Wednesday, 30 December 2015

A Year in Five!

Well it's that time of year again! Gillian over at "Crafting A Rainbow" is hosting the "Top 5" 2015 roundup.  Doesn't seem 5 minutes since it was last year's!  I really enjoyed the process of writing this post as it's given me a chance to reflect on what's been achieved over the last year and plan what I would like to do next year. Plus, I can read other people's, nosey old baggage that I am! 

As I have had very little time for sewing the last couple of years then this will be another composite post of all my hits, misses, highlights, reflections and goals. PSA: It might be a bit long.

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!


When I first sat down to write this I really couldn't think of much that was a hit for me this year but then I realised that I have made some items that I have actually worn, have had a fair bit of success with FBAs and done way more blogging than last year. All wins in my book. I love the Colette "Mabel" pattern and have fabric to make some more. I also wear my "Gertie" pencil skirt although the sizing is miles off. 

Mabel, I will make you again. What an awesome pattern.

Sprogzilla's quilt was cut out and sewn together. I had been collecting the fabric for about 10 years. Just to back, quilt and bind it now. I might have it finished before she starts Uni.

I also managed to sew my three garments for my "Vintage Pattern Pledge", although didn't quite manage the additional three that I added on. They're cut out and one is almost finished. Does that count? Plus, I got to dress up like Frida Kahlo and take silly selfies in my bathroom for the Simplicity Blogger Challenge. That was a lot of fun, way out of my comfort zone, and I love the top that I made. When I wore it to work it got loads of compliments. 

Off topic but I have been very lucky travel-wise this year. Work commitments have taken me to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and, closer to home, London (with a quick trolley dash round Goldhawk Road). I been very lucky to visit some fantastic places and work with some fabulous people. Of course this meant that I have had the chance to pick up the odd sewing mag on location and even a bit of fabric or two- it would have been rude not to. This will be all change as 2016 means a new job and potentially very little travel. Hopefully, I will still be able to do some in my summer hols (or actually have some proper hols for a change).


Moving was both a hit (yay, being home!) and a huge miss - I gave up the Studio. I will miss it until the end of time. The people were great, lots and lots of talent floating about and I really blossomed working there with everyone's support. I cried when I left. I am an old soppy really.

The GBSB3 Silk Tee top an almost but not quite. I need a bigger FBA but what's new?

Another miss was my machine giving up on sewing buttonholes. All my others are vintage and don't do much bar a straight stitch or a zig-zag, although they do this beautifully. I have a pile of things that need finished. Going to have to bite the bullet and get a new machine in 2016. I did buy a vintage Singer buttonhole attachment but have been too scared to try it. Have any of you used one before? Is it easy?


Actually getting some sewing done was a huge highlight. Plus, my work colleagues, my studio colleagues and blogging. Being able to interact with fellow sewing/vintage lovers is great. It can be pretty lonely as the only seamstress in the village. 


Loving the lights on the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow City Centre

Do you know that writing this blog has really helped me make the decision to move back to Scotland. Having no time to sew was also a big "con" for me and the realisation that I was too tired at the weekend to be much use to Sprogzilla.

An oldie from NFW back when I had the time to draft my own patterns AND sew. Really hoping to be able to get my creative mojo workin'  again this year. This is one of my faves.

I have had plenty time to think about sewing though and I have realised that instead of making stuff from patterns that I am happiest creating my own. I love just pootering about doing random things with fabric. I am going to try to do this more and see where inspiration takes me.


Goals in my book are good to have but have been, for 2015 anyway, mostly unobtainable. Just to recap my goals for the last year were:

  • Sew with knits.
  • Teach a corsetry workshop.
  • Have one day a week sewing time.
  • Sew a few things from my vintage pattern stash.

To be fair I did achieve about 2.5/4. Pretty good going I think but it's impressing no one.  I didn't get round to teaching the workshop so maybe I should do some tutorial posts instead? Do you think that anyone would be interested? I might just do them anyway, rebel that I am. It has been a while and will be a good refresher as I am well out of practise.

Another self-drafted oldie. It's squint on the mannequin who is called Kylie as she was bought from the Kylie exhibition when it closed at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery (which was great BTW).

So  for whats it's worth my 2016 goals are:

  • Spend more time with Sprogzilla. She has discovered the joys of Cosplay so there will be sewing for me us. We have conventions/costumes planned already (apparently). There could be armour. 
  • Blog more, it's fun.
  • Sew a work wardrobe - this will include scary trousers.
  • Kick over the traces and sew what is in my head. Life is too short to be boring (except when you need to be - see above).
  • Sew more knits. I will conquer the perfect knit pencil skirt pattern.
  • Tackle tailoring - I would love a new coat. 
  • No stress, no deadlines, no commitments - sewing should be fun.
  • Tackle my garden.
  • Decorate the whole house, including new curtains which I will sew.
  • Do some non-work related travelling.

Anyway, cheers for reading this far. Huge thanks to everyone that has read or commented on the blog this year. I really appreciate it and hope that you will stick with my ramblings in 2016.

Here's wishing ye aw' the best an' lang may yer lum reek!

Kelly Xx


  1. Interesting post! I don't make any plans for the coming year any more, haven't made resolutions in decades. Once I discovered that if you didn't make them, then you had nothing to beat yourself up for when they didn't come to fruition, I stopped. Common sense prevailed, at last.
    I occasionally have Good Intentions, but these aren't as 'must do' as Resolutions, and are therefore easy to ignore if I so choose. And to be honest, I don't even have any Good Intentions this time, other than to learn to knit socks, properly, on circular needles, not two. Watch out charity shop, here come lots of socks.....
    Happy New Year to you and Sprogzilla, may it hold all you wish for, and more. And thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog too!

    1. Thanks Edwina. I would love to knit socks but they seem too hard. It's true about the resolutions, I always make some and never keep them. I think that there is just something about self-imposed restrictions that make people disobey them, our inner toddlers rebelling!
      Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2016 bring you joy! Xx

    2. Don't be fooled by socks looking hard....they aren't. With the exception of the heel shaping (which is just knit and purl with some "knit 2 togethers") it's just one long row of knitting. The 4 needles are super easy to master and it's the best portable project for travel or visiting with friends. I highly recommend the Regia sock pattern for beginners. It's the one I learned on and always get fabulous results with.

    3. Thanks for the recommendation. I have lots of mates that knit socks and they look so comfy and cosy. I am going to go look this one up. :) Xx

  2. Happy New Year!
    I love reading those posts too and this one in particular. There are lot of goals I cut set for myself too.
    And some posts about making corsets would be great! I would love to read them as I think it's always interesting to take a deeper look on some truly new and specific topics. And I always enjoy reading your posts anyway. :)

    1. Happy New Year to you, Friederike! I will definitely do the corset thing if you think that it would be interesting They are not as difficult as they look. If you can sew a straight line then you can make one.
      Thanks for the lovely comment and all the best! Xx

  3. Happy New Year! Hope this one sees your dreams coming true. I'd LOVE corsetry tutorials....I've never made one but would love one (as would the Husband ;-) ).

    1. Happy New Year to you too! I hope that 2016 is a brilliant year for you and the family. Right corset tutorials it is. There is a commercial pattern that is supposed to be great. I bought it to try out as a potential teaching tool so I will use that one first. Drafting them from scratch is quite hard and melts my head so probably not the best place to begin with. Thank you so much (and to you husband) for being interested. :D Xx

  4. Good luck with your 2016 goals, Kelly.

    Happy New Year to you!


    1. Happy New Year too and thanks for the best wishes. I have actual time to get stuff done this year and am really looking forward to upping the ante sewing-wise. Xx

  5. I love your new blog banner! Well, it may not be new but I haven't been internet-ing a whole lot these days so it's new to me ;) I too have decided to forgo forcing myself to sew from patterns. It's time to just have fun and make stuff up as I go!! I found a bunch of stuff I sewed up in high school and college before I started using patterns that was mind-blowingly creative, so that's one of my resolutions. PS I would love reading a corset tutorial by you! Your corsets are incredible! Cheers to 2016!

    1. Aww thanks Em Bee. My daughter has a subscription to Creative Cloud so let me have a go on Photoshop/Illustrator over the hols. I got the butterflies from "The Graphics Fairy", such a good resource for vintage images and related wonders. I am in total agreeance. I think that making stuff up can be both really fun and creative. I think I learnt more about sewing doing that than by following "the rules" (my old Punk ethics are showing). Thanks for being interested in a corset tutorial. I will try to get something sorted out to start soon. All the best! Xx

  6. When I first started doing FBAs, I started out too small, too. I couldn't believe that I needed a three inch increase and was in denial. I love that people make corsets. I've never tried one because I'm intimidated by the time investment factor.

    1. Hi Kimberley, yes I need a really big FBA. I have a very large difference between my undercuts and full bust so I need at least 3-4 inches too. Not to bad now that I feel more comfy with doing them and adding in extra darts. Corsets are pretty easy, if you can sew a straight line then you can make one and you could sew most of one up in a day. Xx

  7. Oh my- those corsets. Glorious! For knit skirt, I love StyleArc's Ursula. I've made at least four. Lovely, simple, fits [me]like a dream. Recommended.

  8. Oh my- those corsets. Glorious! For knit skirt, I love StyleArc's Ursula. I've made at least four. Lovely, simple, fits [me]like a dream. Recommended.