2013: the year that was

Friday, 10 January 2014

I'm very late in joining in with everyone else doing a year in review post, but I haven't been home since Christmas Day as we've been in Queensland for the last two weeks visiting the in laws and spending a glorious week at a resort on the sunshine coast.  To be honest though it was exhausting! The weather was extremely hot - high 30s and a few 40 degree days too which I just can't handle at all, and the kids were out of sort from the heat and being out of routine and were a complete handful. Frankly it's just nice to be home, even if we did have to spend the last two days clearing out the fridge and pantry of food that should have been chucked out before we left and sorting out the garden which went berserk in our absence.

I have really enjoyed reading everyone's reviews of their sewing for the last year, I especially found it interesting when the garments that were listed as the blogger's least favourite were ones I really liked! So here I go:

Top 5 favourite makes:

1. Striped knit dress Burda 3/2009 #113 made from Tessuti Boardwalk knit in jade

This dress was a really quick and simple make and not in my usual very fitted style, but it has become my go to dress these last few weeks since I made it. It's such a lovely fabric that drapes and wears well, and it's been perfect for the hot weather we've been having lately. This dress is definitely all about the fabric, because that pattern is nothing special and in fact I made quite a few changes to it for this version.

2. Fitted blazer Burda 8/2013 #106 made from red wool crepe

I love this jacket, the co-ordinating top and skirt but it's the jacket that I wear the most. It goes well with navy blue and grey as well as the matching skirt and has been a great addition to my work wardrobe.

3. Panelled dress Burda 6/2013 # 117 made from wool flannel

I wore this dress lots during winter, and received quite a few compliments on it which is always a good sign. An easy to wear work dress.

4. Style Arc Marni made from ponti knit

My first attempt at a Style Arc pattern that I was just hoping would be a wearable muslin turned out so fantastic that I wear it a lot to work. I did make a few changes to the pattern by lining it but on the whole the pattern drafting was spot on and the fit is superb for my narrow shoulders. I'm planning to make another one this year once I find the right fabric.

5. A-line shift dress Burda 4/2013 #109 made from black and fuschia print raw silk

I've only worn this dress once, and that was months after I made it but it makes it onto the favourite list because I wore it to a Christmas party held on one hot night, and all it needed was the addition of strappy black heels to make it work - simplicity at it's best. Plus it's such a gorgeous colour and I had been wanting to use that fabric for such a long time so I was very glad that the pattern turned out so well.

Least favourite makes:

1. Tie neck blouse Burda 5/2013 #106 made from printed satin

This project didn't even get finished - dumped straight into the bin! The fabric was blah and the pattern wasn't overly great either so I made the wise decision not to waste any more time or energy on it. But I am happy to say that it was my only outright project failure of the year.

2. Scalloped edge shorts Burda 6/2011 #111 in coral coloured cotton 

These shorts were one of my most recent makes, but have already landed in the donation pile and will soon be out the door, unworn by me other than to take the incriminating photos! Actually they don't look too bad in the photo above, being the most flattering photo I took but trust me the scalloped edge and the length looked terrible. Taking a bit of length off and straightening the hem didn't help them look any better on me, so out they go.

3. City dress Burda 2/2013 #133 made in brown paisley

This dress is ok, it's just that I've only wore it once and don't really know how to style it best. I don't really like the look of knee high boots on me, but flat shoes and heels don't really go with this dress either. It's just not me and there's a lot of other things in my wardrobe that are, so sadly this dress never gets a chance.

4. Kelly green New Look 6144 in cotton sateen

I've come to the realisation that cotton sateen in a solid colour is the fabric of the devil and is best avoided if you have any aversions to wrinkles! I have yet another project soon to be blogged that proves this theory. This dress is teetering on the edge of this list though - despite the wrinkles and the darts on the front that probably start too high on the bust I somewhat like this dress. The colour is glorious, the fit is ok and it is comfortable so I still wear it sometimes. But if I find a wool crepe in this same shade then I will sew a replacement dress in the same style.

2013 statistics

A little bit of number crunching for you:

I made a whopping 62 garments + accessories this year (not counting a bajillion little pirate bags and eye patches I also made for Anna's birthday party). I was quite surprised when I counted it all up, it didn't seem like I was that productive, but 24 of those garments were kid's clothes and they sew up very quickly. The second most frequent make was a dress (no surprises there!).

It seems that my monthly Burda challenge has influenced me greatly, because last year I made 22 projects from Burda patterns - well and truly above and beyond the 12 I was aiming for. New Look was the next most frequent brand I reached for.

And the best news of all? Of all the things I made the clear majority was from stash fabric, with only 6 things made from fabrics purchased in 2013 and 8 completed UFOs/refashions. I didn't add too much fabric to the stash either last year, not that you'd notice it from my stash though, it's still overflowing!

Sewing resolutions

I gave up long ago making resolutions of any sort - I acknowledge that I have little will power! I'm in a pretty good place sewing wise, so I plan to keep on doing what I'm doing now: making at least one Burda magazine pattern each month, shopping the stash mostly but not feeling guilty if I buy some beautiful fabric to add to the stash, attending more sewing days and workshops with the ASG which was a real highlight of last year. Actually I do have one resolution - try to organise a few more meet ups this year, they are such fun!

And now that's all done it's time to start actually doing some sewing - I haven't sewn a stitch since Christmas eve which is probably the longest stretch I've gone in 19 years. I did spend a bit of time today in my sewing room cleaning it up and ruthlessly culling the stash (yes really!), so it's time to get started.


  1. I only discovered your blog recently, so I'd missed your red blazer and color-blocked dress - two patterns I just pinned for future sewing the other day! Yours are gorgeous: they got pinned too, to my "sewing inspiration" board! Thank you so much for all the details you provided on their construction. Your makes are beautiful, and you seem to choose a lot of the same Burda patterns that I like, so it's really nice for me to see how they look made up!

  2. What a fabulous review! You hits are all stunning, totally inspires me for my 2014 makes! I'm glad to see your StyleARC pattern was a big success! I've just ordered from them for the first time, and with the shipping cost to the US I really hopping they are amazing, I've read very good reviews on the webs! I also love New Look patters, and sometimes forget how much I do. They are always well cut, simple, stylish, and easy to to sew. Looking at your 2023, maybe I should try some Burda patterns as well!

    I always love seeing your posts! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I just had a thought about that green new look dress. It seems to fit well. Why not take a black permanent marker and draw designs onto it? Then iron it, super-heated, inside out, to set the colour.
    There is a blog called Estherfromthesticks, and she does some doodling on a dress. It looks great.
    Only a thought.
    Mary in Thailand

  4. My thanks for doing the Burda challenge! I look to your reviews to figure out which patterns I want to try myself. I have some blue wool earmarked for that jacket pattern.

  5. 62 garments! I am very impressed. Your top 5 hits are all fantastic, I think I would most like to steal the striped dress. It just looks great and easy to wear. Fantastic use of fabric. I'm inspired by your Burda challenge, and I think I'm going to set up something similar for myself.

  6. I *love* that first dress. It's gorgeous!!! I think you could have saved the shorts!! :) And that color blocked dress is perfect...absolutely perfect!

  7. 2013 was a great year for you. Some lovely garments.

  8. A great wrap up. You have sewn some gorgeous items.

  9. All gorgeous dress #3 needs is a nice wide belt to accentuate your tiny waist and I bet you'll start loving it. Pull that one out of the back of your closet - it's beautiful!

  10. Wow, 2013 was a great sewing year for you! Even your least favorites are beautifully sewn and are only your least favorites for personal taste reasons. Not a wadder in the bunch. I'm looking forward to seeing what you sew in 2014!

  11. Amazing year for you and a very enjoyable year wrap-up!

  12. I really like all of your top 5 and I think your misses are lovely too. I will really look forward to seeing what you sew in 2014. Happy New Year and happy sewing!!!

  13. I love Hits no 2 and 3. You have made some really gorgeous things and I look forward to more this year.

  14. Great post, Kristy! That panelled Burda dress is one of my favorite garments you've made. The fit is beautiful, and the color blocking is relatively subtle while still being dramatic. Here's to another great year of sewing!

  15. It was a great sewing year, looking at your statistics! My favourite is the panel dress. *^o^*

  16. I don't know how I managed to miss this post. Your hits are amazing. Your misses are amazing too actually. I agree with you about the cotton sateen though. It looks so lovely on the bolt but wrinkles so terribly. That green is such a gorgeous colour though. If you find a wool crepe that colour you must let me know .. I'd love some too. :-)