2015 in Review

blooming silver cholla

2015 has been quite a year for me personally. The year started with bang and has hit some small and large bumps to end up where it is now. In January, we officially moved back to the Pacific Northwest (so I’m living near family again!) and I started SeamstressErin Designs which was just about the best way I could imagine starting the year. We moved several times in the beginning of the year and in the summer we bought a house – my sewing & designing time took a bit of a hit as I got us moved and settled. Just as our house was starting to feel like a home and I started to ramp up sewing and work on SeamstressErin designs again, I got pregnant. Which is wonderful and exciting and I can’t wait for baby! However, I had a miserable first trimester and couldn’t do anything other than lie on the couch. I’m now half-way done with the pregnancy and, while I’ve returned to the land of the living, I’m still having a rough go of it so time to sew for myself and time to sew for my business is minimal. Emotionally, it has been pretty challenging for me to stop doing ALL THE THINGS. I planned to take a break from working when baby arrives, but had no idea that growing baby would be a full time job for me. But it’s a job I’m excited to be doing and I’m learning the lesson of putting baby’s needs before my own desires (just learning it a bit earlier than I thought I would have to). Despite the bumps, I wouldn’t trade this year for anything. It is fun to look back through the year through the lens of my sewing, so here’s some highlights (and low-lights, since misses are fun to see too!). (You can always see all the clothing I’ve blogged by peaking through My Closet.)

2015 sewing hits

Sewing Hits: This year, more so than any year in the past, I sewed things that I love and wear. Doing a massive closet purge when we moved (and living out of a backpack for 4 months while traveling last year and then a suitcase for 6 months before we could get our belongings out of storage and move in to our house) really taught me to evaluate what I’m sewing and think about if I will actually wear it when it’s done. My biggest hits are:
Happy Hippo Dress – My favorite dress ever. I wore it every chance I could get – from weddings to fancy dinners to grocery shopping. It’s the perfect combination of sexy, silly, and fun.
Southwest eyeblinder dress – I wore this dress a ton as the fabric is so cheerful (and so pink!) and the dress so eye-catching. It’s comfy, flattering, and a sundress that can be worn with a bra!
Spring for cotton farm animals dress – Okay, so silly cotton fabrics may be a theme with my favorite things, but I love how chic this dress looks – until you get close and see the print :)
Grey sproingy cardigan – I didn’t expect to love this cardigan as much as I do, but I find myself wearing it all the time. I’ve replicated it twice now – once as a flop (poor fabric choice, see below) and once that my mom immediately “borrowed indefinitely” since it looked so good on her.
Plaid flannel shirt – I spent an insane amount of time plaid matching this shirt and I think it shows – I really couldn’t be more proud of the construction, the fabric is luscious, and I love wearing it.

2015 sewing hits runners up

A few honorable mentions that I adored were my 80’s striped dress, strawberries and gingham dress, SATC skirt, yellow cotton vintage summer ensemble, and high-waisted light denim jeans.

2015 sewing misses

Sewing Misses: Despite my better-than-in-the-past success rate at sewing hits, there were definitely still some flops. My top 5 blogged sewing misses this year are:
Sweatshirt flop – Love the pattern (see above), but poor fabric choice. I wanted something cosy, but this cardigan really needs to drape and the thick sweatshirt knit and scuba just didn’t.
Red plaid bruyere – I had just enough of the red plaid (that I adored and used in the past for a romper and a Sew It All TV sample blouse) to make a bruyere, but not enough to match the plaid. I thought I’d be okay with mismatched plaid. I wasn’t. It went straight to the thrift store.
1970’s Sweatshirt – I’ve never liked high necked shirts and this sweatshirt turned out to be no exception. I found I just didn’t wear it, even though I loved the silly 70’s sleeves and the fun turquoise topstitching. Struck by a fit of inspiration, this week I removed the collar and lowered the neckline and am wearing it right now! (The pleats on the bodice stop at just the right point to make this maternity friendly for a while longer).
Capris – I made these right after making a pair of jeans with a less-than-stellar crotch fit to prove to myself that I could get the crotch fitting correctly. I nailed the crotch, but didn’t find myself wearing them. I think it’s because they were too warm for summer and I didn’t have any cute little vintage-style peasant blouses to wear with them (like I envisioned), and by the time fall came around and they would have been more weather appropriate I was too sick from pregnancy to wear them. I’m going to keep them in my closet and see if they get worn next year before giving up on them fully.
Pink anchor dress – A bunch of little things kept me from liking this as a dress, but shortly after finishing it I chopped it into a blouse and wore it a bunch, so I can proudly say I rescued another flop!


SeamstressErin Designs: Despite all the things keeping me from building my business as much as I would have like to this year, I still feel pretty good about what I was able to accomplish. I independently released 5 patterns (along with several projects in magazines) and I’m proud of each one. Each has a full photo sewalong and I’m working on getting up a full video sewalong for each as well.
Monster Wear Hat & Mittens – a slightly silly way to stay warm all winter long.
Conifer Skirt – short or long, layered or plain, this knit skirt is an everyday wardrobe workhorse.
Presidio Purse – large enough to hold everything and the kitchen sink. I updated this previously-released pattern with completely new instructions.
Nautilus Swimsuit – a one-piece or bikini with a twist. I am most proud of this pattern, loved seeing beautiful women of all shapes and sizes sew it up, and had a blast putting together a ton of information about sewing swimsuits for my blog.
Achatina Messenger Bag Рa simple to sew bag that is so fun to decorate with dozens of appliqu̩ patterns available in expansion packs.

ironing board and WIPs

The #IAmAWIP Project: I had a goal this year of writing a weekly mini-essay, exploring some aspect of who I am and looking at how it influences me as a sewist, maker, or business owner. I was pretty good at staying weekly with my posts, until my unexpected pregnancy-induced hiatus. While it felt like a chore at times, I loved the discussion that some of the posts engendered. A few highlights include: I Am Tall gave many people the chance to chime in with very similar “why I started sewing” stories and I learned how not-alone I am in my hatred of sleeves that are too short! I Am a Granddaughter allowed me to share about the many amazing grandmother figures I’ve been blessed to have had in my life and how I learned something about sewing, knitting, or creativity from each one. I Am a Feminist had me up on a soapbox sharing my strong opinions about how sewing can be a feminist act. I Am Married allowed me sing the praises of my husband, my unsung blog hero, without whose love and support I wouldn’t be in the amazing, happy place that I am now.

badlands from font's point

2016 Goals: My 2016 goals are to not get hung up on goals. I’m usually a very goal-driven person and, as I’ve said many times before, I like to do ALL THE THINGS. So I’m acknowledging in advance that 2016 isn’t the year to do so. My goals are as follows:
Q1 – Grow a baby.
Q2 – Finishing growing a baby.
Q3 – Adjust to life as a mom.
Q4 – Be a mom.
And that’s it. If I get more done, that’s great. (I have several patterns in the pipeline that I would love to be able to release in 2016. I have a giant list of home improvement projects. I still like to sew for myself. I want to make things for baby…). If I don’t get more done, that’s fine. This year my priorities need to be different than they ever have before, and that’s okay. That’s life.

Comments 4

  1. Love your goals for 2016, spot on. I get worried when people start listing all the things they’re going to do when on maternity leave! Hope the pregnancy continues to get easier for you.

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