Happy 2016! (My year in review)

Each year I like to take the first of January to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So while this post is a celebration of the new year, it also helps me to put into perspective the year that has just gone. Somehow I always think the year has been a bit low on finished makes until I put everything together for the year’s collage!


Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the top menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way! (Though a few of the makes in the bottom row I haven’t blogged about yet!)

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made:

  • 25 FehrTrade patterns (I put my money where my mouth is I guess!?),
  • 9 Seamwork magazine,
  • 6 Self-drafted (including traced from RTW),
  • 4 Jalie (well, the same sports bra pattern four times!),
  • 3 from the Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion in Fabric book,
  • 2 Burda Style magazine,
  • 2 Style Arc,
  • 2 Orange Lingerie,
  • and 1 each from La Maison Victor magazine, Named, Paprika Patterns, Imagine Gnats, Simple Sew, and Kwik Sew.

By my count, I made: 21 tops, 19 trousers (including leggings & shorts), 2 jumpsuits,
2 dresses, 10 pieces of lingerie (bras, panties, slips, etc), 1 bikini, 2 jackets/coats/cardigans and zero skirts (!). I made presents for my mom, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew, and James also received four tops and a pair of lounging bottoms this year, the lucky guy!

Happy 2021! (My year in review)

What. A. Year! I’m not even going to attempt to sugar-coat things, and any attempt to try and put things into perspective just sounds like a cliché after all this. But for a year where I was essentially under house arrest since March, it’s surprisingly not all bad. Above all else, I’m grateful to have spent the time with my husband and that we both were able to continue our office jobs from home at full pay and remarkable support. My sewing was both a welcome distraction and a balm in this year of chaos and uncertainty.

I’m going to try to use my usual year-end format again, though this was clearly a year that broke all attempts to contain it so let’s do what we can (clearly a motto for the year!)…

Happy 2020! (My year in review)

Happy new year! I always like to take the opportunity on the start of a bright new year to look back on the year that was – what I made and loved, what I made and swore at, and other big life milestones that will make 2019 stand out in my mind. And because I love stats, I also like to take a step back and get an overview of what I’ve been making to get an eye for any trends that may have escaped me at the time…

Happy 2019! (My year in review)

Happy new year! It’s traditional for me to reflect on the year that’s just finished on the first of a new year, and this year’s a weird one because I’d love to just say “this year sucked”, but there were some fantastic things that happened this year amoungst all the sickness, disappointment, frustration, and hard work. So let’s try and focus on those.

Happy 2018! (My Year in Review)

Happy fresh and new baby year, everyone! I always like to celebrate the first of the year with a look back at the year that’s just completed – this gives me a chance to reflect at the things I’ve accomplished, the garments I’ve made, and challenges conquered. As is traditional, I find myself starting 2018 with lots of great stuff on the horizon but unable to talk about it (this time last year my two big secrets were my Threads article and my book deal, so you’d better believe 2018’s secret project is a good’un!) so you’ll just have to trust me that the outlook for 2018 is rosy indeed!

Happy 2017 (my year in review)

Woohoo! It’s a fresh new year! Each year I like to take the first of January to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So while this post is a celebration of the new year, it’s also a look back at what I’ve been up to in the last twelve months, which I always find to be a helpful exercise!

Burda magazine February 2016

Thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and excitement over my Tessellate Tee pattern and Add On Pack! I’ve got so many different versions of this top to show you, both casual ones and workout ones, too. I’m really behind on photoshoots due to us sailing our boat to a new mooring (for the first time in 9 years!) and the associated stress making me vulnerable to some nasty bug that’s going round. But I’m hoping I’ll feel well enough to take some photos this weekend, and you’ll get to see some new backgrounds to the photos as well!

But in amongst all the moving melée (plus some added fun in sorting out a new gift subscription), the latest Burda magazine arrived so I thought I’d share my picks with you before it’s out of date!

Burda tend to have their style feature types they run at least once a year, and apparently this is the issue for the “done to death” urban safari styling for 2016. I’m really bored with the concept after so many years of subscribing, but there are some nice patterns here if you look beyond the khaki. I particularly like this boxy blouse, which I think looks fantastic made up in silk or any other soft, flowing fabrics. The wrap skirt isn’t terribly practical if you live in a windy city since that wrap is fully open in front and not just a deep pleat.

They’ve crammed a lot of safari separates into a single page here – a long sleeved blouse, trousers with an interesting silhouette (these two are also offered together as a jumpsuit), plus a dress version of the boxy blouse (funny how lengthening it just turns it into a big ol’ sack!) and a really tragic belted men’s safari jacket. Just… no.

The ombre denim Gimlet birthday dress

Happy (slightly belated) 38th birthday to meeeeeeeee!

My birthday was on Saturday and, after the stinker that was last year, I had a blast! I have a tradition where I like to sew myself something special to celebrate the occasion, and this year I decided to make myself a cocktail dress – rather fitting since I invited my friends out for cocktails on Friday to our favourite little whisky bar.

I’ve been utterly enchanted with the Gimlet dress pattern from the moment Capital Chic released it. Granted, Sally is a friend and I respect her work and design aesthetic so much, but this dress in particular was just too “me” not to make! I mean – sheath dress (tick), asymmetric (tick). And that’s pretty much all I need to add it to my To Sew list, ha!

The Sewing Weekender

It’s taken the better part of a week for me to calm down and recover after the stimulation overload that was the first-ever Sewing Weekender, held this past weekend up in Cambridge. It was organised by the ladies behind The Fold Line along with English Girl at Home after being really jealous of all the great sewing getaways and camps run over in America, and it seems they were right to want to replicate over here. Tickets went on sale (for a very reasonable £45) and sold out in literally under an hour. I credit my being able to buy a ticket mostly down to following these ladies on social media and jumping as soon as they became available (Pro-tip if you want to attend the next one when it’s announced!).

The event itself was held in one of the Cambridge colleges, with the option to stay overnight in one of the residence halls (dorm rooms), which I took advantage of after seeing it was cheaper than other hotels in town and less hassle than another set of late night and early morning trains between Cambridge and London!

Fehr Trade Patterns 2nd Birthday Sale!

Can you believe it’s been two years since I launched the first FehrTrade activewear patterns back in December 2013?? In those two years I’ve managed to release 10 different activewear patterns (with more on the way!), and I thought it was high time we all celebrate!

I’ve got a bunch of great stuff planned for the entire month of December, but I wanted to kick things off by announcing a special 2nd birthday sale to send a big THANK YOU to all my loyal readers! So for the entire month of December you can save 20% off all purchases at shop.fehrtrade.com by using the code “2NDBIRTHDAY” (Paypal users note that you’ll go quite far through the process before the coupon box is shown).

I also wanted to take this opportunity to flag up that I quietly released an update to the PB Jam Leggings pattern recently! I’m going back through my earliest patterns and upgrading the illustrations to be more in line with the most recent ones. My illustration skills have come so far in the past two years and I wanted to give people who purchase my earlier patterns the same experience as those who grab my latest ones.