2017 Year in Review

The new year is here! With the new year brings a review of my past year of sewing. Usually it’s pretty surprising for me. I forget all the things I’ve made and how much I love things that I’ve only had for a short amount of time.

Sew My Style

This past year I participated in Project: Sew My Style. A monthly sew-a-long of different indie patterns put on by Bluebird Fabrics. You can check out everyone’s lovely makes using the hashtag #sewmystyle. I did fairly well at the beginning of the year and then towards the end I slacked off. All due to personal reasons though. Hubby and I were house hunting and did move! All that exhausting fun took away from my sewing time.  I still want to make the Anna dress from By Hand London, Stella Shirt dress from Named and the Yona Wrap coat also from Named. Here’s a shot of all the months I was able to participate in:

2017 Make Nine

I also joined in #2017makenine. I was able to complete 7 out of 9. Pretty proud of that. I would have really liked to have gotten my red Thurlows made but I’m still fussing with the fit. I was able to complete: several Sorbettos, new handbag, failed Jamie Jeans (still looking for the perfect grey denim), Burda flares, Simone, pajamas, and a couple B5526.

2017 Goals

  • Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.

You can see the results of this above.  I’m happy with the participation that I was able to complete. Several more things I want to make though. I do wear most of the items religiously. The two I really don’t wear too often is the pocket skirt (May) and the valley blouse (July) both from CaliFaye.  The valley blouse is so fussy and the skirt looks so bad on. Maybe that pattern company is not for me.

  • Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.

I successfully adhered to this for about half of the year. I’m surprised I made it that far. I would have liked to have made it the whole year but I think we all know that was not going to happen!

  • Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.

I used flat fell seams! A lot actually. They’re so much easier than I thought and they look so nice on the insides. I really want to do Hong Kong seams but I need to find a project that I’d feel requires it.

  • Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.

This was so the year of dresses. I do think #sewmystyle really helped me out on this one. There were two dresses that were made just for that! I made a total of eight through the year. Two have yet to be blogged. Okay that number sounds pitiful but for me it’s good!

2018 Goals

I’m gonna keep them short and simple this year.

  • Coat/jacket
  • Red Thurlows
  • Home work wear


To wrap this up, here’s everything that I’ve made! Have a Happy New Year!

  • Skirt/dress: 7
  • Tops/cardi: 24
  • Bottoms: 6
  • Bags: 4
  • Crochet: 5


Quick and Warm

When I picked up 5 yds of black knit fabric, my brain had to start coming up with more ideas than a long sleeve cardigan. Then I came up with the best idea! A 3/4 sleeve cropped sweater to wear with my Vogue 9001 maxi dress.

I used the Briar Tee pattern by Megan Nielsen. The cropped length would be perfect to hit me at the waist. I would need to bring in the neckline because I wanted a crew neck, find a happy sleeve length between the short and long, and lastly make sure the sides were fitted in tight. I didn’t want a big slouchy sweater.

I cut and sewed this in one day. More specifically, in an hour!

This fabric is so soft. The weight is decently light so it will be great for layering.

I took these pictures were taken way too late in the day so it’s me and my shadow. I had to take about two inches out of the sleeve width to get the fitted look I wanted. I cut the smallest size for the bodice. I only had to take an inch or so out of the sides.

I was able to turn up the hem on the bodice and sleeves 3/4″ for a clean edge.

The neckline is a 2″ wide strip folded in half and attached.

I love a quick and easy project. This was my final make in my old sewing room before I packed the girls up for the move. Frankie is smelling the night light for whatever reason…

Boss Bag

As of July I got a new boss. She’s asked me several times to make her a Jamie-Made and I’m wary of making others stuff for fear of it falling apart. I decided I would make her something for Xmas. I thought about making her an apron because she bakes as a side business. After I brought my big bag to work, she said she also needed one. Screw the apron, she’s getting a giant bag!

The search for fabric began. It needed to be purple, the right shade or purple and a heavy weight. After searching, I came to the conclusion that I needed to dye fabric. This can really be hit or miss for me. I found ice-dying on Pinterest. The gist of it is to cover wet fabric with ice, sprinkle on powder dye and let it sit for 24 hours.

Here it is at the get-go. I used pink and purple dye. You can see where the dye hits the fabric between the ice. Those spots will be darker. The fabric sits on a rack so the water drips into the container below.

This is halfway through. You can see the colors starting to blend. It takes a lot of patience to get through the this!

You can see that the colors blended together nicely. I think the colors wouldn’t have been so muddied if I would have washed it right after rinsing it.

I used the same dimensions from my bag for this one. (17 1/2″ x 16 3/4″ x 8 1/4″) Instead of a pleather bottom, this one has a heavy cotton purple bottom. I was worried if I didn’t give it a dark bottom the dyed fabric would get dirty so fast.

I did make the handles longer than mine. It makes it easier to throw over your shoulder. I secured them into the base and with an X stitch towards to top to keep them from pulling away from the bag.

I added a magnetic snap for an easy closure. I stitched her name in purple thread into one side so there’s no question whos bag it is! Purple is her favorite color. Preferably lighter shades so the ice dye provided a good mix of shades.

The inside is also a mix of purple which I bought before I completed the dying process. Fringes crossed that they would go together and I’m so happy they did!

I had a bit of leftover fabric so I made a supposed cosmetic bag. I have no idea what you can fit into it since it’s so tiny. It’s 4″ X 4 1/4″ x 1 7/8″. Maybe a lipstick and a small compact?

Same fabric on the inside and outside plus a purple zipper. *squeal* This was a free pattern I found. Next time I make it I will have to make it a lot bigger.

Not only does she get an awesome big bag but a cute little, teeny, tiny bag. She better like it or else I’m keeping it!

This was the first project I completed in my new sewing room. I’ve been busy with the move so it was nice getting back into the sewing groove. How amazing of me for my first sew to be for someone else!?!

McPattern Dress

After my success with my first McPattern, how could I stop myself from making another? I wanted to make a big circle tank dress. I started off similar to my tank McPattern. It took a bit to figure out how tight I wanted the dress to my neck and how wide to make the straps. I did the same arc to figure out the curve on the bottom of the dress.

I sewed up the neck and shoulders of the dress first. Immediately I knew I was wrong. The straps were much farther from my neck and the neck scooped to low. I pulled the straps up and pinned them up to where the neckline hit my neck. I used chalk to mark a new line from the outer strap width down into the arm.

After my adjustments, I finished the neckline, arms and sides. It fit so much better! The problem I had now was the extra length I pulled up to move up the neckline made the dress short! Too short!

To remedy this issue, I picked up lace to trim the edge. That did it! It was light enough to keep the float of the rest of the fabric. I sergered the lace to the bottom and topstitched the edge for a clean finish.

This is ridiculously comfortable and surprisingly flattering. I’ve realized that anything with a lot of fabric at the bottom needs to be balanced with a more fitted top otherwise I end up looking like a potato.


I made another McPattern tank. This time in a knit! This was the last little bits of my $5 for 5 yds of grey fabric from Walmart. I made a maxi, dress and tank. There’s a few small pieces left that I would need to mix with something else to make anything. Talk about a deal!


I did topstitch both sides of the straps which I didn’t on the others. I felt that if I didn’t, the strap wouldn’t stay nice and flat.

Up next, I’m back to project: #sewmystyle!

Bomb Diggity Denim

I’m so disappointed in myself! I was on such a roll with my #2017makenine at the beginning of the year and then things happened and my “let’s do this!” energy has run out of steam. I have three more items to complete. This post will knock one of them off my to-do list. I finally decided to tackle another pair of jeans. My Jamie Jeans came out beautifully last year. That should have encouraged me to complete my Burda jeans but it so didn’t. I have not been in the mood to tackle pants. I think the reason is that I was trying to adjust the fit on a muslin version of the Thurlow pattern and it’s not coming out right. I’ve been focusing all my energy on anything that’s not bottoms.

One day I decided to sit down and at least look at the Burda 7050 pattern. Well that’s all it took. I compared the pattern to my Jamie Jeans pattern to make sure the tooshie would fit properly. I took a bit off here and there. I went ahead and cut the fabric too. I can’t remember if I started sewing the same day or the next before I was off and running. I referred to the instructions very little but there were a few reasons for this.

• I’ve made jeans/pants before

• The Burda instructions were horrid and if you have never made jeans before I would not suggest using a Burda pattern.

• I wanted to try out the industrial style way of putting in a zip fly. I used this tutorial from the Last Stitch. Amazeballs btw…

This was my first go with a Burda pattern. If all the instructions are so sparse, it might be best not to try to tackle unfamiliar articles of clothing. I also did not make a muslin for this pattern. Living the wild life as usual. For some strange reason, I felt the sewing force coursing through me. I am one with the force and the force is with me.

Who can make an awesome pair of jeans out the gate!?! Oh yeah… THIS GIRL! Needless to say I’m happy with how they turned out. There are a few things here and there I would like to change for future versions.

The pockets are a little strange. Checking out my RTW jeans the pocket is fully cotton. This has a denim back with a cotton front. It makes it a little thick in the thigh region. Not a biggie but just an unusual detail.

The flare could start a bit higher up on my leg. I did make the flare the width of the biggest size and adjusted the leg going up. I could handle it being bigger. I also thought I would have more fabric at the bottom to make a big hem. I like the vintage style ones that have about a 2-3” hem at the bottom.

The belt loop pattern piece is too short. There’s no way that a belt could have fit through the little loops it wanted me to make. I recut this piece and made it almost 1 ½ times the length. I over shot by a bit but not much.

The only true complaint I have about this pattern is the waist. I mucked it up a bit. I should have made it smaller but I always worrying about the small thing known as breathing. I thought I had it snug and it was more of just touching my skin. I want a slight squeeze!

Making jeans takes a lot of time for me. The topstitching has to be perfect. I took my time with each piece. There’s no point to rushing because those mistakes will stare you in the face every day and you won’t want to wear the jeans.

Totally knocked it out of the park with these!  I may be slow as shit but it’s worth it. Here’s a look at my #2017makenine.