2013: A Sewing Review

Hello and happy 2014! My blogging muscle feels a bit rusty. I’ve been in Scotland since Christmas Eve, eating at 4 hour intervals (plus snacks), and watching classic musicals on TV. I’m not sure how I’m going to get my brain back into gear for real life but a blog post seems like a good place to start.

I’m a bit late, but I wanted to join in the year-end review mania currently sweeping across sewing blog land. Here’s my attempt.

Top 5 sewing successes

Based on what I wore the most:


  1. Giraffe print blouse from a Burda magazine pattern. This is a surprise late entry! I didn’t like this at all when I sewed it, but I discovered it looked great with the top button undone and the sleeves rolled up and I’ve worn it a lot.
  2. Vintage Maudella shirt. I’ve made a few shirts over the years but this is the first one I’ve been pleased with.
  3. McCalls 6355 dress. This is probably my most worn item this year. It’s so comfortable and simple, and it was ridiculously easy to sew. The fabric was from the magical Tottenham warehouse, which I plan on visiting again in 2014.
  4. Blue skinny jeans. Wore them to death this summer and they’re a bit tired and saggy now. But it was good while it lasted.
  5. Emerald green skirt. I was particularly pleased with this because it was a rip-off of a designer skirt I saw online and it worked out perfectly, which almost never happens. The fabric was perfect.

From the evidence of this, I need to make more separates and use more geometric prints.

Top sewing failures of 2013:

sewing failures

  1. I have still massively FAILED to make a jumpsuit, after talking about it in, er, February. Blogging about potential projects seems to be the kiss of death for me.
  2. I am bad at reusing patterns.Then I put off sewing new patterns because I know I’ll have to make fitting changes. This seems a bit short-sighted.
  3. My biggest sewing disasters this year came from mismatching pattern and fabric. My yellow skirt wasn’t crisp enough to hold pleats, and I ended up having to re-jig it. My denim skirt was way too heavy, and the bias hem I did constantly flips up.
  4. I also need to take into account what I actually wear. My second pair of jeans are languishing in a drawer because I can’t be doing with brown. The skater dress I made ended up way too short to be practical.
  5. I need to take better photos. Don’t think I’ll be able to do much about this until it starts getting light for more than 2 hours a week (sometime in mid-May judging from last year’s weather). I’d quite like to do a whole blog revamp as well but my design skillz are somewhat lacking.

Wedding bells

Weddings seem to be the only time I dress up nowadays, and in 2013 I attended three (as well as my own, but I didn’t make a dress for that), and managed to finish a new outfit in time for each of them – a pink New Look shirtdress, a floral number also from New Look, and a Pretty Woman style spotty dress from a vintage Maudella pattern.

wedding dressesNext year I have at least two nuptials lined up, so I need to start planning…

Top 5 blog posts of 2013, according to WordPress:

  1. Where I buy fabric in London and online – I need to re-write this. If I’d known it would get so many views I’d have spent a bit more time on it.
  2. 20 Top Tips for Topstitching – Probably the only genuinely useful post on this blog.
  3. Psychedelic jungle By Hand London Anna Dress – I have fabric to make another one of these; one of the top patterns of the year I reckon.
  4. The Great British Sewing Bee – Can’t wait for the 2014 series!
  5. The Scientific Sewing Enjoyment Chart100% scientific nonsense.

I really feel like my sewing has improved 100% this year, and blogging has been a huge part of that, particularly being part of the Minerva Network which has been loads of fun.

I’m so grateful to everyone who reads this blog, even if you’re only doing it because we’re related, or if you enjoy laughing at my strange facial expressions. Thank you all anyway. Here’s to a brilliant 2014!

46 thoughts on “2013: A Sewing Review

  1. abinadressmaker January 7, 2014 / 2:47 PM

    I loved your brown spotty dress but really, really need to make that New Look shirt dress. It’s such a great shape. Happy belated New Year!

    • yesilikethat January 7, 2014 / 3:19 PM

      The 6070? It is a lovely shape. Tempted to make another one in a ponte!

    • abinadressmaker January 7, 2014 / 3:42 PM

      I’d love to see how that turned out! I was actually thinking of the 6180 for myself. I wonder if I have any suitable fabric in the stash… that pink linen is so lovely and drapey – I feel like it might be a bit boxy in anything stiffer.

    • yesilikethat January 7, 2014 / 3:44 PM

      It does have quite a bit of heft to it in real life (the pink fabric), although I agree that anything too heavy will make the gathered waist look a bit strange.

  2. Kathryn January 7, 2014 / 5:06 AM

    Happy new year! What a great year you’ve had! That emerald green skirt always gets me- I love it! And those wedding dresses are all gorgeous!

  3. IreneDAdler January 6, 2014 / 7:25 AM

    Happy New Year! You’re one of my favorite bloggers and I always love reading your posts 😀 I made a brief foray into blogging but didn’t keep at it because taking pictures and stuff was such a bother, so I heartily appreciate the time and energy you put into your blog. Thanks so much and may you have a wonderful year of sewing!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:36 AM

      Thank you, that’s really nice of you to say! I’m amazed I’ve stuck at this to be honest, I’m not normally good at keeping things up. I think I just really enjoy it!

  4. Charise @ CRUNCH compass January 5, 2014 / 3:52 AM

    I honestly love everything you sew, “failures” and all! Happy New Year & happy sewing!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:36 AM

      Aw thank you. The real stinkers I don’t put on the blog at all… ha ha. Mainly because I never can be bothered to finish them.

  5. gingermakes January 5, 2014 / 2:21 AM

    You had such a fantastic year! I love everything, but the shirts and the wedding dresses are amazing!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:36 AM

      Thanks! You had a pretty awesome year yourself! I must make an Archer after seeing your version. x

  6. Amy January 4, 2014 / 11:46 PM

    Nice round up. I’m glad you came round to the giraffe blouse. It was always one of my favourites. I’m currently in the middle of my first pair of jeans and your top stitching post definitely is helpful.

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:35 AM

      I’m gutted that I appear to have lost the Burda pattern! I suppose I will have to trace it again, urgh. I definitely want to make another one. Good luck with your jeans!

  7. Kelly January 4, 2014 / 5:15 PM

    You had some really great hits this year! Especially the jeans, how wonderful to have worked out such an essential pattern! Best wishes for the new year!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:35 AM

      You too! I want to try a new jeans pattern in 2014, might leave it towards the end of the year though.

  8. Amy January 4, 2014 / 1:49 PM

    You’ve made a lovely collection–I especially love the blue skinnies and the elegant wedding dresses. I’m with you on the #2 (resuing patterns)–resuing is one of my personal goals for this year. Hope it is an amazing year for you!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:34 AM

      I know, it’s crazy how new patterns have such an appeal when you’ve already spent the time working out the fit and other issues on patterns you’ve already made. I must do some re-using this year.

  9. Tamsin W-P January 4, 2014 / 12:29 PM

    Hi, love the round up and as someone else said even the misses look good. I am also keen to visit the Tottenham warehouse of knits, but would much rather go with some one who has been before. I would definitely be up for a joint trip…..

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:34 AM

      okay I am definitely going to get on this! x

  10. nx44 January 4, 2014 / 12:00 AM

    Happy New Year! I just started blogging in September and already feel like my sewing has improved, yippee. My favourite make of yours is the floral wedding guest dress, your dress turned out so well I want to buy the pattern.

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:33 AM

      It’s a great pattern, I highly recommend it! Seems to be a bit overlooked but it’s lovely.

  11. Melanie January 3, 2014 / 11:18 PM

    I love all of your makes, the failures all look great too (I especially like your denim skirt). I wish I’d read your London Fabric shopping post before I headed over there last August. D’oh!

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:33 AM

      I was thinking about making a Google Map but it’s probably already been done. I will check!

  12. Kirsty January 3, 2014 / 11:09 PM

    Happy new year! Your scientifc sewing enjoyment chart makes me laugh every time. Great makes this year and looking forward to a year of great makes in 2014.

    • yesilikethat January 6, 2014 / 9:33 AM

      You too! I look forward to seeing some more Liberty wonders from you in 2014 x

  13. Marie January 3, 2014 / 11:00 PM

    Happy New Year Kathryn! I’m a huge fan of your style and can’t wait to see what you create in 2014. You had an incredible year in 2013!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 11:04 PM

      Wow thanks Marie, that is so nice! I loved your round up of 2013, looking forward to seeing all your new makes in the New Year x

  14. Laurie January 3, 2014 / 10:54 PM

    The green skirt and blue jeans are awesome! As is everything else in your hits list. Your misses don’t look bad but I know you are the one that has to wear them! Your dressy dresses are beautiful- especially that floral one. Here’s to the New Year and a new year of sewing!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 11:04 PM

      Thanks Laurie! I love weddings because it gives me the impetus to make something new 🙂 Hope you have an amazing 2014 of sewing!

  15. fionaparker17 January 3, 2014 / 10:15 PM

    Happy New Year Kathryn! Loving your successes (and your so called failures too to be honest!) I really love the floral New Look dress you made. I’m super keen to visit the mysterious magical Tottenham Warehouse of knits, maybe we could do a joint trip??

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 11:02 PM

      Ooh definitely! I will put out the word. It’s only open in the week which is annoying, but it’s worth taking a half-day holiday for! 🙂

  16. creative pixie January 3, 2014 / 10:07 PM

    Happy new year to you.

  17. Miss Demeanour January 3, 2014 / 9:41 PM

    I blinking love your facial expressions and you’ve made a tonne doll and a tonne of lovely stuff as well. Well done you and happy new year xxx

  18. Rach January 3, 2014 / 9:31 PM

    Wow, your so hard on yourself about your fails. I’d be brimming with pride if I made all the lovely clothes you’ve made! Keep up the good work!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 9:39 PM

      Thanks! I am pretty pleased with everything I’ve sewn this year, still need to get round to making that jumpsuit though…

  19. Hazel January 3, 2014 / 9:30 PM

    Happy New Year love! I’ve loved your post last year, your giraffe print blouse and blue jeans are definite sewing successes! Can’t wait to see what you make this year 🙂

  20. sewamysew January 3, 2014 / 9:26 PM

    I’m so glad to see you’re getting lots of wear out of your Maudella vintage shirt I loved it when I first saw the post. My other fav on you is that pretty woman dress! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with in 2014.

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 9:39 PM

      Thanks Amy! I must make another Maudella shirt. Looking forward to seeing what you make too, I was coveting everything in your top 5 roundup!

  21. ouija January 3, 2014 / 8:34 PM

    That Maudella shirt is fantastic – looks so professional & the fit is really nice. I’ve never got round to trying a shirt – didn’t seem worth the angst! – but you’ve made me want to have a go this year. I love all three wedding outfits too. Thanks for the inspirey-ness & good luck with 2014’s sewing!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 8:37 PM

      Thank you, I think it was the first shirt where I worked on the fit which probably explains why I like it the best 🙂 Although the arms are about 2 inches too short… I have gorilla arms!

  22. helen January 3, 2014 / 8:15 PM

    I think your photos are good but you are right, not having much daylight is a pain. The emerald skirt is lovely and I admire you for making jeans and them looking so good!
    My top post was the topstitching – seriously learnt some thing there.

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 8:37 PM

      Ah brilliant I’m glad it was helpful. I must make more skirts this year!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 8:37 PM

      Me too! Lots to look forward to 🙂

  23. Helen January 3, 2014 / 8:02 PM

    Happy New Year! I love your emerald skirt and the brown spotty dress – they are my favourites of your makes for 2013, so glad you listed them both! Great post! I’m looking forward to seeing what you make this year!

    • yesilikethat January 3, 2014 / 8:36 PM

      Thanks Helen! And a happy new year to you! x

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s