First Make of 2018, Goals and a Few Reflections

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It feels good to be back to blogging after the holidays! I love the parties and fun but I’m very ready to move on, to get back to the routine and back to the sewing room. So, I’m happy to welcome 2018 with a new make, a few goals and some reflections too.

I took a moment to look back on my 2017 makes (here’s my top five)  and was not surprised to discover I sewed more tops than anything else. That’s easy to predict since I spend a lot of time wearing pants and jeans, not because it’s my ‘look’, but because I live in a damp, chilly climate that makes pants a necessity. A fun, new top is an easy way to change-up my wardrobe without much fuss. That being said, the large number of tops in my closet played a big part in my goals for 2018;

  • Sew more pants! Last year, I made only two pair plus a pair of Jalie stretch jeans (!!). In 2018, I’d like to find a couple of other patterns to call tried and true. This will be important if I’m going to be successful with goal number two which is….(drum roll)…
  • To participate in the 2018 RTW fast (Thanks, Goodbye Valentino for inspiring me!). Basically, I will not being buying any clothes this year, so I’ll need to stitch up a couple of pairs of pants if I’m going to survive a year without Anthropologie (can it be done? We’ll see….).
  • Challenge myself with at least two sewing contests, four if I can manage it.
    • In 2017, I participated in the Pattern Review Wardrobe Sudoku and the plaid contest. Both competitions were really fun and they  pushed me out of my comfort zone a little too. I had to stretch my sewing skills a bit to keep up, so I’d like to do more next year.
  • Stash Bust: Sure, I could try to give up fabric purchases for awhile, but a year without that pleasure would be a truly horrifying thing for me! So, I will compromise with this rule. I will sew two items from stashed fabric for every one fabric purchase.
  • Sew a trench coat. I’ve always wanted to make one, a Burberry knock off would be great! See how inspiring they are?
  • Sew a couple of cool bags with lots of details. Ideas of patterns to try anyone?
  • Sew with a plan 50% of the time: Last year I sewed with a plan for a trip to Spain and Portugal, which really paid off. I had a great travel wardrobe that was comfortable and made me feel put together, even when I wasn’t, LOL. I will do the same with a couple of trips this year. However, sewing with a plan all the time cannot be a goal for me. Too much planning can destroy my sew-jo. I kid you not. When I think about what I’m going to sew too much, every decision overwhelms me and I end up doing, well…. nothing!  So, I will allow myself time to sew ‘whatever suits my fancy’ too, because spontaneity and sewing in the moment is the fun of it for me.

In summary; I was pretty productive in 2017, and hope to do the same in 2018, balancing hard projects like coats with ‘easy sews’ like tops and skirts. My blogging goals are to improve my photos and my regularity, although I didn’t do too bad last year.

Now about this top….


I found this sweater knit at Fabric Depot this fall. Immediately, I could see it as another version of McCalls 7501, a knit dress/top pattern that I made before and wore constantly because it’s cozy and comfortable, especially with a tee under it. This fabric caught my eye because it reminded me of sweater I saw at Anthropologie. McCalls 7501 is a favorite pattern now because I love view B, the wide collar option. The collar becomes such a cozy detail when sewn from a textured sweater knit.

This pattern is a fun, quick sew. It even has Raglan sleeves! Trust me, you can make this in an afternoon!

I hope your new year is off to a great start! I’d love to know what you think of my goals – – especially my RTW fast! Am I …..crazy? Happy sewing and thanks for stopping by.

Top Five of 2017 – The good, the bad and the ho-hums


This year, I did alot of sewing, way more than my 2016 crystal ball predicted. I’m very happy about that, as I find a week without sewing to be a bit grim.  Although I didn’t keep a spreadsheet, I can tell by looking at my blog photos that I made roughly a garment a week, a fact that surprises me a bit:). Will I do the same in 2018? My closet won’t allow it, LOL -more about that in a future post. In the meantime, here are my top five hits and misses, a concept created by the fabulous Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow.


If I were going to give a garment a prize for ‘most worn’, this simple cardigan would be the clear winner. The long length makes it so versatile…in the photo I wore it with a skirt but I love it with jeans, skirts and dresses too. The fabric is a lightweight knit, so great to sew and wear.

img_2249I had so much fun making this dress! I’m such a fan of sewing with lace, and this ‘make’ gave me the opportunity to use a couple of different ones from my stash which made me so happy. It’s easy to wear too, and it’s always a conversation starter at a party. I think it’s because the bodice is a stretchy ponte with a shiny finish that looks like leather – – such a lucky find.


Even though this Maisa denim jacket took loads of time to finish, it was one of the sewing pleasures of 2017. For one thing, it involves color blocking, a option that always makes me happy. It also required alot of topstitiching, a time consuming detail that’s so satisfying. My only issue with this jacket is that even after multiple washings the denim is a bit stiff. I should have distressed the denim first – lesson learned!


I’m not a fan of ruffles as a rule, but this top is one I reached for constantly before the cold weather made that impossible. The linen knit turned out to have the right drape for the project and it’s great to wear too.


This make combined two things I love – – flannel and plaid! I’ve worn this so much, it’s a bit embarrassing :). I wasn’t sure flannel would work for a top with bell sleeves, but it did!

Honorable Mentions:

It was the year of the sleeve for me, and they feature prominently in my favorites that didn’t make it into the top five but are much loved!


Dress number one is here. Dress number two is here and the above top is here.

The gingham top is here, the ruffled top is here, and the statement sleeve top is here.

Now, on to the misses:


I tried to love my Sapporo coat, but there’s just too much fabric for me! It has to be arranged carefully or it slips off my shoulders.


Okay, I should love this safari style jacket, but the color is just a bit off so it hangs in my closet, a lonely orphan. It’s a warm color and I have need to be careful with colors like these. I just don’t like to wear them.


This dress had the right stuff for a hit – a border print, my favorite color, statement sleeves and Pom Poms, but it just never felt right. Maybe it’s the way it fits in the waist or the flowery border trim. Not sure why, but it’s a definite miss.


This skirt and this top are both clear misses. The ruffle on this denim wrap skirt made the front panel too heavy and awkward to wear. I’ve since removed it. The top, well, just look at that fabric! It’s just too busy for me.

The takeaway from these misses? For me, it’s all about the fabric; the color, the print and the drape.

That’s my take on the year as sewn – – I can’t beleive 2017 is almost over! My reflections and goals for 2018 will come in another post. Thanks to all of you for visiting my blog in 2017 and for chatting with me about, well, everything! I find our conversations so fun and enlightening too. Have a fun and safe New Year. Until next time, happy sewing and thanks for stopping by!