2015 sewing review


It’s time for my yearly sewing review! This helps me learn from the previous year and see patterns in my sewing I might not be aware of. I didn’t sew nearly as much as I’ve sewn in previous years. This past year was one where I needed more balance. That meant more time offline and away from social media and sewing, and more time for my family and friends, fixing up my house, fitness, and decluttering my world in general!

I won’t be listing my top 5 or anything, but instead, it’s just a rundown of what I made last year each month, and what did or didn’t work out. Read on!


tunicCollageSimplicity 1461 never worn- the armholes are extremely tight.cropMcCall’s 1646, a success. I love this Robert Kaufmann linen chambrayIndianTunicAnother simplicity 1461, sewed for a magazine article and too small in armholes, again. I used my Indian stamps to make this print. I removed the sleeves and now it’s on my WIP pile.Pom pom tube scarf tutorialDIY scarf too much fabric, just not “me”slouchbag1Leather bag sewn from a  pattern in the sewing to Sell book I reviewed and gave away. I like this bag!richard6,750A flannel shirt I made for my husband from a Colette Negroni pattern and Robert Kaufmann flannel. This is probably my biggest success of the year since richard eats, sleeps and breathes in this shirt a bit too much than i’d care to say! So I’m making another this week…

FEBRUARYdraftadolmanSelf drafted linen knit top- a failure due to the linen knit completely stretching out.nightie41970’s pattern nightie, a project she rarely wears because it’s ‘too hot’.Vintage tennis dress sewing patternTennis dress made from a 1960’s pattern- I gave it away because there was too much strange bunching up at the armholes which leads me to believe it was just too small. Should have made a muslin.DIY workout wearSelf drafted workout wear which also didn’t work out because i lost ten pounds after I took this photo and the top was too big and the pants would slip down after that, even though I took them in.buttonWool hooded sweater from Italian sweater knit from Mood and McCall’s 6802 and McCall’s 6996. This still gets worn by both me and Isabelle.

MARCHbrowndresssideMcCall’s 6754 in ponte knit. I like this and it filled a need in my closet for a basic dress.pic2Custom drafted and fitted dress for Lily in a vintage rayon. I took awhile to make this and blogged a lot about the process of draping this on Lilt’s body.Gigi'sBed1A duvet and pillow case for Gigi’s bed.

giveaway pileThis was also when my minimalist lifestyle challenge started. I’ve come a long way since last March and have simplified my home and possessions so much since last year. This photo makes me happy I decided to do it! My decluttering fever coincided with a change in my diet to a mostly Paleo one. I lost about twelve pounds, a dress size, and dozens of bags of un needed things were donated to charity. All of the above.

APRILcroptop3DIY t shirt refashion. A success.dress1White linen dress from the Japanese pattern book, Sewing For Your Girls. Another win.queen10A dress made from our old curtains for Renaissance Day at school.john2 PeterTwo coats I finished for the school play. Not too hard, surprisingly!. I used McCall’s 4745.one

MAYSimplicity 1589, I made three versions of these I love, PLUS, another for my mom! Simple, easy, and so wearable. With a little bra friendly cut out in back.watermelondressDIY watermelon dress. Gigi didn’t like this dress because the smocking was itchy. But she looked so cute in it!tunic4New Look 6375 in mixed cottons. Another great summer pattern!stjoseph3St. Joseph doll I drafted and sewed, but copied the idea from a doll I saw on Etsy.14Tunic from Mouse House Creations Valencia pattern. I should have made a size larger. I gave it away.kimomoSilk butterfly kimono sewn from New Look 6378. I love this.3Romper made from an It’s Sew Easy two dollar Simplicity pattern. I used vintage pillowcase fabrics.slipcovers I finally finished my slip covers in May, making April and May extremely busy sewing months!

JUNEdiydenimjoggingshortsIMG_0982Both shorts sewn from Simplicity 1165india9Dress sewn from a Sew simple pattern from Simplicity. Another dollar pattern found at Wal Mart during my Patterns From Wal Mart series.IMG_0862Simplicity 1358 in a Missoni style knit from Micheal Levine. I wore this dress tons last summer.

JULYfringedleatherbucketbagIn July I designed, made and wrote a tutorial to make your own fringed hand sewn bucket bag. This took a long time. And then some more.1I made this tennis dress from the Jalie Anne Marie pattern. This is the year I discovered Jalie patterns and that they are pretty great.5I used that dollar pattern from June to make another little dress in silk.reddress4And I made another version of Simplicity 1358.pic7Last but not least. July ended with the making of this little diamond pocket dress for Gigi, sewn to participate in Made By Sara’s Alice in Wonderland series. I used an early 1960’s pattern and fabric from my stash to make it. Gigi wore it a few times to church, but I had to remove the sewn in crinoline as she found it too itchy . I’ve realized that she is very sensitive to fabrics , and I have to take care that the things I buy and make for her will be soft and comfortable.

AUGUSTdottie3This Dottie angel dress turned out to be not so much my style. Holly hobby threw up on me. Onto the Goodwill pile it went.floral dressThis dress I like! I used an Amazing fit pattern by simplicity, 1354 and some vintage cotton found at an estate sale.goatgirlA self drafted dolly I made Gigi.

SEPTEMBERjumpsuit1My self drafted Shibori dyed jumpsuit. One of my favorites of the year.1A quick t shirt dress. Another McCall’s 6744,8McCall’s 6035 for my 46th birthday!. I love the fit.

OCTOBERThistennismeThis year I took up tennis in a  big way and found myself playing two to three times a week. Of course, I needed some tennis outfits! This one was sewn with Kwik Sew 4113.frontfullAnd then there was my Mexican fabric military style blazer with Indian head buttons which took up most of October. This garment is just so me and  love everything about it. Even though I cut out one of the arms the wrong way on the directional print! Drafted from a  cut up thrift shop jacket.

NOVEMBERjumpsuit1resizedIn November I made this denim jumpsuit with a heavily hacked 1980’s pattern. Can’t wait to wear it this springdiyDuvetCoverGigi moved into a bigger bed so I made another duvet cover for winter.Jalie 2212 I made this merino wool sweater from a Jalie pattern for Oliver’s 22nd birthday! I do notice while I write this that with the start of school and holidays, my time for sewing decreased dramatically.

DECEMBER3I only have two finished projects for December. What a lazy sewing blogger I’ve become, right?

My military style jacket. An exercise in fancy pocket making and drafting. Bellows pockets anyone?  I used McCall’s 7058 as a base. This project was utterly exhausting for me, but the hard work was work it. I needed to sew something a bit simpler next.

3Which resulted in this wool robe style coat, sewn from a modified New Look 6416.

So it was a successful sewing year all in all. I learned from my failures and hope to keep improving more next year.

Yes, there were things that weren’t worn, but I’m getting better at choosing which garments I’ll actually wear, and which aren’t really going to work for me or my girls personal styles.

Do you have any favorites?

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  1. says

    Great yearly review. So interesting to see what we actually end up wearing, isn’t it?

    Sometimes I surprise myself by sewing something I don’t like at first, then end up wearing it all the time.

    • justine says

      That happens to me too, Chris. It’s usually something really simple, too.

  2. Sally says

    You are so honest – I love it. Your sewing is as much fun to go through as your shrinking! You look fantastic and my favorite is your black tennis outfit!

  3. says

    So much goodness but the standouts to me are the jumpsuits, the Mexican military coat, and the white Japanese dress. I love that your husband wears his shirt so much. Mine was wearing one particular T-shirt a lot and I heard him tell someone I made it. I showed him the Sonoma label in the back later. Haha.

  4. Emily says

    Epic post! Love the striped coat, white dress, jumpsuits, and the black dress. Are those bias pieces holding up? And you look fabulous and happy!

  5. says

    Wow! an epic post, for sure! You’ve use made some beautiful things this year and figured out the things that really are “you”, like cute little print dresses for summer, all of which look fantastic on you! I LOVE your two jumpsuits, and totally adore the last red wrap coat too. I would wear that to bits, it’s gorgeous.
    Happy New Year Justine, and all the best for 2016 🙂