Round up – 2016!


It’s that time of year again.  It’s my sewing oscars.  A time to mull over my makes from 2016 and reflect on my sewing resolutions.  I started this little idea last year and I quite enjoyed the process so here we are again.

The resolutions I set for myself are quite interesting and I am pleased to say I have moved a little closer to achieving them.  I have set them out here.

Resolution 1: What I would like is to be a more conscious shopper. Seriously considering what I am buying, do I need it and what are the ethical implications of the item. I plan on buying second hand or vintage and wearing homemade as much as possible.

I can say that, yes, I am achieving this.  I think the only items of clothing I have bought this year are underwear, a pair of jeans and the odd vintage piece.  I am sure that these items could easily be made, but I am just not that keen on making jeans or underwear.  Convert me! Happy to hear your experiences.

Resolution 2: I would like to try my hand at menswear. I am the only woman in our house, I don’t even have a girl pet! I think I should perhaps embrace this concept once in a while, maybe I will start with something for the hubbie. I bought the Colette Negroni shirt pattern today, maybe this is a good place to start.   I would also like to make some more interesting pieces, something that my pre-teen boys would happily wear.

Mmm… not quite made the leap into menswear.  I now have 2 shirt patterns that I am interested in making for my husband but so far, nothing.  Although I should say I have made a t-shirt for my 11 year old and numerous tees and shorts for the little one.  Not that interesting but at least I made them something.

Resolution 3: I want to slow down! I get so excited about fabric and patterns that I sew at break-neck speed. Time for reflection I think.

Yes, this has definitely happened.  Mainly due to time restrains more than a conscious decision though.  I have made far fewer pieces this year than last.

Resolution 4: Last but not least, I want to reduce the fabric stash! No new fabric. Yes I know, that’s on every sewers list but I would really like to try… (Well, I will, once I have spent my Christmas Tessuti voucher!)

Yeah, right…


So here they are, nothing controversial I hope!


I think to be considered ‘Make of the Year’ it should be something that I am proud of and also a very wearable piece.  If that’s the criteria then my self drafted denim kimono wins hands down. I lived in this throughout autumn, winter and into spring.  It goes with everything!  I also love the punk-ish tartan lining and the gigantic comedy sleeves .  It’s just my most versatile make to date.




Way too easy, it’s the Acton.  No doubt in my mind.  I wear this dress to every occasion.  It’s been back to the UK for a wedding, it has been to every dinner date, birthday party and even the occasional art exhibition.  It could easily have been my ‘refashion of the year’, ‘fabric of the year’ or ‘make of the year’ but then that would be a bit singular.  I have big love for this dress (and the pattern designer as you know!)



GIFT OF THE YEAR (aka. unselfish sewing)

It’s a tough one this year because I have actually been quite selfish.  I have made a few little Christmas gifts this year which I am rather in love with (lets hope the recipients are too!)

But I think this one is my favourite, Margie’s kimono.  I totally loved making this for Margie and just look how well she wears it!




Of course my Acton dress was a big contender for this, making a dress and a jacket (yet to be blogged) out of a kimono was really a huge challenge.  But, just to mix it up a bit I have chosen my “The Refashioners 2016” entry.  It’s a great refashion out of some scraps and a pair of jeans making an all time favourite sweatshirt.



Always a tough one, here are the runners up which include my own hand painted fabric (top right), some gifted fishy-ness, an old tablecloth (bottom right) and some rockin’ rayon (bottom left).

I finally settled on this rather wonderful piece from Faberwood. The quality of the knit is outstanding, it was a pleasure to sew.  But it’s the pattern that stands out.  It’s such a beautiful bold himmeli pattern and large in scale.  (A bugger to shoot though!)



Rolling ‘charity shop score’ and ‘vintage score’ into one category this year, mainly due to lack of shopping (see: resolutions!)  I found this marvellous 90’s shirt in a cool vintage store in Sheffield in the summer.  It holds happy memories as I was shopping with one of my oldest and most treasured friends at the time, the sun was shining and it was hot.  I know, hot in Sheffield!

It feels a bit odd buying clothing that I had probably given away myself, but still, its fantastic and the colours really blow my mind.




Mmmm…. tough one. I have really enjoyed a number of patterns this year, the contenders are;

The Acton Dress for its magic and interesting construction.

The Frankie Dress for it’s sheer ease and wearability.

The Raglan Sleeve Dress from Japanese pattern book, Stylish Party Dresses for it’s endless hack-ability, I have used this for a few makes this year.

But for me, the winner is a much simpler make and of course it’s a knit.  It’s the Sweater Dress from In the Folds/Peppermint Magazine.  I know it’s an easy one, but I have made it a few times and I love it for it’s simplicity, clear instructions, price-tag (it’s free) AND of course the pockets!!




No doubt in my mind about this one.  It has to be this horror.  I look like I should be shovelling chips at the school canteen circa. 1985.  The photoshoot was also bad so I even get this ‘vaseline smeared lens’ look just to top it off. The top is too big, one size fits all is nonsense and not particularly flattering.  I am also not sure the colour is me, which is sad because the fabric is so soft and lovely.


It is currently in pieces, mid refashion.  It may prove fruitless but I think it deserves my time.

That’s it for this years sewing oscars. Do you agree with my choices? I am pleased with my makes this year but I think there is plenty of room for improvement.

My resolutions this year are unchanged.  I think they are relevant and I want to work hard to maintain them in 2017.  Who’s with me?

5 thoughts

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