2016: My Sewing & Crocheting Achievements

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

Vintage sewing spring 2016

From left to right: 1930s Lightweight Coat, 1920s Complete Outfit, Early 1920s Cardigan

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

Vintage sewing summer 2016

From left to right: Perfectly Fitting 1930s Blouse & Burgundy Wool Crepe Skirt, Oh So Summery 1930s Dress, 1930s Brown Wool Skirt

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

Vintage sewing autumn 2016

From left to right: 1930s Coral Outfit, 1930s Separates in Navy, White & Mustard, 1930s Turquoise Wool Skirt

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

Vintage crocheting 2016

Left: 1930s Style Beret, Right: 1930s Shoulder Button Jumper

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.

Crochet & pom pom Christmas wreath

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.

Crochet head and wrist warmers

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!

1930s crochet jumper

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.


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. So many great makes!! You really inspire me to crochet some garments! They are so lovely! Can’t wait to see the finished mustard jumper and all of your other makes in 2017!

    • Thank you Anthea! Wow, it’s fantastic to know I inspire someone in crocheting seeing as though I only learnt how to do it a few months ago. I love it though, it’s so addictive. xx

  2. I enjoyed looking at all the different things you made – such a productive year. Love the crochet headband & wrist warmers.

    • Thank you Norma! I’m really chuffed with the headband and wrist warmers as they were such a last minute decision, yet they came out so cute. I really want to make some for myself now. xx

  3. You are so talented and should be super proud. I love everything but my favorites are the yellow dress and red skirt

    • Aw, thanks Kate! I really must wear that red skirt a bit more. I always tend to opt for the brighter colours or my ever faithful brown one so it doesn’t get as many outings. Maybe I should make an effort to wear it more this year. xx

  4. Happy New Year! You have truly excelled at your projects – so many, and of such a high standard. I am so inspired by your craftiness and can’t wait to see what you make next. Good luck finishing the jumper! I’m unpicking botched bits on a skirt of doom here….!! Xx

    • Thanks Sarah! I’m so frustrated that the jumper isn’t going quicker, crocheting takes way longer than sewing. I want to wear it!! Oh dear, I hope the skirt starts behaving itself. Grrr! xx

  5. The details are so authentic! Shoes, even hats! Terrific job recreating the first part of the 20th century!

    • Aw, thank you Karen! You may see some more early 20th Century hats appearing this year. I’m on a mission! xx

  6. You’ve had a brilliantly productive year. It’s great that so many of your pieces are really versatile and can be worn with many other items. I’m a horror for having things that only work with one or two other items (I suck at separates).

    As for turquoise, I love it in combination with coral (and possibly white), though that could be a little too 60s for you.

    • Thanks Mim! I made a conscious effort to make coordinating pieces last year otherwise I would’ve been struggling to find something to wear. I’ve always stuck to the same outfits in the past so it was time to shake things up.

      Turquoise is a difficult colour isn’t it? I think I need to start researching what was put with it in the 1930s. I’m sure I can find some old shade cards online somewhere. xx

  7. really beautiful makes – totally agree with you on the detachable collar (I had a white collar on black dress, which slowly became grey)

    • Thank you Eimear! Yep, detachable collars are the way to go, I’m definitely going to keep that in mind for future makes. xx

  8. ohhh I remember drooling over everyone of these items you have so skilfully crafted. Amazing job on all of them, I look forward to seeing what lovelies you make this year!

  9. Happy New Year, Cate! I think you’ve done really well last year, and there are quite a few outfits I’d happily steal from you. I wish I had just a tiny bit of your talent! I’m already looking forward to seeing the finished mustard jumper. It’s going to look ever so lovely on you! xxx

    • Thanks Ann! I’ve ploughed on with the jumper andI’m now on the sleeves, I’m so eager to get it done xx

  10. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I am in awe of your sewing skills! Your 1930’s coat is too die for.

    • Aw thank you, that’s so kind of you! I’m planning another coat this year so I hope you like that one too. xx

  11. Such fantastic collection of makes for the year. They are all so super. You are very talented indeed! I think you did a good job of including more colour and of making your separates work together. With my makes this year I am going to try and make sure that each will work with several other pieces in my wardrobe.

    • Thank you Kate-Em! It’s definitely work concentrating on things that will coordinate, it opens up so many different outfits. I will continue this theme in 2017 but will also focus on filling those gaps. xx

  12. Hi Cate a fab year, some amazing inspiration for us , looking forward to seeing 2017 additions to your fab wardrobe

  13. What wonderful makes! I love all of your fabulous 30’s skirts, I am determined to add a few to my own wardrobe in 2017 and will be looking back on your beautiful examples for inspiration! I wish I were as fast at knitting as I am at sewing, but I doubt it will ever be so!

    • Thanks Bianca! It annoys me that crocheting takes so long. I could whip up several pieces in the time it takes to crochet a jumper. Grrr! xx

  14. You have been sewing and crotcheting up a storm this year!!! I love that your makes really fit in with your style and maintain a really cohesive look. Such wearable pieces too. Often the everyday pieces are overlooked, but you have managed some gorgeous, wearable pieces!

    • Thank you Christina! I’m all about the wearable with both my own creations and the vintage pieces I buy. I hate to have pretty clothing stuffed away in the closet never being worn, I want to wear it! xx

  15. The all are jumpers so beautiful and really such so good color full jumper so cute…..!!!!!!!

  16. Oh Cate, you have completed so many beautiful items this year! I especially love the light coat from January and all of those lovely, colorful skirts from the second half of the year. I’m really excited to see your crocheted jumper completed – what an accomplishment since you’ve only started crocheting recently. As always, I am so impressed. You are a big inspiration for me!

    xx Lauren

    • Oh, thank you Lauren! I actually can’t believe how quickly I’ve taken to crocheting, however, I think the fact that I understand clothing construction actually really helps to figure things out. It allows you to know whether you’re doing something correctly or not as you already know the shape something should be. xx

  17. Wow, you’ve really done a fabulous job on all your items, and so many!

    Both talented and productive, I like that!

  18. It will look great with the floral top from the coral outfit, since it looks like there is some turquoise in there. I am new ot your site and have been binge reading your blog. I too love the 1930s, 1920s and 1940s. They are my favorite eras of fashion and dress. I wish we could all go back to dressing like this, with this level of quality. I am starting my journey to dress in more vintage and sustainable style. I am also learning to make my own clothes. It is lovely to find bloggers who are already doing this that I can get inspiration from.

    • Thanks for you lovely comments Sharon. Have fun with your journey, it’s great fun! It’s worth documenting it either on a blog or on something like Instagram so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. I’m so surprised when I look back just a couple of years at how much I’ve changed and how much I’ve learned. xx

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