2016: the Year in Review

I always think it's useful to look back on the year just gone, especially with my sewing, as it helps me to realise how much I have achieved, how much I've improved, and helps me to refocus for the New Year.  

I gave myself some goals for 2016, which were:

1. Make my perfect coat. 
I didn't do this one. Maybe next year! In my defence, just as it turned to coat weather I was in my early pregnancy, and was sick and tired. I didn't have the energy to sew anything, let alone something big like a coat! I did find a truly gorgeous one which my lovely husband bought me. It's a dark green Diane von Furstenburg one (via TK Maxx), and is everything I wanted in a coat. 

2. Perfect the fit of my TNT dress patterns and make lots of versions of them.
Hmm. I began! I perfected the fit on a few of my favourite dress patterns and I did make some great dresses last year. My favourites by far were the two below. I'd even go so far as to say they are my favourite handmade items I have ever made (bar my wedding dress). Perfecting the fit was definitely a huge factor in their success. 

Magpie Feather dress (Flora bodice with Emery skirt)

A Thing to Shake the Heart dress (Anna bodice with Simplicity 1873 skirt)

3. Make more separates.

Yes, I did this! I made my first pair of trousers, a Sorbetto top and two viscose tee shirts

4. Restrict my internet time!
I actually did alright at this one, spending much less time on the internet. My sewing output was low last year but I had a far higher "success" rate than previous years!

5. Keep using up the stash! 
Yes, I think I did do this. Out of the 12 things I made in 2016, 8 were from fabrics that were already in my stash when the year began, including the scrap busting quilt I made. Of the other 4 makes, 3 were fabrics which were birthday gifts, and 1 was an impulse bargain. I'm actually pleasantly surprised as I write this - I really didn't go nuts with fabric buying in 2016. I only bought ONE new pattern is 2016! Wow! 

The Scrappy Quilt of Joy

I find statistics really satisfying, so I've done a bit of analysis. 

In 2016 I made a total of 12 items:
3 tops
1 pair of trousers
6 dresses
1 quilt
1 lingerie/nightwear set

10 of the above were prints, only 2 were solids (quell surprise).

Only 1 of the items I sewed turned out to be unwearable (that lovely tartan dress which was just too small in the bust).

Fabrics I used were...
100% cotton: 5 
viscose: 2
polyester or poly mix: 2
ponti de Roma: 1
100% silk: 1
srtetch cotton: 1

My Sewing Goals For 2017

To be honest this year I have only one: keep on sewing! Since we're expecting our first baby in May, I know that keeping up my sewing will be much more difficult in the latter half of the year, so if I can keep sewing even in tiny little bits, I will be happy. 

My happy little sewing space

Happy 2017 everyone, I hope the year brings you lots of happiness. I've just started off the year very well by passing my driving test! I'm so so happy to be ticking off this big life goal. Next challenge: baby! 


  1. Congratulations on your pregnancy Ree! How exciting for you. I haven't blogged for ages as I haven't really done much sewing, 2016 was a really tough year for me with my Mum who ended up passing away just before Christmas. I'm counting on a better 2017! I just started making a dress but I've been making really stupid mistakes and doing loads of unpicking :( I'm so out of practice! Still, it's good to be sewing again. All the best for a fabulous new year x

    1. Thank you, Coo! I am very excited to become a mama. I'm so sorry to hear your news, I hope you're doing OK. I know how incredibly tough it is, I lost my mum almost ten years ago. I'm sending you lots of love and healing vibes. Yes, here's to a better 2017! I am the same when I come back to sewing after a while, end up making lots of mistakes and making good friends with the unpicked :) but it's all part of it. Hope the rest of the dress sewing goes well xxxxxx

  2. I truly *love* that Flora dress on you. It's perfection. Well done on passing your driving test as well. It's such a great feeling of freedom (or it was for me anyway, living in a rural area!)

    1. Thanks Jo, I truly love it too! I ALWAYS feel great wearing that Flora dress - combination of great pattern, great fit and great fabric. Wish I could strike it perfect every time like that!!! Also yes! Driving IS a great freedom! I went for my first solo drive yesterday and it was amazing. x