2015 - A year in review

Happy 2016! I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year.  We had a quiet family Christmas and New Year's Eve we didn't even go out.  It was what I needed though, I feel like I've recharged my batteries a bit and am looking forward to starting 2016 more positively than I ended 2015. 

One thing I've realised over the last few months is that I need to be kind to myself, not to constantly compare myself to other bloggers and beat myself up if I haven't made at least one garment every week or if I'm not blogging as often as some. 

I am terrible for comparing myself to others, and of course, always come out at the end of the comparison feeling inadequate!  I'm sure I'm not alone in this.  But then I'm not comparing myself to the "real" person am I?  I only know whatever the blogger decides to share with their readers, I don't know what their home life, or job, is like, I don't know what they're not doing in order to be making things week after week. 

What I want to do today is share some of the things I've done last year, as much to remind myself what I have done and achieved as anything else.

One of the things I enjoyed most last year was teaching classes at Fabric HQ.  I'm not sure how many classes I ended up teaching, but each one was great fun.  I had some fantastic students and it's wonderful to see them learning new skills and gaining confidence.  My favourite class to teach is definitely free motion embroidery - everyone comes along feeling slightly apprehensive and ends up having fun and leaving with a unique picture they've created.

Some of my students work. 

I took a couple of classes at Fabric HQ myself; a pattern drafting class where I learned to draft my own skirt block, and a quilting class where I made my first ever quilt. 

The pattern drafting class was a bit of a dream come true; I've mentioned here several times that I wanted to study fashion design when I left school and for various reasons wasn't able to, so being able to do this I felt that at last I was getting a little taste of what it would be like to be a real life fashion designer.  Since the class I've used my block to draft and make a couple of skirts.  This year I'll be doing more pattern drafting classes and I can't wait!

My first self-drafted skirt

Self drafted Vivienne Westwood style skirt

The quilting class was also a first for me, despite sewing for more than 30 years I'd never made a quilt.  It was a strange experience, going into the class I felt like a complete beginner as I really didn't have a clue what I was supposed to be doing.  I actually hated the first class, but enjoyed the second and third parts far more, and I love my finished quilt.  I'm not sure that I'd become a regular quilter, but I'm pleased I've done it. 

My first quilt

One of the total highlights of the year for me was the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.  Six months after I saw it I'm still blown away by the beauty and creativity of his designs; everything was so inspiring that it was almost overwhelming. 

Alexander McQueen Widows of Culloden at Savage Beauty

Cabinet of Curiosities at Savage Beauty

Plato's Atlantis at Savage Beauty
I'm not going to record my sewing hits and misses for 2015, or how many projects I completed, but I'll finish with the project I'm most happy with for the year - my vintage cape. I loved making this, I altered the pattern slightly, using a collar from a Burdastyle coat, and took my time matching the checks in the fabric.   I'm still impressed with how I matched the pattern on the back of the collar!

I'll be back soon with some of my plans for 2016 - and maybe even something I've sewn!


  1. Oh wow. I love your coat too. And your Vivenne Westwood skirt.
    I hope all goes your way this year. You do such lovely work Sam.

    1. Thank you Maria. I've got some exciting things planned for this year, which I'll be talking about soon.

  2. Your coat is gorgeous, and I love the VW style skirt. I'd love to know how you drafted it.

    1. Hi Lynne, I used this tutorial from Fabrickated blog and my skirt block for the VW style skirt. http://fabrickated.com/2015/11/09/how-to-make-a-westwood-style-skirt-pattern-from-a-skirt-block/ It worked a treat!

  3. Oh boy. Nobody ever wins at the comparison game. Best just not to play :-) Hope your 2016 goes just the way you want it to!


Thank you so much for your comment, every one is read and appreciated. It means a lot to me that you take the time to read and comment on my posts.