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!