Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Recap

This year I started keeping track of how much I spent on supplies thinking that would keep me from "overspending".  And it did for awhile.  I used an excel chart so I could easily total it up and did that monthly for the first few months.  But then I stopped adding it up and got a little crazy with some of my projects (like ordering three different fabric options for my attache dress!).  Now the amounts are so shocking that I was only able to glance at the totals without really absorbing them.

I will continue to keep track even though it didn't really make me stick to a budget.  I do like being able to figure out approximately how much my projects cost to make.  It's also made me realize that when I don't have time to sew, I don't stop buying fabric (in fact, I tend to buy more fabric when I'm spending hours sitting at my computer working because I order lots of fabric online) so lots of what I've bought this year is still waiting for me to turn it into to something. Unfortunately, I also seem to have a short attention span so will often be distracted by something new before getting to the "old" (usually not even started) projects.  So, I will not be publishing what I spent (or even really acknowledging it to myself!) but here are my sewing totals for this year, (83 items all together!):

Clothes for my kids:
dresses: 12
summer hats: 2
skirts: 3
t-shirts: 4
tops: 5
jackets: 1
shorts: 2
costume: 1
leggings: 4
winter hood:  2
pjs: 4

Items for me:
tops: 7
skirt: 1
dress: 1
purse: 2
scarf: 1

loot bags: 10
dress: 1
purse: 1
winter hood: 3
placemats: 1
tissue cozies: 14

curtains: 1

Of the things I made for the kids, the most popular by far were the dresses, most of which I made for J. but ended up in K's closet.

Topping the list would have to be the dotty ombre fairy tale dress.  J. wore it for a couple of months and loved it but it got tight under the arms quite quickly. K. happily adopted it and wears it for everything from playing with flubber to playing outside to going to the theatre.


Another dress that's been worn lots is the pinwheel slip dress.  Not by J., though.  She seemed excited about it at first but never wore it so one day K. asked if she could.  The speed with which J. gave it up made me realize that she wasn't really comfortable in it.  Generally K. just wears the slip without the top.

K. also adopted the ombre seashore dress after I added huge snaps and even bigger buttons to the straps.

(gotta love pinterest for photo ideas!)

K. definitely likes novelty -- I think I've got a hit on my hands but it turn that it's just because it's new.  She loved her class picnic dress and her birthday dress at first but then hasn't worn them in months.  I'm hoping the same thing doesn't happen with the chambray playtime dress or the knit playtime dress.  She wore the Sally dress in the summer and wore it the other day with a sweater so it seems to be a winner.

I've had a hard time sewing for J. this year.  She likes the t-shirts, especially the banyan tees, and the circle skirts.

She also loves her secret agent trench.  She felt really special when she started grade three and learned that the "theme" for her class for the year was spies!

The dresses have all gone to K.   She hardly wore any of the woven tops I made or the two pairs of shorts.  She didn't like the pleats in the banyan shorts and didn't even try on the linen field trip shorts.

We'll have to see whether the essex linen playtime dress was just a one-time wear.  She seemed excited about it but hasn't worn it since Christmas Eve even though it's been washed and hanging in her closet.  She also seemed thrilled with the tea party ruffle skirt I made her for Christmas and has worn it a couple of times already.  

As for the things I made for myself, I'm calling my attache dress a success even though I've only worn it twice.  And I live in my tovas in the summer, spring and fall.  I made another linen one this summer with a yoke in the back.  It wasn't in quite the right spot but I wore it lots (just didn't get a picture of it).  I love, love, love my renfrews, especially my first.

I haven't touched my machine in over a week as I was feeling burnt out with all the Christmas rush but going through all the stuff I made in the last year is inspiring me to get back at it!


  1. I tend to highlight the cost of something only when it's massively in my favour such as the Fairy Tale dress for under $20 that looked very expensive. The great piles of purchased, unused fabric should not be on the balance sheet!
    Kids are tricky little critters aren't they. Yours both look like they're beautifully dressed no matter whether their preference is for dresses or shorts!
    Happy new year

    1. hehe! that's a great approach!! then next year you call it "stash" and it doesn't cost anything at all ;)

  2. Very inspiring post! I think I should recap my year as well. It's easy to feel discouraged with three kids and running a restaurant, but in hindsight I think I got quite a bit accomplished. Your two tops you made for yourself are them both.

    1. thanks for kind comment! I can imagine three kids and your own business would make it hard to find time to sew :)

  3. Something else I do lots of guilt free is shop for thrifted fabric for projects. It doesn't work for every project, but a men's xl shirt is enough fabric for a pair of boy's pajama pants. Our thrift store has a bag can get some great cotton for quilting, etc for $5.

    1. I should try that for knits especially. It's hard to find good quality knits locally and hard to judge the quality if I'm ordering online.