2018: A Year of Sewing

McCalls 7627 Laura Ashley Pattern – white cotton poplin wrap top with tiered pleated sleeves and peplum.

Happy new year Readers,

I hope the new year has started well for you. Thank you for all the love for my Linton Tweed biker jacket. It was a great way to finish the year on a sewing high. Whilst the new year is still fresh, I thought it would be good to have a look back over my sewing in 2018. As mentioned in my last post, you can always visit the “Sewing by year” tab at the top of this blog to see all the items I have made in any one year, since 2014. Ready? Let’s get started.

Named Clothing Kielo Wrap Dress

In 2018 I made a total of 40 items which made it to the blog. Breakdown:

  • 11 dresses
  • 4 skirts
  • 10 tops
  • 2 pairs of trousers and 1 pair of culottes
  • 6 jackets/ coats
  • 2 cardigans
  • 1 swimsuit and a cover-up
  • 1 A skirt for Kezia and a coat for Philip

Of course there were other things which I made which didn’t make it to the blog. Off the top of my head I can remember I made a kimono robe for Kezia, a second Blackwood cardigan, a pair of viscose PJs for myself, some faux leather pull on jeggings and 2 Ogden camisoles (I might get round to blogging the camisoles eventually!)

McCalls 7624 palm print maxi caftan

I don’t seem to be falling out of love with sewing any time soon, lol. It feels so empowering to be able to take a piece of fabric and craft it into something unique to fit my own curves. However, there were some definite hits and some less so.

The Hits

Let me show you what I consider to be my most loved or most worn pieces from this year:

Simplicity 8641/ Sew house seven burnside bibs dress version

This pinafore dress was a surprise hit in my wardrobe and I have worn it as above when the weather was warmer, as well as with tights and layered over a polo neck in the winter. It feels modern and I like the waist definition with the tie.

Simplicity 8014 brushed flannel plaid button down shirt dress

I think this year Simplicity 8014 has attained TNT status (watch out for a new animal print crepe version coming soon) and this version in soft flannel has been worn to death since being made. Speaking of Simplicity 8014…

Simplicity 8014 button up shirt – cotton batiste with ribbon trim
Simplicity 8014 button up shirt – cotton chambray
Simplicity 1591 striped sequin skirt worn with Simplicity 8014 silk button up shirt

These three shirts made using Simplicity 8014 have been in high rotation. Love the classic style, the fit and the ease of sewing. The striped sequin skirt shown in the last picture is also something I love purely because of the fit I got.

Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan
The Avid Seamstress Coat made up electric blue wool melton doeskin from A W Hainsworth

Finally, I know I might have given the pattern a hard time, but I am so proud of how this Avid Seamstress Coat turned out, and it feels wonderful to wear. And this Blackwood cardigan, together with the unblogged one in grey, have been on high rotation in the colder months. Such a great pattern!

The Not So Hits

The not so hits are largely to do with fit issues, which you could say is partly my own fault for continuing to refuse to muslin! And it’s not like any of them are outright wadders…they have all/ continue to be worn but I know I could remake them and refine the fit further.

McCalls 7745 blue floral viscose wrap dress with high-low hem

Love this fabric: not so much love for the fit of the bodice. Slightly mollified by the fact that I know others also had a hard time with the fit of this bodice.

Simplicity 8746 red crepe asymmetric wrap skirt – worn with Simplicity 8454 snake print top

This skirt (and the top too) were off in fit. But they have been worn and will continue to be so.

Simplicity 1283 wool jersey jacket with Simplicity 1167 wool suiting trousers

Finally, this cardigan made in a double faced wool. Wrong pairing of fabric to pattern on this one I fear: really this cardigan needs a lining to work. I can’t stand clothes which I have to constantly adjust or fiddle with! I just want to throw something on and feel confident in it.

Sewing Habits

This year I have definitely slowed down in my pattern purchasing. One thing which has driven this is the fact that here in the UK we used to have fairly regular 50% sales for the Big Four companies, but since the amalgamation of Simplicity with BMV, the discounts offered have not been as big, and the sales seemed to (perhaps?) have slowed down. I made the decision to take a membership for SewDirect, and have had some issues with the website, but hopefully they have now been resolved.

I think I have also been more considered in my fabric purchasing after having a major clear out of fabric scraps/ remnants and unloved pieces at the beginning of last year. If I do buy fabric I try to buy fabric that I will sew up sooner rather than leaving in my stash.

Along with full bust adjustments, full bum adjustments have become my norm! I used to be a dress girl but now I am loving the options that separates offer me.

I notice I am more drawn than ever to solid colours. They make getting dressed in the morning easier, if you want to look polished and professional. But classic modern prints still have a place in my wardrobe.

Pauline Alice Aldaia dress in grey ponte from Pin and Sew

Final Thoughts

As ever, thank you all for following along on my sewing adventures. I look back through my years of sewing and marvel at how far I have come, and how my style is changing and evolving. I am getting older but feel more confident in my style choices. It’s been fun and here’s to more happy sewing memories in 2019!

Butterick 6169 Linton tweed biker moto style jacket

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By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at sewmanju@yahoo.co.uk

31 thoughts on “2018: A Year of Sewing

  1. I always enjoy your Instagram posts and your blog. You are so inspiring and I learn so much from following your journey. So thank you and keep them coming in 2019!

  2. So I’m not the only one who has had issues with Sew Direct. They seem to have deleted my membership and I can’t get anyone to answer my emails.

    1. Sorry to hear that Joanne. Did you get it sorted? If not, I have an email address that someone on Instagram gave me for a member of staff at Sew Direct. Get in touch if you want me to pass it to you.

  3. Loved reading this post, got some inspiration on what I might make the coming year, like the kielo dress and the long version of simplicity 8014! Happy New Year and look forward to following your sewing journey in 2019!

  4. You are amazing! This is the first time I read your blog, and I am in Awe! How is that that you have a day job and at the same time tou made so many pieces of clothing in a year. I did sew just one top, I mostly do alterations, I am feeling inspired by you, right now. I love the white shirt, the bicycle Style jacket all the bottom down shirts, the blazer! You are unbelievable talented and inspiring. Thank you.

  5. What a variety of styles. I love the both McCalls 7627 Laura Ashley Pattern and Butterick 6169 Linton tweed biker moto style jacket. Both very different, yet fun. I do not know how you find the time. I haven’t been following you in a while as your site is blocked at work. Glad I had a chance tonight to check in. What pants are you wearing with Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan?

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