Sewing 2018 Review

I can not believe a whole year has passed since I decided to create a public Instagram account to share my sewing with the world.  It’s been an amazing year for sewing.  As for my personal life, not too amazing.  I’ve had such a difficult year this past year with a lot of losses in my life, that sewing has definitely helped me through.  I believe that the past year was difficult for many, in many different ways.  Let 2019 be a great one for us all!

Sewing has done more for me than I can  express.  My sewing room is my safe and happy place.  Not always clean and tidy, but it helps me through on the hard days.  I never knew that a craft or a hobby could emotionally support someone and guide them through.  A friend of mine texted me last night just to check up on me and make sure I was doing okay through these last few days.  She had asked if I was finding time to sew during the busy yet emotional Christmas season.  That meant a lot to me when she asked me specifically about sewing, because she knows that my sewing has helped me through the difficult times.

My sewing quality has changed drastically from a year ago.  I’m very proud of how far I have come.  I have my friends in the sewing community to thank for answering a lot of my questions and also the Burda Style course that I’m currently taking.

Some important points that I take away from my 2018 sewing journey is:

  • I’ve learned a little bit about fit, but I still have a lot to learn, which I wish to continue in 2019.  My friend helped me with pants fitting, and I learned a bit about small bust adjustments.  Fit is a whole new area to sewing that I would love to learn more about this new year.  I’d like to put more effort into making a toile first for certain projects, especially wovens.
  • I’ve learned that I am capable of sewing anything I put my mind to: jeans, lined jackets, jumpsuits and men’s dress shirts.
  • I’ve learned how to make a garment look beautiful on the inside through serging and hand stitching.

As I write this post, I’ve made a total of 37 items, such as a quilt, bags and garments.  I’ve had 1 failed make – I made a mistake on it and never got around to fixing it, but I did learn from my mistake.  I paired a rayon fabric with a cotton bias tape.  The cotton bias tape was too heavy for the rayon.  I will not make that mistake again.

My most worn items were:  The Joy Jacket (black), Halifax Hoodie (coral striped), Zoe Top (white embroidered) and the Yari Jumpsuit (tangerine).  I also wore on a weekly basis a Ready To Wear top that I made a copy of as seen below in the pink.




In 2019, I’d love to see more pants, learning more about fit and to take great quality blog photos.  I might share my sewing related Christmas gifts at a later date.  Maybe 2019 will be the year pants?  I believe 2018 was the year of jumpsuits for me.  Let’s make 2019 the year of pants, and yet I do not have a single pattern of pants in my make nine challenge.  Figure that one out?  Hopefully I can accomplish my make nine challenge plus add more pants to my wardrobe.

2018 was hard for many of us.  Here is wishing all of us happiness and health for 2019.  Let it be a great one!

Exactly one year ago today, at this hour my world came crashing down. 

December 27th, 2017  

“Grief never ends…  But it changes.  It’s a passage, not a place to stay.  Grief is not a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith…  It is the price of love.”  — Author Unknown

#2019makenine or #makenine2019

What ever the hashtag may be, I decided I want to try the make nine challenge for 2019.  For those of you who are not familiar with the make nine challenge, all it really is:  you pick out nine items you would like to make that year, and at the end of the year you let us know which of the nine you actually got around to making.  Simple.

Now for the hard part.  It was a tough list to compile, but here we have my list for the make nine challenge for myself.  Of course I made a list of all the items I wish to accomplish in 2019 and that list is well beyond 9 items.  I chose my top 9 items that I wish to tackle, some are items I wished to accomplish in 2018, but never had time to do so.  Or else, some are patterns that I’ve had on hand for a while now (Christmas quilt for example, since 2013).  I feel if I do not make these patterns a priority, then I’ll never get to them.  Those are some of the reasons why I chose these 9 for my challenge.  I will also try to schedule these nine items into the months I wish complete them (I will share my complete 2019 plans at a later time).



Here we have:

1. Closetcase Patterns – Kelly Anorak – I’ll be using a Grey Cotton Chino Twill from D&H Fabrics.

2. McCalls 7803 –  mix of view C and D.  I’ll be using a blue leaf viscose fabric from D&H Fabrics.

3. Blue Calla Patterns – Boronia Bag – I do not have fabric picked out just yet, but I have a rough idea.  I seen a photo of a Boronia Bag from a bag retreat that I absolutely fell in love with.

4. McCalls 7442 – view C or D.  No fabric picked out yet.

5. Deb Madir Designs – Holiday Sparkler Quilt –  I actually do not want to make the whole quilt, I want to make the wreath block and then hang it on my front door next Christmas.

6. Newlook 6688 – view A or B  for my daughter.  No fabric picked out yet.

7. Scrapbooking – I need to get caught up on some scrapbooks left unfinished.  I would also love to create a scrapbook for our dog that recently went to the Rainbow Bridge.

8. Simplicity 1280 – view B in a navy blue polka dot fabric from my stash.

9. Memory Quilt – for my mom made out of my dads shirts.  I’m feeling ready to tackle this project.

These are the top 9 out of my list of over 20 items I’d love to accomplish this next year coming up.  I tried my best to pick items that I could spread throughout the year rather than having all nine items to be completed during a particular time of the year.  I hope that I am able to stick to my plans and accomplish these projects.

What is one item you really want to make next year?  I’d love to hear, let me know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas!!!

“If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.” — Author Unknown

5 Sewing Techniques I’ve Learned in 2018

2018 was a huge game changer in my sewing.  I have noticed my sewing quality has improved so much this last year.  I think a lot of it has to do with the Burda Style Teaching Certification course that I’m currently taking (a full review for the course will be done at the end of January).  I like that I am getting feedback on sewing techniques and now I know if I’m doing them right or wrong and that has been a huge game changer in my sewing journey.

I would like to share with you, the 5 sewing techniques that I have learned this year.  These are 5 techniques that I may have struggled with in the past but I am now able to accomplish them beautifully.

  1. The proper way to hand sew a button on.  You know, some of this might sound so easy, but there is a lot to know when you first start off sewing.  I never really knew there was a proper way to sew a button on.  When I first started to sew buttons, I didn’t realize that you needed a shank in between the button and the fabric.  But now I know, which has improved my button sewing abilities!DSCF2703
  2. How to do a narrow hem!  Thank you Emily Hallman for your amazing tutorial on this!  A lot of patterns call for narrow hems, and I couldn’t do them well at all, so I would often avoid them and would do my own type of hem.  This hem on this shirt is absolutely beautiful!DSCF2732
  3. How to sew an invisible zipper!  This is thanks to the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course!  Check out that beautiful invisible zipper.  I will most likely be referring back to the videos from the Burda Style course when I need to sew my next invisible zipper.DSCF2720
  4. Sewing french seams.  When I first saw this term, I had thought that maybe this type of seam would a difficult seam to sew.  The answer is, not at all.  These are actually very easy.  They are mainly used on sheer fabrics. DSCF2733-e1545106320722.jpg
  5. The last technique I would like to discuss is hand sewing.  When I first started sewing, I hated hand sewing, I didn’t understand the point of it, or I never really understood the “why”.  Now that I’m further along in my sewing journey and my goals have changed since I first started off, I now understand the importance of hand sewing.  The hand sewing that I’m touching base with here is for hems, and facings mainly.  Sometimes a hem on a shirt or a dress looks much better when you can not see any stitches.  My hand sewing skills have definitely improved since last year.    DSCF2617

There you have it, the 5 sewing techniques that have definitely improved the quality of my sewing skills.  I love when a garment looks beautiful on the outside as well as the inside.  I feel that my sewing ability has definitely made a drastic change since October 2016, but there is still so much more to learn and master.

What are some of the sewing techniques you think I should learn in 2019?  Let me know in the comments below!

“I know this Christmas season you’re shining down on me from heaven.” — Author Unknown

Sweatshirt for Burda Style

In the previous post, I mentioned that I’m taking the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course.  In order to be certified, we must complete 4 sewing projects, sewing them the Burda Style way.  The 4 projects are: Shorts, Sweatshirt, Dress and Jacket.  You can read about the Bermuda Shorts here.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the course thus far.  The course comes with a load of patterns and videos for the techniques that we are learning.  It also comes with 4 sew-along videos to go with the 4 assignments.  The course is completely online, but there is a lot of interaction between the students and the instructor.  If we have questions, we post our questions and sometimes our fellow classmates will answer the questions for us, or sometimes the instructor (Meg) will answer our question.  We must submit certain photos of each project for the instructor to look over and give us feedback.  There is also a gallery for us to share our finished garments with our classmates.  I have seen some beautiful garments in the gallery!  I believe there are well over 100 students enrolled in the course.  The time frame for the instructor feedback is quite reasonable in my opinion.


Lets talk about the sweatshirt assignment, here is the link to the pattern.  This was a project working with knits.  Over the course of my sewing journey, a lot of people recommend using a walking foot for sewing with knits and tricky fabrics.  In this course, we do not use a walking foot to sew with the knits.  I think the key to this was to go extra slow while working with the knits and to make sure that you do not stretch the fabric while sewing.

Now, I’m not too sure if this sweatshirt is my style, and if you know me, you know I love my sweatshirts.  A fellow classmate of mine recommended that we size down, as this is an over sized sweatshirt.  I think for the next sweatshirt I make, I’ll go down one more size, I’ll lengthen it by a couple inches and I’ll remove the pockets.  I believe these changes will allow me to love this sweatshirt a little more!


This sweatshirt features inseam pockets and cuffs.  I found the cuffs pretty tricky to do, even with the video.  I think I may have had a difficult time with them because I might have been tracing the wrong fold line.  But I finally figured it out.  I’m not of a fan of the pockets on this sweatshirt, I’d rather there be no pockets.


The one thing that I took away from this project was I never realized that you need to stabilized the shoulder seams for knit fabrics.  I will be applying this concept to my future knit projects.

Thanks for taking to the time to read about my sweatshirt for the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course.  If you are taking the course, or plan on taking the course, let me know!

“You’ve left behind our broken hearts and precious memories too, But we never wanted memories Dad, we only wanted you.  Miss you so much.” — Author Unknown

Bermuda Shorts for Burda Style

This is a different kind of post today!  I have not disclosed much, but I’ll fill you in now.  I’ve been taking the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course.  There are a total of 4 sewing projects we must submit to be certified.

This is my first project, Bermuda Shorts in a stretch denim fabric from my local Fabricland.

My husband and my daughter gifted me this course for my birthday.  It is an online course, and our instructor is Meg Healy from Burda Style.  The course has a series of videos teaching us the Burda Style way of sewing.  The course comes with all of the sewing patterns that we need in order to be certified, plus more!  I asked a couple of people who had taken the course prior and they had said that the tuition cost was worth all of the patterns that they received.  I’ll go over the patterns in another blog post.  In order to be certified, we must sew the garment and take photos of both the outside and the inside of the garment and send the photos to our instructor.

Right now, lets talk about our first assignment, it was a pair of Bermuda Shorts.  Now, I really enjoyed sewing these shorts and they are definitely my style.  However, I had other things going in my life at the time of sewing them, so I actually sewed them a couple sizes too big.  I’m definitely going to be sewing more of these shorts next summer.  Who wants to learn with me?


These shorts taught me some techniques that I used to struggle with such as: hand stitching and a shaped waist band.  Meg’s instructions and videos are very clear and concise, easy to follow.  I believe I did a fabulous job on these shorts both on the inside and the outside.  A bonus technique that we learned was to do a fly front zipper.


The photos above from Left to Right: 1. The inside of the hand-stitched hem.  2. The right side of the hand-stitched hem.  3. The inside of the shaped waist band.

One thing that I have taken away from this assignment and that I have used on other sewing projects (not related to the course) was using the serger to finish the seams before sewing them together.  You can see this in the 3rd photo above, the middle seam has been serged separately before sewing them together and then pressed open.  I believe this gives a garment a very professional, store-bought look.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the first project from the Burda Style Teaching Certificate course.  I’ll continue to fill you in on the other assignments as well as my thoughts on the course when I complete it.

“Dad, wherever you are, you are gone but you will never be forgotten.” — Conrad Hall