2016 Round Up

Wow what a year 2016 has been! I started the year open minded and wanted to try new things, particularly for my wardrobe. There were a few EPIC fails but more winners than not so I’m happy with that.

My personal life has been eventful too! I got engaged on 29th February with our engagement party taking place in August. But my fiancé had a motorbike accident at the beginning of May and damaged a main ligament in his knee. Thankfully he healed really quickly and was walking again within a few months.

A few other negative events have happened but I’m not able to talk about those yet. Things are still playing out so I’m just hoping it’ll work out for the best. Keep your fingers crossed!

Anyway, back to my wardrobe! You may remember I signed up to the Mega Maker Challenge back in January. I started out with good intentions, even planned what to make up until July. I mostly stuck to this until April when I got ill. I was supposed to make the Arielle skirt by Tilly and the Buttons, I still haven’t made it…

When I got better from the virus, it was like a switch had flipped and I had a new outlook for what I wanted from my wardrobe – for it to be interchangeable so I can wear whatever I want any day of the week, to be comfortable, look cute and “put together” whilst not flouting the smart/casual dress code at work.

My most successful makes that get loooaaaaaaads of wear are:

My Jersey Bettine Dress


I loooooove this dress! I did wear it every week until I made my walkley dresses so now I wear the bettine every other week – ha ha! It’s incredibly comfortable and I get the most compliments when I wear it.

Two Jersey Bettine Tshirts


Also incredibly comfortable and they go with anything so they are a real wardrobe staple for me. I really need to make some more!

My Second and Third Burda 6846 Jumpers


The second one gets a lot of wear even though it’s not perfect. The third one is a favourite for sure.

Two Coco Jumpers


The grey one is a bit better than the purple but both get loads of wear. Next year I plan to make a fleece one then I’ll be really snuggly and warm in the winter.

The Erin skirt


OMG I LOVE THIS SKIRT!! I’ve got 3 more in the pipeline, nuff said.

Two Walkley Dresses


Yup, they get worn every week and I have fabric for a third. I just need to tweak the pattern again to get the neckline and armholes to fit better. Then I’ll have a pattern that fits and any future dresses will be extremely quick to make.

So onto the (EPIC) fails of the year:

My First Burda 6846 Jumper


This is a fail purely because of the issues I had with holes appearing next to the seams. It’s still sitting on top of Dolly, my mannequin, waiting for me to reinforce the seams.

The Jasmine Blouse


There were a few issues with this one, for instance the facing kept peeking out around the neckline even though I had stay stitched it. Overall, I just found it uncomfortable to wear, I had to keep rearranging it. I gave it to my sister to refashion as she pleases.

Two Bettine Dresses


Firstly my chambray bettine, this was the first time I’d used chambray and I’m not sure I picked the right weight for this pattern. I find it quite stiff and doesn’t really drape well.


I chose a lighter weight cotton for another bettine but again, it just doesn’t sit right. In all honesty, I think the bettine pattern is better for knit fabrics than woven but maybe that’s just because I haven’t found a woven that I like yet! I’m thinking of trying it with some viscose I’ve got in my stash, I’ll keep you posted on this.

Burda 6695 Top


The main reason this top is a fail is because the fabric is cheap shit! It shrinks smaller and smaller in EVERY bloody wash! I know I can be lazy and don’t always prewash my fabrics but how many prewashes would this need before it stops bloody shrinking??!! Such a shame because it was beautifully soft jersey and although I had a few problems making it, I liked the finished garment and I did wear it quite a bit until I realised the shrinking issue. No it’s not me getting fat – I weigh myself weekly so I know exactly what my weight is doing.

The Simple Sew Skater Dress


Wow – this one was so bad I didn’t even finish it or blog about it! I gave it to my sister to rescue and reuse the fabric. Basically WRONG fabric choice and the colour of the fabric was a LOT brighter (almost neon pink – yuck!) than it looked online. And because it was the wrong choice, it didn’t work very well with the pattern.


The pattern had some flaws too; the picture in the first step showed the making of the bodice darts but the wording said to sew the facings! I’m assuming I just had a dud misprint but such a bad mistake makes me lose all faith in the pattern. I also found the facings were too short for the neckline, I had to reduce the seam allowances at the shoulders of the facings to 1cm to make it fit! This dress was just frustration all over and I have no intentions of making another because it was such a negative experience for me.

Photography Course – A Year With My Camera

This project wasn’t an epic fail as I did learn a lot but there is still lots of work to be done here.

So back in January, I signed up to Emma Davies’ free course. She sends emails every Thursday with that week’s lesson and homework for you to do with your camera. I chose Flowers for my theme to carry throughout the year and turn into a collage at the end.

However, I quite quickly lost interest, especially when I realised you have to have a DSLR camera even though she says you don’t need one for her course. Well yes you do because you can’t control shutter speed on a phone or as it turns out, my Lumix compact camera.

Most of my most successful photos were taken on my phone, a Samsung Galaxy A3 – amazing camera, the settings really impressed my dad who is waaaay more into photography than I am.

I also did really well when me and dad went to Westonbirt Arboretum and played with my Lumix. Here are some of my favourite pictures from that day.


I have found it difficult to transfer what I have learnt from this course to taking pictures of my me-made clothes. It also doesn’t help that I’m a reeeally awkward model! In my opinion, this is the only successful photo I have taken of me in something me-made.


Anyway, here is a collage of my favourite photos from A Year With My Camera.


So there is still a lot of work to do on my interchangeable wardrobe but I’m a lot closer to my goal than I was 12 months ago so I’m pleased. Going into 2017, I think I will focus more on my wardrobe staples. Also, I have signed up to the Sew My Style project which is being hosted by Bluebird Fabrics. It’s about raising awareness of the slow fashion movement and inspiring women to take up sewing. I’m really looking forward to it!


I hope 2016 has treated you all well and I’d love to know what your plans are for 2017? Have you signed up to the Sew My Style project? Or is there another project that’s caught your fancy – do tell!


8 thoughts on “2016 Round Up”

  1. That’s a lot of sewing! Loving the walkley dresses. Think I might have to get that pattern for some work wear. Definitely a contender for the #wardrobebuilder project.
    Re Fabric for bettine… The John Kaldor polyester I used worked really well. It had a good weight and drape for the dress. Very tempted now by jersey versions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – I didn’t realise how much I’d made until I reviewed it all! Funny really because I want to be more productive this year!

      Thanks, I’m glad you like them, I absolutely must make walkley number 3 this spring! It’s a Make It Yourself pattern from Wendy Ward.

      Oooh, thanks for telling me that, I’ll have to check out John Kaldor polyester fabrics for sure. I’ve also got some viscose I want to try.


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