I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of another year. It seems like as my kids get older that time is speeding up. We reached some major milestones this year in our family as my oldest turned 16 (and got his driver license!), my second oldest started high school, and my youngest started first grade and is gone at school all day now. They continue to keep me busy and my happy place is definitely watching them do the things they love. This picture kills me and I love that my youngest three and I are all wearing handmades.
I love to look back each year on all that I’ve sewn and reflect on the big winners (and losers) that have come off my sewing machines. One of my goals this year was to be a little more deliberate in my sewing, to avoid testing things that I didn’t see fitting in with our wardrobes, and to pick fabrics that could hold up to our lifestyle.
This year I sewed 130 garments for my kids and 51 for myself and just a handful for gifts. Those numbers kind of amaze me. I’ve cut my sewing time way down, sewing just a couple of days a week and trying not to sew at night or on weekends when the family is all home. I tend to gravitate to quick knit sews so those numbers are a big reflection of that. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites from this year and a couple that have already been passed along.
I could sew up dresses all day, every day. They are my favorite thing to make for both me and my girls and I know they’ll get worn. It’s so nice to look in our closets each Sunday and have so many great choices to pick from. I’m still not a dress during the week gal so I’ve tried my best to only sew up church appropriate dresses for myself. Sewing dresses for my girls is so rewarding because I can make them long enough for their long legs! It’s so great being able to blend sizes, creating dresses that fit like a glove.
Patterns and blog post links clockwise from upper left corner: Waterfall Raglan, Larkspur, Modified Blake Dress, Upton Dress, Fringe Dress, Orchid Midi Dress, Manhattan Dress, and Starlight City Dress
Between my little man refusing to wear anything besides knit pants and my affinity to joggers, our everyday clothes tend to focus on comfort. Luckily I think our comfy clothes don’t sacrifice style. This winter I’ve made my little man a handful of joggers in my hunt to find the perfect pattern for his long legs and tiny waist. I’m still searching and it’s a challenge I’m happy to continue on as they whip up in no time.
My most used pattern this year was the free Love Notions Leggings pattern. My oldest daughter can sew them up herself and we’ve made a dozen between the two of us this year. They pick tunic and leggings outfits almost everyday and I’m all for it.
I reach for my joggers almost every day as well. I love that they are so comfy for working around the house but I can also run to the store and not feel grossly under dressed. Brassie Joggers from Greenstyle have become my go-to jogger pattern. I love the slim but not tight fit and I don’t get the weird crotch bunching I’ve experienced with other patterns.
Patterns and Blog posts clockwise from top left corner: Movie Night Pj’s, Panama Tee and Brassie Joggers, Brassie Joggers and Green Tee, Samson Sweater and LN Leggins, Sloane Sweater and Leggins, Lexi and Lou Loungers and #121 Ringer Raglan, and Mini Hudson Joggers
Living in Utah we have sweater weather a good 9 months of the year. Sewing hoodies and sweatshirts just make sense and they get worn to death! Everyone in the family got one this year, including my first sews for my dad and my husband. Nothing beats a cozy top on a cold snowy day!
Patterns and Blog Posts clockwise from top left corner: Pixie Tee, Metro Pullover, Hudson Hoodie, Toaster Sweater from Sew House 7, Jolly Roger Raglan, Sloane Sweater, Brunswick Pullover, Constance Sweater, North Star Pullover
Swimsuits just might be the most rewarding things to sew. We all hate trying them on in stores and they rarely ever fit me and my girls. We’ve got long torsos and modest tastes which makes it super difficult to find suits in ready-to-wear. This summer I didn’t sew nearly as many as in 2017 but I did manage to sew a few new favorites.
You’ll notice most of these misses are for me with the exception of the tie for my cute boy. Sewing for my kids is so rewarding because there are rarely ever fit issues and I know what types of fabrics they’ll wear. The tie was more of a pattern issue and was a sad waste of fabric. I’m super grateful for the cute pictures I got of my handsome kid and that all makes up for the lost time and fabric.
Now on to my misses. This year was a bit of an awakening for me. After a long winter of not taking care of myself, I’d slowly gained more weight than I did my last pregnancy. I felt tired all the time and hated sewing for myself as I had to size up all my favorite patterns. Taking pictures and seeing the unhappiness show through to the pictures was too much. In May I finally decided to do something about it and started a simple fitness and counting calories routine. I feel a hundred times better, my anxiety is easier to handle, and I look forward to sewing for me again.
These misses all came early in the year. My Phoenix Blouse sat in my closet unworn until I passed it on to my sister. I love the pattern and would like to give it another go in a different fabric. This crepe was super drapey and so difficult to work with that by the time I was finished sewing it I was so angry at it! I added the Amalfi sleeves and realized that I’m not a huge fan of them.
The Sonata Dress testing was the wake-up call for me. I was at my heaviest and this dress just felt so unflattering. I planned to wear it as a cover-up this summer but didn’t really have the opportunity. It will come with me on our beach vacation coming up and I’m hopeful it will get worn a bit this coming summer as well.
The Driftwood Top was simply a matter of poor fabric choice for this pattern. I love the feel of this fabric but it was far too structured for this boho-feel blouse. This one never got worn but I do hope to make another version in something lightweight this spring.
I had high hopes for this eyelet Harmony Top. I’ve been searching for a great woven tee pattern and the Harmony is pretty close. I altered the neckline to be more crewneck since I don’t really like scoop necks. The biggest issue with this particular top is that I made it too big to begin with. I sewed up a medium but I’m happily back to my Love Notions small. Since the eyelet is lacking drape, it’s very easy to see that it’s just too large.
The Joy Jacket is my saddest miss this year. I absolutely adore this pattern and hope I will have the time to make another one this year. I felt so accomplished after I finished this one and I marvel at the beauty of it. BUT, my fabric choice makes it so unpractical. I’ve yet to wear it for fear of getting it dirty. C’mon, if it’s cold enough for a jacket there’s a pretty good chance it might get dirty. The fabric is a tad sheer and with the seams being unfinished (it’s lined so you wouldn’t normally see them) I’m scared that a spin in the washer will leave me with shredded edges that will show through. It looks beautiful hanging in my closet and I will never get rid of it for pure sentimentality but it was a big lesson learned for me.
I had so much fun looking back on this year and reflecting on all that I was able to accomplish. As I look forward to the new year I’m not sure if I’ll make any goals or join any challenges. I’m hoping to continue my journey to find what works for my wardrobe and what’s worth my time and effort to sew. I realize that I don’t have to sew everything and I’m ok with not wearing handmades all the time. I want to continue to sew for my kids since they are the ones that really struggle finding ready-to-wear clothing that fits. I’m so excited for a new year full of possibilities!