MMXIV - an epic post for an epic year.....

I do love me a wrap up, a retrospective, and generating some exceedingly unimportant statistics and pie-charts. I found my end-of-winter navel gazing post to be very helpful in identifying how to make better choices with my self-made wardrobe, and I am very much enjoying learning what has been successful and not-so-much in the worlds of other sewists' this year.

I love this hobby so much. There's no doubt in my mind that I have moved beyond mild obsession with fabrics and sewing - it is a truly entrenched way of life for me now. Here's a (fairly accurate) pie-chart of my current life:

Before talking about my makes for the year I want to share some of my favourite makes from other extremely talented crafters. Without a shadow of doubt following other sewing blogs, and ogling Burdastyle, Kollabora and Ravelry come a very second close favourite to actually making stuff myself. I'm blown away daily by the awesomeness that pops up in my Bloglovin feed, and it's so great to see the pride, confidence, improvements in skill and beauty of our little creative world.

This is by no means an exhaustive list (or in any particular order) of a few pieces that stuck in my mind as the perfect combination of fabric, pattern and fit for that individual - thanks to these ladies for letting me use their pics!

Debbie's leather skirt. 
I know Debbie has just posted that this was a fail for her, but on aesthetics and fit and general wow factor it is still an absolute winner for me. Divine.

Lara's Celestial dress
Lara is one of the most prolific sewists that I follow, and has a fantastic sense of what works for her - this is my favourite make of hers this year.

Danielle's Antoinette silk trousers
I'm still blown away by the gorgeousness of this outfit! One day I shall also have myself some silk trousers.....

Sasha's Malvarosa
Not everyone can get away with a dropped waist - but Sasha (and Kirsty of course!) can without a doubt.

Sara's jacket
Such a beautiful colour choice, and lovely attention to detail.

I also adored Jo's two-toned Anna dress, Kirsty's pineapple culottes, Kirsten's beautiful Alder dress, Jillian and her hubby's incredible leather collaborations (here, here and here), Morgan's cloud Polly top, Jenny's amazing body con dress ...... really I could go on all day......

Now enough about them. More about me me me. This year I've blogged a little less but made a lot more. I've planned like a fiend and made far more sensible fabric and pattern choices which has resulted in significantly less failures compared to last year. Many of my makes were repeats. Including a few non-blogged knits I've sewn approximately 51 garments and finished knitting 1 cardigan..... Here's those irrelevant stats I promised you....

  • 96% of garments were for me, 2% for my beloved, 2% for my Sound of Music companion
  • 57% were knits which surprised me. I thought it would be far more!
  • Which leaves 43% in wovens
  • 87% were separates, 13% dresses
  • 56% were from patterns I have made more than once
  • 2 have been abject failures (the definition of which is I put them on, immediately take them off and have thus not worn them for more than a few minutes).
  • 5 have been mediocre in success 
  • the rest have all been worn with pride!
It's extremely rare now that I go a day without wearing something I've made myself. I've not purchased any new RTW clothing this year except for shoes and underwear, and apart from some secondhand jeans off Ebay everything else added to my wardrobe this year has been self made! 

In no particular order my particular successes and favourites have been:

The work wardrobe 
A rotating combination of Style Arc Elle pants and Tessuti Mandy tees. World changing? No. Mindless, comfortable, easy dressing in the morning when I'm a bit of a vegetable? Yes indeed. 

Aime Comme Marie Silk Minute top
I love this fabric, and how it makes a simple tee into something so fancy! Silk for everyone!

Hudson Pants in Style Arc ponte. 
I wear these so often. Sometimes just a for an hour or so a day, sometimes the whole day. My husband calls them the crazy pants. I've worn them as lounge pants, shopping, out for dinner and camping. I adore them. My heart palpitates with inevitability that one day they will wear out...

Denim shift dress
I've worn this endlessly over winter and spring. I still love my crazy pockets. 

Salme Cropped Blazer in cotton 
I'm still in shock at how good this looks on, despite my issues with the mitred hem. I'm very proud of the finish inside - proof that slow sewing does pay off. I really must make one in black...

Vintage Vogue wrap dress in merino
I feel so stylish when I wear this - despite making it at the end of winter it did get some wear through spring. My first vintage knit pattern!

Style Arc Fiona Cardigan in boiled wool
I was on the fence about this one, but as predicted by one canny reader it got worn at home almost on a daily basis - so despite not being so much a sartorial success, on a cost-per-wear basis this one was definitely a winner. 

Vintage Skirt in rayon
A new silhouette and length for me - I feel so chic in this skirt, and it's great on a hot day. I'd love one in silk.....

Which brings us to the less successful.

My most disappointing make, based on time invested and expectations of finished product, was my Grainline Alder. I've never worn it more than a few minutes. I realised that I'd stuffed up with my seam allowances - I'm pretty sure I used 5/8 inch rather than the 1/2 inch drafted, and as a result it's a bit too snug across the bust and very uncomfortable under the armpits. I think this is a combination of the sizing and the bias tape I used. The fabric is also not a great choice. It's too heavy to wear in summer, and the colour of the denim, whilst gorgeous, doesn't look good with a cardigan on - way too much like a supermarket checkout chick's uniform from the 80's. But I have grand plans to both re-use the fabric, and make another version in the correct size, using the correct seam allowances in a more appropriate fabric.

The second grand disappointment was my Sewloft Caroline shirt. A stupid mistake with the sizing and an attempt to remedy this with a crazy wide button placket. I'm almost resigned to the fact that it will be heading to the op shoppe....

My three 'meh' garments have all been worn but just don't rock my world....

My Wendy-Marc-and Me-dress is a borderline fail. The murky colour isn't one I normally wear, and the ruching just makes it wearable. I might like it more this coming winter. If not, to the op shoppe it shall go.

To be totally honest I only wore my You Are Gold Tessuti pants last night for the first time! The only thing I can pair with them is a black singlet, and I really only wore then last night for NYE's at our friends place because I wanted to be uber comfortable and my husband wouldn't approve the Hudsons.... They're a little too big and make my arse look three times the size it is. The linen isn't drapey enough for the style. Lesson learned.

I made the Swoon scarf necked cardigan mostly because the pattern was free. I wore it to work a lot over winter, but might offer it to my mum. It's just not my style.

I'm thrilled with my successes and improvement in garment making this year. Whilst I didn't even attempt conquer welt pockets my finishing and fitting skills are vastly improved. A highlight was of course the acquisition of an overlocker, and I still grin maniacally as I zip around my raw edges. A dorky thrill that will never wear off.

2015 is shaping up to be a big one. My beloved and I have a couple of big trips planned in Sunny Boy. I'm buying a small share of the business where I currently work which is both terrifying and exciting. And of course there is the never-ending list of things to sew, blogs to read, garments to knit. I'm not setting any goals this year other than to be happy, balanced and healthy - in all aspects of life.

Thanks for visiting me these last 12 months and sharing your thoughts, opinions and feedback. I wish you all the best for the next year!



  1. Epic but fabulous. You had me chuckling with that first pie chart. I lover your crazy pants and that cute denim dress. Thanks for the mention too! Happly new year!

    1. Thanks Debbie - and thanks again for letting me use your pic.

  2. Happy New Year! Your pie chart is perfection, it sums up my life exactly! I love all of your makes, but especially your denism shift dress, its so cool. I might have to copy you!

    1. Ha! I knew I wasn't the only one! Please do copy my dress. It's so versatile!

  3. Your % breakdown cracks me up. Now I want to go back and do my own tally. (In my mind a sew a ton with I really?) Lots of good stuff on this recap (hudsons, vintage skirt) I LOVE your denim shift. Its been on my must make list for a while...maybe in January!

    1. Thanks Kristi, it's been a very successful year for me.... And definitely make a denim shift - you won't regret it.

  4. Ha, I showed my fella your chart and he was like 'yup, same story here'. I liked that your shared other peoples' projects, I have some new blogs to read!

    1. Glad you liked it. I was cracking myself up a bit doing it. Such a nerd....

  5. What a great year! I love your denim dress best. I think it's absolute perfection with the pockets and the topstitching. And Second, probably the 70s denim skirt you recently made. I want to make one too for spring! Funny what you say about time spent planning sewing vs actual sewing. I think for me it might be even worse because I think about sewing while doing other things as well ;) Thanks for the mention, and I wish you a very, very happy New Year !

    1. Thanks so much Sara! Look forward to seeing your future skirt. You know sometimes I can't sleep I get that excited planning a garment! I'm out of control....

  6. Some lovely makes here and your candid honesty about the sewing journey is refreshing to read x
    All the best for your sewing plans in 2015!

  7. Pie chart, statistics, percentages...fabulous round up! I've loved following your sewing journey this year, and have been so inspired by it. (Ooh! saw Advanced Style - loved it!) I think your goals for 2015 are wonderful, especially regarding seeking balance. It's all too easy for a hobby like this to take over... Looking forward to seeing all you create next year :D And thanks for the mention! oxo

    1. Thanks Danielle. So glad you saw Advanced Style. It's such fun. And you better guard those pants! They're just too fabulous!

  8. Love your pie chart!!!! It made my morning....:D! Fabulous roundup and I'm so happy you included my Malvarosa (I'm quite proud of it you know ;) ). I wish you a 2015 full of happiness, fabulous fabric at bargain price and lots of time to think about it - rushed decisions are not a sewer's friend! I'm sending you a big "bacio" if you don't mind me taking the liberty :)

  9. A pretty productive year! All your makes are fabulous and even the ones that did not get worn a lot were learning experiences, I bet. Wishing you a fantastic 2015!

    1. Absolutely true Andrea. It's a constant learning experience!

  10. You've made some lovely things in 2014.

  11. I love reading your blog and you've had some wonderful makes this year. I just love your curved hem tees and of course your denim dress with those super duper pockets. Can't wait to read up on your 2015 makes.


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