Monday, December 31, 2012

2012; a retrospective

Here we are, the very last day of the year! and a good time to reflect... was the year fabulous? was it awful? was it so humdrum we now cannot remember a single thing? 
Of course, the beauty of having the blog is that a whole bunch of stuff is documented in black and white buff yellow and there is just no escaping the truths within; good or bad, wrought by my own fair hand.
A favourite picture from each month of the year... June has two because I just had to have one each from Italy and Paris!
January

Italy!
Paris!

Thoughts on the year?  
I am quite comfortable now in making my own entire wardrobe.  It's been years (3? 4?) since I bought any RTW clothes.  I'm kinda happy with just about everything that I've made, only a handful of things per year get chopped up or passed on to others who liked them more than I did.  I'm getting better at letting go of things that are tatty or past their best, and allowing myself to wear the newer and exciting things I've made, with less fear of "mucking them up".
The big big big thing of the year for me....?
 I'm sewing my own lingerie now!!  This is something I always thought would be beyond me, so I am so glad I got brave and gave it a whirl.  My own self-made bras are so soft and comfy and well-fitting compared to any RTW thing I have worn in the past.  
Another personal best for the year was sewing my own raincoat...  I did it!  I cannot tell you how proud I am of that thing (smug self-pat on the back)


You can skip this next bit if you found it dull...  the finances.  So this year I set out to account for my sewing habit.  Like Ebenezer Scrooge I obsessively totted up every last cent, for every single thing sewing related that I used this year.  And I know I said I would disclose all the sewing I did for my family, including gifts, but I have decided not to.  I'm OK with that.  I mean, I know what I spent, but the secret will die with me.  The following is only just the sewing for ME!

Total expenditure: $1330.73.  
Number of garments made, counting each set of 1 bra+ 2 undies as one garment: 65
(plus 15 items for family)
Average cost per garment: $20.47
Favourite garment: Ivory trench coat
Any fails?: my double sleeved shirt got worn only a few times before I decided that bright-ish shade of sky-blue was awfully unflattering on me... fortunately Cassie likes it and took it.  It is a dress on her, and she looks adorable in it!
Garments made from old fabric: 29
Garments made from new fabric: 38 (yes, these numbers add up to more than 65, but two garments were made from both old and new fabric, and I counted these in both categories)
Refashioned garments: 12
Most expensive garment made: Peppercorn cardigan $108.70
Number of times worn:  ohmigosh, countless.  Probs at least 40 times during the winter and early spring.
Least expensive garment made: 18! garments were free!


So.  This is more than I thought I would spend, I had actually estimated about $1200 for me-sewing, but overall I don't think this is too bad.  Of course, I am very fortunate that a lot of my fabric is given to me; however that is actually a normal state of affairs.  Since everyone in my life knows how much I love to sew, I do receive a lot of fabric; both cast offs from other people's stashes, as well as in the form of gifts for my birthday and for Christmas.
There were some items that bumped up the total more than I expected, particularly lingerie.  Just the findings, elastic and the moulded bra cups that I like cost $25 per set of bra plus 2 undies, and that is before buying any fabric or lace...  and considering I made five sets this year... well lingerie turned out to be a more costly habit than I anticipated!
But so what; I'm making my own lingerie!!!  Wooo hooo!  Plus, each set is still far less expensive than anything I would buy, so I'm satisfied.  There will be more.

I also discovered that knitting is kinda an expensive hobby relative to sewing.  Yarns are quite dear compared to fabric.  But am I going to give up knitting? heck no.  I will take better care of my knitted items from now on though!

So, I am looking forward to the New Year already!
Please let me say, Thank You to all those who read my blog, and who take the time to comment; your presence and your support is very much appreciated.  Big hugs to all of you!
Also my very best wishes to all for a wonderful 2013, and I hope it brings to you all that you've been hoping for!
See you next year!

70 comments:

  1. So happy to have found you this year and what a great wrap up and I love the finances bit so much that I'm going to keep a list next year as well. The first time I read it I thought it said $130!! Your dive into lingerie this year was amazing and very inspirational! Happy new year!

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  2. That is just so awesome that you haven't bought any clothes for 4 years! I must say your blog is extremely inspirational. I'm especially inspired by sewing your own lingerie. I'm not sure if I'm ready for that quite yet but seeing you do it makes me think that it is not impossible. Looking forward to your creations in 2013.

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  3. Happy New Year - kick your heels up in style tonight, because you have had an absolutely brilliant year behind the sewing machine! Catch up with you, machine fully threaded, in the New Year (just under 8 hours away)...J

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  4. What a wonderful line up. Congratulations on all of your lovely items - they really are quite spectacular. And a big thumbs up for making your own delicates.... I'll never be able to make my own - not unless I use industrial strength gaffa tape instead of the lovely lace and elastics sold for make it yourself bras.. LOL.

    Your posts have been a highlight for me. Have a great New Year and here is to a fabulous 2013.

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  5. You made some amazing things! I am so impressed with your lingerie making abilities. Quite inspiring! I look forward to seeing all of your new creations in 2013. Happy New Year!

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  6. A great summary. I love your blog for the combination of technical expertise and sheer beauty--both the items themselves and the photos. Such a pleasure to look at and to read. I like the toting of expenses too and will have to go back and find the "rules" you'd originally set for your accounting. Happy New Year! Elle

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  7. Knitting is not a more expensive hobby than sewing if you count the number of hours of enjoyment (in the process of making). That's my story and I'm sticking to it! LOL

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  8. I agree with everyone, great round-up of the year and I too love the addition of the expenses list.

    I only found your blog part way through the year and have really enjoy reading your posts.

    Happy New Year to you and yours and look forward to seeing what you make next year.

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  9. I started out thinking the red dress would be my all time, well 2012, favourite, but then I got to the trench coat and then the patchwork beach dress... You have had a fabulous sewing year! Happy New Year!

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  10. What a great selection of clothing. I'm totally in love with your ivory trench coat! Have a very happy new year.

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  11. I've been reading your blog for a little less than a year now and I hae always enjoyed your fabulous makes and your witty posts - and let's not even talk about your style! The finance aspect is very interesting and you have inspired me to start some similar record of my expenditure for the year to come, it will probably be eye opening!
    I totally agree with you that knitting is an expensive hobby and it's a good thing we don't knit as fast as we sew... You can have cheaper and better garments than in RTW with sewing but it's sadly not true with knitting!
    Happy new year Carolyn!

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  12. Happy New Year Carolyn! I have loved reading your blog this year - your beautiful garments and photos, your generosity in sharing your skills and knowledge, and a kind and considerate personality shining through! Have a wonderful New Year and we will see you in 2013!

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    1. Ohh, thank you so much for those lovely words JenC, and wishing a very Happy New Year to you too :)

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  13. I rarely comment on blogs but I just want to let you know how much I've enjoyed reading yours. I particularly love your photos. Thank you for letting us share in what you make.

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  14. Lovely pics, specially the one from February, wauw
    Happy New Year to you and your family

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  15. I still love your red dress! The economics of sewing are interesting. I'm convinced it's more expensive than buying RTW (at least in the UK) but totally worth it for the fit and the styling.

    Happy new year!

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  16. I love your February dress and..... well what can I say... they are all fabulous! Well done, what a great wardrobe you have and everything is so well made. You're an inspiration. I hadn't thought about tracking how much I spend but I think it's a great idea. Thank you for sharing all that you do. Happy New Year and I'm looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things you make in 2013 :)

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  17. I do not know if where you live is another 2013, here are a few hours to celebrate the New Year yet, in any case I wish you a new year full of blessings and productivity, and that you follow as inspiring as ever. A hug from across the planet!

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  18. Have a wonderful new year Carolyn. Thanks for writing such an interesting, informative and enjoyable blog.

    Hugs to you too,

    Ronniie

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    1. Thank you Ronniie, a happy new year to you too; and here's to naked toenails!!

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  19. What a brilliant year of sewing! Your so good doing your expenditure. 65 garments for that price ready to wear at the same quality would probably been three times that!
    Plus its exactly what you want and is fitted to you! I say thats a bargain personally.
    Happy New Year! x

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  20. Wow what an amazing review. I look forward to reading your posts and find your sewing and photography very inspiring - thank you! Happy New Year!

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  21. Wow what an amazing review. I look forward to reading your posts and find your sewing and photography very inspiring - thank you! Happy New Year!

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  22. I love these year end reviews. I am not sure what is better on your blog, the sewing or the photography! I am impressed by how much you sew and by what a high standard you sew to. It's inspiring. Your yearly spend seems like quite a bargain for all that you have as a result!
    Happy New Year!

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  23. What a wonderful collection of garments and photos. Happy New Year!

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  24. Happy New Year Carolyn.

    Oh wow - you have made some very impressive garments this year! My favourites are the red dress from February and of course the ivory tench coat in April is to die for!!

    Looking forward to seeing and reading of your 2013 creations!

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  25. What a fantastic sewing year for you - $20 per garment is amazing but the experience of sewing and wearing one`s own clothes is priceless.

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  26. what a great year for you! i love seeing your cost break down, and you really have some of the best photos. happy 2013!

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  27. Happy New Year! And thank you for all the sewing inspiration - looking forward to seeing what next year will bring...

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  28. What a lovely set of garments you've sewn this year, Carolyn. I adore the red dress, the raincoat, the lingerie and so much more! I also love the expense list - thought I'm sure it was painful to track. (I hate tracking anything, so maybe I'm projecting, and it wasn't painful at all for you.) And 65 garments is so impressive, especially because you make complicated detailed garments. Happy New Year to you!

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  29. Happy New Year!
    Just wanted to let you know what true a inspiration you are to me. Each day I look forward to checking out your blog. Beautiful photography as well as the garments!!

    Best wishes!

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  30. Fascinating! Love the year in photos and your financial tally!
    I think it's Amazing!! Pretty sure you would have spent WAY more money if you had had to buy all the lovely things you made! Plus they fit you the best! 4 years without buying clothes! I am inspired! Maybe someday!

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  31. Absolutely beautiful. Stunning work. I haven't posted much during the year but I have been watching. Once again, you've created some very inspirational pieces. Thanks so much for the tips and advice. Have a wonderful New Year!

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  32. Thank you for such a good summation of your 2012 sewing year Carolyn. I am inspired to recapture my pre-divorce sewing enthusiasm of 15 years ago, and you can take the credit for that!

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  33. So interesting to see the totals spent, makes one feel smug when looking at RTW, in a good way! Happy New Year and looking forward to your creations in 2012. (plus more beach photos)

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  34. Carolyn, thank you for sharing your photos and sewing on your blog. I have to tell you that you have been a huge inspiration and I hope one day to reach your level of talent. And also for your lovely comments whenever you pop by my blog. Wishing you and your family a wonder New Year!

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  35. So inspiring, and I loved your finance project. I think sewing your own clothes is cheaper than RTW, considering that you are using better quality fabrics, and better construction techniques. Your clothes will last much longer than anything factory made, and you can always fix it or reuse in other ways. Your blog is wonderful and I enjoy your posts so much, thank you for sharing your knowledge and humor. Happy New Year, and I look forward to your creations in 2013!

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  36. I've always loved your great fashion artistry and am now even more impressed by your financial common sense. I think your blog and results show that you can save money sewing for yourself.....once you've put the work into learning the skills and know your own style needs. Cheers to creativity and economy, a double win.

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  37. Carolyn, I'm sure 2013 is going to be a great year, wow - you've made so much and congratulations on not buying any clothes and making them all yourself. Lingerie too - well done!!! Totally inspiring!!! Happy 2013!!!

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  38. Beautiful shots (as always), and wonderful garments (as always).

    You are definitely one of my inspirations in not buying RTW (it's been 3 years for me), but I'm due for undergarments, big time!

    Many blessings and good wishes for continued abundance in 2013!

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  39. What a year! Congrats on your accomplishments and thanks for sharing it all with us :-) Hugs from chilly Canada :-)

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  40. I love the year's end wrap-up. I didn't realize you had so many pictures without Sienna, one of my favorite blog dogs for her positively blasé demeanor.
    Thanks for not disclosing how much you spent on sewing gifts for your family - it's the decision I would have made. I do love hearing what you spent for your own sewing, though.

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  41. Lovely items! I love the May dress! looks so original and I prefer it to the Vogue's version. Casual but stylish.. perfect!

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  42. I have really enjoyed following your blog this year and it has inspired me to buy one of your favorite patterns (may be time to make it up!) and to make limoncello! I still want to try that dip dye skirt too. All the best for 2013!

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  43. Wow! You certainly have been productive this year. Although I haven't done very much sewing myself I still find your makes inspiring, so thank you and keep up the great work.

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  44. Gorgeous garments and love your willingness to share ideas and techniques with us all. Your photos are so inspiring and seeing Sienna always makes me smile. Happy New Year!

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  45. Your creations this year have been particularly diverse. I like the tee shirt dress for its uniqueness and the lingerie for the pretty factor. How have you found the whole book keeping project? Has it been enlightening or just plain dull? Personally, I have really enjoyed it. But then I am a numbers person. Happy New Year!

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  46. Happy New Year to you too! I have particularly enjoyed your blog again this year and genuinely look forward to each post! One thing I intend to do is keep a track of my sewing spend this year, oh and learn how to finish my knitting pieces. I have 3 cardigans finished, but just don't know how to sew them up neatly - ironic isn't it?! Hope 2013 is a great year for you and your family

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  47. Oh I'm loving reading everyones retrospectives, great job Carolyn, I loved reading that you tried new things like the lingerie and the raincoat and how proud you are of those, that amongst everything else you've made! Just magic. All the best for 2013 can't wait to see what you do this year.

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  48. A very successful 2012 for you! Happy New Year! And I am looking forward to see what you create in 2013.

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  49. What a lovely retrospective. You made some beautiful things in 2012! It is interesting that you mention the cost of making lingerie. It really gives an appreciation for why nice lingerie costs so much.
    Happy New Year!

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  50. Fab garments and photos. I think you got a fantastic wardrobe for your money.
    Happy New Year!

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  51. What a great year of sewing. I always adore your projects. Happy new year!

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  52. Great pieces. I admire people brave enough to tally up the cost their sewing. I'm not prepared to do this for fear that it spoils my fun!

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  53. What a great review... the red dress, the trench coat and the May dress are beautiful...as for the bathing suit and the lingerie: you're great!!!! Happy new year

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  54. Happy new year! This was a fun way to sum up the year. I'm always curious what other people spend, I should look up the exchange rate. And totally impressed with your under-garments. Totally cool! and something I don't think I'll ever do either.

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  55. oh i love everything you make but i have to say my fave's from above are the smoking red dress, the ivory trench and the raincoat, LOVE LOVE LOVE them!! i also love that you keep track of your sewing expenses and break it down at the end of the year (and sometimes by garment).... but i'm not going to lie, i'm curious about what others are spending on their fabric and notions!! :) happy new year!

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  56. I really like this way to round-up the year! And I think I'm going to copy you :)

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  57. What an impressive recap of your years sewing. You are very inspiring - with many garments I would love to have myself.
    You said you were a little surprised at the amount you had spent over the year - just imagine what it would have cost to have the same garments (of the same high quality) ready made. I suspect you have a bargain :)

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  58. Hello!! What a glorious year for you! Urgh. You put me to shame. The only thing I'm good at is taking naps. My favourite is your lingerie! It's gorgeous! I've been wanting to do some sort of gorgeous vintage inspired lacy number for ages... but surprise surprise I haven't been bothered.

    Am *considering* a reappearance to blogging. Hahaha. It's so much better for my sewing initiative and reading other ppl's blogs gives me tonnes of glorious inspiration (especially yours!).

    Do you happen to remember the pattern you used for a top you made a while ago. Could have even been over a year ago. It was cream and satiny and had a kind of "knot" at the neckline. I wanna make that one!

    And I've been meaning to ask you for ages. Is your husband the anaesthetist or the hand surgeon? I went to the hand surgeon to get my munted finger fixed, but he didn't look like I remember your husband looking in your photos. Either that or my memory fails me (as usual).

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  59. Carolyn, you are so beautiful and inspirational - I'm always excited to see your makes and hope someday to be as skilled as you - all the best for 2013!! :)

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  60. Happy New Year, Carolyn, and thanks for the nice words you left me! May 2013 be a fun year fulfilled with joy and happiness.
    Last year I was rather quiet as a commenter over here, but I was following everything you were posting. You were so prolific, I really enjoyed all of your fun and elegant projects.

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  61. Everything is absolutely beautiful, and looks even more so modeled and photographed by you. Yours is one of the blogs that I never fail to read each and every time you post. More please! :).

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  62. Thank you for recapping what's been a great year for you Carolyn. I enjoy your style and take on sewing. Not to mention the cooking and lemoncello version:) I bet these are a hit this summer.
    Sorry to have missed this post at the time - I was on a break.
    You do know that your Pattern Magic work got me started working on PM late last year.
    All the best to you in 2013.

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  63. I start to erad your blog when you posted about Peppercorn cardigan%) I remember it!
    Good year to you!

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