Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Year in Review

Hello everyone!

This year has been one that has pushed me in more ways than one.  If I had to look for an overarching theme, I would say PERSEVERANCE.  While I was able to get a fair amount of sewing done, behind-the-scenes I struggled to balance my life as a stay-at-home mom with my dreams to SEW.  And, I will say was not easy. was worth it!!

All the late nights

All the sleep deprivation

All the bouts of sickness

All the unexpected situations

All the mental exhaustion

All the times I PRESSED THROUGH!

That pushing is what allows me to share my finished works with you.  I have learned so much.  I have grown so much.  And I look forward to much more.

For 2017 I made a total of 15 garments for myself!  That works out to MORE than 1 a month! Yay!  My grand total for the year, including things sewn for my family, is 20!

They consist of:
Dress 1
Cardigan 3
Family/Kids 5
Tops 9
Jacket 1
Tunic 1

I am so pleased with my productivity because I honestly received more wins than fails.  Here are the categories I came up with to re-cap the highlights of the year:


This is an easy one!  I made S8337 quite a few times!  It is a cold shoulder top that fit beautifully!  My three different variations have received heavy rotation as well as compliments.  This pattern taught me to SEW MULTIPLES!


The Aurora top by Seamworks was a super easy sew that yielded lovely results!  I loved playing around with coordinating fabric colors for the yoke, and the gentle gathers held nicely.  It is a perfect summer tank for sure!


Little did I know that adding a ruffle and V-neck to the Piedra Dress would result in such a beautiful collaboration! Sometimes you win, and this was definitely one of those cases.  Moving forward I am surely interested in adjusting more patterns to suit my personal style.


I wanted to love this top, really I did.  The challenge is the fabric I used, as well as the bra I need to put this top on.  The fabric is a bit more clingy and the fit just seems off.  I may re-sew this pattern, and close the panels up a bit more, or try something else.


Ideally, every single item I have sewn for one of my kids is spectacular.  But, the truth is that M6837 wins the prize for the best!! It was an easy sew that looked so beautiful once it was finished with the lining.  I loved seeing my little man with it made him look so grown up!


It should come as no surprise that the winner for this category is my Kelly Anorak.  Of all the items I have sewn this year, none has stretched my sewing skills as much as this jacket.  But, not in a bad way, where I was struggling and stressing.  There were so many helpful tools that enabled me to get this jacket done.  And for me, it has opened the door to a whole new world--outerwear!!  There will be more outerwear to come!


It was so awesome to go to the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo wearing my sewn Burda cardigan, and getting a chance to meet Meg Healy, one of the Burda instructors!  It was a day of sewing inspiration, and lots of smiles.  I loved the Burdastyle runway show, and had to be there once I found out about it.  I hope to go to more sewing outings in the future!

So, here are how my goals for 2017 held up:

  • Use what I have! I never fully avail myself to the sewing resources I already own: Burda, Ottobre, My Image, and Sew Now magazines, Sewing books with patterns inside, and patterns from the Big 4 (WHEW, that's a lot!)  COMPLETED SO FAR: Simple Zoe Tunic, Burda 117A
  • Sew something for my kids every couple of months. They love it, and so do I! COMPLETED SO FAR: Ottobre Minnie Overall Dress, Ottobre Hot Shot Tank, New Look 6406 Pajamas, and Mccalls 6873
  • Sew for my husband! He has expressed his desire for ties, and maybe a vest or shirt.  I avoid his requests at times because he is picky!! But, certainly starting small wouldn't be bad. COMPLETED SO FAR: OTTOBRE 06/2016
  • Sew for life events. This year has a few special times that I would like to create something for. My brother is getting married in October. I will definitely need a nice formal dress for then. Also, I used to sew my daughter an Easter dress. That would be nice to do again. I also would love to sew some items for our holiday photo in December, and possibly my birthday in June. COMPLETED SO FAR: Burda 117A
  • Finish at least four of my Craftsy classes! Again, I have a lot of great resources, including some Craftsy classes I have piled up from sales over last year. It is time to get movin'!COMPLETED SO FAR: The Classic Tailored Shirt with Pam Howard
  • Copy RTW styles I love! I don't know how many times I have seen a style in the store that I knew I could recreate at home, with a better fit.  
  • Enter a Patternreview contest. I participated in one, and submitted a cute top and legging set I sewed for my niece, but I haven't entered one since. It would be fun, and there are lots of different themes.
  • Draft a pair of pants. If you remember, I have a Craftsy class for that, and am really interested in learning basic drafting techniques for sewing.
I effectively finished FIVE of my projected EIGHT goals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Not bad at all!  I decided to roll the three unfinished goals into 2018 so I still have the opportunity to complete them. 

So I am now ready to share my BIG news for 2018!!!!!

 I am participating in the 2018 Ready-to-Wear Fast!!!!

Hosted by Sarah from Goodbye Valentino, it is an invitation to sew all of your clothing for an entire year.  I participated a couple of years ago with success, and decided that now is the time to try it again.  Hopefully, my experience from before will guide me this time too!!

With this upcoming challenge in mind, I am naming 2018 as a "year of learning."  Here are my aspirations, and what I hope to accomplish:

  • Sew all of my own clothing (excludes underwear and socks)!!!
  • Draft slopers according to my measurements for bodice and pants.
  • Enter a Patternreview Contest.
  • Copy RTW styles that I love (a must now that I will be sewing everything I need)
  • Finish at least FOUR of my Craftsy classes. 
  • Sew for life events.
It's going to be a GREAT year!  I hope you are expecting great things too!

I will be back soon to share some tips to help in planning and finishing sewing projects.  If you are ready to be more productive in your sewing journey, you will want to see some of the ideas I have picked up, and look forward to implementing.

Have a Happy New Year, and stay sew-filled!


  1. Your little one is adorable!!

    I think you met most of your goals which is better than my year went! I have been on an RTW since I have built up enough handmade clothes. I need to make more basics and address my avoidance of sewing knits!

  2. Congratulations on a great year. You accomplished most of your goals, which is quite impressive. I look forward to the tips on finishing projects. Happy new year and here's to a great sewing year in 2018!

  3. I’m so so proud of all that you accomplished. It truly was an honor to hear your heart during each of these garment creations. You have done sew(so- get it ha ha ) well. Looking forward to all God has in store for the talent He gave you in this New Year! Love you friend :)

  4. WOW Vanessa you accomplished a lot! Great job! Keep up the good work! The Kelly Anorak is a big milestone!

  5. You were very productive and made beautiful garments. Love everything you have made. I wish you much love, health and happiness for 2018!

  6. Thank you for sharing the goals. These are great idea. I love the ruffle dress too - it looks lovely on you. Happy 2018!


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