Ready & waiting

So long 2016…

Since the first week of 2017 is coming to an end, I thought it was high time I took a look at how I did resolution-wise last year.  I decided to cut myself some slack and instead of ticking things off the list, or not, I gave myself a score judging how far I’ve gotten on the path of completion. 😉

1. Make a Little French Jacket – 10%

In 2015 I managed to get to the stage where I ordered my first 20 samples from Linton Tweed. In 2016 I got another 40 of them, got super confused and decided to just chill out and make a guitar case (pictured unfinished below) from all those samples.

The Secret Costumier - Handmade guitar case

I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out whether I should go with a goes-with-everything-little-black-jacket or something fun and colorful. I then ended up buying 3 meters of some really interesting looking, white-blue fabric from Linton for less than half the original price.

Now, of course, I can’t see the logic behind this move and I’m thinking that on the long run it would be worth buying the black fabric that I really want, if I’m gonna spend 80 hours making it. I have already spent about 4 hours on the toile alone and I haven’t even started the fitting, so that number does seem to be realistic!

2. Try lingerie making – 100%

I really wanted to try making my own lingerie for a while, but I didn’t think I needed to take classes to learn how to. However, when I found out that the pattern cutting class at Morley that I was about to sign up for wasn’t going to go ahead, I sort of panicked and enrolled for a bra making class instead.

Best. Decision. Ever. Carol, our teacher, used to work for brands like Coco de Mer and Agent Provocateur, so I knew I was going to learn from someone with a similar taste, but I had no idea how fun she was! And so were my class mates.

The Secret Costumier - Handmade bra

Long story short, I have almost finished a wearable muslin and I finished a bra made of some vintage lace. I think it turned out great (I’ll show you soon), it’s my best fitting bra ever, and I’m already working on the next one! 🙂

3. Continue learning French – 61%

Resolution: Reach level 52 on Memrise by the end of the year.

Result: Reached level 32. Way to go, but the real achievement here is not giving up on it! 😉

4. Watch a play once a month – 100%

This brought me so much joy last year! I bought a “passport” to one of my favourite Off West End theatres, so I watched half of the plays there on my own, and caught the rest in theatres all around London, sometimes with friends joining me.

The best show was definitely Yerma at the Young Vic (probably one of the best plays I have ever seen tbh), and apart from 2, I have enjoyed all of them. 8 out of the 12 plays had the same theme, which says a lot about the whole year I think: terrorism and the refugee crisis. (You can read a brief description of the plays by clicking on the images below if you’re interested.)

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 5. Knit a jumper! – 100%

The Secret Costumier - Knitting

I’ve done it!!! 3 years after learning how to knit I have finally finished something I could actually wear! I will take some photos of it soon, but in the meantime I might try to improve it a little (boring neckline + bulky arms).

6. Make a quilt. – 99%

The Secret Costumier - Quilting prep

Done. 99% means that some threads need to be tied and the binding needs to be finished by hand on 2 sides. It was a Christmas gift to the wonderful guy who makes me not want to spend all my waking hours sewing, because he really needed one.

7. Finish the UFOs. 0%

Did not even touch them, just created more…

8. Drink more water! 50%?

Since I did not come up with a tracking system I have no clue, but to be super honest I don’t think I did very well.


I have now compiled a list of resolutions for 2017 too, as I really like having a plan for the year ahead, but there are a number of factors that could change how my year pans out, so I’ll hang onto them for a little while…

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From scratch, Ready & waiting

2016: Resolution time!

It’s that time of the year again. Some people hate them, some people love them, for me making resolutions is a bit like having a map giving me a direction for the year ahead. I know myself too well, so I try not to have too serious intentions, but looking back at what I managed to accomplish from my list is my favourite part of the end of the year.

1. Make a Little French Jacket

Do we all sewing enthusiasts have a list of things we want to sew in our life? You know, the wedding dress, something with lace, a vintage dress from a vintage pattern, the tailored coat, the Little French Jacket… Since I’m really not fussed about throwing a wedding – ever, and I’m just about to finish my tailored coat, the next long project on the list must be the Chanel style jacket that allegedly takes 80 hours to make. I have been looking at pictures of it for well over a year now, I have the pattern, I have Claire Shaffer’s book, and now I also have 20 samples from Linton tweeds’ selection. All there’s left to do is picking 1 fabric out of 20, and the 80 hours sewing can commence! 🙂

TheSecretCostumier - Linton Tweed samples

2. Try lingerie making

There is so much inspiration out there and so many fantastic finished projects, that after tackling making bags, I must give this a go too. I don’t like wearing padded or underwired bras, so hopefully I’ll be able to make something nice, simple and wearable from some of the vintage lace I scored from one of Brighton’s many second-hand shops.

3. Continue learning French

Reach level 52 on Memrise by the end of the year. 🙂

4. Watch a play once a month

It’s hard to explain exactly why, but I’ve always found the theater magical. I even considered going back to uni to do a degree in costume design a few years ago, and working in the Royal Opera House’s costume department would still be the dream job. In spite of all this, for some reason going to the theater has not become as high a priority since I moved to London as it used to be while living in Budapest, so this year I decided to make a little effort to find some good shows.

 5. Knit a jumper!

I’ve been working on the knitting below, ever since I’ve picked this hobby up – that was 2 years ago. I obviously had to choose the prettiest AND thinnest yarn out there, which is why knitting my first top has taken me so long. Now that I finished the front of it (not following the pattern, obvs.) I managed to leave the whole thing (needles, yarn, finished front and the 1/4 of the back) on the plane to New York.

To be completely honest, I can’t say I was devastated when I found out they are gone. I think it wasn’t ever gonna be finished anyway, so now I have a good excuse to restart my knitting game… with the chunkiest wool out there, of course! 🙂

2014 - Resolutions reviewed!

6. Make a quilted bedcover.

I have never thrown away any scraps from any of my projects since I started sewing. I know, it’s fairly crazy, but I cherish fabric and I don’t want to waste anything. I do think I could turn even the smallest scrap into something useful, like you know…a patchwork bed cover.

All my previous projects (the journal cover and potholder) were attempts at making one, but I got bored with all the cutting and ironing of little pieces.  I also don’t quite have enough cotton scraps to make one big and beautiful quilt, so I will look for some second hand shirts, sheets or vintage fabric, and make this the year of the Quilt!

7. Finish the UFOs.

Please, please, please: just do it! New fabric shall only enter the flat once an unfinished project has left the shelf!

8. Drink more water! 🙂

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