2013: A Year in Review

30 Dec

I can’t believe we’re coming up on the end of 2013! I hate sounding like an old fart, but where has this year gone? I feel like we barely reached summer and then it was suddenly Christmas! Whaaat! Anyway, I wanted to do a little round-up of 2013, because I just love reading this sort of thing. First things first, let’s look at all the garments I made –

2013... in a nutshell
2013... in a nutshell
2013... in a nutshell
2013... in a nutshell
2013... in a nutshell
2013... in a nutshell

I just counted those up and it would seem that I made over 86 projects/garments this year… that’s not counting the handful of double-garment posts (like when I’d make a tshirt to go with my new shorts), anything that didn’t make it to the blog (not much, but a few tshirts and leggings because, eh, boring), and stuff I made at my job that wasn’t for meeeee and therefore didn’t count.

Still… dang. That’s a lot.

If you don’t recognize anything from the last collage – it’s pieces I made for the Papercut Collective! I try to keep that stuff separate, as I figure if you wanted to see what I was making with Papercut, you’d follow that blog. Right? Right. Too much crossposting drives me nuts, haha.

Anyway, I tried to make everything up in a cute pie chart with percentages, but I apparently forgot how to count and I cannot be bothered to try again. I also would love to link y’all to every single one of the 86+ garments I made this year, but again – nope. However, you can totally lurk my closet and find every single one of my makes in there!

So what did 2013 entail for me? Let’s talk about some highlights, and… lolights (that’s not the word I want, is it?). In no particular order:

– I joined the Mood Sewing Network and my entire 2013 has been filled with the most wonderful fabrics and lots of new learning experiences – both in fabrics and garments (remember the silk Anna maxi? GOD can the weather get warm again already?!)
– I went to both NYC and Chicago and had a wonderful time in each city, with some of the most amazing people. I’ll definitely be back to both in 2014!
– I knit 8 sweaters and only one of them was a fail.
I made a bathing suit! And it held up to swimming in the Gulf of Mexico! Yes! I’m so proud of that little bugger, you have no idea.
– Another successful year of Me Made May! I had a lot of fun finding new ways to wear my handmades, but I will admit that taking daily pictures got a little trying. And May is such a long month! Whatever, I’m looking forward to it again in 2014 πŸ™‚
– I found the sweetest kitten under my house and rehomed him with my brother and sister-in-law! Theodore has been renamed Mr. Kitten and he’s sooo big and handsome now – look!
My favorite crawl space kitten is all grown up now  @ttamdude
(just the cat. Although, baby brother Matt is single too. Ladiesss~)
– 2013 has basically been the year that I had to remake my entire wardrobe due to weight loss giving me a complete change in size. I got tired of feeling sad every time I opened my closet and stared at all those beautiful clothes that no longer fit, so I started selling them on Etsy. Thanks to everyone who bought something – I’m so happy to know that those pieces have a loving home, and I was also able to pay some medical bills with the money I made! As a side note, I added a few more winter pieces to my Etsy shop over the weekend, so feel free to take a look. Everything is priced to moooove!
– I wrote this post on Sewing and Time Management and it ballooned into my most popular post by far. I still get emails and comments on that post on a regular basis – I had no idea so many people would find that sort of information useful and applicable to their own lives! Feels really good to know that I can give back to the sewing community that I love so much, even if it’s a weird kind of giving back that’s just writing up a post πŸ™‚
– I’ve had my Bernina for a full year now and I’m happy to say that we are just as in love as we were on day 1! I love discovering new things about my machine, and even the high cost of feet and bobbins hasn’t put me off from feeling good about the investment that I made. People ask me sewing machine advice all the time, and while I think buying a machine is a very personal choice based on budget and preferences – if you have the budget for a Bernina, DO IT. You won’t regret it πŸ™‚

One elephant in the room that I need to address is my current employment. At last mention, I had just quit my job to pursue a career as a seamstress. I’m sorry to say that particular stint did not work out – we actually parted ways a couple of weeks ago. There were several things leading up to it, but the general gist was that we simply did not work well together. With as much sewing knowledge as I brought with me, I still had a lot to learn – learning how to use an industrial machine (scary at first! But of course now I miss it, ha!), learning how to sew without instructions or pattern markings, learning how to properly do alterations (I did learn, and I also learned something even more important, which is that I still fucking hate doing alterations, ahah), as well as re-learning basically everything I know about sewing. Everything that came out of Muna’s shop was sewn in a more RTW manner – i.e., linings were entirely inserted by machine, for example, whereas the ones I do are applied by hand. Which makes sense, considering you have to really push stuff out quickly to be able to make any sort of profit. But there was a problem where I wasn’t learning fast enough, because there wasn’t enough time to teach me, and what I did learn was not taught in a way that I could quickly grasp it (I’m a kinesthetic learner, plus I’m one of those annoying people who asks lots and lots of questions. Looooots of questions). The end result was that we were not happy working together, and the combined stress of everything (new job, whooooole big change for the first time in years, problems with personal time management, etc) was making me very sick. Probably even caused that kidney stone, to be honest! So we made the mutual decision to part ways a couple of weeks ago. It sucks that it didn’t work out, but I’m glad I gave it a shot and tried something new – and got out of a job that I needed to get out of (and I’m pretty sure my old bosses agree πŸ™‚ the girl who replaced me is really great and they’re very happy with her!). I still consider Muna to be a dear friend and a wonderful person who I look up to. We just didn’t work well together, that’s all πŸ™‚ And honestly, I think the timing came out quite nicely because I had plenty of days off to spend with my dad at the hospital, when he and my mom needed me the most.

I have some other employment opportunities lined up for 2014, which I’m very excited about. I probably sound like a broken record at this point because I talk about it aaaalll the time, but one thing I’m really excited to pursue in this new year is teaching! I will finally have the opportunity – i.e., downtime – to do so, and I’ve been making plans and sending emails and chatting with all sorts of people who have given me some wonderful advice! I’m still working out details as far as trying to get together group classes, but if you’re in the Nashville area and are interested in private lessons (or want to arrange a group lesson with some friends) – email me and let’s talk! I’d love to share my knowledge with you and help you improve your skills! Non-Nashvillians… do you think Skype sewing lessons would ever be a thing? Ha πŸ™‚

Ok, sorry about the tangent, let’s get back to the year round-up!

My favorite things I made this year (this was soo hard to narrow down, all my handmades are like my little bayybies ok)
Orange Minoru
Nard-Dog Minoru
I wear this shit ALL THE TIME. All the time! It is a lightweight jacket, so I can’t wear it when it gets toooo cold… but that’s like 2 weeks out of the entire winter here. I love this jacket, it goes with everything, I feel cute and pulled together, and it has a hood!

Lace Trench
Lace Trench Coat
I can’t say I wear this one quite as much as the Minoru, just because it’s kind of a weird coat weight. But I love it so much and I loved working on it. It’s definitely a statement piece that I get a lot of compliments on every time I wear it – and a lot of surprised gasps when I smile and answer, “I made it.” πŸ™‚

Belladone Dress
Stripey Belladone dress
Such a simple dress, but it really is the perfect Saturday dress! I probably wore this shit once a week at the height of the summer because it was just SO easy and comfortable! The cutout design at the back and the simple stripes make this dress ideal – I can ~jazz it up~ with some fun shoes and accessories or a belt, but it also looks good enough on it’s own!

Marc Jacobs Birds
Fabulous Silk Birds
My labor of love for 2013 (other than the coat, which I’m still working on… I might possibly be finished by the end of the year, but you’ll have to wait until January to see heh heh heh!). I poured so much time and research into this dress – from fitting, to learning how to deal with the fabric, to finishing, to making the matching slip. It’s one of those dresses that I know I can pull on and feel fabulous in, even if I’m having a day where I hate everything in my closet. I’d love to make more of these in a solid fabric, although let’s be honest – the bird fabric is the best part πŸ™‚

Audrey in Unst
Audrey in Unst
My first knit with fingering-weight! This was kind of a big deal for me – not just a first with the fingering weight, but it was a pattern that was a bit hard to read (for me, anyway, as I tend to take everything quite literally and need things spelled out), and I also swapped out the yarn weight and added fit modifications. Happily, it all worked out and I just love how the sweater ended up!

Lumberjack Archer; Ponte Leggings
Lumberjack Archer
This one is kind of a surprise me to – but I wear these pieces so much! Those ponte pants, man. I can’t get enough of them. And I love the Archer, definitely planning on more of those in 2014!

Well, that was a long post! All in all, I think 2013 was a good year! A bit trying at times – I’ve had more health problems this year than probably every before, not to mention other setbacks – but I feel so much stronger and better as a person, and more willing to take chances now that I know a fail doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world. I don’t have any specific resolutions for 2014 – except that I want to be fearless.

WHAT THE FUUUUCK omg omg omg

Here’s to a bright and beautiful 2014!


95 Responses to “2013: A Year in Review”

  1. David December 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Impressive array of handmade clothes this year! Good decision about your job, no point beating yourself up and making yourself sick about something that doesn’t work. Hope your projects – and teaching – work out well in 2014. Look forward to more of your stuff!

  2. Mary McCauley December 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    Happy New Year Lladybird! May you find good health (you and dad), a good job (one you love is important) and may you continue to grow and inspire others to create and love all things handmade – quality made in 2014!

  3. Carolyn December 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    What an awesome year you’ve had! The thing that struck me the most when looking at your pictures is that since you use the same background, you can see the seasonal change in not only your clothing but the space around you. It’s very kewl. Have a happy New Year and I’m sure that you’re Bernina is just going to sing with joy at all the wonderous things you make in 2014!!!!

    • LLADYBIRD December 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Looking at those pictures just really makes me miss summer more, haha! Oh well, it’ll be here soon enough πŸ™‚

  4. Kelly December 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Holy shit that is a lot of garments! And all of them are absolutely gorgeous! So many of your posts make me want to go and make up that pattern. Ha, your post about sewing and time management is about to get a whole lot more popular as people try to work out how you managed to make so many items this year! Sorry to hear the job didn’t work out, but at least it gave you the push you needed to leave the old job – it’s so hard when something is ‘comfortable’ but you aren’t overly happy there to make the leap and take the risk of leaving. Speaking from experience…hopefully 2014 will bring more fulfilling work for me too. Good luck with the teaching, hope it goes well! My cousin lives in Nashville, will totally be trying to convince her that she should take up sewing…

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Yes! Everyone should take up sewing πŸ˜‰ haha!

  5. Barbara Dobree December 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    No fail! It was an opportunity that wasn’t a good fit for you! And look at what you did learn, about sewing RTW and about how you work. It’s all good.
    I was counting the garments you made as I looked at the collection and was gob-smacked that you did all that and worked too! I agree with your choices for your fav’s. Great taste and style. Carry on. 2014 will be interesting…..

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      You’re right, it wasn’t a fail at all – I don’t regret it for a second! I learned a lot and I’m so grateful for the opportunity (and now I don’t have to sit at my desk and think, “… what if?”)

  6. johanna@projects by me December 30, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    You. Are. A. Sewing. Goddess!!!
    Good luck on finding a new job and I hope that you and your family will have your health next year. Happy new year!

  7. gingermakes December 30, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Wow, what a busy and productive year you’ve had! I’m in awe! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

  8. Jo December 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    I’m sure next year will be just as good if not better! I’m trying to supress the jealousy of your fabulousness πŸ˜‰ heh heh. You’ve made some awesome stuff and I’m glad you’re feeling positive. Go you! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 8:58 am #

      Don’t be jealous, just come be fabulous with me… πŸ˜‰

  9. KaoruMarie December 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    86 items?! Oh lord, that is amazing! You really are such an inspiration. I made my 2014 Goals for items I want to sew and it came to 8, which I think will just be manageable…..one day I’ll get to 86!

    Sorry to hear about the seamstress job….you had me all jacked up to quit my job and find a seamstress to work with. Good luck with teaching! I think you will be fantastic at it.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:00 am #

      I know, I counted them up and I was like, “…. uhhhh…..” hahah! I was almost afraid to post the round-up, but I mean, it is what it is. Most people come home from work and drink a beer, watch some tv, go see friends. I sew. That’s why I get so much done haha πŸ™‚

      And hey, just because my job didn’t work out for me doesn’t mean it won’t work out for anyone! My coworker Jenny loved doing that stuff… maybe you will to! Don’t let me me the reason why you shy away from it, you might be a superstar at alterations and you just don’t know it yet!

      • tworandomwords January 1, 2014 at 6:10 am #

        That’s my response to the question of “how do you have time to sew so much?”. Yes, I work 60 hour weeks (and currently doing my 6th of 7 nights in a row) but in my spare time, all I do is sew. It got to be almost a problem where I didn’t want to socialise because I wanted to sew in ALl of my free time!

        It’s a shame about the job, but I’m a believer in the cheesy silver linings to clouds. I’ve even thought of trying to make a mini business out of my sewing, but really – I actually enjoy my job (other than the hours) and don’t want my hobby to become a chore

  10. Kim December 30, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Wow, what an impressive collection of gorgeous handmade things! Sorry to hear about your job, but if it doesn’t work and just gives you a lot of stress it’s wisest to move on.. Teaching sounds like an awesome next step!

  11. Rachel December 30, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    What a fantastic year for you! I hear you on the job thing. I left my position of 4.5 years this fall, and while I was really good at it… it was time. I’ve been doing some temp jobs but really want to expand my art business and do some teaching, both fine art lessons and sewing lessons. Let’s let 2014 be the year for us! BTW – that archer is damn fine!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Yes yes, 2014 will be a wonderful year for us! Best of luck with your endeavors – sounds exciting! πŸ™‚

  12. Amy December 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    You are one productive seamstress! I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out with the new job. I was hopeful for you since I think working under a professional would be just about the best way to really take off in the world of sewing, but I hadn’t ever considered the downsides. Here’s to an awesome and fearless 2014! You deserve it!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      I think I’m just not cut out for that type of work, which isn’t to say that no one is at all. I’m just glad I figured out it wasn’t a good fit early enough on. Oh well! Bigger and better things in 2014!

  13. denise December 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    Maybe your love of the Bernina could send you to Bernina USA for employment ideas?

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Hey, if they want to sponsor me to shill their machines, I’d be ALL FOR IT πŸ˜‰

  14. Amanda December 30, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Not to sound like a weird crazy fan-girl, but I’d totally take a class from you. Serious, even with the 3 hour flight needed to get there first. On a whim I went to the sewing retreat that Made-by-Rae held in Nov. It was an amazing experience and just made me crave more of the same (same and same-but-different). So, if you’re thinking of 2-3 day classes I’d be game. In fact, I even have some time in my calendar this spring. Hint hint.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      Yeah dude, I would totally be down for that! Either a solo binge or a group retreat… I’d also be willing to travel if the expenses worked out. I’ll be thinking about what kind of stuff would work for that timeline, and in the meantime, if you decide to come visit Nashville… I’ll show you around. Both the sewing room *and* the city πŸ˜‰

  15. denimskirtsetc December 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Wow 86 items and all of them beautifully made! I love your lace trench coat. Sorry to hear about the job. It didn’t sound very much like you (sweatshop?). Teaching is far more you. All the best with your new venture!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      I wouldn’t quite put it at sweatshop, since the stuff that comes out of that place is definitely nicer than that πŸ™‚ But sometimes it felt like I was working in one! I do ok under pressure (don’t we all?), but when it comes to creative stuff like that, I don’t like to be rushed.

  16. Michelle December 30, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    SCHNIKEY! That’s a whole hell of a lot of sewing! I’m amazed! I’m sorry to hear that your job with Muna didn’t work out. If it’s any consolation, I’m incredibly impressed by your willingness to try. I’m so comfortable in my current position, that while it’s not the stuff dream’s are made of, I’m too timid to do anything else without the certainty that I won’t fail. It’s a rock/hard place sort of thing.

    At any rate, I think you will be an incredible sewing teacher! Also, I think you could totally knit a sweater with Liz, Meg and Me over skype. We’ll just sit you on the table and knit together. Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      I hear ya, I was in the same position myself… for six and a half years! I just got SO bored, I knew it was time for a change!

      Let me join a knitting session with you three ladies! Omg please please, that just sounds like so much fun!!

  17. Heather Lou December 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Sorry the job didn’t work out… but I had a feeling sewing full time for a seamstress would burn you out on doing it for fun. Not worried about you finding something else in the least. And girl? Your output ASTOUNDS me. I’ve been too busy with my new bf (its the honeymoon phase, we can barely put clothes on, let alone make them) to do ANYTHING in the last month or two. Hoping I’ll eventually not want to look at him 24/7 so I can work on stuff again. Happy new year sweets! Super excited about seeing what you come up with in the new year!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:07 am #

      Yeah, I was afraid it might, but hey I’m glad I gave it a shot nonetheless πŸ™‚ Now I know πŸ™‚ I think I could still easily do sewing stuff for work (right now I’m doing alterations for friends to make some money between jobs… so yay for that), just not full-time! Nope! Not for me!

      And wooohooo new boyfriend! Don’t you worry about making clothes, you enjoy that honeymoon phase for as long as you can hold onto it! πŸ™‚

  18. nycbookwriter December 30, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    You missed Landon’s. Go check your email Chickie.

    I did my year end last night, and I was like A) holy shit and B) I’m tired now and C) I have a shirt to go finish. LOL.

    • nycbookwriter December 30, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Oh wait, I just saw his. LOL.

  19. K-Line December 30, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I have every confidence that you will approach 2014 fearlessly – and that you will accomplish much for it!

  20. Erika December 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    So many great makes! I am so glad I found your blog this year, you are such an inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you sew up in the next year.

  21. Catherine Rodriguez December 30, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I think that you teaching classes sounds like an amazing idea! There are so many sewing studios popping up and I think that you are far better than most at explaining things and making the whole process super approachable. Good luck!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Thank you! This is very encouraging to hear πŸ™‚

  22. Shannon December 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Your recap is so inspiring! I am so happy to find your blog! Thank you!

  23. Artemisia Moltabocca December 30, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    *blinkblink* I’m in awe. I was only able to make seven costumes (I do costumes, not RL clothing) this year. In 2014 I want to make one costume a month and sew one small vintage style wardrobe. I read your time-management post (OMG she’s letting us know how she does eet!), and can only check-off one of your four points: I have a dedicated sewing space. It’s now obvious I don’t know how to use it. Your four time-management points are printed out in large letters and taped to my bulletin board.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and you look amazing lovely in all your creations.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Aw, that makes me so happy! Glad I could help πŸ™‚

  24. Danica December 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I just love your blog; you are a fantastic, creative seamstress and funny!! I think your decision to try a new job was very brave. Some people get stuck in ruts and don’t try anything new (unless forced) and never grow. Your decision to leave your new job was equally as brave – sometimes you just know things aren’t working, for whatever reason.

    Could you possibly travel around the U.S. giving workshops? I ask this selfishly – I’d love to go to one, but am nowhere near you.

    Sending good thoughts and wishes to you and your family, especially your father.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Thank you! It was definitely a brave thing to try (and somewhat uncharacteristic of me, as I don’t tend to take those kinds of risks), and even though it didn’t work out, I’m glad I did it anyway. The world didn’t implode and I’m still here and sometimes that alone is a good enough lesson, you know? πŸ™‚

      I would totally be willing to travel around! That would actually be ideal for me, as I’d get to see new people and places. It’ll take some real thinking to figure out the logistics and make it monetarily worth my while (I mean, I’d do this shit for free if I could, but free doesn’t pay my rent haha :)), but I absolutely would do it in a heartbeat. Even just starting slow and visiting one city every few months for a small class.

      • Danica December 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

        You’ve probably already explored this, but would teaching at a community college as an adjunct appeal to you? Sorry, don’t mean to dole out unsolicited career advice, but I am also in a profession that requires me to teach for $$…I work as an adjunct and it pays better than workshops or (in my case) personal lessons. I know that another nearby college offers sewing classes for credit and also as non-credit courses. I would love to take one, but I don’t have the time, nor can I afford the tuition. : (

        • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2014 at 9:30 am #

          No, not at all, I love getting career advice so don’t even worry about it! Community college is one of the areas I’m exploring; at first I was afraid you’d need some sort of degree to teach at one (I’ve never been to college, period), but apparently that’s not the case with non-credit classes. So I’m looking into it. Thanks for your tip!

  25. Beth B. December 30, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m sure it was hard sharing about your job, thank you for opening up! I can’t be the only one who was living vicariously through you and hoping it went well. You should definitely be proud for taking the risk and trying it, and you never know what other opportunities will open up for you!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:12 am #

      Exactly! It’s a bummer that it didn’t work out, but that doesn’t mean that something better isn’t already lurking on the horizon πŸ™‚

  26. micheshe December 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I love reading your posts and especially enjoyed the year in review. I just realized that darn, I have to get into sewing again to even remotely keep up with you! You rock! Sorry the job situation didn’t work out, but as they say, as one door closes, many others open up!

    I know you have answered this question before, but when you mentioned that you still love your Bernina – what model is it? I am in the market for a new machine and have been looking at Berninas but still don’t know which one is better suited to my needs.

    Good luck in 2014 and continued happiness, health and posting! Can’t wait for the first one in January…take care and keep smiling…


    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:14 am #

      It’s a 350 PE! If you like working with computerized machines, I highly recommend it as it’s such a joy to work with (and the stitch quality is just beautiful – especially the button holes).

  27. Xenia Katie December 30, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    What an amazing year of sewing you’ve had! That silk bird dress really is astounding… I never thought I needed a 40s-era silk bird dress until now.

    May 2014 bring continued health improvement for you and your dad! Take care, and thanks for all of your fun blog posts!

  28. womanmdsguide December 30, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    Happy New Year Lauren! I am slogging through your Thurlow tutorial and am so grateful you did it. Also I loved the post about sewing time because you really showed the rest of us how little bits of time add up. I hope 2014 is a better year for you and your dad does well. You have totally earned some champagne kiddo!

  29. carolinascallin December 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    That’s an impressive array of clothing for one year! I love how the snow is falling on everything…kind of festive πŸ˜‰

    You’ve done some really fun and interesting things this year. I’ve enjoyed reading your experiences in the sewing room – thanks so much for sharing your expertise! You packed loads of accomplishments into twelve months πŸ™‚

    PS…I’ll bet you’d be great at doing video sewing classes! You could do techniques, etc. and lend them your own special twist! All the best in 2014!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      I would love to do that! My little brother loves dabbling in videography.. maybe I could get him to film some??

  30. Felisha H December 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    86+ pieces is absolutely amazing!! when we emailed you joked about coming to NY to give private lessons because of the rates charged here. It’s awesome that you’re actually going to teach. Oh if I lived nearby you’d have all of my money! lol. I still can’t believe you’re self taught. and I love that your resolution is to be fearless, something I aspire to be…

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Heheh well maybe I should still go to NY to teach, since that’s apparently where the money is πŸ˜‰ ha!

  31. J December 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Crikey! That’s a lot of garments. What truly astounds me is that they’re not just cranked out POS’s that don’t fit well–those are tailored for pete’s sake. And lovely.

    I wanted to say thank you, btw. I foudn your blog this year and it has inspired me to re-set up my sewing stuff and give it a whirl again. I used to enjoy it, and I think it’s well past time to dig in.

    i also wanted to say thanks for sharing about your job. I’m sure that something with a better fit will come along soon. I had wondered when you started if doing your hobby for work would become as task instead of a love–like when I majored in English and had to dissect the hidden meanings in books–fun sucked the hell out of just reading a damned good story πŸ™‚ Now you know what’s not for you and you can scratch that off your list. Good luck, and I’ll be following your blog in the new year.

  32. Kat H December 31, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    Damn lady, that’s one super productive year!! So many pretty, pretty things…. Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2014. Have a super new year! πŸ™‚

  33. Ali December 31, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Wow, you have made so many beautiful things this year. Plus I think you are really brave to know when something is not working and change it. Well done you!

  34. Sewing Princess December 31, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    Impressive, stunning, gorgeous! These are the adjectives that come to my mind when I read your blog! Sorry about your job not working out but at least you have other opportunities! As for Skype sewing I think it could work out as mentoring or fitting assessment. Perhaps even as tips on your sewing machine.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2013 at 9:16 am #

      That’s a great idea! I could do… Skype lectures, haha!

  35. Anonymous December 31, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    Wow, your output was amazing, and most are not ‘quick and easy’ projects either! I’m definitely going to check out your time management post. Also, I commend you for taking a risk by quitting your job….very motivational especially since you were willing to share why your new venture didn’t work out and in a positive manner. Best of luck in 2014!

  36. Kimmie December 31, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    Im sorry to hear the gig with Muna didn’t work out but I’m glad it gave you an excuse to quit your job. Working a job you’re unhappy in is so toxic!!! I’m with you on to the next in 14!

  37. lorigirlsinthegarden December 31, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Amazing job on all the garments both sewn and knitted. Good luck with your new job opportunities.

  38. Roisin Muldoon December 31, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Dude, you are such a legend. What a year! I’m sorry that the sewing gig didn’t work out, but alterations are boring as shit when they’re for yourself – they must have been boring as…erm…massive runny shits for someone else. I think that teaching is totally the way forward for you. You’re such a vibrant, funny person and I know you’d be a totally amazing teacher. I’ve been doing a bit of teaching this year and it is so rewarding. I mean, I used to be a teacher (I taught high school English and also Media Studies) so teaching sewing is nice because it exercises that muscle, but it’s also just a lot of fun. You’ll be a success at whatever your turn your hand to, though, because you’re fucking class. Have a brilliant 2014, babe xx

  39. lillywarner December 31, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

    Happy New Year’s Eve Lauren! Thanks for the 2013 wrap-up. While I don’t sew nearly as much as you, I enjoy reading your blog every year. It keeps me inspired. You are amazingly prolific in the online sewing world. Also, it may be a blessing in disguise that the job didn’t work out. Photography used to be my hobby and when it became my job, I took up sewing as a hobby because I didn’t want to be taking pictures, editing, retouching, and sitting in front of a computer ALL THE TIME. After awhile, working as a seamstress may have taken the fun out of sewing in your spare time, so you may be better off!

  40. Tilly December 31, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Happy new year, Lauren! You are such an inspiration – I can’t believe how many things you made this year, and not just any old rubbish, but GORGEOUS things! Good for you for trying the alterations gig but realising it’s not for you. It must have been great experience, but I know how different industrial sewing machines and professional (time-saving) techniques are, so it also must have been a bit frustrating to be working so quickly and probably not really enjoying the process. I can just feel that 2014 is going to be a great year for you. Drop me an email any time you want to bounce some ideas around and strategise! xxx

  41. Rachelle December 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Wowza Lauren, I hope you are giving yourself some queen-size pats on the back for your incredible work this year. Obviously you really love sewing, and I am eternally grateful that you also love sharing your makes and knowledge with us! I think “Don’t be jealous, just come be fabulous with me…” should be your blog motto! Lol.

    It sounds like you are keeping your head up re: the job situation. I am sure good things are coming your way, with all your talent, commitment and hard working-ness! Atm this post is distracting me from obsessively checking my email for a response from my latest interview. Job hunting is not for the faint of heart, so I’m sending good vibes your way.

    Also, Happy New Year!

    I am anticipating more sewing posts on my own blog this year – the past few weeks has seen me sewing and learning basic techniques and it is SO EXCITING! I keep dancing around and telling my husband LOOK, I MADE A THING!

  42. Teresa Wasick (@TeresaWasick) December 31, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Way to go! What a great sewing year you had! I say “Yes” to Skype lessons. Oh, and that last line brought tears to my eyes. I also want to be fearless.

  43. Lisa McMahan January 1, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    Happy New Year!! Yes to Skype lessons as well. I think that would be a fantastic way to get your expert knowledge into the hands of many. You are an inspiration and will be a wonderful teacher.

  44. fionaparker17 January 1, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    86?! And I love them all! I think my favourite is your Fabulous Silk Birds dress, so stunning! Sorry to hear your seamstress job didn’t work out but I think you’re due an awesome 2014! I wish I lived near Nashville and could have lessons…

  45. Anonymous January 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    You are my hero! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  46. Anonymous January 1, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

    wow, you’ve been awfully busy!! Well done, such a fab wardrobe you have, its been great stalking you,you give me the inspiration to get off my lazy fat butt and get sewing! Love your knitted stuff too, I would never have gotten into Ravelry if I had not found you, so thanks very much for your fabby blog xx

  47. Beth Morrell January 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    Hi, Lauren! I love following your blog and often laugh out loud while reading, mostly in response to the profanity that you use as it is a key component in my sewing endeavors. I was thrilled to read in your Year in Review post that you will be teaching!! I live in Nashville and had considered contacting you to get some professional help with fitting. I have sewn for forty years, but struggle mightily with proper fitting when using patterns from the Big Four. Please let me know when your teaching schedule begins to gel as I will definitely look forward to learning more about the craft from you. Feel free to email me or contact directly at 615.400.5984.

    Best regards for a fabulous new year!! Beth

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      I will definitely get in touch with you when I figure out a class schedule. In the meantime, I am taking on private lessons, so if you’d like a one-on-one session, email me and we can go from there! My schedule is pretty open these days πŸ™‚

  48. mertxelasierra January 1, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Hello! I just discoverd your blog, and I love it! You are productive, sew very well, and your writing is really nice too. I’ll be following you, Lauren!

  49. Sarah January 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    I would love to take Skype sewing lessons with you! Or even have a Skype sewing buddy who is also a beginner (for the readers). Sewing together is fun, but usually that means at least one person is packing up their crap to haul it somewhere else that is inevitably cramped.

    • Rachelle January 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Hi Sarah, I’m just learning to sew and would love to skype with you sometime!

      • Rachelle January 2, 2014 at 6:06 pm #

        If you email me at abackwardsprogress (at) hotmail (dot) com I will send you my Skype info.

  50. Rachel Marie January 1, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    Your last paragraph could have been written by me, it is exactly how I am feeling! My new years resolution was to leave self-doubt behind and to remember that set backs or plans working out differently than I expected do not equate to personal failure. It’s good to take chances, you learn so much about yourself by doing so!

    And my goodness, you are such a prolific sewer. It is always inspiring to stop by your blog πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Good point! Set backs do not translate to personal failure, it just means things went a different route! It’s so easy to forget that sometimes.

  51. Sally January 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm #

    Bravo!! You are a seam-makin’ rock star! AND you are such an inspiration . I have one question that is none of my business but thought I’d ask…..how did you lose the weight to get to your tininess now?

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2014 at 9:38 am #

      I stopped taking hormonal birth control and got an IUD, then the weight started dropping. My dr thinks the hormones were causing me to gain, which makes sense because now that I’m off them I’m very close to the same weight I was before I started that whole regimen 10+ years ago. Obviously I’m not a medical professional and please don’t take this comment as a weight-loss plan, but that’s how it worked out for me!

  52. Philippa January 2, 2014 at 2:09 am #

    You had a great sewing year and made some fantastic stuff…I used to sew for a living too, doing alterations. Not only was it unprofitable but it was also joyless, so I completely identify with what you are saying above. For me, it’s the creativity of sewing that’s fun, not being on a production line! You have so much talent and your posts always make me laugh with the way you put things. I have really enjoyed reading your blog this past year and wish you lots of luck finding the right job for you x

  53. Rochelle New January 2, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    You are quite literally, a sewing machine!! I’m really sorry your job didn’t work out. That’s EXACTLY what happened with my old job in Vermont. As much as I wanted to love it, and did love it, you just have to be cohesive with your coworkers and I just wasn’t a good enough match for my boss I guess. It happens. I have no doubts that you will come out on top in 2014 and be successful at whatever you choose πŸ™‚

    p.s. don’t be surprised if I send you 25 emails as I get into my “sew a jacket” goal this year lol! You’ll be sorry you offered to help bahaha πŸ˜›


  54. Jennifer, Workroom Social January 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

    Loved reading your notes on 2013! I also HATE alterations. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2014!!

  55. Miss Celie January 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    You are amazing! Sorry things with the job didn’t work out, but it got you out of something you had grown out of. I know great things are ahead of you!

  56. Marie January 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    You are jaw-droppingly productive and generally amazing! Kudos to you lady! So sorry to hear the news on the job front, but if something isn’t making you happy, then it’s not the right thing for you! I’m sure that with your talents you’ll get snapped up before you know it, doing something you truly love!

  57. tialys January 5, 2014 at 3:36 am #

    I really enjoyed seeing all your projects over the past year. Luckily, I don’t need that many clothes so I don’t need to match your productivity levels but am full of admiration for your skill and speed. I hope all works out on the work front for you and you have better luck with your health in the New Year.
    p.s. I also hate alterations and repairs – I think we’re normal.

  58. symondezyn January 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    As always, you’re disgustingly productive LOL – but really well done!! I’m sure you will find your niche in the job world, but you know what? even if you don’t, it’s just a job ^__^ The real stuff happens when we have our own time, right? (and if you’re Lladybird, you do so much more of the real stuff than the rest of us humans!! LOL) Much love and best wishes for 2014! πŸ™‚ XO

  59. craftylandr January 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    I discovered your blog in 2013 and love it so much. I’m behind on blog reading but had to comment on this post. First off, WHOA DUDE, you made so many items. Totally impressive. Secondly, I’m so glad your dad is ok and feeling better. Family illness is sooooo stressful.:( Thirdly, I’m so sorry that your new gig didn’t work out. =( And finally, I’m so thrilled that you will be competing in Project Sewn. CAN’T WAIT to see what you design.

  60. Lady ID January 13, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    Wow. That’s really all I can saw. You made A LOT of stuff. A whole wardrobe. I need to get on my game, lol

  61. Jody January 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    I love your blog! It’s informative, consistent, personal without being TMI, and most importantly authentic. I do have one small suggestion for your next trip to NYC. If your there on a weekday drop by Elliot Berman Textiles. It’s a good juxtaposition to Mood. Keep up the good work!

    • LLADYBIRD January 15, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

      I think we did briefly stop there and I about died over the prices πŸ™‚ But yeah, I gotta check it out for real! Thanks for the tip, and your overall sweet comment πŸ™‚

  62. Bec January 16, 2014 at 4:47 am #

    You are a freaken machine woman πŸ™‚

  63. missjoiedevivre January 18, 2014 at 1:09 am #

    Holy shit. That’s just, wow, umm, wow. That’s a LOT of sewing. And it’s all beautiful, covetable, and I’d wear about 95% of it in a heartbeat (you know, in the odd even that I lost about half my body weight at the same time you decided to post your entire wardrobe half way around the world). You are amazing! (And absolutely my sewing and style icon).

    I’m sorry to hear about the seamstress role, but I’m glad you had a chance to try it (so many of us aren’t that brave!) and have learned so much, and I can’t wait to see what incredibleness 2014 brings you, and you bring us!


  1. Welcome 2014 | Sew a crooked line - January 2, 2014

    […] sew so many clothes! One lovely sewer Lauren over at Lladybird, made 86 items; check her post out here.Β Oh how I wish, but alas that is not me. I don’t have the need for this many clothes, I just […]

  2. Welcome 2014 – whereicreate.net Managed WordPress Site - October 18, 2014

    […] sew so many clothes! One lovely sewer Lauren over at Lladybird, made 86 items; check her post out here. Oh how I wish, but alas that is not me. I don’t have the need for this many clothes, I […]

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