Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 sewing review and look ahead

Happy New Year! Thinking about what I sewed this year, and looking for some theme I realized that as usual I went where my mood and new fabric purchases took me. I am not much of a planner however I did kind of tell myself that I would try to resist the temptation to sew any new coats and jacket. To my surprise I mostly succeeded with that idea. After all I have so many already! In fact on Christmas eve I put on my tricolor coat to go to mass, and that was the first time I had worn it this season. So I'm glad to give sewing coats a rest, although I did make some for other people.

In fact - one of my best items of the year might have been one of the earliest projects, a camel colored cashmere long vest which I sewed for my friend Alice. She bought the fabric in NY at Metro Textiles the previous October. Although I always want to call it a sleeveless coat - which I suppose is a vest. Anyway - here's the post with pattern details.

Alice coat 4

I did sneak one jacket in for myself, which was this blue wool jacket sewn using a Vogue pattern that is about 16 years. Not quite vintage but not new. There are a lot of really great Vogue designer patterns published in the 90's and 2000's.

blue jacket unbuttoned

I sewed a lot of tops, knit tops, woven shirts - so many shirts! I think this is my favorite one, cotton poplin from Mood Fabrics. All my shirts are the same pattern - a very basic Simplicity pattern that I started using maybe 5 years ago and see no need to change 😊

Green paisley shirt front view

Partly because I was doing some specific construction technique posts for Craftsy, but mostly as practice in order to teach at Hello Stitch Studio which opened in May in Berkeley. It's a great space for sewing and classes, the light is beautiful and those big cutting tables are fantastic. We have all kinds of classes scheduled for January and February so if you are in the area check it out. Or even if you are from outside the area and are coming to N. Cal - plenty of airbnb's nearby if you want to make a weekend of it.

Hello Stitch studio view

We have upcoming classes in on knit t-shirts, button front shirts, and I believe we have a space open in this weekend's coat making workshop. If you have piece of wool in your stash that needs to get off the shelf and onto the cutting table to be a new winter coat or jacket here's the link.

Also I wrote a LOT of posts for the Craftsy sewing blog this year, and have created a page here on this blog with links to all of them. One pictured below is how to attach a shirt collar, two different ways. I think the most popular post I had on the Craftsy sewing blog this year is this post on how to change the neckline for knit top patterns.

Collar tutorial

As evidenced by my quick analysis of my own sewing, I made a lot of knit tops, woven tops, a few items in other categories, and a few dresses. That's another category where I have too many - but how difficult is it to resist the siren call of a cute dress pattern?

So speaking of dresses, my absolute favorite dress that I made this year has to be the embroidered denim shift dress.

flower denim dress garden square

Denim! flowers! sleeveless! all my favorite things in one dress. When I saw this fabric at Stone Mountain I jumped up and down with glee. And I wore it so much. And will do next summer and the one after that.

What about new patterns? As per usual I tend to want to sew some new patterns but then usually decide I can make just what I have in mind with a pattern I already have. However I did use more new patterns this year than I have in a while, including Waffle, Closet Case, and my European favorite, Pauline Alice Patterns.

pie chart new patterns used

Including testing Pauline's new summer pattern, the Mirambel skirt, which turned out to be the summer skirt I didn't know I needed! (worn with my sparkly chambray top, fabric for that from Stone Mountain). July was a good sewing month - 3 items sewn that are among my favorites.

Mirambel skirt on me sq

One other development in the category of patterns is that I finally subscribed to BurdaStyle Pattern magazine. And I've already made one top,  with plans to make another item from this issue. (Jacket # 118). Actually I tried it for a 3-month subscription, and even if I don't use it much I enjoy getting the issue in the mail and sitting down for a read-through. But I'll use it.

Burda cover Dec 2017

So that's 2017 - at least a few of the sewing highlights. Onward to 2018. I have so many projects started and not yet finished, which is really unlike me. I'm usually a finish one thing and move on to the other of sewer. Plus this faux fur vest is going to do me in, so much fuzz. I even gave it a once over with my vacuum attachment hoping to minimize the black fibers. Almost done though :)

faux fur vest with pattern

Thank you to everyone for all your wonderful comments throughout the year.  I say it every year, but I will always be grateful that writing this blog has given me the opportunity to get to know people from all around the world that are as crazy about sewing as I am. Socializing, trading patterns, and getting out of the sewing room to meet new sewing friends is the very best part of this blog.

Happy New Year, 



  1. I wish I could come for the weekend to take a class at Hello Stitch Studio, but I am afraid a week-end is not enough for such a loooong trip! ;)

  2. So many cute things. Beth, you are so talented. This is the year I want to get back into sewing big time. I have my first project ready to cut out today.

  3. Thanks, Beth, for all the great posts this year! I enjoy your blog. It is informative and fun!

  4. Happy New Year! You have some wonderful garments highlighted from last year. I missed the Mirambel skirt, but it looks really good on you! I look forward to seeing your faux fur vest...in spite of the mess it is making.

  5. Happy New Year! Your sewing always inspires me. I plan on 2018 being a very productive year sewing wise for me.

  6. Happy New Year! I really enjoy your posts. They are often very instructive. I did make the Closet Case Caftan for my dd and added a small dart using your instructions. She loves it, wore it over her bikini on her honeymoon, so definitely a win. I love when you show your pattern work and I often use the information. So thank you and I hope that you will continue to share. BTW. I often find my self going to my back issues of my Burda magazines and find some really wonderful patterns. But, there is always the immediate fun of just looking and maybe storing away some pattern I'll want to sew.

  7. Thank you for another great year of blogging inspiration! I absolutely love your Craftsy tutorials, too! Looking forward to all you'll do in 2018!

  8. I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year, Beth -- Happy New Year!

  9. Happy New Year! Thank you for sharing your makes, and the details in constructing them. I’ve had several “aha!” moments when reading your posts! Love your choices of favorites for 2017. Can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

  10. Happy New Year, Beth! That's a fun and great post. Thank you for sharing these pattern companies you made. I love all of these works, especially the long vest is gorgeous. Beautiful.

  11. Love all the projects you highlighted! And intrigued to see this fur vest...

  12. Thank you for all of the knowledge you have shared in 2017! I hope if I ever get to the West Coast, I can spend a few days learning from someone so talented. Wishing you all the best for 2018!

  13. All your favourites were my favourites of yours too Beth! Happy new year! as always I look forward to seeing what you will make next. Your work is always impeccable. I love the look of the fur jacket...


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