Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More & Less in 2016

Do you get excited about the New Year? I often treat it like no big deal, but this year feels different. I feel more compelled to put some serious thought into the coming year, lest it slip by un-noticed. I don’t want more of the same old, same old. I want this year to be special. So I’ve put together a list of things I want LESS of and MORE of in my life.

  1. LESS Stuff – The clutter growing in my house and the clutter growing in my mind both have to go. Even though most of the extra junk in the house is hidden away in the attic, the basement, and the closets, I still want to get rid of it. I want to pretend I live in a tiny house. I want MORE open space and lightness. I want to detach from material things even more.
  2. LESS Worry – I will not allow myself to worry about the future, about my children, the bills, all the sadness in the world… I want MORE trust, MORE faith, MORE joy. I give all the troubles over to God.
  3. LESS food. Yep, just less overall eating. We eat well around here. We eat clean,  homemade, often homegrown, gluten-free (3 out of 5 of us), and delicious. I just eat too much of it. I know I can do with LESS food. I want MORE energy, MORE yoga, MORE walking.
  4. MORE organization – of the stuff that gets to stay in the house and of the stuff in my head. This may require some furniture swapping or repurposing as well as more self-discipline. Ouch, it hurts already.
  5. MORE creativity in many ways, but definitely in sewing ways! I hope to do interesting projects that push me to learn new things. Last year I tackled zip flies and buttondown shirts. 2016 will be the year of the welt pocket! 
I've never done a year-end round up post, but I do think they are a good idea for a couple of reasons. First, I have gained quite a few new followers recently so I thought it would be a good idea to show some of the highlights. Second, it is so beneficial for me to look back through the year and see what stands out and think about what to do this year.

The following represent my very favorites. Some are favorites because they feature a technique or pattern or fabric I love. Many are featured because they have been worn so much that it deserves to be mentioned. 

January was a good, busy month for sewing producing lots of well loved clothes for Elena. These all include some fun handiwork with reverse applique, crochet, and a freezer paper stencil. Click the picture to go to the post.
Otium Sweater with reverse applique
McCall's 6785 with crochet trim

Freezer paper stencil tee and yarn/bead embellished skirt

February was still bitterly cold outside but I escaped by thinking about summer and sunshine. I love the colors of both of these outfits. I especially love that the carnival printed dress was a window valance I found at the thrift store. 

Caroline Party Dress

Bow Back Otium and Tiered Skirt

March was a slow month, but did result in one well-loved piece for Olivia. We had fun collaborating on this one. Anytime she actually wears something I made for her, I call it a win.

Pernille Pencil dress turned tunic
April showers brought out the need for flowers before May. I just couldn't wait after the longest, coldest winter in a while so I made flowery Twisted Trousers and some pieces to mix and match.

Spring Essentials to Mix and Match
May brought on the nice weather and brought out the summer clothes! I sewed a lot, but these are the most worn pieces. Most of these include some kind of upcycled fabric along with pattern hacks. I love changing patterns up to suit my needs.

Maternity skirt to Japanese pattern shorts
Hello Kitty Gumnut Dress Pattern

Izzy Top in knit and a recycled scarf
Kimono Tee color blocked

June was another very productive month of sewing filling in the gaps in Elena's wardrobe. These are the pieces that were worn the most.

Flowery shorts and sweet halter
More Twisted Shorts and a foxy tank

July wasn't a month for much sewing. Summer is a busy time and I like to take the time to be outside as much as possible. I did however, cross a major item off my sewing bucket list by making myself a buttondown shirt to sew along with Sew the Show Parenthood.

Sewaholic Granville in gingham

August and the return to school is always inspiring for me. I tried hard this year to plan Elena's wardrobe to be very comfy and very mix and match. This month I found time to add hand embellishments again and that made me very happy. 

All the stripes
Hand-sewn bindings on a modified Nessie Top

Embroidered skirt and a Mini-Sutton blouse

September allowed me to cross off another bucket list item. I sewed jeans! It wasn't really that hard. This was my third zip fly, and I think I've got the hang of it now. It's good not to be afraid of things. Now I have choices. I don't really have much trouble buying ready to wear jeans, but knowing I can sew my own, is pretty empowering.

Butterick Jeans

October was a good month for creativity. We had gorgeous weather the whole month. My sister was in town for a visit. I had successful sewing experiments. It was a good month.

Rose embellished Tinley Tee
Self-drafted Circle Shorts

November was a dud. I sewed a little, but mostly unblog-worthy nothings. I spent quite a lot of time on this jacket and am proud of myself for making it, but I admit I haven't worn it once. That's partly because I'm not sure how to style it, and partly because it's just a bit big all over. I find the waist length awkward for most of my wardrobe. So no link here. If you  really want to read about it, you'll have to search the archives. Lol. I also made myself quite a few t-shirts, but there wasn't anthing special to them so I never photographed them.

December was much more fun than November. I participated in a very fun blog tour called Sew the Show: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon. I made a couple of looks inspired by the movie Princess Bride. I enjoyed this challenge so much. This pink Bimaa has been worn so much already it's crazy. Andrew's performance season hasn't begun yet, but I hope he'll wear his black buttondown as much or more than his ready to wear one with the too short sleeves. He also said he would be willing to model for me again so now I'm thinking he can be part of my January look for Sew the Show: Downton Abbey. We'll see if I can get him to leave the house for pictures next time. (Both pictures go to the same post.)

Prince Humperdinck in a pink Bimaa and velvet skirt

Marco Shirt 
Well that was the longest post EVER! I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that you may have MORE or LESS of whatever you desire too! 


  1. Loved the recap! I forgot about your kimono tee, I had meant to buy a pattern for that. I'm thinking more women's wear and more organization and exercise. Less buying and stressing for the new year. Good goals, my friend!

  2. Great recap! I love your kimono tee, too. The striped dress is sooo pretty. And the black button down! You're so creative and it really shows!Amen to less clutter and worry in the New Year. Have you checked out the blog "be more with less?"

  3. So many pretty and special clothes! I especially love those with handmade embellishments! I also want to do some things differently this year. I'm thinking a little bit less sewing and blogging and more reading and having good night sleeps ;). And definitely more time for our family! Hey, I think it's pretty much a year ago when we got to know better, it's always a pleasure visit here, thank you Angela for being my American blogging friend <3


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