Top N of 2022 part 2

Part two of my end of year roundup. I’m using the old Sewing Top Five series headings. The official blog series is no more but I’ve been doing it for years and it’s interesting to compare with last year’s post, well interesting for me anyway, so I’m sticking with it. I covered hits and misses last week. Now I have highlights, reflections, and goals left to cover.

Highlights: I gave away some of my pattern collection this year and it felt great. I realised I was damaging the patterns by cramming them into inadequate space. So I picked out the ones I knew I’d never sew and put them on Freecycle; rather to my surprise they were snapped up and that gave the rest some breathing room.

The only envelope pattern I bought this year

I’m still collecting patterns but trying to be much mindful about it. I think the only brand new envelope pattern I bought this year was Vogue 1853. That was for my husband and got sewed up before the year was out so doesn’t count as collecting. Instead I’m stalking eBay for vintage patterns, but I’m only buying ones I really love and might actually make. It’s dangerous though. I started off just looking for Claude Montana designs, but then the work of a couple of other 80s designers caught my eye too. Hopefully some of those will feature on the blog next year.

I thought about giving up my Burda subscription because there was a period where the designs didn’t speak to me at all. Happily it improved this year so I’ve renewed. I can see why people feel they’ve been repeating designs, but I am currently finding two or three appealing patterns that aren’t repeats in each issue which makes it worth it for me.

I also discovered the COPA pattern archive this year which has been great for dating vintage patterns. When I first found out about it you needed to apply for a user account to use it, but the pattern database is now accessible online without even logging in.

Reflections? I wasn’t as productive this year as last but I had one of my best success rates. I made fourteen things of which eleven get regular wear. Even the three that didn’t work very well have been worn out of the house on occasion.

I did less wardrobe planning this year. I sewed the 80s wardrobe I’d planned in 2021, but after that I gave up on drawing up elaborate plans and made three jumpsuits in a row instead. But I enjoy the planning and it leads to better outcomes on the whole, so I shall likely go back to it in a small way.

I just checked back on last year’s goals and was surprised to find I’d actually achieved them all. I made up some of my vintage patterns, made some clothes that weren’t black or grey, continued to reduce the fabric stash, and carried on blogging.

I’m having a hard time coming up with goals for this year. I have some vague plans: making up a vintage 80s Dior dress pattern and some clothes inspired by recent Saint Laurent collections. The Saint Laurent knockoffs are going to require some hacking of existing patterns to realise, so perhaps my goal should be to start adapting patterns rather than making them up as-is. I also need to make some practical things this year: a new dressing gown is one of them.

Happy New Year to all!

18 thoughts on “Top N of 2022 part 2

  1. I’m loving the 1980s patterns as well. Haven’t used them yet, but I like having them. I’m wanting to make a pair of Issey Miyake pants and also a jacket. I just don’t want to wear anything with tight arms, it seems! LOL. Just tried on a sweater I’ve had for years (and worn often) but suddenly I hate the sleeves and so into the donation pile it goes!! Enjoying reading your blog. Happy New Year from Oregon, USA.

  2. I am still down on Burda’s recent output… I see some of their stuff and think, “if this showed up in my mailbox, I might sew one or two of these”. But I wouldn’t pay money a la carte for any of their patterns since 2020. Hacking patterns sounds way more fun!

    1. I like having a collection of Burda so that when I get an idea I can usually find a pattern to start from that’s fairly close. I’m a bit concerned by the recent announcement that ‘all patterns will be available in size 36-44’ … which I take to actually mean no more plus, tall, or petite designs.

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog and look at the photo’s of your makes.
    I bought some old Burda’s of 2009, at that time I was pregnant so I missed out on some nice patterns.
    I have a lot of stash so I will try not to buy new fabric🤓
    Happy new year and I’m looking forward to your makes

    1. Thanks! 2009 was indeed a good year for Burda…I’ve just pulled out the April issue again as there’s a jumpsuit that’s a close match to a recent Saint Laurent design.

  4. It’s always interesting to get insight into the use and execution of goals, you have inspired me to be a little less random in my sewing. I also discovered COPA via Sarah Sheehan, I think. I don’t know if it’s good or bad as it had me looking at that Issey Miyake coat thinking I can hack it!

  5. I hear you on making three things in a row being more fun. But I also agree that planning results in better outcomes.
    I’m super pleased that you’re still blogging- hope that continuing your excellent blog is a goal for 2023 too!

  6. Sounds like a good year, creatively at least! Vague plans are good, sometimes. I’m finding planning for the year (outfit wise) doesn’t suit, but working within broad parameters seems to work better for me. Off to write my own reflections post.

  7. Well done on achieving the goals you set! I often start the year with a vague list but it never stays the same. I loved your jumpsuits and 80’s wardrobe. I bought a simple loose black jumpsuit in Tesco last summer and I almost lived in it, so I’m hoping to make one or two clones for this summer. That’s my only resolution- to start my summer sewing now – instead of being surprised when the Sun appears for a few weeks and I’m outdoors too much to sew!

    1. Oh that’s a very good point…all my summer dresses had to be retired because they’re too tatty, so I’d better think about that too. I like the sound of your jumpsuit 🙂

  8. I think having less output but higher success rate can be a really good thing! That’s how this year was for me too. I think it can be good because it means that there is more intentionality and utility in things, and I think right now that’s good, even if the output is less than we might be expecting. While I’ve been a bit vocal over Burda’s turn towards repeat or very close to repeat patterns, I am still giving them another chance this year, since it looks like they are starting to produce more new patterns. I still find that my Burda collection is my default go-to when I’m looking for a particular kind of pattern, though I will say that Patrones is giving me more modern inspirations, despite their rather formulaic use of about 20% blazers, 30% tops, 30% bottoms, and 20% dresses variety in any given issue, and the fit issues I have with their patterns. It will be interesting to see how I feel at the end of this year, especially because I’m really starting to get near capacity in terms of pattern storage…

      1. I also find it concerning, especially since their size range wasn’t that expansive to begin with, and I can’t imagine anyone asking for fewer sizes… It’s sort of concerning and hints to me that they might just go something like the Burda Easy format each month and only doing Plus sizes in a special issue. Remains to be seen, but it *really* makes me appreciate my (at this point practically vintage) issues from the mid-2000s where the plus section had beautifully detailed trench coats and dress patterns, which they really haven’t been focusing on for the past decade.

      2. Also! If that does happen it makes me laugh at all the historical costumers who complain about movies where “old people don’t wear old style fashions all the time” and I’m about to be “just watch me, because the mid-2000s were peak…” 🤣

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