This reflections thing is a little harder when I don’t have a garment to point at and comment on. Most of the time when I miss the mark, I take time away from the garment and if I’m paying attention, I can find something to learn from.

1. I have the best family in the world.

2. My enjoyment of making day to day wear is growing.

When I started this blog, I had a bolt of beautiful black woven fabric and I set out to make dress after dress until I had at least 3 dresses that I loved and felt great in. Then I got started on some costumes for San Diego Comic Con in 2011. The day to day clothes, or cake, I was making were all fails and I figured I should just keep to the corsets and beautiful Victorian skirts. After several garment wins, I’m trying to attain the balance between fit and ease.

3. I must keep sewing.

I bought my first basic sewing machine in 2007 and while it would’ve been great to buy something nicer than what I got, (besides being on a one income budget) I didn’t know if I was going to sew enough to really need anything beyond a basic machine. Now that I see how much I love sewing, I’m glad I now own an industrial Juki. It’s an investment of money and space and I know I will forever be sewing.

4. Failure is another way of learning.

A director of mine in college used to say, “If you’re going to fail, fail big.” In other words, be bold. Make bold choices. Stick to your choices. It doesn’t mean you have to love all the choices once you look back on them in reflection. It just means to stand strong and do it- don’t let the myriad choices bog you down. This sorta connects back to #1. My fails of 2011, and boy were they all back to back, set up the stage for 2012 to be such a year of success. It’s easier to see this once you’ve given it all time, isn’t it?

5. Start with a smaller back.

This was my big learning win for 2012. I learned, in my working with the 1912 Project and the Titanic patterns that were one size, that if I left the back a smaller size, I could get a better fit all over. I, of course, had a lot of front bodice work to do, but that wasn’t ever new. Now that I start with a smaller sized back (in comparison to the front), I’m getting way better results. I find myself with some shortcuts by doing this, despite needing to true up the shoulders and sleeve heads. All in all, it’s a better starting point.

What was your big learning for 2012? What big lightbulbs went off for you?