Sunday, 4 January 2015

Happy New Year!

I'm back! It's been... 5 months since my last post, so I thought I would give you all a quick update before jumping in and blogging about everything I've been busy sewing over winter break. I’m sure you’re all sick of seeing year-end round-up posts by now, so I’ll make this quick! 

Although I’ve never really been one to make a big deal out of New Year’s, it was interesting to look back and think about 2014, since it was a pretty exciting year for me, in terms of sewing and life in general.

I was pretty surprised when I added up these numbers! I didn't realize how much I had finished in 2014. Tops and dresses are my favourite to make, but I branched out and tried a swimsuit, a pair of pants, and underwear. (And yes, I will eventually blog about those 11 unblogged projects). Here are some of my highlights from the year, and goals for 2015:

Sewing Highlights

1.      I made my grad dress

This was, by far, the most major sewing project I’ve ever taken on, and I’m so proud of it! Although the construction was far from perfect, it was exactly what I wanted and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I had it on. I also had another chance to wear it recently – read on for more about that!

2.      I learned to sew with knits

My first Moneta dress

I can’t believe it took me so long to give knits another try! I absolutely love knits now, and I was amazed by how many of my projects have been from knits this year. They are so comfortable, and most of the pieces I wear most often are knits. Although I had sewn a little with knits before, I chose horrible knit fabrics and didn’t know how to deal with them, so I would always end up frustrated and never wanting to sew with knits again. Now, I’m always excited to sew with knits!

My second Moneta dress

3.      I made a bra

Again, something I should have tried sooner, because it’s really not that difficult! The fabric takes a little getting used to, but it’s true what they say – if you can set in a sleeve, you can sew a bra. Many of my RTW bras don’t fit me very well anymore, so I’d love to make some more, but I just didn’t have time this winter break. Over the summer, I will work on the perfect bra!

4.      I sewed with a vintage pattern, and learned a great way to size them down

As much as I love vintage, it took me this long to sew with a vintage pattern! I also experimented with sizing them down using a photocopier, which has worked well every time I’ve tried it. Next time I do it I’ll take some photos and put together a tutorial for the blog!

5.      I made pants

Despite wearing mostly skirts and dresses, I’ve wanted to make pants for so long. These were my last project before leaving for Montreal in the summer, and I absolutely love them. They are swingy, 40’s-style pants, which I will blog about soon!

Sewing Goals

1.      Finish last year’s Sew for Victory project

I really love this dress, but I gave it up in lieu of faster, more practical projects when the weather got warmer last spring. I will finish it, though, I promise! I just need to wait until I have a sewing machine to use again…

2.      Look for more challenging projects

In the summer and during my winter break, I got very caught up in fast and easy projects. I was trying to finish a project every day or two, which was great when I had limited time to sew lots of wearable pieces. However, in all that, I think I forgot about one of the major reasons I sew – I want to get away from the whole “fast fashion” craze these days. I know that quick and easy sewing projects are very different from cheap clothing made in Bangladesh, but after sewing nothing but quick knit projects all winter break, I’m almost starting to crave some more challenging projects. Last year’s challenging project was my grad dress, and I’ll keep an eye out for more challenging patterns that I can take on and learn some new techniques. I’m thinking of trying the Ginger jeans, or maybe even a wool coat!

3.      Be willing to spend time on fit

One of the things I love about knits is that they require so little fitting, and you can usually fit them as you go along. Fitting is the part I dread about sewing with wovens, and it’s the reason I make the same patterns over and over again. However, there are so many patterns out there that I would love to try, and I know that I will need to spend some time on fitting all of them.

Knitting Goals

I’m leaving out knitting highlights because I didn’t finish very many projects, and none of them are blogged yet! Instead, I’m keeping it simple with this one goal:

1.      Make time for knitting

There are so many wonderful things about knitting – it’s relaxing, yet productive, and it even seems to help my tendinitis when done in moderation. This semester, I got so caught up in everything that I had to do that I never really took the time to sit down and knit. My original goal was to knit a little bit every day, even if it’s just a row, but I know that life happens and that’s not always realistic. Instead, I’m going to appreciate any time that I can spend knitting, and make the most of it.

Other Highlights


2.      I began university

I successfully completed my first semester studying science at McGill University in Montreal! I’m really enjoying it there, and everything is going pretty smoothly.

3.      I’m living in Montreal in residence

My residence on move-in day in August

I didn’t think this would be a highlight for me, but I really love living in residence! I’m in a great residence in a beautiful old building, shown above. It’s a smaller residence with a great sense of community, and I love it there. I’ve made so many great new friends, and it definitely feels like a home away from home. I also really love Montreal, and it hasn’t even been that cold yet! (Although I’ll be eating my words next week, when it goes down to  -25 degrees Celsius).

The view from my window the morning I left for winter break

4.      I’m part of a dance company

I auditioned for a McGill dance company at the beginning of the year, and I love it! We do mostly contemporary ballet, but being part of a group like this one is quite different that dance I’ve done before. Rather than having one teacher, we all take turns teaching classes as doing choreography. I’ve had a chance to do some of my own, which has been great! I really enjoy teaching, so I love that aspect of belonging to a small company.

5.      I wore my grad dress again and the “Yule Ball”

Not a great photo, but you get the idea

My residence has a dining hall that looks like the Hogwarts Great Hall, and it’s also split up into houses, so we also have an annual Yule Ball, just like in Harry Potter! It’s a formal dinner and dance, and we even had waltzing lessons beforehand. I had my mom mail me my grad dress, and it was great to have another chance to wear it!

I think that’s about it! This ended up being a longer post than I expected, so thanks for bearing with me if you’re still reading. 2014 was really a great year, and I’m looking forward to my second semester at McGill, which starts tomorrow! I wrote this post on the flight back here, and I have the day today to get unpacked and ready for classes.

Thanks for reading! What are your goals for 2015?


  1. You will look back some day and realize what a dream this all is. Enjoy! Happy sewing in the new year.

  2. Welcome back. What a great year.

  3. Nice to hear from you again. Can't wait to see what you have created!

    1. Thank you! I will have some posts up soon - I wrote them on the plane, and just have to edit photos now.

  4. It's great to hear from you! It sounds like you have been learning a lot and really enjoying yourself since your last post. =)