2011: a retrospective roundup

I've got to ask...where on earth did 2011 go? I think I must have blinked at some point during the year and it disappeared! Luckily, this blog acts as a pretty comprehensive record of my activity, which has helped my reflective efforts. 

Firstly, a quick detour via the future. For 2012 I'm taking radical action by throwing out all the rules! Last year, I set myself very specific aims, but I don’t know what they achieved, other than making me feel bad for not satisfying them all. I’m going to totally wing it this year to see which method is ultimately more productive. A highly scientific experiment I'm sure you'll agree ;o)

What I do know is that I want to sew and knit as much as possible, whilst continuing to improve my skills. And I want to savour every minute of it. So there! 

Don’t get me wrong, 2011 has had some great highlights – especially
getting to meet some amazing bloggers in May and taking up knitting in October. I’ve really fallen head over heels with knitting and I’m proud of my first creations.

However, when I look back at my aims for 2011 and even my half-year roundup, I’m struck by how unbelievably naive I sound. Erm, gee, wouldn’t everyone like to find / make more time to sew?!?

But I have learned an important thing or two in the past year:

  • There’s no need to rush things! I’ve given myself a particularly hard time over not opening an Etsy shop, but really, what’s the hurry!?! I’d still like to do this one day, but I think it’s wiser to take the time to hone some killer skills and develop a unique idea.

I’m so excited to see where this new year takes me, so as I 'aimlessly' set sail into 2012, I’ll leave you with a selection of my good, my bad and my ugly sewing makes of 2011:

I think I had the most fun experimenting with detachable collars! You can see more peter pan collars here and more nautical collars here.

I did some selfless sewing - a top for a friend and some pillowcase dresses for girls living in poverty around the world.

And I managed to squeeze in some commissioned pieces - baby pinnies, a half pinny and an extravagant 'Parisian Princess' pinny!

But 2011 was definitely the year of the skirt for me! I went from never having made one, to making many: aubergine Ginger, western Ginger, self-drafted circle and the Crescent skirt.

Oh, and I loved the simple tops I made - a refashioned dress became my very first Pendrell blouse and I went crazy with three versions of the Sorbetto.

And finally, the bad and the ugly of 2011 had to be ALL of my attempted dresses - my 1940s Swing Dress turned out too big on the waist, my One Pattern, Seven Bloggers dress was rushed to meet the deadline and my Lonsdale was way too small in the bodice!

So here's to 2012 bringing me more luck with dresses! 

I'll see you on the other side folks...hope the New Year brings you all happiness, health and as much stitching time as your hearts desire!


  1. That's a lovely round up. I totally agree that just going with the flow is much better than setting yourself an agenda. You've achieved amazing things.

  2. I could not agree more, setting goals could be frustrating! Sewing for me is about enjoying the process and the result, so no need to stress - you are right.

    Live your round up! And i lo e your ginger, pendrell and all three dresses!

  3. A great round up of a very successful year Marie, you've made some awesome things and it's been a pleasure following your blog. Here's hoping 2012 is just as successful. x

  4. Lol wishing you a wonderfully dressy new year!

  5. What lovely things you've made! I totally disagree about the dresses though - all three of them are gorgeous, so even if they don't quite fit (yet) they are definitely not bad nor ugly.

  6. Dresses are much harder as you have to get both halves right, lining up and working together. Thank goodness for skirts and tops! Good luck for 2012.

  7. Goodluck for 2012 Marie. I totally intend to freestyle this coming year as well. no pressures.

  8. I totally agree about goal-setting. I think it's nicer to be open to possibility. :) You made some really awesome things this year!

  9. Great round-up Marie...and your pictures are looking fab! You may not have achieved all your original aims, but i think you have had a really productive year, especially on the knitting front. Here's to an equally productive 2012 :)

  10. You've made some gorgeous items this year, even your 'bad and ugly' are lovely!
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to sew on a whim, you and your previous commenters have made me feel better about that!
    Happy New Year!

  11. Looking forward to seeing more of those dresses in 2012!

  12. I love all your handmade items! You have such a great sense of style! Happy New Year!

  13. 2011 was great for you. My favorites were your gorgeous Gingers and Sorbettos. I hope 2012 is equally successful and productive. I can't wait to see what you make.

  14. You've made some lovely things and done so well with your knitting in such a short space of time too! I hope 2012 is just as productive for you.

  15. Oh wow - you made so many gorgeous things in 2011, I salute you! If I had have been half as productive as you I would have been chuffed. Good luck with your 'aimless' sewing in 2012...I think it's a pretty good plan to be honest! I've set myself some big goals for this year, and I'm already nervous on day 3! lol

  16. You were certainly busy this past year! You made so many lovely things. You should be very proud of your knitting accomplishments. They're all amazing. I've tried to pick up knitting over the past few years, but I always stop for half a year or more and I have to reteach myself. I have about five unfinished projects. I commend you for being so productive this year.

  17. Happy 2012 Marie!!!!!

    Wow, you made some wonderful stuff in 2011, exciting to see what you'll get up to in the new year. Don't be hard on yourself for the dresses that didn't turn out quite perfectly, they look wonderful from the photos. Thanks also for your lovely comment on my end-of-year post, you are a sweetie!

    All the best
    Zoe xxx