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January 15

Top 5 of 2012

I’ve loved reading everyone’s 2012 recap posts and thought it is high time I do my own before it gets any later in January.

What’s funny is that when I remember seeing these recap posts popping in December I was thinking “Wow, everyone is really early this year!”  When in fact I just lost track of time as I was sick between Christmas and the cruise.  (Everyone was not early!!!  I was just that out of it and had no concept of time.)

Without further eloquence these are my 5 favorite projects of 2012.  (Click on any of the images for the full blog post of each item.)

Project #5, the Double Collar Blouse

While I don’t think this ended up being the most worn of my blouses, I love that I took a risk and changed up the collar since it is what “makes” this blouse in my opinion.

Project #4, the Quaker Oats Dress

This dress was an utter beast to stitch up and the fit never ended up being 100%.  But it’s my #4 project because I still love the design and I managed to conquer it once and for all which makes me happy.  :)  I’d love to make a second one some day…

Project #3, a Peplum Blouse

Again, this wasn’t my most worn blouse in 2012 but I love the shape of this blouse so much that it’s one of my favs.  I was able to match the pattern wonderfully in the back (and mostly in the front) which was an achievement. But the one biggest lesson in this blouse is learning the additional steps I have to take to make the bodice and shoulders narrower to fit my petite upper half.

Project #2, my Nautical Dress

This dress is so special to me and was such fun to make and plan it all out!  It’s not a dress that I get to wear often but fits me perfectly.  Plus who couldn’t love the extra surprise in finding out that this dress is 100% silk instead of the cotton sateen I had originally thought!

Project #1, the 40’s Embroidered Dress

It was difficult picking my #1 project since it’s a close call between this dress and my nautical dress (#2).  I feel like this dress is the culmination of everything I learnt in 2012 and it fits like a dream.  This project was started in 2011 but I had set it aside for quite a long time since I had cut the skirt too small and it didn’t fit.  But luckily I found more of the same fabric (Wooot!) and was able to re-cut this beauty.

I learnt about altering bodices to fit my narrow shoulders from my peplum blouse and applied it to this dress, and adding the embroidery on the neckline makes this dress a winner in my mind.  I love 40’s designs and adding special touches, outside of the pattern directions is what makes me love this dress even more.

What I learned in 2012:  Less is more.

I realize that I started to get distracted with starting new projects that I have left too many others behind, unfinished, which resulted in Project CPR.  While I love the concept of Project CPR, my hope is that I learn from my bad habits and focus more about finishing what I start before beginning more projects out of boredom.

Also…  I’d rather have 1 knockout dress than 3 so-so dresses.  My #1 pick in 2012 is the result of this line of thinking and I’d like to keep that going in 2013.  Adding special details and making things more “me” is what I aim to do with my sewing and knitting in the upcoming year.

Goal for 2013: Refine, Refocus, and Conserve

Continue to learn from my mistakes (is always a constant goal of mine).  But what I really should be aiming to do in 2013 is to work with what I currently have.  I always buy fabric in mind of a certain pattern in my stash, and I’d like to shrink my stash before purchasing more fabric or yarn.  Plus my fabric closet is getting a bit stuffed and I can’t fit much else in there.  heh  The physical restrictions of my apartment is a pretty good reason for not buying more fabric or yarn!  Basically refine, refocus, and conserve will be my motto for 2013.

Happy new year to you all and good luck to you all with your 2013 goals!

  1. Rochelle New / Jan 15 2013

    I think those would have been my favorite picks of yours as well!! SO BEAUTIFUL! You have the best eye for silhouette and execution.

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks so much Rochelle! I’m loving your new hair do and 40’s styling you’ve been doing btw. :)

  2. Sanne / Jan 15 2013

    I definitely agree with your no.1. It’s amazing and fits so well.

  3. K-Line / Jan 15 2013

    You make such beautiful clothing, Liz. I agree that the embroidered dress is especially, 100 per cent fantastic.

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks Kristin! :)

  4. Shari / Jan 15 2013

    I absolutely love the style of your 40’s dress and the embroidery was such a perfect addition to the pattern. It looks great on you and is truly stunning! Refine, refocus and conserve are terrific goals- definitely ones I should adopt myself! I have recently begun crocheting and knitting (and discovered Ravelry) as well as sewing, so have 3 projects going at a time and so much inspiration distracting me :)

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Ravelry is wonderful and is such a great resource! Pinterest is what distracts and overwhelms me…. but ravelry does to every time I decide to hunt for a new project. Too much good stuff to choose from.

  5. Sue / Jan 15 2013

    oh god, you just reminded me how much I LOVE your #1 dress. I want one!

  6. Tasha / Jan 15 2013

    Those are great goals! I rounded up what I sewed last year and it really gave me some clarity on what I want and don’t want this year, even though I never did write a post on it. But my head is full of ideas and I’m happy about that, and I suspect I’m going to be much more productive this year sewing than last year.

    I love all your top 5. Your dresses are to die for, but those blouses are really great and so unique. Like you I have issues with narrow shoulders so I invite you to document anything you do to work that out on bodices as I’d be very interested. Hee. ;)

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Sounds like a plan Tasha! :) I’m still working through on what I want to do in 2013, but first and foremost is getting done what I had set out to do last year. It’s not going to be terribly fun… but I’m hoping to feel better afterwards.

  7. Sew Little Time / Jan 15 2013

    gorgeous makes! you are so good at the details and finishing. i love the embroidered dress but also the yellow flowered blouse. we should all work slower from time to time rather than banging projects out!

  8. Ginger / Jan 15 2013

    Wow, you have such a great collection here! What a fun year! Looking forward to seeing what you make in 2013!

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks so much Ginger. Happy 2013 to you too!

  9. Meg the Grand / Jan 15 2013

    I love that the embroidered dress was your #1 pick, because that would’ve been mine for you as well! I absolutely ADORE the fit, color, and stunning little details that went into your dress. I’m excited to see what you’ve got planned for 2013 – refine, refocus, and conserve is a great motto!

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks lady! Can’t wait to see how you stash bust yourself this year. :) Perhaps we could do a swap once our own stashes bore us. heh

  10. Maureen / Jan 15 2013

    The peplum blouse is super cute :)

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks so much Maureen! I do love this blouse so…. but I fear it hasn’t gotten worn as much as it should have been. I need to make a high waisted skirt or capris to go with it so my tummy doesn’t show when it gets windy out.

  11. Anthea / Jan 15 2013

    I totally agree with the less is more. I know that I won’t wear things which I sewed up to fast and are so-so. And Iast year I learned to appreciate taking more time for a project and keep a slower pace. It’s quite relaxing I think!

    Love your top 5 garments!

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks for your kind thoughts Anthea. It’s surprising that some of my most worn garments have been the quickest to assemble but they didn’t make my top 5 list here. Only the truly unique and special pieces made the list, instead of the every-day items. Hopefully I can merge the two: every day = unique and fun. :)

      Happy 2013 to you!

  12. Qui / Jan 15 2013

    Amazing top 5, especially those last two! And may I just say, you always take lovely photos. All 5 of these have different scenery. I shudder to think how many of my projects are photographed in front of the same boring wall with terrible light, ugh. Anyway, I really enjoy your beautiful garments and the effort that goes into the sewing and photographing–bravo!!

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Thanks so much Qui. When I was participating in sew weekly for the first half of the year, I really made an attempt to go out and explore new “backdrops” to use. I figured it was a great excuse to go out and explore Chicago some more.

  13. soisewedthis / Jan 15 2013

    your striped nautical dress is fabulous! you should wear it everywhere, just for fun!

    • Liz / Jan 15 2013

      Heh Thanks so much. I sooo wish I could wear it out more! It makes me feel so pretty every time I wear it. :)

  14. Shelley / Jan 15 2013

    These are all so beautiful!! Have a happy and creative 2013.

  15. Kat / Jan 15 2013

    The Quaker Oats Dress is gorgeous! I love the bow and the piping.

  16. Maria / Jan 15 2013

    I think many of your outfits are so unique and interesting. I do love your Quaker Oats dress – the white piping makes it so special. And I’ve always loved your #1 dress – I was so impressed when you did the hand embroidery. Truly wonderful and always inspiring.

  17. Liz / Jan 15 2013

    All of your top 5 are wonderful and I am quite tempted to copy them all for my own closet! You have impecable taste. Of the 5 posts, the Quaker Oats dress is my favourite.

    What about your knits? They are pretty fabulous also.

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