Looking Back…

Like me, you’ve probably been really enjoying other bloggers Top 5s of the year inspired by Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow.  I wish I’d been organised enough to do the same…  I do though want to reflect on the year that is rapidly drawing to a close and start to look forward to the new year.  WARNING:  The next 3-4 paragraphs have nothing at all to do with sewing and is a bit of naval gazing on a personal level.  Feel free to skip over it as it’s not particularly uplifting reading…

As you know, 2012 hasn’t been entirely good to me on a personal level with the latest kick to the head happening just before Christmas.  In a nut shell my family (me, Husband, Boy, my parents and sisters) have lived through; my sister’s mental illness including self harm, Father’s testicular cancer diagnosis and subsequent operation (thankfully not full blown cancer), my miscarriage, and finally two days before Christmas  the same sister being dumped by her finance and boyfriend of 8+ years over the phone, 24hours after he’d travelled 350 miles away with no warning at all.

Suffice to say, this festive season has been a bit flat, but Boy has been a complete source of joy and the reason I bothered at all to be completely honest!  My babyiest sister (there are three of us, and middle sister has born the brunt of the crap this year) is having a F*** 2012 party on the 31st as we’re all quite pleased to see the end of this year.

But on the other hand, 2012 has taught me things about myself and changed me in ways only living through these experiences can.  They’re part of me now and part of my evolution, so whilst I whole heartedly wish that we hadn’t had to deal with any of it they’re now part of us.  The shared battles and traumas have strengthened us and brought us closer.

It’s also really truly shown me the value of this blogging community of ours.  Whilst none of this has anything to do with a needle and thread you all have contributed in getting me through a lot of this.  Being there to listen and offering encouragement.  I am truly grateful and humbled that people I have never met have taken the time to offer a kind word and a little support.  There are many things to be thankful for in this life, even when it feels like you’re on the receiving end of kick after kick after kick, and you guys are definitely one of them.

So, that’s the personal review.  Navel gazing now complete.  It’s safe to come back to the page now…

Onto the sewing!  My sanity saver and also causer of some insanity its self…  There have been wins and only a few fails:



Simplicity 2588 – The first ever pattern I’ve wanted to make more than one of.  I suspect there’ll be more in the future too.  Not bad for a pattern that came free with a magazine!

Colette Peony – I know many have had issues with the pattern.  I guess (other than a fuller bust) I must be a little closer to Sarai’s sloper as other than a FBA and a slight sway back adjustment I’ve got another TNT pattern.  I am so close to finishing this dress now – I just need to finish inserting the lining.

V2903 - Illustrations and Line Drawings
V2903 – Illustrations and Line Drawings

Vogue 2903 – A monster amount of work went into this dress for Brother in Law’s wedding.  It’s my first Vogue pattern and they’re really no harder than any other ‘Big 4’ pattern I’ve sewn.  I received so many compliments whilst wearing it.  I really must get you some photos (don’t worry, this is covered in the fails!).

Jasmine, Meringue & Minoru

Sewaholic Minoru – I have worn this jacket at least 3 times a week since I completed it. I am in love and like Karen it will be re-made should this version ever cease to be functional.

Colette Meringue – Another really fast and easy project and also garner or unsolicited compliments!  Looks professional because of the beautiful wool (Thanks Ann!) but still has some personality.


Soft Furnishings – seriously guys.  I made curtains and a roman blind!  Each of those curtains are 3.5m wide when they’re not gathered up.  They are MASSIVE!  They’re lined with black out lining, blind hemmed and everything.  I am so proud of myself for making them, even if wrestling with them in my bijoux sewing room was err, frustrating?  Difficult?  Not overly pleasant anyway!  Who would have thought straight seams could be so stressful!

I love the blind too, and I’m sure I’ll be making a few more – I’ve got 6 more 4m lengths of fibre glass rods to be used at some point.  Not immediately though…

Community Fun – I’ have had a blast on this blog over the last year.  I’ve hosted give aways and organised a swap which I have enjoyed immensely and shared my sewing with you all.  I’ve also loved reading your blogs and have been lucky enough to win a few give aways hosted by you.  There have been sew alongs too plus you have inspired me in ways you can not imagine as well as shown me the potential in patterns or fabrics I wouldn’t have seen other wise.  You have developed my ‘eye’ in that regards and I am very grateful for that.

And now the FAILS!

A bit of saucy belt waving!
A bit of saucy belt waving!

My Peony/Jenny mash up – Bodice is a win.  Skirt is a fail.  I really really really need to wear Spanx with this dress and I have wearing them.  These photos are without the industrial underpinnings.  Does not work as a day to day dress.  On the positive side, I drafted and inserted a godet which I love!

My 'Perfect' Shirt Dress
My ‘Perfect’ Shirt Dress

Simplicity 1880 – This has now hit the bin.  Bodice was a win.  Skirt was a win.  Matching side seams between the two was a complete and utter fail all caused by the fact that I did not take into account the always necessary FBA and how this means I need more breadth across the front and the back stays the same.  I cheated and just cut a bigger size skirt so the side seams were never going to match and I couldn’t live with it.  Complete wadder, now binned.  The wrap version on the other hand came out well… I just need to hem it (and have done since July!).

Ambition – My wish list outstrips my productivity by a considerable amount.  I really should try and be a little more realistic about what I’m actually capable of doing…

Photography – Oh, I need to work on this!  If I’m behind the camera, it’s all good.  Stick me in front of it and oh dear…  I practically hid from the photographer at Brother in Law’s wedding as I feel so self conscious if someone points a camera at me.  I’ve got three dresses I need to share with you and that involves photography.  Some half decent light would be helpful, but I’m also procrastinating I’m afraid.  I’m enjoying the Craftsy course though so hopefully the technical and artistic side will improve and with practice I’ll feel less of a dork in front of the camera!

So, not bad really.  There aren’t too many sewing fails and the bloggy bits are things that can be worked on.  Hopefully next year I’ll be able to improve on them greatly!  I have some plans looking forward I’ll share with you soon…

26 thoughts on “Looking Back…

  1. Oh gorgeous girl, I’m so sad you have had such a tough time. And your extended family. And I thought my rubbish life was bad. You are right, unfortunately life isn’t always rosy. What’s important is how you deal with it and not let the sad thing define you.
    You are such a lovely soul and just gorgeous, I used to hate having my picture taken too. Then I realised I just needed to relax and be me. Look at that camera like it’s lucky to be photographing you – because it is 🙂

  2. What a year! I’m glad your family is pulling through it together though – You are clearly all giving each other strength. I hope that 2013 brings sunshine and rainbows for you all! (And many more beauitiful sewing creations too – You’ve made lovely things!)

  3. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I really wish you and your family a great new year. Hope the bad stuff will go away starting now!
    Don’t worry about the photos. You look lovely!

  4. You did have some sucky events in 2012. No other way to say it. It does help us appreciate the great things that we do have but it’s still, well, sucky.
    Put music on for photos. That helps me relax a bit.
    You are gorgeous and a talented sewist! Looking forward to following you in 2013!

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about the awful things that have been happening. Hope 2013 brings happier times for everyone. Love your Simplicity dress and the gorgeous twirling pose. I think it was the first post of yours that I read, and a great introduction – I’ve enjoyed reading this year.

  6. I hope 2013 is absolutely awesome for you and kicks 2012 in the butt! May the sailing be smoother, the sewing enjoyable and your photographs epic- you deserve it 🙂
    … and on a side note that Simplicity dress is freaking rad. Wowsers!

  7. Oh, girl, you and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers– know that you all still will be! Here’s hoping that 2013 brings you guys joy and rest! Your wins are so stunning, and your misses are barely misses at that! Can’t wait to see your 2013 makes (more photos, please– you’re just so beautiful and we’re all so excited to see you in all your new duds)!

    And oh– that Simplicity dress! Killer.

  8. I really hope the sun shines on you and your family in 2013 and onwards!

    You made such lovely things this year. Can’t wait to see what’s to come.

    Happy new year!

  9. I really really feel you on this – it’s been a helluva rough year, hasn’t it? I’m glad it’s behind us and I wish you nothing but love, happiness, and joy for the year ahead 🙂 xo

  10. Your strength in the face of such trials and adversity is truly inspirational. F*** 2012 indeed…it was a crappy sort of year. My mantra is always “this too shall pass”. It sounds horribly twee…but it has served me well over the years.

    However…I swear if I had your legs I’d be can-canning everywhere.
    To Tesco.
    At swimming lessons.
    Doing the vacuuming.
    The camera loves you…and why not! And such beautiful creations.
    Here’s to 2013 being a fabulous, glamorous and wonderful year.
    For you and your family.

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