Wednesday, December 26, 2018

End of 2018 Recap

Hello everyone!

As 2018 draws to a close, it is time to examine my reflections for the year.  I started 2018 believing that it would be a learning year for me, and that is exactly what it was!  There are so many things I attempted and won...and there are also things I attempted and lost--for now, lol!  But, overall, I am GRATEFUL for lessons continually learned.

I began with these goals:
  • Sew all of my own clothing (excludes underwear and socks)!!! RTW FAST
  • 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.

Sew my own clothing
Thankfully, I accomplished this goal with flying colors!  Compared to the first time I signed up for the RTW Fast, this time was such a JOY!  I now find myself preferring the things that I sew, and I also smile as more and more of my closet is filled with handmade items--sew filled (to the brim)! This satisfaction is what led me to decide to continue the RTW Fast into 2019!

Of course there were some shortcomings to speak of as well.  I still plan on addressing pants for 2019, and become more proficient in fitting them to my shape.  At the first of the year I was so gung-ho with figuring out pants, and then I lost a lot of steam as I made muslin after muslin.  So, while this will remain on my list moving into next year, but I don't plan on stressing myself out about it.  If I end up in dresses, tunics and leggings for the year, I am ok with that.

Draft slopers for bodice/pants
I did not finish this goal.  I started a pants sloper, but gave up around February.  I have to admit it...I have no desire to work on any more slopers for the New year.  I know all the information you gain from it is worth it; however, it might be a minute before I ever do one.

Enter a Patternreview Contest
I did this!  I entered the Sewing with Stripes contest, and I loved being a part of all the wonderful entries.  I didn't win, but I would definitely participate again.

Copy RTW styles I love
I am not really sure if I accomplished this goal.  I had a lot of inspiration pics from certain garments (Moneta dress,) but they were mostly pattern photos and not RTW garments.  I think I will count it because I still found inspiration that I turned into an actual garment.

Finish FOUR of my Craftsy classes
Did I even finish one?  I will say I heavily browsed the classes I already own, but that is about it.

Sew for life events
This one is still a work in progress.  I must confess, I am so bad at sewing for deadlines.  No matter how much I plan, I still end up short.  That is mostly because I am an overachiever in my head.  I always overshoot and say "of course I can make a jacket in a week," or "yes I can finish a whole outfit in two days!"  In my head I have already met my goal, but when it comes to working it out in real life...much different results!  I realize I should apply a formula where I automatically tack on an additional week to any expected timeline.

Overall, I wasn't as focused on goals as I have been in prior years, but I did stay on track with my #1 goal--sewing all my clothing for the year.

I have deced that 2019 will have me headed in a different direction.  Here are my aspirations for the year:
  • complete a second year of the RTW Fast
  • participate in Sew Your View, hosted by That's Sew Monica
For 2019 I am taking a different approach to my sewing journey based on some of my weaknesses, and the things that do and do not work for me.  For the most part, I will be sewing items that appeal to me, and are needed in my wardrobe.  Howeer I would also like to have a bit of fun too.  There are times I won't try certain styles even though the outcome may be superb.  I tend to embrace my "comfort zone" and stay there.  Though there is nothing wrong with that, this year I would like to try venturing out of that zone a bit.

So, I have decided to begin participating in the Sew Your View group on IG, hosted by That's Sew Monica.  I originally attempted this monthly sew along bck in August, but I had too many things going on, and I never finished the garment.  This year I want to focus on ONE garment a month that I have chosen to sew, and ONE garment a month that is chosen for me (but I can flexibly adapt).  And that will be it.  If I find time to complete more items, I will consider it a fantastic month.  But, my priority will be finishing these two garments first.

I will be working on embracing a simpler process than what I have been doing.  Considering my life and responsibilities (always), an emphasis on less will have to be more.  I really thought that capsule wardrobes would help to guide my seiwng, and introduce better planning, but it wasn't as helpful because I just sew too slowly, lol.  Also, I ended up feeling more overwhelmed by the amount of items I was choosing, and not really knowing how to coordinate it all.

Instead of capsule wardrobes, I will be making sure my sewn item links to what I already posess in my closet in some way.  So instead of the bigger picture of a capsule, I will keep things smaller, and create "looks" instead.  Perhaps a smaller view will help me to develop an overall theme (working backwards a bit).  I will still keep color schemes in mind for the seasons, as there are colors I tend to gravitate to.

That said, I would love to share some of my faves and fails from this year!


I think I am choosing this one because it is a recent completion, but also because I love the versatility of this garment.  Cardigans are usually the workhorse of my wardrobe anyhow, and this one does not disappoint.  I LOVE the nice sized pockets, and the length hits me at just the right place (although if it wouldn't I would adjust it, lol)  It is definitely a TNT that I will use for more versions in the future!


I think I will always be team "Closet Case Patterns!"  Out of everything I have sewn, the Kalle shirt dress with button placket is my most rewarding.  I just enjoyed the whole process of making this one.  The instructions were clear, the fabric was complementary, I learned a lot of shirtmaking techniques, and I love to wear this too!  In fact, I will let you know that I finally purchased the sleeve expansion PDF, so you may see a long-sleeved version before Spring is over!


The Isla dress immediately surfaced to the top as I considered what I wore most in 2018. I just loved this dress for the summertime weather.  The silhouette was perfect for me, and the stripes created such a lovely visual effect!


I truly wanted to love this Butterick garment, but it ended up becoming one I seldom wear.  I think the problem is the length.  It looks cute when I stand still, but once I move around in my daily life, it starts to creep up and twist around.  I have learned that I am not a crossover fan.  Except for a Vogue pattern, I have not had much success with this type of style on my frame.


Dare I bring up this disaster?  My first foray into peplums with a Love Notion pattern was terrible.  It was obviously me, and not the pattern.  I have sewn other items from them that I really liked.  However, this top quickly ended up in the trash.  I am still open to peplums--only I want it to be the right peplum, lol!


Need I say more?  The Moneta dress is one I can pick up and sew without even glancing at the instructions.  It is perfect for so many occasions, and looks great on lots of different body types.  Out of all the patterns I own, this is one I can finish in an evening of sewing and be fully confident it will be fabulous!


I think sewing with my little girl easily rises to the top for this category!  I enjoyed seeing the joy on her face as she progressed from step to step, and ended up with her own beautiful skirt.  I'm sure we will be wearing these next summer as well...until we can collaborate on another sewing adventure (wink, wink).


The Laura Top/Dress from Rosy Pena is one that I did not expect to love as much as I do!  Every time I put on the floral version shown, or my second version in blue, it fits so beautifully.  The neckline lays so smooth, and it a great basic.  I hope to try more patterns from Rosy in 2019.  She has been expanding her line, and there are so many great options!

And that is it for 2018!!

I will be back in the New Year to announce the patterns I will be sewing for January.  

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas!!

"For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
           Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sewing planners

Hello everyone!

It's that time of year when things draw to a close, and I begin prepping for the New Year.  Actually, I tend to organize/clean/update my sewing room every month, but for the month of December, I always include plans for the upcoming year.  So today I am going to be sharing my updated sewing planner with you, and also some wonderful links if you are interested in creating your own planner too!

So, let's get started!

Let me first say that I LOVE TO PLAN!  That doesn't seem to translate to everything, but it does apply with goal setting/creating vision/dreaming.  I understand that not everyone is wired this way.  For instance, when I get around some of my friends and ask them about their plans for the next year and what they would like to accomplish, I am often met with blank stares, lol. But I am a firm believer that goals matter.  Let's face it, life is always going to be busy.  Yet I refuse to let the busyness of my life determine my direction.  Instead, my goals set my aim, and they are the indicators I use to keep me on track.  Most years I accomplish what I set out to do.  Other years I do not; however, EVERY year there is a measure of success that I know came from the extra effort to plan.

Here is a look at my sewing planner (DIY'd from FREE printables online):

 I started with a 3 ring binder that has the option of a sheet protector.  Whatever size you think is appropriate for you will work.  I think this one is 3".

While this is a planner for sewing, I am including a page for my overall life.  I think it will be a great reminder every time I open my binder.

Here is where I would like to grow.  I usually check in with myself around mid year, but I would like to try a more frequent method.  What can I say?  I am easily distracted, and this year made me realize that, lol!

This is a monthly page for spiritual growth, but I plan on using it for the year.  My faith is a big part of who I am, so I look forward to writing down things throughout the year, ESPECIALLY the things in my life I am grateful for.

I just think that calendar is SO cute!  I had a sewing-oriented one last year that I used a lot, and I will link below.  I would have used it again, but the updated 2019 version just came out, and I had already printed out this one (excited to start, lol).  But, I will use the bottom section for planning out projects, and I like that I can write in the boxes too.

So, after each month I have put in a project planning sheet for two projects.  I will speak more about that later in my wrap-up of 2018, but this one is from Seamwork's planner and I LOVE it.

And this completes my custom sewing planner for 2019!!  The best part is, I didn't have to spend any money for it!  All the materials are items I had in my home already, and a lot of it was updating my binder from last year.  Here are some links to help you create your very own sewing resource for next year:

Specifically for sewing (non-affiliated, just what I have found helpful)

General calendars/planning sheets
**I will add to this list if when I see any additional resources.  Happy planning!!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, December 3, 2018

November Recap and S8393 Review

Hello everyone!

It's December!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe I am nearly finished with the RTW fast!

I hope this past Thanksgiving holiday treated you well, and you got to spend time with loved ones, family, and friends.  My family had the pleasure of spending most of that week at Disney World, and it was spectacular!

Though our time at the parks was filled with fun, my sewing output for November can be summed up by two cardigans.  The first one is a black french terry sweater knit version from Simplicity 8393:

The second cardigan is another version of S8393 that never got photographed.  I took it with me to Florida because the temperatures were in the high 70s, and I planned on having it for the cooler evenings.  Well, as soon as my mom saw me in it, she shrieked and said "I just love that cardigan! Don't tell me you made that?"

When I told her I did, she asked if she could have it.  She tried it on, and even being 5'4, it fit her beautifully.  I told her I would think about it, but I already knew I would give it to her.  Mostly because after all of my years of sewing, I have never made anything for her.  Not because I didn't want to, I just never heard her express any interest in items I have sewn until then.  So, if you see a royal blue version of this pattern on a lovely lady in her mid 60s around the Savannah area, that could be my Mom, lol!!!

Okay, so back to the first version in black.  I love this cardigan!!!!!  I made a size 12 with only a 3/8" forward shoulder adjustment.  The french terry sweater knit is from Michael Levine's, and it has a lighter variegated gray knit on the inside.  Both sides are beautiful, but I knew the black would get more wear for me.  It sewed beautifully, and my only changes to the design was to close out the splits down the side, and add a small cuff to the sleeve (the length was a tad shorter than I expected).

I admit this was a sleeper pattern for me.  I actually breezed right past it while looking in Simplicity's catalog during one of those 99 cents sales, but came back to it later.  I am so glad I did!  This is a great style of cardigan if you like the casual open look.  The pockets are a wonderful addition that are not too big or small.

I have worn this cardigan quite a few times now, and look forward to sewing a couple more neutrals.  I also entered this into the #cosycardichallenge on Instagram (Nov. 30th deadline).  Do you remember my entry from last year?

If you said the Oslo cardigan in black, then you were right!  I still have this cardigan, but it has faded quite a bit due its heavy rotation in my wardrobe.  I fully plan to sew another cardi next year if this challenge continues!!

As you can see, I am fully enjoying my RTW fast this year.  In fact, I will tell you now that I will be pledging again for next year!  That will be a whole new challenge for me, since I won't be able to prepare for the fast as I have the last two times I have done this.  Is it possible to go back to back years in sewing my own clothing???  Well, we will have to find out!

For December, I am finishing up a jacket I started mid-November, and though I could give you a sneak peek, I will wait until it all comes together.  I will tell you that it will be a nice piece to wear as the weather transitions to Spring.

Stay sew-filled!