Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 - A Recap

2007 has been a very good sewing year for me. I have added to and shared from my fabric collection...I have made some new sewing friendships...and I have challenged myself to sew more "quality" garments.

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to make 100 garments in 2007. I abandoned that goal quite early in the year instead opting for quality sewing...making garments that had the best sewing techniques in them that I could do!

After reviewing the year, I believe that I did accomplish some amazing sewing feats...and if I had to use two phrases to describe my sewing in 2007, the phrases would be "TNT Patterns" and "Adaptability."

TNT Patterns - (tried and true)
I have worked the heck out of my TNT patterns this year. No pattern classification was exempt ~ from tops to dresses to pants and skirts, they all made an appearance in 2007. Some of the patterns were used to expand my wardrobe and some were adapted to become something new.

I believe that I have grown in my ability to change one of my TNT Patterns, turning it into something totally different from the original. This year has seen me move from one plateau to another when adapting a look from a picture into an actual garment. I want to use this "talent" even more in 2008, though it figured prominently in my top five garments for 2007!

Without further ado, here is the listing of my top five garments in 2007:

from the 2007 Timmel SWAP
This wardrobe was completed totally from scratch. I planned, sewed and entered an eleven piece collection in the Timmel SWAP. Even though my collection did not win any of the prizes, it did accomplish its main purpose and that was to elevate the level of my work wardrobe. This collection was finished early in April and there weren't too many days left to wear it since it was a fall/winter wardrobe. However, it has played a prominent part in this Fall's wardrobe making me appropriately dressed in all of my work situations.

(completed items 20 & 21)
I made this outfit during my Spring Sewing Vacay. It makes my 2007 best of list because it is a totally trendy outfit that was made in time to actually wear during the trend! *LOL* I also used a "classical" slant when constructing it so that it would work well beyond the trendy curve. The other thing that I love about this outfit is the well thought out embellishments, the fit of the dress and jacket and how easy the outfit wears!

(completed item 25)
I know that a few other sewists have reached that "I really know that I can sew" plateau this year! They constructed a garment that just stretched their talent and abilities to the limit...that was the Chanel dress for me! Even now I am astonished that I was able to take a couple of pictures from People Magazine and turn what I saw into a wearable, well-fitted garment! That three day exercise reinforced and solidified my talent to me! Now five months later, I can't wait for spring to come so that I can wear the dress again!

(completed items 34 & 35)
Sometimes I think I invested as much time in this suit as I did in my SWAP collection! It was a concept that I lived with for several months before it came to fruition. I used techniques that I had never tried before ~ quilting the lining ala Chanel ~ some interesting bias and grain treatments for the skirt ~ and once more adapting a picture into a finished garment. The other thrilling aspect of this garment that wasn't thought of at all during the planning phrase, was how much it inspired other sewists! This suit cemented my workday transformation and I'm so thrilled with it and everything I learned during the construction process!

(completed items 40 & 42)
There are two things that I love about this is that it uses the exact same jacket pattern as the one used in the Jackie O Retro suit. However, each jacket is totally different from the other! The second thing that I love is the subtle use of trim in this jacket. I am a total embellishment girl. I love adding trim to things and the use of the large gold braid and the buttons on this jacket totally makes the suit for me. Add to it my TNT 4-gore skirt and again I am not dialing up the same ole, same ole corporate black suit...yet, I am just as polished and professional looking as my peers. This suit is part of a wardrobe which needs a few more pieces to be completed but it is probably the last "quality" piece that I will work on in 2007!

Now of the 48 garments that I have made this year, these are not the only stand-out pieces. However, I think these pieces symbolize the direction that my sewing is moving in and how much I've grown. Upon reviewing the sewn garments for this year, it is causing me to set different sewing goals for 2008...but overall, I am very pleased with my 2007 output...and believe that I accomplished my primary goal ~ to produce quality sewn garments this year!

So how about you? What did you learn sewingwise in 2007? What technique that you learned or garment that you constructed in 2007 are you most proud of? Most importantly though, did you enjoy your sewing journeys this year?

Because I certainly did!


  1. Carolyn,what a truly interesting and well put together "recap" of your 2007 sewing year. You definitely made beautiful garments! Looking foward to your 2008 "portfolio" :)

  2. What a great recap!!! Looking forward to see what you do during 2008!

  3. Carolyn, you have an outstanding collection. I love reading and viewing your blog. Like Adrienne, I look forward to seeing what you do in the furture.


  4. You had a great year - a hearty congratulations to you!! Now, I'm dying to see what is to come for 2008!

  5. 48 garments! That's fantastic.

    I am glad that you included the Chanel dress as the last time you spoke of it you were not yet "in love". I see that has changed.

    I have learned a lot from you during the year. Thankyou!! And looking forward to seeing what you make in 2008.

  6. What a great year! I was hoping that the Jackie O suit would make an appearance. It is so well done. They way you worked on that suit is how I usually plan out my art garments - I live with the idea for months - sometimes up to 9 months before starting anything. During that time it grows and changes. Once construction starts, I always try to do one new technique, just to keep me fresh and learning.

    Good luck in 2008 - I can't wait to see what you have planned.

  7. BRAVO!!! ENCORE!!!

    BTW I want that Chanel inspired dress.

  8. great post, you had some beautiful outfits this year indeed and I love your new profile photo,,,, beautiful

  9. It's hard to pick a favorite from your well made and wonderful collection.

    May 2008 be a fabric-filled year for you, Carolyn! I look forward to continued inspiration!

  10. What I love about reading this is that it's so obvious you've really thought about your clothes. You've thought about what you want them to look like, what they should say about you and what other people should see. I am so impressed with your corporate chicness, especially given your down to earthness. And that Chanel dress still blows my mind!

  11. Wow - 48!! That's just incredible! I am always inspired by your sewing, and can't wait to see what you do in the new year. The big thing I did this year was make a blouse with a collar stand. I really need to improve my fitting, and find a way to make my dress form work for me instead of being just a hangar.

  12. 48 pieces is remarkable. These 5 pieces are lovely. I alos liked your ladybug dress - thought it was cute!

    Happy New Year, and Best Sewing Wishes for 2008!

  13. WOW.. I see you trying to impress the masses -- well it worked! You are out of this world. My goal is to make like 10 "good" pieces next year. LOL.. I LOVE the Chanel dress.

  14. I'm totally bowled over. I remember the whole "pink dress photograph" thing - if I were you, I'd be hanging on National Weather Service for the first signs of spring, too.
    You are a great spur to me for this next year. The only thing I finished this year was my ensemble for my eldest daughter's wedding in October; daughter-the-younger has requested that I make HER dress, and right after the New Year, we will start the "construction" for that. My deadline is March, so I'll then have the rest of the year to sew for me...and anyone else who asks. But, after you wrote about your love of embellishment, I thought about a book I'd been given a couple of years ago...I love this book; it's all from the Victoria and Albert Museum and is called Dress in Detail From Around the World (ISBN 1-85177-378-9). It's from 2002. And yes, it's still out there at Amazon (the link is acting weird, but the search on the title works).

  15. Your corporate chic collection was a winner with me.

    It was a lovely find today to stumble into your blog and find so much creativity happening here.

    Good luck with your plans for 2008.

  16. Carolyn, I remember everyone of these garments! They are all lovely. I too focused on, and will continue to do so, quality sewing instead of quantity. By doing this I have made sure that the fit is better and that the sewing is better than average and I am proud to say I made this.

    Your blog has been very helpful to me and exchanging emails has been most appreciated and I am so glad to have made your acquaintenance. Hoping the best for 2008 for you and your family.

  17. As always you are an inspiration. I love your look and learn something new from every garment you describe. As for me, I'm just happy to be back to sewing after a long hiatus, and I have managed to find a couple of TNT patterns. Now to learn from you how to adapt them to other looks!

  18. Such a productive year! I am impressed.

    M year has been less productive, way less! But...... my focus was on learning. Next year, 08, I plan to be productive. You are my roll model.

  19. Carolyn, you are amazing. You managed to sew some wonderful garments while holding down a full-time job. I don't know how you do it. I didn't get really anything done this year but I'm hoping that for 2008 I can get back into the swing of it. You are inspiring. Happy New Year.

  20. Carolyn, yes you are so inspiring! 48 garments with that high level of construction, enviable! So my level of skills is good but not my productivity yet! I came back to sewing this summer/fall, and I'm going to charge forth in this upcoming year!

  21. carolyn,

    You are one of my sewing blogging heroines. Thanks to you and the other sisters, I have returned to sewing. I have not sewn articles of clothing but have completed all kinds of tote bags and cozies and other gift items.

    Now, I understand why I have always gravitated toward fabrics and textiles despite my years of not sewing.

    It's been one wonderful year learning from you and the others. I look forward to 2008 with great anticipation!

  22. Wow! You really accomplished a lot in 2007. I love that the pieces you made are really classic. It makes it easier to build on when you make new garments. Kudos!!!

  23. Carolyn, golden star said it “you are my sewing blogging heroines". What I like the most your clothes is the fit and designs. 48 garments is a major accomplishment. It's been a wonderful sewing year for you. I am looking forward to 2008 with great excitement

  24. I am so impressed... 48 garments. Like others I'm looking forward to 2008 and your wealth of sewing posts. Happy New Year.

  25. Wow, Carolyn... Look at what you've achieved during the past year! Amazing! You have all the reasons to be very proud!

    2007 was a revolutionary year for me: I started my own blog, made wonderful friends all over the world, improved my sewing skills learning and sharing along the way... I hope 2008 will be as good as 2007 for me. And I wish you nothing but the best in this New Year! Hugs from Portugal!


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