My Sewing in 2016: a look back and some things you might have missed

Hi Friends,

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

I actually still have 2 unblogged items that I completed this year but I am not going to rush into blogging those before the year end. Instead, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the items I have made this year and also share some items that those of you who are not on Instagram might have missed (because I felt they were not worthy of a blog post of their own).

It’s been another great year of sewing for me. I feel like my skills are improving and I am getting more practised at refining the fit of garments – that’s not to say I always get it right – because I don’t! I think I am also more confident in my own sense of style and picking patterns that I think might work on my body shape etc. So all in all, 2016 was a successful year for me.

Here is the complete breakdown (not including the two unblogged items) with some pictures of things that have appeared on the blog before, as well as some pictures of items I shared on my Instagram account.

  • 4 coats – including one for Kezia. These are probably my most favourite items of all the things I have sewn. I have to wear a coat of some kind most days for at least 9 – 10 months of the year and reaching for these items makes me happy. I really enjoy coat making.


  • 2 blazers – both huge learning curves for me. One was a hand tailored wool blazer and one was a wool ponte blazer constructed using fusible interfacings.
  • 2 jackets – one made from Linton tweed and fully lined (that was worn lots when travelling on planes in America) and one unlined kimono style.
  • 3 pairs of pull on jeans made using the Jalie Elenore pattern (my red pair got worn loads – see below for picture. My black pair are in the donate pile – fabric didn’t have enough stretch to make them comfortable).
  • 3 pairs of pants made using Simplicity 1167 – this pattern has become my go to pants pattern – for now. So proud of myself for making pants that fit ME!

Simplicity 1167 pants

  • 2 pairs of culotte style trousers.
  • 2 skirts, both made using Simplicity 8019. I made a version in suede leather and then this (unblogged) denim version, which has gotten a fair amount of wear.

Simplicity 8019 denim button front skirt worn with plaid Grainline Archer shirt

  • 1 pair of workout leggings
  • 5 shirts – including one made for Philip’s big birthday and a floral Grainline Archer made for myself from some soft cotton voile type fabric I purchased a few years ago in Paris that I LOVE wearing.

McCalls 6613 striped shirt


McCalls 6613 striped shirt


Grainline Archer floral shirt worn with Jalie Eleonore pull on jeans

  • 11 further tops/ blouses/ workout top, including this modified McCalls 6886 breton style top. Sadly this has also just gone into the donate pile on account of the fabric not washing very well. It’s a shame as I LOVE the first breton top I made using this pattern and it still gets regularly worn (in a black and white stripe). Need to find the perfect fabric to make more!

McCalls 6886 modified into colour block yoke breton style top

  • 2 cardigans
  • 4 shirt dresses


  • 6 further dresses – one of which was a wadder. The wadder was  my attempt at turning the True Bias Sutton blouse into a dress with an elasticated waist. I made the top part way too blousey and I ended  up chopping the dress apart before giving up on it completely.



True Bias Sutton Dress – wadder!

  • A gymnastics outfit for Kezia

Erbsenprinzessin leotard – fabric purchased from Spandex house, NYC


Erbsenprinzessin leotard (modified) and e+m leggings (modified to shorts)

  • 2 pairs of cotton pyjamas – made using Simplicity 2317. These have been washed and worn and washed and worn. I hope to make more (and more luxurious) versions next year.

Two versions of OOP Simplicity 2317

  • 2 refashions: a blouse of mine which I no longer wanted refashioned into a top for Kezia and a denim peplum jacket made from 2 pairs of old jeans.

Refashioned top into a top for kezia

  • 1 baby dress and pantaloons

Phew! Quite the list. I am proud and happy of all I have achieved this year 🙂

What does 2017 hold? I am not one to tie myself down with challenges/ resolutions or even firm plans. I like to run wild and free, haha. But….

  • More coats: a waterproof Kelly anorak, a trench coat of some kind and another blazer (still need to find my perfect one in terms of fit and style!)
  • Workout tops in the supplex I purchased in America this year
  • More pants! Maybe another pattern?
  • Feel like I need some new tops to freshen my wardrobe up.

Not going to think beyond that. I like to draw up a more specific list up about 3 or 4 times a year and edit as I go along.

So all that remains is for me to say a huge THANK YOU to all of my followers and to all of you who read my blog and comment. It’s great to be part of this community and also it was great to meet some of you in real life and make new friends. Actually, that’s something I hope I get more chance to do next year. I wish all of you health, happiness, peace and prosperity for the new year. Happy and fruitful sewing!





Tags: , , , ,

About sewmanju

I love to shop, but I also love to sew my own clothes, and am currently on a mission to improve my (fairly basic) dressmaking skills. I confess to going into shops and being outraged at the prices of some (not very well made) garments (is it an age thing?) and think "huh, I could make some thing at least as good as that for less" (is it something to do with coming from the Indian subcontinent?) So this blog details my sewing endeavours, both good and bad....I love to nosey through other people's sewing everyone can get to see mine.

43 responses to “My Sewing in 2016: a look back and some things you might have missed”

  1. Janet Hasselblad says :

    I am blown away by your productivity and skills. Amazing. How big is your closet?!? What a beautiful and impressive collection of clothes. Fantastic job!

  2. Lucy says :

    It is wonderful to see you projects in one post. You have every reason to be proud of your accomplishments. You inspire me with your pattern and fabric choices. I look forward to seeing what the New Year will bring in the way of sewing. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2017!

  3. Kathy says :

    OMG. How do you do it? I can’t believe how much you’ve sewn this year! Wonderful I’m inspired to try the Jalie pull on jeans. I really want to try that pattern and I know those jeans will fit my lifestyle.

  4. JenL says :

    Wow – it’s been a great sewing year for you!

  5. Carol says :

    Wow! What a great sense of style you have and how lucky your family is to have such an accomplished sewist in the house. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family.🎉🍾

  6. Lori says :

    Wow, what a productive year you have had and all your garments are amazing.

  7. crab and bee says :

    Your handmade wardrobe is amazing – lots of variety in color, prints, garments but it all seems to work together. I enjoyed following along on your journey this year!

  8. carebearsmall says :

    My favorites? The blue and white dress looks gorgeous on you. I also love the solid green dress.

    Great work on everything! You inspire me.

  9. Vanessa says :

    You have made so many amazing things!!! I love your coats too, and I have the Kelly anorak on my list as well. I look forward to what you will sew up in 2017.

  10. stitchedupsam says :

    You’ve had such a productive year, and have made some fabulous things. You always pick things that are totally “you” as well. My favourites are the velvet top and the Simplicity brocade trousers to go with it.

  11. Rosa Andrew says :

    Thank you for sharing all your lovely makes, and inspiring us to make our own. looking forward to seeing your next year of makes x

  12. Karylen says :

    J’aime beaucoup ce que vous faites! Un grand bravo pour tout ce que vous avez confectionné cette année et j’ai hâte de voir les prochains projets!
    Je vous souhaite une bonne fin d’année!

  13. SewSouthLondon says :

    I read this post with complete wonder – what an incredible range of clothes. Even your wadder True Bias dress looked lovely in the picture. Happy New Year! I look forward to next year’s projects.

  14. Mags says :

    Wow amazing achievement so many successes. The shirt dresses are probably my favourites.

  15. KS Sews says :

    What a fantastic year Manju! You’ve made some amazing garments and they fit beautifully. And your baby’s coat is a stunning little thing. Happy New Year!!

  16. Sew Sarah Smith says :

    Such productivity and some fantastic makes! I hope you’re feeling v. proud! X

  17. amcclure2014 says :

    You’ve had a very productive and successful year with lots of excellent makes. I don’t use Instagram though I have an account. Happy New Year!

  18. Faye Lewis says :

    Spectacular sewing year!

  19. Sew Jean Margaret says :

    Wow! You have made some awesome garments this year Manju. Congratulations on such a successful sewing year. All the best for 2017.

  20. Mads (lifeinamadshouse) says :

    You certainly had a great year: you should be very proud! Your coats are especially lovely, and you get so much wear out of them to boot! I hope that your plans for 2017 are successful and look forward to following along. =) Happy New Year!

  21. Carolyn says :

    You have had a great sewing year! Will be eagerly following your sewing journey in 2017.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: