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Monday, January 4, 2010

Sewing Recap - 2009

When 2009 began, I had no idea that I'd have joined the sewing community by the year's end. Sure, I've always wanted to learn how to sew, but wanting something and actually doing it are two different things. Who knows what possessed me to request a sewing machine for my 30th birthday or to immediately sign up for a beginner sewing class, but goodness, I am sure glad I did!

My sewing adventures began in July with a simple tote bag and quickly progressed into sewing garments both for myself and as presents for several really cute kids/babies I know. The final counts break down as follows:

9 garments/items for me
* 3 dresses
* 2 pajama pants (1 not yet reviewed)
* 2 skirts (1 not yet reviewed)
* 1 pair boxers
* tote bag

23 garments/items as gifts
* 4 baby dresses (3 with matching diaper covers)
* 5 baby/toddler skirts
* 2 pairs of pj pants (not yet reviewed)
* 2 baby blankets
* 10 camera strap covers

I didn't think I made all that much stuff this year, but I guess I was wrong! I think the most exciting thing about the past 6 months has been seeing my skills improve at a consistent rate. I'm much faster and more confident in just basic straight sewing and have learned a handful of techniques and skills which are comfortable to me (e.g. french seams, blind hem by hand, darts, etc). I was particularly happy to realize that the Vogue dress I recently completed would never have happened if I'd have tried to make in July. I would have been lost from the get-go. Skip to December and while certain parts were a challenge (mainly fitting it to me!), the sewing itself was familiar and dare I say, easy.

For 2010, I have several sewing goals:

* Sew more for me! I spent a lot of this year making gifts for others as a way to practice basic sewing skills and to be able to give a special handmade gift to those that I love. I'd still like to do this, but in smaller quantities. I have to keep reminding myself that I can practice new skills on stuff that I want to wear.

* Tackle my first pair of pants. I figure since the pajama pants have all gone together amazingly well, it's time to try to make real pants. I have a couple of patterns in mind, namely Hot Patterns Marrakesh pants in a flowly linen-like khaki and Simplicity 2700 in a lightweight dark denim.

* Continue learning new skills. I've already signed up for several classes for this winter that focus on skills that I think will be important for me to learn (e.g. denim alterations, working with fabric cut on the bias, techniques for working with knits, etc). I have been lucky to find several studios in my immediate area that offer a wide and varied array reasonably priced classes. Between class, my reference books and this online great sewing community, I hope to vastly increase my skill set this year.

* Improve my inside finishing techniques. I don't have an overlock machine and it might be awhile before I get one, but I still want to have garments that are neatly finished. I want to incorporate french seams and bias tape finishes into more of my garments to make them as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside.

Lastly, I want to give a big shout-out to all of you sewing bloggers. You have been such an inspiration to me this year and have made me more excited about sewing and creating garments than I ever thought possible. I'm constantly amazed at the beautiful things you all create and hope to one day be as talented and prolific as you.

Here's to 2010 being filled with sewing projects galore!


  1. So impressed, Amber! SO IMPRESSED!

    BTW, I have a request - I want to see a pic of your sewing station. Just 'cuz. Having seen your beautiful home, I envision you sewing in a fun space.

  2. Wow! I can't believe you've only been sewing six months! That's awesome! I can't wait to see what you churn out in 2010.

  3. I was blown away when you said you read 100 books last year and now after hearing about all the sewing too- well I'm in awe!

  4. What a great recap of your year! I think all your goals for 2010 are excellent. I can't wait to follow along!

  5. totally impressed. also, i LOVE unlined items with contrasting bias tape inside despite the fact that i almost always want things lined.

  6. Don't worry about owning a serger for nice seams. You'll notice the real sewing queens like Birgitte and Claudine eschew serged seams. I find I rarely use my serger any more, though it does come in handy for sewing home dec.

  7. Wewt! You are mega inspiring. :)

  8. I'm so impressed that you find time to read, sew, and cook!

  9. I can't say I'm surprised by all you've accomplished this year - I knew you had it in you all along.

  10. you give me such hope for my own potential for sewing. i don't think i realized you hadn't sewed before you got the machine!

  11. Just remember we all started in the same place that you did and with a little tenacity, alot of patience and probably quite a few wadders along the way, we developed our skills and sew what we want now. I know you can do it and will be watching from the sidelines cheering you on!

  12. You are off to a great start and it is obvious that you have developed a passion for sewing. Have a creative year! I'll be back to check on you! :-), wink, wink.

  13. such a little sewing superstar!

    i have a confession- i got a sewing machine for Xmas a few years, and i've never even turned it on. i'm afraid :-/.

  14. Dits mboc. I have this evil little envy that makes me want a sewing machine, but I know that's a recipe for disaster. You, on the other hand, really rock this stuff. I can't wait to see what other projects you do this year.