Thursday, 31 December 2015

Looking forwards, looking back

Some of 2015's projects

It’s that time of year again; time to review what I’ve achieved in the last 12 months, and consider what the coming 12 may bring. It's also a good time to say a huge "Thank you" to all the people who put so much time and effort into making the things which make me happy actually happen.

First up, the Historical Sew Monthly, where I actually managed to complete all the challenges! Yay! Obviously the fact that there were only 12 this year helped, but never mind. From the quick-and-easy of my shoe clips and my suffragette cockade, to the major projects of my entari and my ‘Delphos’ dress, for the first time in three years I completed the full set, and am basking in the rosy glow of achievement. As ever, thank you to Leimomi and the HSM moderators for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

'Delphos' dress for the Historical Sew Monthly

Sadly the glow of achievement isn’t quite so rosy on the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge front. There I only managed two out of my three vintage pattern pledges; Vogue 9546 and Simplicity 2683 (both, for some reason, purple). It’s not all bad news however; as with the Historical Sew Monthly a huge part of the fun has been seeing what the other participants have made. Thanks to Marie of A Stitching Odyssey and Kerry of Kestrel Makes for a great year of giveaways, interviews, and a fabulous Pinterest board! Plus, while I fell short on making up my vintage patterns, I did make up several vintage re-issues; my Horrockses homage, my swing coat and my 1940s hat.

Swing coat for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

Talking of hats . . . . 2015 was the year I discovered millinery, and I love it! From sinamay and buckram, through veiling and fabric flowers, to making and blocking felt, I’ve learned so much - and enjoyed every minute. I feel truly lucky to have the Hat Works museum just up the road; thank you to tutors Lorna, Sue and Marie, and to Bronwen and the rest of the museum staff.

On top of this I did make a couple of 'ordinary' dresses, all from New Look patterns. There was also a last-minute Christmas dress made from another of my Goldhawk Road purchases. It’s a stretch satin knit with black and gold lace fused onto it, and it was available in lots of different background colours, but I really liked the green.

'Christmas' fabric

Such a fancy fabric only needed a very simple pattern, so I used New Look 6643 view A again, and while the lace layer made it tricky to cut out in places, it made up beautifully. I used plain cotton for the neck facing, as I thought the lace would be too scratchy.

So what will 2016 bring? At present, it looks like more of the same. I’m already booked on a couple of new courses at Hat Works. The 2016 Historical Sew Monthly is happening; the challenges have already been issued, and now I have a standard of completing them all to live up to. I even know what I’m going to do for the first challenge, Procrastination (although for obvious reasons I’m tempted to put off starting it for a while!).

Marie and Kerry have promised a new Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, and I’ll be entering in a spirit of Must Do Better.

Meanwhile, when I came to put together the montage at the top of this post it was apparent that I really need to improve my photography skills, so that’s another little job for the year.

However, despite all my plans, I expect that something totally unexpected will come along to distract me - hopefully it will be fun!

Whatever your plans, both sewing and beyond, I hope you have a great year. Here’s to 2016!



  1. Oh, I like this modern picture of you and your party dress. A new look for us (which I might have earlier missed)! Congrats on doing every HSM challenge! I've yet to do that! Loved your comment about procrastinating on the procrastination challenge! Of course you have to, but only for a tiny bit of time so you can complete it in time. I enjoy all your work. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you! I have a meeting of my sewing group next Friday, for which I have some things to finish, but I promise that it will be full steam ahead on my challenge after that!

  2. Nothing sad about your #vintagepledge achievements (or any of your others) in 2015 at all. You've made fabulous things you should be very proud of :o) Looking forward to see what you come up with this year!

    1. Thank you Marie. I went a bit mad in Goldhawk Road last month, so I'm not short of fabric to make up!

  3. You did such a wonderful job on every single thing you made this past year! I particularly love the Delphos dress and the green holiday dress! I can't wait to see what you accomplish in 2016!