Reviewing my 2020 makes: the good, the bad and the… questionable

Reviewing my 2020 makes: the good, the bad and the… questionable

I think we can all agree that 2020 wasn’t the year we expected. But one of the positives to having a lot more time on my hands was I had more time to sew. You’d think this would mean I would have planned my makes a bit better but nope. I plunged headlong into making with the same chaotic energy I bring to other areas of my life.

In an effort to be a bit more focussed this year with my makes here is a brief and honest look back at everything I made last year. Any that have more in depth blog posts I’ll add a link to and I’ll try to get blog posts up for the rest of them soon.

Nina Lee patterns Kew skirt and tops

I made the Kew dress as a skirt once and a top twice. The tops (blog post here) were summer favourites but the skirt (blog post here) was less of a win as I was in between sizes so sized down so it was fitted. Don’t do this. The pattern doesn’t have much ease in it so if you size down it won’t fit.

Mode at Rowan dream jumper

My second knitted jumper was definitely more successful than the first as this one doesn’t bring me out in a rash. Progress! However I have realised that chunky jumpers just aren’t me. I’m much more drawn to wearing layers rather than one big jumper so I haven’t worn it that much.

Friday Pattern Company Adrienne blouse

I love love love this top. I used a super soft tencel jersey which worked really well as it hangs beautifully. My one regret is I didn’t extend the sleeves as it would have made it much more wearable. As it is my wrists get cold so I don’t wear it as often as I’d like. I also think I’d shape the sleeve hem more as it’s straight across so when my arms are down the inside sits lower than the outer sleeve. I think it would look better if this wasn’t so obvious.

Sew Over It Eve top hack

In 2019 I made this as both a dress (blog post here) and a skirt hack. This year I decided to give it a go as a wrap top with puffy sleeves and it worked really well. One thing I do need to remember for next time though is to shorten the neckline on the front piece. It isn’t so obvious on the dress but on the top it’s definitely too long so sit comfortably at waist height.

Wool and the Gang Starstruck bag

My first crochet bag was a success! Whilst I can’t say I enjoyed learning to crochet (anyone else always end up decreasing stitches by accident?) I do love how it turned out. For obvious 2020 reasons the bag hasn’t been used much, and I actually need to shorten the strap by about 20 cm, but it will be used as soon as we have outside summer time I’m sure.

McCalls New Look 6507

I’ve made this top before in crepe and really like it. This year I saw some double gauze in pink and brown that I thought would look amazing. I’m really happy with how it looks but I didn’t wear it much as the fabric is a bit thick for warm days and the shoulders are too exposed for cooler days. This would be a great top for summer in the office though so I’m hoping to get more wear out of it this year.

Sew Over It Libby shirt

I’m not sure what exactly made me pair this fabric with the pattern as I don’t particularly wear shirts and this fabric is so fun it deserved something I’d wear a lot but that’s what happens when I don’t properly think about makes. I find sewing with dark fabric quite challenging so I didn’t realise until the end I’d caught some fabric when setting in the collar. There is no way I’m redoing the collar though so it’s staying. This is another one that I think would get more wear in an office environment.

Tilly and the Buttons Safiya jumpsuit and dress hack

This was the pattern that made me buy the Tilly and the Buttons Make it Simple book and it didn’t let me down. I wore the jumpsuit (blog post here) loads with a white t-shirt underneath and also on its own a lot over summer. I think this will be one I’ll make again for sure. The dress hack I’m less sure on. I had great visions of feeling like a country superstar but I haven’t quite nailed the styling on it. I’m sure I can make it work though so watch this space.

Alice and Co patterns skirt block

I’ve always wanted to draft my own patterns and the Alice and Co class was the perfect place to start. It was such a fun class to do and I was so happy with how my skirt block turned out. One of my plans for this year is to work out a few skirt hacks for this as I love a mini skirt.

Orageuse Riga coat

This was my first coat and it was a really good one to choose. It has patch pockets and no fastenings so in the grand scheme of coats it’s pretty easy. And I wore it a load this year on my daily walks so it definitely goes down as a win.

Untitled Thoughts Nathalie bodysuit

I had to tweak the fit a fair bit on this which isn’t unusual for me and I’m glad I put in the effort because it looks really good. I haven’t worn it much this year as it has a low back which means I get a bit chilly just sitting in the flat but I think it will get a lot of wear when we’re allowed back in bars.

Tilly and the Buttons Indigo dress


This was a bit of a fail. The photos I posted are well posed so it looks great but as soon as I wore it out of the house I knew it wasn’t going to be worn much. I hemmed it too short, the sleeves are too tight and the french seams are messy. In fact, I actually have started taking it apart so I can rework it into something else.

Megan Nielsen Dawn shorts

My proudest make of the year were these shorts as they are BANGING! It fits almost perfectly (a couple of tweaks will be done when I make the trousers version) but I am really proud of these as my first jeans. The instructions were really easy to follow too so I’d highly recommend them.

Tilly and the Buttons Tabitha t-shirt

Quick and simple. I made this in a zoom sewing class I hosted for my work pals. It was a great introduction to jersey and such a quick make. I actually made this quite a few times as it was the pattern I used to make pj tops for my sisters and mum. I shaped the waist slightly on the pj tops as the fabric I was using didn’t have much drape so I wanted to give it more shape.

Seamwork Audrey jacket

Oh my days this was such a waste of time. The process of making it was a long slog as there are so many pieces but I persevered as I thought I’d wear it loads. But nope. I’ve worn it once. And I still haven’t even added the fastenings to it so it technically still isn’t finished.

Sew Over It Alderley dress hack

A beautiful dress that hasn’t lived out its potential yet. One day this will get to the party it deserves! The Alderley top (blog post here) is a Sew Over It pattern that seems to have been overlooked but if you like a cami slip I really recommend it. It’s well explained and there’s lots of potential for excellent fabric choice.

Fibremood Norma blouse

I have mixed feelings about this top as I don’t think I did it justice. I bought the fabric online and it has a bit of a rough texture I didn’t like against my skin so I decided to line it. However the pattern isn’t lined so I had to make it up and I didn’t do a fantastic job. I also hacked the top to be square neck and it’s about 1.5cm too low so shows my bra. It did show me that there is definitely space in my wardrobe for more white tops though so I can get more wear out of my colourful clothes so I this it was a success from that point of view.

Lenaline Patterns Dasha dress

This was another one with a fabric choice that let it down (buying fabric online is hard) as it needed something with more body. If you do make this pattern, which is actually a great pattern and really well explained, then definitely choose something with a bit of swing like cupro or viscose twill. In cotton lawn it’s just a bit puffy so I think I may take this one apart and make it into something else.

French Poetry Pleiades 1 dress

This was a pain to fit as it came out like a smock which I wasn’t expecting but once it was taken in it looks fantastic. It was a bit cold to wear it by the time I finished it but I’ll definitely wear it when he weather gets warmer. (Blog post here)

Sewing Masin Sicily dress

Would it be too much of a statement to say this is my favourite dress I’ve ever made? Possibly. But I’m saying it anyway. The fabric, a viscose from ruby star society, is lusciously silky and the pattern was such a dream to sew. This will definitely be made again!

SIZE:me Florence skirt

I made this for an ad (blog post here)so am even more thrilled than usual to say I really like it. It probably isn’t one I’ll get wear out of in lockdown but hopefully I will after. The weight of the crepe worked really well with the pattern which is definitely part of the reason I like it so much.

Mode at Rowan 010 scarf

The only knitting project I completed this year was this scarf. It took an age to knit but it was quite relaxing to make so I’m glad I did it. And since I finished it I haven’t worn another scarf once. It just goes with everything! My version is one ball of wool shorter than the one the model wears which is still super long. I am 5 foot 4 so that’s probably why the pattern is too long.

Style 4776 dress

My first vintage pattern was one of my mum’s and it was so fun to make. Apart from shortening it I didn’t change the fit so it’s just luck that it fits as well as it does. I did have to shorten the sleeves as I didn’t buy enough fabric but that was a small price to pay for such a beaut dress. I can definitely see myself wearing this again.

And that’s it! There were a few diy’s and presents too this year but this is everything I made for myself (I think). There were definitely more hits than misses which I’m glad about. And if you don’t make things that aren’t perfect how do you learn? So here’s to making more good, bad and questionable pieces in 2021.


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