This was the fifth year I’ve been with the 52 Week Sewing Challenge on Facebook and although I didn’t submit very much this year I loved seeing the posts within the Facebook community and, especially, love seeing all my makes in one spot. So once again I’m glad I kept tab with the challenge.
I started these sewing challenges back in 2018 when I attempted to sew each week according to the challenge topic. I didn’t succeed and although it was stressful at times I found I improved my sewing greatly throughout the year and absolutely adored the new found community. The next year, in 2019, I decided to instead focus on sewing consistency and forgo the challenges if they didn’t serve me which I found much more enjoyable. Finally in 2020 I decided to fully embrace each and every challenge although I worried about vacations getting in the way. I needn’t’ve worried as Covid came, I stayed home, and this challenge gave me something consistent to focus on amidst the changes. I did submit each challenge and accepted them! That said it was a bit much so in 2021 I let myself reject and/or skip the challenges outright. This year I had wanted to focus more on sewing but found I instead preferred developing my own apps and instead gave more time to that. As such, when the Sewing Challenge group changed up their submission criteria so there was a new Google form each month I decided to change my approach too and only submit at the end of the month. I stopped paying attention to the challenges themselves but still kept track each time I sewed something. Thus when the reminder, set on my phone for the last week of the month, went off I could look at if I had sewn something, look over that month’s challenge topics, assign each project to a particular week, and submit them all at once. If I hadn’t sewn oh well. Thus this year had less submissions (only 25) but I came out of it more relaxed and still wanting to share.
I didn’t do much sewing this month; although I did wash my hot water bottle cover which led to me noticing a small hole at the bottom. This gave me my first submitted project as I flipped it the wrong way out and quickly serged the end closed.
I doubled my sewing this month… but again it was quick projects that rejected the current month’s challenges. The simplest sew was hand stitching closed a ripped hanger on my housecoat I made back in December. The slightly more in depth project involved cutting a bath towel in half and serging the resulting two raw edges. This created two new floor mats to go with my newly bought bath towels making two complete matching sets. You can read about this project here.
With the break over the last two months I was able to ramp up my sewing this month. Looking back I think I decided to try to make a dent in my fabric stash, in particular the pricier custom cotton Lycra from Whimsy Baby Customs, and thus things were made. Years ago I had bought some underwear panel surprise boxes and so turned the ones my kids currently loved into long sleeved tops (either Ellie and Mac or Ragamuffin raglans) and shorts (Stitch Upon a Time Boxerwear). I then went through what I liked and stitched up my favorite Stitch Upon a Time patterns: two new bras, boxers for under my dress, and two new splurgy underwear. I also patched various skirts and older underwear.
My super quick project this month was fixing the hole in the kids bath towels I cobbled together the previous year. My favorite project was the Bluey-inspired toddler blanket toppers from Sweet Tickles Fabric which I turned into two afghans for our living room that both the kids, Matt, and I still adore. The more time consuming project was making the girls new swimming suits which resulted in this updated post if you’re interested in learning more. I essentially used two patterns: the Ellie and Mac raglan and the Stitch Upon a Time boxerwear pattern. The kids chose the fabric themselves from Boho Fabrics.
This month I was running out of steam but still went strong with technically four completed weeks. The first week I entered a quick fix when Ada pulled the Kamsnap from her woven placket on the new swim top. The rest of the time I batch sewed three Olivia tops for my girls using woven fabric giving me three weeks of challenges submitted although probably not accepted. That said Olivia doesn’t work too well with stiffer cotton woven fabrics so looking back I wish I had used a potentially more time consuming pattern than this simple go to one. If interested the cute Bluey-inspired fabric was once again from Sweet Tickles Fabric while I can’t quite remember where I bought the super-heroine fabric from. Let me know if you know and I’ll update it here.
This month consisted of required fixes and nothing else sewing related. The simpler fixes were Zoey’s rainbow backpack stuffy and my ripped armhole on my top. The more complicated one was the ripped deck furniture cushions which I carefully glued to stop the fraying and stitched closed. I took several photos for a blog post then realized that this wasn’t a true fix as the fabric was old and worn and quickly ripped again just from sitting on it normally. That said, if you’re interested in a blog post about this please let me know.
Another month of quick fixes. This time Ada had holes in two of her nightgowns so I took them to my serger and quickly stitched them closed. Looking back this might be my last fix for her clothing as later she insisted on hand stitching the hole in her leggings herself. Based on the challenge topics I submitted these as week three and four. If you’re interested in the nightgown itself I’ve blogged about it years ago here (about halfway down under Patsy Skirt Mashed With The Olivia Top) if you’re interested in learning more. After these images were taken I unraveled the stitching and tied them off so they wouldn’t, hopefully, rip open again.
My first month where I didn’t sew anything…. maybe I was gearing up for Halloween costumes.
In September I sat down with the girls and found out what they wanted to be for Halloween. After confirming Joann’s website had a sale we went searching in my fabric stash and online to recreate the costumes and, hoping they would forget, also purchased nightgown fabric for Christmas. I planned, purchased, waited, and prepped all month long and had just enough time at the end to submit these two garments in the knick of time. The top photo is our favorite Ellie and Mac Sweetie Pie Tunic and Dress pattern while the bottom was Ragamuffin Firecracker. Both were made with a thin black knit I already had on hand.
In October I was busy sewing up the rest of the materials needed for Zoey’s Black Rock Star Cat costume and Ada’s Carmen Sandiego. As such I was able to submit something each week which consisted of a hand stitched nightgown fix and necklace creation, a black cat tail, Carmen inspired red jacket (Ellie and Mac Duchess jacket), and a Carmen inspired hat (slightly altered Rebecca Page Sun Hat). All the materials were either on hand already (wire and elastic) or bought through Joann’s website (red flannel and fur trim). I will post about these outfits closer to Halloween and link back here.
After Halloween I decided to catch up on my coding so no new sews or fixes this month.
Finally Christmas time approached. The girls’ absolute favorite nightgowns are my mashup between the Rebecca Page Olivia top and her Patsy skirt using Joann’s Snuggle Flannel fabric. To make it I essentially just chop the bottom off of the Olivia bodice piece and sew it together with the skirt. Over time the girls have decided that they only want the elastic in the neckline and not the sleeve making it even quicker. As stated above I blogged about it years ago here (about halfway down) if you’re interested in learning more. And with two nightgowns each I was able to finish the year out with all four weeks submitted though only partially accepted.
In the last month or so the current Sewing Challenge Facebook group posted that they’re going to move to a new group and archive the current one. They changed the format, to make it easier, and I haven’t looked into it too much at this point but I have joined the new group and plan to follow along and mark the challenges in my planner although I don’t know how much I’ll actually sew. If you’re interested in joining in too you can find the new group here!
Have you joined the challenge? How’s it going for you? Either way I hope you’re having fun with your sewing and you have a great 2023!
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