January Round-Up

Hello, hello! This is my first post of 2021, though it’s already the end of the month. How’s 2021 going for you so far?

I’ve been trying something new over on Instagram. I’ve never been on much of a schedule with IG in the past, but I thought it might be fun to stick to a twice-a-week posting regimen to see how long I can keep it up. My aim is to practice surface pattern designs and to establish a weekly sewing habit (i.e. sewing for myself — sewing for K when she was little was much, much easier). I like to do this sort of thing. Routines + skills-and-habit-building is my jam.

I’ve done pretty well for January. Since I know that social media isn’t everyone’s thing, I’m going to do monthly round-ups of my Instagram posts right here on the blog.


At first, I was going to just share a pattern which is what I did the first week, but then I came across a tutorial on how to make surface pattern design mock-ups/prototypes and in my usual manner, I got obsessed. How cool is it to see a product with the design?? Here are the designs and mock-ups from January:


I was a little nervous about starting a weekly sewing habit. I’d attempted this several times in years past, and always failed. However, I’ve been sewing so much in preparation for my next book that I’m pretty darn speedy now, which gave me the boost to try once again. A big part of the incentive to sew for myself is not only to continually improve my skills but also to finally make a significant dent in my fabric stash. The enormity of my stash has been weighing heavily on me physically and conscience-wise for what seems like an eternity. I’m using a good chunk of fabric from my stash for the book, but there’s so much that just won’t fit with the book aesthetic or that I don’t have enough yardage of, so that’s where personal sewing comes in. I may sew some for K too, but it’s been about 50/50 in terms of meeting her approval since her standards are WAY higher than mine when it comes to quality control.

So far, I’ve been able to create something every week. I’m getting into the groove, my friends! I can’t help but notice that no matter how many hours and days and weeks and months and years of practice I have under my belt, I rarely have an error-free sewing project. I misread instructions or sew the wrong parts together or cut out incorrect pattern pieces. 99% of the time, the sewn items come out just fine in the end. Or maybe my standards are really low, so they seem fine to me. Whatever the case, the mistakes are less and less frustrating.

Anyhow, here are the things I sewed for the month of January:

Vogue 9275 View C in French Terry + Self-drafted leggings in performance knit

Japanese-style apron from this book (size L) in herringbone linen.


Style Arc Brooklyn Knit Top (size 10) in sherpa knit + Anna Allen Persephone Pants (size 10) in lightweight denim

Merchant and Mills Landgate Jacket (size M) in a thick-ish, nylon raincoat material…I think. I’ve had this fabric in my stash for at least six or seven years and can’t even remember where I got it from. I also made a pair of self-drafted slim-fitting corduroy pants.

Okay! That’s it for this month, and I’m excited to see what I end up creating for February!

P.S. I’ve gotten a few inquiries about the Secret Valentine Exchange and sadly, it won’t be happening this year again. I can’t take care of all the administrative tasks by myself, I’ve realized, especially with my current book deadlines. I’ll continue to rack my brain to make it happen for next year (fingers crossed!)

8 thoughts on “January Round-Up

  1. Yours is a wonderful blog. I totally appreciate your views on sewing…and I am a lot older than you are. I turned 79 in November 2020. One of the horrors of the year! Just keep it up. I think you are doing a wonderful job and am anxious to see your book.

    1. Yes Judith, I am in my 70’s too and find Sanae so inspiring! Although I am quite an experienced sewer her book ‘Sewing Happiness’ is one of the very few I still have and re-read. I always say never too old to learn and I am learning lots from all the wonderful young people in the sewing and craft blogosphere, or whatever it is called! My Mum and Gran taught me to sew and knit and I have made my own clothes since I was a young teenager. Then dressmaking, etc., seemed to be overtaken by ‘fast fashion’ and so many people weren’t able to learn crafting skills, so it is fantastic that there has been such a resurgence. Stay safe Judith and let’s hope we have many years more of happy crafting.

      1. Thank you, Julia! I love that both you and Judith are actively sewing in your seventies and I know that I’ll be doing the same. I’m so inspired by you both!

  2. Along with Judith and Julia, I, too, am in my 70s and so enjoy reading about your sewing adventures. I also look forward to your next book. Thank you, Julia, for calling yourself a “sewer” and not a “sewist,” which word bothers me ( spell check does not like it either!), but I guerss I’m just being fussy. Sanae, your surface patterns are bright and charming. You are an inspiration!

  3. I am loving it all! Great job with the sewing! I am starting to attempt to get back into my sewing/blogging groove as well. I think it does help to have a schedule so I’m trying to get out one blog post a week, which is so far do-able. My problem was the opposite, I didn’t have fabric and since the border to Canada is closed my annual stock up on fabric for my birthday trip with my mom was cancelled! 🙁 But I got some Christmas cash and was able to restock a little online, so now I’m making some fun things. I think that cozy sweatshirt looks perfect, especially with the cute jeans. I’m all about cozy lately.

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