I have a thing about New Years Resolutions

First, whilst I think it is a good idea to set goals and work towards making dreams a reality etc etc I really hate the phrase new years resolutions. It’s just so negative. If you think about the most popular types of NYRs they are nearly always negatively framed. Eg to quit smoking. Why don’t people say I’d like to improve my health and prolong my life therefore I’ll refrain from smoking this year? Answer: probably because it’s a lot quicker to say it the first way! So I prefer to have aspirations rather than resolutions if you follow my train of thought here.

Second, in New Zealand a lot of people, including myself, are on summer holiday over the new year so I don’t personally start thinking about things I want to achieve until about halfway through January.

So forgive me for being late to the party on this one, but I’d like to put my oar in and tell you about My New Year’s Aspirations.


This year I’d love to learn how to make a pair of pants. I’ve really only been a committed sew-er for about a year and thus far I’ve stuck to making skirts and dresses as they require a great deal less fitting than pants. In fairness I’m far more of a skirt person, which may also be a reflection of how hard it is for me to find pants I like. But like with any clothing, if it fits properly, it’s a good place to start.  

I really like Colette’s Clover pants, and they look simple enough (to the untrained eye) but I have since been put off by reviewers saying they had a lot of trouble with fitting. I’ll need to keep looking for a simple beginner pattern.

Blouses and Tops

I started this year off with a bang, completing my first ever blouse! And whilst I was very pleased with myself this is just the beginning. I would like to get the fitting a bit more accurate and a bit more feminine. In order to accomplish this I will probably need to investigate how to do a full bust adjustment or FBA as I always seem to see it written. I’ll also need to conquer the softer, floaty shirt fabrics that I have been avoiding (ever since the horror that was Pattern Runway 1302)



I know were in the middle of summer here but I’m keen to learn how to knit this year. I’ve been practicing a bit with the encouragement of two friends and the use of Phoebe’s knitting needles. Apparently practice and getting the tension right is the key (I am clearly a novice). I think I need to do a lot of research on this topic. It’s a whole new area for me but I’ve already decided that I’ll be making a cardigan for myself this winter and unsurprisingly you can probably guess that it’ll be navy blue. More on this later…

I hope your aspirations/ resolutions are going well too!


I Heart Remnants

A wee while ago Karen at Did you make that? began writing a segment entitled True Confessions so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and confess something. Here goes … I love fabric remnants. I don’t know what comes over me but when I see those little rolled up pieces of fabric but I’m like a magpie. I dive in and rummage around and i always find two or three that I like and want to buy … Including the fabric that I actually intended to buy for the project I had already planned.


Which brings me to my next point – it’s always unintentional. It’s not like I go out intending to spend an extra few dollars on additional fabric. I just can’t help myself.

I think I can put it down to a few reasons. First, it’s so cheep – what’s a few more dollars when I’m already spending double digits on fabric? Second, I can find selecting material to be a bit intimidating. All that selection, and so much potential to make the wrong decision. Smaller quantities at the discounted rate is a lot more appealing to someone who is easily scared off, like me. Which feeds in nicely to my third reason – who doesn’t love a discount? Amirite?

My favourite of all the remnant baskets out there is undoubtedly the one at Global Fabrics. They have the most amazing fabrics in Auckland so naturally they also have the most amazing remnants basket too!

This year I made/ attempted these three projects below spontaneously simply because I found the right fabric for cheep in the basket. The cape, admittedly, is still and UFO


Are you a fan of the remnants?

Round UP

So with the year coming to a close I have been reflecting on my newest pursuit and the second love of my life – sewing.

This year I’ve completed 17 items of clothing and one line of bunting. I also have two genuine WIPs and two truly genuine UFOs (they haven’t had any progress on them in five and two months respectively). And without further ado here’s what I’ve made: Nine dresses, four skirts, three tops and a line of bunting






This year has been a good year for my relationship with sewing. I’ve started working full time, which has had the reverse effect to what everyone says will happen when you start full time work – I have far more spare time now than I did as a student.

In 2012 I’ve had lots of fun re-learning to sew. I’ve learnt tonnes of new terms selvage, bias binding and kimono sleeves and I’ve even learnt how to insert an invisible zipper. Being part of the blogging community has been immensely helpful with this learning too. There’s such a wealth of knowledge out there and it’s been great to be able to access all that information and experience. The sewing bloggers out there have also been incredibly supportive and encouraging – thank you!


I started the year sewing on my grandmother’s sewing machine, and a few months ago I bought myself a Janome sewing machine. And to top it off for my birthday mum bought me an amazing Baby Lock serger

So now I, as I look into the next year I’m thinking about sewing goals for the new year. What are your New Years Sewing Goals?

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Coming up this month is Dresses and Me’s six-month-aversary. To celebrate this momentous occasion I thought I’d pick the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the things I’ve made so far this year. Without further ado…

The Good

My Bow Dress, My Sister’s Vintage Pattern Dress and my Mad Men Skirt are my favourites so far because they went together easily, I’ve gotten heaps of wear out of them and I (or in the case of my sister’s dress) she actually likes it!

The Bad

 My cape is here because I thought, for a long time, that I had bitten off more than I could chew. It is getting there, but I was not counting on felted wool being as hard to manage as this is! Seriously – rangling it is a real endurance test!

The only reason my orange singlet isn’t in the catagory below is that I love the silk I made it out of. However, this top ended up the Bad because of my experience with the bias seam binding – disappointing.

The Ugly


I don’t even know where to begin with this dresss. Click the link to read all about the failblog that this was. And in case you were wondering – yes, it is still unfinished.


I feel a bit mean for putting this dress in the Ugly category. I was so proud when I finished it because it was the first dress I had made since I took up sewing again and the first dress I had made in about 6 years and I made it in about 10 days flat (record!). However, when I look at it with my six-months-more-learned eyes I wish I finished the seams in some way and that I had lined it. It’s ugly on the inside.

So that’s my last six months. I’ve made a lot of other things too and learnt
so much in the process. Thanks for reading this blog and all your words of support!

What have been your favourite items you’ve sewn this year?