Saturday, 3 January 2015

2014: A Year in Review

Hi All, well I suppose that I am fashionably late to the party but am going to wish you a "Happy New Year" anyway!

Today I am going to reflect on my "Top 5's" of last year as hosted by Crafting a Rainbow except that they will probably just be top 1's (doesn't it feel really odd saying "last year"?). 

So here goes, this is going to be a kind of combined everything as, to be honest, I didn't really have an awful lot of time for sewing in 2014 with the day job being so busy and with travelling more than 60,000 miles last year  a lot for work! I did get to visit some countries I had never been to before (Finland - great wool shops/Spain) and to visit a lot of places I know already even if I only got to stare at the fabric shops from a cab to the airport. :)

However, I did finally kick the butt of FBA's after a lot of years of making things that were HUGE or that didn't meet in the middle. No stopping me now. Actually, things are still huge but those puppies are COVERED! 
The best highlights for me was definitely getting to interact with the sewing community through this blog (thanks guys!), by teaching the girls from work how to dressmake and how to knit, winning a pattern giveaway through the fab Pendle Stitches blog for a much needed (but still to be sewn) bag and by taking part in the Curvy Sewing Collective holiday swap. I now have knit fabric, an overlocker that does what it's supposed to and as soon as I have got some free time then I am making a Mabel and a bag!

More hand finishing in these than a pair of shorts has a right to!

The biggest miss for me last year was not being involved in Newcastle Fashion Week. I have shown there for the two years previous with my own stuff and was totally gutted not to have the time to do it last year. I only had time to make one pair of shorts in specially woven fabric by Bayly.  These were fun I can tell you, being hand woven and fraying at the least touch. Pattern pieces needed to be thread traced first then stabilized along the stitching line with fusible interfacing before they were cut out with 2-inch seam allowances, but at least I remembered all my old tailoring hand stitches  so that was a plus.

Fingers crossed that they will have me back with my corsets and stuff for next year. 
The photo above is one of a few I have lurking that you haven't seen yet and was a collaboration with the amazing Scottish milliner, Mairi Brunning, She used one of the Fashion Week corsets from a couple of years ago. I really love this shot and she makes fabulous hats.

So on reflection 2014 was a year where I had no time. I did manage to make the odd thing (a quilt-ette for my Mum's cat - still to be blogged) but on the whole life just got in the way. I managed to sneak some knitting in on the train and do a little informal teaching but that was it.

So what are my goals for 2015? Well I have some stuff in the pipeline: a super sneaky project that I didn't have time to do; sew with knits; teach at least one corsetry workshop (hopefully in March); and to take at least one day a week me-time for some sewing. I really would like to make at least a few things from my vintage pattern stash out of my (vintage) fabric stash before I am buried alive under it like the crazy hoarder cat lady that I am, plus sew from all the teetering mounds of Burda mags that I have. Also I would like to share more stuff on this blog but only time (or the lack of it) will tell.

So enough of me wittering on. What are your goals for 2015? Do you even have any?

Thanks for reading and commenting last year. It was really appreciated.


I will be linking in this post to Crafting a Rainbow. 
Oh and if you haven't come across Gillian's blog before then it really is worth adding to your blogroll, especially the posts on sewing knits and about colour palettes. 


  1. Happy new year to you too! I am totally with you on the not having enough time for anything bit. How and when did life get to be so complex?

    1. Thanks Ms Nora. I have no idea when things got to be so complicated. I have had a different day job for the last year or so and I spent most of my time travelling but I just don't know where all the other stuff came from. Doesn't look like this year will be much different either. Still knitting is portable. :) xx

  2. I feel almost - but not quite - guilty at being one of those ladies who has plenty of time for her own pursuits. It is so important to make that time though, if you can, and I hope you manage that one day a week that is just for You. And so pleased to come across another 'well endowed' lady shall we say? And one who isn't the perfect shape, isn't it difficult buying things that fit? I wanted pyjamas, but you buy them in pairs, so the trousers would have a crotch by the knees and be trailing on the floor, but the top would fit fine! Ort I could have perfect fitting bottoms, but be unable to get the top to meet in the middle.
    My goal for 2015? To get back into my short story writing again and try and keep healthy as I can.

    1. Hi Edwina, yes I hope that I can get a day a week this year. Doesn't sound like it would be hard to acheive but I haven't managed it much. ;) Yep, certainly wasn't at the back of the queue when it came to handing out certain attributes but hey-ho, you work with what you have. It really does make buying things difficult which was one of the reasons I started sewing. I used to be an 6 hip, 8 waist and a 14 top. Those were the days! Have you read the Curvy Sewing Collective website? They have a lot of good articles on curvy topics. I really have problems buying trousers of any kind as I need a 34" leg and plus-sizes are usually wide and short. I like M&S as I can buy things seperately. Short story writing sounds great. I would love to have that kind of imagination. Stay healthy. Xx

  3. To explain the pyjama trouser problem, I'm just over five feet tall, or short, depending on your point of view!

    1. You have the opposite to me. I always look like my cats died. ;) xx