Top 5 Sewing Hits 2016

2016 didn’t see me sewing a whole lot, unfortunately. Between being sick through my whole pregnancy, having a baby in May, and then struggling through post-partum depression, I just didn’t have the ability to create. I love reading (and compiling) end of the year roundups (see my 2015 year in review, 2014 year in review, 2013 in review, and 2012 roundup for a glimpse through my sewing past), so I went ahead and post-mortem’ed this year’s sewing too. Even with very little output, I had some notable successes, which is nice to see and reflect upon. In no part particular order, my Top 5 Sewing Hits of 2016:

watson nursing bra green stripes

These nursing Watson bras are my biggest hit of the year. I wear them almost every day (I have a couple of RTW bras that get swapped in occasionally) and love that they are fun, functional, and a bit sexy. I particularly loved the conversation that they initiated in my own head and on my blog. They were a great reminder to myself that my post-baby body is different but just as sexy. They were also a wonderful opportunity for other moms to chime in that they have had some of the same mental and emotional struggles as I have with accepting and loving their own post-baby bodies.

Butterick 3068 vintage 70s dress 4

This 1970’s dress was also an important step in me accepting my post-baby body. I made it very shortly after having Evie at a time when almost nothing would fit over my belly. I didn’t really realize that I would come home from the hospital looking 6 months pregnant. I read that I would want “loose clothes” to wear immediately post baby but I had no concept of how “loose” they would need to be. I worked hard in a totally sleep-deprived state to sew a dress that fit my completely foreign body, flattered it (I really didn’t want to look pregnant any more), was nursing friendly, and felt like I was wearing my clothes again. I did it.


Despite being a super quick hack, and despite the fact that the top doesn’t fit me perfectly (since I have lost a lot of weight since I initially made the green part when I was pregnant), I’m calling this Christmas shirt a gigantic win because it’s excessively comfortable, very cheery, and gets smiles from strangers. I’ve been wearing it every few days since I made it (pretty much as soon as I get it washed again) as I want to wear it as much as I possibly¬†can before Christmas arrives!


So, pretty much, when I’m not wearing the Christmas shirt, I’m wearing the cat sweatshirt or its sister the dinosaur shirt. Kinda ridiculous. Very fun. Very cheerful. Very me.

orange brocade maternity coat 4

This day-glo maternity coat was the only complicated sewing that I did while pregnant. I got to wear it for such a short time and (at least right now) I have no intention of needing it again. I gained 50 lbs while pregnant (the majority of which I’ve already lost), so making it fit now would mean completely resewing the whole coat (not just removing the belly fullness). But I might get motivated to do so because I LOVE the fabric. I felt SO GOOD wearing this because it’s so bright and happy. It was completely worth sewing.

Do you agree with me that these garments were all wins? I struggle to define my style, but whatever it is, I think these are all part of it!

Comments 10

  1. Just recently found you so I have no idea what else you made this year but everything in this post is definitely a win – especially Evie!

    The coat is lovely (so cheerful) and all the post-pregnancy items look so comfy. Thanks for sharing your struggles (I’m sure that has helped others) and I’m glad you were able to sew things that help you feel better.

    Enjoy your little girl- before you know it you’ll be making her a prom gown!

  2. I love them all! It’s funny you say that it’s hard to define your style, because I think you’ve got one of the clearest styles on the interwebs! I would call it 70’s-inspired casual with a sense of humour. Aka. the kind of person I’d approach in a busy room ’cause they look fun!
    I’m sorry that life post-baby has been a challenge – I admire that you’ve persevered and (hopefully) come out the other side in one piece!

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  3. Dear Erin, I’m so glad your beginning to see (and sew) your way through you post -partum miasma of depression! It’s hormonal and a realization that your life will never be the same and that thought is overwhelming. I will continue to send healing thoughts prayers on your behalf! Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and successful New Year’s!

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  4. I love them all, well done! And good job making it through the year– learning to mom is hard and crazy, but it gets easier. And you get better :)

  5. Loving one’s body image can be such an elusive thing. I think it comes from junior high and gets worse from there. When I see women over 40 without “child-bearing hips” I feel pity for them for never having experienced the joy and wonder of motherhood yet feel envy at their trim physique. Of course, some broads have trim hips and 5 kids …(hate them the most!) :) You are so blessed that you can sew to customize your clothing. Back to my point – I’m 53 now and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by since I was 15 that I haven’t wished or whined or fat-shamed a part of my body. But when I look back at photos from the past 35+ years, I’m amazed at how trim I was and wonder what the hell was I thinking then and why I wasted so much time on it. Today my coworkers who are trimmer than me have health issues galore, yet here I am, size 16 and happy with nary a prescribed pill in my midst. What I’m getting at is be the person God made you, take care of your temple, and don’t waste time or energy wishing to be something you’re not. Your husband loves you and finds you very sexy I’m sure, your daughter adores you, and you question their judgement? Never let your husband know you don’t like a part of your body either. If you don’t like it and he does, then you’re telling him that he’s wrong. And men hate to be wrong. ;)

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      Thanks for the sweet and wise words. I appreciate the thoughts you’ve shared in regards to loving our own bodies. It’s so true that it can be such an elusive thing and that’s really unfortunate. I’m working on loving my body regardless and it’s nice to be able to hear that other women have had similar struggles and also that they’ve worked through them.

  6. I love that coat. You should make if fit the non pregnant you as you’ll get loads of wear out of it.. even if you do have another baby, you could still only wear it for a short period. Love it.

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      Thanks! It would be a lot of work as I pretty much would have to rip the whole coat apart and then sew it all together again, but I think it may be worth it. I’ll add it to my project list for this spring!

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