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

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 in Review

Can it really be time for my 2019 year-in-review post? I guess so. This year was characterized mostly by scrambling to fill in wardrobe holes after losing about 25 pounds in the first quarter of 2019. To that end, I altered 20 garments to fit and donated at least that many. Then I sewed 41 new wardrobe items for myself and 43 for my husband and children.

If you're interested in excruciatingly detailed statistics, charts, and sewing practice navel gazing, I can promise plenty of both in this post.

Selfish sewing

2019 was definitely the year of the top for me. Last year I only sewed myself five tops. This year, my wardrobe was severely lacking in tops after I gave away the ones I couldn't make work with alterations. I sewed a total of 19 tops, both woven and knit, and long- and short-sleeved, for myself.

Short-sleeve and tank tops

I don't have much use for these in Bogota, but I made a few for trips that we took.

Clockwise from top left: My hacked turquoise linen Sorbetto tank, my Avid Seamstress Drop Sleeve Top, a Blank Slate Abrazo Tee, a striped Lago tank and an aqua tank also sewn using the Abrazo pattern.

Long-sleeved knit tops

This was definitely the biggest hole in my wardrobe post-weight loss.  I very rarely wear short sleeves in Bogota, even with a cardigan, and though I love my button-up shirts, it's more likely on any given morning that I will reach for a knit t-shirt. I tend to sew my knit tops in batches of the same pattern, and that was true this year as well.

Top row, L-R: Striped scoop Liesl + Co. Metro T-Shirt, striped Metro turtleneck, black Metro turtleneck.
Middle row, L-R: McCalls 7435 pink cowl-neck top, failed gold self-drafted tee, orange rib self-drafted tee.
Bottom row, L-R: Two Plantain tees and navy blue self-drafted tee. Not pictured: a failed self-drafted tee.

Long-sleeved woven tops

I've been playing around with adjustments to cure the neckline slide-back that often happens to me with woven tops. Thanks to high round back adjustments made on a couple of these tops, I think I may have finally cracked the magic adjustment combination.

Clockwise from top left, my ikat New Look 6582, my plaid flannel Gelato blouse that is yet to be blogged, my dotted chambray Lisette Traveler and my chambray Gallery Tunic.


I don't wear skirts much in Bogota, either, as the weather isn't consistent enough for either bare legs or tights. I sewed the three skirts in the top row specifically for vacations.

Clockwise from top left: My Simplicity 1887 black linen skirt, self-drafted gathered green rayon skirt,  self-drafted ponte knit pencil skirtDIBY Club Anna skirtSimplicity 1369 skirt and stretch bottomweight Yasmin Yoke skirt.

Pants, jeans and shorts

I was only able to alter one pair of my handmade jeans to fit to my satisfaction (well, kind of).  To fill the wardrobe gaps, I sewed two pairs and had plans to make a third that never got fulfilled. I'm hoping to sew a third pair in 2020.

Clockwise from top left: Cupro Simplicity 1887 shorts, Liana Jeans #2, cupro Calyer pants, Liana Jeans #1 and green linen Simplicity 1887 shorts.


Once again, I don't wear dresses often in Bogota. The three tank dresses were sewn for vacations to warmer climes.

Clockwise from top left: Green rayon Simplicity 1358, leopard Simplicity 1059, sleeveless black and white Simplicity 1059, purple Plantain dress, striped tank Plantain dress.

Other stuff

Finally, a collage of all the one-offs that didn't fit into any other category.

Clockwise from top left: Green Blackwood CardiganPeppermint PJ Pants, Lonetree Jacket, Ohhh Lulu Celeste undies, Tilly sleep mask.

Sewing for others

In addition to sewing for myself, I made two button-up shirts for my husband from two different patterns that I compared here.

For my kids, I made a total of 41 items (each piece counts as an item, so a two-piece swim suit counts as 2).

2 knit hats
4 dresses
5 pairs of leggings
2 altar boy sticharions
3 pairs boy pants
4 girls' summer rompers
2 girls' swimsuits (rash guards and bikini bottoms)
4 pairs pjs
5 tops
1 art smock
2 pairs mittens
1 swim cover up

Fabric Purchases and Usage

My biggest success of the year is that I finally succeeded in sewing more fabric than I bought. It's not much more, but I can still claim to have made a stash dent of more than 12 yards with 99.98 yards in and 112.18 yards out.

Once again, I tracked how many of the cuts of fabric I bought in 2019 were used in 2019. I used all or part of 27 of the 47 cuts of fabric I bought this year, or 57.4 percent. That's just a smidge better than last year's percentage, which was 54.3 percent.

Of the 42 items I made for myself, just four of them were fails, or 9.5 percent. Last year I logged four fails too, but I only sewed 34 pieces for myself, so I had an 11.8 percent failure rate.

Sewing Goals - How'd I Do?

I made five sewing goals for 2019 and I did pretty well on them.

Goal #1: Sew more quality stuff for my kids. While I didn't sew as much special occasion wear as I had planned to, I did sew a number of pieces that my kids really liked.

Goal #2: Sew at least as many yards as I buy. I totally met this goal!

Goal #3: Sew myself another pair of lounge/pj pants. Did it!

Goal #4: Try a new jeans pattern.  I made two pairs of Liana Jeans this year, so that goal has been met.

Goal #5: Be open to inspiration. I definitely did this. Some of my inspirations were successful (see Simplicity 1059), and others not so much (see Simplicity 1358).

In sum ...

I'm very happy with my 2019 sewing. I made long strides towards rebuilding my handmade wardrobe. I bought 7 percent less fabric than I bought last year and sewed more 23.5 percent fabric than I sewed last year. 

Stay tuned for my 2020 plans! As always, thanks for reading and see you next time.

1 comment:

  1. I love to read sewing summaries, you accomplished so much. And I really enjoy seeing your interesting travels too.


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