A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 in Review

Well, it's time for another review post! Writing this post last year was an involved process, but I've been happy multiple times this year that I put in the effort. That post (and the monthly round-ups I did this year) have been very helpful references for me.

My sewing was broken up by our move in 2018, and it's taking me some time to figure out how to fit my hobby into life here.  But I feel as though I was definitely more purposeful in both my sewing and fabric purchasing in 2018 than I have ever been before.

First, let's talk about the sewing.

In 2018, I sewed 73 items.  (If that sounds like a lot, consider that I really do mean "items" - so whether I spent four weeks working on a dress, or hemmed a square of fabric to make a bandana, either way that counts as one item.)  Of those 73 pieces, 47 percent (34 items) were for myself, and 53 percent (39 items) were for others.  Here's the visual breakdown of what I sewed for myself this year.

I was surprised to discover that I didn't sew a single skirt or woven top in 2018. I was surprised because I wear me-made skirts and woven tops regularly. But I guess I sewed most of them in 2017.  It was pretty satisfying to realize that I'm still getting so much use out of things I made myself more than a year ago.

Dresses: 2018 was the year of the dress for me.  I sewed seven dresses this year and I am still wearing all but one of them (that one was my biggest fail - more about that in my forthcoming Top 5 Misses post).

Clockwise from top left: Black linen Portfolio dress, green linen Portfolio dress, Blank Slate Catalina tester dress (never blogged), Simplicity 8166 dress, black denim Bobbins and Buttons pinafore (never blogged), corduroy Bobbins and Buttons pinafore, Plantain dress.

Pants: I also made myself three more pairs of jeans and a pair of lightweight pants. I don't love all my jeans as much as my very first pair of Ginger Jeans, but I do wear them all regularly.

Clockwise from top left: Green Ginger jeans, black Gingers, Calyer pants, twisty inseam Gingers.

Cardigans: The temperature is roughly the same year-round here in Bogota - think eternal fall.  So I wear a cardigan pretty much every day - both as a light outer layer when I leave the house, and over my pjs around the house.

Clockwise from top left: Cable knit Blackwood, purple Blackwood (unblogged), McCalls 6996, Lekala shrug (unblogged), orange Blackwood.

Tops: I sewed five long-sleeved Plantain tops this year. I only wear two of them regularly - the solid black rayon one and the black rayon one with white birds on them. The others are worn less often because of fit issues or icky fabric.

Not pictured are the lounge bras and underwear that I sewed - and which are probably the most-worn items that I sewed. I didn't love the bra pattern, but the finished objects are super-useful for those few hours in the evening after my regular bra has become unbearable, but before I actually go to sleep.  You can see a photo of a couple of the pieces I made here.

Also included in my selfish sewing tally, but not pictured here, are my Simplicity PJ pants, a yellow linen bandana I made a couple weeks ago, and two checked table runners I made last week.

Of my 34 selfishly sewn pieces, I would call four of them fails. This gives me a failure right just slightly lower than last year's.

For others, I sewed the following:

One men's button-up shirt.
Eight pairs of girls' leggings
One baby dress.
One baby sleep sack.
One baby headband.
One set of boys' flannel plaid pjs.
Five full sets of knit pjs, plus a knit pj top to replace one that had been ruined.
One bandana.
One boys' sweatshirt.
One pair of boys' dress pants.
A bow tie.
Two altar boy sticharions.
2 pairs of boys' swim trunks.
One picnic quilt.
Two open tote bags.
One zip-top tote bag.
Two baby blankets.


In my 2017 wrap-up posts, I vowed to track my fabric purchases and usage.  I did not have any concrete goals in mind to reduce stash, use up all my purchases, etc. I did want to be more purposeful in my fabric buying.  I think I did fairly well at this.

In 2018, I bought 107.78 yards of fabric and sewed 90.84 yards for a net stash increase of just under 17 yards.  If that sounds reasonably successful, here's a less positive statistic: I bought 46 cuts of fabric and used all or most of just 25 of them (the rest of the yardage I sewed was from the stash).

This surprised me. I thought I was doing a much better job of actually using the fabric that I bought.  I'd like to try to be better about that in 2019.  Stay tuned ...

As always, thanks for reading, and watch this space for my 2018 Top 5 Hits and Misses, coming soon!


  1. I love all your makes and am looking forward to your hit or miss post!

  2. wow you accomplished so much! a lot of fantastic items in this list, I especially like all your jeans, they look really good.

    1. Thanks so much! The jeans definitely have made my handmade wardrobe more workhorse-y.

  3. I love these posts! In comparing your results to my own, we sewed a similar number of items, which surprised me - you seem so prolific to me! I think your sews are generally more complex and more likely to be for you.

    I actually sewed quite a bit more fabric than I bought this year, for a net decrease of almost 30 yards (!!!!). So that went really well. I didn't track how much of my bought fabric I sewed immediately, though - I will do that next year.

    You've given me so many great ideas for tracking here!

    1. Thanks Inder! I felt like I didn't do much sewing at all this year with the move and everything. I think probably the reason I seem more prolific is that, this year, I tried to get everything I sewed onto the blog (via my monthly round-ups, since I don't do full posts for everything). I miss you blogging, btw!

  4. A great year! I just love seeing everyone's statistics. A couple of you made me consider not just overall fabric in/out but NEWLY purchased fabric in/out. I'll have to track that for 2019!


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