2015 – A Year In Review

31 Dec

Yay, I love doing these posts! It’s so interesting for me to go back to the beginning of a year and see where life was at vs life today, and I love reading these sorts of reviews and updates from everyone else, too.

#sewphotohop day 1: my name is Lauren and I blog at lladybird.com. I live in the woods right outside of Nashville, TN, with my boyfriend and BFF. I've been sewing for most of my life and I make almost all of my clothes at this point (including lingerie an

Rather than make a big photo collage of every single thing I made this year (which is what I usually do, and honestly, just kind of over it at this point), I want to focus on a few pieces that did and did not get worn/loved. There was a bit of a shift in my blogging this year – even if no one else noticed it (which is quite likely), it definitely affected my output and the things that ended up in my closet. I participated in far fewer collaborations/sponsorships this year – no pattern testing, very few fabric freebies (other than my monthly MSN makes, which you will tear from my cold, dead hands), no blog hops, and only a handful of gratis patterns. Compared with how much I ate that shit up in the past, I really toned things down this year – and I absolutely think it was for the better. My wardrobe certainly reflects it, anyway.

Oh, and if you want to see *everything* I made this year in all it’s entirety – you can always Lurk My Closet 😉

* * *

So, here are some of my favorite pieces from 2015!

Ginger Jeans
Cone Mills Ginger Jeans - side
Ginger Jeans // 1
Ginger Jeans // 2

GOD BLESS MY GINGER JEANS. Both of these pairs have seen soooo much wear over the course of this past year – the first pair even went all the way to Peru with me (considering I traveled with only a backpack and minimal clothing, that’s a big compliment!). Whatever mystery denim I used for that first pair is super legit, and I wish I’d bought more of it. I can seriously wear those things for a solid 2-3 weeks without them bagging out and looking frumpy. And, of course, I’m happy to finally have a Cone Mills denim pair. These don’t fit quite as well as the first pair (I am thinking that I should not have gone up a size, and instead embraced the painted-on legs), but they are still light years better than almost all the pants I’ve ever bought retail (I won’t snub the OG I+W ones, though, because they are pretty good). Plus, they were fun to make with all the colorful topstitching.

Honorary mentions are required for my Red cotton twill Gingers and Ginger Jeggings. I was NOT expecting to love those jeggings as much as I do (and tbh, I rarely wore them at the beginning of this year), but they are super comfy and get busted out at least once a week now that it’s cold.

B5526 Floral
Gingers & B5526
Butterick 5526 // 1
Butterick 5526 // 2

Butterick 5526 was, again, a big winner for this year. I just feel really good when I wear shirts made from this pattern, not to mention how much I enjoy making them in the first place. A collared shirt is the easiest way (for me, anyway) to wear jeans or shorts without being completely casual. Plus, I can layer them under sweaters in the cold months! Win!

Watson Bikini
Paisley print Stretch & Sew Bikini - front
Watson Bikini
Stretch & Sew Bikini

Super proud of both of these swimsuits. I really nailed the fabric selection (which sounds super dumb, but that shit can get overwhelming really fast when you are presented with practically every option in the WORLD so much that you forget what you actually like), and got a good fit that looks good and feels secure/comfortable. The Watson definitely got more wear, but mainly because I finished it much earlier in the season. I am looking forward to wearing out that paisley one next summer 🙂

Silk crepe Saltspring
Silk Crepe Modified Saltspring

I made a lot of little silk summer dresses this year, but this one is probably my favorite! It’s really easy to throw on when you don’t feel like figuring out an entire outfit, and the shape is perfect for wearing in the heat. Plus, elastic waistband. Yes.

Flannel Carolyn PJs - front
Plaid Flannel Carolyn Pajamas

I am actually wearing these right now, as I type this. These are the BEST pajamas I have ever worn/made – the fit is perfect (unlike any RTW I’ve ever owned) and they are so warm and snuggly. I really love this particular plaid and it makes me happy every time I look at it.

Papercut Waver Jacket
Crazy Aztec Waver Jacket

This jacket was my favorite thing I worked on this year! From selecting the fabric, to planning all the little details, to starting construction and finishing with wearing it – I loved every step of the process. Not to mention, this jacket makes me so freaking happy. It’s definitely a loud statement piece, and it probably even borders on looking a little ridiculous, but I just love it so much. As a side note, for those of you who are curious to know what I did with the remaining fur – I made it into a pillow for my bed. It’s even more ridiculous than the coat and it’s awesome.

Shutters & Shuttles Sway Dress - front
Hand-woven Sway dress

Another project that I really enjoyed working on! It was so cool to be able to meet with the fabric designer for this fabric, and to actually know where my raw materials came from. The fabric turned out absolutely beautiful and was a real treat to work with. I took my time and made sure to really appreciate each step of the process, and I am super proud of the finished dress – even if it’s a relatively plain/simple garment. Also, wearing it feels like wearing a blanket, which is basically the best thing ever.

Silk leopard print Boylston bra
Navy Lace Watson soft bra - side front
Silk Leopard print Boylston bra
Blue Lace Watson soft bra

I made quite a bit of lingerie this year, but these two pieces turned out to be my favorites and definitely get the most wear. The Boylston is so much fun – I love the leopard print, I love that it’s silk, and I LOVE the shape it gives me. I actually feel really really beautiful when I wear it, which is always good in my book. The Watson is equally beautiful, and also perfect for being comfortable and lounging around (not that the Boylston isn’t comfortable – but the Watson doesn’t have underwires, so, hells yeah y’all). Again, I feel beautiful when I wear it. Can’t argue with that.

Portside Travel Set
Portside Travel Set

I use this every time I travel, and it has been INSANELY handy. It’s especially good for a back-up bag, to pack flat when I’m trying to travel light – in case I buy too much shit fabric and need to check something on the way home.

Now, for the opposite side of the spectrum – the pieces that did not get quite so much love in 2015:

Leggings & Ensis Tee
Faux Leather-Paneled leggings

I don’t know if I ever actually wore these out of the house. I just feel silly in them. Shiny legs probably just need to stay a part of my past, I’m thinking.

Francoise Dress
Floral Francoise dress

I love how this one turned out – I think it’s a beautiful combination of fabric + pattern – but it just doesn’t feel like me when I’m wearing it.

Myrtle knit dress
Colette Myrtle dress

Super cute dress in theory, not so great in practice. Basically, every time I leaned over even a little bit, the entire front fell forward and you could see straight down to the elastic waistband. I tried to make it work, but that’s just a whole lotta nope.

Alison Swimsuit
Alison Swimsuit

I felt secure in this thing at first, but then I jumped around and decided it was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. This suit frightens me.

OAL2015 - M6887
McCall’s 6887 Ikat dress

Loooove this dress, but the fabric is really thick so it’s a little too tight in the boobs and difficult to move my arms around in. I am thinking I may cut off the bodice and salvage the skirt into a separate piece, though, because I really do love the fabric.

Gingers & B5526
Gold Ginger jeans

Awesome, except there wasn’t enough stretch in the fabric, rendering them too tight to be comfortable.

My #2015bestnine ... More like breast nine amirite
My 2015 Best Nine, according to Instagram.

I feel like most of my makes were hits this year (it was REALLY hard to narrow down *just* my favorites – I loved them all, except for that handful of misses), which is a really good feeling. I focused a lot more on my tried-and-true concepts – both in pattern and fabric – and they certainly did not steer me wrong. While I did have a few misses, I can at least objectively point out *why* they were misses, which in itself is important and a good learning experience. I spent a lot less time this year chasing trends, and instead made things that worked with my lifestyle and fashion preferences. A lot of repeats, sure, but hey at least it makes getting dressed that much easier!

Another thing I’ve focused on this year is making the time for clothing repairs. I know I’m not the only person who hates the idea of opening something up to fix it – ugh! But I am all about that sustainability, and it’s pretty ridiculous to let something stay broken/crappy/ill-fitting because you are feeling lazy. Especially when the repair (or alteration) doesn’t actually take that long to do! So I’ve made it a point to do those necessary tasks – from replacing broken zippers, to re-fitting a bodice, to changing out buttons, even completely removing sleeves and adding a bias facing in it’s place. It never takes as long as I think it will, and I feel good that I’m giving stuff in my closet a second chance.

Last year, I mentioned that I wanted to take a step back from blogging so much, because I was starting to feel like it was controlling my life in a negative way. Blogging sucks up a LOT of time, and I was also starting to fall into that trap of sewing just for the sake of content. The amount of excess in my life has really made me feel hypocritical, not to mention the feeling of getting my self-worth via likes and comments. That’s just not the kind of person I want to be. Having been in the habit of doing this for years now (forreal, y’all, I think this blog and I are well on our way to becoming domestic partners), it felt pretty weird to essentially take giant steps backward, but I don’t regret my decision. It’s surprising how much more free time I have when I’m not tied down to a blog schedule.

Standing by the Amazon, with my bestie.

Hm, what else happened in 2015? Some highlights:

– I turned 30 this year! Yay!
– I traveled quite a bit this year, and that was pretty cool! Went to Philadelphia, New York (twice!), Florida, Peru, Portland, Boston, and Mexico. 2015 was a good year for travel! I taught 3 classes – 2 Pants Making Intensives in Brooklyn, NY, and one Long Sewing Weekend in Portland, ME. As always, I’d love to travel more next year – back to NY and ME (you have both stolen my hearts!), of course, and I’d love to check out some new places as well. I’ve always wanted to go west – maybe next year it will happen 🙂
– After a full year of living in color, I went back to a more natural tone for my hair. Having fun-colored hair was, well, fun, but I do enjoy the opportunity to blend in with the crowd these days 😉
-I had a major move at the beginning of the year – from right in the city of Nashville, to the tiny lil’ town of Kingston Springs, TN, about 30 miles west, population 2800. I live with my best friend and our house is in the woods. It’s pretty awesome, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss Nashville. I mostly just hate the drive – because I hate driving, period. So that kind of sucks, but it’s really the only negative part (and I’m looking into buying a new[er] car in 2016, so I may change my mind on that! Who knows, maybe driving is fun when you’re not operating a total piece of shit hahaha). It’s pretty neat to live in the middle of nature and have things like a garden and a pig (oh yeah, my roommate totally got a pig). And I have a pretty sweet sewing set-up here, so that’s always nice!
– I got a big tattoo on my leg. And I knit a sock while it was being done hahaha
– 2015 was the year I completely stopped using Twitter. The notification system was driving me CRAZY – either I got “ghost” notifications on my phone that wouldn’t go away no matter what, or I never got any notifications whatsoever! Fuckin’ Twitter! I gave up on it about halfway through the year and I’m sorry if anyone tweeted me, because I promise you that I did not see it. Haha! Pretty much the only non-blog social media platform I use these days is Instagram.
– On a more grown-up note, I bought myself a really fancy purse this year. As a longtime carrier of cheap/thrifted purses, this is a big deal to me.
– One of the biggest experiences I had this year was traveling to Peru with my best friend in June. This was less of a ~sewing-related~ trip and more of a personal journey of self-discovery and change, which is why I didn’t really discuss it much on this blog. Half of that two-week trip was spent in the city of Iquitos, where I participated in several ayahuasca ceremonies in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. To say that shit was profound and eye-opening doesn’t even really scratch the surface. It caused me to take a hard look at myself in ways that I hadn’t before, and really think about things that I had previously been ignoring and pushing to the side. I came to terms with things that needed to be addressed, and overall it was a very very positive and life-changing experience. It’s kind of like, really really really sped-up therapy, haha. I’ve spent the remainder of this year processing through everything that came up during that experience, and making massive changes in my life. It’s been extremely hard, but it’s also been extremely worth it. If I’ve completely confused the shit out of you at this point, I recommend watching the documentary DMT: The Spirit Molecule, (also on Netflix) as it’s pretty fascinating and that’s what prompted me to decide to go to Peru in the first place. If you just think I’m a weirdo… cool 🙂
– One of the hardest things that I’ve dealt with this year is the end of my relationship with Landon. I don’t really want to discuss it on this blog, mostly because it’s personal, but I will say that it was amicable and we are still friends. We had a lot of issues that we could not work our way through, and mutually decided to part ways in November. We were together for nearly 5 years, so it’s been hard, but I know that ultimately it was the right decision. I have a wonderful support group here, and I know I’m gonna be ok.

Overall, 2015 was certainly a really challenging year for me. There was a lot of great stuff that happened, and a fair amount of bad stuff as well. I feel like 2015 was a weird – if not completely shitty – year for a lot of people – not just me! Overall, I’ve come out on top, despite all the negative stuff that was thrown at me, but lord, I so look forward to closing this year out once and for all.

Celebrating the last day of my 20s with hot chicken, aliens, America, and the best damn coworkers in the entire world 🔥🐓👽

Anyway, I don’t want to end this post on a sad note, so, here’s a picture of me celebrating my birthday with hot chicken and some aliens. You were ok, 2015. But now you gotta make way for 2016.


98 Responses to “2015 – A Year In Review”

  1. A Little Talent December 31, 2015 at 7:24 am #

    Wow! So great to see such a thorough roundup of what you did this year! It’s definitely inspiration for me heading into 2016. Personally, I seriously enjoyed reading about your making the Aztec coat- I absolutely love it! Wishing you a Happy New Year!


    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      Happy New Year to you, too! ♥

  2. Winifred Perkins December 31, 2015 at 7:38 am #

    Hi Lauren Great post. Agree, roll on 2016. It is already NY Day here in Oz and it feels better already, Happy sewing! W x

    Sent from my Gulfstream


    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:22 pm #

      2016 is already feeling good to me! Happy new year! 😀

  3. Katy December 31, 2015 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Lauren. Great round up post. I have been doing a lot of altering and mending of previous makes and ready to wear this year! I agree it is very worthwhile once you get going. I’m sorry to hear about your break up but is sounds as though you are in a positive place. All the best for 2016!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

      Thank you! To you as well! 🙂

  4. racurac2 December 31, 2015 at 8:28 am #

    Very good balance for this 2015, minus the break up. But if it’s for the best for you two so be it. Have a wonderful end of year celebration and the best for you in 2016!

  5. oonaballoona December 31, 2015 at 8:41 am #

    sad to read the end… but glad to read the bright outlook…here’s to 2016, girl!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

      Yes! 2016 will be nothing but better, I just know it ♥

  6. Miss Celie December 31, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    I like you so much as a blogger and a person. And, all the reasons I do are confirmed after reading this thoughtful, insightful post. I just wanted to tell you so. That’s all.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:26 am #

      Right back at you, Renee! Hope I get to see more of you in 2016!

  7. Debi December 31, 2015 at 9:13 am #

    What a fabulous round-up post!! Happy New Year, my dear!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

      Happy New Year to you, too!

  8. Aleksandra @ Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs December 31, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Great post — your blog is consistently one of my favorites and I really felt like your posts were extra thoughtful this year, especially this one. Sometimes it’s about quality, not quantity! (At least I hope so — I haven’t posted myself in a couple months!) I love your style and attention to detail… and you in general!

    P.S. I’d love to see posts about things you alter and mend. I’ve got a small mound of garments that need hems/zippers/etc. fixed. Need some inspirationnnnnn…

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:38 am #

      I have thought about doing alteration posts, but they seem so boring compared to the shiny newness of something made from scratch! But I agree that inspiration is always a good thing to have when tackling the mending pile, and I don’t think there are enough of those sorts of posts out there 🙂

  9. steelyseamstress December 31, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Glad your Aztec coat made it into your top makes. It was definitely one of my favourites from your extensive (how do you sew that fast?) collection over the past year. Your time in Peru sounded absolutely fantastic too. Break-ups can be tough, but glad you can think about the positives now. Here’s to 2016!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

      Ha, I’m not that fast – I just always have a project going 🙂 But yeah, that coat was super fun to make and wear! Love it so much!

  10. shesewsswell December 31, 2015 at 9:32 am #

    You may add “helped Catherine become a better seamstress” to your list of accomplishments. I hope to make the pants making intensive in NY this year, my daughter who is presently on the road to move to Chicago from California??? Promises to meet me there. I too look forward in great anticipation for what 2016 has in store. Thanks for being awesome. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      I hope you can make it, too! We are in the works of scheduling the next one, so stay tuned for an announcement 😀

  11. Lucinda December 31, 2015 at 9:40 am #

    You were one busy lady in 2015! Love the roundup, now I have a few more patterns to add to my never-ending sewing queue for 2016. When you’re back in the New England area, let me know – I’d love to meet-up with you again!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:40 am #

      Will do! I’d love to see you again, too 😀 For some reason, I thought you’d left Boston, which is why I didn’t holler – but I know for next time!

  12. mm December 31, 2015 at 10:02 am #

    Happy New Year
    U r fab
    Love ur jeans

  13. Amy December 31, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    If you want to try a fix on that cowl neck dress, you can sew to the facing or binding edge of the neckline on the inside a length of ribbon with a button at the end. The ribbon needs to be long enough to get tucked behind the bridge of your bra, and the button at the end of the ribbon keeps the ribbon from slipping out. It can help keep the edge of the drape closer to your body rather than falling open when you lean over. Depending on how low the neckline is, the amount of material making the drape, etc., this sometimes works better than others, but you could pin the whole business together first to see if it’s worth your time to do.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:42 am #

      I tried doing something similar with a safety pin (just hooked right to my bra) and it helps, but it still falls pretty far forward when I lean over. Also, I don’t really think the style of that top looks good on me! I may cut the skit off, though, and salvage that somehow.

  14. Jane December 31, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    So…I don’t comment much but have been lurking for a long time, so I feel the need: I also ended a loooooooong relationship this year, so I feel that. Hooray for 2016 being better, and for being all self discovering and improving. 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Good for you! We are gonna kick 2016 in the butt!!

  15. Caroline December 31, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    I love reading your blog (I don’t always comment) since I discovered it a few years ago. You are awesome and I wish you all the best for 2016! You have officially kicked 2015’s ass now!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      Thank you! Happy 2016 to all of us! 😀

  16. Marissa December 31, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    You also accomplished something else in 2015 (cue cheesefest): inspiring a buttload of women, myself included, to keep sewing and try new things. I sewed my first bra this year because of you! And you didn’t lie. It was life-changing.

    I imagine it’s a tricky balance how much of your personal life to reveal on this blog, but now I’m so curious about Peru and Ayahuasca! Looking forward to watching that documentary. I’m sorry to hear about the end of any relationship, but it sounds like it was the right decision, so I feel like I should actually congratulate you for having the strength and conviction to change things you know aren’t working. I was with someone for 8 years, and life only got better after we mutually ended things.

    Can’t wait to see what you sew in 2016. Rock on, Lladybird!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      That is AWESOME!! Isn’t bra-making the best?! Isn’t it so hard to stop? haha!

      Thank you so much for your comment. I think a lot of us feel like failures after a break-up (like we couldn’t make it work, because something about us is flawed), but having strength and conviction to change things that aren’t working is a HUGE deal that gets overlooked.

  17. PsychicKathleen December 31, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    I remember a few of the duds you have featured here and they were my favourites too! Happy New Year! I look forward to reading your blog posts in 2016. They are always fun to read – humourous, helpful and just a great window into the soul of another keen sewer 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      😀 Thank you! It’s funny, but I feel like the duds usually do end up being a lot of people’s favorites. All I can say to that is – pictures can be deceiving! 🙂

  18. Sylvea December 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    Good for you, all around!

  19. Diana December 31, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I am really glad that you are doing the things and making the changes that you need to in order to be EVEN MORE AMAZING than you already are! It feels like lots of ladies I know (myself included) are waking up to themselves in really profound ways — 2016 is going to be our bitch!

  20. Sally December 31, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

    Love the honesty in this post! I really felt the same way this year in regards to blogging, time, self-worth, etc and it was a really positive thing to step away from it for awhile. My word going in to 2016 is “balance” 🙂 Excited to see what the new year brings for you!!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:50 am #

      Balance, I like that! Glad to hear that you had a positive experience too from stepping away 🙂

  21. Rochelle December 31, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

    I’m relatively new to your blog but I did enjoy the round up for the year. Like everyone else — I was sorry to read about your breakup! I hope that 2016 will be a good year for all of us. I do have a question — what is that machine you are standing in front of? If you have mentioned I must have missed it. Do you mind discussing?

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:52 am #

      It’s an industrial coverstitch machine! Isn’t it terrifying looking? 🙂 It’s not mine, though – it’s at the Elizabeth Suzann studios, which is why I’ve never mentioned it on the blog 🙂

  22. Carolyn December 31, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    It’s interesting to see what worked and didn’t work for you this year! I’m sure you will take those lessons learned into 2016 to make even more marvelous things. I so understand about the challenges that life presents us with that we need to work to overcome or deal with…I hope that 2016 brings you many wonderful things in your personal life also!

    Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      Thank you, Carolyn! Same to you – and happy new year!!

  23. Carol S December 31, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

    Yes that your were blogging less was noticed, but lives need to be balanced. Sorry to hear about the breakup, but glad that your are looking up. Hope to see you in NY soon.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:53 am #

      For reals! We have drinks to drink and lingerie elastics to buy! 🙂

  24. Jessica December 31, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    Sounds like a big year! I always enjoy your posts, and even though I missed seeing you update as frequently, that’s more than made up for by the fact that the step away from blogging so frequently is the right move for you (something I so get, so really no guilt trip here). That self-knowledge sounds hard fought and that it may have rippled into your life in hard and/or uncomfortable but ultimately worthwhile ways. Good for you! How many of us stay in relationships/jobs/cities/living situations far longer than we should, out of fear, inertia, uncertainty, etc.? Hard but worthwhile. Hoping 2016 is a good one for you :-).

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      Yeah!! I think it’s gonna be a good one for sure 🙂 Happy 2016 to you, too!!

  25. ellegeemakes December 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    Fabulous post! Yes, I noticed you were blogging less, but when you did, as always, the content was spot on. It sounds like your year has been life-changing, and your thoughtful reflections prompted me to reflect on my year in a new way, so thanks for getting me to think :). I think sewing and blogging is a passion that can also be an obsession for me so I so ‘get’ the goal you have of ‘finding the balance.’ The good news is you took the time to visit some fabulous places this year, creating experiences that are making you stronger. Sorry you had to go through a break-up but it sounds like you’re on the high side of that one. Yay for 2016. You’ll rock it I’m sure.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Thank you! It really has been a life-changing year – hopefully this new year will continue the positives, but maybe not turn things upside-down quite as much 🙂 Happy 2016!

  26. Philippa December 31, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    I really enjoyed reading your post, especially about all the changes. It really sounds like you, and I am glad you have found more mindfulness in your sewing. My divorce was finalised last January and I moved house and started a new career so those bits really resonated with me too….yes 2015 certainly had it’s challenges! I’m looking at 2016 as a year that will hopefully be much better, more settled and when I can build on everything I did last year. Lots of love and luck xx

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Wow, yeah, you had a crazy 2015 too! Here’s to 2016 being better for both of us! ♥

  27. Anonymous December 31, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    Lauren, thanks for all the news. You are an inspiration! Sewing and otherwise, following your muse. 2015 was definitely a time of reordering for you, and for me. Live long and prosper!

  28. Suzanne January 1, 2016 at 2:02 am #

    Hey Lauren, happy new year! Thanks for being so generous with your experiences (in sewing and in life!). It’s pretty inspiring to see someone so genuine on the internets. I always look forward to reading your posts even though they have become less frequent (for some pretty great reasons, as you explained). I would love to know where you did your ceremonies in Iquitos as am travelling there in Sept and a personal recommendation is always best! All the best for 2015!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Of course! We went to Kapitari Retreats for the ceremonies, and I cannot recommend the place enough. It was a WONDERFUL experience, we had a great shaman, and the people running it were just fantastic. Highly, highly recommended! If you want to discuss more, just send me an email 🙂 You are going to LOVE Iquitos! God, I wish I was back there right now, it was such an incredible city 🙂

  29. Elena Knits January 1, 2016 at 2:33 am #

    I’m sorry that 2015 was hard on you, it wasn’t easy here either. Ending a relationship is always hard, but I’m glad you feel it’s for the best. I really wish you a great 2016!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

      And you as well! We are gonna rock this year 🙂

  30. Laura January 1, 2016 at 4:18 am #

    I love the fact that you focus on classic pieces and quality over quantity. Plus I love seeing multiple variations of the same patterns…that’s a pretty solid endorsement right there and makes me want to try some of these patterns myself (hello ginger and archer!). Bring on 2016!!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

      Ginger and Archer are great! Those multiple-make patterns really are no joke 🙂

  31. amcclure2014 January 1, 2016 at 4:36 am #

    A fabulous round up of 2015. Your increased mindfulness shows and for me makes your blog more readable. Happy New Year 2016!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

      Happy 2016 to you, too! ♥

      • amcclure2014 January 3, 2016 at 10:19 am #

        Thank you, too, for being one of the few bloggers who acknowledge all comments.

  32. tanyasewsdotcom January 1, 2016 at 4:58 am #

    I only started following you this year and so have not noticed any reduction in content! Your blog has quickly become one of my favourites, the fun posts and great makes really inspire me all the way down here in Australia, bring on 2016 🙂

  33. Heather January 1, 2016 at 6:50 am #

    Loved this post. Will definitely have to talk to you more about Peru the next time we’re together as it’s something that has long fascinated me. Sorry to hear about Landon but it seems like you’re on a great path of self love and self discovery; what more can anyone else ask for? Love you! Xoxo

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

      GIRL YES. I will talk your ear off if you give me the opportunity. I hope that 2016 means I get to see more of you, because that would be awesome! Love you too! ♥

  34. Shawna January 1, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    Enjoyed reading your year in review. This is my first year reading your blog and you have inspired me with the things you have created and your insightful posts on patterns!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like it 😀

  35. New Capel Street: Fabric Division January 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

    Your blog is one of my favourite things about the internet. You’ve really inspired me to make the time to make things I can wear and love in the everyday world, and not just for costume usage, and to find my own voice and style when blogging myself. Sorry to hear about the tough parts of ’15, but you’re right – you will be OK.

    As always, look forward to reading more from you, and if you’re ever travelling to Dublin it would be great to meet you!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

      Dang, that’s a high honor! Thank you so much 🙂 And I would LOVE to visit Dublin, so hopefully someday a hang might actually be a reality 🙂

  36. Fiona January 1, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

    Hi Lauren, I too started following you this year and you have become a favourite of mine! This post made me smile and also gave me inspiration for my own sewing endeavours for 2016. You need to put Australia on your list of places to visit! Looking forward to reading more from you in 2016.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      Australia has been on my list for a long time! Would love to visit because it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  37. Sarah January 1, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi Lauren- thanks for the great post! I too starting following you this year…I just started sewing last year and your blog has been super helpful (and entertaining too!). As a fellow Nashvillian (is that even a word??) I’d be interested if you ever teach a class in the area. Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

      I actually have a meeting this upcoming week to discuss teaching a class at Craft South – so, maybe! 🙂 And yes, Nashvillian is TOTALLY a word as far as I’m concerned haha 🙂

  38. Becky Thompson January 1, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    A banner year overall Lauren. Milestones like 30 are a pretty big deal in more than just a number. I had a real LT relationship years ago and it seemed like I was always hanging on to “It was so great when…” or “It would be so good if…”. The problem with those statements is that they are not reality. Best piece of advice I ever got was “Take what you’ve got when you’re dating, multiply it times 10, and that’s what you’ve got when you’re married.” And girl, that stuff is furreal.

    You’ve been an inspiration to me and have really made me up my game in garment sewing. I have always done alterations but from-scratch has never been my forte. I just bought Sure Fit Designs and invested in a quality dress form. I now have no more excuses and your most recent post of a Renfrew caused me to buy the pattern and it’s in the queue for tomorrow. If your weekly posts were a slow down from years past, then yes, I think you’ve found a good balance because you posted more frequently than any other sewing blogger I follow. You’re my favorite and I’m looking forward to sharing 2016 with you!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

      That is really good advice! I too tend to hang on to the “It was so great when…” and the like, and it can be really hard to see past that into a more realistic future.

      I am so glad to hear that I’ve inspired you to up your garment sewing game! I have really enjoyed your comments and interactions, and I look forward to what 2016 will bring us 😀

  39. lifeisjustduckie January 1, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    I somehow just found out about the Ginger Jeans and binged through all of your posts about them. I can’t wait to make a pair for myself! I love your makes; they’re so much fun and inspire me to get sewing. I got a ton of new patterns and fabric waiting to be cut!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      They are GREAT!! You are going to love making (and wearing!) those jeans, for sure!

  40. Beth January 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    Your energy and spirit are such a party! Gotta remember to thank my sister for telling me about you and your blog. If you ever feel the need to just chuck things and get away for awhile, check out Silverton, OR. We’d love to show you around! Happy 2016!

  41. tamsinwp January 3, 2016 at 5:55 am #

    Hi Lauren, thanks for a really interesting post, both sewing and life. I’m really sorry to hear about you and Landon, but it sounds like it was for the best. Knowing how much personal stuff to share is tricky. I am glad to see the back of 2015 as I have been dealing with breast cancer, but am now well on the road to recovery. 2016 has to be a better year! If you come to the UK again it would be great to see you – I had great fun when we were at Goldhawk Road in 2014!

  42. unseamlygirl January 3, 2016 at 7:12 am #

    Great post – looking forward to your sewing and adventures in 2016. You inspire us all! Happy new year!

  43. Nokes613 January 3, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    2014 was my upside down, life-changing year – I lost my brother. But the thing about these untethering events is just that – they untie you from the dock and set you on a new course, and that new course is bound to bring experiences (and hopefully excitement and happiness) that you couldn’t have found otherwise. Late 2014 is when I rediscovered sewing (and found your blog!), and not only did it help me deal with my loss, it has also changed my future! So here’s to 2016 – with lots more sewing, cats, sunny skies and blue waters. 💕

  44. Julie January 4, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Great recap!! I love, love, love the Aztec jacket and don’t think it “borders on looking a little ridiculous”. That is my favorite piece you made this year. I also love the Archer shirt, which my daughter is going to make soon. She’s 14 and THIS is what she picked to make as her first item of clothing!! There is no changing her mind so we will just go slowly. Your pajamas are also one of my favorites and is the exact style I was looking for. So thanks for all of the inspiration!! I love reading your posts. I get the feeling that it would be just like talking to you in real life. You never fail to make me chuckle! Thanks

  45. Deepika January 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    I can tell this post came straight from the heart and I admire you for that. Kudos for being true to yourself and moving forward. Happy New Year.

  46. Jill January 5, 2016 at 7:31 pm #

    It’s your sincerity that keeps us hanging on. And the sewing too! But really there are a million sewing blogs, the writer in you is what makes yours special. Hey, glad you have a positive outlook going into 2016. It’s going to be a good one, I just know it!

  47. Grace January 6, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Well, I appreciate the wanting a more focused approach to sewing and it shows in the quality of the clothing you made this year. Thank you for the link back to your sewing room post… I may be copying your ikea hack cutting table sometime this year. I also broke off a long relationship the year I turned 30. It was a clean break which was tough because it meant severing contact with his family too. I’m glad to hear your situation was amicable, that you’re OK, and that you get to live with your bestie. Best wishes for 2016!

  48. Pootle and Make January 8, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    Whilst I love reading your posts especially the hilarious pattern reviews, I’d hate to think you were enslaved to it and am glad you’ve taken a step back. I’m with you about 2015 being pretty shitty. My partner got really ill and was in hospital and I resigned from my job. But it’s all good now. I hope 2016 brings you closer to where you want to be in life.

  49. Maggie January 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm #

    I mostly lurk, but I have been reading your blog for a few years now and I always enjoy your posts–regardless of their frequency. I really enjoyed that documentary you mentioned that inspired your trip to Peru–I have had other experiences with other substances that have similar effects, but never a Ayahuasca ceremony. I would love to experience that, it’s been a long time since I’ve had the courage to rip apart my psyche and rebuild it.

    2015 was a really tough year for me, but I’m recovering! I do more paper crafts, jewelry and embroidery than sewing–but you are always inspiring with your elite skills (Jeans!! Bras!!!). I need to craft more and reduce my excess belongings, rather than getting stuck in the TV/Video Game loop. Anyways, thanks so sharing so openly with all of us here in the blogosphere and here’s to a fantastic 2016 for all. I turned 30 this year as well–a big one!

  50. Lisette January 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    Well, best wishes for the new year ahead, ma’am! I’m glad you’re taking some time for yourself – blogging really is a huge time suck. Hope I catch you sometime in NYC, now that I don’t live there I’m desperadoes for a garment district trip. None of this dinky JoAnn’s ridiculousness.

    • Li Ann January 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

      Hi Lauren, a belated happy New year! You are such an amazing sewing inspiration already but thank you for sharing about life and what it means to be human. All the very best – and yes, do visit Australia!!

  51. Elise January 11, 2016 at 10:41 pm #

    My only addition to all the true and agreed upon comments above has to do with your age. I’ve been telling my girls, nieces, nephews, and anyone else who’s in that age bracket, that 30-40 is the best decade of life! You’re still young and strong, you have a good idea what you want your life to look like, and you have enough experience to know how to make it happen. Its a time for enjoying and holding onto relationships that enhance your life, and realizing that letting the ones go that don’t will not break your heart or your spirit. So go forth and conquer, knowing you are well loved by many. Oh, I totally agree with you about Twitter. Haha! At twice your age, I figured that was the problem. It’s nice to know there is at least one other person in the world who isn’t enamored with it.

  52. Laura January 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi! I am new to your blog but I must say this post is really impressive. My sewing skills leave much to be desired so when I see a post like this that shows THIS many garments being sewn in a single year…I kind of feel awed. Well done. And I love those plaid pajamas!

  53. Dani Malloy January 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

    Best roundup ever. You are such a breath of (no-bullshit) fresh air in the blogging world. Thanks for being honest. And interesting to hear about your ayahuasca journey! I kind of forgot that that shit isn’t fictional. Good luck with the post-breakup stuff, although it sounds like you’re doing well.

  54. Michelle Rivera January 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    I’m so glad that I’ve been able to experience so much of 2015 with you and constantly hear about what’s going in your life. You’re such a glorious, beautiful friend and I just love your honesty and unapologetic genuine approach to life. Here’s to 2016 and beyond! XO

  55. Maya January 26, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

    I had a near death experience with dmt in Hollywood about ten years ago, Peruvian shamans come up and perform ceremonies. I immediately stopped breathing, slipped out of my body and I died. The people with me were trying to bring me back to life, and after 45 minutes, I finally “came back into my body.” A dude present bolted the room. The two other guys, a director and an actor, were so nervous, they wondered how they were going to dump my body so the neighbors wouldn’t find out. This is not something to play around with. It is by the grace of God and my guardian angel that I returned, yet, I’ve had great PTSD from it over the years. A girl I knew did it and died. The only one who died in the group. There are reports of people coming down to Peru and never returning. While you had a great experience, it’s more like LSD with mushrooms. It’s a drug, and a very dangerous one.

    • LLADYBIRD January 28, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Wow! I am really sorry to hear that you had such a traumatizing experience. That sounds absolutely terrible and even worse that you are still experiencing PTSD as a result 😦 In my research, ayahausaca deaths are very rare (if you can even blame the death on the drug – it’s usually from something else), and the place I went to was equipped to deal with any issues that may arise. I felt 100% safe while I was there, however, I absolutely recommend that everyone do their own personal research before taking something like that. It’s definitely not an experience to mess around with, or take lightly.


  1. 2016: A Year In Review | LLADYBIRD - December 31, 2016

    […] Growth-wise, this might have been my best year yet. I had a lot of baggage that I carried over from 2015 – I was right at the beginning of a break-up and about 6 months into working through all my […]

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