Year in Review

Originally, I was going to post this after my holiday, but I suddenly feel like posting it now since inspiration has struck!

#2017MakeNine roundup

I completed 4/9 projects:

  1. Cashmerette Appleton dress in a tropical knit print. I adore it!
  2. Burda Cowl Neck top in a turquoise cotton lycra. I think it would be great in a different fabric and I have plans for that in the new year.
  3. Burda Sweatshirts. I made 5 in various materials: jersey, sweatshirt material, fleece. I love them all!
  4. Burda Kimono Robe. You know I adore this one. It’s probably my favourite of the year.

The unmade patterns are as follows:

  1. Prairie Style Dress from Burda. I got some lovely polkadot chambray for this, but never got motivated to do a muslin.
  2. Keyhole dress from Burda. I just never got this done. I picked out fabric, but didn’t have the motivation for muslining it.
  3. M7537. I ended up not wanting to make this. I may not but I still like the look of the pattern.
  4. 5 out of 4 free pj pattern. I have tons of flannel in my stash but just never made this pattern for myself. I made it for other people last Christmas, though.
  5. Boho maxi dress from Burda. I have a gorgeous crepe print for this pattern, but didn’t end up getting to it.

I am doing something a bit different for my #2018MakeNine list and just focus on fabric that I want to use. I’ll post that list in the new year.

Top 5 3 Misses:

Burda Cowl Neck top. Just a failure of fabric really.

Burda Cowl Neck Top 10/2011 #135

Blank Slate Barton Shorts. Another failure of fabric. The linen shrunk a bunch when it got put in the dryer. I am definitely going to hang linen to dry from now on. See how disastrous the back became!

An Accidental Capsule Wardrobe

Itch to Stitch Belize Shorts. I’m just not a fan of how they look on me.

Itch to Stitch Belize Shorts

And that is it. I actually really like everything I made this year!

Top 5 Hits

With so few misses, this was so difficult to choose!

Decades Everyday Chore Skirt. I love this skirt so much. The colour, the black strip of bias tape, the look. I feel wonderful in it.

Decades Everyday ESP dress. Wonder Woman! Need I say more?

Decades Everyday ESP Dress

Cashmerette Appleton. The tropical print was absolutely perfect for this dress and I love the way it looks on me.

Cashmerette Appleton Dress

Cashmerette Lenox Dress. I love it. I put a lot of work into the embroidery and adore it.

Cashmerette Montgomery Shirtdress

Cashmerette Springfield Hack. I wear this top at least once a week. I love wearing it and can’t wait to make more. I have another cut out, but haven’t gotten around to it just yet.

Cake Patterns Pavlova Skirt

2017 Summary

In 2017, I made 76 things. It’s lower than 2016 with 107. Not surprising considering how sick I was this year, but a ton with all my health issues! I’m really proud of what I accomplished this year. I visited the ER twice this year and still managed to make 76 things! Go me!

I had the usual December rush of getting gifts made but also with an additional CSC theme month challenge and sewing for an upcoming vacation. I will eventually share all those items in 2018.

Some months I made very little and other months I made a ton indicative of my up and down health.

Gifts top the list of items made, but second is dresses. Swim/beachwear are third (still have to share those!) and fourth is tied between shorts and skirts.

Cashmerette is an obvious winner. Second place goes to Burda and third is Blank Slate Patterns. I love seeing how this list changes from year to year as my style evolves and as pattern companies expand sizes.

In the new year, I will post about plans and goals and my #2018MakeNine.

Happy Holidays everyone!


Top 5 Hits and Misses and 2015 Summary


Now that I’ve covered the non-sewing highlights, it’s all about sewing from now on!

Top 5 Misses

Let’s start with the fails first and then end on a positive note. 😉



The Seamwork Florence Bra was the most horrible miss of the year. I never modeled it, because it was a hot mess. I even tried making it in a better fabric than all stretch lace, but it just didn’t work. It’s definitely not made for people with larger chests. The only way I could wear it is over another bra.



My Bronte top in white was a bit of a miss. I still wear it all the time, but the neckline was way too big for me. In the picture of me wearing it, it looks all stretched out, but it really is just too wide across the top. Even hanging on the hanger above the neckline drops down pretty far because of all the fabric across the top. My other three versions of the top are okay and my first version I had larger seam allowances than in the other ones so it worked out fine. But I do wear it occasionally and still like the style. This is the top, though, that made me realize how very narrow my shoulders are in comparison to my bust and that causes fit issues in stretchy shirts. I have been doing some cheater FBAs in other knit tops by grading to a smaller size at the shoulders, but sometimes it doesn’t always work…



Which brings me to my Simplicity 1812 top… I tried to grade down at the shoulders, but still sewed it twice to fix the issues with that yoke…

I wear the top, but I am more prone to wear it with a scarf to mitigate any yoke-revealing disasters.



This isn’t really a fail, because I ADORE THIS DRESS… but it is a fail, because I haven’t worn it at all. It’s my Muse Patterns Melissa dress and, in spite of the diner waitress look, I love the dress a ton. The problem is that the sleeves are too tight. I have been meaning to take them out, recut wider sleeves, and then put them back in… But shiny! I haven’t done it yet. I should make it a goal before the end of the year and then I can wear it a ton in the Spring again. This was the tester version and I know she did some sleeve alterations for the pattern version. I have some mint floral fabric that is dying to become a Melisssa dress in the Spring.

Gosh, I love this dress.



My Hello Kitty hoodie is a win from the perspective of my alterations of it, but a miss from the pattern’s perspective. M6614 has a few issues. Other than being enormous, the envelope says to buy a far shorter zipper than you should for the bigger sizes. I had to alter the neckline because I had a perfect zipper for it and then I had to make some massive cuts to the sides to make it fit right. I love it now and wear it when I am sitting around at home or this Spring I wore it for walks. Shame to the pattern, but win for me! And I adore my little embroidered Hello Kitty:


Top 5 Hits



My wedding dress is my number 1 hit of 2015. You can read about it in these entries. There are definitely some things about it that are not perfect, but I love it and think it worked well for me.



My Sailor Mercury bra is by far my favourite bra I’ve made. It fits really well and hits my geeky side. I should have made more bras this year with the Bra-a-Week Challenge, but never quite got enough done. I hope Erin continues the challenge in some form for 2016, because I hope to rock it with all my bra plans.

The one thing I will say about the bras I have made this year is that the band elastic really irritates my skin and has a tendency to fold. I have some new stuff bought that will hopefully help. It’s actually strap elastic, but in my RTW bras, they use the thicker strap elastic. I think that will work better than the band elastic I have used previously. I’m hoping to report on the soon with my long overdue Desert Sunset bra that I cut out in August right after the Sailor Mercury bra. Ooooopsie….


DSC_1038 DSC_1234

I’ve made Simplicity 1459 twice now and I just love it with or without the collar and with or without the massive skirt. I have a polkadot version planned eventually!


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I made two versions of the M7100 bomber jacket and just really love it. My floral denim version wasn’t worn as much as the houndstooth version, but they were both heavily in rotation this year from Spring to Fall…and into some of our very mild Winter so far. I really want to make a colder weather version using Cation Design’s idea of lining it in fleece (we had the same fabric for our versions! Isn’t that awesome!). She also had a great idea of going back and adding it to the houndstooth version, but I really want to make another. 😉



I haven’t even blogged about these yet! But my Style Arc Misty Jeans are a WIN! They got me a sewalong win! The day before my Gryffindor cardi won the Muse love Merino knits category! (I’m sew lucky!)

These are my my first pair of pants sewn (that weren’t pjs or leggings). They fit pretty well without any alterations, but there will be some for my next versions. I will be making tons of these. They are so comfortable and wonderful. I can’t even. I am wearing them right now. I no longer fear making pants which is the real win of the sewalong. Thanks so much to Alicia for hosting the sewalong and her great instructions for the pants. It’s also made me a Style Arc fan, because damn they fit pretty well without alterations! I have a bunch of Style Arc patterns planned for the future, including some shorts for the Summer next year! Shorts!

2015 Summary

My summary from last year was such a useful task that I wanted to do the same for this year. Even though I have some end of the year plans for tons of selfish sewing, I have decided to do my summary now since the blogging part will not happen until 2016.

2015 sewing

My year has had lots of ups and downs in sewing. Some months I was working on one project (wedding dress or cloning a bra) or just wasn’t up for it due to post-wedding exhaustion or Trinity passing. I’ve made a total of 54 things this year though! 21 more than last year. That’s a huge thing. I’ve also bought very little RTW this year. Mostly just leggings, underwear, and socks.

sewing by type

I decided to include unselfish sewing in this chart unlike last year. Last year, knit dresses won this category, but I’ve been going away from knit dresses lately. They are great for casual wear, but I spend most of my time at work and really gravitate more toward separates than dresses this year. This year has definitely taught me some things about my personal style. I’ve made more in the “presents” category than any other this year, but in terms of selfish sewing skirts win with 7 made! I’ve seen my style evolve into a skirt/top look rather than wearing dresses. This theme is definitely continuing for 2016, but with pants as well!

2015 patterns

These patterns are only for selfish sewing. Last year, Colette patterns won this category, but I’ve not been a fan girl this year. I do have an unblogged Myrtle dress, but the only other thing I made from them was the Florence bra failure. Self-drafted in my chart this year is just a label, but not really accurate. The category includes dirndl skirts (which are just gathered rectangles and a waistband) and my cloned bras. No real “drafting” happening there, but it was a way to say differently patterned garments, which sounds odd. I went with self-drafted instead. Outside of that, McCall’s patterns are definitely my top with Simplicity coming in second and Muse Patterns third. I think next year we will see a lot more Style Arc, Burda, and continue my love affair with Muse Patterns. McCall’s and Simplicity will still be there in the top, though. I have so many of those patterns that I haven’t made up yet and lots of plans for them. There’s also another pattern company, Cashmerette, that will likely emerge as a top pick next year.


Top 5 Highlights


FYI: I have some projects that need to be photographed and a ton of projects that were gifts and I can’t talk about until after Christmas. D’oh. When I have time, I will post about things!

Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow is hosting the Top 5 series again this year. I had a great time doing it last year and emailed her excitedly asking if she was doing it again.

I want to start off with highlights. This entry is not about sewing. It’s my highlights of the year.




I’ve reflected on this day a lot this year. It was perfect from start to finish. I am so happy.




We had such a wicked time being dorky tourists in Niagara Falls. A heart-shaped whirlpool tub in the room. Visited a wax museum. Saw exotic birds. Rode the boat under the falls. Got our pictures taken in an old school saloon. It was the best time.


My husband.


Okay, I will switch gears from gushing over love, but the highlight of the year is my husband. Since getting married, I’ve never been more in love with him. We have grown so much as a couple this year and every day I find myself more and more in love. How is that even possible? Well, with such a wonderful guy as your partner, it’s easy! I love you, Dale. Sew very much.

4. My job.


I don’t talk about it that much here, but I’ve been enjoying learning a lot this year as a project manager on several corporate initiatives. I have been taking a lot of pride in that. For Halloween, I went to work as the Super Project Manager, which inspired a coworker to create the comic book cover above.

5. My Health.


I talk about it occasionally, but I live with chronic pain and it’s often the reason for large gaps in posting even when I have tons sewn. It takes so much energy out of me and makes it very difficult to do daily tasks let alone extracurricular tasks. I will often put my energy toward sewing rather than taking garment photos and writing blog entries.

I was “diagnosed” with fibromyalgia earlier this year. I say diagnosed because the rheumatologist did his tests in finding the pain centers and ruled out several things and then said “it’s probably fibromyalgia. Talk to your family doctor about these medications.” Then he handed me a list and I talked to my family doctor who wasn’t very helpful and hasn’t ever really been helpful for me.

Then I switched family doctors. My current doctor is amazing and sent me for a second opinion about the fibromyalgia due to joint dislocation I experience on a daily basis and the cause for the majority of my pain. I discussed that issue with the previous rheumatologist and my previous family doctor and they both saw that “as no issue.” Okay…

I have a bunch of specialist appointments booked and MRIs. I’ve seen another rheumatologist. I’ve had a ton of x-rays. It’s all been pretty painful to go through the tests and x-rays, because of the way they locate your pain, prode it to cause pain, and then manipulate your body to find the perfect angle for the x-rays.

I know this journey will lead me to a more definitive diagnosis. This is a highlight for me because I am finally on the right track and making my health a top priority. This is something I set as a goal this year and I am glad to finally be getting somewhere. I may never be cured, but I hope to have an actual treatment plan in place some day soon. I feel pretty hopeful!

Top 5 Highlights


The lovely Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow is hosting the Top 5 for the third year in a row. The categories range from Hits, Misses, Highlights, Reflections, to Goals. I want to make an entry on each one. Although, I will group Hits and Misses together and likely Reflections and Goals.

Top 5 Highlights asks you to go over non-sewing highlights of your year. I don’t mind if you skip past some of this, but I think it is worth it to list these out.

Trigger Warning: There is lots of schmoopiness in this post. It’s the schmoopiest. Also, gifs. Tons of schmoopy/silly gifs.

1. Realizing how resilient I am. This is a pretty recent re-discovery of myself as I struggle with health issues and pain associated with fibromyalgia. I always manage to smile or laugh. Although on bad days I’m not as positive, but I am always hopeful of the future. I can always look on the bright side of life.



2. Being interviewed by Morgan Hoffman of InnerSpace. It just happened, but it was awesome.


3. Rediscovering my passion for sewing. I know these highlights are supposed to be about non-sewing things, but this is a huge thing for me. I started sewing in 2008 and have felt like a beginner sewist since then until now! Since I started sewing again in April, I have noticed my sewing skills skyrocket. Before I wouldn’t have confidently tackled making a coat or a bra, but now I soldier on and am impressed with my ever-growing skills. I’m always happy when I sew.


4. My family. There are always highlights with my lovely little family. My fiance and my two step-kids are wonderful people and I always find more and more reasons why I love them throughout the year. I love giggling with them and being silly and having serious conversations. I can’t wait to marry my fiance. I never grew up with dreams of my wedding day (I thought more about books and art), but I honestly can’t wait to express that love in front of everyone. 🙂


5. You! I love when people comment on my silly blog entries and engage in conversations with me. I appreciate all of you and the highlight of the year has been virtually meeting all sorts of lovely sewists through social media and blogging. You are just wonderful people.