18 Backwards –> 19 Forwards |+ Giveaway for my 4 years blogoversary

2018 review + 2019 plans

Happy new year, dear readers! I have been incredibly chilled (aka lazybones) this festive period and decided to procrastinate my way to January 2nd for the customary looking back/ planning forward post. I was re-reading the one from last year which was also posted in early January and I quite enjoyed it. The world did not end because I was late, so I’m cutting myself some slack again. Though I have an inkling feeling I should be doing something about that procrastination habit… Maybe… later…

Anyway, here we are, early January 2019, how did that happen? I mean, other than eating and drinking and cartoon watching my way through the holidays…

I genuinely don’t have the energy to do a proper Top 5 sewing (and non-sewing) bests and worsts – thought massive kudos to Gillian for keeping us all on track for many years in a row. But I do want to share with you some highlights of what has been a very interesting (if frankly, a bit exhausting) 2018.

Header Photo by Zach Reiner


I am offering this beautiful Cone Denim (yes, THAT Cone Denim) laptop case, dyed with natural indigo and sewn with thread made out of 100% recycled polyester. The case it quilted, has an inside pocket and a YKK zipper. Dimensions are 40×30 cm (16” x 11.5”).

Cone mills laptop case

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Giveaway open worldwide to entries until 15th January 23.59 GMT.

Now on to the matter at hand…

2018 reflections


This has been a massive year for me as a blogger.

The number one achievement is that, 4 years later (as of 31st Dec), I am still writing this sewing blog! So Happy Blogoversary to Sewrendipity and


Scroll down for the customary anniversary giveaway (very excited about this one, guys!)

I also gave Sewrendipity a big face-lift, with a new mission and structure. This took a lot of my head-space and energy between February and July, but I am very pleased with the results.


I also decided to (lightly) start monetising my blog, to cover the new costs that came up with the revamp (servers, templates, branding etc). It is safe to say that I am not getting rich from the blog yet, but every penny counts to at least cover the running costs.

2018 was the year of the podcats as I appeared on two of them: one with my friend Kate on Stitcher’s Brew and by myself on Clothes Making Mavens. So very exciting, looking forward to more collaborations in 2019!


2018 was probably the year I sewed the least since I first learned to sew in 2009, but made more things I love and wear all the time than ever before (though still a few duds that I never or hardly ever wear).

I made 12 garments for me this year plus one bag (so a total of 13).

I also sewed 3 items to give as gifts (2 Seamwork Almada kimonos) and a Burda magazine geometric print shift dress.

That is a whopping total of 16 finished makes this year. I don’t remember counting in previous years, but man alive, this feels like the least yet! And that is actually great! More than half of that are things that have been in massively heavy rotation (the coat, the skirt, the cami and the bag), getting close to 30 wears. Some have been duds and have already departed to the charity shop, and others I am teaching myself to love with various degrees of success.

This is what I said in early 2018:

I do want to slow down my sewing, and tackle more complicated projects, like coats and tailored jackets, and definitely another pair of jeans. And maybe, shock-horror, sew more for other people. And make a bag with all the trimmings.

  • Coat – check!
  • Tailored jacket – semi check with my tailored vest
  • A bag with all the trimmings – check!
  • Sew for other people – check!

I really wanted to make another pair of jeans, or at least fix the ones I made in 2017 and wore once because the zipper broke and I could never be bothered to unpick the whole lot and replace it! So that one is a fail, but who knows, maybe 2019 will be the year…

RELATED  Is the Great British Sewing Bee still relevant in 2019?

Speaking of, 2018 was also the year of mending! I repaired or tweaked a whole bunch of garments this year (like the jumpsyit below) and brought them back in rotation and I am super chuffed with that!

My favourite make(s) of the year:

I Am Patterns Artemis coat and Niizo Waxed canvas bag

Biggest sewing take-away of 2018: Sewing with intent is the best way to ensure I wear what I sew. Since the re-launch, when I made more conscious efforts to only make things that fill a gap in my wardrobe, sew from the stash and sew slowly, all garments were winners! Also, slow sewing is fun too, and more involved projects that I can break down into smaller chunks really feel as satisfying as the quick, easy ones.


2018 was definitely the year of style for me personally and for the blog. I did 4 10×10 challenges, one in April, two during Me-Made-May (Black-white-red and Navy) and one in late summer/early autumn.

I absolutely loved doing these minimalistic exercises and they really helped hone in my personal style, as well as my sewing queue. It really was no surprise I really like my colour block items, very little to no prints, neutrals with a dash of colour (especially pinks and reds).

I also started documenting my wardrobe in a year-long wear count exercise. I published my November findings here and the December update is coming up shortly. It’s quite a fun exercise and it makes me realise that there is still room for so much purging, which I am planning to do after we’re back from our holiday in Costa Rica (which will take most of January).

My favourite outfits of the year:



Biggest style take-away of 2018: Less is more! Minimalism is definitely the way forward for me.


2018 was definitely the year of sustainability for me personally and also, beginning to emerge in the sewing community. I was really happy to have some great conversations with like-minded people and engage in healthy debates with my readers here on the blog and in other forums. I posted 6 articles on this topic on the blog since the relaunch (in average 1 and a bit each month) and they did really well, with loads of comments and views.


Biggest sustainability take-away of 2018: finding ways to talk about sustainability to help people make changes without being preachy and depressing.

Plans for 2019

Same as last year, I am keeping the planning part short and sweet, with a less is more approach as well. I have a few ideas in my head that will definitely go on the to-sew-list, but apart from that, I’m sure that more gaps will emerge as the year progresses. Overall, because I have relatively little time for sewing, I tend to only start projects that have been in my head long enough to know I really want to make them, and I know that I will be wearing them loads.

So, a few carry-over from 2018:

  • a tailored jacket, preferably some sort of colour (as I already have loads of black, navy and grey jackets
  • some casual trousers for lounging and travelling etc and/or jeans

And a few new ones:

  • everyday trousers or culottes – I definitely need more bottoms in my life, preferably something other than black;
  • a bomber jacket
  • another bag (even if it’s just for gifting), I so loved making the Niizo one
  • another midi skirt as this year’s turned to be so popular

Other than that, I would very much like to keep on the blogging bandwagon I got on since the revamp and keep posting constantly (at least 4 posts a month, ideally 6), covering sewing, style and sustainability in equal measures. Also, I’d like to continue my wardrobe count series, the RTW fast (still going strong for the 4th year in a row) and to keep joining the 10×10 challenges.

And although it doesn’t look like it judging by the above, I think my word of the year should be ‘CHILL’ :).

Right, this is it, let’s get this show on the road and have a smashing 2019!



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  1. Elaine Marsh
    3 January 2019 / 3:19 PM

    Liked the latest blog and thoughts on the new year. For me, I rarely make resulotions, but I do intend to finish things that time ran out on me in 2018. I have material that needs making up and have considered/changed my mind and back again to the original plan on the said garments. I need to get on with it soon too before I get distracted or involved in other projects as is my want. The garden is my biggest distraction then close second is redecorating the house again! after 10 years things need a refresh. So the sewing will consist of a tweed tailored jacket, wool camel midi panelled skirt, pair of culottes (part of suit with jacket to follow-up depending on how my plaid matching skills work!) some alterations on things, something (not yet decided on) with the black sequin material(bought a few years ago, possibly a jacket and I have some black jacquard too to think about. Time will probably run out on me again but I’m trying to make things that I will keep and not necessarily be on any trend. Thanks Alex for the inspiration you continue to give us.

  2. Joan Hosaka
    5 January 2019 / 6:29 PM

    Your column inspires me to continue “as is” – a normal person who makes sewing hits and misses. The mistakes are okay. The Great British Sewing Bee is a memory that I cling to. Thank you.

  3. 7 January 2019 / 3:33 PM

    Great outfits, Alex! I just love them.

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