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My First Year of Sewing: A Review

It’s my sewiversary!

Ok, so maybe that’s not a thing. But it could be! :) On July 1st of last year, I got my sewing machine in the mail (yay!). I got the Brother XR9500PRW machine from their Project Runway series (got it on Amazon for $179.99 at the time – now it looks like it’s even a little cheaper). I bought it as a birthday present to myself because I wanted to try a new hobby. It had very decent reviews – and seemed to be highly recommended for beginners. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s been a great machine so far. Only complaint is the needle threading system – it worked wonderfully for a while (I thought it was the best invention on the planet while it worked!) then something got bent or off somehow and it doesn’t work anymore. To be fair, I haven’t really tried to fix it yet, so maybe when I do it’ll be just fine. Also the lettering/monogramming is nothing to write home about. But overall I’d definitely recommend this machine to a friend :) Plus, for the price… considering I’ve sewn 38 projects this year, you can also look at it as $4.74 per project (or even less per item – lots of my projects this year were made in multiples). I like to at least feel like I made a smart investment – kinda like looking at clothes in cost-per-wear, which I’m trying to do these days. Either way – totally worth it! Love my new hobby – it’s definitely a keeper!

So in honor of my sewiversary, I’ve compiled a list of all the groups I’ve joined and/or contributed to this year, patterns and tutorials I’ve used, my top and favorite sewing posts from the year, and my sewing goals for the next year. For one because even though it’s just a hobby – I like to keep track of things… and another because it’s fun to see it all in one place! Here ya go!

Sewing Groups

I’m a little behind in the sugar block club (a block-of-the-month quilting club), but hoping to catch up and actually finish my entire quilt by the end of the year! The Monthly Stitch and Pretty Girls Sew have inspired me to do some selfish sewing, and have given me the inspiration/motivation to make things I can actually add to my wardrobe and wear. Plus it’s really fun to see what everyone comes up with for the challenges each month! The Handmade Gift Exchange apparently happens twice per year, when random people make things for other random people they are paired with (who doesn’t love an old fashioned pen-pal-esque gift exchange!?)… and I’ve just hopped onto the Summer Stashbust 2014, pledging not to buy any new fabric until after 21 September. That one may be the most challenging of all, but I’ve already acquired quite a collection, so it’ll be nice to size it down a little before we move in October!



I’ve only used a few patterns so far. I find them mostly frustrating and usually would rather not use them at all – but there are so many cute things to make that I know I couldn’t create on my own yet – I guess I’ll have to suck it up and say it’s all part of the learning process. I tend to just want to jump into things, and patterns force me to figure out what I’m doing first – so probably a good lesson for me to learn.







This is why I love the internet! All of these are free. And there are so many more out there – these are just the ones I used this past year. Love!

For the Ladies


For the Guys

For the Little Ones


For the Pups


For the Home


For the Holidays

Bags and Such


Other / Randoms / Stuffed Things


Etc. Sewing Techniques


See what I made from all these patterns and tutorials here.

Top 5 Posts

It’s weird to know that people are actually looking at my blog here and there these days. I blogged for years and when I looked at the stats it was like 1 or 2 people per month (lol)… and I knew who those people were. But either way, I love sharing – even when it is just for me. :) Blogging is fun… it’s a creative outlet in itself. Speaking of which, my blog is in dire need of an update. Time for a new name – something that can stick with me a little longer (as of November, I will no longer be in the AF and thus will no longer have an Air Force Specialty Code… that’s where the 43P in my blog name comes from). If you have any suggestions… please, let me know. Because right now I’m at a complete loss – not feeling creative yet. Anyway, here are my most-viewed sewing posts from the past year:

#5. My First Refashion (40 views)


#4. Dwarf Slippers and Shoe Covers (74 views)


#3. DIY “Adopt Me” Vest (95 views)


#2. Costume Belts (96 views)


#1. Seven Dwarf Costumes (306 views)


So basically, Seven Dwarfs for the win! These costumes were so fun to make. I’m not sure where I’ll be this year for Halloween… but I’m hoping to make something fun again (if nothing else maybe finish the costumes I started for the pups last year but never finished).

The least viewed sewing post award goes to…

Colors Quiet Book: Page 3 – Yellow (1 view)

Yes, I admit – not a very exciting post… but I gotta give it some love too! :)


And last but not least – my personal favorite project/post from the year:

B is for Boden Maya Maxi


Sewing Goals for Year Two

1. Make a structured garment of some kind (so far I’ve been using a lot of knits… they’re very forgiving which is awesome but I feel like I need to expand into other realms).

2. Become one with zipper installation – I’ve only used a zipper two times (one and two)… they turned out okay, but I definitely need more practice.

3. Make a collared shirt of some kind.

4. Participate in Me-Made-May (and actually have enough to wear for it).

5. Learn how to use my serger! Ahhh so excited… it just came in the mail… it’s my birthday present to myself this year and it’s going to let me do so much more with knits and everything else. I admit I’m a little scared of all the threads but I can’t wait! :) Here’s to another good year of sewing!


  1. Hi Kyla, I’m so with you on the impatient front! Happy sewiversary! I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger award, I’ve just posted details :-)


    • Oh my goodness that is so sweet of you! Thank you! I will definitely be putting together my 15 to share. Thanks for your list also… helped me find some awesome new blogs!! :) And yes, I’m trying to get over my impatience in sewing–we’ll see how that goes :/


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