Sew Necessary New Year Resolutions

Just one shelf stacked with stuff to sort out!

My new year’s resolutions for 2018 are not about dieting, drinking and exercising, but Sew Necessary New Year Solutions to sort out and clear out my sewing space. My list includes a cull of patterns, fabric, trimmings, haberdashery and machines!


Patterns – to make or not to make

  1. I’ve too many boxes like this. Have to be firm and weed them out!

    I will go thorough my stash of patterns and weed out all those that I will never make. As Brand Ambassador for the McCall’s Pattern Company, I have access to all the new designs of Butterick, McCalls, Kwik Sew and Vogue Patterns. So out go:

    A. Patterns I’ll never make because I’ve gone off the style (or it has gone out of fashion – I do have some dating back many years)

    B. Out go those I’ll never make again – because although I love the original I’ve already made, I really don’t want two of the same style.

    C. Set aside those I do want to make again and make a list of fabric requirements so I can put them on my to-do list.


UFS – cull or complete

  1. Go through my UFS (unfinished projects) and decide which I will realistically finish and those that I’ve long gone off the boil about and will never really finish. Life’s too short to make something that you’ve fallen out of love with. And if it has remained unfinished for a year or two – it’s past it’s sell by date!


Banish unread books

  1. I need to banish some of the books too. That’s going to be hard!

    Go through my library of books and weed out all those I haven’t looked at for years and probably never will. I have a lot of those. Books I have bought or been given because they are about the subject I love (sewing) but actually, I have other more recent books that I prefer and do refer to.

    My name is Wendy Gardiner and I am a magpie! I can’t bear to throw away something that might come in useful one day. But this time I will.

Blitz the bits and bobs box

  1. Most definitely need to blitz the bits boxes

    Go through my Bits and Bobs box(es) – sadly a lot more than one box. This includes all the short lengths of ribbon, cord etc that I have saved from fancy carrier bags because they may come in useful one day. I’ve bags of big glassy jewels – they were fabulous when I got them about 10 years ago (!), card making supplies – I tried that once, definitely mustn’t give up my day job – and part packs of felt flowers etc. I really need to weed these out and of course, make room for new trims…

Fabric Stash Bust

  1. Too many boxes are filled with remannts. They’ve got to go

    Again truth is I have fabric stashes – not one or two! Firstly I will go through my remnants box(es) – again more than one. I will sort out all those small pieces left over from projects – you know what I mean – those bits that you never know might come in handy! Sort out the half metre lengths from dresses I’ve made where I buy more than a pattern requires because I often buy the fabric first, so over estimate, just in case. They are big pieces, but I will not really ever use them, and someone else may do so.


I will also try and be very bold and brave and sort out all those lengths of fabric I bought many, many years ago that I’ve never made up and really never will. Being a fabric lover and hoarder, I do have a tendency to buy more new fabric at every opportunity, so have a few boxes I’ve not touched in years. So out with the old it is.


Fabrics to be saved need to be paired with patterns to make or remake like this one

And then, I will pair up the remaining pieces with patterns and put them in a Projects to Complete box.


  1. I will sell off some of my sewing machines. I do have more than I need and they take up space. (I mean, do I really need 15!). Right now in order to get to my fabric boxes, I have to move an ironing board and a dressform out of the way. To reach interfacing, I have to move two sewing machines and an overlocker! So time to sort out those I don’t use and sell them. After all I can then use the money to buy more fabric, haberdashery, patterns – or a weekend sewing retreat to get over my exhausting sewing space overhaul!


Once the clean up is done, I will take the bags of fabrics, books, haby etc to a local Hospice charity shop that specialises in Arts and Crafts so I am sure they will go to good homes. And then, to redecorate the room and add more storage and workspace so perhaps I can leave out my most used sewing machine and overlocker, all set to sew at any time. Oh bliss…

Happy New Year

Top Styles to Make with Big Sleeves

Vogue Pattern 1565
This stunning dress, Vogue Pattern 1565 by Tom and Linda Platt really has Big Sleeve Detail

The High Street shops are packed with tops, dresses and jumpers with sensational and stylish sleeve detail. So, I searched through the pattern catalogues to see what I could make myself which includes this new fashion detail. Of course McCalls, Butterick and Vogue Patterns have ensured what’s available ready-made is also available to those of us that like to create our own unique fashions. I’ve noted a few of my favourites which I shall get ready to sew over the Christmas break.


Classic Jacket with a twist

Vogue Pattern 8991
The sleeve detail turns this classic jacket into a fashion piece (Vogue Pattern 8991)

A classic simple jacket has a new twist in Vogue Pattern 8991, which includes lapped and buttoned cuffs up to the elbows. I like the way this is still a classic design so will last for years, even when the Big Sleeve detail has passed! This one is worth making in a good quality LintonTweed or similar quality wool coating fabric.


Top Styles with big sleeve details

McCalls 7657
I love McCalls 7657 which includes a top with ruffled sleeve detail

More familiar in the high street are tops with long ruffled sleeves so I really like the simple top in McCalls pattern 7657 which has long sleeves ending in ruffles. If I make this one, I might leave out the choker style neckline and just keep it as a simple V-neckline which is of course the beauty of making your own clothes, you can choose to add or leave out elements that you want to change. And of course, there are other options in the pattern pack as usual. I could include ruffles down the front too!


McCalls 7658
McCalls 7658 is another twist on a top with big sleeve detail

Sew Now featured another McCall’s top, this time an overlay front extends into the sleeves (McCall 7658) which makes it different and fun.


Best Dresses

Vogue Pattern 1565
This stunning dress, Vogue Pattern 1565 by Tom and Linda Platt really has Big Sleeve Detail

If you like dresses, the wow-dress by Tom and Linda Platt is stunning with it’s cape like sleeve detail (Vogue Pattern 1565). Shown here in bright red, it can of course be made in any colour so doesn’t have to be such a show stopper if that is not your thing!





Butterick 6482
Butterick 6482 by Lisette is a dream in denim

For the more conservative, Butterick 6482 is a dream in denim with top stitch detail on the bodice and belt and then pleated and top-stitched three quarter sleeves. Just remember to use the quilter’s guide on your machine to stitch row after row of perfectly parallel lines! (That’s the little metal rod that fits into the back of the foot holder and can be moved left or right so you get parallel rows of stitching equally spaced every time. Just stitch the first row, then move the rod so it runs along that line of stitching and stitch the next row, watching the guide not the needle).

McCalsl 7654
McCalls 7654 is a pack of evening dresses with sleeve detail

For evenings and special occasions, McCall 7654 combines cold-shoulder sleeves with ruffles and more. Again there are other options in the pack


Its a Wrap

Vogue Pattern 9276
Vogue Pattern 9276 is a pack of wraps and tops to cover bare shoulders

I also love the pack of wraps with sleeve variations or simple flared sleeves with lace detail shown on Vogue Pattern 9270. Having a wrap, bolero or short jacket is a must-have when the nights are colder and bare shoulders a no-no!


So join me and get sewing the latest fashion trend this season and make your sleeves sensational!