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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals. I'm a recovering former vegan and vegetarian, now healing with a nutrient-dense mostly Paleo diet, and love at-home CrossFit and yoga workouts. I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Falling in love with sewing again

I've been sewing for myself for a long time. I grew up around sewing machines but finally got the sewing bug one summer, I think right before I started college. I made myself a halter sundress from this pattern and a light bulb went off in my head and I was hooked. Oh, so THIS is how garments are put together!


Fast forward a few years. I asked for sewing machine as a graduation present from grad school and when now-husband and I got our first apartment together, I set it up in our office. I had a lot of time on my hands for a while there, and I played around with mending, refashioning, sewing from scratch, making slipcovers, many Anthro-inspired embellished tees (very hot in 2009), and learning new DIYs. I started this blog (then called Adventures in Dressmaking) and found the online world of seamstresses like me!

I've made a LOT of garments since then. Two years ago I counted 119 dresses, including my wedding dress and my 5 bridesmaids' dresses. Plus tops, a few costumes, lots of home dec items for so many color schemes and room styles... a lot of sewing.

I really enjoyed and got good at refashioning and making store-bought clothes fit and look better! So I wrote my book, DIY Wardrobe Makeovers, on that topic. (Please check it out here!)

In summary... you could say I'm into sewing. And yet, not long ago, I found myself really in a sewing rut. Not sewing much at all. In all of 2015 I only made 13 dresses or tops, most of them in the summer (so for months I wasn't sewing anything for myself). I know it's seriously seasonal, since in the winter and spring here in Oregon I really hunker down and wear the a really basic jeans/riding boots/sweater uniform most days. No room for full-skirted cotton dresses or lightweight halter tops, some of my favorite things to make. But still, I could definitely be sewing some things, and recently I haven't been.

But it all changed this summer. You'll notice a much more populated dress/garment gallery for 2016. I made some pretty fabulous dresses even in winter (see this and this) and I think it kicked me off for the year. That and, when it comes to sewing for yourself, body image has a lot to do with what you want to wear and if you feel like wearing fun, pretty things--and this year I've been feeling really good about myself. (Win!)

I realized I've fallen in love with sewing, again! This year not only have I made a lot of clothing, I've made a lot of favorite new pieces that I really love wearing!! It's such a good feeling to have a closet of options for dressing up on weekends, trips, or date nights and knowing each opportunity is a chance to wear something I put a lot of love and time into!

I think another thing that's helped is my sewing resolutions back from January 2015... I realized I really need to slow down, "read the manual," and do things right if I want to love my projects. (Another recommended reading is my post about getting into a sewing groove.) 

Here are a few of my favorite projects from this year! But honestly, I love them all! (Check out my dress/garment gallery to see the clothing projects I've done in chronological order, most recent first.)

I really messed with and made up this pattern and this FABULOUS fabric made this dress even more special. I got out of my comfort zone on the bright color and short length and it paid off! I love it!
Buffalo check gingham is just the best. I LOVE this dress and it's so comfy and easy to wear!!
I've since shortened this dress, making it more wearable for everyday and with flats. I love the off-the-shoulder look and soft stripe!
I've made... well, several off-the-shoulder projects lately. This denim one and this gauze top (which I shortened after blogging about) are SO fun to wear.
MORE gingham. I told you, it is the greatest. Look how happy I look in this ridiculously simple top!!

It's honestly hard to pick, though, because I love so many of my recent creations in my garment gallery... a chic LWD, a super comfy knit romper cover-up... hard to choose. 

I'm feeling really happy with my sewing skills, motivation, and practical/wearable creations this year. I wanted to share in case any of you are in a sewing rut, and if you're not, hear what motivates you! Have you had phases with your sewing journey? I'd love to hear about it!

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