How Do You Measure A Year?

Once upon a time I measured my sewing year in garments made. I haven’t done that the last three years because I not only slowed down my sewing, I wasn’t always motivated or able to get photos of what I sewed. But, I’ve been doing a lot of fun domestic travel that isn’t always documented here.  The lovely thing about traveling and meeting sewing friends is they become real life friends that you talk, text and chat with about all the things. So, I thought it might be fun to measure my year in sewing internet friends as told by Instagram  😀

In April, we hosted Melissa of Fehr Trade and her husband James. She bought Linus THE GREATEST tee shirt ever. Seriously. How cute is he? It’s my favorite shirt for him.

Melissa muled from the UK macaroons to me from Dibs, brought amazing chocolates, beer, cider and even store brand chocolate I asked for (because I remembered eating them visiting family in London as a kid).

While sad to see her go, we were able to pull together a little sewing meet up while she was in town.

I’m often asked about Trena, The Slapdash Sewist who hasn’t updated her blog in over a year. Well, she’s doing great. She hasn’t blogged for a while because she wants a new computer to make things easier and she got married in September 2015. She’s updating her computer at some point where she’ll be able to blog again. And, I’ve been prodding her to at least get on Instagram. If you can imagine, 2017 is our Ten Year Friendversary. Can you believe it? We met through Pattern Review and really are best friends. Crazy. We’ve been trying to decide what to do to celebrate out Friendversary. And, I think we’ve settled on a weekend in Minneapolis this summer for SR Harris fabric shopping. Oh, and she didn’t make her dress below. We found it on the first dress outing. It’s sold at BHLDN as a bridesmaid’s dress. She did make her hat though and she was stunning. My dress is one I had made in China years ago.


For my 40th birthday in April, we went to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a week. Conveniently, a friend owns a second home there so it was an easy trip.  While getting off and on Route 66 in Albuquerque, I got to meet and have have fun drinks with with Nancy  from Sew West. I’ve known her for what feels like forever through PatternReview and blogging.


This year I’ve made two very dear dear  friends through sewing and this blog. First is Jeannie who authored the 365 Dresses blog. I get a little vaklempt when I type this: Jeannie is amazing. She doles our knitting, career and getting along with your remarried parent advice and doesn’t get tired of talking about any of it. I think I text or email her a minimum of six times a week. Even when she was in Paris! I just treated her like an old school Pen Pal — held captive by my demands for a response. We went to New York in early December and Maryland Sheep and Wool over the summer. And, because she’s here in Baltimore it’s so easy for us to make plans together.  Jeannie has truly been a bright spot in this year. And, it feels kind of miraculous to know her. I mean, what are the odds I’d meet an experienced machine knitter less than five miles from me that I *like*? She’s a true friend and I can’t believe how lucky I am to have her in my life.


At MDSW, I also got to meet knitting phenom Dana from Yards of Happiness. She’s also owner of the cutest pair of chihuahuas ever and knits for them regularly. You may remember her from her old blog, The Art of Accessories — which gave me life. As noted here many a time, I can’t accessorize to save my life. I miss that blog, Dana.


Later in May, Dibs came in from Londontown! She did not have macaroons with her, lol. Dibs was warm and HILARIOUS. She promised to visit every time she’s in Maryland. Lucky for me, she has family here.


In June, I got to meet Jasika from Try Curious. I’d been following her on Instagram and reading her blog for about a year and I was obsessed with her personality. Like, would talk about her to Jordan as though I knew her.  When she had a trip to New York planned, I took the bus up to hang out with she and Marcy for the day. It was one of the best dates I’ve had this year. I’m happy to tell you that she’s *exactly*  who she presents herself to be. She’s got a sharp wit, a beautiful spirit, nuanced reasoning and a true sense of herself. The US presidential election was really really rough on me. Who am I kidding. It’s *still* rough. But, a tiny bright spot was getting a note from Jasika the day after checking in on us.  Without having talked about the election, she knew I’d feel like the world I knew was closing in on me.  She may have also mailed cookies at Christmas that we managed to eat in less than 12 hours. We have no shame in the Rosensamuelfeld house. Seriously though, ALL THE HEART EMOJIS for Jasika.



We wrapped up the 2016 Internet Sewing Friends Tour with a trip to Kansas City. Jordan’s college roommate lives there and we went to visit he and his fiancé. Jordan is no longer surprised when I tell him I ‘know’ someone in random parts of the country. In KC, I got to   meet with Mel and Ody who I knew from Pattern Review back when I joined in 2002. They were so kind! They took me all over town! Zoolee’s Fabrics was closed when I was there. But, I ended up ordering some really great lingerie sewing notions from her online.  I was really interested in seeing how Fabric Recycles worked too.  I didnt’ get a lot of photos. But, I think if you sew it’s worth checking out. Not for the fabric. But, for the vintage and modern notions. I bought a pressing mit, Japanese made walking foot, a Jean-a-jig, and vintage Fur tags. And, it was all for a song.



If you’re wondering where is next… I’m not sure! We’ve noodled going to Boston for a long weekend this year. But, we’re really saving for a big trip to the west coast in January 2018 for Jordan’s milestone birthday. We don’t know if we’re starting in Seattle / Portland or further  south. But, the plan is to take two weeks to drive the coast and definitely hit Los Angeles and San Francisco where Jordan’s brother lives. If anyone has done this, I’m totally open to suggestions.

We *are* going to Chicago in March to see Hamilton and I’m planning on checking out  the Mainbocher exhibit at the history museum.

There’s also a big family reunion on my mother’s side of the family in Carriacou, Grenada. I think I might go this summer for a few weeks. I hear there’s internet on the island now so I may not be bored totally out of my mind!

** I obviously need to make more tops. Am I wearing that green Burda top in 75% of the photos?  And, the jeans are unblogged Jalies. The coat is Butterick 6224 and the red sweater is a 2012 Burda.



  1. You look absolutely glorious in all these photos. How marvelous! This is such a great way to mark the passing of the year. Thanks for sharing it with us. Fun to read.

  2. This is such a positive way of marking the passage of a year. Ingenious, really. You have definitely made the most of meeting sewing friends from all over. Your smile is almost as big as your heart, Renee. I hope your 2017 turns out just as good, and I am sure you will make it be so! Holiday blessings and best wishes for the New Year.

  3. That certainly sounds like a great year. You’ve encouraged me to try to think of the positive when I think about 2016, because ooooh boy, there sure was a lot of negative.

    Hope you have happy holidays, lady!

  4. It always cracks me up when people tell me how they miss the old blog. Clearly I should start doing more styling of my knits (especially since I hate how knitting mags style sweaters). It was great to finally meet you in person too 🙂 2017 machine knitting is a must!

  5. You have brightened my day today! And brightened the year, too! I’m looking forward to at least a few more outings in 2017. Because of you, I’ve met (virtually or really) so many people I wouldn’t have know otherwise. I love you.

    • I miss you too, D.! Jordan’s firm has a Boston office and we may make a trip out this summer too!

      On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 11:26 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  6. FYI – you have an Internet friend in the Omaha, Nebraska area too! I don’t blog, need to get Instagram, Haven sewn much this year (lack of time/space) but have a zillion projects to sew up or craft, and will be getting a new sewing/craft room in the next few months. But we’re internet sewing friends because I ran across your blog about 8 years ago and started following you and Ann Steves of Gorgeous Fabrics. (Ann and I are also friends, although she doesn’t know it yet.) reading your blogs got me interested in sewing again after a decade of inactivity. That’s why we’re friends – you inspired me to just sew! I had quit because I had some spectacular failures and lost all confidence. Thanks to you, I started making muslins, learned about FBAs and other great things! I wanted to let you know that’s why we’re friends. (Or maybe to you I’m a sewing cyber-stalker. But I’m friendly! And I like dogs too if that helps!)

    • Well, I can’t even tell you how much this touches me! And, as one who is friends with people I’ve never met, I totally understand! Thank you so much for reading and commenting Leanne. Sometimes blogging feels like talking to yourself. It’s amazing to know people do listen.

      On Fri, Dec 23, 2016 at 11:47 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  7. I love this post. Firstly, you really do know everyone. But how great that you measure a year in friendship. You’ve got your priorities right!

  8. Such a lovely and enjoyable post! I am not much of a comment maker, but have followed your blog for ages 😊. Hope if you do a sewing friends meet up, during your 2018 trip to the west coast, that I’ll get a chance to meet you in person. Have a wonderful holiday!

  9. Aw, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing, and thanks for the update on Slapdash Sewist, who I’ve missed reading and hoped was ok. Happy holidays!

  10. What a lovely way to summarize a year! I’ve yet to meet any of these people in person, except for Jeanne, and she’s just as fabulous as you say! Congrats to Trina – she looks lovely! I look forward to meeting you when you visit the west coast!

  11. This is a terrifically more interesting post than the count of makes. You are so lucky to have met so many sewing friends. I am envious! Thank you for also update re Treena, I was only thinking of her the other day and hoping like crazy she was ok. Isn’t it weird to worry about someone you don’t know IRL. You both look amazingly beautiful in the photos from her wedding. I love, love love your red dress.

  12. What a wonderful post! Sewing friends are great IRL and virtually. I am still amazed the Maria aka Velosewer took the time to go to the Fabric Store and Tessuti to snap a picture of some fabric I wanted so my hubby could buy them for me when he was in Sydney.
    Really looking forward to meeting you when you come to the Bay Area in 2018.

  13. great post and what a fun year. I think the best part of starting a sewing blog is all the friends I have made. And I read through waiting for mention of a trip to the west coast – YAY! it is on your calendar. Looking forward to meeting you when you make it to San Francisco. Happy Holidays!

  14. Hi Renee — I pop into your blog a few times a year, just to see what gorgeousness you’re up to. It was exciting to see you wearing a Pink Hat in your side Instagram feed, since I’m one of the West Coasties who’s knitting away in support of the cause. Thanks for everything you do to share your crafty brilliance and bring together folks from around the world.

  15. Great wrap-up for 2016! Looks like you’ve met a great group of friends and had lots of fun doing so! I am so looking forward to what 2017 will bring! Happy Holidays and I pray your 2017 is everything you wish it to be!

  16. This was such a nice post! Lots of great smiles and friendly faces, connected to plenty of names I “know”. And as many others have said, it’s good to hear that Treena is not only doing well, but possibly even doing great!
    Here’s to an upcoming year with more of the same joyful community. Happy Holidays and New Year to you and Jordan.

  17. I loved this post! In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in meetups with sewing friends…. 🙂

    I’ve been a long time follower as well and feel we’re friends. I remember you and Trena’s first meetup!!!! At the time, I was living in Southern Md, and always thought it’d be fun to run up to DC and meet you both somewhere, but the stars never aligned.

    I’m in Wichita, KS now….let me know if you’re ever in the area!

  18. Great year end round up! If you do come out to Minneapolis, let me or Nakisha know! We’d love to go to SR with you.

  19. A wonderful way to round up the year. I travelled to Chicago from the UK this year and met Rhonda from Sewbussted which was a real treat. My husband is also getting used to being told I have a ‘sewing friend’ in odd places too.
    If you are ever in the UK midlands give me a shout 😃.

  20. May i be invited to the next baltimore sewing meet-up? i don’t have a blog, but i like to sew… 🙂

    • Of course! It may actually be time for me organize one. Maybe at Open Works!

      On Wed, Dec 28, 2016 at 9:37 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  21. I loved this post. It has indeed been a rough, painful year, and I’m glad to be reminded that good things happen between good people. For your Big West Coast Trip of 2018, please come to Seattle/Portland–you have a friend here too! Take care!

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