When looking back on 2018, there is no doubt in my mind that it was a great year for sewing for me! I’d like to think of it as “The Year of the Pants”, since it was the year I finally overcame my fear of pants fitting and tackled a few new patterns for my bottom half. I won’t say I’ve solved all the pants fitting mysteries though, I think that 2019 may end up being “The Year of the Pants 2.0”. But a lot more happened this year than just sewing pants!
All three items are winners made this year: Blackwood Cardigan, Grainline Farrow Hack, and Ginger Jeans!
At the beginning of the year, I decided I needed to start tracking my sewing projects, or at least the garments. I wrapped up last year with no idea how many things I had made or what they were! I started off strong by sketching every project after I finished it and taking thorough notes. By the time the year was over, though, I was just making a list with very minimal notes. I’d like to start this back up again for next year!
In March of 2018, I was asked to be an editor on the Curvy Sewing Collective website, and its been a whirlwind since then.
I decided to dust the ashes off my old blog, migrated to wordpress, and get back to blogging. I’ve been active on Instagram for a few years, but a blog is undoubtedly a better way to share more details about projects. Of course, it is also more time consuming, so sometimes I wonder if its worth it! I’ve struck the balance of only blogging about the projects that are more detailed or I think might be more interesting or helpful to others. In fact, I sewed 59 garments this year and only 25 of them made it to the blog. Speaking of, please let me know if there is anything you would like to see more (or less) of.
In August, I took the plunge upgraded my camera (and by upgraded my camera, I mean went from using my iPad to using an actual camera) and I have no regrets! Its nice to be able to share better details of my projects.
In October, I signed up for a craft fair on total impulse. I didn’t even share anything about it here on the blog it all came and went so fast! It was a fun experience, but a lot of work and I realized that production sewing is NOT for me! However, it did get me thinking about where I would like to go with my sewing in the future. Possible side hustle incoming?
In preparation for the craft fair, I embarked on a project to make the little zipper pouches I’ve been making for years a bit more sustainable. I shared a post about it on the Sewcialists Blog, there is something else that never made it to this blog!
Also related to the craft fair, I did a major overhaul of the blog and graphics. I even got some business cards printed and finally figured out how to get the blog to point to TheGreenViolet.com, a domain that I’ve owned for over 10 years and never used!
In November and December, I coordinated the Curvy Year of Sewing Cardigans and Kimonos theme on the Curvy Sewing Website. I worked with a couple of lovely guest contributors, shared some Same Pattern Different Body posts with my fellow contributors, and dug out my old Limoncello Cardigan for a review.
This is the first year I have tracked my projects. I started off strong with a sketchbook, but later in the year just resorted to taking notes; however I do think I managed to pretty accurately keep a record of all the garments I made. I am really starting to see the benefit of keeping good notes on projects, I’ve made so many things at this point that I can’t remember any details if I don’t write them down. And, I remake a lot of patterns, so its nice to remember what I tweaked when I made it the first time and note what I might need to change for the next attempt.
This year, I made 59 garments! What??? I’m quite conflicted on how I feel about this. On the one hand, it was obviously great sewing practice, I learned a lot about fit this year and I made more garments that are wearable for everyday life. Between pants, leggings, and shorts, I made 10 practical garments for my lower half, which is surely twice what I have made in past years (if only I had tracked it!). I also hit the tee shirts and tops pretty hard, which I know was a major gap in my wardrobe heading into this year. I still made a lot of dresses, but I also included tunics in that category, so its a bit inflated. In past years, I think about 90% of what I made was dresses, and due to work restrictions, they only ended up being about 30% of what I wore. I’m glad I made some improvements in that area, but on the other hand, 59 garments is WAY too many garments for one person.
Fortunately, only 56 of those were actually for me since I made one garment each for my mom and sister and have one tester garment in the UFO pile. Obviously, that is sarcasm, 56 new garments about 46 garments too many! I’m happy to see that at least most of the garments are getting worn. When I reviewed each garment’s usefulness, I just estimated how many times I thought it had been worn. Some are items have integrated seamlessly into my everyday wardrobe, while others haven’t. I tried to identify reasons why some items weren’t being worn, and it mostly came down to poor fit and bad fabric choices. No surprises there! There are a couple of inevitable “special use” items that are naturally going to be less than 10 uses and there are a few that were made at the end of a particular season and won’t get worn much until next year (I’m looking at you, second pair of Arenite Pants). So overall, I think it was only maybe five or so total flops.
So which pattern designers have I used the most? Its no surprise that I have used a ton of Cashmerette patterns! I pattern test for Jenny so I get the patterns free, plus they always fit great as long as I grade between sizes for my pear shape! I was surprised that Helen’s Closet ranked so high on my list since I hadn’t tried any of her patterns until this year. I’m excited to see that she is working on expanding her pattern size range for next year, since I think she designs the sort of slightly trendy basics that I am drawn to. The four Elliott Sweaters I made late last year really pushed Helen’s Closet up towards the top. Sew Liberated was another new pattern company for me this year, and while I’m a bit on the fence about the fit on me (and in the upper sizes of her range), I can see from thi chart that I still keep making her patterns! I am really digging that sort of lagenlook-light thing they have going on! Seamwork continues to be a winner for me, which is great because their size range is pretty good which means they are great to review for the CSC. Sure, some of their patterns (and definitely some of their sample sewing) are questionable, but there are some gems in there. Interestingly, the five garments from Grainline are all the same pattern, the Penny Raglan!
I also thought it would be interesting to throw my fabric source in here, just out of interest! Joann’s is the only store within an hour’s drive of me (and its right there at an hour away), so its no surprise that most of my fabric came from there! Stitchology and Hipstich are too localish to me fabrics stores, clocking in at two hours away in Albuquerque. I managed to get down there for fabric shopping three times this year, which was great. Really, nothing compares to buying in person!
So what was my number one make of the year? If I had to pick just one, I think I would say the Ames Jeans that I made at the end of the year and have yet to be blogged! I was able to combine knowledge from from my other three pairs of Ames Jeans, my Ginger Jeans, and the Wide Leg pants to get the best fit yet. Its far from perfect, but it has all the features I’m looking for in an everyday pants pattern: straight legs and a high waist!!
So whats in store for next year? You’ll have to wait and see because this post is already way too long!