2020 Sewing Year in Review

Well, it’s been a year! Can you believe we actually made it here? Are we here? I feel like December 31 is still ages away. Either way, I’ve decided my sewing year is over and I’m wrapping things up early with my blog. We’re moving December 1st and life is going to be too busy for sewing and blogging.

This has been an interesting year for my sewing. I started 2020 on my second maternity leave and, honestly, in a bad place. I had no idea just how much harder having two kids was than having just one. Just when my mental health started improving, we were thrown into lockdown and I was suddenly stuck in a two-bedroom apartment with two very small kids and a husband using the larger of our two precious bedrooms as an office all day.

I used sewing and making as a coping mechanism a lot through this year and I’m really, really glad I have this hobby and community to be a bright spot for me. I am so, so grateful.

My goals for this maternity leave (because I do that. This is not typical. Don’t feel like you need to set goals during your leave. In fact, the less expectations you have, the better) were to work on updating my website, so this year was way more about my online presence than upping my sewing game.

This year I spent some time and money making my blog feel like it reflected my aesthetic. I got a new logo done (by the talented Gemini Cheng), updated the layout, re-organized my posts, and started creating PDF organizers.

My biggest accomplishment this year is probably my Canadian Capsule Planner. It was so helpful to me to create a series of charts and spreadsheets to visualize how I plan my wardrobes, but I’m so glad it’s helping other people feel more confident and prepared to dress for all the occasions in their life.

When looking back at my actual makes of 2020, there aren’t actually that many winners. All of my favourites to wear are things I made in 2019 or earlier. I’m okay with this. It just means I tried some things!

I think honestly, my best make of 2020 was the “sunshine” shorts my daughter lived in this summer. My husband bought me the fabric for our second anniversary (we just celebrated six years married) which I made into a sweatshirt dress that didn’t work, then a sweatshirt I didn’t wear and then chopped it up for some mini bike shorts. It makes me so happy to know that these shorts have such a special story. In general, the clothes I made my kids out of scraps were by far my most worn garments of 2020.

I have to give honourable mentions to two dresses I made this year and wore a lot. I made a Calvin Wrap dress out of some Ruby Star Society rhttps://couturious.org/2020/08/04/done-and-done-bts-blouse/ayon for a wedding in February and a Southport Dress for everyday summer wear using some Atelier Brunette fabric. I wore these a lot considering how infrequently I typically wear dresses.

I also feel like I need to talk about making shorts. I tackled the Alina Design Co Chi Town Chinos and know it’s a pattern I want to invest more time in. I made two pairs this summer and like them well enough, but have yet to nail the fit. I’m happy with them though.

My worst makes of 2020 have to be the sports bras. And possibly all the athletic wear I made in general. I find it so hard to source good fabric and get sizing just right. The bras, though were the worst. They didn’t fit, the fold over elastic cut into my armpits and they generally just looked awful.

I’m not sure what lessons I’m pulling from all of this reflection. I think my big takeaways are to stick with classic silhouettes that I know I love because, when I like a garment, I like it for a long time. I think, too, I need to work toward a balance of risk-taking and sticking with what I know. I wasted a lot of fabric this year and I don’t love that.

I think like many of us, I’m ready to close off this year. I usually take a sewing break in December to really let myself enjoy time with my family but also to really work on my new year sewing goals. On that note, I wish everyone a lovely holiday and I’m excited to see you all in 2021!

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