The Best (and Worst) of 2013!

2:30 PM

 It's been another good sewing year.  But with all good projects, there are some duds.

The Worst
Fabric, fabric and fabric were the offenders in these projects.  For the first one, I tried to be overly authentic in my version of the runway garment for the Chado Ralph Rucci.  It was shown on the runway in suede, so I wanted suede too.  Bad decision.  This was the stiffest dress EVER!  It would've been so great had I made this in something like a stretch wool crepe, ponte knit or double knit.  

Number 2?  Just no...  I wore this to a fashion event.  Even though I received a lot of compliments, I just felt the print is not me.  I could live with the style of the dress had I used a solid crepe de chine in a bright color.  But this print?  Maybe it would've worked better in something like a skirt.

And the last one.  See... I'm really not a lace kinda girl.  If I'm going to do lace, I'd prefer to keep it simple in a basic color like black.  And a more "polished" looking lace like guipure.  This dress almost caused me to hate peplums after looking back on it.  

Things I Learned...
Self-Drafting
Self-drafting has always been something I've wanted to do.  I've been studying commercial pattern pieces  as I've sewn for years; understanding how all of those different shapes go into forming pieces of a garment.  But let me tell you that it's still something I'm struggling with learning.  There are certain aspects that I can't wrap my mind around.  And if I had a class in my area, I'd be currently enrolled!  But nevertheless, I'm going to keep trying and keep learning!

Most Worn Garment of 2013
Every year, there is always one garment that I wear to death.  Vogue 1248 is the piece that I've worn more times than I can even count.  These are just the documented times on the blog.  I had no idea when I made this cute little top that it would be in high rotation.  It's a great layering piece because it's sleeveless.  And fits perfectly under sweaters and jackets!
Other pieces I reached for is the leather and ponte sweatshirt.  The black sleeveless blazer was worn a lot.  And I haven't put down my bomber jacket since I finished it!

Most Controversial Garment!
I had to laugh aloud as I typed that!  This cotton/spandex machine-washable white maxi dress sparked the most ridiculous "controversy" over the occasion in which I would wear such a dress.  Sigh...  In case no one remembered, I wore it to eat at a Tex-Mex restaurant with my husband.

The Favorites!
These are the garments that I made this year that really made me proud that I can sew my own clothes!

Happy New Year!

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71 comments

  1. Thanks for letting us follow along on your sewing adventures. I enjoy your style!

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    1. Absolutely awesome. Thanks for the recap on a great journey. I can't wait to see what 2014 will yield.

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  2. A really nice wardrobe. That white dress? I admire anyone who can wear white to a Tex Mex place and walk out without having to throw it in the wash. Have a very Happy New Year.

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    1. Thanks Nancy! As much as I love white, I do keep Clorox in business! LOL

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  3. It is always fun watching what you choose to sew. You have a great presence with drama I so wish I had! My fav comment was on the little sleeveless blouse. I've wanted one for a long time, so watch out me! That is exactly what I thought of it! Now to get my hubby to take me to those glamourous places you go…Happy New Year for your inspirations to this ol' sewing blogosphere!

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  4. Your YSL jacket still has me spinning. Spent months and months tracking down the pattern for what??? - because it's still hanging on my inspiration board (sigh). You did have a great sewing year and remain one of my sources of inspiration. You do have a wonderful fashion eye.

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    1. That YSL jacket is my go to when it's raining! I love it! Thanks Faye!

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  5. Some beautiful garments. Happy New Year.

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  6. Love that you had some "worsts". Makes me feel normal, because I SURE had some lol

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    1. We all make them! LOL Thanks Adrienne!

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  7. It has certainly been a great sewing year for you in 2013 - I look forward to seeing lots more next year!

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  8. When I first read the title I was like Erica can't possibly have any "worse" in her sewn wardrobe. I love all the garments you've sewn this year, even those 3 but I understand why you picked them. It makes me feel bit that somebody I look up to can make a wrong fabric/right pattern slip up too :)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean - seeing the various end-of-the-year wrap-ups by talented sewists who show off the pieces they aren't so proud of makes me aware that it really can happen to all of us!

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    2. Sometimes you walk around thinking "you did that"! And you look back on it and question what were you thinking?! LOL Thanks Shawnta!

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    3. Yes it can Angela!

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  9. You are just SO INSPIRATIONAL Erica!
    One of my New Year's resolutions - to sew more!
    (but probably not till after my son's wedding in early April, the first 3 months of this year I will be busy with wedding preparations!)
    Please keep on keeping on with your sewing brilliance Erica!

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  10. Great garments. Can't wait to see what you sew in 2014. Happy New Year!

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  11. I am always inspired by your makes, they push me towards adding a little more 'oomph' to my own wardrobe. I look forward to seeing what you do in 2014!

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  12. You have sewn some wonderful pieces this year. I look forward to seeing what you do in 2014! Many blessings to you, and Happy New Year!

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  13. You are so very talented, and I can't wait to see what you make next year. Thank you for sharing your creativity with all of us! However you are celebrating tonight, have a very happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks lifeinamadshouse!

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  14. Erica, thanks for continuing to share your gifts and talents with us, you do so-so fearlessly...I love it! You prove over and over that you are in competition with no one but YOURSELF! Happy New Year !

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    1. I had to take a sip of wine and "Bankhead Bouce" when I read that! Yesssss! I'm glad you recognize! LOL Thanks Candice!

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  15. even your 'failures' look fabulous. and i hope you're wearing that gorgeous Grecian influenced white draped dress tonight!

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  16. Great garments, Erica, I enjoyed reading your perspective on your garments. You give me such inspiration and great ideas for garments. Thank you and Happy New Year.

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  17. What a lovely roundup Erica - you are right, the classics that you have made will be the go to pieces - not only for 2013, but for 2014 as well :) Happy New Year.

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  18. Wow, I was shocked to see your worst as I thought they were so pretty, especially the floral dress and royal blue peplum set. Anyhow, love all you do! Happy New Year!

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  19. Beautiful wardrobe, Erica. You are an inspiration. I have enjoyed following your sewing adventurers. Happy New Year and God bless you.

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  20. I so look forward to each of your posts. The speed at which you crank these beautiful pieces out simply amazes me.

    Do have a wonderful new sewing year!

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  21. Even your worst are flawlessly styled. I'm looking forward to my 4th year of following, and being inspired by, you. Happy New Year!

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  22. Oh dear yes, that Chado Ralph Rucci was a disaster for me too. But I love the oxblood on you.

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    1. Catherine, I read your review. I had the same exact problem with not being able to raise my arms! Thanks!

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  23. Great post Erica!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful garments and style with us. I can't wait to see what 2014 brings!!!

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  24. Erica, you have such a great fashion sense and I look to your site often as someone who is over 40 and doesn't want to dress like a 20 year old. I've purchased many patterns due to you, many I wouldn't have bothered with. I do have to say that cobalt blue lace ensemble should not be on the worst pile, it's stunning! Keep it coming!

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  25. I do have to say that I LOVE your style.I have secretly stalked your project reviews on PR and since the first time I found your blog, I have been a fan. I do see that you take risks and I like that. I am a 3rd generation seamstress and it makes me very happy to see your work and that satisfied look on your face as you wear those gorgeous pieces. I don't have the time I'd like to , to post pics of the things I sew for my clients or myself, but it is good to know that you are doing it and doing it well. Waiting to see what you do next....happy sewing.

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    1. Thanks yourlittlemisssewitall!

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  26. This recap reminds me of just how talented and skilled you are! I mean even your "worst" ones don't even look that bad to me, and from the sounds of it, just one or two simple changes would take them off that bad list. I hope you have a happy new year!

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  27. Great roundup of your year of sewing. Even your "worst" looks are so great, although your thoughts on them make sense. My favorite of the year is the Vogue black cutouts dress.

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    1. Thanks Crystal! I love that dress too!

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  28. Fun post looking back. Maybe you should consider selling the outfits you posted under the "Worst." I would love to own the blue peplum dress, though, I'm not sure it would fit since it looks to be around a size 12 (in non-pattern sizing). I am working on trying to eat healthier and exercise more, but my immediate goal size is a size 14.

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    1. Good for you! Good luck with your goals!

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  29. Hey Erica, Happy New Year! Love your style....classically edgy chicness! Great blog post.

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  30. Great job Erica, looking forward to seeing your 2014 sewing adventures.

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  31. New to your blog! You have some great looks and styling in 2013. That blue dress placed in the Worst category, looks great to me and I think the second look can definitely be altered into a skirt and would be super cute!

    Roni
    www.styleandpoise.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for taking to the time to comment! I like that dress, but the fabric made me hate it! The lace and underlining made it so hot and heavy! I'm going to make something similar again soon!

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  32. Hi! I am a longtime fan/ lurker of your blog. I've never commented, but I just had to on this one. I understand your reasoning for listing the suede oxblood dress as one of your worst, but that dress is FLY! I remember when you first posted it. I thought it looked gorgeous on you. Love your style!

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    1. Hi Beignet Mamas (your name just made me hungry!)... yes that dress is very fly! I love the style! But the fabric choice was awful! Way too stiff and I couldn't raise my arms over my head. But that's okay, because I'm going to redeem myself with the new Ralph Rucci - Vogue 1381. Better fabric and I'm adding an underarm godet for a little more ease!

      Thanks for coming out of lurkdom!

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  33. You rule Erica and really inspire me and my sewing. xx

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  34. They are all amazing pieces!!! Even the "worst" are not bad! I'm a new seamstress and new blogger. So, this is great inspiration!

    ~Chinelo~
    www.mystyleoasis.blogspot.com

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