Top 5 Hits of 2016


My love of creating is back. 2016 marked an intentional shift in how I approached my sewing and knitting queue, namely prioritizing everyday apparel over my costumes. I felt exuberance, joy, and peace of mind with fabric and thread in hand. I finished four knitted projects this year and I sewed eight garments.

Here are my Top 5 Sewing Hits of 2016, in chronological order of completion.

1. Akita blouse, pattern by Seamwork – one of my most-worn garments of 2016.

I fell in love with the fabric first, and then found a suitable pattern in the Seamwork library. The cotton voile is easy to layer under cardigans and jackets, making this top a multi-season garment. It goes with all of my blues and grays and even with some of the other muted colors in my wardrobe. You can read more about the pattern and the shirt’s creation here.


2. Gold Dragon Costume, original design – a commission for Wizards of the Coast.

There is a fuller write up about this costume coming in the next week. I collaborated with Amanda Sharp, who worked on the molded leather mask and shoulder pauldrons. During our first meeting with Wizards of the Coast we were instructed to make Chris Perkins, who would be DM-ing the Dungeons & Dragons game, as “sparkly as possible”. He ended up more shiny than sparkly, but he looked great against the blue stage.


3. Caitlyn’s Wedding Veil – here comes the bride

A lifelong family friend got married this summer, and it was my honor to make her wedding veil. I sewed the lace trim to the tulle by hand and understood why veils can be so expensive. At the same time, the construction process was much easier than I expected. check back in early 2017 for a wedding-related sewing post that will include the creation of this veil and adding fairy lights to a wedding dress (another wedding).


4. Wren Dress, a pattern by Colette – having a serger makes sewing knits “sew” easy!

You already ready about this dress two months ago, at which point I was very proud of this dress. I love it more every time I wear it. I feel professional and sexy in it, making it a very versatile dress. I can wear it with tights, but I think it will be a spring-summer-early fall dress. It was this dress that really demonstrated how much faster a serger sews knits.


5. Rebel Astoria Sweatshirt, pattern by Seamwork – finding self-expression in the details.

Even with the vast array of independent and commercial sewing patterns, some patterns gain a lot of traction in circles of the sewing community and it can sometimes feel like I am copying things I see and like more than I make things FOR me and my personality. It is true that I often am not convinced of a pattern’s suitability until I’ve seen it made by multiple people, and then I might become fixated on a particular person’s fabric choice or alteration, without thinking about what I already have in my stash, what wardrobe gaps I am trying to fill, and what would fit me best (physically and emotionally). My rebel Astoria sweatshirt makes me so happy because I took a popular pattern and tweaked it for myself. The confidence I feel when I wear this comes from how it fits, the construction quality, and pattern alteration skills I used. Overall, I really like I am growing into my own as a seamstress in being able to tweak and modify based on experience rather than only copy and follow someone else’s instructions.


Also, in light of today’s sad news about Carrie Fisher’s passing:

Rest in Peace and Hope

Fabric Alchemist original artwork – mixed media, paint and textiles



2 thoughts on “Top 5 Hits of 2016

  1. I think you have better luck with Seaomwork patterns than anyone else I know! Which is pretty awesome for you, because there are so many cute (cheap!) designed to chose from!

    1. Thanks! I have been very picky about which garments I make from Seamwork. Some just aren’t my style or won’t look as good as they do on the model. I know they are reworking their pattern making process and updating their fit models, so maybe more patterns will have a greater range of appeal.

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