Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sewing reflections 2013

I have been reading at Sew Mama Sew and particularly enjoyed the Sewing Reflections from Anna of Noodlehead
So, here are mine:
1.  Looking back on 2013, what trends stand out?  
Sewing from knits stood out to me.  For me, 2013 was the year of knits, both in my own sewing and from what I saw with others. I saw much more in the way of fabric choices and availability and pattern options and more ladies I know gave knits a try.  I know it is not a new trend but with the death of our dear friend Carole, who was known as charlie mack online, and the creation of the Charliemackadoodle dress pattern by our other dear friend Kristi (of Burlap Button), this became a focal point of my sewing and was something I saw in other's sewing as well. It is just a great pattern, especially combined with the Burlap Button Tummy Topper pattern. 

2.  Was there a personal or an industry high point?
I feel like I finally mastered the sewing of knit binding, thanks to Deanna of Birdsong Patterns. Her knit top pattern really helped me learn to do a great job with my bindings.  Look at the fit of these two tops. It is perfect. Deanna did an amazing job with her pattern and enabled me to do an amazing job with these tops.  That was a personal high point.

3.  What did you make that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of the amazing friends I have made in the online sewing world and how they all support and encourage each other. The highlight of my year was having my dress featured on Jennifer Paganelli's blog. That still makes me a tad weepy with pride and humility, a combination of both.  It was amazing. 

4.  Whose work inspired or awed you?
My dear friend Melissa of Millie Rose inspires me by her lovely, sweet attitude and the pure joy her sewing and patterns bring to others. And my sweet friend Jenny inspires me by her faith and the happiness she brings to all her projects and her relationships (at least with me). 

5.  What was your favorite fabric collection or print?
I discovered Lillestoff this year and will never look at fabric the same way again. These amazing knit fabrics and ribbons from Germany as of such high quality it is hard not to sew something beautiful.  The stars and elephants, in the Charliemackadoodles up top, are from Lillestoff. And I am hoarding more. Because I can. Someday, I will sew with them.

6. Do you have a book, pattern or class from the past year to recommend?
 I've already mentioned two great patterns, above, but I highly recommend you give Abacadabra patterns a try.  I made this lovely outfit from Abacadabra 91, which is hard to find in the USA, but Banberry Place is a great source of these fab patterns.

7.  What are your thoughts about social media? How is it going for you? What do you love or hate?
 Sometimes I feel I am in the minority, but I really love Facebook. It helps me connect with so many wonderful people. Mostly, I meet them in my sewing group (which you are welcome to join, just pm me here so I know you are not a spambot).  Handmade Dress Haven has been around for about 4 years now and I have made some incredible connections. Thru this group, I am now a pattern tester for a variety of amazing women. I am in a bunch of spinoff sewing groups. I have made some good friends. I wish I could get in a Winnebago and go on a HDH tour of the world. Some of my friends are in other countries, like Australia, the Netherlands, even Malaysia!! It has enriched my life immeasurably.  I hate that the games tempt me away from sewing but that is my own person issue. Ha! 

8.  What do you predict for 2014? (It could be related to style, social media, manufacturing, etc.)

 I have a hunch that Instagram is going to get bigger this year. More and more bloggers are moving only to IG or mostly to IG and I see that increasing. Facebook is just HUGE so IG feels a tad more personal.
9.  Who do you think will be a rising star of 2014?

 Kristi of Burlap Button!  She's amazing! That girl can do anything she sets her mind to. You watch out!!

10.  Can you tell us anything about what to expect from you in 2014? Any projects or life-changing goals you can share?
 I am going to blog and sew more and perhaps even explore making my own patterns, although they would be just for me, not for sale. I entertain the idea of learning more about design but only for my own educational purposes. I also plan to sew more for me!!

11.  Is there anything else about the sewing industry or community that you’d like to talk about? (It could be good or bad, but hopefully constructive.)

The sewing industry seems very cliquey to me, almost like being in high school. There are so many patterns out there that all look very similar. It is like everyone is trying to race to the top of the popularity pile and they aren't paying attention to what everyone else is doing. The clothing sewing industry is exploding. There are more and more pattern designers and fabric designers every year. I predict that the Big Four pattern companies (McCalls, Butterick, Simplicity, and Vogue) will catch on to the pdf pattern trend and start reaching out to pdf pattern designers to buy their designs to offer on their websites. The pattern world will get smaller, in a way, as more people start to realize who is here to say (Tie Dye Diva, Scientific Seamstress, Jocole) and who is a flash in the pan (no comment).  Longevity will happen to those who are truly great designers as well as business women.  More and more fabric companies will make knits and voiles and other types of fabric than just quilting cotton. There will be less of a divide between apparel fabric and quilting fabric as more and more of us sew for both the home and for humans. It will be a great year for sewing!!!


  1. Awwe, thanks, Kathy!! So happy I helped move knit sewing forward! :) :)

  2. " A flash in the pants" Hahahaha! You are a hoot, Kathy! Thanks for all you do to bring such great sewing talents together. HDH is an AMAZING little community, thanks to you! Happy New Year. :D

    Crystal Baker-Hanson

    1. Flash in the pan!! Correct it Crystal. LOL

  3. The sewing community over on Facebook really is a revolution at least that's how this sewing mama feels! I love HDH & other local sewing group I'm in but my oh my sometimes they just take too much of my sewing time away! But I learn a LOT from these groups so am still on Fb lol! Love you Ms Kathy, keep on being fabulous & creative, from your friend in Malaysia! :)

    1. Aw, love you two Zura! And I agree, sometimes there is just so much over at FB. And blogs and more!!