I always enjoy reading other people’s yearly round ups and seeing as I managed to blog semi-consistently this year I thought I would do one of my own. 2019 was a year of adjustment in our family’s life, mostly good changes however life somehow gets very busy and I didn’t get to sew as much as I would have liked. Regardless, I still managed to make quite a few things and looking back I’m really pleased with what I achieved sewing wise.
2019 was the year of linen and maya tops for me. I’d never sewn with linen before as I’d never found a pattern that suited both my style and this fabric. However, once I found the maya top a love affair began. I originally made the same modifications that Lisa outlined on the Tessuti blog which have proved very popular amongst the sewing community. Since then I’ve refined them more (see the bottom of this post) so that the neckline is just narrow enough so that my bra straps aren’t peeking out. I’ve even gone back and changed the two tops that I made with the wider neckline and since then I haven’t gone more than a few days without sporting a maya top!
Once my love affair with linen started I began scoping out linen sources in Australia as I couldn’t get enough of it. Living in a few hours out of Melbourne having so many great online options is a godsend and I embraced online and phone fabric shopping. I would highly recommend doing phone orders from the Fabric store in Melbourne for anyone living in Victoria who can’t get to the store. The girls have always been super helpful and accommodating and shipping is both fast and reasonably priced.
I’ve bought linens from both the Fabric store and Potter and co and have been really pleased with the fabric from both of these sources. I’ve used linen to make my first ever jumpsuit, wide leg pants and countless maya tops. I’ve got a few more lovely cuts in my stash and there many more things I’m planning to make out of this beautiful substrate.
I did a lot more pattern hacking and tweaking this year, and really took my time with each project. I’m definitely a bit of a perfectionist (my husband lovingly refers to me as being very “particular”) and I embraced this trait in order to end up with things that I would really love. I utilised hand basting rather than just pinning for basting seams together before a try on and found that not only were the stitches super easy to rip out, but it was a lot less painful than using pins!
One example of embracing my fussiness was my Elliot sweater. I made this out of a perfectly proportioned striped French terry from Guthrie and Ghani. I’d had it sent to my brother (who lives in the UK) and he brought it over to Australia when he was home for a visit. I agonised over which view to make and ended up mashing together bits of all three views. I attempted stripe matching (for the first time ever!) and was rather disappointed with the three quarter length sleeves.
I knew that in order to make this sweater more wearable full length sleeves would be needed. I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out another pair of sleeves so instead cut out a rectangle to sew onto the ends of the existing sleeves to extend the length. I painstakingly considered how to cut and attach the new sleeves so that the stripes would not be affected and the join barely visible. Once I’d done that I didn’t like the shape of the lower part of the sleeve so unpicked the seam and narrowed the sleeve towards the hem.
Now a couple of years ago I never would have gone to that much effort to fix these little things that were bothering me about a project but I’m so glad that I did. This has become one of my most worn garments in my wardrobe and during the cooler months it’s worn several times a week. I love the length and side slits (which were altered slightly from the original pattern) and I’m looking forward to the weather cooling down so this top can return to my regular rotation.
Making the Elliot sweater made me realise how awesome turtlenecks (or skivvys as we refer to them in Australia) are. I hadn’t worn one since primary school but having my neck covered up noticeably decreased the eczema I normally suffer with on my neck so I promptly made up a few more. I used the Grainline studio Lark tee, making the crew neck version and increasing the width of the neckband to create the turtleneck. These have been great not only for wearing on their own, but also for layering under my peppermint jumpsuit.
I made my second garment out of boiled wool, the super fast Berlin jacket using fabric from Tessuti. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a year or so before finally making my own version. The thing that was holding me back was not being able to find boiled wool that was both 100% wool and in a colour that I loved. I remember perusing the Tessuti website (as one does) and as soon as I saw this colour I immediately thought of the Berlin. I quickly pulled the trigger buying both the fabric and pattern and not long after had sewed it up. I’m glad I waited until I found this fabric as I absolutely love my jacket and have worn it so much.
I did my first ever pattern test for the lovely Jasemin of sewing.masin making the Belen bodysuit. I enjoyed making a style that was a bit out of my comfort zone and it’s been great for a nice streamlined tucked in look.
One of my favourite makes of the year was an Ogden cami that I hacked into a dress to be worn with a silk organza maya top over the top. The inspiration for this outfit came from a dress I saw in a magazine many years ago. I’d been quite taken with this outfit and had even bought similar looking fabric at least five years ago. Luckily I’d kept both the fabric and picture and was rather happy with how the end result turned out.
I finally met some sewists in real life, both locally and at my first ever frocktails. I was absolutely thrilled to find some fellow sewists who live very close by and even more thrilled to be able to natter away with other lovely ladies who share my passion/obsession with this hobby. I connected with so many lovely sewists on Instagram who constantly inspire and amaze me, both with their creations and their encouragement and kind words. Thank you for reading and following along and here’s to another great year of sewing ahead!