2017: highs, lows and in betweens

At last count I have made something like 44 articles of clothing this year, and a small number of other projects. This feels pretty mammoth, especially when you consider that for the first three months of the year I only made two items. So, it’s been productive.

I’m pretty shattered from a year that has felt like a kick in the ribs for much of it, so I have been a bit lax on the blogging front. But it is really nice to reflect on the year, plan some small goals for 2018 and have this recorded somewhere to look back on.

The Good

  • I really feel like my sewing has made a real leap this year. I feel more confident and my skills have improved.
  • I have made some things I really love and feel more proud of than any previous makes.
  • I also wear a lot of memade every day now, sometimes 3 garments. And for my last 4 big singing gigs, I have worn memade items. Win!

To buck the ‘Top 5’ hashtag, here are my favourite makes of 2017 – there are eight of them:

Top Row L-R: Joker Shirt, Meissa Shirt, Matisshirt, Quinn Shirt 1

Bottom Row: Quinn Shirt 2, Self drafted dress

Talvikki Sweatshirt ^^ (probably most worn item of the year)

Second pair of Lander pants – below.

The Bad

I had some misses this year too, but only four really disappointing ones.

My Alpi Chinos did not fit. I think I’m giving up on this pattern and going to get the Closet Case Sasha pants as that’s really the fit I was after with these. The first of my Skipper Tunics was a bit meh and a skirt as yet unfinished and unblogged that I was making for my SWAP will be taken apart and (perhaps) remade. Also this top didn’t make the cut as it was just too *not right* in the fit.

But overall, not bad odds there.


Recently I made a spreadsheet of all my 2017 makes (I couldn’t all fit into a screen shot). It was great to look at everything all laid out, and notice some trends.


Some things I noticed were:

  • 80% made with secondhand fabric – YES!
  • Made clothes I am actually wearing – mostly
  • Named Clothing patterns were top of the list
  • Mostly made tops – this has been a great boost to my wardrobe
  • Not enough pants made. I wear pants just about every day and still don’t make them often enough.
  • I made too many things. As much as I love sewing, I don’t need this many new items of clothing a year.

Plans for 2018

The question of quantity is a hard one for me. Sewing is my hobby and relaxation so I want to do it every weekend minimum. But then I start to feel a bit sick about how much I have. Some solutions I am considering:

  • Make more difficult items with a higher level of finishing. For instance like the cherry blossom dress I made.
  • Make clothes for Alex (and other people) more. This year he has had one pair of shorts, and I am hoping to make him another pair before year’s end.
  • Make non clothing things. I have approached a local shop that specialises in “everyday New Zealand made items” to see if they would like to sell napkins/handkerchiefs made from off cuts from my garment sewing and they seem keen. So that’s exciting!

Other plans include:

  • Work on a garment per month goal – take my time, sew more mindfully and make small items that aren’t clothes at the same time
  • Make at least 50% of the items I make pants – I know I won’t regret this!
  • Continue to work on my SWAP sewing – I’m about half way through this

And some specific plans:

  • I’ve purchased my first ever Craftsy course. It’s on drafting a pants sloper. Really looking forward to getting into this over my summer break.
  • I have the pattern and an old dress to make into the Collins Top by In the Folds. I have looked at this pattern so many times over the last three months and I’ve finally bitten the bullet.
  • I have grey denim washed and set aside for a pair of Pinda Pants by Waffle Patterns. My grey jeans have started dying and as I wore them to work a bit this year, it would be good to replace them. I haven’t seen too many iterations of this pattern made up, and I won’t be adding all the pockets, but I do think they are jeans that look less like jeans than a lot of other patterns, which is great for work.
  • I have the Sew House Seven Toaster Sweater 1 and the Blueprints for Sewing Geodesic patterns. I lived in my sweatshirts this year and know it will be great to have another couple of options there.
  • I want to make an anorak from some incredible fabric in my stash for this. I’m thinking the Waffle Patterns Pepernoot pattern as my sister already owns it and has made it. But I’m open to suggestions.
  • Closet Case Sasha Trousers and Victory Patterns Esther pants are on my pattern wish list. However maybe after my Craftsy course I won’t need to buy pants patterns ever again… kidding of course!

Have a wonderful Christmas friends out there in blogging land. Thanks for all your kindness and support this year – much appreciated. ❤






25 thoughts on “2017: highs, lows and in betweens

  1. I have all the Craftsy sloper classes too! I feel like we need a hashtag, or support group, or something as we take it on! lol

    I love you spreadsheet. I should really do that. I know I sew a ton, but being I only blog a small fraction, I should really track it all so I don’t sit here and wonder what I made all year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really nice way to keep track. Usually I just write it all down in a notebook. I will start a new tab for 2018 so I can do year by year comparisons.
      Have you started your Craftsy course yet? And for sure there should be a hashtag AND support group!!


  2. Well speaking from the opposite side of the spectrum (as someone who writes lots and sews much less :)), I am impressed. Oddly, however, I am not disappointed in my trajectory this year. I guess we all have our own paths to follow. I”m sure you will figure out the right balance for you between enjoying your hobby and filling wardrobe needs.

    I especially love those Lander pants and look forward to seeing your parade of pants next year (if you feel like blogging them).

    A happy, healthy end to the year and all the best for the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PS Something that Lesley suggested to me recently really struck a chord – pick some plans for specific items, stick with them, and personalize the items. You have already done that with many of your pieces but it struck me that that is great advice for slow sewing in general. I know it will take me time to follow through.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, this is a fantastic plan. Certainly the fabric painting has been doing that this year for sure. But I think going slower in general is my current (and ongoing) challenge. Have a wonderful Christmas too xxx


  3. Great round up of your year – good to see your top makes again (esp those Lander pants *heart eyes*). That sloper class should help with all those pants patterns you’re definitely not going to buy, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really interesting to see your year in review Naomi – there are some much coveted pieces in that lot. I luuurve those trousers – the ‘double breasted ones’ you hope to make. But I’ve put off buying the pattern because I should be able to patternmake them myself, then I hesitate and luckily found a pattern in Burda mag. I’ll be in Queenstown 1-6 Jan if you need pant slipper fitting assistance!! Heck it’s just down the (long) road from you Naomi! I have no clue how many items I’ve made this year, but I do know that I blogged about 5% of them!! Happy Merries as my Dad would say, Santa has something definitively ‘white good’ in his sack for me! X PS Tavlikki is my fave of yours this year, joyous colour, bloody excellent print!


    1. Thanks Lesley. Yes those Esther pants are lovely, and possibly I should just have a play at drafting them myself too, it would certainly make for a slower process. What a shame I’m not heading to Queenstown over January – it would have been SO nice to meet you IRL… next time 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, and have a wonderful Christmas & New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’ve made some really lovely garments this year, Naomi. As a fellow shirt lover I can’t narrow them down, they are all my favourites! I recently made pants from the latest Ottobre women magazine and they are basically the CC Sasha with a better fit IMO (the Sasha does have some front and back wedgie action if you look close enough!). You can buy the mags individually from their Etsy store or website if you want to try.

    Thanks for your support and friendship this year! I always enjoy reading your blog and your comments on mine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Siobhan! Interesting re the pants. I love the version Handmade by Caroline made, but on looking at the pattern on the CC website, I was less inclined to make them. The version from Ottobre – is that the one with the elastic in the back waist? Does it have a fly front? Would be keen to try their patterns for sure!


      1. Thanks! Some *very interesting styling* going on in this mag!!! 😀 Love to see your finished versions. Have you ever blogged or IGd them?


      2. The only real style difference I can tell between them and the Sasha is that the Ottobre pants don’t have back welt pockets, and the button is exposed rather than hidden (easy fix!).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I always appreciate your blogging regardless of its frequency. Your eye for patterns and tops is inspiring and you’ve made me re-evaluate my sewing plans.
    Happy Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You’ve been so productive this year, and I, for one, am thrilled with whatever you choose to share with all of us! I’m envious of your trouser accomplishments and would like to emulate that. Your joker shirt and quinn shirt are by far my favorites, but all of your makes are great. I also have alot of TOPS in my wardrobe as they are irresistable!! What can you do when there are so many cool patterns and fabrics?? I love your spreadsheet, maybe I’ll copy you next year. Best wishes for a fabulous holiday and new year……

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda! I am always very impressed with your productivity and so many awesome tops I would love to steal. 2018 will be year of the pants I am determined, 2017 has definitely sorted me for tops I feel. (Although just about to cut out the Collins Top :D)

      Liked by 1 person

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