This year (and in years past) I have been so inspired by you fancy bloggers who put together those clever year-end mosaics. This year I decided to give it a go myself using Mosaic Maker and it turns out, it was very simple! If you haven't tried it, you should. It's quite fun! I made one mosaic for each quarter of the year.
January - March
Between having unrelenting morning sickness and our house flooding, this was my slowest quarter of the year for sewing. I made 9 dresses, a tunic, two pair of leggings, and one pair of pants.
What I learned: This was my first time sewing with knits outside of making leggings. I learned how to sew neckbands. I learned not to buy cheap knits.
My favorites: I really loved Tia's piped geranium dress in the Belgian fabric from An and Tia's Happy Homemade dress in voile - also from An.
What didn't work for us: I loved the practicality of the knit skater dresses, but the animal print fabric faded quite a lot and pilled terribly. Those dresses are still in heavy rotation, though. Iris rejected the chambray pinafore, even though it was, in my opinion, one of the cutest things I've ever made for her. The Happy Handmade Pinafore was too big on Iris, but I love it and think it should fit well now. Last winter, Tia did not want to wear the chocolate linen wide leg pants, but has recently taken a liking to them.
April - June
Between being back in my home and being firmly planted in the second trimester of my pregnancy, things picked up in this quarter. I made 8 dresses, two pair of shorts, 4 shirts, 5 skirts, one romper, and two swimming suits.
What I learned: Learning how to sew swimming suits was the highlight of this quarter! (Thanks, Suz!). I wrote a skirt tutorial and I (mostly) self-drafted a romper pattern.
My favorites: I made some of my favorite dresses ever during this quarter: the Bohemian Babydoll dress, the Persimmon dress, and the hybrid pinafore. I also really loved the Caroline Party Dress and the Lotta dress. And the Cosi swimsuits. (I'm diluting the meaning of the word favorite!).
What didn't work for us: I tried to sew outside of my comfort color zone (or non-color comfort zone) with black and white houndstooth for the O+S Hide and Seek Dress. Tia wears this dress a lot, but I am just not a black-and-white person, literally or metaphorically. So this color scheme did not work for me. I find it too severe.
I made some measurement errors with the persimmon dress and the hide-and-seek (altered) dress and they were both scandalously short when Indigo was playing. So those were not worn and instead were stored away for Tia. Tia is on the shortish side, so they should be just right on her next year. Tia never wore the romper that I labored hours over for Vintage May. The top for Indigo's Vintage May ensamble would not stay tucked into the skirt or sash and was ridiculously hard to iron. Those were not worn, but the skirt has been worn quite a lot.
I tried again to venture out of my comfort zone with Indigo's chartreuse tshirt, but it's just too blindingly bright for me. As it turns out, my love of bright colors inversely correlates to the size of our family. As our family has grown, it seems I've become more and more drawn to neutrals. I dress Hazel in almost exclusively neutrals. (Consequently, everyone thinks she's a boy.) Perhaps the inevitable chaos of a large family makes me seek out quieter elements in my environment?
With Hazel due to arrive at the end of July, I was in pretty serious nesting mode this quarter and my sewing showed it. I made 6 newborn gowns, 3 swimming suits, 2 dresses, 2 tunics, 2 pair of shorts, 7 throw pillows, and one wholecloth quilt (not pictured).
I did this interview for Kids Clothes Week on why I sew. I was moved by the amazingness of the sewing community when I received these mobile ornaments for Hazel as well as some really thoughtful and special handmade gifts for her. I could not believe the generosity of it all. It was so humbling. The goodness of this community is just incredible and man, you ladies are so talented!
What I learned: That I really love sewing swimming suits! I became very comfortable sewing knits. I drafted a kimono newborn gown (I wish I would have saved that pattern!) and I created my newborn gown pattern (available here).
My favorites: Though both are pretty understated, my favorites were the Geranium tunic I made for Iris and my second Bohemian Babydoll dress for Indigo. I also loved those Cosi swimsuits!
What didn't work for us: The 3 newborn gowns I made from an Etsy pattern were way too big for Hazel - but that led me to create my newborn gown pattern. The new pattern fit well and Hazel ended up spending her first three months of life living in newborn gowns made in the coziest knit fabrics! The newborn knot hats were too big for Hazel, too.
Indigo is more inclined to wear dresses so the shearwater kaftan didn't get worn much, despite me making it in the most incredible, silky Arizona voile.
I made 6 dresses, 8 shirts (one not pictured/blogged), 1 skirt, 1 pair of bubble shorts, 3 nightgowns, 1 pajama set for Jude, and 1 newborn gown.
What I learned: One of the hardest things I learned this last quarter was to digitize a pattern. Because I was self-taught using tutorials and youtube videos, the learning curve was really steep and frustrating.
I also discovered stretch thread! I sewed more knits than wovens. Considering I was terrified of knits last year, that was some good progress. I finally understand the desire to make things like t-shirts. While they aren't the most impressive things to sew, they are just so wearable.
Finally, I tried some self-sewing, making two Bento tops for myself, which I wear all the time, though I forgot to blog one of them. :)
My favorites: The Sunday Picnic dress and the Hattie dress were my favorites. I also love when Iris wears my flipped Hattie. That dress didn't photograph well, but she looks darling in it. Tia wears her orange lace peplum top as often as possible and the red and grey ottobre dress is another favorite of hers.
What didn't work for us: I'm happy to report that everything I made this last quarter is getting lots of wear! There really wasn't anything that didn't work -with the possible exception of using stretch thread in my bobbin only. A few of the girls' hems have broken but I'm not sure if that's from my technique or from them doing things like stretching the tops over their knees! :0
That brings my total for the year to:
7 newborn gowns
5 swimming suits
and my grand total to 72 garments! My goal is to sew about one garment/week, so I am very surprised that I made so many things this year!
I don't have any specific New Year's resewlutions (hehe) but I would like to keep my girls' wardrobe as close to being fully handmade as I can... as long as that continues to work for my family.
How about you? Do you have any sewing goals for the new year? I do have a looong list of Ottobre patterns that I can't wait to sew. I hope I'll get to at least some of them!
Happy New Year!