2016: A Year In Review

31 Dec

I can’t believe this year is nearly over! 2016 was such a weird year for me – it seems so brief when I look back, but also like it lasted FOREVER.

At Camp Workroom Social!

As with my wrap-up last year, I’m not going to post every single garment I made in 2016 (part of the reason being that I STILL have unblogged pieces lol whoops), however, I do want to touch on my hits and misses of the year! As always – if you’d like to see everything I made during this year, you can always Lurk my Closet. I can’t always guarantee that page is up-to-date, but it is as of this posting πŸ™‚

First, the faves:

T&TB Agnes Dress
Agnes Dress

I am surprised at how much I LOVE this little dress! It’s comfortable thanks to the knit fabric, it’s easy to accessorize to change the look (lately, my favorite way to wear it is with combat boots and a denim jacket, but the look in that post is good, too!), and I just feel pretty when I wear it! When I made it, it was definitely one of those “I have this fabric/pattern lying around, I just feel like making something” situations, but it ended up being one of my favorite things to wear during the fall this year. I made this dress at the end of 2015, so technically it’s not a 2016 make – but that’s when it’s blogged, so we are counting it as so.

Silk Georgette B5526 + Stretch Brocade Circle Skirt
Sparkly Brocade Circle skirt
Another surprising make (and another from 2015 – I actually wore this to ring in the new year haha). I really just made this skirt to wear out on New Year’s Eve, but it has seen a lot of wear during the holidays this year! The metallic makes it look all festive and shit, and the fact that it’s grey means it looks good with lots of different tops (current favorite pairing: with a white collared shirt and a black v-neck sweater). My friends are all in different social circles, which means I totally wore this to every single holiday party I was invited to haha no regrets.

Silk Top & Corduroy Mini Skirt
Mustard Corduroy Rosari skirt
Might as well call 2016 the year of the Rosari skirt – I made this one, a black one, a denim one, and a plaid one. I fucking LOVE this pattern, if you can’t tell.

McCall's 7351
McCall’s 7351
Probably the dress I wore the most all summer (other than my Chambray Hawthorne, which still gets TONS of love). It is easy to throw on, super comfortable in the heat thanks to the rayon (and doesn’t show sweat, thanks to the dark color + pattern), and also it’s just super freaking cute. I got stopped and complimented a lot while wearing this dress – and introduced a lot of people to the idea of making your own clothes haha πŸ™‚

Sewaholic Pacific Shorts + Dunbar Sports Bra
Sewaholic Pacific shorts
These are the best little shorts for running! The back pocket is big enough to hold my phone, and the zippered top keeps it secure so it doesn’t bounce out. I wore these all summer while running on the greenway behind my apartment building. The Dunbar sportsbra did not get worn as much – it’s just not as secure as I’d like in a sportsbra. I think this could be fixed by going down a size, or using a firm powermesh across the whole front, but I haven’t gotten to the point of testing this theory as I already have tons of sports bras as it is. Maybe next year! It is cute, though, and fine for practicing yoga.

Birdy Scout Tee
Birdy Scout Tee
I am SO glad I finally cut up that birdy fabric and made it into this top! I loooove this tee and actually wore it on Christmas! That fabric makes me so happy!

Travel Backpack
Rainbow Travel backpack
I did a lot of traveling this year, and this lil’ guy was soo handy for that! Since making that pack, I made a much nicer/sturdier waxed canvas backpack (which I haven’t actually carried out into the world yet, so I can’t really review it for it’s usefulness!), which I’m also pumped about. I don’t normally like sewing bags, like, at ALL, but both of these projects were super enjoyable.

Organic French Terry Augusta Hoodie
Augusta Hoodie + Anima Pants
These two also surprised me. I made the Augusta hoodie with the intention of wearing it around the house for loungewear, but quickly realized the snaps and super thick fabric made it feel more like a lightweight jacket. I ended up wearing it a lot this fall, it’s a great transitional outerwear piece. And those Anima pants are amaaaaazing when it’s super cold outside! They look way too ridiculous to wear outside of my house (seriously, they are straight-up Santa pants), but I love them for lounging on the couch as they are incredibly warm and very very comfortable. And no, since taking those photos – I have not worn those two pieces together haha.

B5526 Chambray Tencel
Chambray Tencel B5526
I am all about that B5526! The Chambray Tencel one was my favorite, though. It just gets softer the more I wear and wash it, and it really does go with everything.

MΓ©lilot shirt - front
Melilot Shirt
This shirt makes me so happy, I don’t even mind that I have to iron it every time I wash it.

And now, for the misses of 2016…

Ginger Jeans + Silk Tank
Bias silk cami
Love black camis, love this silk, do not love pleats over my boobs.

Simplicity 1799 robe
Plaid Flannel Robe
I love this robe in theory – it is really beautiful and quite cozy – but in practice, the arm holes are way too low so the whole thing shifts when I move my arms. Also, the way the robe is made means you have to keep it tied, and sometimes I just like a little breeze, you know?

Black Silk Polka Dot Boylston Bra
Silk polkadot Bra
Real talk: I cut this bra up the other day. It’s REALLY beautiful, but I pulled the silk too taut when I was covering the cups and one of the boobs ended up flattened. Totally noticeable from the outside, too. After several months of it languishing in my drawer with me pretending like I *might* wear it someday, finally just took my scissors to it and salvaged whatever bits I could. MOVING ON.

Silk Chiffon Archer
Silk Chiffon Archer
I still have yet to wear this shirt, even though I really love the way it looks. Maybe once the weather dips enough to warrant wearing a sweater, I will try it as a layering piece.

Silk Rite of Spring shorts
Silk shorts
One of the few true fails of this year. These shorts were fucking stupid. Bad combo of pattern to fabric, looks awful, blah blah.

* * * * *

I really cut back a lot on sewing this year, and it’s definitely reflected in my wardrobe. I’m at a point now where pretty much everything I have is handmade and I don’t have a lot of holes to fill in my closet. As a result, I have really slowed down my sewing – mostly in the form of taking the time to rip out mistakes and do things correctly, or alter/repair pieces that I’ve made and loved to death. I’ve also stopped trying to ~power through~ major sewing sessions. If I feel myself start to get frustrated (which is usually when major mistakes start happening because I start getting real careless), I will acknowledge that I’m not enjoying the process anymore and just stop for the evening. Sewing is my hobby, and I want to keep it fun and happy. Stepping away from a project has been immensely helpful in that I have a chance to cool off and re-assess at a later time.

With that being said, I still really really love to make things, and I’ve had a serious struggle with finding that balance between indulging my creative side vs not having a closet full of shit I don’t wear or even need. As I don’t have a lot of wardrobe holes anymore (other than underwear that’s not all ratty – I still can’t bring myself to spend precious sewing time making panties haha), this means that a lot of what I’m making these days is a nicer replacement to things I already had – whether they were starting to wear out, or they weren’t right begin with but I wore them anyway. This has been a good compromise, as I get to continue to make awesome things but don’t feel super wasteful making a bunch of crap I don’t need and won’t wear (except that prom dress, I DON’T REGRET THE PROM DRESS). Slowing down the process has also been going for this – while I can make an entire top in a couple of hours, there’s really no need to. Also, I will make that underwear next year. This is my promise to myself.

Blog-wise, I feel pretty good about where I am currently. Blogging less gave me more time to work on projects – without feeling like I needed to rush to finish them so I could throw them on the blog. Less posts means I also have more time to respond to comments, which always bothered me that I didn’t do in the past. I don’t blog all the stuff I make anymore – some of it just seems too redundant to warrant it’s own post (tbh, you probably won’t see that underwear ever get posted, so don’t hold your breath or anything haha) – but I will admit that I do miss having a catalogue to look back through. A lot of it did get posted to Instagram – not all of it, but a lot of it! – and moving forward, I’m going to start tagging my makes #madebylladybird so I have that catalogue, albeit on a different media source. It feels weird to give myself my own tag, but, whatever haha. I started doing this the other night and it’s fun to scroll through the tag! Of course, Instagram flagged me once I got about 2 years back and I’m currently blocked from tagging (lolwut) so getting back to the beginning might take a while!

I started out this year with a partnership with Spiegel sewing machines, and did that for about half of 2016. As you’ve probably noticed, I am not working with Spiegel anymore, and it’s been a few months since those posts stopped. The reason for this really doesn’t have anything to do with Spiegel or the machine itself – it just ended up not being a good fit in terms of my available time to commit to it. I have been asked by a few people about this, I did want to mention it just so we are clear!

:D* * * *

On a personal note, I know 2016 was a really terrible year for a lot of people, and probably even for the world in general – but it was actually a really, really good year for me. 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 personal demons that had come up while I was on that ayahuasca retreat. I really feel good about the challenges that I not only faced head-on – but really charged through them and came out triumphant on the other side. I am proud of the person I’m growing into, although there is still a lot of work that I need to muddle through.

Some notable highlights from the year:

  • I traveled a lot this year! I visited a few new places (San Francisco, Charleston, St Louis, Newport, Exeter), a few old favorites (Portand Maine and New York!), and made plans for next year as well. I taught bunches of sewing classes and retreats (both during my travels and locally), and also assisted at Camp Workroom Social for the first time. I promised myself when I left my corporate job back in 2013 that I would budget more time and money for traveling, with the goal of going *somewhere* (even if it’s just to a neighboring state for a day trip) at least every 3-4 months. So far, I’ve been sticking to it! I even got TSA Pre-Check so I don’t have to stand in that line and take my shoes off haha!
  • I’ve been single for pretty much all of this year, and it’s been… interesting. Definitely met some incredibly awesome people, and definitely navigated my way around some real creeps (if you ever meet me in person, please ask me about my date that involved the pigs. It’s really the kind of story that needs to be told in person, and it’s great.). Don’t get me wrong – I actually really enjoy being single (more time for meeee, fuck yea), but having previously been in a relationship for nearly 5 years, there’s been some adjusting to do. Let me also say that Landon really disappointed me this year – our split last year was amicable, but we are not on good terms anymore. He stole several hundred dollars from me and disappeared off the face of the earth. Pretty much the only retribution I have at this point is to publicly shame him, so, there you go. On the flip side, glad I dodged the bullet. He’s the one who has to spend the rest of his life with his shitty self, not me.
  • I bought a car this year! This was pretty exciting, and I’m still super thrilled about it. I have always owned very old/shitty cars – the kind that you’re afraid to drive more than a couple hours away from home, lest you break down on the side of the road – and my last one was so basic, everything was manual and it didn’t even have a tape deck, just a radio. I have been saving my money for the past 2 years to buy something nicer, and spent a few months researching what was available in my price range. In February, I became the proud owner of a cherry red 2012 Prius C. I’ve never bought a car by myself – my dad always found them for me and I just paid him for them – so that was a new experience, but I did it all myself (although I did buy from Carmax, so there was no negotiating or anything). I got a killer deal on what was practically a new car (less than 20k miles) and I am so so happy every time I drive it. It’s the nicest thing I’ve ever owned – there’s a fucking tv in it and sensors on the doors that lock/unlock when you touch them – and it’s all MINE. And his name is Ricky πŸ˜‰
  • After living out in the ‘sticks with my BFF for over a year, I decided it was time to move back to the city. Honestly, I did love living in the woods at first – it was quiet, it was serene, and every single night was BFF night. But I hated the 45 minute commute that was required to get anywhere (even buying that new car did not make the drive more enjoyable), and it became very isolating after I broke up with Landon. It was really hard to make myself go out and do anything, knowing I’d have to make that drive – and understandably, no one really wanted to come out to me, either. I also realized that I really wanted to be alone in my own space, and not have to share it with someone else. So I found a 2 bedroom apartment in West Nashville and moved out here in June. I cannot even tell y’all how much happier I am being back in the city. I love being close to everything – whether it’s a short car ride, a bike ride, or a really cheap Uber. I can order food (or Amazon Prime Now) and have it delivered RIGHT TO MY DOOR. Having my own space all to myself is awesome, especially after nearly a decade of living with someone else (be it a roommate or an SO). Plus, I have all these amazing windows and my apartment is right next to a beautiful greenway! I love it so much!
  • A big part of what afforded me the opportunity to move back into the city was a change in one of my jobs. I was working for Elizabeth Suzann as one of her production seamstresses, and I loooooved that job. I’d just come in, put on my headphones, and sew my way through a stack of pre-cut pieces. I had the most amazing coworkers and a seriously, seriously incredible set of bosses who did everything in their power to make their employees feel valued and appreciated. I still love everyone there and do my best to visit when I can (and when they’re not too busy with orders!), but I was offered a much more lucrative job at Craft South and I couldn’t do both. At Craft South, I am the Education Coordinator – so I plan, schedule, and promote the classes, and handle everything related to them. It is a part time job, which puts me in the store 2 days a week (I also work part time as a personal assistant, which I’ve been doing for the same woman since 2014. I don’t talk about her much on this blog bc it’s completely unrelated to sewing, but I absolutely ADORE my boss. She’s an amazing person and I’m so lucky to be in the position I am. She moved to Newport this year, so now I’m remote and I work from home!). I’ve always wanted to work in a craft store, and I really love it! They are also super accommodating with my travel schedule, so I can take off whenever I need to for my workshops. Its pretty great- I have a wonderful new set of coworkers, an inspiring place to be surrounded by other makers, and an excuse to get out of the house a couple times a week. Plus I get to sew on those $10k Janome machines, which, is a pretty sweet perk πŸ˜›
  • On a more somber note, we did have a big scare with my dad towards the end of summer. He got very sick with pneumonia that quickly went septic, and he ended up on life support for a full week. It was a really bad time and the doctors didn’t offer us much hope. I was preparing myself for the worst – which, even when you know the inevitable is going to happen (my dad has been fighting colon cancer since 2013, and we’re not delusional here), you’re still never really prepared for it. He made this incredibly miraculous recovery, though, and bounced the fuck out of there the second they released him. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an ongoing battle – he’s still quite sick, and we still have scares that make us rush back to the ER – but we are so, so happy to have him back for at least a little while longer. My dad is such an awesome person, and I’m so thankful that we got this second chance.
  • Speaking of colon cancer, I did finally get that colonoscopy that his oncologist had insisted I do a few years ago. The procedure was completely uneventful – it’s really the prep that’s bad, and yes, it’s as awful as everyone tells you haha – and everything was benign. So yay, no cancer!Β  I also just found out the other day that I don’t have any cavities either, so I’m basically on a roll of awesome here right now hahaha.

* * * *

What’s on the table for 2017? Beats me if I know – but I’m ready for whatever it throws at me! I don’t like to make resolutions as I’d rather just jump right into positive changes than wait for a specific date to start – and I hope 2017 brings me more creativeness, positivity, and growth (both personally and professionally). And I guess more handmade underwear, too πŸ˜›

Much love to you all, and wishing everyone a wonderful new year! β™₯


98 Responses to “2016: A Year In Review”

  1. Ms. Bear December 31, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    That was all great to read! Thank you. I hope that your dad keeps well and 2017 brings you more inspiration.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      Thank YOU! I am looking forward to 2017 for sure πŸ™‚

  2. Carolyn December 31, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    Love this year-in-review. I always read your blog but never comment – just want to say Happy New Year and I really enjoy your projects, your perspective, and your hilarious voice. I feel like we would be friends in real life! Sending good healthy wishes to your dad, and happy 2017 πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:45 am #

      We probably would be friends in real life πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your comment! Happy new year! β™₯

  3. Heather Myers December 31, 2016 at 10:37 am #

    Happy and prosperous New Year to you, Lauren! I surely enjoy your blogs, seeing what you make, and hearing about your journey – especially that your dad is soldering on and you love your new living quarters and arrangement. I moved this year too so sewing and artwork took a back seat except for my NPS artist residency – and they are moving to the forefront this year. Looking forward to your 2017 posts.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      Thank you so much! Best of luck with getting that sewing and artwork back to the front seat (where it belongs :P) and I hope that 2017 treats you well!

  4. Aubrey December 31, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    I love that I have seen you wear so many of your favorite projects! I’m also glad that I’ve gotten to see you more this year, and I hope we can continue our lady dates into 2017 too, because if I read this post and learned anything really new, I’d feel like the shittiest friend. You introduced me to one of my favorite margaritas in Nashville! xoxo

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:47 am #

      For real, I am making an effort to get out more and reconnect with people this next year – my relationship and previous living situation were already pretty isolating, and while I am introverted, I need to be more social and drag myself out of the house! So moreeeee lady dates in 2017! Let’s go get more of those margaritas ASAP haha β™₯

  5. Heather December 31, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Thanks for a fun review of your year! I need to make more time for sewing in 2017, it sort of got left behind in 2016.
    I also “had” to publicly shame someone at the end of a (11 year!) relationship this year. So it’s not that I’m happy to see it in your roundup, because circumstances like that suck, but just wanted to say Solidarity! Yeah!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:48 am #

      Ugh, isn’t it the worst having someone that you spent THAT much time with (11 years – I cannot even imagine!) and trusted THAT much to just… end up being super shitty at the end? Solidarity is right! At least we know better than to do something terrible enough to warrant a public shaming! I would never ever treat someone that badly!

      I hope 2017 grants you lots and lots of selfish sewing time! β™₯

  6. liz-o-matic December 31, 2016 at 11:00 am #

    Happy New Year! I’m happy that 2016 has been good to you (for the most part). Hopefully, 2017 will be even better with your Dad continuing to do well.

    Also… you should totally join the Dark Side and start sewing your own underwear!! It’s a fun, quick project. I view it as almost a palate cleanser project… if I’ve finished something big and complicated (or just get REALLY frustrated with a project) I dig through my scraps and make some undies πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you so much! I have good hopes for 2017, and I hope it’s good for you as well!

      I really am going to start making underwear! I’ve been content with buying it in the past, just cos I didn’t want to mess with making it (weirdly enough, it feels like a waste of perfectly good lingerie elastic haha makes no damn sense), but the stuff I buy just is NOT comfortable and I’ve come to realize it’s because they don’t have elastic around the legs. I need that elastic or the underwear doesn’t stay in place. 2017 will be the year for comfortable underwear, finally! Haha!

  7. Amelia Wray December 31, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    This is one of my favourite reviews of the year I’ve read so far. I like how you’ve consciously reduced your output – I’ve been thinking about that recently too. If often feels like I need to make all the things really quickly – I don’t yet have a completely me-made wardrobe – but if I end up with lots of things I never wear, then what’s the point?

    I also love your apartment from the photos I’ve seen here and on Instagram, it looks amazing! I hope 2017 brings you lots more exciting opportunities xx

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

      Yeah, that’s how I was starting to feel, too! It’s so exciting to make new things and have a fully me-made wardrobe – but what’s the point if you don’t actually wear and love them? I hate waste and I don’t want to be contributing to it myself!

      And YES, I love my apartment! I need to take some photos to share here – especially of my sewing room. I have been putting it off because I keep wanting to add/update/improve on stuff, but honestly, it’s never done and I just need to accept that and take some damn photos haha

  8. Becky December 31, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Lauren, so many great things are happening to you! It’s nice to see you pause and reflect. I am much older than you, so I can tell you that being alone is the best way to find out who you are, what you want, and what is important to you. Then you can be open and find relationships that work for you. Good luck with that! It will come when it will come. Your maturity is showing in your personal life and your sewing.

    I love your blog, and I appreciate your sharing that journey with us, as well as others. I’ve learned a lot from you! I hope your family has a wonderful 2017, and that your bad-ass daddy hangs in there and continues to enjoy life for as long as possible.

    This was fabulous year in review!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

      Thank you so much! I can’t even imagine the wisdom that will come with age… I feel like I’m grown and learned so much just in a handful of years (my 30s have been particularly eye-opening), and there is so so much more to come. I completely agree with you about the importance of being alone, which is why I’m totally ok with being single and not stressing over any of that. It’s hard to love someone if you are trying to learn how to love yourself, and I need to be the most important part of my life right now.

      Thank you for your kind comment! I hope 2017 is good to you as well β™₯

  9. Cindy December 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Happy New Year! Hope 2017 will be a good year for you. Glad your dad recovered from the pneumonia. Every day we have the people we love in our lives is truly a gift. As I have gotten older, I realize that more and more. I’m pushing 60, but am blessed to still have both parents and all my 4 brothers and sister still here. I love them more each and every day. I enjoy seeing your beautiful makes and your honesty about what went right and what went wrong with them. For me, appropriate fabric choice is the toughest challenge. I am learning a lot from you. Keep blogging!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

      I completely agree with you – there are so many wonderful people in my life, and having them around truly a gift. I am so so happy to have my dad around for at least this much longer! Not taking people for granted is a very hard lesson to learn, and I’m so thankful that the lesson just ended with a warning this time.

      Thank you for your kind comment! I hope to keep blogging – knowing that people are learning from me (both with my successes and mistakes) and still enjoy reading/seeing what I’m putting out there definitely propels me to keep doing it!

  10. Elle December 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    What a fantastic, upbeat post! Thanks for sharing.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

      Thank you for reading! β™₯

  11. feelingstitchyblog December 31, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    Fuck Landon! You made him that Colette jacket I’ve been meaning to make my husband, but can’t because I make all of our baby’s clothes. Selfish sewing? What’s that??? I’ve got a SHELVING UNIT filled with patterns I can’t make😒
    You’ll be fine. Us southern gals are totally lovable — and we curse a lot.
    Anyways, fuck that sonofabitch. You padstitched his coat! And he’s a dick, stealing from a woman. Get a life, Landon, and pay her back!
    Your fellow southern belle/fellow XX gender

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

      Haha! Your comment literally made me lol πŸ™‚ Seriously, tho, fuck that guy! It boggles my mind that a GROWN-ASS ADULT would steal from someone, but the good news is that at least he is 100% out of my life now! I forgot that I made that stuff for him – and I let him keep it all when we split (again, amicable and all that – at the time, anyway!). Wish I’d kept it now, but oh well!

      And high-five for us southern belles! I hope that 2017 brings you lots of selfish sewing – and maybe also an Albion jacket for a deserving husband πŸ™‚

  12. Rose December 31, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Much love to you and wishes for a wonderful new year. Thank you for this review of your inspiring sewing and journey to self-awareness (don’t think we ever get there completely). Hopefully, your dad will continue on his recovery road and give you many more days with him. Stay healthy, happy and continue sewing and blogging!

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      I think you’re right that we’ll never be 100% at self-awareness, but I am enjoying the journey nonetheless πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for your kind comment! I hope 2017 is a great year for you, too! β™₯

  13. missceliespants December 31, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    i have so many things to say. but, I’m in a bout of tendonitis and can’t type much. but, at least wanted to say i could not have enjoyed this post more.

    • LLADYBIRD December 31, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      β™₯ !!

      One of my goals for 2017 is to hang with you in person, so, we can converse about it without typing πŸ™‚

      • missceliespants January 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm #


  14. Leigh December 31, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    Having been a pig farmer when I was younger, I am dying to hear about the date with the pigs. Cause it actually sounds like a good time to me!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      It was pretty funny! (not to him, but, he was also a terrible date and will never truly realize the gift of a great story that we gave him). Believe me though when I say that it’s a MUCH better story when you’re hearing someone tell it, vs just writing about it πŸ™‚

  15. Megan December 31, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Happy New Year! Hope 2017 is a good one for you.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:52 am #

      Thank you, I hope so too! Happy New Year to you as well β™₯

  16. Katie Lynn December 31, 2016 at 3:28 pm #

    I’m in the same place with knitting as you are with sewing. I love it, it’s very rewarding for me to make things and feel accomplished when I make something new, but I like to mainly knit sweaters and there are only so many sweaters one person needs, right? So now I’m turning a bit more towards sewing so I don’t turn into that knitter who can wear a different sweater every day for a month and never repeat.

    My plan for next year is to make my ass a winter coat. It seems like off the rack coats get to a certain size (around 10-12) where the bicep measurement just doesn’t get any larger! I have always had muscular arms (covered in a layer of fat because I also like to eat bad things), but lately my arms aren’t fitting in coats while wearing sweaters, no matter how many coats I try on. I found a really great pattern that seems to be easy to put together, but I’m moving next month so making it got put off for this year. The pattern is called Peppernoot by Waffle Patterns, and it seems like it has everything I’m looking for in a winter jacket.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      Yep, I feel the same way about knitting! I love knitting sweaters, but I do not live in a climate that really warrants needing a ton of them (and I don’t like knitting with non-wool fibers, although, maybe someday I’ll change my mind haha).

      I love love LOVE that coat pattern!!! That is going to be so great when you finally have a chance to make it – and it will fit you so nicely! Good luck with your move, btw! Having done that last year, I feel your pain haha

  17. steelyseamstress December 31, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

    Happy New Year! Glad you had a good year and your dad is going OK. You really do have some lovely makes. I particularly love the Melilot shirt and the Rosari skirt (probably said that before). Two patterns definitely on my to do list. Hope 2007 is awesome for you.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      Thank you so much! Happy New Year to you as well πŸ™‚

  18. Deborah Penner December 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    Thanks for your blog. It is an honest and positive read that cheers my day. Sewing and knitting folk are some of the nicest people in this world.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:57 am #

      I agree, sewing and knitting folk are the best! Thank you for reading β™₯

  19. Naomi December 31, 2016 at 4:27 pm #

    You have made some great things this year – my faves are the agnes dress, melilot shirt and rosari skirt, I think it’s the simple, good quality fabrics that makes them classics. Thanks for sharing all the sewing knowledge you do, it’s also nice to read a bit about what’s going on with your life. I find it hard knowing how much to share online as there is always that cringe looking back and reading things later and thinking how people interpret it. However, it can be so beneficial when others (like you) speak frankly about their situations and opinions – so thanks for that! All the best for you and your family in 2017 πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Yeah, I totally understand! It’s hard to know what to share – what you want to put out there, what is/isn’t other people’s business, and also what sometimes just needs to be said publicly! I’ve always had online blogs/journals, but they were usually friends restricted and not public, so this blog is a little bit of a new territory for me, despite how long I’ve been posting to it!

  20. Deirdre December 31, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    Happy New Year Lauren. Have really enjoyed your blog this year, thank you for sharing x

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:00 am #

      Thank you! Happy New Year! β™₯

  21. Sue December 31, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    Happy new year! I loved this recap and love hearing about other less-sewy parts of your life, too. Here’s to a great 2017!!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:34 am #

      Yes, 2017 will be great πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  22. Jane December 31, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    Happy New Year! I’m a beginner and I get so much inspiration from your site and your Instagram. My resolution is to make one thing this year that I can wear in public without feeling embarrassed, and I’ll probably end up copying off of you (I *lurve* that seafoam green McCall 6952 dress you made last year, I’m working my way up to that). Please never stop, you give us beginners hope that we won’t be sewing placemats and pillowcases forever!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:35 am #

      I think that’s a great resolution and you should TOTALLY copy that M6952 because it’s the best! (and yay for being dress twins). Thank you for reading my blog; y’all are the reason why I keep posting πŸ™‚

  23. Cherie December 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    I also learn so much from you, though I’m retired and getting back into sewing after 15+ years. I love that you use such quality fabric for your makes, and your expertise shows! Great post. Happy New Year to you!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:36 am #

      Thank you! Happy new Year πŸ˜€

  24. Jen December 31, 2016 at 7:54 pm #

    Thanks for the review- yours is one of my favorite blogs to follow- the best combo of interesting stuff to say and solid technique/tips.

    I’ve gotta lobby for the underwear making. It’s one of the things I made first and continue to make. And I have to say that it makes getting dressed In the morning feel special- even if you are throwing on old clothes to do chores. (And to be clear my underwear is not fancy- mostly scraps of knits from t shirts or workout tops that are finished with foe…).

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:37 am #

      That is a good point about the underwear! I always feel pretty cool when I wear the few pairs I have made – generally, my whole outfit at that point is me-made and that warrants a serious bragging right, even if it’s only in my head haha πŸ™‚

  25. Anonymous December 31, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    I so thoroughly enjoyed this. Thanks for taking the time to write it all down, have a great 2017. I hope your dad stays out of danger.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:38 am #

      Thank you! Hope your 2017 is wonderful as well πŸ™‚

  26. Jodie (@scaredstitchles) December 31, 2016 at 11:54 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your 2016. I noticed you sewing less and I wondered if that meant you had more time and space for other things in life or a different balance to make you happier. It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve grown so much this year. I hope that 2017 is even better for you! All the best!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:38 am #

      A little bit of all of the above πŸ™‚ It was a good year for me, and I have great hopes for 2017 being even better πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!

  27. Mertxe January 1, 2017 at 2:37 am #

    You are a serious hard worker girl, look at all those makes! Thank you for putting us up to date regarding jobs and other practicalities. And fuck Landon!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:40 am #

      Haha thank you!! Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

  28. Sandra January 1, 2017 at 7:00 am #

    I hope 2017 will be a nice year for you too ! I wish you all the best πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:40 am #

      Thank you! Same to you! β™₯

  29. didyoumakethat January 1, 2017 at 7:58 am #

    A really lovely blog post. I love hearing about how you’ve grown, the ups and downs. And as said above, Landon can do one. You sewed him some beautiful things… Yeah, he’s the one who has to look at himself in the mirror. Karma is real. Good for you and here’s to 2017!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Seriously! I don’t follow what he’s up to (that would just enrage me and I’m not about purposefully put myself in a bad mood these days haha), but I am confident that he’ll get back what he put out. And it’s not gonna be good, but that’s all his own doing! Happy New Year! β™₯

  30. Stevie Tucker January 1, 2017 at 9:11 am #

    So much love Lauren! It sounds like you’ve had a tough year but come out winning. Yours is still one of my fave blogs to read and after that awesome day out meeting you in London it feels all the more great that you are on the up! Have an awesome 2017 lady! x

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Thank you so much! Hanging out with you was totally one of the best parts about visiting London, I’d love to revisit that soon! Maybe in 2017, even πŸ™‚ Happy New Year! β™₯

  31. fionaparker17 January 1, 2017 at 9:46 am #

    Happy New Year Lauren! Great post. It’s really inspiring and wonderful to hear you so positive about everything life can through at you. Wishing you a brilliant 2017!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:45 am #

      Thank you, Fiona! I hope your 2017 is brilliant as well! β™₯

  32. Katy January 1, 2017 at 10:08 am #

    I love reading your end of year posts! You have made some wonderful garments as usual. Have a wonderful 2017.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      Thank you! I love writing these posts, so I’m happy to hear that they are enjoyed to be read as well (although I’d probably still write them regardless – personally, they are fun to look back on and see how far I’ve come :)). Happy 2017!!

  33. PsychicKathleen January 1, 2017 at 10:13 am #

    Congratulations Lauren for giving yourself such a wonderful year – new status, new job, new home, new car – you truly are an inspiration. Happy 2017 to you too. I always love to read your posts – get a cup a tea and just delight in your hard working creative expressions. You always made things that suit you to a Tee and make them so well (even the things you aren’t so keen on I think are pretty great). I look forward to reading (hahaha got that hint that there won’t be a lot of pics :)) about makes in the year ahead.

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 9:48 am #

      Thank you so much! It has been a really great year for me, and I hope 2017 makes up for all the shitty 2016s everyone else had! And yeah, there probably won’t be as much pictures this year, but they will still be there! Just not a dozen of me doing the same pose, maybe more like… 1. haha! I get tired of looking at myself πŸ˜›

      Happy New Year!

  34. Connie Turner January 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Hi Lauren, it is so good to read this catching up on everything post. I love the red car congratulations.

  35. Karrie January 1, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

    So happy that you had a better year than most! My 15 yo cousin died on the First (NY Day) so I knew it was going to be a shit-fuck year. She was super close to my daughter. 😦

    Sorry to hear about your break-up. Those suck. I know you will find someone awesome. No doubt there πŸ™‚ VERY interested to hear about your ayahuasca retreat! I just learned about them this year. I have 6 yrs clean from an opiate dependence thing so I’m not sure if it’s for me, but I am studying energy healing and that led to Shamanism and therefore the medicine plants. Who knows. Maybe in 20 years, I’ll do it. Did you do it for the healing part or for learning the ritual. Just curious πŸ˜‰

    I know exactly what you mean about the car thing! My car is just OLD, but my Ex works at Onstar in Detroit and he told me some very scary things about what they can do while you are driving. That’s the friend I lost this year. I think I’m doing better off. He will show up again, I’m sure, when I’m doing super good, to suck more energy from me. He seems good at that. Eye-roll. My car has a CD player at least, but before I could plug in my iPod. Now I’m determined to keep it as long as I can so I can avoid a payment/new technology. Don’t worry. You don’t have anything to worry about. Your Ex isn’t a giant hacker for Onstar, haha. Not that I think he would harm me, but it’s just kinda creepy to know that your car can be taken over at any time whether you have the service or not.

    Awesome makes this year! I’m more of a learner, than do-we, so that’s what I’m changing this year. Or I’m never going to learn how to DO it. Which is dumb bc I’ll never wear all the clothes I bought fabric for. (And you know how it is to fall out of love with a style that you had to have).

    I hope this year continues to be great. If you know basic Numerology, 2016 was the last year (year 9 out of 9 years) & it meant that we are finishing up things we started in 2008. We were letting things go that no longer served us to make room for better things. This year is Year 1. (The cycles change every 9 years). This is new beginnings, things will manifest quickly and it’s time to be creative. And that should be no problem for you!!! Things that you start now (long term plans) should peak or be ending in 9 years. For this last cycle, it was true for me.

    So here’s to New Beginnings & I look forward to seeing your creations!!
    Happy New Year!!

    • Karrie January 1, 2017 at 9:55 pm #

      Do-we is actually supposed to be do-Er. But Auto keeps changing it.

      PS: very happy for your Dad. Pneumonia can be super scary. Make sure you get him the vaccine every 5 years. And shingles vaccine if he HAS had the chicken pox. I’ve seen a lot of people that have permanent chronic pain after they get shingles, but ONLY of his Oncologist gives permission.

      • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 10:01 am #

        This is good to know! I’ll check with my mom and see if he’s up to date on those vaccinations, thank you!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 10:01 am #

      I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin! I hope 2017 is better to you this year, and that your daughter is ok 😦

      I’m happy to discuss more about my aya experience if you’d like to email me πŸ™‚ I did touch on it very briefly in my 2015 wrap up (which is linked somewhere in this post haha), but I don’t really talk much about it publicly because I got some salty comments/emails from people about it. Nothing about my experience is a secret -it’s just too personal to throw on a public blog. But I’m happy to talk about it via email! I went for the healing, although honestly I had no idea what i was going to actually work on until the ceremonies started! I was one of the only people there who came with nearly no expectations, and I had a great and eye-opening experience as a result. Weirdly, one of the benefits I got from the ceremony was that I finally did quit biting my nails, amongst other things haha. I highly recommend it if you are considering it for yourself. And dude, congratulations on your 6 years clean! I’ve been close with many people who struggled with opiate addiction and that shit is no fucking joke.

      That is really creepy to know that your car can be hacked and controlled remotely, ahh! haha this just gives me all the more reason to never EVER make enemies. It’s been a conscious effort of mine to be as kind as I can to everyone. I can’t prevent people from hating me just to hate, but I can control how I treat them πŸ™‚

      I actually don’t know anything about Numerology, but what you wrote is REALLY interesting and I see a lot of truth in that 9 year cycle for me. I was definitely closing a lot of doors in 2016 and making room for fabulous new beginnings for 2017. I am definitely going to look more into this because that kind of hippie shit totally appeals to me right now haha

      Thank you so much for your comment! Happy New Year! β™₯

  36. Carolyn January 1, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    Thanks for the update on all that is Lauren. You have had quite a 2016 and I hope that 2017 is even more fabulous for you. Even though I won’t see you when you come to NYC in January – hopefully we can connect on your next trip!

    • LLADYBIRD January 2, 2017 at 10:02 am #

      I hope so! I miss you and I haven’t seen you in ages! I’ll be back in March for another workshop, so hopefully we can do something then πŸ™‚ Happy New Year!!

  37. Alex January 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Happy New Year Lauren! I’ve actually met you in person in 2015 when you came to London and I really loved that you are just as honest, lively and outspoken in real life as you are on the blog. I always love these recap posts, they are so honest and lacking BS and artifice. Hope 2017 will bring you all the positive changes that you expect and maybe some surprising ones too. And looking forward to following your blog and your journey throughout!

    • LLADYBIRD January 3, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      Thank you so much! I love doing these recaps, so I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed reading it as much πŸ˜€

  38. heather January 2, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    i hope you have a fabulous 2017! you are always an inspiration! πŸ™‚

  39. misscrayolacreepy January 2, 2017 at 5:53 pm #

    Happy New Year to my fav Lladybird Lauren! xoxo

    • LLADYBIRD January 3, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      β™₯ β™₯ β™₯ β™₯!!!

  40. Beccy January 3, 2017 at 1:47 am #

    Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your sewing and yourself!

    • LLADYBIRD January 3, 2017 at 10:22 am #

      Thank you for reading! β™₯ Happy New Year!

  41. Lusty January 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    Your blog is always the one I go to first, and this post is a great reason why. I always love your makes, and I’ve taken several sewing room ideas from your posts. I’ve been doing a lot of self-examination recently, and thinking the only thing that’s really missing for me is a local sewing community. All your posts about workshops and the various activities on the east coast have made me wish I was on the other coast. I shouldn’t be complaining, I mean the SF Bay area is nothing to sneeze at but I guess the grass is always greener and all that. Anyway, it’s great to hear how great 2016 has been for you, and here’s hoping the best for your Dad and you in 2017.

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2017 at 8:54 am #

      I was gonna say – SF Bay area is awesome!!! but I understand what you mean about the lack of community – we don’t have much of that here in Nashville, either (there’s a big quilting community, but the garment sewers tend to hide). So I end up traveling for my workshops – which is NOT a complaint btw haha. At any rate, I’d love to go over there to teach a workshop, but I’m thinking the travel costs are probably too much. You’ll just have to come to the East Coast and make it a big trip, I guess πŸ˜‰

  42. malore January 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    I loved reading this post Lauren! Your blog was one of the first I found when I started sewing two years ago, and remains my favourite. I love your funny, authentic voice, and admiring your expertise in all your sewing. Wishing you and your family all the best for 2017!

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2017 at 8:54 am #

      Thank you so much! Happy 2017 to you, as well πŸ™‚

  43. Lisette January 3, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been here! Glad to hear you had a pretty awesome 2016, lady. Cheers to traveling too! I’m glad you got to visit Newport. I did not go enough, considering I’m from RI but I try to go when I visit home and the weather is nice.

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      I miss you, dude! And yes, Newport is freaking awesome. I’m trying to find an excuse for my boss to fly me up there again πŸ™‚

  44. Kathy January 3, 2017 at 10:51 pm #

    You really have matured a LOT since I started following your blog many years ago. More power to you. I feel that many good things are coming your way in 2017.

    • LLADYBIRD January 4, 2017 at 9:00 am #

      Thank you for this comment! I do feel like I’ve matured by leaps and bounds in even just a couple of years, but its really great to hear that affirmation from an outside perspective πŸ™‚ And yes, 2017 is going to be great!!

  45. sewtigersew January 8, 2017 at 10:07 am #

    Happy New Year, Lauren! I’m delighted to read that you’re enjoying the fruits of all the great care you’re taking of yourself these days. I echo the sentiments that your choice to sew less and make sure it works for you is inspiring. I’ve been much more ruthless with donating me-mades that don’t quite suit me this year, and it’s really nice. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 and especially lots of great time with your dad.

    • Niizo ιš¨ζ€§ζ‰‹δ½œ January 9, 2017 at 8:19 pm #

      Happy New Year Lauren, I just so enjoyed in reading all your words, even though I am not all the time in the mood to read in English.

      • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2017 at 7:56 am #

        Thank you so much! β™₯ Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD January 11, 2017 at 7:55 am #

      Thank you so much! Wishing you a wonderful 2017 as well β™₯

  46. Jonathan Caswell January 11, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  47. Molly January 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    I have been reading/ skipping over the text to get the photos, on your blog for a while now. I never comment, because I’m introverted, but this post had me rapt and I read the whole thing, so I wanted to tell you that I appreciate your candid post and I hope you have a wonderful 2017. I’m glad you don’t have cancer and I’m very sorry that your father is suffering.


  1. Completed: Leopard Silk Simplicity 6266 | LLADYBIRD - January 3, 2017

    […] thanks for all of your great comments and insights on my last post. I had a great time ringing in 2017 and I look forward to what this year has to […]

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