Made by me

10 years of makes

I’ve been documenting my makes online since around 2005 and on this blog since 2008. Some of the oldest pics are sadly gone, but as I’m celebrating my 10 years blogging anniversary this year I figured I could at least do a retrospective with one make a year from 2008 to today.

So here goes!


For as long as I can remember I’ve liked sailor inspired outfits. Heck, I even remember saying that if I ever have children I would dress them in little sailor outfits. Luckily, I came to my senses when I actually had my children, and I have not tried to impose my marine aesthetic on them. But I still dress this way from time to time, such as in this outfit that I did back in 2008. The pants are from a Vogue pattern and the top I drafted myself, being inspired a knit top I saw in TopShop.



I go through phases where all I want to sew is pretty dresses and then end up having a lot of them hanging unused in my wardrobe, I think this a pretty common theme among sewists? That we love making more dressed up garments, but in reality, we dress way more casual on a day-to-day basis? This dress is from Colette Patterns and is called Parfait. And despite what I said above, this dress actually gets worn a bit, in fact, I wore it yesterday, since it was a national holiday and pretty warm.



I love sewing my own cardigans, and when I see a company releasing a cardigan sewing pattern, I’m often eager to try it, This one is from Burdastyle magazine, and while I like how it looks, I didn’t end up wearing this cardigan a lot. Probably because I picked fabrics that were a bit too thin.



For summer I like to wear simple skirts in knit fabrics that have pockets. This fabric is from a famous Danish designer, but the name eludes me at the moment. Anyways, the fabric is fantastic and I’m actually wearing this skirt today, seven years later, writing this blog post! I drafted this pattern my self.



Ready-to-wear shorts hate me, but luckily I’ve been pretty successful sewing my own. This pair is from Burdastyle and I used a wax print cotton fabric. Unfortunately, these shorts fell off a boat in 2013. Otherwise, I would still be wearing them today.



This year I was on a blog hiatus, but I kept sewing. One of my favourites makes that year was this western inspired blouse from Burdastyle. I wore it until it fell apart in 2017, and now I want to make a new one!



During my sewing blog hiatus, I was really into training and racing and did my first half-marathon wearing a running dress I designed myself. Unfortunately, the dress was thrown away due to a garbage bag mix-up, but I sewed a new dress for the half-marathon I did this year. I will blog more about that soon!


Burdastyle silk and lace blouse


Occasionally, despite our best efforts, some sewing projects ends up being a pretty a soul-sucking, demoralising and disappointing experience. That was the case with this Burdastyle silk and voile blouse. I struggled through the entire project and ended up having to redo a few things, only to feel fairly lukewarm about the end result. That said, the blouse has grown on me, and now I reach for it when I want something semi-formal to wear, and luckily the black colour hides some of the construction flaws.



I still get bitten by the pretty dress bug sometimes, and I really enjoyed making this Burdastyle rayon dress. It involved a lot of new (to me) techniques and I’m very pleased with the end result.


DIY Crew neck wool cardigan


Last year I decided to focus more on sewing more basics since those are the ones I reach for the most. Even though the styles were more simple, I did use primarily high quality and organic fabrics. This wool cardigan and pair of trousers were part of those efforts. I wear both these a lot!


I’m finishing this retrospective with my proudest make so far this year – a tailored jacket, again from Burdastyle. This jacket took me almost a month to finish, but it was such a fantastic learning experience that is was totally worth the effort.

Even though taking photos of my makes sometimes feels like a chore, I’m still happy that I have documented my sewing journey like this. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and I have learned so much over the years too, both when it comes to construction and understanding fabric and fit.

As for my style, I don’t think my taste has changed much over the years, but I do gravitate towards more time-consuming and complicated projects these days, even though they sometimes drive me kinda crazy too!


  • Natasha
    June 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    Johanna, thanks so much for posting this! I really loved seeing the sewing progression through the years. It is great that you included some things that didn’t work. We all have those, and it’s helpful to all of us to see the authentic side of sewing. I love your blog and I appreciate all the posts. Happy sewing!

    • Johanna
      June 9, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Totally! Just because our skills improve doesn’t mean we are immune to having makes that weren’t all that successful. Sewing is hard sometimes! Thank you for your kind comment 😊

    June 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    So where is the menswear’s for your husband??????

    • Johanna
      June 9, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Lol, I should do a post dedicated to sewing for my husband and children, but it would be kinda short 😊

  • Sew Old Fashioned
    June 8, 2018 at 1:14 am

    What a fun journey through some of your sewing! It was fascinating to see how you began to focus on what you really wanted to wear and started to make things that were more likely to be chosen on a regular basis. And it’s great that your older makes are still in your wardrobe, too.

    • Johanna
      June 9, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Yes I do think this is a process that many of us go through. Sewing is not just about learning skills, it’s also about understanding our tastes, bodies and lifestyle and translate that into our garments

  • Adrianne
    June 8, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    I love all the makes you have shared with us today! You left off my personal favorite: the DVF wrap dress. I’m hoping to tackle the challenge of making my own soon. Someday, maybe you will share that story of losing your shorts overboard?! Have a nice weekend!

    • Johanna
      June 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you! I can totally recommend going the wrap dress route, that was one of my favourite project last year. Plus it’s such versatile dress that works in a lot of settings. Have a great weekend you too!


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