Favourites – Autumn/Winter 15/16

Back again so soon just to let you know that I have a new video on my YouTube Channel. It’s a favourites video covering the months since my last one way back when. It got a bit long, even with me cutting out my non-sewing ones that I’d tacked on the end. Sorry. If you don’t want to watch it I’ve written a bit about what’s in it underneath.

Pattern

I have a selfish favourite and and unselfish favourite. My favourite selfish pattern over the Autumn and Winter has to be the Dixie DIY Ballet dress. It’s a quick, easy sew that meets my style perfectly. I love it.

My unselfish pattern is one that I’ve only made once but I just really enjoyed the process of sewing it. It’s the Paxson sweater from Colette Seamwork magazine. I like that you can sew it all on the overlocker and I like the finishes of the cuff and hem bands.

Thing I’ve made

Definitely my dinosaur print Ballet dress because, well, dinosaurs. Not a lot else to say. Dinosaurs PJs you can wear to work!

IMG_7859

Tool

The best sewing investment I’ve made for a while is my stitch in the ditch foot. It’s been so great for neat edge stitching and top stitching. Mine looks like this:

janome-stitch-in-the-ditch-quilting-foot-9mm-cat-d-202087003

And you line the black blade up with the edge of the fabric and move the needle position over how ever far you want to stitch and away you go. It’s great for understitching too. Just put the blade in the seam and move the needle position over slightly. I don’t think I’ve actually used mine for stitching in the ditch yet but I’m sure it’s great for that too.

Technique

When I did my Christmas crafting marathon a lot of the patterns I used were PDFs so I had a lot of putting together to do. I’d seen a few people online say that it was so much easier using a glue stick than sellotape so I gave it a go and my god, I’m glad I did. It really is so much easier than using tape, you can wiggle things to reposition them and somehow it feels quicker even though it’s the same process just a different sticking method.

Fabric

Mermaaaaids!

alexander henry sea sirens fabric

I had new fabric to show so I added a fabric category. This is Alexander Henry Fabrics Sea Sirens in blue. I love it! It’s now a skirt that I also love and still need to get some decent photos of so I can blog about it.

Non-sewing

Invisibilia PodcastThese didn’t make it into the video because it was creeping up to being 15 minutes long but when I filmed it I talked about a podcast and an audiobook I liked. The Podcast is Invisibilia, which I found out about from Jo of Stuff Jo has Made. There is only one series so far, but series two is due next month and I’m very excited about it. It is about invisible forces that affect human behaviour. So there are episodes on fear, our thoughts, computers, expectations and more. It’s so good. I listened to a lot of the episodes while I was walking my mum’s dog and a couple of them made me cry and one made me dance in the woods.

Youre Never Weird on the Internet almostThe Audiobook is You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. I mainly knew Felicia Day from playing Holly in A Town Called Eureka and not her internet stuff but I liked the title and the blurb so I used one of my Audible credits and I am so glad I did. It’s hands down one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. I’m a big fan of books read by the author (I’ve also enjoyed Mindy Kaling’s books and Modern Love by Aziz Ansari) because I think it just makes them more fun than reading them yourself. Felicia Day sort of acts the book rather than just reading it. If you’re a fan of the internet and nerdy things at all I think you’ll really enjoy her book.

I also waffled on about Parks and Rec but having bombarded you with Parks and Rec gifs the other day I won’t go on about that again. (I totally could though.)

And I think that’s it, minus the waffle and bizarre facial expressions. If you like the waffle and bizarre facial expressions you can subscribe to my channel here.

Another New Look 6217 Tee

Have you ever had one of those patterns where you love your first version so rush off and make a second one (err.. 8 months later…) only for something to just feel a bit off about it?

Well that’s the story of this New Look 6217 tee I have to show you today.

New Look 6217 tee

I made a few alterations to the fit for this version so I was expecting this to now be my perfect t’shirt but I accidentally made a few things worse.

The neckline on this pattern is really wide, which is something to watch if you make it. I used the smallest size at the neck and shoulders for my last one and it was still bra-showingly wide so I brought it in a smidge (about 1/4″) for this version.

I also moved the shoulder seam forward, which is something I’ve started doing recently as I have terrible posture. My head sits quite far forward so if I did a normal forward shoulder adjustment, where you leave the neck part of the seam where it is and pivot the shoulder seam forward, the seam still wouldn’t line up with my ear like it’s supposed to. I don’t know if that makes any sense. But anyway, I moved the whole shoulder seam forward by 1/2″.

And now the t’shirt garottes me. I even put it on the other way round while I was taking these photos to check I hadn’t put it on backwards.

New Look 6217 tee
Backwards – annoyingly I much prefer the print placement on this side

The shoulder seam seems to be sitting in the right place so I don’t know if it’s just the neckline. I think I will just lower the neckline slightly on my next version rather than move the shoulder back again. See how that works first of all.

I omitted the back seam entirely on this version, which makes it really difficult to tell which is the back. The back is slightly longer, which is the easiest way to tell if I’m putting it on the right way round. (I was checking which way I’d pressed the seams at first…)

New Look 6217 back

I lengthened this version by 2 inches and I bias bound the hem again. I much prefer this length for having it untucked. I took some photos of it tucked in too even though I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it that way. I haven’t really got any skirts or trousers it’d work with (this pencil skirt is far too tight and I never wear it anymore).

New Look 6217 tucked in
It was too windy so I came inside

The sleeves on my first version were too tight because of me shortening it above the bust so I added an inch onto bottom of the armhole for this version. And they are still too tight. Which had me baffled until I remembered that I’d chopped about an inch, maybe more off the end of the sleeve because the sleeve sort of tapered (I think because of my grading between sizes badly) so it made the hole bigger. So I’ll need to fiddle with them before my next version too.

new-look-k6217

I think that’s everything I have to say about it. Even though it’s flawed I’ll still wear it. I wore it to work on Monday and felt comfortable in it all day. Just realised Monday was only yesterday, I’m having trouble with the old brain-thinking today.

New look 6217 side view

The details

Pattern: New Look 6217

Measurements: Bust: 37″ – Waist: 30.5″ – Hips: 39″

Size made: 10 at the neckline and shoulders, grading out to a 14 for the rest.

Alterations: Shortened by an inch above the bust and brought the neckhole in by about 1/4 inch. I also moved the whole shoulder seam forward by about 1/2″ and lengthened the hem by 2″

Fabric used: 1m of 150cm wide viscose from Abakhan

Another version? Yep, even though this version isn’t quite right I’m sure I’ll still wear it lots and I really do love this pattern.

Any changes next time? I’m thinking about making a floatier version with a high low hem to copy a top I saw someone wearing a while ago but I’ll make some more fitting changes too. Just the things I mentioned in the post, lowering the front neckline, maybe widen the neck again and fiddle with the sleeves.

So that’s my slightly disappointing second New Look 6217, hopefully third time lucky will hold true for my next go. Though I have quite a few other things in the queue to make first. I’ve got two knit dresses cut out and the fabric for a Deer and Doe Datura blouse washed and waiting. What’s on your sewing table?

Me Made May 16: The Pledge

mmmay16final

I’m a bit late as May has already started but I’m signing up for Me Made May this year. If you don’t know what Me Made May is, its inventor Zoe, of So Zoe, What Do You Know explains it best over in her sign-up post. But basically it’s a challenge to wear your handmade clothes more but how often you pledge is up to you. A lot of people pledge to wear handmade every day but that’s just not doable for me as I don’t have enough handmade clothes. So my pledge is:

I, Leigh of Clueless Seamstress, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear 3 handmade items a week for the duration of May 2016.

I think it’s an achievable goal but will still challenge me and I know I need to finish some more garments so I don’t just end up wearing each of my ballet dresses once a week.

I’ll be posting my outifts on Instagram and a round-up or two here. Good luck fellow participants!

Me Making March: The finish line

memakingmarchI feel like a bit of a fraud even bothering to post about the second half of Me Making March as I was dismal at it but I thought I best had so here goes. I won’t bother listing the days I didn’t do anything because it’s most of them and that’d get really dull for you. I am rubbish.

Day 19

I started sewing my Mesa toile and then couldn’t find the neckband or second sleeve so spent at least nearly an hour hunting in the sewing room for where they’ve gone. I still haven’t found either bit so goodness knows what’s happened to them. I suspect there’s some sort of wormhole or portal beside my cutting table for them to have fallen into. (Edit: Found them! They had got folded up in some of the fabric I’d taken photos of for the prints day of #MIYMarch on Instagram)

I had hoped for a wearable toile but I don’t think I have enough fabric to cut out a second sleeve so I’m probably just going to finish sewing it with only one sleeve to roughly check the fit and then crack on with my proper version.

I’d been watching Parks and Rec while sewing and then while hunting but got fed up with my fruitless hunt and had ended up just sitting on the floor watching it so gave up sewing then and went downstairs to watch it on the telly.

My life is a constant disappointment that I'm not Ron Swanson
My life is now a constant disappointment that I’m not Ron Swanson

Day 20

I wasn’t particularly productive today either but I did get a teeny bit of sewing done on my Gingers. I cut out and applied the interfacing, prepped the back pockets and was going to start on the front ones but my overlocker had a bit of a strop and wouldn’t stitch right. So after rethreading it twice I had a strop right back at it and went downstairs to cook dinner and binge watch more Parks and Rec instead. I am more than a bit addicted. When the Manfriend went to bed he called it my crack. Totally is.

Or Lesley Knope
Or Lesley Knope

Day 21

I was tired after work so told myself that all I had to do was rethread the overlocker, which I did but it was still being really difficult about it and I have since resigned myself that I think it needs to go for a check-up.

Day 26

Today I jeaned. I sewed the entire front including my very first fly and pockets. *Mega proud face*

tom proud

Day 28

I basted the jeans together to check the fit and then stared at my crotch for ages trying to figure out what I needed to do to it. And I’ve pretty much ignored them since then. I have fiddled slightly with the crotch but I don’t know if I’ve made things better at all. I think it’s less bubbly than in this photo but I think I possibly need to change the shape of the front crotch, which I can’t do on this pair as I steamed on in and overlocked and topstitched it before I basted everything together. Jeans sewing expert Heather from The Pug and Needle was really helpful on Instagram and I think I know what I need to do. Or at least what to try first. I really enjoyed sewing these though and when I get the fit right I can see myself wanting to make a trillion pairs.

crotch

And then it was April. So I’ve been a bit rubbish at Me Making March and only got one thing actually finished (I will get photos soon) but I’m sort of hoping that all the Parks and Rec gifs will distract you from that. Has it worked?

april smart

Me Making March: The half way point

memakingmarchWe’re just over halfway through March so I thought I should probably report back on how my Me Making March is going. I had planned to post more frequently but I haven’t really had enough to say so just the two round-ups should be plenty.

Day 1

I hadn’t seen Meris’ post yet so I hadn’t started Me Making March and didn’t do anything.

Day 2

I didn’t do much but I did manage to hem the sleeves of my in progress ballet dress.

hemming sleeves

Day 3

I was tired and lazy.

Day 4

And again, oops.

Day 5

I didn’t do any sewing but I finally picked up the Andi Satterlund Miette cardigan that I’ve been knitting since March last year instead and knitted some of the first sleeve.

Day 6

No sewing today either but I did some more knitting and nearly finished the first sleeve.

Day 7

A more productive day today. I cut out the fabric for the toile of my Mesa dress hack, got the manfriend to measure my inside leg for me so I could shorten the leg pattern pieces for my Closet Case Files Gingers and cut out the traced pattern pieces. I also took in the waist of the ballet dress I’d sewn most of and straightened the skirt side seams because I’d been a bit of a dunderhead and used a sort of trapezoid shade for the skirt but with no curve to the waist or hem because my fabric had stripes but of course that meant the sides dipped down and looked silly.

sleeve

Day 8

I only got round to shortening the back leg piece yesterday so I altered the other one tonight. Then cut out my pocket lining pieces and one leg bit. Then I went to bed and cast off the first sleeve of my Miette cardi, once I figured out what stretchy bind off I should use.

Day 9

I cut out the rest of the leg pieces, the yoke, one pocket facing and one back pocket.

ginger front leg

Day 10

More cutting out today but not as much. I cut out the other pocket facing, the other back pocket and a waistband.

Day 11

Nothing today.

Day 12

I hemmed my ballet dress so I could wear it for a day trip to Cardiff with the Manfriend to bimble about and then go watch Mark Watson do stand up in the evening, which was very nice apart from the train home being full of awful drunk people and stopping in every tiny station on the way. I had an awful woman fall into my lap and have a mega domestic with her partner right next to me.

Day 13

I wasn’t feeling well all of Sunday and ended up sleeping for a lot of the day so no sewing was done.

Day 14

Nothing again.

Day 15

I wasn’t feeling well again and had to come home from work ill so there was no crafting done.

Day 16

Still not feeling right so nothing again.

So I’ve done something on about half of the days so far, which isn’t great but isn’t too bad either. I seem to have been full of bugs of late, since coming back from holiday really, which has let the Manfriend to blame the chipmunks we met on holiday. Their cute faces, hiding a fluffy menace.

Me Making March

Me Making MarchI was working my way through my huge number of unread blog posts on Wednesday and saw this one from Meris of The Fabric Alchemist about how she’s going to have a Me Making March, where she spends some time every day doing something crafty. I think that’s a really good idea so I’m copying her.

The most productive sewing spurt I’ve ever had was at the end of last year when I was doing my Christmas present crafting and I think it was because I was doing a bit here and a bit there. Stick a PDF together one day, cut out a couple of projects the next, sew one up the day after, that sort of thing. It would be nice to be able to spend a whole day at the weekend sewing but life gets in the way and means that sewing plans quite often get bumped. So I think allocating half an hour or so every day is a more achievable way to get through some of the many projects I have planned.

Technically I’ve already failed at my Me Making March as I didn’t do any sewing last night and I’m currently full of Thai food and gin so I don’t know if any sewing will happen tonight either. But I’m not going to beat myself up too much for missing the odd day here and there, a general consistency will do me.

I’m trying out working on multiples projects at the same time so I have a Dixie DIY Ballet dress nearly complete, a Seamwork Mesa dress hack at the toile stage and Ginger jeans/trousers traced but not cut out yet. I’m hoping that by doing a step or two most evenings I can get them all finished by the end of the month.

Anyone else want to join in? Or is this how the rest of you sew all the time and you’re rolling your eyes at me because I’m such a noob?

True Bias Southport Dress

It feels more than a little bit wrong to be posting about a summer dress in the middle of winter but if I don’t show you the True Bias Southport dress I made for my holiday now then I will forget everything about it. So here I am in Fuertaventura last month, not being rained on… *wistful sigh*

True Bias Southport dress

I originally bought this fabric (javanaise viscose from Abakhan) with the plan to make a By Hand London Anna dress with a gathered skirt. Then the Southport dress was released and this fabric seemed perfect for it. I only had two metres of the fabric so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get the dress out of it but I managed fairly well. I just had to forgo any sort of thoughtful pattern placement and the drawstring is slightly shorter than its supposed to be for my size but it’s still plenty long enough. And I only ended up with one boob flower.

southport-dress-dancing
Dance party para uno

This ended up being a bit more of a last minute make than I had intended thanks to a rather stonking hangover on the Sunday I’d earmarked for sewing. So it was sewn in evening snippets throughout the week before I went away.

I was good girl and made a bodice toile and as I result I moved the shoulder seam forward by 2cm (chopped 2cm off the front shoulder and added 2cm onto the back) and raised the neckline by about 1.5cm. I possibly didn’t need to raise the neckline but I’m funny about low necklines. I think I need to do a swayback adjustment as there’s lots of fabric pooling above the waistline at the back.

true-bias-southport-dress-side-view

It would probably benefit from taking some length out of the bodice all round to be honest. It seems to be hitting below my natural waist in these photos and making me look a bit rectangular. I was also expecting the skirt to be floofier than it is. And yep, floofier is totally a word. I certainly can’t think of a better one anyway. Ooh ooh, got one, more voluminous.

southport-dress-floaty

I shortened the skirt by about 3 inches at the lengthen/shorten line but it’s still a smidge long for flats. I also left off the pockets because I seem to be a bit of a rarity in that I don’t particularly like pockets on dresses. I never use them and I think they often make things sit funny so I’ve left them off every pattern I’ve made that includes them. I wimped out a bit with the slit and didn’t sew it as big as it’s supposed to be, which I regret now. Though if I make another I’ll probably leave the slit off entirely so that I don’t have to shave my legs to wear it, which as we all know, is the beauty of a maxi dress.

southport-dress-back-view

I used French seams on all seams except the slit, which I folded under and edge stitched all the way up, so I have stitching either side of the centre seam. I did make my own bias tape and then realised that I’d accidentally used the wrong fabric and the one I’d used was the one that leaked blue dye all over my Megan dress so I didn’t want to risk it and used some pre-made stuff I had. I messed up stitching that down loads of times and kept having to unpick and redo so there are some slightly shoddy looking bits.

true-bias-southport-dress-walking

The details

Pattern: True Bias Southport dress view B

Measurements: Bust 36″-37″ ish – Waist 29″ – Hips/butt – 39″ Height 5’2″

Size made: US 6

Alterations: I moved the shoulder seam forward by 2cm and raised the front neckline by about 1.5cm. I shortened the skirt by 3 inches.

Fabric used: 2m of 148cm wide javanaise viscose from Abakhan

Another version? I’m really not sure. I don’t know how much I like it. I think I’ll need to wear it properly when it gets warmer before I decide.

Any changes next time? Fit wise, I’d make a swayback adjustment and shorten the bodice a smidge. Style wise, I might slash and spread the skirt to get more swoosh and I’ll probably cut both the bodice and skirt on the fold. I might replace the drawstring with elastic too.

Non-clueless versions

So that’s my first make of 2016, that I won’t be able to wear for another 4-6 months… It has put me in the mindset for planning and sewing spring/summer clothes though. How early is too early?

Sewing Christmas Present Video

I know Christmas feels like aeons ago now but I made a quick video of the sewing related Christmas presents that I was given (and a couple that I bought myself with money I was given for Christmas).

If you don’t want to watch the video, basically it’s 4 bits of fabric, a magnetic pin dish, a polka dot notions set, a hemming guide thing and a mug. But I show you them with much more enthusiasm (and you can see the festive puppies on the spare bed one last time before I have to finally accept Christmas is over and change the bedding).

The blog I mention in the video is The Fabric Alchemist (and her name is Meris, not Nerys, so I was pretty close). The post of hers that I saw the hot hemmer on was this gift guide and a lot of the other things on the list look pretty cool too.

This feels very short but there’s not really much to say and I need to go frantically sew to try to finish the Southport dress I’m making to take on holiday with me on Saturday – squee!

Colette Seamwork Paxson Sweater and Superhero PJs

Seamwork magazine Paxson Sweater

Happy Sunday, peeps. I’ve got the promised Christmas dude sewing photos for you today and a bit more of a write up of the Paxson sweater and Marvel PJ bottoms I made for the manfriend.

Paxson Sweater

The Paxson sweater is actually the pattern that made me subscribe to Seamwork. If you haven’t already heard of it, Seamwork is an online pattern magazine. It’s chock full of interesting articles and it’s basically what I wish print sewing magazines were. I particularly like the Block, Paper, Scissors series that teaches you how to alter a basic block or one of the patterns that comes with the magazine to get something different. I haven’t actually used any of them but I still like it as a concept.

Colette Paxson sweater
Beard: Model’s own

But anyway, this isn’t about me, this is about the Manfriend and his Paxson sweater. The Manfriend seems to go through phases with his wardrobe (thankfully, the floral shirt phase had passed by the time we got together) and at the moment it is comprised mainly of raglan sleeved tops and marl. So when I saw the Paxson sweater I instantly decided to make him one.

Paxson sweater back view
Back view

It took me ages to find the fabric I wanted. I wanted a grey marl for the body (obviously) and I was leaning towards a burgundy or maroon for the sleeves. I say or as if I can differentiate between burgundy and maroon, they’re basically the same colour in my mind. Fabric godmother had a quilted maroon coloured ponte that I was planning to use but I was waiting until payday to buy some and it sold out before I got paid.

So in the end I went with teal. I actually bought teal and purple and enough grey to make two just in case the first one fit him so badly I had to make a second. I’d love to say I’m still going to make him a second but it’s far more likely that I’ll use the fabric for myself. Not even ashamed *terrible ladyfriend face*

Seamwork magazine paxson sweater

Paxson is great as the waistband and cuffs mean that you can sew it entirely on an overlocker (apart from topstitching the neckline, which I don’t tend to bother with) so it’s a really quick sew. Colette say it should take an hour but I am a slow sewer so it took me 2.5 hours, with just cutting out taking half an hour. I still think that’s a nice, quick sew though and I’m sure if I made more I’d get quicker.

I made him a size Large and it fits him quite well I think. He is a gympanzee and most of his tops tend to fit snuggly on the chest, shoulders and arms with a looser fit on the body so this is actually looser than most things he wears. There are a lot of wrinkles on the arms but I am not a wrinkle whisper and have no idea what adjustments they’re trying to tell me that I need to make.

Paxson sweater

The details

Pattern: Paxson Sweater from Colette Patterns Seamwork magazine

Measurements: Chest 42″ – Waist 34″ – Hips/Butt 39.5″ – Height 5’10” ish

Size made: L

Alterations: None

Fabric used: 90cm grey and 75cm teal 148cm wide ponte de roma from Oh Sew Crafty on eBay

Another version? If I feel kind

Any changes next time? I will quiz him on what changes he wants made before making another one. The body might want to come in a bit and I wonder if taking a bit of length and/or width out of the sleeves would help get rid of some of those wrinkles.

Manfriend says: If I could improve on it it would have dragons and skulls and a beard. It’s totally in my wheelhouse.

Superhero PJs

And for the PJs I used a free Simplicity pattern that I can’t find on their website since they changed it. It was in the learning to sew section but I would definitely not recommend it as a first project. Mainly because the PDF was such a nightmare to put together. The worst one I’ve ever done.

It was a simple sew in the end though. There are only two pattern pieces, each leg is just one (huge) pattern piece and then there’s one for the drawstring and you cut out two of each piece.

manfriend-pjs
Superhero pose

I sewed a size Medium and took about 3 inches out of the length at the lengthen/shorten line using a pair of his RTW PJs as a guide. He is quite long in the body and shorter in the leg. If I was to make a second pair I think I’d try taking some length out above the crotch because the PJs sit low on his hips and mean that the crotch hangs a bit low.

The fabric came from Etsy and actually says on the selvedge that it’s not suitable for children’s sleepwear, which I found a bit odd (flammable?). But he’s not a children and they’re loungewear for him rather than sleepwear anyway so I don’t think it matters.

superhero-pjs
Double superhero pose

The details

Pattern: A free Simplicity one that may have vanished

Measurements: Chest 42″ – Waist 34″ – Hips/Butt 39.5″ – Height 5’10” ish

Size made: Medium

Alterations: Shortened by 3″

Fabric used: 3 yards of Marvel superhero flannel

Another version? Maybe

Any changes next time? Experiment with shortening the crotch

Manfriend says: I don’t know, I just like them, stop asking me for quotes.

So that’s my quota of unselfish sewing fulfilled until next Christmas. I should make more of an effort and make Manfriend nice things throughout the year. Does anyone have any recommendations for nice manchap sewing patterns? Or should I just forget about it and concentrate on pretty dresses?

Top 5 of 2015: Goals for 2016 and a look back at 2015’s goals

Top 5 of 2015

2015 Goals

I fancied filming a video look back at how well I did with last year’s goals instead of just writing about it so here it is. You can’t really see it but the bedding on the spare bed is Christmassy puppies because I have a super stylish, grown-up home…

If videos aren’t really your thing and you prefer to read, this is basically what I say in it about last year’s goals.

1. Tackle fitting

Ish. I’ve got slightly better at fitting, I bought Fit for Real People last year and Create the Perfect Fit by Joi Mahon. I think they’ve both been helpful in different ways and I am planning to eventually do a review post/video of Create the Perfect Fit. I think reading sewing blogs as a complete beginner can be a bit overwhelming when we all throw around terms like FBA, swayback adjustment and countless other flat pattern adjustments without really explaining what they are. I’ve become guilty of it myself – I quite like the idea of making a “WTF is…” page with explanations of terms but I’m not very good at explaining things so that rules that out a bit.

But anyway, I’m veering off track a tad. Fit for Real People was great for finding out what all those terms mean without having to do a trillion google searches. I’ve learnt about my proportions and the adjustments I should make but of course my new found love of knits has made fitting a lot easier.

2. Draft my bodice sloper

Nope. (In the video I make a fail sound and pull an extremely attractive face here). I haven’t made the time for this and I’ve been a bit reluctant because my measurements aren’t stable at the moment. I’ve been getting bigger throughout most of 2015 but I lost a bit of weight towards the end and I’m still trying to shrink a bit more (once I’m back at work and the cheese is all done anyway) so it feels a bit silly to make a block that I’ll just have to redo in a few weeks.

3. Learn to sew with knits

Boom times! Totally did this one. 8 out of the 14 things that I’ve sewn this year have been made with knit fabrics and I can see that continuing into next year.

4. Make a coat

Another fail. I have the pattern (Deer and Doe Pavot), fabric (royal blue gabardine) and calico for a toile but this hasn’t happened. Hopefully I will get it done before spring. I’d like to add some welt pockets to it as I’ve seen a few other people do but I don’t have any patterns with welt pockets I can use the pattern pieces from so I’d have to try to draft them, gulp!

5. Sew things I wear

Thanks to starting to sew with knits I have definitely managed this one and I wear the things I’ve made this year far more than I did the things I made last year (though my two maxi dresses still get a lot of wear in the warmer months). So I just need to carry this on into 2016, with many more knit dresses and floaty tops.

Sneaky additional goal – knit a miette cardigan

I managed this one, and I also knitted a vianne cardigan and I’m as far as the sleeves on a second miette, which has been on hold since around April. Ooops.

2016 goals

Right, onto my goals for next year.

1. Make trousers

I have a few pairs of of black twill skinny trouser things that I wear to work a lot and I’d like to have a go at making something similar. They’re basically non-denim jeans without the topstitching so I’m going to use the Ginger jeans pattern that I bought last year.

2. Make time for sewing

This is kind of a big one I think. In my life I seem to struggle to maintain different hobbies at once, I’m quite all or nothing and something always gets pushed aside. If I’m sewing, I’m not exercising. If I’m reading, I’m not sewing. I’m not sure what happened last year because almost everything I enjoy has gotten a bit neglected. So in 2016 I’m going to schedule myself time for all of my hobbies.

3. Stop buying fabric

My stash is getting bigger than I have room for so I’m going on a fabric diet this year. I am allowed to buy fabric for special occasion makes but no more than 10 metres over the year. I just plucked that number out of the air as I’m writing this but it seems fair.

4. Hackity hack

I really admire people who hack patterns and end up with something completely different and fabulous to what they started with. I’ve got a few ideas of hacks I want to try and I want to work on my hacking skills this year.

5. Join in more

One of the main reasons I started my blog was because I wanted to join in with the sewing community and I’m still quite wimpy about that. So this year I’m going to comment on blogs more and maybe join in with more challenges, though I don’t tend to do that well with challenges. I hope to do Me Made May this year though.

I’d also like to improve my photography but I think my goals are probably enough to be getting on with for now.

Happy New Year everyone and good luck with all your 2016 sewing goals.