The 2014 Sewing Year in Review

Last week I started going through my posts from last year, in order to write a year in review post, and what did I find?  My draft 2013 year in review post, never finished, and never published.  Eeep!

What’s a good blogger to do?  Re-write it an recycle it for 2014 of course!

Top five favourites for 2014:

  1. Stockings.  The Nana stockings most of all, but they all make me quite happy!  And the stocking pattern/tutorial will be published next Wed/Thur!

    1870s Manet's Nana inspired stockings thedreamstress.com

  2. The Vionnet chiton dress for ‘When I Was a Bird’.  These dresses are so fun to make, fun to wear, and effortlessly elegant.  And obviously, I’m pretty pleased over the Threads article about them!
    A dress for Mansfield's 'When I was a bird' thedreamstress.com
  3. The Inspired Edwardian Swimsuit. I  am just SO chuffed that I made an Edwardian swimsuit, and so pleased by how it looks on!  I can’t wait to do a proper photoshoot with it.
    1900s swimsuit thedreamstress.com
  4. The Ballerina Moment dress, because, Grandma’s fabric & pattern + ballerina moment = happiness!
    Butterick 6485 for a ballerina inspired dress thedreamstress.com
  5. The Amazon Queen Pair of Bodies.  I’m just amazed at how much I actually like these, despite my initial misgivings about Elizabethan!
    1590s gilt linen pair of bodies thedreamstress.com


Plus, there is the  Henrietta Maria in Paradise  dress (how can you not like something that reminds you of a tropical holiday?), and the Hepburn in Hakatere trousers (love ’em), the Joy Gives us Wings dress (love it), the 1913 paisley skirt & 1910s checked shirt (love them both!), the Wild Swans shift (OK, it’s really just the photoshoot that makes me love it so much, but that counts too, right?), unders, .  Overall, it was just a really good year for sewing!

Top (bottom?) five  least favourites from 2014:

  1. The Regency Wrap Corset a la Paresseuse.  So disappointing that this is so uncomfortable on me.  Bloody scoliosis.
  2. The Swiss Waist.  Yet another item that I put a ton of work into, made beautifully, and just didn’t get quite right.
  3. The Regency chemise, only because it turns out it doesn’t fit under either of my Regency frocks!  Grrrrrr…..
  4. The 1860s Maybe Mourning bonnet, just because I think it is frumpy on me.
  5. The Mariana Victoria  skirt.  OK, it’s a favourite as an abstract, not intended for anything garment, but I strongly suspect it is too narrow for a 1720s robe de coer, so there may be a panicked ‘Ummm…readers….I’m going to change horses in mid-stream…” post about it in my future.

Five things I’m super proud of myself for:

  1. Threads!  Getting published in Threads is making me extremely happy at the moment.
  2. Patterns: I’ve gotten a ton of patterns fully drafted, sized and tested.  Now to conquer the website/business side of things.
  3. Sewing for me & historically:  I’ve done a ton of both this year, and that does make me quite pleased.
  4. Teaching:  Teaching has been great – nothing beats the feeling of running into someone who first took Absolute Beginners Sewing with you 7 months ago in a fabulous outfit that they made themselves!
  5. House:    We have a house!  Finding one was a huge amount of work, and we love our house so much!

Five  Two things I’m a bit disappointed about:

  1. Stress:    This year was just very stressful, and I hope 2015 won’t be.
  2. Patterns: I’m still not wear I wanted to be with patterns – it all takes so much longer than I want it to.
  3. Ummm… That’s kind of it.  Which is really good!  But the patterns one is big.  :-/

 Five goals for 2015:

  1. Patterns.  Patterns.  Patterns.
  2. Big, massive, top secret, may not happen but can’t jinx it by talking about it project.
  3. House stuff.  Especially curtains.  We are NOT going to have another year of black curtains, especially since I already have the fabric.
  4. To  not buy any shop-new clothes except bras and socks.  Not even unders, I can make my own.
  5. Historical PHDs done.  I’ve got quite a few of them stashed up, and they are all beautiful, but need finishing.  So that’s the goal!

What did you accomplish last  year that you are really pleased about?  What goals do you have for this  year?


  1. Lynne says

    An ‘Oh, rats!’ about Mariana Victoria! I was looking forward to that – I adore the fabric and the colour and the idea – but I can see it could be a bit, well, frugal, in the amount in the skirt. And such skirts really mustn’t be frugal. To be Pollyanna, at least you haven’t cut the material about much, so it will be available to be something else golden.

    • Lynne says

      And I think you could have added ‘spread happiness and sunshine’ to the list of achievements, though I can see that would not be modest. Allow me to add it for you!

  2. Good goals for 2015! I’m actually hoping to do the exact same for #4! We’ll see how well it goes, since clothes are just…so darn fun…

  3. Elise says

    Very very very very cool. Very very very very very very very cool!

    2014 has been hard and wonderful for me, too. Your blog is often a wonderful respite during the hard part. Thank you.

  4. Another “oh rats” about Mariana Victoria.
    But a lot more “awww” about the others. You made so many lovely things last year!
    In 2014, I’m proudest of: finally finishing my sister’s kathak skirt (and to her satisfaction), finally finishing my Regency stays, making the summer trousers I’ve been dreaming of for a while, and super-utilitarian sweatpants that I’m wearing right now and sort of all the time, so they have most definitely filled a void in my wardrobe (namely, for something warm to wear around the house and do stuff in).
    This year: finish stuff and make some of the ideas instead of just ideaing about them.

  5. You’ve achieved fantastic things in 2014 and have so much to be proud of. I wish you an even better 2015 with much less stress!

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