Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jacket a Month Project and 2011 in Review

I have been enjoying the inspiration and useful tips on Gigi's blog Behind the Seams jackets of 2010 posting for years so it's my pleasure to complete a year long project that was inspired by her...and the other marvelous seamstresses on Stitcher's Guild who also took up the challenge.  Now my dilemma is that I know next to nothing about photo editing on my MAC so I can't present these in a cool collage.  But here are my 12+ jackets and my thoughts about this project:
                                        Simplicity 3884
Jacket #2 was a sample jacket that I couldn't show since I was testing the Tabula Rasa jacket that was going into production later this year.  But I put it in my count since not only did I have to sew a complete jacket, but I also wrote up notes about the instructions.  My second one shows up later on this page.
Cape S vest
                         Vogue 8136
                        Stitch and flip Simplicity 3884
                        More Simplicity 3884
                          Simplicity 2603

                           Pamela's Patterns Draped cardigan
                        Tabula Rasa Jacket
                         Draped Front Cardigan
                          Draped Front Cardigan
Draped Front Cardigan
                          Vogue 8674
                          Simplicity 2313
Vogue 8483
I found this project to be a challenge in the full sense of the word.  Even though I'm rather well acquainted with my body and common alterations for it, I still make a muslin for every new pattern.  It's a process that I appreciate but also find so exasperating.  Lots of muslins for these jackets meant tedious marking and pattern alterations which turned out to be good discipline for me to practice.  And now I have a few more TNT patterns in my repertoire for which I am very grateful.  So my dislike of muslins and especilly of pattern alterations is diminishing...although I would still love to pay someone to do this part for me:-)

Favorites of the year:  Magic Pencil skirt
                                   Simplicity 2364 knit top
                                   Simplicity 2313 jacket

Today marks my first full calendar year of blogging and I've had some random thoughts while looking over my web album for this post.

1.  Blogging makes me conscious of keeping a record and that's good.  When I think I'm a lazy slug while the world is full of creative seamstresses churning out designer gowns each week, my little blog reminds me of my own sewing progress.  It's why every health regimen recommends some form of a food diary as a way to recognize your successes and analyze what gives you hang ups.  

2.  What a pain it is to remember to take pics and get them posted....but a picture is worth a thousand of my meager words.  I'm inspired now to learn a little about simple photo labeling and editing now that I truly see the value of good pictures.

3.  I love  being part of this global family of sewing bloggers many of whom would never open one of my posts but who keep me smiling and enjoying creativity even when I don't feel like sewing.  I don't write as many comments as I would like (and I'm sure someday I'll just open a blog and be able to dictate my awe and appreciation to the writer) but I enjoy knowing that there's a thread of connection among all of us.
The rest of the tally for 2011:
20 skirts
2 window coverings
6 placemats
2 nightgowns
2 embellished sweaters
12 knit tops
1 man's shirt
10 dresses
2 aprons    
5 scarves     
random gifts and charity sewing projects      

Now it's time to finish packing for a picnic at the beach  and last sunset of 2011 followed by fireworks.  Of course, living in a retirement area in Florida means that the fireworks are at 7:30 pm and even staying and chatting on the beach with our friends still means we'll be home by 10:-) It's a wonderful way to end the year.  Hope that your new year's is a delightful one as well and that 2012 is full of creativity and inspiring sewing projects.  


  1. Wow, Jane, what an *incredibly* productive year you have had!! You know, I particularly love your two versions of Simplicity 3884. What a fabulous jacket! I hope you get lots of wear out of all of these, given that you live in such a warm climate!

    It has been great reading your blog this year. Here's to a great 2012!

  2. What an impressive wardrobe of jackets! Each one is beautiful and unique. I know they took a lot of time and effort, and then there are all the other items you sewed. Whew! I am impressed. Enjoy your new year celebration.

  3. What an impressive collection of jackets! Lots of variety and loveliness - I really like the leafy embellishments on the cardigan. And for the rest of your year's list....gosh, I feel like a total slacker! WTG, and here's to an equally productive 2012 :)

  4. Your jacket collection is a showcase of lovely projects. How disciplined to make more than one jacket a month.I hope you have lots of wear from these jackets.

  5. Love all of your jackets and especially love your photo backgrounds! As to the collage, just download Picasa (not the on-line version but the downloaded one) to your mac & you can do the collage. It's what I use on my MacBook. And it's easy!!

  6. All your jackets look wonderful. You've certainly had a very productive year sewing-wise. Thank-you for sharing your creative energy. I have enjoyed your posts tremendously, and I look forward to reading more about your sewing endeavours. Have a wonderful New Year!

  7. You did very very well with your JAM - and they look great. Well done for making it through a year of blogging and hope your new year brings many more exciting projects for you.

  8. Holy smokes! You've had such a productive year, lazy should not even be in your thoughts or vocabulary. Your jackets are beautiful!

  9. A very productive year, and I'm impressed at your garment count! Your comment about an early New Year made me smile; my parents (in Perth as well) often say how they celebrate New Years at the same time as Sydney, or even NZ; that way at least they get to bed at a decent hour!
    Best wishes for a fantastic 2012!

  10. Jane, you have been so busy, incredible jackets.

  11. Thoughts on blogs are true for all of us 'blogging'. I discovered making my favorite scarf from your blog - so add 'inspirational to others.'

    I am very impressed with your garment output- here's to new challenges!

  12. Congratulations on your first year of blogging and on finishing your jacket challenge. You made some beauties this year. We share the goal of presenting better pictures for the coming year. Hope you had a wonderful celebration ringing in the New Year. All the best to you in 2012!

  13. Wow! Good for you! And hasn't blogging been fun?

  14. Congratulations, what a successful year and happy new year.

  15. Wow, you had a great yea.! You look so fabulous in your jackets - I'm speechless!

  16. Oops! That should be "You had a great year!"

  17. 12+ jackets is amazing. Congratulations on a year blogging and Happy New Year!

  18. Beautiful work, my goodness! You accomplished so much this year.
    I think I like Vogue 8483 the best, although ALL of them are beautiful. Your skill at choosing the right fabric for the pattern, and then constructing something uniquely flattering is very inspiring.

    I think the asymmetrical collar on V8483 is sooo chic with the bold but subtle necklace peeking out.
    Happy New Year!

  19. Your were certainly no slouch this year. My goodness your sewing machine was working hard. I agree that muslins are an evil necessity. However, as seen by your beautiful jackets, they really are important. Who wants to sew up a beautiful garment in lovely fabric only to have it not fit?

  20. Wow I am in awe admiring all you accomplished in 2011. I wihs you a very good sewing year.
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. You are so inspirational !

  21. Amazing accomplishment! All of your jackets are beautiful. Can't wait to see what you create in 2012!

  22. Those are impressive numbers! I am in awe of all the jackets you made!


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