While I was totally impressed with the way some people went over their projects for the year, noting numbers of garments sewn, which pattern companies, etc., my mind wasn't working that way this year. I decided simply to go over my reviews for the past year, and list my own personal 10 best. There are reasons for each choice, some of which make sense and some of which probably don't, but that's the joy of it being a personal list.
So here goes:
BWOF 9/07 #104 - the most recent major project, the wool coat. For sheer size of project this one had to make the list, but it also has to be there for the number of challenges involved in making it - having the fabric steam pressed, block fusing interfacing to the fabric, using hair canvas for the first time, altering the pattern, having the buttonholes professionally done in NYC. I'm kind of surprised that I made this entire coat without once referring to the directions - I think this comes not just from experience but from the knowledge that BWOF is just as likely to confuse me as cut through the fog. This was a big project in more ways than one. I enjoyed almost all of it, I'm glad it's over, and I'll probably do it again. But not too soon.
Hotpatterns YSL Homage Tote - I thought that my leather jacket project taught me about working with leather, but this one really pushed me. I tried different techniques and notions with this bag and learned that yes, you can iron leather, so long as you use a decent weight press cloth, and you don't always have to glue your seams open if you have Steam-A-Seam on hand. I battled (I won't say conquered) my fear of embellishment and used studs on the bag in a way that I think is really pretty cool. I indulged my love of excessive linings with an orange dragon print brocade.
McCall 5007 - the "vintage" jacket made from Chanel boucle picked up at a Fabric Place during the PR Baltimore shopping day. This was an interesting project - I learned a lot about fit and working with fragile fabrics on this one. Plus it has PR shopping connections, which makes it special. For some reason, I don't wear this one a lot, though. I'll have to figure out why.
Patrones 253-45. This was my first foray into Patrones - full on sewing without instructions. Thankfully their line drawings are clear and their pattern pieces are well marked. I didn't have much of a problem with this one and even added a full lining instead of their recommended facings. So far I've only tackled Patrones that I can understand from the line drawings and pattern pieces. Maybe next year I'll try one of the incomprehensible ones and see if I can make it work.
The Loaves & Fishes dress. This one is a Frankenpattern - pieces of McCalls, BWOF, and vintage-ish bits straight from my imagination. It was made with much less Liberty fabric than the patterns called for, and the fabric somehow managed to last to make the dress, hence the name.
KS 3422 - the chevron striped shirt that caused me to drink much wine. I still want to try this technique on a dress for myself, but I haven't been able to face all those stripes again. Yet.
BWOF 6/07 #126 - Nothing spectacular here, but this has become my TNT pants pattern. It's kind of irritating because this past year I finally worked out a good fly-front zipper and then I realized that my wardrobe and my body type both are more suited to a side zip. (Good thing I finally got the hang of invisible zippers in 2007). I've now made this pattern in black, brown, tan, charcoal gray and green plaid.
BWOF/108 #122 - Burda's poet/artist's shirt. There was no major challenge involved in this one - the placket was tricky and I spent some time swearing at the tiny covered buttons - but it mainly made the list because it caused me to finally use this fabric which I loved and which had been aging in stash. Sometimes it's just the combination of garment and fabric that makes it special and forces you to cut into something that has previously been "too good" to use.
V 7976 - the leather jacket. This is probably my most-worn project of 2008. I had no idea when I started that it would turn out that well, and that I would like it so much. This was the featured piece of my wardrobe contest entry, which explains the orange lining, but more than that it became the featured piece of my wardrobe. When I completed this project I said I didn't need to make another leather jacket but I do. I just bought skins for it this past weekend in NY and I can't wait to get started.
BWOF 5/08 #104 - this one is representative of a whole sub-category of sewing - 2008 was the year I discovered knit dresses, and also the year I discovered that my machines don't like hemming knit dresses. Right now, every one of them is unhemmed, but Santa brought me a coverstitch, so I'll do some makeup sewing in the new year.
To recap, 2008 was a very productive year. I made a lot, learned more, bought too much and, best of all, got to meet quite a few more of my virtual sewing friends in person. Sewing is a solitary pursuit, but not necessarily a lonely one. The loneliness of it comes when you don't have people to talk to about your work, and now I do. Thanks to all I've met over the last year, and to all those who've commented here - I may not ever meet most of you, but your words make a difference.
I hope that Santa fills your stockings with fabric and inspiration, and here's to good sewing to all in 2009.