I wouldn’t feel complete without rounding up all of my own handmade garments from 2013, so that’s what I have for you today! My grey dress is still looking at me balefully from the sewing table, and at this point, who knows if it’ll get done. But hey, I sewed a lot more for myself than I expected, and I ended the year with a grand total of 37 completed items.
So let’s jump in:
Total May items: 4
Most worn: Pink Stripes Knit Top. It’s an easy, comfy top and you just can’t go wrong with stripes.
Least worn: Wrap top. I ended up taking the flutter sleeves off because they just didn’t feel right, but the style still didn’t work for me. The blouse billowed out and definitely made me look pregnant so it’s been stuffed into the back of my dresser drawer. I should just re-purpose it.
Total June items: 6
Most worn: Self-drafted Chevron Maxi Dress. The most. comfortable. dress. ever. I wore this a ton over the summer. I also love the lace tank and the kimono top. Both tops get a lot of compliments.
Least worn: Black maxi with open back. The fit was horrible and it kept stretching and dragging. It’s in my “re-purpose” basket.
Total July items: 4
Most worn: Indigo Ikat Dress. I futzed with it a little more, and the fit is better so I’ve worn this dress quite a few times. This is one of my favorite fabrics ever! Note that I made some of these items in the previous month, but posted them later. This will happen from time to time…
Least worn: The Washi, as cute as this dress is, was too gaping at the neckline. I tried to create a pleat at the back of the neck to help, but made things worse. Sad, sad, sad.
Total August items: 8
Most worn: The grey Tova is awesome. I love this version so much, though it is a very close second to my other Tova coming up. This was the month of Washis and they got their share of the spotlight during the summer too. The tunic is also a fave and has been in constant rotation.
Least worn: The red knit dress. Bleh. The dress was all wrong for me and there was something about it that made me feel frumpy. The navy tee was too short and this too has been languishing unworn.
Total September items: 3
Most worn: I only posted three items this month, but all three were absolute winners. I wear these three constantly and love love love them. The dress, in particular, garners an unexpected amount of comments (positive) and I’m quite proud that people notice the pockets, which is my own design element.
Least worn: None!
Total October items: 6
Most worn: Without a doubt, the batwing top gets the most wear. Are you seeing a theme here? It’s the comfortable knits that I turn to time and time again.
Least worn: The Beignet skirt, though super cute, doesn’t fit me and needs to go through reconstructive surgery. I think I’ve lost weight from the flu? It’s much too big on me now.
Total November items: 3
Most worn: As it got closer to the holidays, it got harder and harder to sew for myself, but I adore my black tunic and the knit scarf has been a lovely addition to my wardrobe too.
Least worn: The sheer cardi, alas, just feels odd when I wear it. Maybe in the spring it’ll feel more appropriate?
Total December items: 3
Most worn: Again, I love all my December makes and have worn the dress and fandango top/stripey tee combo multiple times already! I might be getting better at figuring out what styles/fabrics work for me.
Least worn: None — hooray!
I started sewing for myself regularly in May after some extended mutterings about body image and such and you know what? It’s been life-changing. I won’t claim to be totally comfortable with my body since that would be an outright lie, but compared to last May, my comfort level has skyrocketed. I’m okay with my stocky lower half, my buff shoulders, my wide back, my non-existent waist. In fact, until these “sewing for me” posts, I didn’t know I possessed most of these physical traits. After the first few excruciating times of taking and reviewing photos of myself, I started to appreciate how I could objectively look at the clothes and how they work (or don’t work) with my frame. I guess I just never really looked at myself. Admittedly, it’s a weird thing, this posting photos of myself wearing homemade outfits. Some weeks I felt gross and extremely self-conscious and didn’t want to leave evidence of all this self-absorption on the world wide web, but looking back on all these posts, I’m really glad I did. What you’re seeing is a normal woman with a normal body learning how to accept that she is, in fact, just fine as she is. And this is major for me, friends.
Now, I don’t need any new clothes. But I love clothes and making clothes and learning about fit and interesting sewing techniques and fabrics. I approach sewing for myself differently than I do with K’s wardrobe. With K, it’s almost purely driven by whim and experimentation. Everything looks great on her, so I don’t worry about fit or even practicality for that matter (a flannel short-sleeved top! Why not?). I have to plan more for myself because I abhor wadding up all that effort. Does it fit into my general style? Does it flatter? Will it work with my existing wardrobe? I like that I have these divergent approaches and motivations for sewing.
I do have to admit that sewing weekly for myself and K was a bit rough, schedule-wise. While reviewing my past year, I’m coming to the conclusion that I have to change things up in order to avoid my usual self-created-stress-trap. At the same time, I’ve learned that I’m the type of person who needs regular deadlines to be productive, so I’m sort of in a conundrum. I do so love to sew up outfits for both me and K…maybe I’ll sew something for myself every other week? Another key factor for me is that I don’t want to ever create just for the sake of posting something or because I know it’s what would generate the most comments (not that I don’t love comments — I do!). I often felt kind of embarrassed that I was showing yet another boring tee or monochromatic garment, but that’s what I actually like to wear. I want to make sure that I am always sharing what I truly love or things that teach me something valuable. I’m fully aware that these are frivolous concerns and that I am incredibly lucky to have the time and resources to explore all this. Stay tuned for more to come – I hope to keep challenging myself in 2014!!