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2013: The Year in Review

What a ride 2013 has been!

Sometimes I get to the point where I say to myself, "You haven't done enough." I'm actually getting that feeling right now, but maybe perhaps it's because during winter I slow down a bit altogether. (Seriously though - don't beat yourself up kids. It doesn't get you anywhere) .



If you haven't seen my "Past Projects" page, it really got beefed up this year. I made a total of about 24 garments this year - only TWO were not my own original pattern (the one that wasn't my pattern was the fall coat and a skirt I pattern tested). I'm also counting the 4 tank dresses I made in that number. By contrast, I only made about 6 garments in 2012. Pattern making is something I have gotten pretty quick at, though I think this year I want to move onto far more complex things. Maybe I will, maybe I won't! I suppose we'll have to see.

I learned quite a bit this year! Let's look at some highlights by the month.

I…

Colorwheel Skirt and Size Adjustments

As if I really needed anything else in my life that was rainbow!
 But I digress. I've been doing some major stash-busting recently and thought up this quick project to get rid of multiple colors of fabric that have really little use anywhere else. I was inspired by my friend Anastasia Chatzka who is pretty much known for her usage of circle skirts but also wanted some way to make it.... ya know, more gaudy! Gaudy like me!
So I made an 8-panel gore circle skirt!
The top is something I thrifted about 2 years ago at this point with the intention of adding a collar to it but I really don't think it needs anything.  I dug that up going through my collection of scrap fabric - I had forgotten all about it! I simply couldn't pass up a print like this one even though it wasn't my size.  I did some adjusting to it and here is the very un-scientific way I did it:
 See how large it was? First I put it on my dressform which is about my size. (She has a slightly bigger waist, but…

Exploring Winchcombe and Some Related Fashion Designs from 2006

Another installment in my series of Google Earth trips, this one which I explored extensively over 3 days.

I started getting interested in the Cotswold town of Winchcombe, in Gloucestershire, England sometime earlier this year. I don't know what I was doing, but I was clicking around on Pinterest (a rare occasion) and somehow ended up on Sudeley Castle which has history with a wife of Henry VIII. Perhaps I was looking at photos of abandoned buildings? Sudeley Castle has beautiful medieval ruins amongst the castle grounds along with gardens.

Now, if you know me I'm not much of a castle-girl but I've always been into England (hey, I am from New England myself!) and oddly, when I think of England, I generally think of the Cotwolds with it's rolling hills rather than London. I didn't know it was the Cotswolds until this Google Earth trip, but it's what I have imagined when I envision England for quite some time. I don't even know where this vision came from - …

Self-Drafted 60s Tunic Top

So this top took me FAR too long to make - and there is good reason for that.




This perhaps was the easiest pattern of all to make for me (albeit a slight bit more technical due to the button placement, button extension, etc.)

But life got in the way for me. I was sick with some ridiculous throat thing with a cough for about 2 week which is completely unheard of for me. I usually am only sick for about 3-4 days but this thing just lingered. I was miserable and slept a lot. I also interviewed for and got a new job in the process as well as have been shopping for Christmas gifts, Thanksgiving happened, so... there's all that. 

Onward! Max actually helped me pick fabric/helped design this one with me. The tunic top is based off of a photo of a near-exact tunic top from 1967 in an old  McCall's catalog. I didn't want to spend time searching for that specific pattern online so I went up to the sewing room and BAM banged out the pattern. Alas, the pattern is also self-drafted.

Traveling with Google Earth: Legnica, Poland and Wroclaw, Poland

I've been doing this thing for a few months... I really don't know how often at all anyone uses Google Earth anymore (aside from looking at Street View to find that one place you're headed to on Friday night but not quite sure where it is.)

When it first came out as Google Earth in 2005, I was enthralled with what you could see - so little compared to now, but the 3D buildings feature was a fantastic new thing. Now there are so many images of so many places via street view that one can literally start traveling the world by street view alone and that's exactly what I have been doing. I've started documenting my "travels" by hitting print screen and cropping in Photoshop of interesting buildings and places around the world.

Typically, my "travels" are spurred by a few things: Today for instance, I saw that I have a friend who has a friend from Legnica, Poland (thanks, Facebook.) I Googled photos of said place, saw a few interesting buildings, th…