LOVE sitting at my sewing machine and seeing how a project comes together. I’ve only made two garments I would wear in public so far (several more are in a pile of fabric to salvage to make stuff for the monsters), and I really look forward to adding some cute clothes (especially dresses) to my bare wardrobe. Happy Holidays, everyone!

  14. Debi December 23, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    LOVE this round-up! Such lovely things you’ve made and I absolutely love all your different hairstyles (and your tatoo!) And yes, your man is very handsome…glad you have found someone that makes you sing :) Many happy wishes for you and your family in the holiday season and here’s to another year of sewing and fun projects!!! xoxoxoxo

  15. Joan December 23, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I have never wanted a tattoo until I have seen yours! Plus I LOOOOOve the location of it! You definetely have me re-thinking my pain threshold.

    I found your blog when you posted that pink dress in far right, last line of your photos. When I get into work every morning I check your blog for updates each day. I love your blog and I love the tone of your blog! It’s fantastic and want to say Thank You for the 2011 inspiration. I have not sewn anything yet, but am definetely making a plan for 2012. Keep up the good work…I love it! Happy Holiday!

    • lladybird December 23, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      oh, you should get one! tattoos are so much fun! and behind the ear really doesn’t hurt – it’s loud, and the vibrations feel really weird, but there wasn’t any pain until he hit my hairline (right at the strawberry). so keep off the hairline & you’ll be fine ;)

      thank you for your kind words! everyone’s saying such nice things & i can’t stop blushing ahaha. merry christmas ♥!!

  16. Rachel December 23, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow so productive! Well done. I discovered your blog relatively late this year but look forward to each of your new posts, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next year.

  17. Sara @ Sew Sweetness December 25, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I usually just lurk because I get all your posts via e-mail, but I just wanted you to know that your work has been totally inspirational to me. The sewing-clothing part of me wants to be just like you!

    I agree with what you said about savoring sewing…I need to do that more, I am more of a quick results girl.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  18. montanachic December 26, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Congrats on all you have done and good luck on all you have planned. I love these yearly reviews people do on blogs. It is actually what inspired me to start blogging myself. So inspiring, and I love all your clothes and your style in general :)

  19. Kerry December 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Well done on all your great makes! You have been very busy!

    I also want to wear less shop-bought and need to make more seperates and casual clothing.

  20. kazzthespazz December 28, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Well done on your awesome sewing achievements for this year, and your tattoo looks fab.
    Here’s to 2012 yay!!

  21. weefrills January 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Amazing, amazing collection of clothes for 2011. You’re so skilled!

  22. Montana January 5, 2012 at 5:34 am #

    I have to say.. I’m one of your new readers, hi :) And I love love love you’re blog! You are just such a joy to read, and so much fun to see the things you sew. Definately an inspiration! Can’t wait to see the things you come up with in 2012. You inspired me to try the peony, based on your floral explosion! So, thank-you!

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