New Year, New Inspiration

Happy New Year to you all – I hope whatever you were doing it was wonderful!


We visited my parents in the South Island for a few days over Christmas. It is such a beautiful place that we always like to hire a car and do a few road trips into the backcountry. This year we visited Arthur’s Pass, nestled high in the Southern Alps on the main east to west route. The drive from Christchurch into Arthurs’s Pass and through the Otira Gorge is amazing and absolutely worth doing if you ever get the chance. We didn’t have time to visit the actual West Coast – but that is a goal.

Klondyke Corner en route to Arthur’s Pass

Aoraki Mt Cook was our destination on Boxing Day. This has got to be one of my favourite places in the world – my adrenaline builds just thinking about it. This year we hiked to Hooker Lake, the terminal lake of the Hooker Glacier at the foot of Mt Cook – I never realised it had icebergs!



That’s my first resolution of the new year – to get out and see my amazing country more.


Back in Auckland, the first couple of weeks of 2017 were holiday for me at home, and the plan was to sew, sew, sew. Well, I haven’t done that much. I decided I couldn’t possibly work in such a messy sewing/office/junk room and that a complete sort-out was in order. That took two days, and involved the purchase of some new shelving. I have done some sewing since and it is a lot more pleasurable – honestly, if you feel you have lost your sewing mojo, try a big tidy up!

So what have I been sewing? Now that my Elna Supermatic is working again and I can zig-zag, I tried sewing some lingerie.

I made the most hideous pair of pants from the free MakeBra hipster pattern. I’m not criticising the pattern, its just that mine did not turn out as cute looking as their sample. Trying to use up stash items, I used white viscose lycra and yellow foldover elastic. Instead of stretching the elastic slightly as per the instructions, I sewed it exactly to the pattern measurement, but it still gave me ghastly VPL. The legs and upper edge hit me in all the wrong places and I felt my most unsexiest ever. Uugh – no photo required!

While on their site I downloaded their free bralette pattern. I cut out the cups, which are intended to be slightly gathered onto an underbust elastic (that I didn’t have), but in ‘trying them on’ I decided that underbust gathers gave zero support – and I do need a little bit!

Not to be deterred, I purchased the Orange Lingerie Boylston Bra pattern. I’ve cut it out of black silk satin and lace (it is actually the same lace I used in the Ruby Slip – still got heaps!)  It has been assembled it as far as possible while I wait on more materials. And yay – this project is looking more exciting!


I am looking forward to exploring lingerie sewing this year, and and sewing more in general actually (now that my sewing room is in order!)

Another goal this year getting back to regular running. Ever since my ultra in February I have struggled – with back injury (twice), with flu (once), with ITB syndrome (ongoing), then after one particularly bad run I just decided to give up for three months. The mental break was good and I am now rejuvenated in that aspect, but my fitness has totally gone and I am back at Couch to 5k level. Gulp. I’m struggling with this fact and sometimes cry on my runs about my deterioration, but hey – I can still run! And I am determined to build up again. I’m a much happier person when I run, and absolutely love a good trail running event!

8am – focused!
5pm – tired but elated!

As for blogging – my goal is to blog more consistently this year. I’ve actually sewn several things that remain unblogged, mainly because I haven’t got around to photographing them. And some of them I am not entirely happy with either – sewing with other designers patterns can be very frustrating because of all the changes I want to make to them! I would like to make the effort this year to make more of my own patterns at home, as at the end of the day they are the items I wear the most.

I totally lived in these black wool cropped flares I made this winter.

So that’s my rundown on goals this year – to explore, sew, run, blog, and make more patterns! What’s on your to do list?


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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

38 thoughts on “New Year, New Inspiration

  1. What beautiful pictures! So jealous of your hiking and travels! 🙂 I would love to be independently wealthy and able to spend a year just traveling your amazing country!! That will probably never happen, so please continue to post those pics when you have them. My big sewing goal this year is to make something wearable for myself every month. I buy a lot of fabric and patterns, but I let fear (or the fact that I ‘think” I’m going to lose weight soon LOL) keep me from making anything. I also have a long list of projects for others and for the house that I put before personal sewing. I definitely agree that sewing in a clean, organized space is much easier! I look forward to being inspired by your blog posts all year. Happy 2017! 🙂


    1. Making one thing a month is a great goal – good luck with it! It is so easy to put other jobs first all the time, and never get around to sewing for ourselves. (And an untidy sewing room is one of those jobs!)


  2. You’e an inspiration on all levels. I feel you on the fitness. Mine went out of the window for three years whilst all my energy went into a very demanding job. I’m slowly getting the fitness back up, partly because for me it is such a signifier of returning mental health – but it’s a humbling journey! If anyone can do it, you can!!


  3. I saw that picture pop up on my reader and thought, that must be the South Island. Loved seeing Arthur’s Pass which brought back memories from our amazing South Island hiking trip more than five years ago. Bravo on getting back into your fitness routine as well as into your creative time. Happy new year.


  4. Congratulations on your lovely holiday and planning to see more of your beautiful country this year. I have always wanted to visit NZ hearing that indeed it is one of the most beautiful places on earth 🙂 it looks a LOT like where I live (Vancouver Island BC Canada) and we are so fortunate aren’t we? 🙂 My sewing plans for 2017 are to get my fit right! I’m studying books, taking classes with a local sewing goddess and measuring measuring measuring 🙂


    1. Yes, I have always admired Vancouver and BC – actually whole of Canada!
      Good luck with your fit-quest! I thought of doing a few fitting blog posts this year, so feel free to send in any requests!


  5. what fantastic photos – looks like a travel ad with the mountains and icebergs. I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing what you make so I’m looking forward to your blog in 2017, Happy New Year!


    1. Thanks Beth – I couldn’t believe it when we climbed to the vantage point and saw icebergs floating off the glacier! Looking forward to your blog in 2017 too!


  6. Happy New Year Sheryll. I love NZ and have visited a few times, recently Waiheke Island – amazing!!!!
    My resolution too is to finish my daughter’s block so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You have inspired me to maybe run a little in between my walk. Have a fantastic year!!! and looking forward to reading more of your posts and adventures.


  7. Hi from over the ditch, love reading your posts and will travel to see your lovely country sooner rather than later 🙂 Sam the Aussie


  8. Happy New Year from a Wellingtonian resettled in Edinburgh! I hope your trip/family weren’t unsettled by the earthquakes.
    Returning to running has got to be one of the hardest things I’ve experienced – it’s so easy for that ever present inner demon to latch onto the fact that “you used to be so much better” (or at least mine does). But happily that demon knows when it’s been beaten and will soon go away as you start clocking the miles and fitness back up. I’m sure I’m preaching to the converted, but hopefully it’s nice to be reminded that everyone has those pesky running demons. It can’t take away what you’ve done already though, and an ultra – that’s crazy levels of kudos! 🙂 Kia kaha!


    1. Hi Rachel! Luckily my family live south of the earthquake, so although they felt it they weren’t affected. I really feel for those who were!
      Those running demons are trying hard, but I know I just have to do the hard yards and build up again – the price you pay (or punishment?) for slacking off over winter!


  9. Hope 2017 is a good year for you Sherri: on the sewing and fitness and everything else front. I have learned so much from your past posts and I am sure that will continue going forward.


  10. I like your resolution list except for the “run” bit. But I am walking a lot and my fitness has increased just by that. Today I am going to take your lead and go and clean my sewing room. I go into it and get overwhelmed with so much stuff. Time to clean up@!


  11. Happy New Year.

    I’ve just started Couch to 5k as a brand new runner with still a long way to go. I am very interested to hear about the Boylston bra, I’ve read mixed reviews.


    1. Good luck with the running Sharon, it’s a great feeling to get to 5km! Do you have Parkrun near you? They run great free 5km events every Saturday, as social or serious as you like – totally recommended once you reach your goal! Meanwhile, I haven’t progressed any further on my Boylston Bra goal, but I will definitely blog it when I do.


  12. Happy new year to you Sheryll! I have some similar goals to you: I would like to see more of my own beautiful country, (plans already in the pipeline for this year), keep running and stay fit, and definitely have my own sewing room. I probably don’t run as much as you do, but would like to achieve a min. of 1200km this year. It really clears my mind and boosts my mental fitness as much as my physical fitness. My sewing room has been a 2 year project and this year I am adamant to have a beautiful room to sew in!
    Thank you for your very insightful and informative blog posts and have a great 2017!


    1. Sheryll, I am glad the problems with your Supermatic are fixed. I have one that is waiting it’s turn to go to the repair shop, )I’ve only tested it) The reading I have done, tells me I will require a lot of money to make it safe to use. I love my old machines, but electrical problems are especially expensive to fix.
      If you are trying to get fit, I think you might work up to it. Start off with a fast walk and then run a bit and walk a bit more. This will get your muscles (and breathing) up to snuff gradually.
      Good luck with your plans!


      1. Thanks Karen! My Supermatic was a relatively easy fix, I definitely wouldn’t go near it if it was electrical. Good luck with your repair!


    2. Hi Ivona! Overseas travel is great, but it is easy to overlook what is right at our feet, and Australia is such a beautiful unique country!
      I appreciate running for the same reasons – when I stopped running last winter I could feel the doldrums creeping in, but it only takes a few runs for them to be banished!
      Your sewing room sounds like it is going to be worthy of a blog post (hint, hint!)


  13. Darling Dimpled Daughter weds Future Son-in-Law this November. My sewing plans for the year include a formal frock for myself. And a bridal gown with a built-in corset for DD. She is my only child, so I’ll try my durnedest to do a decent job of drafting it and sewing it up. Am not ashamed to frankenpattern where I can.

    Those initials stand for more than just “darling daughter” in her case. This will be a major engineering project, to support the confection of taffeta and lace that is her heart’s desire. Well, maybe not taffeta … but definitely yards and yards of lace. She’s borrowing my veil, but it needs a new headpiece. And I can scavenge the skirt from grandma’s dress for an underslip to support the skirt of DD’s dress.

    My brain hurts now. So many lists of stuff to do, for even a simple, small wedding.


    1. Sounds like your year is going to be exciting! Start early on the dress, take it slowly building it from the inside out, and you will be fine – best of luck!


  14. What are you missing for your bra? I’d love to send you some samples to try out. From a former Dunedinite to another.


    1. Thank you Natasha! I have everything I need now to finish the Boylston Bra (except time!), but I am sure you will hear from me one day when I need some lovely new stuff!


  15. Sounds like great plans! Those glaciers are amazing! I’m working on continued fitness too, mostly strength work which I wish I’d discovered 15 years ago! And I’m working on sewing garments that aren’t ‘orphans’ – I figure it has to go with at least 2 other items in my wardrobe or be a complete outfit in itself. And once cooler weather hits it will be all about outerwear for me! Happy NY!


  16. Beautiful pictures! I truly enjoy your blog. I landed here through Dior Darts and have stayed on since. Your projects always have something to inspire and teach. Best wishes for a healthy and seeing filled 2017! PS I just started a clean out of my sewing room and feel better already!


  17. What absolutely stunning scenery!! I’m sure you’ll get back into peak running form soon, it’s hard to get back on the wagon after an injury but if anyone can do it, you can! I love the black lace you’re using for the new bra, so delicately pretty. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product! 🙂


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