2014 Sewing Review

On Monday (Monday? Yes, I think it was Monday) I read through Lauren’s (American Duchess) sewing year in review post and enjoyed it so much I decided to do my own!

My ulterior motive for this is that I’m so behind on my blogging that I don’t think I’ll be able to catch-up, so there will be (several) new reveals to get them out of the way. Some of these will still have dedicated posts, but it should ease-up some of the backlog.

January – March

This period was taken up almost exclusively by the herculean effort of reproducing Charles James’ Tree gown:

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And the 1912 superhero evening cape/wrap I made to go with it:

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This was a truly monumental project for me and to say I learned a lot would be the understatement of the year. This was such an education and through it I also discovered a real love and fascination for clothing with serious understructure!

In addition to this dress I made a Charles James inspired one for a friend, too:

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plus this sassy little capelet (that I totally want to make for myself too):

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April

After these monumental projects I really wanted and needed to tone things down a lot.

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I made a Zinnia skirt in a black wool blend. It was easy, quick, and filled a basic need in my wardrobe – pretty much the entire opposite of the prior 3 months of sewing!

I also managed to add one piece to my “Canadian Spring” wardrobe, the pale robins egg and charcoal wool dress. Although I made it in April I didn’t manage to photograph until sometime in May, hence wearing it without tights. It mostly got worn with tights.

May

This year I participated in MMM (MeMadeMay) for the first time. I gave myself the challenge of wearing at least 1 make from an Indie patterns each week, and sewing only from Indie patterns for the month.

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I cheated some by making repeats but, how does that phrase go? Sorrynotsorry?

The first two dresses are the Elisalex pattern and the next two are the Macaron bodice with full skirts, and the last one I called the ModMacathorn because it was a modcloth inspired modification of the Macaron bodice combined with the Hawthorn skirt.

A prolific month. That made me very happy.

June/July

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Summer dresses! I love sewing summer dresses! Here we have a Cambie, 2 Belladone’s with full skirts, and 2 more modified Macarons

August

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I made this Lonsdale out of a really beautiful cotton. Besides the wonderful print, the fabric is really lightweight, semi-sheer, but with a satin/sateen weave – gorgeous stuff! Unfortunately, I don’t love how this dress looks on me. I’m bummed because I love the fabric so much. I feel like it makes my hips look really wide and, odd as it may seem, I think it needs particular footwear to look good and I don’t know if I have it. I’m going to revisit this dress again come next summer, I really want to wear this fabric. I started running again in August and since Sept/Oct it’s started paying off, so hopefully that will help with how it looks on me. Oh – and I also lined it with lavender habotai/china silk, so it feels pretty amazing on!

September

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In contrast to my less-than-love-it Lonsdale, I love love love the first fall dress I made in September. It’s a sheer cotton print courtesy of some Edmonton thrift store from years ago made into a vintage Simplicity pattern from the early 60s. I probably wore this at some point every week after I finished it until it was officially winter.

In September I also started on a full set of new Victorian undergarments. For the past year I’ve felt increasingly intrigued by the Natural Form era. I’ve also become a lot more interested in structural foundations since my big learning experience with Tree. Add these together and you get a whole set of Natural Form foundation garments – AND THEY’RE AWESOME!!

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail here as I intend to do a dedicated post(s) for these, but here you get a sneak peak! I started with a chemise (not pictured because it didn’t work out – what an inauspicious beginning for an endeavour that turned out so well lol), split drawers (these are seriously fabulous to wear) and one of my other proudest achievements this year – a new corset!! I think this may be one of the single prettiest things I’ve made. It actually looks waaayyyy better on smooshable me than unyielding Maddy, but this was the quick n’ easy was to get photos for this post. I’ll do photos of it on me for the later, more detailed posts.

October

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Here we have my second fall dress of the year, a stretch cotton made into a current McCalls wrap dress pattern.

And the Victorian underthings-making continued with a new petticoat from a Truly Victorian pattern and a bustle pad I made based on extant examples (which I think may be the cutest thing I’ve ever made!)

November

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There was my third fall dress made from wool and a mash-up of two early 60s patterns. I’m definitely doing a dedicated post for this wool one, it’s one of my more ‘high-end’ makes.

The blue/purple cotton print dress is also from a vintage early 60s pattern and is both intended and used as a ‘house dress’. It’s great for days and times I know I don’t need to worry about going outside (which, as a grad student in the middle of thesis writing is a lot of the time). I want to make several more of these, but don’t know if that will happen.

And the final two pieces of Natural Form structural stuff happened over November too: the very cool hoop petticoat and rufflicious petticoat train – both from Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol 1. So. Pretty. Detailed posts coming.

December

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I added a little to my stash of hand-made Christmas décor this year with these quickie lumbar cushion covers. A great way to use up scraps of stuff!

The big story for this month, however, was my crazy-ass decision to make this new 1880s ensemble. It was a totally spontaneous decision made, with fabrics and patterns chosen in one afternoon! I put most of it together in a week, but then spent the next 3 weeks finishing it and making the Dolman. You better believe this outfit will also get dedicated posts so I won’t say much more about it now except that I cannot say how happy I am with how it turned out! A total distraction from the Natural Form stuff I’m working towards, but I’m so not sorry!

Not too shabby a year output-wise, I’m counting 30 items here (if I consider the winter Victorian outfit and dolman as two separate things), which makes more than 2 items per month on average. Of course, I wish there was more (I want to make a fall cape SO. BAD.), but that’s always the way, right?

I was going to include the knitting, but thought this would get too long if I did (so addicted). I wonder what 2015 will bring? I always have lists and plans, and I always seem to end up with different stuff! lol

I hope you enjoyed my little trip down the past year’s sewing memory lane!

Like Lauren did, if you have a blog and did a 2014 round-up I’d love to take a look-see, so please add it in the comments!

8 thoughts on “2014 Sewing Review

    • I love all of those too! And those are also ones I’ll be doing separate more in-depth posts about, so I hope you’ll enjoy those too.

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  1. Definitely yhe best round up I’ve seen. Such beautiful clothes and you have such a style. Your gown is the best garment I’ve seen on the internet and I really enjoy learning from you processes. Thanks you.

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    • Thank you! Yes, I’m a horribly inconsistent blogger. My goal is to one day manage a fairly regular schedule of one post/week, but if I have to choose between blogging and sewing, sewing wins every time! lol

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