38 Trips Around the Sun

Instead of being like a thousand other bloggers, I decided to write my New Years Blog Post for my Birthday! Yep, today I am 38. I am not usually one who gets crazy about turning a year older, except when I turned 25…”It was¬†dark times Harry, Dark Times…” That was a rough one! When I think about the things I have done in the last year, I am pretty happy. I switched positions at my job, I bought my first brand new car, I realized it is ok to do fun things alone, upgraded to a new DSLR camera, took my first photography class and I even had time to sew some awesome clothes. I rediscovered my love for geocaching and hiking as well. Overall it was a good year, but I want to make this year even better.
I have spent several weeks/months really thinking of the direction I want to take my blog. I am just like every other blogger, I want to grow my audience and reach more people. I have noticed a lot of new faces following my social media accounts and for that, I am so grateful. It feels good to be noticed. I don’t know if the average person realizes how much work goes into being a sewing blogger. Pick a pattern, sew it up at least once (typically more), photos, photo edits, write blog posts, then share. ūüôā I do enjoy it though. I like knowing there is a record of my progress. I often look back at blog posts to remind myself of the changes I made to a garment and if I liked the fit or not. I love that other people will randomly find a blog post and leave me a message or pick up a pattern I haven’t mentioned in months. It makes me feel good knowing someone saw the joy in my blog. It also makes makes me feel good when I see kind comments from someone I don’t know.
Being a sewing blogger isn’t all sunshine and flowers though. Every single post is a risk. That seems a little odd, but it is true. Every post we make, every share we do, puts us up for being judged. Readers, I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t feel good to me. The comments people make shock me sometimes. For the dozens of good comments, there are always some bad ones. “Your shirt is too tight.” “You would look better with heels.” “You would look slimmer if…” “That color was a bold choice.” “Prints make you look bigger.” “Plus size can’t wear stripes.” and the list goes on…it is a long list. Note to crabby readers…your comments about me will never be harsher than my own thoughts. Why do people do this? Golden Rule, Folks. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. As a sewing blogger, I have gained some confidence though. Sometime,s I even dare to say my outfit looks cute or nice. Baby Steps.
So let’s talk about goals for the next 365 days.
*Do more quality sewing. I do a lot of quick sews, well in the past I did a lot. I have greatly reduced the number of tests I am doing. I want to sew things on my schedule for what I want to sew.
*Learn new things. Master my fit issues ehm… pants, bras, etc. Somethings scare me to sew…Bras…tried it once and quit! Pants are a work in progress. For me, I need to realize my body isn’t a normal feminine shape. Most patterns account for hips and booty and I lack in both. But I am making huge strides in preparing to sew my own jeans!!
*Write at least 5 blog posts for designers or for blog tours. Always on the look out for blog tours!! Tag me if you start one. I want in!
*Test less, Upcycle more. I have seen several mentions lately that plus size upcycling isn’t as popular as smaller sizes. I do agree with this in a way, but I have been upcycling for YEARS! When I began sewing, I started by thrifting for anything with great fabrics! I made some cool stuff, now I have more sewing skills I should be putting to use! As a bonus, we are saving a little space in the landfills!
*Continue to be a positive influence online. I shouldn’t need to explain this one.
*Learn to say No!
If I haven’t lost ya yet, thanks for sticking around! This is going to be an awesome year and I can’t wait to update this post on my next Birthday.¬† Don’t forget to give my blog a follow and leave me a comment! ūüôā
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Sienna Makers Jacket

Holy Smokes! I made a coat! A jacket, actually, but it is like a coat! This jacket is a first for me for a few reasons.
  • Reason 1. Umm It is a jacket… sewing game leveled up!
  • Reason 2. A new to me designer.
  • Reason 3. Said Designer is expanding their size range deeper into the plus size market.
  • Reason 4. My first time sewing Flat Fell seams.
  • Reason 5. This is the first time I’ve sewn for a designer when I didn’t see pictures from any other testers during the process.
Closet Case Sienna 28-30-28 View B (8)
Did I mention that I made a coat err.. jacket!!
Let’s talk about the Sienna! The Sienna has just released from Closet Case Patterns. The design was inspired by vintage French workwear. This jacket is super comfy and I am really happy with the outcome. That being said, there were a few adjustments made to the pattern after my test.¬†The shoulders were moved in slightly and the sleeves were slimmed down a bit. The center back seam was shaped a bit to reduce the bulk in the back. These adjustments have improved the overall fit and feel of the Sienna and I can’t wait to sew up a new one!
Closet Case Sienna 28-30-28 View B (6)
The Sienna comes in 3 different lengths and several options for each of them! I sewed up the mid length. I loved the drop shoulder style of this jacked with the notched out collar detailing. I think that collar really adds a professional look to the garment. Can we also take a minute and talk about the pockets, huge roomy pockets and lots of them! I sewed two giant pockets on the outside and one on the inside! I added a front chest pocket on the outside too! There is even an option for sleeve pockets!
Closet Case Sienna 28-30-28 View B (12)
I sewed up View B with the non-pocketed sleeves. Overall, the pattern sewed up neatly. The directions with photos were well written and easy to follow. Like I said before, this was my first go with Flat fell seams and I am happy to report that aren’t difficult at all. They are a little time consuming, yet, so…worth…it! Flat Fell seams are a neat and tidy way to finish seams and are perfect for this unlined jacket. If you aren’t aware, flat fell seams are the seams you see on your jeans.¬†¬†¬†
Closet Case Sienna 28-30-28 View B (7)
The jacket is held closed with an attached belt. It, too, was easily constructed with only fabric, interfacing, and a set of D rings.
Here is the pattern info from the website:

Sewing level: Intermediate

Sizes: 0-20 and 14-30  (see our sizing chart here)

Finished measurements: Sizes 0-20 here and Sizes 14-30 here

Instructions: English & French

Print at Home File (Letter & A4): Sizes 0-20 (36-46 pages), Sizes 14-30 (46-56 pages)

Copyshop file¬†(36×48 / A0):¬†View A & B (3 pages), View C (2 pages)

If you are interested in sewing up your own Sienna Maker Jacket here is the link.

Closet Case Sienna 28-30-28 View B (4)