2012: An Account of my Sewing and Knitting

I have already told you about my spend on Ready to Wear in 2012.
But what about the cost of materials and patterns purchased in the same period?
I kept a note in my diary every time I bought something, by category:

Yarn £150
Knitting patterns / books £50
KNITTING TOTAL:  £200

Fabric £450
Sewing patterns / books £200
SEWING TOTAL:  £650

Does that surprise you?  I thought the two would be more evenly balanced.

KNITTING:
In terms of the investment of my time, I probably spend more time knitting than I do sewing.  Knitting is more easily categorised as “my hobby” than sewing, and the items I knit are less often intended to become wardrobe staples.
So “my hobby” cost me £200 this year – that’s peanuts!
I knitted socks, shawls, mitts, hats – accessories mostly.  And they were often gifts.
2012 was unusual as it marked a shift towards knitting more garments:  I made Bettie’s Pullover, as well as making huge inroads on a Shalder jacket and getting half-way though a golden vintage-patterned cardigan (which I intend to rip out shortly – it just isn’t “Me”).
I also sold some of my yarn-mistakes to other Ravelers – the Wollmeise has gone.  I didn’t enjoy knitting with it, so why hang onto it just because it is “trendy”?
And next year?  I want to knit more wearable garments, especially cardigans.
Working with my Japanese pattern book (Keito Dama 156) is my Grand Ambition for 2013!
And socks.  More socks.

SEWING:I spent £450 on fabric.  Quite a lot of that is still in the stash, waiting to be used, so you accountants could view that money as capital investment rather than recurrent spend…?
I lost some stash to moths and sold more on ebay.  I am confident that everything in my current stash excites me – and that’s a very good thing!

My expenditure on sewing patterns is quite scary, but I recouped some of that by selling unwanted patterns on Etsy.  I haven’t really kept up my shop inventory so I am not surprised that my sales have ground to a halt.  I plan to do some listing over the holidays and dispose of the fuglies via a job lot on ebay (which is how the excess “stock” came to me in the first place!)


Blouse Airelle and side-buttoned Kelly skirt

OUTPUT:
So, what did I make in 2012?

Skirts: 7
4 Kelly skirts (in constant rotation
1 Meringue (borderline fail)
Red suspender skirt (vintage, never worn)
Mustard mini (never worn, but I really want to!  I need a confident day!)
Shorts: 2
Both from Pattern Runway Sweet Scalloped pattern, in beige chino and purple velvet  – surprise hits!
Trousers:  1
Grey Lisette Portfolio Pants (in regular rotation)
Tops:  11
2 Renfrews (everyday staples) 2 Drafting Tops (one cardi-fied) 2 Japanese patterns 2 vintage patterns (1 fail, 1 never worn) 1 self-drafted 1 Lisette Souvenir 1 Airelle (worn, washed, worn, washed…)
PJs:  2
Knickers:  6
Dresses: 4
2 Darling Ranges
1 Sureau
1 Pattern Pyramid (vintage fail!)

Well, how interesting!

VINTAGE?
What jumps out at me straightaway is that I hardly ever sew vintage patterns anymore and that I haven’t been very successful when I do.  This was something I secretly suspected.

I stopped wearing red lipstick recently too. 

I hate to say that vintage was “a phase” that I have passed through, but it certainly looks that way.  I really really love the rockabilly look on other people, but unless you go for it with a lot of energy, it can look… odd.  I wore my wide-legged trousers and back-buttoned tops a lot in the warmer weather, but when its cold and miserable, I just want to bundle up in warm woolies and not have to worry about messing up my pincurl or smearing my lipstick with my scarf.
Maybe true “vintage”  is just too high-maintenance for me.



Robe Sureau

CONTEMPORARY
But I am absolutely clear that I want to make more:  Deer and Doe, Megan Nielsen, Pattern Runway and Japanese patterns.  They feel like “my style” right now.  I feel more youthful, fashion-forward and individual when I wear those garments.  They have an air of vintage, but they fit in a modern way.  They are comfortable!
I am really excited at the prospect of running up another Airelle blouse and a Sureau dress in the holidays – woo hoo!

Pattern Runway shorts, Souvenir top

CONCLUSION:
My “look” is evolving.  I don’t feel stuck in a rut, despite repeat makes of the same few patterns. Sewing is still an exciting prospect!
But what I DO need to pay more attention to is my image in the workplace…
and for that, you must come back another day!