Happy New Year! I hope you all had a lovely festive holiday and are now fully ready to take on 2017. I had a much needed rest and it was good to take a break from the blog for a couple of weeks, although I did miss it a lot. Sometimes though, you just need to take a step back and just enjoy chilling out with the family or concentrating on crafting projects.
It’s also given me time to reflect on my vintage sewing and crocheting achievements over the year and I thought I’d do a round up on the blog before I plough into my goals for 2017. Last January I set myself a number of sewing resolutions for the year. Looking back now I can see that only one of those goals was achieved, but boy did I go all out to achieve it! That goal was exploring new colours.
January to March
In January I completed my much needed 1930s coat in a purple and grey mix wool from Ditto Fabrics. It was a big challenge to start the year with but it was definitely worth it because I totally love this coat. However, I don’t wear it as much as I’d like due to the fact that it’s open all the way down the front, so anything you wear underneath needs to coordinate. It’s been a good learning experience though and I have plans for a closed fronted coat in the future.
The beautiful silk 1920s blouse I made in February is the only piece of green I made in 2016 and this year I really need to add more of this colour to my wardrobe. It’s so ridiculous because it’s one of my most favourite colours, yet I barely have anything in it. The skirt hasn’t been worn since the photos were taken for this post as it reminds me way too much of a gym skirt, however, a different black skirt is definitely a must for this year.
I really want to increase my purple options as well and I have enough of the purple and grey mix wool leftover from the coat to make a skirt. It will go really well with the silk blouse as it has purple in it too. I think the three pieces will make a lovely ensemble.
My early 2016 makes were heavily influenced by The House of Elliot because I’d been given the box set for Christmas and had wanted just about every outfit Bea and Evie wore. So, in March I continued my burgundy theme and completed an early 1920s wool crepe cardigan very much in this style. I tend to only wear this around the house, but that’s really what they were intended for in the late 1910s/early 1920s anyway.
April to July
The Wallis Simpson inspired blouse I made in April has rapidly become my most favourite blouse. However, because I wear it a lot it’s forever languishing in my wash basket waiting to be hand washed (which I hate doing!). As the collar is made up of two very different colours I cannot just throw this in the machine as the burgundy bleeds a little bit, even after several washes. This has been noted for future projects and detachable collars are a must.
My most favourite make of the year though has to be my oh-so-summery 1930s dress. It was my first adventure into yellow and totally changed my mind on the colour. I never thought I could wear it before but this dress definitely proved me wrong and it’s become one of my most favourite colours! I wore this dress a lot during the summer and I cannot wait for the warmer months to wear it again this year.
My 1930s brown wool skirt was actually made back at the beginning of 2016 but it didn’t really come into its own until the summer when I found this gorgeous vintage blouse at Shepton mallet Flea Market. I probably wear this skirt the most out of all of my skirts because it literally goes with everything. It looks great with my Wallis Simpson blouse, as well as a couple of other blouses and jumpers I own. And like my yellow dress it has persuaded me that I actually love brown and want to wear much more of it.
August to October
My coral outfit was inspired by impulse buying of the gorgeous coral linen I used for the skirt. It’s not a colour I’d even contemplated wearing before but I really love it now. The skirt was a nightmare to make but I was determined not to be beaten. The blouse, on the other hand, was a dream and I love that it’s pictured here next to the other two skirts it coordinates with.
Continuing on the separates theme of the Autumn, next up was the 1930s mustard linen skirt and silk polka dot blouse. Both pieces started off very differently in my head but I was so pleased when they finally came together to create this outfit. Again I haven’t worn the blouse since the photos were taken due to its fragility but the skirt is definitely a winner.
Last up was a 1930s turquoise wool suiting skirt based on my self drafted kick pleat skirt pattern. It’s a lovely addition to my skirt collection as it’s so bright and cheerful. However, I’m struggling to figure out what to put with it apart from black, navy and white, so any suggestions are welcome.
There are two further garments I made in 2016 (a dress and a jacket) but I ran out of time to feature them on the blog during November and December, but never fear, they are on there way. If you follow me on Instagram you’re likely to have glimpsed a sneaky peak at both.
All in all I’m pretty happy with my sewing achievements. I’ve certainly explored new colours, which will be a continuing theme of 2017, and I’ve added a good lot of separates to my wardrobe. This year I need to look at other areas that are severely lacking and fill some of those holes too, which leads me on to my crocheting achievements.
Crochet Projects of 2016
In 2016 I decided to push myself to try new crafting skills and crocheting is definitely the one that has stuck like glue. I’m so addicted to it and any time I have my hands free I’m sat crocheting something.
In July I completed my first ever garment, a 1930s style beret from a pattern by Theodora Goes Wild and I was so incredibly proud of it. You can probably tell by my huge smile! I’ve worn and worn this over the colder months and I always choose it over all my other berets. I will definitely be making more crochet hats in the future.
Next it was on to my first ever jumper and boy do I love this jumper! I want to wear it all of the time but it’s just too cold at the moment. It did get an outing on Christmas day though, teamed with my original 1930s feed sack skirt. I’m yet to feature the skirt on the blog but it will definitely be appearing later on this year with a rather special jumper to match it.
After the pink jumper was completed it was onto a bit of Christmas crocheting. Yeah! I made this festive and utterly cute wreath at the end of November, which was inspired by Attic24’s amazing May Rose Wreath. I had most of the wool in my stash already and I just added the lovely turquoise blue to liven it up a bit. It was super easy to make, just a long strip of half treble crochet stitches that then stretches around a polystyrene ring. I then added a cluster of different sized pompoms and a large ribbon at the bottom. It actually survived really well on my front door, which is exposed to all of the elements Mother Nature can throw at it, and it still looks brand new.
I made a massive amount of pompoms in the same colours before Christmas too and my tree and living room was totally covered in them for a pompom Christmas! You can see my tree and mantle piece here.
I also made my first ever crochet gift! These were a pair of wrist warmers and headband/ear warmer for my best friend. They were made using left over Debbie Bliss wool from the gorgeous 1930s pullover Mim made me last year. I didn’t really use a pattern for the actual garments, I just used half treble crochet stitches again and guessed at the size by checking them as I went along.
The wrist warmers are finished at the fingers with a pretty edging stitch I found in one of my crochet books and the flowers were made using a really easy pattern from Skip To My Lou blog. I think they turned out rather well and my bestie loves them!
Once all of the Christmas crafting was done (and there was a lot, including chocolate making!) I finally got back to my 1930s mustard jumper that I started at the beginning of November. I really knuckled down and got on with this over the holiday period and managed to totally finish the back and the main section of the front. I’ve nearly completed the front waistband now and then it’s onto the sleeves, cuffs and neckband.
I’m so desperate to get it finished. I really, really want to wear it and, what with it being rather cold at the moment, I seriously need some other long sleeve jumpers to wear. They’re severely lacking in my wardrobe and are a definite must for 2017.
So, there you have it, all of my makes (minus the two I’m yet to photograph) for 2016. I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve achieved, I’ve definitely got a lot more to wear now. Looking back has really helped me to realise what I need to focus on going forward, but that’s for another day.