Stats

2019 in review

As promised I’m here to nerd out at you with my annual (biannual if you include Me Made May) Stat Attack.

I made 18 garments in 2019. That’s the least sewing I’ve done (or fewest completed garments at least) since 2015.

I think the main reason is that at the beginning of the year I was having a really tough time with my mental health. I had a terrible manager at work and I was really struggling because of him.

Fortunately he left in the summer and it made a huge difference. I have a much nicer big boss now (my little boss has always been the same and she’s great) who actually treats his staff with respect and trust. Work has been bananas in general this year though. I have been so busy, which I actually prefer and have so much more job satisfaction. It’s just been very tiring so I haven’t wanted to come home and bend over cutting things out or be shut away from the Manfriend sewing. I just want to sit on the sofa and decompress.

I know some people find that sewing offers that decompression and it does for me too, once I get going. It’s the getting going that is the problem.

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t really sewn that much this year and a lot of the sewing I have done has been a lot of quick win easy stuff. I also (just remembered) that I did a three month career development programme at the end of the year. It came with quite a bit of homework so a lot of my evenings and weekends that would normally have been spent sewing were spent doing assignments and elearning.

What I made

The graph below shows what garment types I made. I included the usual categories even though they’re empty.

graph showing what I made by garment type

Not a very varied year this year. This ties in to what I said at the beginning of the post about quick, easy sewing projects. I was and still am in desperate need of tops though. I’ve made lots of dresses over the years but I wear jeans and a top far more than the dresses. So 13 tops is a good result.

Here’s the graph from earlier split into garment types for no real reason other than I got carried away and I enjoy the rainbow colours. There are no real trends that I can see. I have sewn fewer dresses the last two years but I don’t know that that’s something that will continue.

I’ve included a table of this one too because it was really hard to put in the alt text.

201420152016201720182019
Skirts312152
Tops251011813
Dresses76101083
Shorts/culottes100110
Trousers013020
Cardigans022720
Jackets000200
Other020200

Knits vs woven

It was a very heavily knit biased year this year because they’re quick, easy and they’re what I’m most in need of in my wardrobe.

Here’s the overall breakdown:

pie chart showing knits vs woven, there is only a very small wedge of woven
2 woven garments to 16 knit garments

And here you can see it split into garment types:

I only made two woven things and they were both Deer and Doe Melilot shirts. I really enjoy the process of sewing shirts. They’re a great thing to make in small time slots as there are lots of little steps so you feel like you achieve something each time.

I’ve been meaning to get some photos of them because they’re both the wrong size so I thought it’d make for an interesting blog post. One is a 40 and the other is a 44 but my measurements probably put me at a 42 – at least they did, my holiday and Christmas have increased them slightly so the 44 might be the right size now. I’ll need to check.

Prints vs solid

a pie chart showing solid vs print, the solid wedge is slightly smaller than a quarter, maybe a fifth

I really thought there’d be more solids than this. I think it’ll be really useful to see how my print to solid ratio in my wear count compares to this.

Pattern companies

Below is a graph to show what pattern companies I used. The overall scale is the number of things I made with a pattern from that company but the darker/purply blue colour is the number of patterns I used and the light blue is when there were repeats of the same pattern. I hope that makes sense.

a bar chart showing what my finished garments by pattern company

So there were no runaway winners in the favourite pattern or pattern company race this year. Though the Dixie DIY Ballet dress and Hey June Lane raglan are probably the real winners as I used them as the base of lots of things.

Going forward I’m going to try to only support pattern companies who have an inclusive size range. I’m still going to sew the patterns I already own that don’t have as wide a range as they should because I have already bought them so I don’t want that to be a waste of money. But I won’t be purchasing more from those companies until they expand their sizing range. I also need to make sure I tell the pattern companies when I would have bought one of their patterns if their size range was wider.

Remakes

I made 10 new patterns and remade 8, which seems fairly standard for me. Roughly half of what I make seems to be new patterns.

Fabric choices

Less of a viscose heavy year this year. I think because I sewed a few things with cotton jersey. The polyester was some scuba and a couple of bits of jersey that I got two things from each so it’s only actually three bits of polyester fabric.

Success Rate

This is a category that just popped into my head as two of the polyester things I made are both wadders that have never been worn and sadly I think that’s actually the case for quite a few of the things I made this year.

Of the 17 things I made for myself three of them have never been worn, two have only been worn once and another is only good for wearing around the house.

So that’s either a 72% or 67% success rate depending on whether you count the top I wear around the house as a fail or not.

The failures

Mostly the failures have been down to fabric and fit. Two of them were intended to be wearable toiles anyway, they just didn’t end up wearable. The other is a Seamwork Neenah top, which is polo-neck and my office is just too warm for polo-necks. I could and should wear it at home though.

One of the things I’ve once worn once is a Hey June Lane raglan I lengthened to dress length. Unfortunately, I didn’t lengthen it quite enough. The neckline also sits a bit too wide, which is a pain as it’s in sweatshirting fabric so it’s for cooler weather when I don’t want that much neck out.

The other is a dress I made from the Deer and Doe Sirocco jumpsuit pattern. I like it in theory but there are some fit issues around the armhole and upper chest. It also gaped a bit as the fabric relaxed through the day. It’s by no means unwearable, it’s just not something I reach for.

Stash

Fabric

I bought 20 pieces of fabric, totalling 32.2m and I used 15.5m so I haven’t continued my stashbusting streak sadly. I added 16.7m to the stash – but that does include 3m that I got as a Christmas present that I don’t feel should completely count.

Even worse is the fact that only 7m of the fabric I used this year was bought this year. So I clearly didn’t actually need to other 25.2 metres.

But, to look on the positive side, 32 metres is probably the least fabric I’ve bought in a year since I started sewing. It’s certainly the least I’ve bought since I started tracking it. So that’s good.

I spent £320.48 on fabric this year, which works out at an average of £9.95 per metre, which is up exactly £1 from last year. I did say I wanted to increase the average cost.

Patterns

It’s a very similar state of affairs when we look at patterns. I bought 19 patterns and 1 pattern magazine (Ottobre), with 10 patterns in. So that’s a total of 29 patterns. And I’ve sewn 1.5 (I used the bodice of the sirocco jumpsuit with a skirt, so that’s the half).

As with fabric, I bought fewer patterns than last year (42 including book patterns). It just feels worse because I didn’t sew as many of them. Last year was a 12% useage rate and this year was only 5%. So that’s something to work on.

I spent £162.92, which is £8.15 per pattern if you count the magazine as one or £5.62 per pattern if you count each pattern in the magazine individually.

Plans

Make Nine

I thought I’d revisit last year’s make nine plans to see how well I did – spoiler, it could hardly be worse.

I chose fabric instead of patterns for my make nine and I only sewed one of them. Oops.

I’m not going to choose a new Make Nine this year, I’m just going to carry on with those ones. If I carry on at this rate I’ll be done by the end of the decade at least….

2020

This year I’m hoping to just do a little bit more sewing really. Though I have another busy work year ahead of me, so I don’t know how much I’ll realistically get done. I have cut out two things to make – an a-line scuba skirt and an Anna Rose Tethys jumper.

I want to buy less too. I know I go into every year with that aim but I feel quite optimistic. I’m trying to follow a new rule where I’m not allowed to buy any fabric without getting a sample swatch first. It really helps curb the impulse buying. I have of course bought loads of swatches. But no fabric, apart from one piece I bought before I made the rule.

Other than that I have no real goals for 2020. How about you? Have you got lots of plans and goals or are you playing it more loose this year like me?

#JulyMadeIt Thoughts, Stats & Graphs

As promised, I’m back with my stat attack post – I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get it finished yesterday so I could make a poor staturday pun but I drank beer with my beloved instead. I regret nothing.

Anyway, stats!

How did it go?

I didn’t make a pledge as such because there was no one to pledge to but I went by my now usual Me Made May rules. Which is that I only have to worry about wearing handmade if I leave the house.

I wore handmade on 24 days out the 31 – so that’s my cold days and some lazy weekend days. I’m happy with that and even happier that 78% of my outfits were entirely handmade. That’s much better than last year’s Me Made May, where I only managed 49%. I suspect that was helped by it being too warm for jeans but I’ll still take it as a win.

What I wore

The graph below shows what I wore by garment type. Both handmade and RTW – dark purple is handmade and light purple is RTW. I have left cardigans off the graph because I don’t have reliable figures on them. I generally didn’t start the day in a cardigan but wore one quite often in the office (air con), which I didn’t record. So I thought it best to just leave them off.

Pattern companies

The graph above shows the garments I wore by pattern company. The columns show the total number of times I wore a garment made from one of that company’s patterns. Then the line chart shows the number of garments that was.

So for example, the bar chart for Megan Nielsen shows that I wore a Megan Nielsen pattern 3 times but the line chart shows that it was just one garment, that I repeated. Whereas I wore True Bias patterns 8 times and it was 7 different garments. I hope that makes sense. It might have been better as a stacked bar chart.

It clearly shows what a romp away winner True Bias was though! All down to my Southport dresses and Ogden camis.

This graph is a little unfair to Seamwork as I wore that one garment a lot more than once. I just didn’t log it very well.

Print vs Solids

I tracked whether every garment I wore was a print, solid or had a texture. By texture I mean things where they are technically a solid but they’re a bit more interesting. So if something was crepe or lace I would have put it in texture – the one bit of texture was my burnout Seamwork Wembley cardigan.

I noticed that the type of prints I wear can be split into just a few categories so I kept track of what type of print I wore too and here are the results:

I really love a floral clearly. I used geometric as a bit of a catch-all for anything shape based and/or abstract. So as well things you’d typically call geometric like my Newport dress my crosshatched Gabriola skirt and heart print Winslows went into geometric.

The “Animals” category was originally called novelty but both the garments in there were animals so it got a name change.

Colours

I tracked the general colour family that things fell into. That wasn’t always easy with my love of floral prints but I just went with the main colour. Black and green have crept up and blue has drifted down a bit. I think that’s a new entry for yellow too.

Most worn garments

  • Wembley cardigan – I don’t know exactly how many times
  • Flint trousers – 3 times
  • Green Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes – twice
  • Juniper cardigan – twice
  • Ballet tee – twice
  • Southport dress – twice

My favourite outfit(s)

I could easily have chosen four outfits but these are my top two favourites.

Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes (palazzo pants) with a RTW black off the shoulder top (well it’s actually a body)
Sewaholic Gabriola skirt and True Bias Ogden cami

Instagram’s favourite outfit

My Sew Over It Doris dress.

Gaps/conclusion

I could do with some more solid, neutral separates. There were some patterned skirts I would have liked to wear but didn’t really have anything to go with them so I didn’t.

A few more tops in general would probably be a good idea as that’s the category that saw the most RTW.

I’d like another lightweight neutral cardigan too – I said that last Me Made May as well and it just hasn’t happened yet.

And I could always have more maxi dresses and Winslow culottes.

Other than that I didn’t really notice any particular gaps. I think I’m going to do another Me Made Month challenge in the autumn/winter if anyone would like to join me? I definitely have fewer cool weather handmade clothes so I’d like to work out what I need there – and be inspired by other people’s outfits, so I hope I can encourage a few of you to join in!

My 2018 sewing in graphs

Happy new year, folks! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate and a good break if you got to have one. My Christmas was lovely and betwixtmas was blissfully relaxed and lazy.

I had planned to do a bit of sewing to try to finish off some of my WIPs but I ate Christmas food and watched telly instead. We’d saved series 3 of Ultimate Beastmaster for Christmas, which I very much enjoyed but would have liked a little bit more Honeybadger (the male Australian host).

But anyway, I lured you in with talk of graphs. I enjoyed last year’s graph attack so much that I’m back with another one this year.

What I made

I made 27 garments this year, 24 for me and 3 for other people. They were all sewn as I didn’t do much knitting.

As seems to be usual for me they were mostly all tops and dresses but I did also sew quite a few skirts this year.

pie chart of garments made by type of garment

Knit vs Woven

pie chart of knits (48.1%) vs woven (51.2%)

It seems I am a straight down the middle girl on the knits vs wovens question as this is the second year in a row when there was only one garment in it.

It was a fairly even split between knit and woven for most garment types but knits took the lead on tops and wovens on dresses.

Printed v PDF

I’ve sewn a lot more printed patterns this year but I’m still a PDF girl at heart.

Indie v Big 4

I had intended to try a few more Big 4 1 patterns this year as I have a sizeable collection of them now from magazines and from shopping sprees when they’re on sale. Ooh, maybe I should pick out some of them and do Ella’s #sewsix with just Big Pattern patterns.

I also “self-drafted” a couple of patterns this year. Not that there was any real drafting involved in either of them. One is a knit pencil skirt pattern that I’ve used twice. The other was a dress made of rectangles of fabric shirred at the top. So nothing fancy.

Pattern companies

There was no romp away winner in the sewing pattern company category this year. The bars in the graph below shows how many garments I made from each pattern company and the line chart on it shows the number of different patterns from each company.

Remakes?

I’m surprised by how few patterns I resewed this year. The patterns I did sew again were:

  • True Bias Lander pants
  • True Bias Ogden cami
  • Dixie DIY Ballet dress t-shirt hack
  • Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan
  • My self drafted knit pencil skirt
  • The skirt from Simplicity 1418
  • New Look 6217 top in a knit (this was a fail)

Looking at it in a list it doesn’t seem as bad. There’s nothing wrong with sewing new patterns I suppose. I was just a bit surprised by it.

Fabric choices

No surprises that viscose is still my most used fabric as it is my one true love fibre. The percentage of cotton I used has nearly doubled from it’s 15% last year and polyester dropped from 29%.

Stash

Fabric

This year I bought 25 pieces of fabric totalling 41.1 metres, which is less than half the amount of fabric I bought last year! (Last year was 107.4 metres)

Though, my output was lower and I’ve cut out 48.75 metres (38 fabrics) and most of those things have become garments. Last year I’d cut out just under 69 metres of fabric but a lot of those things were sat waiting to be made into garments, which probably shouldn’t count.

So the stash DECREASED by 7.65 metres. Wooot! It’s not quite the 1 in: 2 out ratio I’d hoped for but I’m still really happy to have actually decreased it for the first time.

I also tracked how much I spent on fabric this year and it was £368, which is a little over £30 a month. I’m pretty happy with that, it’s not excessive and I can’t see myself managing to get it much lower. It’s an average cost per metre of £8.95, from a mixture of some really cheap fabric and a couple of pricier bits.

It’s a bit of strange thing to say but I think I’d like to get my average slightly higher next year. I’d like to buy fewer, higher quality fabrics. Though as I mostly shop online it can be hard to know what fabric is better quality and what is just more expensive.

Patterns

I didn’t specifically track patterns but I went back over my Bits n Bobbins posts for the year and counted up the patterns I bought. I bought 31 patterns plus 2 pattern books containing 5 and 6 patterns respectively. So in total that’s 42 new patterns.

And I have sewn 5 of them…

That’s not a great conversion rate, so that’s probably something I should look at this year. If I’m not going to make the pattern straight away there’s no need to buy it straight away.

I think I’ll track pattern purchases and cost this year too because I can’t keep buying more and more patterns I never make.

The verdict

I had a tough year at work and my mental health has continued to suffer so I tried not to put any pressure on myself to sew if I wasn’t feeling it. We also did a fair bit of decorating and I prioritised other hobbies like running. So I didn’t feel like I’d actually done much sewing. But 27 finished garments is the same as in 2016 and only 5 less than in 2017 so it’s fairly average for me.

I’d like to be a little more productive this year and work my way through my stash a bit. I’m really pleased with myself for decreasing my stash last year and I’m hopeful I can continue that trend.

If you’ve got this far I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with my nerdy sewing stat nonsense. If you like the nerdy stuff, is there anything else you think I should track? Or that you’d be interested in reading more about?

Me Made May 18: Thoughts, Stats and Graphs

Hey everyone. I hope you’re all having a nice week. I’m sitting in my sunny garden on my lunchbreak as I write this so everything feels pretty good at the moment. Nice weather makes such a difference doesn’t it?

Anyway, I’m here to get all navel gazey and introspective about Me Made May. Complete with graphs! God, I love a graph. Let’s just dive on in shall we?

How did I do?

I have mixed feelings about how I did this year. On the one hand I don’t really feel like I did that well. Because my pledge was only to wear me made when I left the house and I’m a strange hermit person I only participated on 19 days, which doesn’t feel like enough. But on the days where I did take part I wore a lot more Me Made than RTW. Excluding repeat wears I wore 21 different me made garments and 7 RTW garments.

I was just shy of my goal to wear completely me made for more than 50% of my outfits. I managed 9/19, which works out at 47.7%. So that’s not too bad really.

I do think that this year probably better reflects how I actually dress than last year. I didn’t repeat any outfits but I repeated more individual garments. If I hadn’t had a week off there probably would have been repeated outfits though. There were a couple of days where I wanted to put something on that I’d already worn but stopped myself. I must admit, I found thinking so much about what to wear quite draining and I was happy to just wear whatever I felt like on the 1st June.

What I wore

Graph time! Here’s what handmade clothes I wore by garment type. The blue is the number of times I wore that particular type of garment and the green column is the number of different garments.

I wore far fewer dresses this year and a lot more top. Knit tops was a gap I identified last year and I now have a couple of them, which got a fair bit of wear. I’ve also added two Ogden camis to my handmade wardrobe since last year and recently made some knit skirts (also identified as a gap last year) which seems to have given separates a boost over dresses. My handmade cardigan collection got a lot of wear too.

And the ready to wear graph:

The first thing that I see with this graph is how much less RTW I wore, which is good. I wear leggings quite a bit and I haven’t actually counted them in most of my stats but I put them on the graph. I don’t think I can be arsed to make leggings. Obviously, I have the Helen’s Closet Avery leggings as I’m a fangirl and if I ever stumble across suitable fabric I might make a pair but I don’t hate RTW leggings.

As with last year, the RTW trousers are jeans as I still haven’t made any. I just can’t seem to get anywhere with the fitting and I get so disheartened every time every time I try. I need to find some sort of real life jeans/trouser fitting course to go on I think, I just can’t seem to figure it out by myself.

Colours

I’ve had a little look at the colours I wore and I’ve made a pie chart of them.

That a lot of blue! No matter how hard I try to step away from the blue fabric and try other colours I just don’t seem to be able to do it. I just realised there should be a slither for red as well as I wore my red cardigan once.

Prints vs Solids

I counted up how many prints and solid coloured garments I wore and overall it was an exact 50-50 split with 14 of each (not including repeat wears). What I found more interesting was how differently solids and prints were split when between RTW and handmade.

As you can see, I wore faaar more handmade garments with prints than RTW garments with prints. That one print RTW garment is a striped t-shirt.

The split is more even with solids (43% RTW, 57% handmade). But if you look at RTW on it’s own 87% of the RTW garments I wore are solids. Which I think means that I have a wardrobe gap for handmade solid coloured garments.

Top 5 most worn garments

1. Wembley cardigan – 5 times
=2. Grey Blackwood cardigan,  – 3 times
=2. Aqua Blackwood cardigan – 3 times
=2. Winslow palazzo pants – 3 times
=5. Geometric print Ogden cami – twice
=5. Ballet tee – twice
=5. Scoop necked ballet tee – twice
=5. Pink blackwood cardigan – twice
=5. Bibi skirt – twice

I don’t think I’ve done that leaderboard correctly but I wore too many things 2 or 3 times, making it a right pain. I was shocked by the Wembley cardigan being the winner as I don’t really like it that much. It is really handy for spring/summer though as it’s nice and lightweight and goes with everything. I’ve got some white viscose jersey that is too thin for the t-shirt I intended it for so I might use that for a cropped Blackwood cardigan to have another option.

My favourite outfit

I’m torn between my Winslow culottes and scoop necked ballet tee and my knit pencil skirt with New Look 6096.

Instagram’s favourite outfit

Tilly and the buttons Bibi skirt with my ballet tee.
Tilly and the Buttons Bibi skirt

Most versatile garment

I don’t think I had a wardrobe MVP this year. Last year my Alex shirt dress was the clear winner (and what made me add this category) but nothing stands out this time.

Things I learned/random thoughts

I don’t find Me Made May easy. I saw a lot of people say that they wear me made everyday anyway and it was just the photos they would find hard. I’m lucky to have somewhere I can leave my tripod set up all month so the photos aren’t particularly hard. (Apart from some body image issues I was battling at the beginning of the month.) I don’t wear handmade every day though so Me Made May isn’t a case of business as usual for me. It’s effort and thought.

I don’t think I care about having a 100% handmade wardrobe. There are things I just don’t see the point in making and it was never my intention to make everything I wear. It’s not a practical goal for me as I’m not a prolific sewer and I’d rather concentrate on making things I can’t buy.

God, my wardrobe is dull. When you look at my MMMay outfits all at once, it’s just bland and dark. I wish it was brighter and more colourful. Alas, I just don’t think it ever really will be.

Why is there not more pretty viscose jersey available in the UK? You can get some awesome woven viscose fabric but you see very little exciting viscose jersey.

I really want some pink trousers. Not that I think I’d wear pink trousers but I saw loads of awesome ones on Instagram during Me Made May it made me think I want some. I even ordered pink linen swatches but I haven’t succumbed to ordering any. I may think about a pink linen skirt instead, it’s less of a fabric commitment.

Over the last few years I’ve very much gravitated towards the skinny jean/trouser with a loose top silhouette. I think it’s time for a change. My two favourite outfits this month are both a bit more fitted. The pencil skirt outfit more so but even though the top I’m wearing with the palazzo pants is floaty it looks more fitted in that outfit. Maybe I need to make some more fitted tops for tucking into things.

Gaps and conclusion

I don’t think I really identified any huge gaps. The only thing I’ve pushed to (near) the top of the sewing queue is another pair of Winslow culottes. Oh and I really need to replace my red waterfall cardigan. I’d like to make some more colourful things – that aren’t blue – but I also want to sew my stash so I’m limited there. I also want some white tops to wear with patterned and colourful bottoms. I’ve got a few metres of white viscose in the stash that I intend to turn into an Ogden cami, a tie waist SOI Penny dress hack and some other top I haven’t chosen yet.

I spent some time over the month thinking about the handmade clothes I have but don’t wear and why that might be. More importantly, what I could possibly do to fix it. I’m thinking of turning this BHL Anna maxi dress into a skirt, harvesting the skirt fabric from this BHL Flora for a top and I’m definitely cutting this New Look 6096 into a top.

All in all I think this was a successful Me Made May. I find it really interesting to look at what I wore and I’m thinking about doing it again in a cooler month.

A slightly belated 2017 review

I’ve mentioned a few times before that I’m a massive spreadsheet nerd. Well for the past couple of years I’ve maintained a sewing stats spreadsheet where I record my makes and various things about them. Like what sort of fabric I use, whether they’re printed or PDF patterns and I’ve just added a column for whether it’s a new to me pattern or one I’ve made before.

I also have a sheet for my “stash maths” where I record the fabric I buy and the fabric I use each year to see how much I reduce or increase my stash. Spoiler: it’s always increase.

Anyway, I love reading that sort of stuff on other people’s blogs so I thought I would share a nerdy, graph heavy post on last year’s sewing for anyone who is interested – and for myself obviously.

What I made

I made 34 things last year. 33 were sewn and 1 was knitted – though I also part knitted 2 other things that still need finishing. The jumper I did finish knitting could also do with me undoing the sleeve cast off and adding about another 3 inches to each of them but I can’t face it yet.

Now let’s hit the graphs. This first one is to show what garment types I made.

Tops and dresses being the most common is fairly consistent with previous years but the surge in cardigans is all thanks to the Blackwood cardigan pattern. I made 5 different versions making it my most made pattern so far. The love affair is certainly not over yet either.

Knit v Woven

It’s been a fairly even split down the middle this year. Knits were given a boost by my Blackwood cardigan obsession. I might have a little play with my spreadsheet to try to get it to show me the proportion of knit and woven for each garment type.

Printed v PDF

This is definitely the year that I realised I’m very much a PDF girl. I’m such a bodyweight yoyo that I can’t not trace patterns if I ever want to use them again in the future and I HATE tracing. I’d far rather sit on my living room floor in front of the telly or listening to the radio with my paper cutter, a Pritt stick (never generic glue sticks) and a cuppa. I can assemble patterns quite quickly now and I find it sort of soothing. I’d far rather reprint and reassemble than retrace. I’ve even almost bought a couple of patterns I already have printed versions of in PDF format just to avoid tracing them but so far I’ve resisted.

Indie v Big 4

I’ve made hardly any Big 4 patterns this year. Only two and of those two only one was even for me. It wasn’t a deliberate choice as I would like to try a few more Big 4 patterns. I think it’s a combination of exposure to more Indie patterns via Instagram and blogs and preferring PDF patterns. I bought quite a few New Look (6212, 6414 and 6507) and McCall’s (7387, 7534 and 7537) patterns when they were on sale and I hope to use some of them this year. Perhaps I should set myself a week where I trace at least one pattern every day as there’s loads of paper patterns I want to make but keep putting off.

Pattern companies

a graph showing

This one is a bit cramped sorry and some of the company names got chopped. You can clearly see which companies I’m a fan girl of though. For Helen’s Closet it was the five Blackwood cardigans and a Suki Kimono that I made my Nan for Christmas. The Sew Over It patterns were a bit more varied but there were two Penny dresses and two Alex dresses, the other two were a Nancy dress and an Ultimate shift dress.

Fabric choices

It’s no surprise to me that more than half of the things I made contained viscose in the fabric. It’s my favourite fabric to wear. I was surprised that I had used so much polyester but it was things like sweater knit, ponte and crepe so it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock. The wool was yarn not fabric, I still haven’t sewn anything with wool.

Stashbusting

This is only my second year of tracking the stash so I don’t know for certain but I suspect it’s probably my worst so far for overbuying fabric.

I bought 56 pieces of fabric totalling 107.4 metres.

And I used/cut* 48 pieces of fabric totalling 68.95 metres.

*Not all of my cut out garments have been made yet.

So the stash increased by 38.45 metres.

This is something I really want to work on this year. I think I’m going to go for a one in, two out policy. Though I’m already losing on that as I’ve bought two bits of fabric already – some beautiful Cotton + Steel rayon for a Chalk and Notch Fringe top/dress and some flannel for a wearable toile of the Grainline Archer. I remain positive though. I’ll settle for breaking even.

So that was my year in graphs and numbers. It’ll be interesting to start doing this every year and see how things change if at all. I suspect that the main change will be fancier graphs. Does anyone else track their makes or am I just a daft nerd?

Me Made May 17: Thoughts

So there’s this year’s Me Made May in all its glory. The first thing that strikes me is that I haven’t really moved away from the old blue, green and monochrome colour scheme that I had last year. There is definitely a bit more colour – a decent amount of red and a little bit of pink. I did a wee colour palette thingy, a la Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow, picking out colours from my photos.

The bigger ones are the neutrals, the greige (grey-beige) on the left came from my floral Scout and I think it’ll work better for me than a more yellow beige. I’ve put two different shades of navy in because that came up a lot as well as various other shades of blue. And well… It’s a bit bland isn’t it?

I feel and look better in the more colourful outfits. So I did another palette thingy with more colours. The colours are still picked out from my photos (except the second green, which I just made up because I know I like it) but they’re more supporting colours – they mostly came from the flowers on my Doris dress and the light, not quite coral pink was from the butterflies on my Nancy dress.

I think my Doris dress and my Sewaholic Cambie dress both encapsulate the colour palette I think looks best on me quite well. They both have a navy base, which I think is softer and better on me than black, and then between the two of them they’ve got all the other colours I’ve put in this palette.

Sew Over It Doris dress sewaholic cambie dress

So my plan is to try and incorporate more of those accent colours into my wardrobe. I will always be drawn most to blues and I don’t think you’ll ever catch me in head to toe pink but I think I look alright in a cool pink or dusky rose so maybe I should experiment a bit more with them.

What I wore

Moving on from colours to the graphs I promised/threatened. I kept a spreadsheet of the types of garments I wore and here are the results.

types of garment me made

I tracked the number of days I wore a particular type of garment as well as the number of different garments. So as you can see I wore a lot of dresses and only repeated a couple of them (Alex shirt dress and New Look 6096). Whereas with trousers and cardigans I repeated them a lot. The trousers were my Winslow culottes and I would definitely like another pair for the summer. I’m also planning a lengthened pair of Tania culottes.

I tracked the RTW I wore as well to help identify gaps and you can see straight away that I need more tops, cardigans and trousers, well specifically jeans as that’s the one pair of trousers that I repeated five times. I finally got round to washing some of the denim that was in my stash yesterday so I hope to get cracking on a pair of jeans soon. The tops were all knit so that’s very much an area of need. I need to work on some production line style t-shirt sewing I think.

Top 5 most worn items

  • Grey Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 5 times (including putting it on in the evenings on holiday)
  • Turquoise Helen’s Closet Blackwood cardigan – 4 times
  • Helen’s Closet Winslow culottes – 4 times
  • Sew Over It Alex shirtdress – 3 times
  • Floral Grainline Scout tee – 2 times

Most liked outfit

My shorter New Look 6096 and grey Blackwood cardigan got 170 likes on Instagram.

New Look 6096 & Helen's closet Blackwood cardigan

Most versatile garment

My Alex shirt dress definitely wins this one. I wore it three times, styled differently each time.

So I definitely want to sew some more of these. I think another solid version would probably be nice, as well as the purple version I put in my #2017MakeNine plans. Maybe a soft chambray if I can find one.

Things I learned

  • I really liked looking nice on the days I made a more of an effort and just because I’m anti-zip and pro-comfort doesn’t mean I can’t wear pretty dresses. There are lots of nice zipless dresses out there – Deer and Doe Aubépine and Réglisse dresses and Sew Over It Eve dress are some I have my eye on though I’m a bit unsure of how much I’ll like a wrap dress on me.
  • I would like some more knit skirts. Particularly pencil skirts as the outfit above with my Alex shirt dress and polka dot pencil skirt was one of my favourite of the month. I’m also thinking about making a knit Sewaholic Gabriola skirt a la the lovely Hila’s Moneta-Gabriola love child maxi dress.
  • A skinny belt can make a big difference to an outfit.
  • I am total Helen’s Closet fan girl and proud.
  • I have a lot more Me Made clothes than I thought I did. Though I think I was definitely helped out by the weather in May being so changeable – and going on holiday didn’t hurt. I would be buggered if it had been autumn or winter.
  • Me Made May has added like bajillion patterns to my wishlist. I desperately want a chambray Grainline Archer shirt now and I really fancy the Alder shirtdress as well.
  • I still have no real desire to make loungewear or PJs but some clothes to be dressed while bumming about the house might be nice. Just some knit tops really I think.
  • I’m sooo behind on blogging my finished makes.

What lessons have you learned from Me Made May? I love reading other people’s epiphanies so do let me know if you’ve written about your Me Made May.