Sincerely, Shantelle

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Lead image for 'Monthly Faves of 2019'

Witty one-liner goes here

I know, I know. It's been a bajillion years since I've published here (and I have a post coming soon on that). With it being a year-end, it seems as though it naturally spurs us to become restrospective of this year past. That being said, I took a little photographic trip down memory lane, and it's amazing to have visual evidence of my progress each month.

To start with, take a look at how my photography has grown! The left is my last photo of 2018 and the right is my last photo this year. To be transparent, a new lens was used with the second one, but I definitely know that this year, I was challenged to learn a lot more about my camera, lighting, and photo editing. Still not a pro, but definitely better and ultimately, getting better was my goal.

It was super hard to come up with just a top 12. I sewed over 300 items this year, between pattern tests, strike sewing, my personal challenge (that I abandoned), and personal sews. In the end, I tried to mix up which family member was featured and different pattern or fabric companies. Here are the results...

January 2019
For the first time ever, I sewed a jacket. Not just one, but TWO! It was definitely a really proud moment of mine to be able to accomplish them. It was also my first completed pattern test of the year, which was the Adult Duchess from Ellie and Mac.

February 2019
This make challenged me a little, but I fell in love with the end result. It was a part of my weekly challenege this year to sew my first foreign pattern. With that also came the first time I've ever had to add my own seam allowance to a pattern (which I stuffed up a bit, but recovered in the end). This was also my first "big" strike sew. I was on a new strike team with a bunch of super experienced sewists for the first time. I felt intimidated, but quickly warmed up.

March 2019
March marked my first time as a part of a blog tour. I felt EXTREMELY honored and lucky to be asked to be a part of it, and was also incredibly nervous! Raspberry Creek Fabrics was the host and sponsored this gorgeous swim fabric, and Patterns for Pirates sponsored the patterns. This was my first time making swimwear for myself (I had actually just made my first swimwear, period, the week before in a pattern test for my daughter). The sewing went swimingly, despite all that I imagined would have went wrong. The hardest part was finiding a place to take nice photos in a swimsuit in the middle of the winter. Overnight date at a nice hotel with a pool for the win ;)

April 2019
In April, I participated in a Pinspiration Challenge for Ellie and Mac. My daughter started to take more of an interest in what I was making for her, so this style choice was hers. I modified the Cold Shoulder top to get the look and we definitely LOVED it!

May 2019
In May, I sewed my first Rad Pattern! I remember being particularly excited for this because 1) I discovered my love for ITY from Amelia Lane Designs and 2) the Date Night dress fit perfectly. For once, I didn't have the gap that I usually get in the small of my back and the fit was spot on without a muslin or adjustments. (I later went on to learn that the adjustment I should be making is a sway-back adjustment.)This is definitely one of my favorite summer dresses.

June 2019
This month, my favorite came from sewing with bamboo lycra from Ohana Fabric's Resort round. Not only was this fabric heavenly to sew with, the colors and print were extremely vibrant and my husband photographed me BEAUTIFULLY. This shoot definitely comes in my top faves for photography of the year. The skirt was self drafted and the top was the True Beauty from Ellie and Mac hacked into a crop top.

July 2019
I loved using this border print from Stitchin' Pretties in DBP for my girl! The Be the Leader from Ellie and Mac was the perfect pattern to showcase it, and the color was gorgeous on her.

August 2019
Another great sew from Ohana! This fabric was from the Kawaii round and it was sooooo fun to make. I used the Ollie Bomber from Sew A Little Seam. It was my first make from the company and so incredibly easy, I was shocked! First zipper that came out super nice on a jacket and first welt pockets were sewn. To date, it's my daughter's most worn make.

September 2019
Amelia Lane had a waffle release this month, and I fell in love. The colors were beautiful, the fabrics were soft, and they made me so inspired. This is my favorite me-made sweater and was made by modifiying the High Hopes pattern from Ellie and Mac.

October 2019
I joined the promo team for Made by Runi recently and got a chance to promo the Such a Square pattern. This one was fun, using only scraps from my scrap bin and a too-small panel that I got in a destash. It's one of the most unique pieces my son has in his closet and definitely one of my favorites. I keep wanting to sew another, but hate topstitching so much. I also don't like seams popped up everywhere, so topstitching is an absolute must. Maybe one day I'll cave ;)

November 2019
This dress is perhaps one of the most gorgeous things I've made for my beautiful girl. I truly wish that this pattern came in my size, I love it so much! The fabric was from Smoogie and so dreamy, soft, and vibrant. I also love the setting for these photos and think they came out gorgeous.

December 2019
You didn't get to see much of my husband in this collage because I'd really only made tees for him this year. This month, however, I got some extra strike yardage of this stunning watercolor floral french terry from EmyJean Fabrics to make him a floral hoodie (at his request). I love the reception his photos got in Sinclair pattern group, and love his enthusiasm and appreciation for everything I make him. This was definitely a nice way to to end the year.

Thanks to everyone (in the sewing community AND out) who has loved, supported, and encouraged me along this year's journey. Comments, messages, and other sewists' creations have been the inspiration that has pushed me in times I felt like walking away. I couldn't have made it this far without you all and can't wait to see what next year brings for each and every one of us!