SO LONG, 2013.

It was a very good year, one I was actually a little sad to say goodbye to. I found my dream apartment, released my first pattern (one I was lucky enough to see go viral), bought a Porsche (I mean Bernina), went on a few amazing trips, met some soul matey sewing friends, witnessed my step-mother kick breast cancer in the ass, spent loving, meaningful time with my family, and just as 2013 was drawing to a close, met a beautiful Parisian man who makes me laugh really, really hard. It’s been a joyful, enlightening, challenging and unforgettable year.

It was also the year I really learned to sew. I’ve been at it for almost 3 years now, but the in the past 12 months I’ve pushed myself more than ever before to get better. At everything. More attention to detail, finishing, materials, fit. I taught myself to grade patterns, make bras, and am growing increasingly confident customizing almost every pattern I sew. With each passing day, I realize there is absolutely nothing I can’t make if I set my mind to it; few things in life feel as liberating or joyful as that realization.

Nothing I made last year has meant as much to me as the Bombshell. Personally, it was a labour of love that absorbed months of my time and taught me so much about our craft. But the real highlight was seeing dozens of beautiful women proudly posing on the internet in their swimsuits, and hearing how comfortable and sexy they felt wearing them. I was brought to tears, many, many times.

I’m getting all verklempt just looking at you fierce baberonis.  Links to all of those makes can be found by clicking through to the pinterest board where I’ve cataloged all the Bombshells I’ve seen in the wild. Please forgive me for not individually linking to all of them here. If you’ve posted a Bombshell I don’t have on my pinterest board, chances are I haven’t seen it. Link me below please!

After the half dozen Bombshells I made, I posted 19 makes. This does not include 2 lace bras and a few other projects I’ve yet to write about. I’ve averaged a make every 2 weeks or so, which is not surprising considering a good portion of my year was devoted to moving and Bombshelling. Also, I got sucked into a few intense projects which often spanned months or more.

Here are my top 5 favourite projects from the past year:

No surprise here, right? The Sallie Silk dress was basically made out of dye and long distance love. My bosom buddy Sallie Oh hand painted these 5 yards of gorgeousness, which inspired a wood-sprite photo shoot, which led to a rapturous weekend in New York together. One of the things I’d save in a fire, this dress is more than just a beautiful garment. It’s the physical manifestation of a friendship that blossomed over the internet, and an online community that facilitates real, lasting connections among women around the world. Oh shit, I’m getting all choked up again.

In that same vein, here is the first ever Sew Bossy make. A little scheme Oona and I came up with, Sew Bossy has traveled around the globe, as sewists from all corners boss the ever loving shit out of each other. You can see some of the bossiness here (gimme a heads up if you bossed someone and aren’t on that board). Oona bossed me into colour, metallic, and one of my favourite wrap dresses EVER, and I loved every minute of it.

Oh Anna. I want to marry you. Or make a hundred versions of you, whatever comes first. By Hand London wins pattern of the year from me, hands effing down (and up, in a raise the roof motion). So sexy, so simple, so perfect.

The sequin albatross. Even if I hated this dress it would make the top 5, solely for the insane amount of time I spent slaving over it. But I don’t hate it. I lurve it. I loaf it. I looove it. I’ve also worn it a number of times since, even to places where sequins are not appropriate BECAUSE SEQUINS ARE ALWAYS APPROPRIATE.

This little brocade number has been worn almost as much as Anna (maybe even more now that I can layer it with navy tights on cold days). The perfect skirt pattern, the perfect fabric, the perfect thing to wear when I want a little party on the lower half.

As for misses, I don’t feel I’ve had too many failures this year (at least not that I’ve shared with you). The only garment that hasn’t seen a lot of wear is my cream circle skirt because the waistband is a little too big (although after all the effing cookies I’ve eaten in the past month it might fit like a chubby belly dream). I focused on making a lot of basics and have worn most of my makes pretty frequently. So grateful for the time I spent perfecting the perfect fitting bra, tshirt, skirt and shift dress since these are the patterns I’ll turn to again and again.

As for what is to come in the following year? January has been all about pants. I’ve been trying to nail the fit on a pair of highwaisted cigarette pants, so I will keep you posted if that works out in my favour. I also have a stack of New York fabric to get through and a laundry list of wants.

2014 will see me stepping up my pattern making game. I’m not sure what form that will take just yet, as my ambitions may not be entirely practical at this time, but you can expect the next release in the spring. You can also expect some big changes to my blog, as I am seriously considering moving over to Squarespace, where everything is just so much more frigging beautiful. Anyone have experience blogging on that platform? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I hope 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting and enriching year for you all. I couldn’t be more excited about what is to come.



Hi! I'm Heather Lou, a pattern designer and sewing educator for the modern maker. At Closet Core Patterns, we transform your imagination into step-by-step implementation that helps you create a wardrobe you love - not one you're limited to buying off the rack.

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