2018 Reflections

Hard to believe we are already into 2019, and before much more time goes by I wanted to try and wrap-up 2018.   Overall 2018 was a good year for me.
 Faux Fur Jacket, Top, Skirt
It felt like the year began a little sluggishly until I found my footing with BurdaStyle magazine patterns.  The Burda Challenge 2018 worked well for me and not only did I make 12 new Burda garments but found sewing with those patterns and instructions, or lack thereof!, really helped my skillset grow.  Confidence too.  Their patterns fit me with little modifications.  I will definitely continue to sew more Burda patterns.

Ottobre was another favorite this year.  This designer's patterns also fit me well straight off the page.  My Easter Dress and accompanying little Jacket have the best fit I've ever achieved in a sheath dress and accompanying jacket.  7 Ottobre garments were made this year.
A project I enjoyed immensely was Kate at Fabrickated's 'Dress Like Frida Sewalong'.   A project that truth-be-known I was not interested in at all..... became one of my most favorite learning experiences of all this year.  A Humanities Class of learning all wrapped up in a top and skirt.  So very much enjoyed learning about Frida Kahlo, the artist.... her life and her art.  Achieved a top that's been worn constantly and a suede Big Valley type skirt that is only just now beginning to see wear.
Ode to Frida Kahlo - the story in dress
An interesting project, enjoyable to make but has rarely been worn was from another sewing challenge begun with lackluster enthusiasm to support a couple of my IG friends #SewingSansFrontieres using a free 'pattern' of measured rectangles.  I want to like this dress but the reality is that it is not comfortable to wear as the neck pulls up and the hemline looks wonky in the front, yet registers 'even' when I try to correct it.
Stitch Sisters Free Caftan
Another IG challenge I enjoyed was #sewtogetherforsummer.  At first I was not going to participate until I realized Ottobre's Faux Wrap dress was in the queue, and this challenge's prompt was a wrap dress.  Win!  This dress is a fun little summer dress to wear.   Seems I have a little trouble getting excited about sewing challenges, and then enjoy them once I'm on board!
Not sure I ever showed this on the blog, but #sewingagogo IG's challenge one week (that's another challenge that was fun!) was "wild at heart" and this is just about as 'wild' as I get these days as I'd just returned from a workout at my local YMCA and thought the 'wildness' was quite clever. ;)  Ha!  Quote from my IG page:

  • 1) my daughter informs me that in the sea of black and gray workout pants, my leggings are pretty wild. Yep. True! ๐Ÿ˜
  • 2) For this #over50 gal ‘Journey’ is my exercise playlist, complete with wireless Skullcandy earbuds. I have a ๐Ÿ’€ in my ๐Ÿ‘‚ and still love classic rock ‘n roll! ๐Ÿ˜
  • 3) The ponytail is crooked and glad IG doesn’t have smellavision. ๐Ÿคฃ

Top, Leggings
Overall I participated in 8 sewing challenges during 2018 between here, on the blog, and IG.  'Make a Garment a Month Challenge' is always at the top of the list as I consider Sarah Liz a dear friend and whose lovely challenge I've been a part of since 2013.  She's mixing things up for 2019 and am excited about the new changes. 
Another biggie that I always look forward to is Me-Made-May and 2018 marked my 5th year there.  THAT was always a huge goal of mine to 'someday' be able to do, back in the beginning days of making my clothes, and this year there were very few repeats (Yay!!) and a photo every day.  You can review all that in Days 1-15 here, and Days 16-31 here if you like.
In the middle of my social media break, my sweet friend Ellen, from Ellen's Sewing Passion, asked if I'd participate in her 2018 Sewing Advent Calendar she was hosting at her blog.  She would be featuring one of her international sewing friends on each day of December.  I could not say 'Yes!' fast enough!!!  I've admired Ellen and her awesomely creative work for years now and the idea that she would think of me as a friend just sort of blew me away.  If you are not familiar with her, please check out her blog to see all her amazing creations.  She lives in Norway and was part of Norway's televised Sewing Bee.  The majority of her work uses Burda patterns..... with some Japanese draping techniques she's learned.  She's also been doing quite a bit of refashioning lately and it's amazing how she pulls those together.  Let's just say I'd love to own her closet!!!  Anyway I'm on Day 20 if you'd like to check that out.  :)
Then sometime during 2018 LifeStride Shoes picked up one of my photos and ran it on all their social media outlets.  I.was.floored!!!  I really appreciate how LifeStride supports their consumers in this fun way.  Btw, these Parigi Pumps were purchased a few years ago and they really are the comfiest, nicest pumps to wear.
Top, Skirt (unblogged still)
And my entire 2018 Gallery of Work can be found here for those interested.  Well, pretty much all the garments I've made and blogged about are there. 

A rabbit trail of projects began when the weather began to change and my hands would get sooooo cold.  When my hands get cold, I'm cold all over.... and eventually I became so miserable I looked into the makings of a rice pack.  An afternoon was all it took to make a couple of rice packs for myself out of 100% cotton flannel, filled with long-grain white rice.  And boy why did I wait so long!! Microwave for @1 minute and you've got moist heat that lasts a lot longer than one might think.  These are fun to make and as Christmas drew near, thought they'd make great Christmas presents.
And that's what happened when I took my little social media break..... 'making'.  Making all sorts of non-garment stuff.  Dog collars, leashes, key fobs, and rice packs for gifts.  Not to mention baking goodies to put in those long-distance gift boxes too.
Made around 10.... probably more.... of these rice packs, below.  These measure 6" x 12", are out of 100% cotton flannel and filled with white long-grain rice that had Peppermint Oil added.  It was fun to use some of my decorative stitches for the channels.
A super fun dog collar(s), leash(es) and key fob(s) set to make, below, went to my college roommate so her pups could show their school spirit.  I made a couple of other seasonal sets for family member's pups and bad blogger that I am.... neglected to take any photos.
Also sometime in there I was asked by Suzi's groomer if I could make her face masks out of fabric.  She is allergic to dog dander and was tired of using the paper ones readily available and was having trouble sourcing ones made of fabric.  At first it took me a bit to figure things out, and kind of 'over-thought' fabric content vs. usefulness..... but in the end made her around 10 or more out of 100% cotton fabric lined with same.  Such a fiddley, fiddley project but she loves them and uses them and it was a wonderful feeling to be able to provide her with something she really needed.  It was fun to order the doggie fabric from an Etsy supplier who was so nice that once she found out I needed such small pieces of fabric, she threw in her doggie scrap prints for free.  Hair elastics were finally decided upon as 'perfect' for the ear elastic.  I may write a blog post at some time as others might be interested to see how these were done.  We'll see. 
These 2 Melly Sews Blank Slate Patterns free t-shirt pattern below, were made and never blogged.  She does her free patterns a little different in that after you subscribe to her e-mail newsletter, she sends you a link to access the pattern.  No problem there.  But her free patterns are only sized to her body measurements and the instructions are all in a YouTube video.  Not written/illustrated out per se.  The way she has you apply the V-neck facing was a little different.  Again, no problem, but I had to keep stopping and starting the video to work through those steps.  Also, my measurements are pretty much the same as hers.... but she must be reeeaaallllly teeny tiny as my first version was too small.  More like an XS.  Thinking it just needed a bit of tweaking and all would be good, the second one is also too small.  More like a S.  In the end not sure if I'll make this again as it seems with more analysis, the width from the neckline to the shoulder seams are super narrow and now you're getting into modifying the pattern in a way I'm not sure I want to do when there are other T-shirt patterns in le pattern stash.  So we shall call these a learning opportunity.
Anyway, back to the 2018 Summary.  Kind of got a little fancy this year with a chart, so you can better see how the year worked out.  A total of 33 garments were made and that is comparable to 2017.  Kind of surprised as thought I'd made more this year.  Maybe it's because 37 non-garments makes were made that kept me pretty busy?!  ;)

Burda Magazine
Ottobre Design Woman
Itch to Stitch
Stitch Sisters
Blank Slate T-shirts
Non-Garment Makes



Dog Collars
Dog Leashes
Key Fobs
Face Masks
Rice Packs
But what I most want to share with all of you, is a very grateful Thank You.  Thank You for reading along and being a part of this amazing journey.  Sewing is a hobby for me and little did I know, 5 short years ago, that it would bring me such Joy in unique opportunities and precious friendships all over the world.  It is so much a part of my life, I cannot see myself wearing anything but handmade garments now. 
Top, Shorts
I'll be back soon with plans for 2019.
Atop Sassafras Mountain. South Carolina's highest peak.
rtw jacket, AC inspired top underneath, Ottobre pants
Happy Sewing All!  :)


  1. You sew many lovely clothes and I love seeing the scenery of where you live. Your ottobre sheath dresses inspired me to buy a back cooy of that magazine.

  2. Wow, quite the year Lisa. You did yourself proud! what fabulous makes all year. Looking forward to following along in 2019 xx

  3. Enjoyed reading your summary, Lisa. No quilt in 2018? You did yourself proud with your garments and your gifts. I particularly loved reading about the face masks for the dog groomer. You could probably market those! It would certainly cut down on waste generated by the throw away paper masks.

    Onto 2019!

  4. My goodness, you had a very productive year - 23 garments...that's just under one a fortnight! I bet you never imagined a few years ago that you would manage that. And then all your other lovely makes as well. Thank you too for your lovely comment about our MAGAM challenge - can't believe myself that we are still going and getting more participants. Looking forward to seeing your makes next year here and on IG. And your beautiful photographs too - always such nice scenery.

  5. How productive you were, Lisa! I hadn‘t realized before how many challenges you have mastered. I like that you made such a multitude of not only pretty but also very useful garments. Your very beautiful pictures and lovely posts were always enjoyable. Thank you so much for sharing and wishing you a happy new sewing year, Lisa!

  6. This is one of the best roundups I've read so far. You had an amazing year of sewing and making, as well as acquiring lots of new skills. Well done!

  7. I really enjoyed reading your retrospective! And I remembered that I have been wanting to tell you that I live very close to the Burda headquarters, just so you know! :D I'm still not a fan I have to admit. But I'm happy for you that you found a pattern company you like so much :) All your makes were very inspiring, thank you for taking the time and writing about them!
    I'm wishing you a happy and creative 2019! :)


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa