2016 Sewing Accomplishments and Reflections

Well, I think I got a lot sewing done this year. The majority was for me… I don’t know, it’s just easier to sew for myself just like it’s easier to style my own hair than someone else’s. As I continue to get more comfortable with my sewing skills, perhaps I will become more comfortable sewing for others.

Anyhow, here is a review of the items I made this year. I set out with a lofty goal of completing one ensemble from every decade of the twentieth century. I completed the 1900’s, 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1980’s. 

I had planned on making the 1990’s outfit to wear for a friend’s birthday party that never happened, and I couldn’t find the appropriate fabric at an affordable price. So I had to scrap that for another time.

The 1970’s outfit I originally planned on making for this same birthday party that never happened. Then I found an amazing fabric to use that wouldn’t have been right for the party so I pushed it to just have it be done by new year’s. However, emotional family happenings happened and I did not have it in me to sew anything of complication. So that one is all ready to go, but isn’t getting done this year!

For the same reason, I didn’t get the 1910’s dress done. It was going to be my Christmas dress but just could not get it done… Even started with the way I was feeling. It is what it is. Maybe if I have an occasion to be an Edwardian again, I’ll make the dress for that. 

So now for the year in review, in fashion-era order:

My skirt is from a pattern based around 1900. The blouse is technically from 1985, but it is very close to the Edwardian shop girl/ teacher style, this outfit was a twofor. I wore this for Halloween.

This 1920s dress I was very excited to make since the twenties are my favorite decade. I found resources and guides for the one hour dress then bought a reproduction magazine from the twenties with instructions on how to embellish the one hour dress. I found this great fabric from a thrift store that I think was supposed to be a valance and made the dress from it. Although costumey I have gotten a lot of use out of this dress!

The 1930s capelet dress may be my favorite of the year because of the AMAZING print I found to make it! It did not come out perfectly by any means but this gorgeous yellow, purple, and gray floral hides all of the imperfections.

I really enjoy my 1940s dress as well! It’s from a Simplicity retro pattern from the late 90s, loosley based on 40s looks, but it was 40s enough for me! This fabric had been in my mom’s cabinet for who knows how long, but it was perfect for this dress!

The 1950s are my favorite decade to make from… I like this dress but hit some snags and it’s a bit awkward in the final fit. Next year- many more 50s looks!

Although I was definitely planning on making a 60s dress this one was spur of the moment. I was at JoAnn’s and McCall’s patterns were on sale and then I saw this sparkly polka dotted fabric on the red tag shelf. I purchased the 1963 bow dress pattern and the fabric and made the dress for a baby shower I was hosting for the following weekend.

A close up of the 1980s meets 1900s blouse I made for Halloween. I had a lot of fit issues with it.

Then I made a few items outside of the personal challenge as well.

This matching skirt and headband was supposed to be for a little girl but I made it way too small!!! So it now belongs to this little elephant. I still owe the girl and outfit!

This patchwork skirt was made for my niece. She picked out her own fabric. It was difficult to work with and still have not seen her wear it. …

On the right is the 1950s Cinderella dress I made for my bestie. Loved the shiny slippery fabric but it was tricky! I think I may ask for it back to fix the hem.

Lastly I made an impromptu circle skirt out of leftover Christmas stocking quilted reversible fabric to wear for Christmas. Much easier and quicker than an Edwardian dress!

Well that’s it! I’ve learned a lot about sewing and my sewing preferences this year. Next year will not include something from every decade, but things that I know I’ll love and continually wear. I have four new sewing books I recently received and I am for sure going to use those next year for some projects. I also want to make more for others next year too. I’m sure I’ll be starting my to do list soon!

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5 thoughts on “2016 Sewing Accomplishments and Reflections

  1. What lovely creations well done for completing your challenge. 🏆🥇I think your dresses are wonderful. I love the twenties dress the fabric is delightful. But my favourite is the thirties dress. It’s also my favourite decade! Looking forward to seeing what your challenge will be this year!

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  2. I hope this isn’t offensive but I stumbled upon your blog and I noticed some sewing things I think you’d be helpful to know! (I love your blog I just wanna help since some posts you seem frustrated).

    I noticed your main fit issue seems to be your neckline. I’m going to guess by that you base your pattern off your bust measurement? I recommend measuring your shoulder to shoulder and comparing it to the pattern. Also measure your pattern at the bust because you might not need to do an FBA (don’t worry I believe in you!) if the ease in the repro patterns is at its usual rate. Either this, or you have a sloped shoulder. When you wear your garment, pinch the shoulders of the fabric. Does the neckline lie flat then? If so, that’s a very simple adjustment that only involves sloping your shoulder seam more down instead of across.

    Also, you use your seam ripper backward. I don’t mean to be picky and really hope I’m coming off in the way I hope; but I worried for your fabric! The point end is to only pick stitches off the back, slide the ball end in between the fabric and slide that along; the ball protects your fabric and the job goes WAY quicker.

    It’s good to note that repro patterns arent perfect repros and have added ease for modern bodies and style, which is odd. If I wanted modern style I wouldn’t be buying a vintage one! Pattern makers ammirite?

    Love your blog and how many outfits you made in a year! You dove into the deep end!! 🙂

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  3. Agree with tips above and you did brilliantly. Well done you for pushing out of your comfort zone as you did. I don’t generally follow “blogs” but delighted to follow your progress which I know will be inspiring.

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