Friday, December 31, 2021

December 2021 Round-Up

There was a time when I created 40-60 garments a year and wore 95% of them. So it seems really strange to be creating only 20 garments this year. I don't believe it's more than last year because I did start 2020 strong before the pandemic set in. It's probably about the same.

2021 has also been the year where one ~ I've sewn more patterns from my pattern collection and two ~ used more independent patterns. This trend will continue into 2022.  As my lifestyle has become more relaxed, the indie patterns seem to be the ones I turn to.  And now that I have a great source for printing PDF patterns (see my last post), I will be using even more indies.

This is a long post so I've tried to keep the descriptions short. If you're short on time, look at the photos and skip to the conclusion at the end where I discuss my goal for 2022.

Here are the items I created this year ~

I finished this duster/maxidress in early January 2020. In all honesty it hasn't been worn since I took these pictures. Not because I don't like it but because I just haven't had anywhere to wear it to.  Once I started going back to work, it was spring and not what I wanted to wear.  Hopefully in 2022 it will get worn.

I tried hard to avoid this trend. But I thought I could wear this at home, something comfortable and cute for zoom meetings. I wore this once and hated it. I AM NOT a Jumpsuit wearer.  This garment just cemented it. I won't be making more. It's not the Style Arc pattern, it's me...

I cut this out in 2019 pre-pandemic. I love this Simplicity Pattern 8687. I've made several of them and worn them off and on this spring.  They were great to throw on the top of outfits as I headed to work.  This is probably the last one I will make but it was fun to stitch it up.

This was my January Janome Ambassador project. I made it over the Christmas break in 2020 and that is a story in itself. I really wasn't ready physically to spend a lot of time sewing but I pushed through. This TNT shirt didn't make it to the blog until March because Janome project.  However, the blog post will tell you that not only did I match EVERY single plaid intersection but I also applied the applique to the front and back of this shirt by machine.

This tiered Verano maxi dress was a fave last spring. It was easy to construct and the very first pattern I've used by Christine Haynes. I love tiered maxi dresses and really need to make another tiered version of this pattern. This began my first big burst of sewing this year.

I made this top as an "Inspired By" garment and totally fell in love with this tunic. It's my most worn piece of 2021. It was so practical, easy to make and easy to wear. It also totally fits my lifestyle now.

These tops were all about the fabric. I bought these knit panel prints from Marcy Tilton and used them for my favorite knit top - Pembroke by Cashmerette. I felt like I needed to add a few of them for layering to my wardrobe and these two fit the bill.

I will admit this is my go-to pattern for a dress ~ my hacked version of the Deer n Doe Myosotis Dress. The dress is comfortable, easy to wear and makes up well in a variety of different fabrics.  In April I shared this sleeveless, midi-length version and this maxi length one with long sleeves made using a border print.

This tunic jumpstarted by journey with border prints. I mean I used one in the Myosotis but I really played around with the print for this garment.  This was the second of four Vogue 9299 tunics I completed this year. It's such a comfortable piece that there are two more in my cut pile for 2022.

Summer came and I was vaxxed, headed to work and even going out with friends. While Covid wasn't beat, we did seem to be living with it. I went to Sew Camp with my friends and made a couple of pieces that I lived in during the summer.

This was my most favorite make of 2021. I loved the flow of the dress, the print and how wonderful I felt every time I wore it.

My second Christine Haynes Verano dress had changes made to it because I'm sewing it. However, I loved it and it was a wonderful addition to my summer wardrobe.

My June Janome Project emphasized a technique that you could do with an attachment on your sewing machine. I had so much fun incorporating the circles into this MimiG shirt. It's another conversation starter when I'm out and about.

Another lightweight linen print Vogue 9299 because this tunic amplifies summer dressing.  Cool, comfortable, easy to wear and stylish.

I said I wasn't making another Myosotis dress because I own a ton of them! But when I bought this gingham print from StyleMaker Fabrics it wanted to be nothing else but a button down shirt dress. So here you go! It was another well worn garment this summer.

This is what I think of when I remember my Style Arc Hope Dress - how big and loose it is! LOL! I made this at the end of the summer/early fall and will probably change my mind about it next summer on the first really hot & humid day. I probably won't make another one but it easy to sew.

Another day, another Vogue 9299 tunic!  This one in this amazing panel print cotton sateen from Fabric Mart's brick n mortar store. I love this tunic and get compliments EVERY time I wear it because it's just fun!

While I made this cardigan and swingy Pembroke tee in late spring, it wasn't photographed until the fall. I wore the cardigan some but wore the heck out of the swingy Pembroke tee. I need to make another one next spring!

Conclusion ~

My sewing definitely suffered because of the pandemic. I worked from home for the first four months of 2021 and only went into work 2-3 days a week from May to November. I owned enough tops to be zoom ready for meetings at the beginning and end of the year. During the summer when I went to work, I already owned a lot of summer maxi dresses to wear since they saw very little action in 2020. So while I made lists and thought of things to sew, they just didn't come to fruition.

I used six indie pattern companies 
       Bluedot Patterns
       Style Arc 
        - Christine Haynes
        - Cashmerette
        - Deer 'n Doe
       Mimi G

There were 2 Simplicity patterns and 1 Vogue pattern used 4x.  This is probably an accurate reflection of my pattern buying too.  BTW, I purchased way more indie patterns than I used this year - hopes and dreams y'know. I had two UFOs and one item I made for Janome but never shared here.

While I bought a lot more fabric at the end of the year, I didn't buy much at the beginning of the I have no in and out totals.  Also with enough storage space I just haven't felt as pressed about my fabric collection.  Though the sting of moving it is starting to wear off! *LOL*

The biggest change this year was to my sewing spaces.  I started 2021 with this amazing sewing loft. Yes, I still miss the room because I spent a lot of time conceiving and setting it up. I was VERY disappointed when it didn't work.  I partially moved downstairs in February, definitely moved all of the sewing machines down in the spring and FINALLY got the Resource Center set up in the loft in the fall.

My Resolution for 2022 ~

I haven't felt like sewing much of 2021. Then I read a book by Jodie Picoult and in her epilogue she talks about HER experience with Covid this year. The isolation, the fear, family members who contracted it, her inability to write (insert the word sew here), how anxious she was and how the isolation caused everyone to make changes to their lives.  She also talks about how romance novels with their happy endings helped her navigate the beginning of the pandemic.  

I felt so seen by her epilogue.  When she described how the isolation caused people to change their lives, I realized I did just that in 2020. I packed up my life and moved to my own place.  Living alone for the first time in my life. I was also dealing with a pretty serious illness that could have really changed my life. 

Pre-Covid when we could go about our lives, I could mostly tuck away any unhappiness. I used sewing and the sewing cave on the weekend as my retreat. So I changed my life, the way I thought and handled things and became a lot happier.  However, I realize that while I had spurts of sewing, I didn't create the way I did pre-Covid. I had started to think of sewing as a necessity instead of the art form it really is to me.  After reading her words, it really hit me that SEWING is ART to me. I need to create and enjoy the artistic process. 

I gave that up in 2020 and 2021. I'm taking it back in 2022. I'm sewing what I want, when I want, if I can wear it out and about or not. I'm getting back to enjoying the process and sewing as the creative spirit moves me. Sewing the things that make my heart sing...Covid has taken way too many things from me in the last two years.  I refuse to give it this anymore.

Now that I'm at the end of this very long ass post, I want to wish you a very Happy New Year! I hope you take many creative journeys in 2022.  I hope that your sewing becomes everything you want and need it to be. I also wish you peace, joy and happiness.  

Please be careful out there because Covid is still raging...and I hope you will join me in 2022 for more sewing adventures! always more later!


  1. All your work is beautiful but that black and white maxi with the stripes on the hem and the sleeves is killer. Best wishes for a healthy and creative 2022.

    1. I agree that dress is fantastic. Happy New Year and wishing everyone a better one for 2022.

  2. I've loved reading about your different garments from the past year, Carolyn. Thanks for letting us join you on your sewing adventures! I'm looking forward to seeing what 2022 brings. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

  3. Lovely sewing and inspiring words. Thank you and Happy New Year to you.

  4. Love it all...great, good and meh! thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year. God bless and stay safe.

  6. Thank you for sharing your projects, process, and thoughts. Looking forward to seeing more. Wishing you the best for 2022.

  7. Carolyn, You always seem to fit into words my feelings. I too have withdrawn from my studio as the year 2021 arrived. After marathon mask, gown and cap making of 2020 I just could not go in here and sew all day. Never had those feelings before. THEN I became coordinator of a vaccine clinic and I was swamped, but towards summer again the need to get in here arose. Not as much as previously (d/t) schedule but when I did, oh boy did it feel great. As the clinics have slowed down as more of our population is becoming boosted, I am looking forward to returning to my Peaceful place. I am wishing you and all those who follow you a Healthy and Happy Sew New Year. BTW My favorite is the tunic made with border print white and grey Looks gorgeous on you. Shalom

  8. Another post that's just so good! All the best with the art of sewing in 2022!

  9. I'd wear so many of those projects, so I believe you got everything nearly perfect this year. Except for the jumpsuit. I'm with you on that. Never. Ever.

  10. Love seeing your makes. Sewing is definitely an art form and therapeutic for me. After many household adjustments, I abandoned my sewing in exchange for raising my grandson. How I've missed it! However, 2022 brings new personal goals with self care and sewing at the top of the list. BLessed New Year to you Carolyn and family. Our goals are worthy...let's continue to press on.

  11. You have made some gorgeous things here! I especially like your favorite tunic and the long duster. Love your declaration: "Covid has taken way too many things from me in the last two years. I refuse to give it this anymore."

  12. I love your annual round up posts, and will go through it a couple more times. Your wise words at the end really resonate - after a year of anxious sewing where many did not work out. Covid has a lot to answer for. My decision is also to keep it as the art and relaxation I crave, and buy such basics as pants which I never do well in any case. Happy New Year, and long may you create and sew, when it feels good. My faves are your black and white maxi - divine - and the long warm maxi cardi. Hope you get a chance to wear it these Winter days.

  13. Thank you for the post and the insight. I think my favorite was the black Vogue shirt with the colorful border print that you get so many compliments on. It is easy to see why. It is beautiful and looks great on you. Here is wishing you a safe, happy, and healthy 2022 for you and yours.

  14. "I gave that up in 2020 and 2021. I'm taking it back in 2022. I'm sewing what I want, when I want, if I can wear it out and about or not."

    :clap clap clap: and mic drop!

    Now, those maxis...the gingham one, the lemon one, the b&w border print one, the tiered one...ahhhhhhh! Some really beautiful garments this year.

    Best wishes for an amazing 2022!

  15. I too spent hours sewing masks. It felt necessary and useful, but it sure didn't fill my heart with joy. Here's to a better year where joy drives our creative endeavors!

  16. Thank you for your insights in this post. Now I understand why so many of my projects this year were a struggle and just made me miserable. I’m going to stop beating myself up emotionally over those. I need to have some success to reignite my sewing.

  17. Thank you for continuing to blog. Insta has taken the spotlight, but the long form blog has much going for it.

    I am in an American Sewing Guild group and we could not meet in person for a long time. I relied on my sewing friends for fitting help, etc. Then COVID and no in person help. Instead of not sewing, I said, what the hell and started cranking out garments. My cranking production is waaayy less then yours, but in a weird way, I was freed. I figured out a lot of sewing stuff because I wanted to sew. We can meet again in person now, and I have found that I am fearless in my garment sewing. I even bought a border print! I thought, Carolyn uses border prints all the time. I can do it too! I am waiting for the right pattern to "speak" to me. Thank you for all the inspiration with your makes and blogs. May 2022 bring you the all creative energy you desire.

  18. Happy New Year! I enjoy reading your posts and am looking forward to seeing what you create this next year. Thank you for continuing to blog and share with us!

  19. I must read that Jodi Picoult book! I really enjoy reading your annual wrap-ups. Thanks for helping me see that I too, use my sewing as a form of artistic expression. I've been sewing for need so haven't made the time for a hand-sewn garment but would love to make an Alabama Chanin Skirt. I have collected the fabric for a Tilton T-Shirt as well.

    1. Annette - the Jodi Picoult book is her new one, Wish You Were Here. It's a great book btw. I read it in 2 days and highly recommend.

  20. Happy Sew Year to you and I hope you will enjoy the creative process again. Love all your 2021 creations!

  21. I totally agree with your COVID/stress conclusions. These have been weird years and the stress of it all has definitely shown up in all of us. I'm glad that maybe you're sorting through some of it and feeling better. I had a hard time being creative this year.

    New follower of your blog, and I've really enjoyed what you share. Thank you for taking the time to write posts; Insta seems easier and faster, but reading through a maker's thought process in a blog post is just so much more enjoyable. Thank you!

  22. Happy New Year, Carolyn! Reading for me became stressful last year as well. 2022 will be about getting back to enjoying our hobbies for the pure love of them.

    1. Toni - Wow! I guess the pandemic affected all of us because you're my go to person for what to read next!

  23. Happy New Year! Best wishes for 2022!

  24. Stay healthy and creative. I love the way you work with panels and border prints to make truly artistic and beautiful garments. Sew on!

  25. That´s a wonderful recap, Carolyn. It´s fitting that you have identified clearly what sewing means to you and how you want to move forward. Have a wonderful 2022.

  26. My favorite is the dress with lemons! This year, I'm sewing what I want-- no deadlines, no last minute requests for the grandkids-- I miss creating whatever strikes my mood at the time. I'm not going to let Covid take that away.

  27. Everything you make is beautiful. I stopped sewing clothing because I retired. I am disgusted with off the rack. The only thing I find are teeshirts and stretch pants. Time to start again sewing as you said, "what I want, when I want." Thanks for the inspiration and the jumpstart I needed.


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