Reviewing My 2021 Makes

Hello, lovelies. Today I’m reviewing my 2021 makes but before I get going, a quick update.

So in this strange in-between time after Christmas and before the new year, I hope that this post finds you well. Sewing-wise, things for me before the holiday break sort of ground to a halt. Firstly because I got busy with family commitments…and sadly my very elderly mum-in-law passed away rather suddenly at the very end of November. Then I had many errands to run for my mum and my son. And then to top it all off I got ill with a very bad cold (not Covid…I tested negative twice) and in fact, I’m still suffering from it after 10 days so just when I would love to get sewing again I have no energy, ugh.

So, with all that said I thought that perhaps this would be a great time to look back over all that I  made in 2021 and find out what worked for me and what didn’t. Shall we crack on them? Lets…

First off…the numbers. I made a total of 28 items. Actually, it’s 29 but I’ll share my last make of 2021 next week with you so I’m not including it here.

Reviewing My 2021 Makes…AKA What Made The Cut?

I’ve made photo collages of everything and I’ll do a brief rundown of each garment. I’ll also link back to the original blog post for each one too. 

reviewing my 2021 makes

Olive trousers with button detail at the ankle. I battled with creating a master pattern for slim pants to create these and they turned out pretty successful. I’ve worn them quite a lot so I consider these a hit (though I may still tweak my pattern a smidge more in the crotch area)

Olive wool Emmanuelle coat by Vikisews. I made this as the winter weather was fading and never wore it after I made it. However, I’m about to shorten it by about 8” or so because I’ve come to realise that my happy overcoat length is just slightly above or at knee level. I’m looking forward to wearing it and loving the new length.

Paulette blouse. At the time I really thought this was a great make but sadly I only wore it twice. The ruffles were just a ruffle too far…too much and too wide. I’m afraid I’ve already donated it to charity. 

reviewing my 2021 makes

Tatiana trousers. I love these a lot but I need to find more ways to style them. I’ve worn them a few times and felt fab but styling jackets with them proved a problem so I’ve been working on finding out the length of jacket/coat that I like with them. 

Burda duck egg blue top. Sheesh… Again with the ruffles! I adore this colour jersey but before you could blink I’d removed the remaining ruffles and made it into a plainer style. It’s been worn a lot since and I love it!

Grasser polo…love, love love! A big hit and has been worn several times.

Bras…I made two Boylston bras and two lots of undies for each bra. Sadly the maroon and black padded one (top right) is too tight and I still need to get around to adjusting it. I’ve worn the other a couple of times but lately, I’ve mostly defaulted to an old RTW one. I still intend to sew some more at some point though.

reviewing my 2021 makes

Grey jeans…They were a failure and I donated them. The fabric was just too stiff and I’m afraid they just weren’t comfortable. Something in the rise or crotch curve was out of whack and it annoyed me.

Lekala wrap sundress…another style failure for me I’m afraid. The pattern was well-drafted and in theory, I loved the design, but in practice, it wasn’t so good. Every time I sat down the wrap was falling open and I was faffing to not show too much leg and as a result, I was continually adjusting it. I really like the fabric so for next summer I’ll do a major refashion and make it more wearer-friendly.

Ezra skirt by Fibremood. This was a success and I wore it a few times. Love the fabric and the easy shape. A definite hit.

Self-drafted blush cardi. Another hit and it’s been worn a lot. Love it.

reviewing my 2021 makes

Claudia tank x2. I wore both of these quite a bit and I’m really happy that I made them. Easy to wear and style.

Drape front tank. I designed this myself using a Pinterest image as inspiration. I absolutely love it and enjoyed wearing it on our holiday to Wales in August, when the weather was very kind to us. I did a white-out look with my RTW white jeans and felt wonderful.

White cotton dobby summer top. Again I was inspired by Pinterest to create this little summer top. Made quite late in the Summer, I only got to wear it a couple of times but I’m very happy with it and look forward to wearing it more next year

reviewing my 2021 makes

Cream cropped jacket. I love this little jacket that I made using a vintage pattern from the 60s. Sadly I haven’t had much chance to wear it yet as the weather started to get colder and I got very busy. I think it’s more suited to transitional weather so I’ll be looking forward to wearing it in early Spring 2022.

Statement print tee. A style hit with me. Already worn a lot. More suited to mild winter weather with a layer underneath.

Ribbed skirt. I’m a little on the fence with this skirt. For some reason, I really struggle with styling skirts and getting the right jackets and coats combinations. That’s why I like the Ezra which I can wear in Summer paired with a top and no jacket. I think sometimes I feel too dressy in Winter skirts or I can’t seem to feel happy with coat/jacket proportions or…dare I say that I sometimes feel the dreaded F word (frumpy). I need to take the time to play dress up and see what works for me.

Wide leg jeans. Love these a lot. They’re very comfy and I love them with my olive trench coat so much (very 70s).

reviewing my 2021 makes

Tilly blouse. I’ll never be the biggest fan of blouses or shirts but this is one I’m definitely happy with. I like the unusual sleeves and I’m very happy that I made my version more fitted through the body. The double gauze also feels lovely to wear. I wore it on Christmas Day and enjoyed the festive sparkliness.

Newsboy hats. I adore these! Already worn soooo much! 

Vikisews Terry top. Love this pretty pink and the easy style. The cut-out isn’t OTT either.

As I mentioned earlier, I still have my final make of 2021 to share with you but as I only finished it a couple of weeks or so before Christmas I haven’t even blogged it yet so that’s going to be the subject of next weeks post.

Overall I’d call 2021 quite successful. I managed to make quite a lot of things that I love and a couple that didn’t quite work were altered so I feel pretty happy with everything. At one point I also did a purge of my closet and several older pieces were donated to charity shops. Now all I need are more opportunities to wear the darn things!

Well, I actually found the process of writing this post to be very helpful and positive and I’m looking forward to getting going on some new projects as soon as my energy comes back. Thanks so much for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll catch you soon.

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  1. December 29, 2021 / 11:34 am

    I’m really glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t like some of their makes. But because it cost so much for fabric and pattern and my time, I just leave it hanging in my wardrobe. You’ve inspired me to pass them on and make way for new makes.

    • diane
      December 29, 2021 / 2:00 pm

      I used to feel the same, Linda. But then I also had all sorts of feelings of guilt, or irritability, or unhappiness when I looked at garments that I wasn’t wearing. I’ve decided to not worry about letting go. It’s very freeing.

  2. December 29, 2021 / 4:32 pm

    This was such a great read! The pictures were fantastic and your process of showcasing and pondering your styling/partnering/suitability/wearability with these garments over the last year was also incredibly helpful. I’m another who just can’t get into the whole ruffling craze. It’s not me (I’m a Soft Dramatic according to Kibbe) personality or body shape wise. Another style that REALLY doesn’t suit me is the whole gathering layers thing. The layers, the gathering at the waist, the flounces – every time I’ve broken down, having seen it on someone else brilliantly, I look in the mirror to see how the final outcome looks and I burst into laughter. Into the donate bin you go!! It’s helpful as you’ve done here to reflect back on the last year of me-makes. I’ve been on a binge making frenzy of making cozy sweat shirts but I wanted something different. I’ve made up that sweatshirt by Deer and Doe which so far is my favourite. When I put it on to show my husband, his eyebrows shot straight up and he said, “WOW you look like Jackie O!” Now, is that a compliment or what? Keeping in mind my husband is 70 and rather skimpy with me-made compliments 🙂 this was no less than a stunning response. I would say I’ve found my sweatshirt pattern forever. I’m completing the Talvikki by Named and I love this one too. I like to wear ponchos (I have some gorgeous ones made here in BC) and in the spring you still need something a bit cozier underneath but with these sweatshirts and my ponchos I’ll be happy 🙂 Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones Diane and an even better 2022! I love your posts and look forward to reading more in the coming year.

    • diane
      December 29, 2021 / 8:09 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Kathleen. I really appreciate your ongoing support. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my musings and I had to smile about your comment on gathers and layers… I feel just the same!
      It’s funny that you should mention sweatshirts because I have two planned. I found a style that really appeals to me so I’ll be blogging those at some point…I’ll leave it a surprise though until I have them made. I’ve seen that Deer and Doe sweatshirt pattern and I think it looks really cool….love the sleeve seams and I can see the Jackie ‘O’ reference…it’s that lovely wide face-framing collar. All the best for 2022 x

  3. Heather Myers
    December 29, 2021 / 7:16 pm

    Hi Diane, I hope you feel better soon! That cold that lingers did rounds here this fall. (Colorado) I really enjoyed reading your year roundup! And amazed at how many things you made. I’m on an enforced sewing hiatus for a few months – just had an unexpected right shoulder surgery. I can needlepoint with my left hand, so finishing up a project there. Your willingness to adjust and remove items is inspiring, too!

    • diane
      December 29, 2021 / 8:12 pm

      Thank you so much, Heather! I’m plagued with sinus headaches but I think I’m over the worst now and I’m finally thinking about sewing. Sorry to hear about your enforced hiatus due to surgery. I hope you heal fast and can get back to sewing. At least you can still create with your needlepoint, so that’s a little bonus. Wishing you all the best for 2022.

  4. Giedre
    December 29, 2021 / 7:24 pm

    First of all, I am so sorry to hear that you had quite rough time lately, Diane. Let me wish you to recover from the illness soon and to gain your usual energy back.
    It is a lovely post, enjoyed reading it so much. Even though I recalled majority of your makes, it was interesting to read your reflections about all of them. I was somewhat saddened to know that the lovely coat hasn’t been worn much. I looove it, truly hope you will amend it to your liking and wear more often! Love hats so much too! I’m yet to make mine! 🙂
    I am also holding back my recent make to be posted next week, just like you 🙂 I finished mine on Christmas eve and did not have time to write about it. Am very curious to see what is it that you will share next week!
    Meanwhile, let me wish you a pleasant New Year’s celebration! Here’s to interesting, creative and enjoyable 2022! 🎉

    • diane
      December 29, 2021 / 8:15 pm

      Ohh, bless you Giedre. Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed my project review. Don’t worry about my green coat…I’ll be sure to wear it a lot once I’ve adjusted it and I’ll probably do some more photos of it to share on Instagram. By the way, I look forward to seeing your latest make too. Happy 2022!

  5. Hayley
    December 29, 2021 / 8:07 pm

    I also find autumn / winter skirts difficult to style – I often feel overdressed or, yes, frumpy. I’m going to try a denim mini, as I know I like a mini skirt generally, but in wool I feel way too “officey”. I agree in the summer they are a great easy choice and so lovely and swishy and cool.

    I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on skirt styling if you make any progress! Happy new year.

    • diane
      December 29, 2021 / 8:20 pm

      Hi Hayley. Yes, ‘officey’ or overdressed is exactly how I feel in skirts and I’m also not one to just throw on trainers with them (as I know some bloggers like to do) to dress them down either, as I feel that a flat shoe like that throws off my proportions and the style feels wrong for me…it’s so tricky. I’ll definitely write a follow-up post if I ever figure it all out.

  6. Christine
    December 29, 2021 / 9:22 pm

    This post was a great read and although I remember your makes it was interesting to read your thoughts having made and worn them. I admire that you are able to let go of the unsatisfactory ones. Something I find very hard to do. I am also interested in how you style that winter skirt as this is something I have issues with, and practically never wear, as they feel frumpy or office and neither look is one I want.

    Wishing you a speedy return to health and energy and all the best for 2022.

    • diane
      December 30, 2021 / 10:14 am

      As always, thank you so much, Chris x. Glad you enjoyed my year round-up and if I ever figure out the skirt thing I’ll be sure to post about it.

  7. Sharon
    December 29, 2021 / 10:44 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review, honest thoughts about how you found the wearability and styling ideas. I had missed some of your makes so thank you for the links. I am also not a big ruffle or gather person, throws off my petite frame a lot if I am not careful. The only winter skirts I have are short, wear with tights and boots as I can’t get the longer skirts to work, I feel frumpy.

    Looking forward to seeing your new make and hope that you are feeling much better now. Wishing you all the best for 2022.

    • diane
      December 30, 2021 / 10:18 am

      Ohh, thank you, Sharon! You know, I’m wondering If I might prefer going back to wearing a shorter length skirt with boots (I used to wear them more like that.
      Thanks for your support and I wish you all the best for 2022 too xx

  8. December 29, 2021 / 11:40 pm

    So sorry for your loss Diane, at least she had a long life, which is all we can hope for. I’m also sorry you’ve not been well but your 2021 makes are, as usual, so impressive. I do read every one of your posts but don’t always comment, but I do love what you make. I also don’t enjoy ruffles and I hope they are a passing fad. I did like the colour of that blouse though. Here’s to an even better 2022!

    • diane
      December 30, 2021 / 10:20 am

      Ohh, thanks, Sue. Yes, I’m glad MIL had a long life.
      Thanks for reading my blog and your ongoing online friendship. All the best for 2022 xx

  9. December 30, 2021 / 9:23 pm

    I always enjoy reading these wearability round-up posts. Too bad the Emmanuelle coat didn’t end up being wearable as-is for you, because its length is one of the features I really like… and it seems perfect for combining with a skirt, too. But hey, I’m not the one who’ll be wearing it!

    • diane
      December 31, 2021 / 12:30 pm

      Thanks, Cantankera glad you enjoyed my post. Yeah, the long length really appealed to me at first but then I felt quite swamped by it…we’ll see how I feel about other lengths by pinning and trying on.

  10. Fiona
    December 31, 2021 / 11:12 am

    I enjoyed reading your 2021 round up. Thanks for posting.

    • diane
      December 31, 2021 / 12:31 pm

      And thank you so much, Fiona!

  11. Joan
    January 3, 2022 / 5:01 am

    Hi Diane! I have been so busy and late on all my holiday deadlines (e.g., holiday cards will be posted this week!) that I am only reading your year-end summary tonight.

    I am sorry about your MIL and illness, but trust that you will be regain your mojo shortly (you are more energetic than I ever am, I am thinking privately ;-} ).

    I just LAUGHED about your ruffled tops and the elimination of ruffles from multiple tops!! I did not have the courage to say anything when you went through your ruffle phase, and I believe that part of sewing for ourselves is indulging our individual whims (so who am I to be critical!). But I understand why, with your excellent taste, that you removed those ruffles a bit later. I am not anti-ruffle, I just don’t care for gratuitous ruffles (or any other gratuitous frou-frou).

    Sometimes it is hard to know whether that “design extra” is gratuitous or FUN!

    I think you look terrific in your tweed Newsboy caps (your hats have encouraged me to consider making a hat or two for myself, as my roundish/squarish face is difficult), and virtually all of your projects are smashing! I did LOVE your large-scaled polka dot wrap dress and thought it looked so elegant and modern on you, but understand how annoying fiddly-to-wear garments are (like wraps that chronically unwrap). I do hope that fabric will have a charmed second life!

    You don’t think that your cream cropped jacket and gray Tatiana trousers can be styled together? I would think their proportions would work with the right shoe (perhaps fabric types don’t work together?).

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2022!

    • diane
      January 3, 2022 / 8:05 pm

      Lovely to hear from you, Joan! I hope you enjoyed your time with your family over the holidays.
      I’m glad you enjoyed reading my review and that I gave you a chuckle over my trials and tribulations with ruffles, haha! I hope I’ve learned my lesson over ruffles 😉
      Regarding the dress with the big spots…I too love its modern look (after all, it’s why I chose the fabric and pattern combo). I wonder if I can make the wrap fixed and maybe add a concealed zip in it somewhere? I’ll give that some thought in the Spring.
      And you’re absolutely right..the Tatjanas and the cream jacket are a pairing that I definitely had in mind, but maybe the fabrics suit Spring more, so I’ll try them then. Something about the fabric in the Tatjanas makes me think more of transitional weather and with the cream jacket it’ll be a great pairing :).
      All the best to you and your family for 2022

      • Joan
        January 7, 2022 / 3:32 pm

        Definitely look into making the grand polka dot dress a MOCK wrap before anything else, Diane: it is a uniquely minimalist, yet elegant and playful dress in the current style.

        • diane
          January 7, 2022 / 8:04 pm

          I will for sure!

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