A meme of Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper hosting CNN's 2022 New Year's special. Andy Cohen is yelling at the screen. Anderson Cooper is looking down.

What I made in 2021: Roasts and Toasts

2021 was a year of sewing fails. And that’s okay. Let’s normalize that. Here’s what went well (and what didn’t) in 2021.

I’ll be straight-up: 2021 was a year of sewing fails. My success rate was probably around 50 percent because some patterns didn’t work out.

And that’s okay. Let’s normalize that. 

I’m not torn up about it. I learned from it. Perhaps it’s due to therapy or because I don’t feel like I need to optimize everything that I do. We have hobbies to relax, after all.

2021 was also a year of personal success and growth, even if it was the most anxious I’ve ever been. (My doctor says I run on a base-level of anxiety. I’m glad someone sees that.)

Without further ado, here’s how my sewing in 2021 went.

Roasts

Instagram, for most people, is a highlight reel. You only want to show your best. Not me. I like to make everyone feel better about themselves by showing my mess. So I showed off my bin of failed projects in an Instagram reel:

  • Helen’s Closet Yanta overalls: Most swayback adjustment instructions online neglect to instruct you to adjust the front as well. So not only did I look like a giant baby, I had a wedgie.
  • Closet Core Pietra pants: I could not get these pants to work the four times I made them. My ass ate the fabric, despite a proper swayback adjustment. It’s just weird.
  • Pauline Alice Turia dungarees: This pattern is so poorly-drafted that Pauline Alice took it down and never put it back up. This blog post discusses the issues in detail.

Lessons I learned

  1. Don’t rush the muslin. Keep refining the fit on the muslin, even if you’re 50 percent confident you can fix any issues in your fashion fabric. I moved on too quickly from the muslin step, which resulted in many binned projects.
  2. Know when to quit. I made FOUR Pietra pants because I just wanted them to work. My ass was too in charge though, so it looked like it was eating the fabric every time. I lost two months of sewing time.
  3. Cult favorites may not be YOUR favorite. Many of my fails were with patterns that are universally loved on Instagram. I kept thinking, “how on earth do y’all make this work?” I pored over the pattern hashtags on Instagram obsessively. In my CSI work, I noticed that many people weren’t showing the backside, so it gave me a clue that more people might’ve had the same issues as I did. And look: I know a lot of folks like the Yantas, but I just look like a giant baby. Maybe it’s the fabric choice. Or maybe it’s the style. I said what I said.

Toasts

I did not blog much about what I made in 2021. It was an intentional choice because I was starting to get hung up on doing a write-up for every project, and I wasn’t enjoying myself.

While it may tank my SEO, I’m much happier about that decision. Maybe I’ll pick it up in the future, but I’ll do it differently, so I don’t needlessly stress myself out. 

Split crossback apron

I had some random fabric a friend found in their trunk. I wasn’t sure what I could make with it, so I made a “maker’s apron” in the cross-back style. 

I didn’t take a full photo of the final result because I forgot. However, the difference with this apron is that I created a split front to make room for a wide stance while I’m at my sewing machine. 

Coverstitch machine cover

I bought a coverstitch/serger combo machine, so I needed a dust cover. It’s comically large, but it’s bright, and I love how the queen judges me for my life choices. 

True Bias Emerson shorts

You may have noticed that most of my roasts were in the pants department. However, I still had some success with pants in 2021, namely the True Bias Emerson pattern.

If you recall from last year’s roasts and toasts, I vowed to make a million versions of this pant in 2021. I’m a liar. I made one. 

Style Arc Emery top

Drama, but make it casual. I needed to shorten the shoulder width and raise the armhole to avoid looking like a linebacker. Despite that, I love the poofy sleeve, which slightly elevates the look. 

True Bias Nikko top

It’s a turtleneck. What else do you want me to say? I halved the turtleneck width because I have a short neck.

Posie top

I made this twice, but the moon and stars version is my favorite. It made for a perfect concert outfit before Omicron slapped us in the face. 

Sewing in 2022

I’m not doing a #makenine or any sewing resolutions. Instead, I have intentions for the year, which I’ll talk more about in this month’s newsletter. (You should subscribe to that, by the way.)

My sewing plan this year is to enjoy myself. And that’s enough for me.

Do you have any sewing plans (or anti-plans) for 2022? I’d love to hear it!

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