A year in review: what I learned about slowing down, favourite sews, and what’s next

Ola lovelies! Happy New Year.

I know I’m a bit late to the year-in-review party, but in my defense, I’ve mostly been in my pjs eating Nutella and relaxing with my crew at home till now.

A big part of me thought I’d just skip this post, but I got a lot from 2016 (life wise – world events wise, well all I can say is a big meh).

I did a lot of learning about slowing down. I got to sew a lot of great patterns. And it really got me excited about 2017.

So get comfy, grab a cup of warm coffee and let’s get down to business ūüėČ

Me Made May handmade wardrobe review

My biggest lesson: what I learned about slowing down

This was the year I really pushed myself to slow down and sew with more intention.

I started to refine my planning process and develop my style to make sure my time was being spent on creating things I love to wear and that work for me.

It didn’t always work. I had to take some time off sewing at the end of summer – I was putting too much pressure on myself to sew All The Things. But in some ways that’s what I really needed. I took time out that I needed and came back with a stronger idea of how to plan better¬†and¬†be more focused with less.

I guess in the end, I just learned that¬†sometimes I need to step back from it all. And that’s just ok.


Oddly, despite my mantra of slowing down I actually got a lot done.

Which is obviously some kind of Jedi mind trick and/or I got more done because I stressed less, made less mistakes and had more focus.

Either way it was a big win.

Simplicity 1366 camisole handmade wardrobe with Sew Essential

If I had to ¬†best all time favourite makes of 2016 were camis. Both Simplicity 1366¬†and True Bias’ Ogden cami were big hits. I wore them All. The. Time. And I still wear my first navy version under sweaters. SO needless to say¬†I’m super keen to sew some more.

BEST of: favourite makes of 2016


Modified turtleneck – based on Kwik Sew 4069 I really love the slouchy, cool.girl French vibe this has going on. I totally sewed the neckband wrong, but it really taught me about owning my mistakes.

Fen dress – This was a quick and easy sew AND is a real staple in my wardrobe. I wear it ALL the time.

Button down Erin skirt – I really love this Sew Over It Erin skirt – made from their City Break ebook. I really, really enjoyed making this. It’s not 100% my current style, but I think that’s more to do with not knowing how to wear it in the cold weather cause I was wearing it all the time in the fall.


Jenna cardi – I modified this pattern for the Indiesew cardi week. It took a lot of planning, but I almost totally nailed the look I wanted (still not sure I got the collar right, but it’s 99% there – so that’s a win in my book)

DIY OTS dress – simple really. Had this in my head. DIYed the patter. Non-stop summer dress perfection.

Sarah shirt – I was a tester for the By Hand London girl’s Sarah shirt. Despite thinking it was a bit too flowy – I wear this at least once a week and it’s a perfect work shirt.

So what’s up for 2017…?

Well I’m still keen to explore that sweet spot of balance between slow fashion, a meaningful handmade wardrobe, and sewing with intention.

But I’m excited to plan a mix of¬†makes that I think will challenge me and fill a gap in my wardrobe. Plus I’m¬†pretty¬†keen to use a lot of what’s in my stash this year. I’ve already culled a lot so now it’s time to use it or lose it!


Watson bra – spoiler alert: this may already be ticked off the list. Will post soon alongside some great suppliers I’ve found for bra making.

Cleo dungarees – kinda thinking a navy corduroy pair would be the best thing ever

Some casual tees – I love the Union St tee, but am also feeling the Seamly tee pattern to change things up


Hudson pants/trousers – all my pairs have died, plus I desperately fancy a knit pair for lounging

Morgan jeans – I already have a pair cut and ready to go. Just. Need. Time.

Carolyn pjs – in some insane tropical print. Just for funsies.


Sophie swimsuit – I was a pattern tester for Heather and really loved making my version. Can’t wait to make a ‘proper’ one!

A relaxed button down – I have the Sew Over It Alex shirt from their city break collection in mind, but I could be tempted to make another Archer.

An underwire bra Рthe Malborough bra looks nice but would love your recommendations of you have any patterns on your radar.

And because to pin is to win – here’s a sum of all of these patterns in case you want to remember ūüėČ


I can pretty much straight up promise you this list is going to change about a bazillion times over the course of the year – but I think these are a good mix of aspirational and basic makes.

I’ve also been really interested in slow fashion and capsule wardrobes. I’d like to explore these on the blog a little more (but how to do it in a non-lame way is the real trick – would you be into a few posts on those topics, or should I just know my place?)


So, that a pretty full on post for our first week in 2017, eh?

I just wanted to end by saying thank you so much for hanging out with me on this little corner of the interweb in 2016. I hope you’ve gotten as much from it as I have. Thanks for sharing this journey with me – you guys really are a wealth of support and inspiration!


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  • Great post, I love this! I’m slowing down this year too, and reading your post has given me even more inspiration to make with purpose. Those cami’s…online now looking up the patterns!

    Thanks in advance ūüėČ

  • Ah, slowing down and being more intentional – I thought that was what I was doing in 2016, but there were still rather too many “meh” items made for my liking! But some good ones, too. I’ve mocked-up the Marlborough, using Norma’s instructions (no elastic to check the basic fit – genius!), and I really like it so far. Off to get some work done on it today!

  • You’ve made some amazing things, I love seeing your posts they give me lots of inspiration, thank you. I also need to slow down, I rush as I don’t get much time but then just feel stressed which really takes away from the joy of doing it. Look forward to seeing your 2017 makes, I love your plans, I like the idea of bra making but it scares the pants off me.

  • Looking forward to seeing your Watson! Bra sewing is on my radar this year and I have no clue where to start with supplies so can’t wait to see your tips!

  • I’ve always love reading your blog. Kudos to all the great things that are made in 2016. I’m also taking time to review my style and the direction to where my handmade wardrobe should go. I would love to read about your take on slow fashion and capsule wardrobe and I don’t ever think any perspective is lame as long as it works for you.