2017 Year End Sewing Review

Hello Readers,

Today I wanted to look back over my sewing from the last 12 months. It’s been another great year of productivity and making clothes that I enjoy wearing. This was the year that I went back to work after a 5 year hiatus and it doesn’t seem to have slowed me down too much 🙂 I have said it before, but I so enjoy wearing clothes that fit me better than anything I could buy RTW. I am getting older but with that comes more confidence in my style choices and fabric selections. Before I started to make my own clothes, probably 90% of my wardrobe would have been polyester, but now I luxuriate in being able to wear more natural fibres.

Here’s a list of things I blogged about:

  • 10 dresses
  • 12 tops
  • 3 skirts
  • 3 pairs of trousers, 1 pair of leggings and 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 jackets (1 blazer, 1 trench coat and 1 utility style jacket)
  • 2 coats
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 Indian outfit
  • A dress and a top for Kezia and a pair of jeans for Philip

Not blogged about, there is still a boiled wool sweatshirt, a sweatshirt dress and yesterday I finished up a wool jersey jacket (you can see all of them over on Instagram if you can’t wait for the blog posts). There was also a baby quilt, a secret Santa gift, a couple of zippered pouches and I am sure other small things which haven’t made it to the blog.

Here are some of my personal highlights:


Butterick 6384 red mohair wool robe coat with shawl collar

I feel amazing everytime I wear this coat, and believe me, I have already worn it lots. Its so cosy and warm and the statement red just makes me feel happy.


Burdastyle Draped Dress (Plus Size) 08/2016#131 Red Wool Crepe Dress

The same applies to this dress. I wore it for a valentines day date with Philip and it was…ok…but then I wore it for a meeting at work and felt brilliant wearing it. Total confidence booster.


Vogue 8849 and Butterick 6179 Indian Lengha Gown

My Indian Lengha Gown that I slaved over to wear to a wedding in the States. Best fitting Indian outfit I own.


Simplicity 8295 linen tunic with eyelet and front lacing detail and stone coloured Closet Case Ginger Skinny Jeans

This linen tunic top: yes it rumples and creases but I just feel so cool wearing it, and it is perfect for (rare) hot weather spells. Also, I am just so happy that I have trousers in my wardrobe that fit me!

A couple of things which didn’t work quite as well:


Vogue 8882 custom printed satin skirt worn with McCalls 6886 (modified) cropped fitted sweater

This whole outfit. I let the skirt hang, trimmed it, hemmed it, and then when I went to take it out of the wardrobe it had stretched out more….I have never worn the top either. The skirt has already been donated.


Pauline Alice Aldaia Dress

You may be surprised to see this dress in my “misses” list, but hear me out. This is a great pattern and one which I definitely want to make again. I loved this dress but the reason it is on this list is because the instructions don’t make mention of, and I failed to do it myself, stabilising the waist to avoid over stretching. That’s a 6 gore skirt hanging off the waistline and I have found the dress has stretched out. So I will make another one, but will definitely add clear elastic to the waist. Sigh.

Other highlights from this year I have to mention:

  • Being featured in Love Sewing Magazine, modeling a blouse I had made, using the featured pattern that was included in that months issue. It was quite the experience visiting the studios and having a professional makeup artist and photography shoot.

McCalls 7094 open back top

  • Being shortlisted as dressmaker of the year for the coat I made for Kezia last year. I didn’t win, but it was still an honour to make the shortlist. Just yesterday I took that coat out of the cloakroom and put it away (it’s too small now). I guess it’s one to pass on to the grandchildren 🙂

Vogue 9043 DIY Linton Tweed Girls Flared Coat


All that remains for me to say is, as ever, thanks for joining me on the ride. I truly appreciate all of your likes, comments, questions and advice. I wish you all a prosperous, healthy, happy and contented 2018. May your bobbins always be full, your fitting challenges conquered and your dream handmade wardrobe achieved!

See you next year!





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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 projects....now everyone can get to see mine.

29 responses to “2017 Year End Sewing Review”

  1. Pamela H. says :

    Happy New Year! You are very modest, as you had so many great makes this year. The floral twill jacket and suit made with Spoonflower fabric was very memorable for me. You previously stated it was unlikely they would be worn together. What happened there? Several viewers (myself included) thought the outfit as a whole was very chic. I hope you were able to incorporate both pieces into your wardrobe.

    Lastly, thanks for the sewing delights you presented throughout the year. I found myself inspired by many of your completed garments, and appreciate your willingness to share detail on construction.

    • sewmanju says :

      Hey Pamela, whilst I didn’t wear the outfit as a suit, I did wear both pieces as separates. The trousers in particular have been worn lots. Happy new year!

  2. stitchedupsam says :

    You look so incredibly glamorous in that red coat! I always love seeing what you’ve made and its great to hear that you love wearing the things you make as much as you love making them.

  3. notsewsimple says :

    The red coat is amazing – I was hoping to make another coat this year but it didn’t happen – so its on my list for 2018!


  4. Diane G @dreamcutsew says :

    I saw that fab red coat in person! What a great year you had. Lovely makes. Happy New Year Manju x

  5. barb says :

    Happy New Year thanks for sharing your sewing projects wishing you and your family the best in 2018

  6. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) says :

    Happy new year! love all your creations especially the red coat, that is fabulous.

  7. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas says :

    Woo Hoo…a fabulous round up! Looking forward to being inspired by your makes next year!

    Happy New Year!

  8. Miss Celie says :

    What a great summary. I love your style and it’s been fun getting to know you!

  9. diaryofasewingfanatic says :

    You had an amazing year and you look good in red too!!! Here’s to an amazing 2018 full of sewing adventures and wonderful times with your family.

  10. Donnalee says :

    Such a lot of great work! I especially love the Lengha gown and think you look great in it–good for you. Best wishes and happy new year to you and your lovely family–I LOVE that you all look happy in the photos.

  11. Vanessa says :

    You have made SO many wonderful items for 2017!! I know you will continue to make more! Congrats on your Love Sewing inclusion–I think I have that issue! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  12. Trisha says :

    A very productive sewing year – Happy New Year!

  13. Jackie says :

    What an inspiration you are ! Ive loved sewing and dressmaking for some 40 years but I too, have experienced a few years of not really doing much due to issues in my personal life. But I’ve loved reading about what you’ve created and you have certainly fired up that spark in me again.

  14. Ugochi Fred says :

    I love your sewing, they are wonderful

  15. Ugochi Fred says :

    Nice ideas

  16. JenL says :

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog this year. Happy New Year!

  17. Tomasa says :

    You have most definitely had a production year! Beautiful garments and red suits you beautifully. Happy New Year!

  18. Marianne says :

    Beautiful summary. Somehow I missed your Indian outfit, it’s so pretty! Happy New Year!

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