Top 5 Goals

Ok, here we are with the last of the Sewcialist top 5 of 2020 and we are done looking back, it’s time to look forward and make some goals! I’m going to share my creativity related goals here today, but don’t forget you have until midnight easter tonight to enter my giveaway!! The final prompt:

Top 5 Goals: Who knows what 2021 will hold, but we can still set some small or large goals for ourselves. A little bit of sewing every week, taking an online class or attending an online event, learning a new skill, or using that precious fabric! The possibilities are endless.

To dive deep into techniques, take time to learn

I want to level up my sewing! I will be talking more about this soon, but I really want to dive deep into more complicated projects and work on fit, finishes, and just learn more techniques. Quality over quantity is my goal this year!

I’m going to knit something this year

I feel like I will like knitting! I think I’ll even be good at it! I just need to find time to work and finish one project so I can decide if it’s something I want to keep doing. I like the slowness of it as well as the fact that I now live in a place where I get a lot of wear out of sweaters and warm clothes. I’m going to try a hat first, I’ve had the supplies for a couple of years now, so stay tuned for this one.

Carving out me time and not feeling guilty about it

I’ve been using the past week or so to begin planning our year and something I want to make sure and do is have dedicated time for myself. I am always doing for other people, which I love! I signed up for this job and taking care of my family is a big part of who I am. But when I am multi tasking or trying to fit something in while worrying about a to do list, it doesn’t fill me up or make anyone in my family feel good. In scheduling my weeks I’m trying to think about what I need- whether it’s sewing, exercising, or time to finish a book- and I’m going to make sure there is space in my days for it. I’m also trying to make sure there’s plenty of space for all the other stuff so I don’t feel guilty or behind.

Completely organize, set up, and decorate my office

We’ve been in this house a year and my office has taken on a few different iterations. For the foreseeable future it is also Chris’ office and I would like to have it organized, functional, and beautiful by the end of the year. No matter how we are using it!

I am going to regularly blog

I enjoyed blogging daily in December so much that I’ve made plans in January to keep it going. Mostly I will be talking about my creative endeavors, maybe a kid or two will pop up (though I try to keep them off the internet more and more these days), as well as books and food. These are all my favorite things and I enjoy ‘talking’ about them with anyone that will listen.

Thanks for following along with me and I hope you’ll stick around in the New Year! Happy New Year Everyone!

Top 5 Reflections

Continuing my look at the Sewcialists top 5 of 2020 today we’re talking reflections. I have a mix of sewing and life reflections to share. Here’s the prompt:

Top 5 Reflections: What did you learn this year? It could be about sewing, but also life lessons that got you through these difficult times.

Working through The Conscious Closet

If you’ve been following me this year, you are probably sick of hearing me talk about this book! Working through this book and thinking about how to build a sustainable wardrobe that I absolutely love was a huge thing for me this year and has changed how I get dressed, how I sew, and how I buy clothes. I’m so happy I took the time to do this!

I’m so thankful for this hobby!

Early on in the pandemic, being able to get lost in a sewing project was a saving grace in my life. Planning it out, problem solving, having a beginning, middle and end to a project, were all things that helped me during a very scary time. While it’s cool to see how much my sewing improved or wear the things I made, I’m really just thankful that I had a hobby where I could shut out the rest of the world and focus on something else a little bit every day.

I love blogging and vlogging

I have enjoyed figuring out the best ways to share here and on my youtube channel! This past month especially, with blogging every day, I found myself never at a loss for things to talk about. I love this creative outlet and want to keep it going in the new year, but balancing how I manage it so it doesn’t take up too much time. While I love it, I do it for free and don’t need it to become a big energy suck or time waster!

I was able to find moments of joy in really uncertain and scary times

I am most proud of this. While I was very intentional and talked about joy a lot in December, this was something I worked on all year. I examined what it meant to be happy and what it meant to be joyful and discovered that I can be sad and scared and still be joyful, all at the same time. I can laugh and feel happiness, but those moments are fleeting. Joy is something I can carry within myself at all times and knowing that has brought me great peace during an awful year.

My Family is Great

I have a great extended family, but the four other people that live in this house with me, that I have been with 24/7 most of this year? They are so great. I’m so thankful for them. For the work that Chris and I have put into them and us and I do not take it for granted at all.

Reflecting on the highs and lows of this year has been a really meaningful exercise for me this past week! It’s made me think about where I am and how I feel with my life and tomorrow I’ll be sharing some of my sewing goals with you. But I’ve been thinking about big life goals as well and I like to think that I’m starting the New Year in a great place! I hope you’re able to do a similar exercise and that it makes you hopeful for 2021 and let’s you know that even when you cannot control anything in this world, you can control how you react to it and there is power there!

Top 5 Non Sewing Highlights

I’m continuing to play along with the Sewcialists Top 5 of 2020 and today we are looking at the non sewing highlights of the year. Here is the prompt:

Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights: Usually we suggest you might talk about vacations or adventures, but this year more than most, your highlights might be small pleasures – learning to bake, nature walks, or just that fact that you were out of bed and clothes some days. Victories look different to everyone!

Sam’s progress!

My two year old son is a completely different child than he was this time last year. He’s sooooooo close to walking, close to talking and uses signs regularly, and is growing and healthy. We spent a lot of 2020 working with him and it’s beyond fulfilling to see how far he’s come.

Family Time!

Like most of the world, we have had a lot of togetherness this year. But I am so proud of my little family and the five of us have never been closer. We all faced challenges and disappointments and we all worked together to figure out the positives we could focus on. I think we’ve all grown quite a bit this year and I’m happy we had this time in a new place to bond and connect.

Exploring Together as a Family!

We had so many fun plans for our new home that had to be cancelled. Trips across the state, skiing, finding activities for the kids, finding a church, all of these things had to be put on pause. And we were definitely grumpy about it at times! But we also chose to focus on creative ways we could explore together and connect with our new community. We created lasting memories and found all the great trails and we will be ready to get back to our plans when it’s safe to do so!

Mastering the Breakfast Sandwich!

This may sound like a weird one, but it really was a highlight! Most days, Chris is working from home and we’ve started eating a big, late breakfast together. I have officially perfected the breakfast sandwich and every day the two of us look forward to it. Changing our routines and making time for each other when we are physically together most of the time, has been a nice challenge. Taking the time to eat together and savor a sandwich has been one of those weird things that could only happen in 2020.

Reading Harry Potter Together!

This is the year we started reading Harry Potter together. My kids have been into a different series and never wanted to start this one, even after loving all the movies. Chris and I said they had no choice, they had to listen to the first one and if after that they didn’t care, we wouldn’t read anymore. Of course they were hooked by chapter two and it’s been something we all look forward to at the end of the day. They are getting number four for Christmas and I can’t wait to dive in with them!

A theme to the highlights for sure, lots of togetherness. While there were many people and places we missed, getting to focus on this chance to bond was the highlight of my year. I look forward to busy years full of activities and parties and places to go, but I’m very proud of the way all five of us were able to slow down and embrace the rhythm that was given to us.

Top 5 Misses

This week I’m playing along with the Sewcialists Top 5 of 2020 Today is all about the misses of the year! Here is the prompt:

Top 5 Misses: We all have fails – now is the time to share the items that never got finished, were unwearable, or just didn’t work out how you wanted!

I definitely had some misses this year and most of them fall into the category of almost being good. Which means I learned something from all of these and also that I didn’t have any massive fails. Here they are in no particular order!

My Ginger Jeans

I am motivated to get pants fitting right this year, especially jeans. These are so close, but the waist band and fly are wonky and I find that I don’t reach for them because of that. Was proud of myself for trying something new and hard, looking forward to mastering jeans in the future.

The Dorian Shorts

I think this was a case of just not really liking the pattern itself. There was too much going on, the pockets, the fly front, the elastic on the sides. It felt too messy to me and it was hard to get clean finishes. The good news is that making this led me to finally making my pietra pants (which are similar but better!) and they were some of my favorites this year.


This dress!!! I love it so much! It’s so good. But I only got to wear it once and then the buttons started falling off. This fabric is too light weight for these buttons and that placket should be interfaced (it’s not done in the instructions). I’m going to fix this in the new year because it’s just too good!


Another one that is almost so good. I love this pattern and in theory love this dress, it’s just shorter than I wanted and then I like to wear. However, I’m going to pull it out this spring and summer and see if I can make it work. I simply didn’t have enough fabric, so lesson learned!

Children’s Clothes Sizing

This year I sewed something, multiple things!, for everyone in the family. And I loved it and want to continue! However I had a lot of misses with sizing. I made the kids some things that didn’t get worn much because they grew out of them or I made things that the fit was different than expected because of the size. I have learned a lot and moving forward I think the mistakes made this year will serve me well! Because I do want to keep sewing for all these long and lean people running around my house in the years to come.

What were your misses this year? None of mine were too disappointing and a lot of them are fixable. Thinking through these has been helpful in deciding what goals I want to make for 2021 and what skills I want to really focus on!

Top 5 Highlights

For the next five days I’m going to be playing around with The Sewcialists Top Five of 2020 prompts. I’ve had a lot of fun reflecting on my creativity this year and it’s got my head spinning with plans and ideas for 2021! Today’s prompt is…

Top 5 Highlights: What are the best/most worn items you sewed this year?

I was so excited when I started making a list of my favorite makes this year and it was more than 5, I had to narrow it down! That is a great feeling. It makes me realize that I’ve come really far with my sewing and identifying my style. In no particular order, here are my highlights of the year with corresponding blog posts in case you want to read more!

My Birthday Dress

I loved every single aspect of making this dress. Finding the fabric and having a vision immediately of what it could be, sewing it on my actual birthday, and then taking snowy pictures and getting to see it brought to life. Just so great all around!

My Workout Module

Another project that was so fun to make from start to finish and I wear all of these pieces on a weekly basis. I loved thinking through fun colors and patterns and then trying something new with my sewing. The construction made me think in new ways and I played around with designs I might not normally have. I also got to interview a great company and introduce them to all of you!

Nightgown Adjacent Attire, V7720

This was probably my most worn dress of the summer. It was so easy to put on and feel comfortable but also look cute. Is there nightgown adjacent clothing for winter or are those just called sweats? I love the color of this, the fabric, and it was fun to work with a vintage pattern. I can’t wait to pull this out again and make more flowy, loose dresses next summer.

Bathing Suits

I’m realizing as I gather these that I tried a lot of new things this year! Bathing suits were one of them. I got the same feeling wearing this that I used to get when I first started sewing. That ‘wow, this is magic!’ feeling. I also had fun hacking the pattern and making it exactly what I wanted. I don’t know that future Whitney needs many more bathing suits, but maybe I’ll go crazy this year and try some bras and underwear?

Pietra Pants

I was not excited about making these! I almost didn’t make them! I’m shouting at you because they are one of my most worn articles of clothing this fall and I’m so thankful I didn’t listen to myself. These pants are perfect. They look amazing and tailored and they are elastic in the back so that means they are the most comfortable things ever. I love the color of these but am absolutely going to make myself a more neutral pair. And probably more shorts. And maybe the version with the tapered leg. I really do love them that much!

What were your highlights this year? If you have a link, leave it for me in the comments and I’ll go check out your post! Or just let me know, what 5 things did you make this year that were your highlights?