2021 in the Rearview Mirror

Oh gosh, the first week of 2022 has already gone by and I am not ready! I found myself busy doing 2021 things right up to the last knockings and so had not thought of the reviews, roundups and planning that were required to close down 2021 and set up 2022!

I managed – just about –  to create a Reel of most of my makes of the year. It ended up as just most, not all as I really struggled to work out how to post more than the 10 images they allowed in a Reel. In the end, I think three or so were missed.

I finished 37 garments in 2021, 7 more than the year before. That sounds like a lot considering movement was still restricted for a lot of the year – I need to think about that. You can see the gallery of everything I made here. One item is secret at the time of posting (Ooo get her!) as it’s a collaboration that hasn’t been revealed yet.

So what did I make

  • DK2512
  • bleeker
  • V1368
  • M7119
  • teddycoat
  • deauvillesatin
  • linentee

16 tops including two for the Mister.

3 skirts

2 coats

1 dress jacket

5 dresses

7 pairs of trousers including jeans for me and him

1 Beanie

There were 5 knitted projects amongst these, of which I’m really proud.

What were the favourites?

Highlights of my makes were the jeans, I made us a pair each of jeans using Angela Kane’s patterns – these are not blogged yet but I will be talking about them in their own piece as I felt I made great strides (hehe) with my trouser making in general and the jeans in particular. The men’s jeans were a great success and while I had to make some adjustments for my shapely derriere – no news there – I was really happy with my jeans and I know I’ll be able to incorporate the modifications into future pairs. 

Most fun makes were my skirt of many pockets – the Waffle patterns Anzu skirt, and the spin-off jeans made with a precious pattern from my Vogue collection. These were both quite involved but the finished results are fantastic.

I was very satisfied that no less than six of these items had been UFOs or UnFinished Objects. The jeans were cut out in 2019, the linen knitted tee had been in the WIP bag since last year as had the white linen dress and jacket. I started the Teddy Bear coat in autumn of 2020 as well and put it on pause when it wasn’t finished in time for 2020’s Designin’ December Challenge and the grey cardigan had been ripped back because the sleeves were too big (they actually still are even though I reknitted them but I had to enter them in a challenge.)

Edited to add: I almost forgot to share my best nine on Instagram this year according to likes. I like likes 🙂

Another high point was the number of self-drafted pieces I made this year. Twelve items were self-drafted. I still haven’t gone all-in and learned to draft proper blocks and most of my “drafts” were little more than tracing hacks off RTW but I did draft two pairs of trousers and some shorts with the help of the personalised blocks I created with PatternLab.london. 

What were the fails?

I don’t really do fails. Not that I don’t make mistakes or that things don’t go wrong. Pretty much everything I make has some ups and downs but when they flat out aren’t working I just put them in the naughty corner and hope I can sort them out later. Later can sometimes mean years, but I’m a bit never say never about things like that. If I had to say there was a make that failed it would be the Chelsea Tee made in lovely silk noil but just too plain for me.

You know I love challenges 

I did a full Me Made May – memade Every. Single. Day. That was awesome, it’s so satisfying that I can dress entirely in things I made myself every day.

My month of Memades in May – using Your App

I took part in RylissBod’s #SewApril which was really fun to look at my work from a different perspective in response to the prompts. I did a bit of Katie Kortman’s SewHappyColour. As usual, I went #lastminutedotcom for #SewTogetherForSummer and at the end of the year I went in for Designin’ December. I skipped a few that I might join this year if they run again.

In terms of this blog, I was really happy to hit a hot streak this autumn. I’ve managed to post for twelve weeks on the trot, which believe me, is a feat. I’ve been very hit and miss since I started blogging. Between working when that was a thing, frequent travel when that was a thing, not having time to blog because I was making stuff and my sometimes flagging sewjo, my blogging has not been consistent. It didn’t help that I started when it seemed that most people were jacking it in for Instagram and for all the time I’ve been blogging, lots of people have been telling me it’s over. 

Never mind, I am really enjoying it. Before these things became so monetised, I’m sure most people started off thinking “No one will ever read this, it’s just for me”. I still feel a little like that but I also have a precious handful of people who pop in to see what I’m up to and that is really gratifying. So I will continue to blog and to seek out others who are still publishing. I keep finding great dormant blogs, but I need to put a bit of effort into finding some more current ones as I enjoy seeing what other people do in more detail than IG can offer.

In good company

Sewing brought me some great things in 2021. I’m grateful for my connection with Minerva, and while I know it’s giving them free advertising, I’m very happy to get a supply of fabric to play with that I may not have had. I was a guest on Sew Organised Style podcast which was so much fun. I got to model one of my makes in a magazine – one of my Minerva Brand Ambassador posts was published in Love Sewing magazine – whoo hoo! Just a few days ago I was stunned to see I had been nominated as a digital crafter of the year in CraftWorld! I was amazed to see my name alongside some real sewing celebrities. I have no idea how that came about but I thank you!

Edited to add: I had more great opportunities to test new designs – knitting for @handmadebykunbi, @helfreden and @fiberonrepeat; sewing for @yuki_wafflepatterns and @aliceandcopatterns and I was invited to partner for a feature for @sewingandthecity.

There have also been a couple of other collaborations coming up that I’ll share when they come into being. Look forward to seeing this beautiful Tencel twill fabric from ClothSpot become something in 2022.

Jusselle Tencel – ClothSpot

In other news, I discovered gardening and joined my friend on her allotment. At some point, there may be a conflict of interest as there is only so much time. I also managed to travel a fair bit, mostly domestically but we did get abroad to Spain which was wonderful, but another thing that takes me away from sewing. Not complaining, just sayin’.

All in all, looking back to 2021 it seemed like it wasn’t bad in my little sewing corner. Thank you for reading this loooong post if you made it through. I hope you had a good year on the whole and wish you all the best for 2022.

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

6 Responses

  1. Wow you are talented, it was awesome seeing all you made! I love your perspective on so called “fails” – “I just put them in the naughty corner and hope I can sort them out later” – the Naughty Corner – I laughed so hard – awesome! I have a couple things in that corner, I am not going to call them fails any longer – I will just sort them out (or recycle them!). My favorite I think is that floral dress but there are so many amazing pieces I am not sure!

    Liked by 1 person

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