A review of 2020

I’ve done review posts (and then planning posts for the forthcoming year) for quite a few years on this blog and I wasn’t going to do one this year (I won’t be doing a planning post) but then I realised it’s been my most productive sewing year so far so it would be a shame not to celebrate all the things I’ve made.

I do want to acknowledge my privilege before I dive into my makes because I know a lot of people have lost friends and family members this year and have lost jobs and had their lives as they knew them fall apart. I myself work in a bookshop and was furloughed when the UK went into lockdown in March and was about to go back to work when we entered the second lockdown in November, but this was delayed until December. I was back at work for 4 weeks and a day when Gloucestershire was moved to tier 4 (today) meaning that I am furloughed again. I have been paid at least 80% of my wages that whole time and my partner and I have relatively low outgoings (and he went back to work in June) so we have been okay financially. I also have a flat to live in and hobbies to occupy me so I was able to enjoy most of my time not working. There were weeks when I was fed up of being in my house, but I did manage to visit family in the Summer when it was permitted and we have my partner’s family close by where we live. I have no children so I didn’t have to suddenly become a teacher over night and this means my time has been my own to do with as I please. I have also had regular online chats with my close group of friends from uni and I feel we have deepened out friendships – usually we try to meet up once per year and have a whatsapp chat but it has been nice to feel like we are close together even when we are (literally in some cases) thousands of miles apart.

With all that said for the first 3 or so months of the lockdown I sewed ALL THE THINGS that I had in my mind to make for probably years. I had bought fabric with specific projects in mind and then never quite got around to them, even with moving to working part-time last June (2019). In 2019 I made 16 garments and in 2020 I made 35 garments (2 of which I haven’t yet shared here) and refashioned one. That’s quite a difference!

I’ll start with jackets and coats – I didn’t realise I made 4!

Sequined Bomber jacket

Houndstooth Richmond jacket


Gold Rumana Coat

Victoria Blazer Coat hack

And of course, no sewing year for me would be complete without a bunch of shirts!

Blue and Pink Popover Kalle

Yellow Geometric Kalle

Faces Kalle


White and Black Checked Blaire

Classic White Melilot

I also did some epic scrap-busting and made a load of Inari Tees from larger scraps I had in my stash.

Silver Knit Inari

Electric Blue Inari

Jungle Print Inari


Crowd Inari


Cotton Lawn Inari


Pink Striped Inari


Yellow Geometric Inari


Black Striped Inari

2020 was also the year of making jeans for me – I made 5 pairs in total!

Ginger Jeans

First Pair of Dawn Jeans


Pale Denim Dawn Jeans


Black Skinny Dawn Jeans


Navy Skinny Dawn Jeans

I also made some other trousers that weren’t jeans!

Black Crepe Evelyn Trousers

Grey Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Hudson Sweatpants

Navy Blue Double Gauze Arden Pants

Mustard Double Gauze Arden Pants

I finally made 2 pairs of Carolyn Pyjamas, the fabrics for which I had had for years and years!

Liberty Cotton Carolyn Pyjamas

Boaty Carolyn Pyjamas

I refashioned my Sew Over It Anderson blouse into a Marilla Walker Mercury top and I very much prefer the new iteration of this gorgeous fabric!

I made another Cleo dungaree dress mostly just to use up some leftover denim. I’m not sure how much wear it will get to be honest!

I also made another Sew Over It Nancy Dress – again not sure how much wear it will get, though it will certainly have to wait for warmer weather either way.

Another make  I’m not sure will get much (if any) wear is this Sallie Jumpsuit. The fabric is a little too thin and clingy for me to feel completely comfortable.


On the opposite end of the scale is my denim Roberts dungarees which have already had sooo much wear! They’re so comfortable and a good choice for days when I’m mostly sitting at home but don’t want to wear sweatpants!

It’s no wonder after all the sewing – and all the new items for my wardrobe – that I slightly ran out of steam after the first few months! Though a few things were made after the first main batch, the vast majority were made in April, May and June.

I want to try my hand at underwear in 2021 – I bought some supplies to make period pants, to find another way to be more sustainable and reduce my impact on the environment. I did made reusable make-up wipes this year and they have been a triumph!

I also stopped wearing bras really at all last Winter (under so many layers of clothes when it’s freezing at work, who can tell anyway!) but in the Summer with only one layer on I do kind of want at least something else to protect and slightly support my boobs so I’m going to have a go at making some bralettes. I’m lucky that I don’t need the support of underwiring or more supportive bras – when I was younger (like a teenager) I wished I had bigger boobs but now I’m so glad they’re not!

I’ve also got a (rescheduled) wedding to attend in the Summer so I’ll definitely be making a new outfit – I don’t feel like I went out that much before the pandemic but I like having bigger events to go to as an excuse to make something fancier than I would wear in my every day life.

But these are my only plans – I used to plan yearly and monthly my makes but I almost never followed through with the plans so I’m just have ideas for now. And now my wardrobe if necessary items is pretty much complete I might have a go at some more frivolous makes just for fun – and to expand my sewing skills!

Happy New Year! And thank you for following my making journey this year – I’m so thankful I have had sewing to keep me occupied for the vast majority of 2020!

2 Jersey Inari Tees

After sharing my 6 woven Inari tees I thought I’d share 2 jersey ones I made at the same time. I think 8 should be enough of the same top for now, hey! 😂

This first one is made from leftover fabric from this Peppermint jersey dress I made a few years ago.

I still love the colour of this fabric and since I don’t wear the dress super often, I’m glad to have another garment made from the same fabric.

You can’t really see in the photos but I put the neckband on backwards, with the join right in the front which is a bit annoying but I noticed after I’d overlocked and top-stitched it and couldn’t be bothered to unpick so much stitching!

This grey one is made from the left over fabric from my Toaster sweater, which I also very seldom wear, so I’m also glad to have finally sewn up the remnants into a more wearable top.

I don’t quite know what happened to the neckband on this top, but it looks really buckled. Bit annoying, but again, I noticed when I’d done all the stitching and what can I say, I’m lazy!

This was the smallest remnant I used for any Inari tee so I really had to piece together the back panel. I slightly wish I’d pieced the front too, though I do kind of like the sleek front and pieced back.

In case you hadn’t guessed, I think the Inari is my favourite boxy tee pattern, though there are so many other options out there. I do kind of want to try some other patterns but how many t-shirts does someone who lives in the UK need?!

What’s your favourite tee pattern?
 

3 More Woven Inari Tees

These three Inari tees are basically the same as the other 3 I already posted – but I felt like posting 6 tops in one post would be A LOT so I split them. They’re all size 6 with 6.5cm added to the length.

This first one is made from leftover cotton lawn from this robe I made (which I sadly haven’t worn much). It has flecks of blues and yellows in and I found (during our mini heatwave) that it nicely matches my Portobello trousers.

This is one of my favourite fabrics ever, which I made into a Nancy dress which I never wear because I don’t really wear any dresses any more (and yet I’ve made thousands!). I can’t remember where the fabric was from as I must have bought it ages ago, but I’m glad I kept the remnant for so long as I really like it made up into this tee.

There was even enough fabric to make sure all the people were the right way up!

The last Inari I made was made from the leftover cotton from this Laurel dress (which I actually do wear occasionally).

I did have to cut the back piece for this one in two pieces, adding seam allowance and stitching the two halves together before constructing it as normal.

I don’t really have much to say about these tees as I’ve made the Inari so many times!
 

3 Woven Inari Tees

Since I’ve had more time for sewing, I’ve gone through my stash and made Inari tees from all of the scraps that were large enough. Some smaller scraps have become pocket linings too so my stash is pleasantly depleted at the moment (good excuse to buy some more fabric!)

All of these tees are the size 6 and with the 6.5cm extended length from the cropped version which I did first for the white version I made a little while ago. These three were made from leftovers from shirts I’ve made – this black striped one is made from the leftover fabric from this Archer shirt which was from Fabric Godmother.

I cut the cuffs with the striped going the other way to the rest of the tee and I’m so pleased I did!

This next tee is made from the leftovers from one of my Kalle shirts (that I made at the beginning of lockdown). This fabric is still really difficult to photograph to make it come out correctly in photographs!

I cut the back out in 2 pieces (adding the 1cm seam allowance) instead of on the fold as I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut it on the fold.

Since I made 2 Archers in the black and the pink linen/cotton, I also made 2 Inaris from the leftovers!

This one might be my favourite of these 3 as I really like the shade of pink. I always forget how much I enjoy wearing pink (and how I think it lifts my complexion) until I wear it, then I go ‘oh yeah!’

The Inari is definitely my go-to woven tee pattern now (not that I need any more!) Do you have a fav tee pattern?

 

 

A Christmas Dress (in April)

Back in December (when Christmas was in the future), I was invited to a Christmas party for the band I’m in. I decided to make a new dress for the occasion – because why not!?

I was in the mood for something sparkly/shiny and found this amazing fabric from the New Craft House. I think I got the last metre, which was just enough to make this dress.

I used the Inari pattern from Named as the basis for this dress, but I wanted to add more fullness to the hem than the dress version is drafted with. I didn’t, however, write any notes about what I did. If memory serves, I placed all the pattern pieces on the fabric and extended the tee from under the arm to as wide as it would do for the width of the fabric.

Since this is a woven fabric, I used the facings included with the pattern but I think I stretched out the neckline of the dress a bit – it’s definitely wider than I would have preferred. Lesson for next time – stay stitch the neckline.

I do enjoy how slinky the fabric is and I hope this dress will be a little more wearable for more occasions than a lot of the other things I’ve made for specific events.

I think one of my favourite details of the Inari pattern is the sleeve cuffs.

Did you sew a Christmas dress/outfit this year? I bet you’re not as late sharing it as me!