2016 Year in Review

2016 has been quite a year! Things are much the same for me as at the beginning of the year but a lot sure has happened along the way. The biggest change was that I got a cat. I’ve been living alone for so long that having another being in my space has really been a big adjustment. I had never really even wanted a cat but a friend found a litter of kittens and I just fell in love and brought one home. I’m almost embarrassed to say how fond I am of his little fuzz face.

In sewing news, I released the Nita Wrap Skirt pattern in March. To date, it's my most fitted pattern and most challenging to draft. I have a lot more pattern ideas in the works but the last half of the year got away from me and I haven’t been able to get another released yet. I became a BERNINA ambassador and have enjoyed learning a different brand of machine. I participated in a few blog tours this year including the IndieSew Spring Collection, the Refashioners and StyleMaker Fabrics Fall Tour. I was a guest on the Maker Style podcast. One of the highlights of the year was during my trip to Europe in June, I met up with some of the fantastic sewists from the Refashioners. They were all so lovely and kind. I’m always amazed by how caring and supportive the sewing community is and I’m so happy to be a part of it.

(By the way, the image at the top is my Instagram Best Nine, which is the nine photos that received the most likes during the year. The first photo is a repost from Victoria Talbot of her wearing a sequin Lou Box Top. I'm so honored when anyone chooses to use one of my patterns, especially when it's precious or fancy fabric.)

And of course, I sewed lots and lots and lots. Let's start with the best of the bunch!


  1. Sanibel Dress
  2. Striped Knit Lou Box Top (unblogged, made one size smaller)
  3. Zip Back Lou Box Top
  4. Alexandria Pants
  5. Driftless Cardigan
  6. Alexandria Shorts
  7. Soma Lounge Bra
  8. Scout Tee
  9. Catrin Sweatshirt

Unsurprisingly, my most worn garments of the year are all loose fitting and comfortable. I  work in a pretty casual industry where jeans and t-shirts are acceptable and live in a mild climate where sweaters are rarely needed. There's also quite a bit of grey and blue and stripes. I know what I like. :)

Birkin Flares
Acton Dress

These two garments were fashion game changers for me. It had been ages since I wore flared jeans and I instantly fell in love when I made this pair. This denim in this pair is a little stiff and the color has rubbed off on a couple things, making me a little less likely to wear them. Plus, I bought a pair of RTW jeans that’s in a really soft denim and I wear them at least once a week. That said, I was thrilled to introduce flared jeans to my wardrobe this year and they will be making an appearance in my 2017 plans.

When I first saw the line drawings for the Acton Dress I was a little bit nervous. I generally avoid bare shoulder styles that require a strapless bra. I had read that comfortable strapless bras did exist so I thought I’d give it a try. I went to the mall (which I rarely ever do) and within about 30 minutes found a comfortable strapless bra! Total game changer. The dress is immaculately designed and was a joy to sew. To my delight, when I tried it on it made me feel fantastic. I love the shape of the bodice and basically want to wear this style all the time.

At the beginning of 2016 I made a list of nine projects that I’d like to sew during the year, the #2016makenine (click to see the image with all the pattern photos). I did a pretty good job with the list and there are only two that were not sewn at all.

1. Sew Over It Ultimate Shiftdress
I’d still like to make this one. The pattern is printed and assembled. I just need to settle on a fabric.

2. Scout Tee by Grainline Patterns
I made this in gray cotton/linen and wear it pretty often. It’s a really great basic and I expect that I will sew it again.

3. Birkin Flares by Baste & Gather
One of my faves of the year!

4. Rushcutter Dress by In the Folds
I feel like I learned so much sewing this dress and it was one of the reasons I agreed to try out the Acton Dress. The designer Emily is truly a pattern genius. 

5. Cosmic Sweater by Wool and the Gang
I finally finished knitting this sweater just this week. I was working on it all year but my kitten kept trying to eat the yarn so it took a long time to finish. He’s mostly grown out of his yarn eating so I’ve been able to knit with him sitting calmly on my lap like a good cat should. This project is one that I’m more happy to finished with than I am excited to wear it. I bought the yarn over 10 years ago and this is the third sweater that I’ve started to knit. The fit is not perfect but after 10 years, done is far better than perfect.

6. Halifax Hoodie by Hey June
I really didn’t know how much I needed a hoodie in my wardrobe until I made this. It was fun to sew and so easy to wear.

7. Southport Dress by True Bias
I have the pattern printed and assembled and I even cut out one bodice piece. Then I got distracted and decided that the fabric I had selected was too finicky and would need to be lined. So I just canceled the project. Perhaps next summer I'll pick it up again.

8. Moji Pants by Seamwork
I made these back in March and was unfortunately not pleased with the fit. The Alexandria Pants/Shorts stepped in as a replacement.

9. Soma Swimsuit by Papercut Patterns
I successfully made a lounge bra from the bikini top variation 2 and a pair of swim bottoms but I could not get the fit right for the one piece swimsuit. It was really disappointing but in retrospect I should have known that I need a swimsuit designed to provide more bust support. I have already purchased the Sophie Swimsuit pattern by Closet Case Files for the next time swimsuit sewing strikes my fancy.

In addition to all the selfish sewing, I posted quite a few tutorials and one printable this year. 


How to Sew a Blind Hem Stitch by Machine

Tips for Sewing your First Button Down

How to Sew a Clear Vinyl Zip Pouch
I've been using mine to carry my knitting tools and just love it. It's so easy to find everything inside.

How to Add a Shoulder Cut Out to Any Pattern

How to Hand Stitch Knit Fabric

How to Make a Fabric Bow

Sewing Tips for Proper Pressing

How to Topstitch Knit Fabric

3 Favorite Photo Editing Apps

How to Travel Series: On a Budget, Gluten-Free and Packing Tips

Phew! 2016 was jam packed. In comparison to 2015, I think I did a better job of sewing things that I wore and felt comfortable in. I’ve been sewing for over 20 years (!!!) and over time I’ve learned what fabrics and styles work for me and also what fabrics work best for what pattern. It’s always a work in progress though as new styles are released. And there are always more techniques to learn. 

P.S. I’m working on putting together a #2017makenine so stay tuned!