2011 in Retrospect

I’ve officially hit my very first blog-iversary on January 1st.  I’ve made 151 blog posts in 2011 and have 131 blog-followers.  I can’t tell you how jazzed I am that I have (nearly) just as many readers following along as I have blog posts, and I’m even happier that you guys love my sewing-knitting-shenanigans to be following along in the first place.

For fun, here’s my first, ever blog post.

I took my first sewing class back in June of 2010 and I have learned so much yet I still feel like have a lot more to learn.  This is one the of aspects of sewing that I love so much: that it’s an ever-evolving craft and that there is always ways to improve and learn.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to get really passionate about a ‘craft’ till I plateau, from there I just move on to the next ‘craft’.  The only two crafts that have held my attention is knitting and sewing.  I think this is mainly because there is always room to improve, learn, and progress.  Plus, I think it’s really fun and I get new clothes to at the end of it.  :)

I’m not one to create a ‘New Year’s Resolutions List’ for myself but I do have a list of concepts that I’ve learnt in 2011 and another set of things that I’d like to learn how to do in the upcoming year.

Things I’ve learnt (and am still learning) in 2011:

  • Fabric Selection
  • Fitting
  • How to Work with Lining Materials and (some) Silks
  • Creating a Unique Dress from Two Different Patterns
  • How to Resize a (Vintage) Knitting Pattern

I continue to learn that fabric selection can ‘make or break’ any sewing project.  After spending many careful weeks fitting and sewing a garment together to only then realize that my fabric selection was not a wise one is hard lesson to learn.  I’ve done this at several turns in my year and a half of sewing and did so again just last week.  While it sucks, I think I’m better off in picking the correct fabrics (aka drape, thickness, crispness) now than I was a year ago.

Fitting is a constant battle for me, but I feel as if I’ve gotten better at it.  Lately I’ve been attempting to perfect and learn how to fit my armscyc to achieve the proper, comfortable fit.  I’ve had to rip out several sleeves in the process but I feel that I am closer towards this goal.

I managed to teach myself how to work with tricky, shift linings and have since lined nearly every garment that I’ve made this year.  I also have built up enough confidence in my sewing to merge two differing patterns (bodice and skirt) together to create a unique dress.  Since that moment, I’ve been much more confident in altering and modifying patterns to suit my shape and needs.

Thanks to Tasha’s Briar Rose Knit Along, I’ve learnt how to resize (vintage) knitting patterns and haven’t looked back.  Since then all I’ve done is knit vintage, started buying vintage knitting magazines, and began posting up free pdf patterns for you all to enjoy.  :)


Things I want to learn/improve on in 2012:

  • Fabric Selection
  • Fitting
  • How to Work with Chiffon (& other tricky fabrics)
  • How to Drape & Create Unique Clothes
  • Participate in Sew Weekly’s Weekly Theme

I think it’s funny that the first two items on my list for 2012 were also on my list of things learned in 2011.  Learning the correct fabric for projects will continue to be something that I will be working on for 2012.  I never really gave it much thought before, but with a few ‘fails’ I now know I must be conscious of this fact for 2012.

Achieving the proper fit in garments will most likely be something I will continue to work on in the years to come.  But I’d like to get to the point where I no longer have to make muslins (or multiple muslins) for every project that I undertake.  Once I purchase a dress form I’m hoping this will become easier and easier.

I am in the middle of sewing up a blouse, but am stalled since I have to cut out some chiffon fabric for a contrast collar.  I need to do a bit of research to learn how to work with this material, but once I do I hope to be able to get this shifty fabric under my belt so I can make some more lovelies with it.

I would love to learn how to drape in order to create unique garments for myself.  It seems like an amazing thing to learn, and I hope to be able to delve into it after finding myself a dress form.

I signed up to be a contributor to Sew Weekly for their weekly-themed-projects.  I did a few last year but I’ve always had my own projects going on at the same time and never found a lot of spare time to participate in them.  This year I’m hoping that I’ll be able to participate at least every other week (or so) in the weekly theme and that these themes will enable me to sew a bit faster and with more purpose.


I’m happy that you guys have stuck around, reading my blog.  :)  You rock and here’s to a wonderful 2012.  *Raises Glass to Toast*

If you’re feeling inspired please feel free to leave me a comment about what you are looking forward to doing in 2012 or what your your biggest accomplishment was in 2011.  I do follow a lot of your blogs already but I’d love hear about what you all are hoping to achieve/learn in the upcoming year.

Happy New Years, everyone!

In: Knitting Miscellaneous Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (8)

  1. Clare S January 3, 2012 — 8:19 AM

    Happy Bloggiversary! I’m so glad I found you and your blog – I really enjoy seeing and reading about what you’ve made and you are such a lovely person, it gives me faith in humanity! :)

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you produce in 2012 – happy New Year to you and yours.

    (PS – guess what it looks like I’ll be wearing as bridesmaid at my best friend’s wedding next year?!)

  2. Happy one-year blog-iversary! I just discovered your blog while looking for tips and tricks to make a sturdy wool pencil skirt, and I love everything you’ve posted!

    I’m going to try to participate in some of the Sew Weekly challenges this year, too! I’ve been reading it since 2010, but I’ve only lurked, never joined the community. I’m looking forward to challenging myself this year– I want to work on perfecting fit and learning techniques that’ll produce sturdy, workhorse garments. Tutorials like the ones you posted for your pencil skirt are exactly the sort of thing I need right now! :)

  3. Emma January 3, 2012 — 6:17 PM

    Happy blogiversary, and happy new year!

    I’m another that’s really glad to have found your blog. You’ve inspired me to push myself to knit more vintage patterns, and start looking at properly learning how to sew. Thank you for producing such a lovely, inspiring blog!

  4. K-Line January 3, 2012 — 7:21 PM

    Happy anniversary! Those seem like great goals for next year (for every year) and how wonderful that your blog is appealing to so many people who share your perspective.

  5. Suzie January 4, 2012 — 7:40 AM

    Happy New Year Liz! You’ve had such a successful 2011, sewing wise – I’ve been loving all the projects you have undertaken and I cannot wait to see what you create this year!! Here to a fantastic 2012!

  6. Meg January 4, 2012 — 1:05 PM

    Happy New Year! I’m excited to see your projects with chiffon – it’s always daunted me, but I know you will do wonderfully! I think a dress form is a big help to anyone who is sewing garments for their personal use – I could not live without mine now that I’ve begun sewing with it.

    1. Liz January 5, 2012 — 9:47 AM

      Thanks Meg!

      What kind of sewing form do you have? I’m in the market for one and I’m not sure what to go with…

  7. Jo January 9, 2012 — 11:30 PM

    Hi, I think your blog is great! I am looking forward to seeing your chiffon project. I came across this tip for working with it the other day, might be something to try?


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