My challenge is over

Did I succeed in making all of my childrens’ clothes for a year?

sad face

Erm!!!! I have to be honest, I did not. For 3 simple reasons.


1.  I could not resist a bargain
With 70% off at No Added Sugar and New Generals the temptation was too great. I bought the 4 items shown above.

wolf sweatshirt

2.  Fabric availability
There seems to be a lack of reasonably priced knit fabric here in the UK. They don’t sell sweatshirt fleece as cool as this in my usual hangouts. Make that 5 items.

3.  Demand
My girls wear leggings a lot and get holes in them often. Eventhough leggings are quick and easy to sew, I only made 2 pairs during my challenge, but bought 7. A total of 12 purchases. Ooopsie!

But with that being said I did make a phenomenal amount of clothing for my girls during 2014.

Grand total: 96 things. Not bad aye?

I didn’t get to blog about everything and some of the clothes have never been worn but I am immensely proud of my accomplishments over the past 12 months.

Did my challenge save me money?

Erm! Nope, not at all. My fabric stash could fill a whole new wardrobe. But besides that it is difficult to work out if making clothes is cheaper than buying clothes. Most of the time when you buy ready to wear clothes you are paying for the label. The cost of the things I make is based on the price and amount of fabric, if I included my time too that would raise the cost to a whole new level.

The most expensive thing I made this year was the Big Bubble Party Dress, due to the price of linen and the 3 meters of fabric required.

What was the most favourite thing I made?

I originally thought of my top 3 things, but my list got longer and longer until it became my top 16 things. So I thought about it from another angle. What do my girls choose to wear without my influence? What items completely reflect my taste in kids clothing? What items are stylish but also practical and comfortable? What items are reasonably quick and easy to make and I would be happy to make more?

bubble shorts ♥ Needle and Ted

silver leggings ♥ Needle and Ted

The Alley Cat RomperBubble Shorts and Silver Leggings tick all the boxes.

Will I continue to make clothes for my girls?

My sewing challenge has given me a huge amount of pleasure and satisfaction and long will I continue making clothes for my girls. I sew nearly every day night and I thoroughly enjoy it. I would even go as far as to say that I’m addicted.

Excitement builds from first deciding on a pattern, to choosing the fabric, cutting the pattern pieces, sewing them together to create something of beauty that represents me skills and my taste. It is rewarding and fulfilling, there is no way I am going to stop now.

Still learning

When I first started Needle and Ted I only told my sister. The posts had just 1 image, no words just a lame title like ‘yellow dress’. (Don’t go looking for these post, I have since changed them, but just a little.) The blog was for me to document what I made, it wasn’t meant for anyone else to look at.  But I soon started to learn what blogging was all about and I started to enjoy it and get better at it.

This was my first post, hoping that someone would read it other than my sister.

At this time I had just discovered the rotary cutter. There were so many more things that I learnt along the way and I have the online sewing and blogging community to thank mostly for that. People who create items with such expertise and finesse. Such passion and intelligence. People who have freely and generously shared tips, tricks and tutorials. Made amazing things for themselves or their children, inspired me, motivated me and taught me. Some of you no doubt are reading this now, so from the bottom of my heart I thank you.

thank you

And to all the people who have ever read my blog, who have left a comment or compliment, who have sent me emails. To all the people who have encouraged me and supported me. To all the pattern designers who have accepted me in their test groups, have invited me on blog tours, have given me patterns. To anyone who has given me advice, made me laugh, made smile or inspired me along my journey. Thank you all so much, I am sincerely grateful. Needle and Ted could not and would not continue without you.

What’s next?

Of course I will continue my sewing journey and grow my skills. But I will blog about clothes I make for myself as well as my girls. (I will have to stop being the mysterious Banksy of the sewing world and finally post pictures of myself).

ted tear pic

Bye bye Ted


You will be seeing less of Ted because he’s getting old and grumpy. And quite frankly, photography is easier without him. (Sorry Ted.)

I have a few patterns that I’m itching to get started on, the Bjork skirt, Fawn Lily top, the Gardenia Dress, the Cadette Coat and Blake to name but a few. I am also looking forward to finishing Darcy’s Small Fry Skinny Jeans, my subtraction dress and my Story Jacket.

But 2015 is going to be a very busy and exciting year for me, I have some big news to share with you that all started with a Facebook post by Laura. More about that very soon. Promise!

But for now, I wish you all a happy, healthy and successful 2015. What are your plans?

Typography by Needle and Ted


*“Sad” icon by Megan Sheehan from the Noun Project.


23 thoughts on “My challenge is over

  1. Merci beaucoup for sharing all your impressions. Sylas and me have a lot of fun when we are reading your posts 😉
    Keep it going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  2. I can’t wait to see what you’ll be sewing in 2015 🙂
    Building a kid’s wardrobe can be so demanding (passion and motivation to spend the nights sewing, help a lot!) but it’s also so rewarding – especially when “handmade clothes” become their favorites!


  3. Happy new year! I’ve loved following along with your challenge- you’ve made some awesome stuff! Can’t wait to see what you make for yourself in the new year!


  4. Looking forward to getting a glimpse of you and what you sew for yourself! I think the addiction might be linked to the fact that there is always more to learn. I really feel like I learn from each and every project- even the failed ones. It has been a great pleasure finding you and your blog in 2014 so looking forward to the next year – challenges I’m hoping to tackle this year – screen printing, swimwear and underwear.


    • Happy New Year Toya. I’m a bit nervous but I’m going for it. Good luck in finding swimwear fabric 😉 I tried last year and ended up with leotard lycra but have since been given some by a friend. Screen printing will suit you down to a tee. I imagine you will be amazing. Underwear for yourself?


  5. Hooray the challenge is finished. Well done you have made some great stuff over the year I am very impressed. Your sewing skills have also improved. I am waiting to see what 2015 has in store. It has been a fun read. Bye Ted.


  6. I meant to comment on this when it came across my reader several days ago! Way to go! What a huge accomplishment! And buying 5 items hardly deserves a sad face – though it was pretty funny! 😉 That Bubble dress is absolutely exquisite and worth every penny! And I think we will all miss Ted! 🙂


  7. Well done you, what an achievement, where do you find the time?? Buying only 12 items of clothing for two kids is pretty amazing. Sewing all of my daughters clothes is something I have ambitions to do one day.
    Your hamani dress is still my all time favourite- and your children are gorgeous!
    Please keep blogging as I’m always glad when your posts come up on my news feed


  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. I decided a couple of years ago to stop buying rtw clothes and I only have bought a few on sales or for refashioning. This has saved me LOTS of money, because I haven’t been buying that many fabrics either, sewing from my statsh as much as possible. Have a great 2015 and a lot of sewing projects.


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