Sewing into 2014

Hello friends! I hope that all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. :)  I have been quite busy with all the trimmings that the holidays bring.  It seems that I cooked and baked for two weeks straight!  I made several Christmas presents and tried to finish up my knitting gifts to no avail.  The best part, of course, was celebrating  Christmas with my family.

Our Hughes family Christmas photo 2013

Our Hughes family Christmas photo 2013

We managed to get our Christmas photo taken with our pack o’ mutts.  Unfortunately, they did not want to cooperate…. Notice I’m wearing my emerald wool crepe dress.  I like it better worn with a belt. :)  That was the closest that I got to making a Christmas dress this past year.  I had wanted to make a vintage 1950’s dress with plaid flannel, but I’m very glad that I didn’t.  It has been in the 60’s and 70’s here in Northern California and I would have been HOT!  I really wish winter would arrive and stick around.  We really need the rain and snow.

Now that my husband’s Christmas break is over and he is back to teaching and Three Kings Day has come and gone, the holidays are truly over, so back to business!  You may have noticed that my blog’s URL has changed to “”.  I decided to change the blog address to the domain name I already own.  No need to change anything on your end as I have mapped my domain to this blog on wordpress and it all seems to be working right with redirecting from “”.

I have not sewn anything this year!  But, I surely have a lot on my sewing list to sew!  I have quite the fabric stash at the moment and I am trying not to buy anymore, unless it’s a lining fabric or an extremely good deal.  I have not made it a month yet with this “resolution”, but I am going to try to…. Instead, I think I’ve turned my head towards shoe shopping…. But if I don’t buy clothing (or fabric!), I can certainly buy new shoes, eh? :)  My husband wonders why I need so many shoes.  Men just do not understand, do they? :)

As I get back in to sewing, I think about my personal style and my style inspirations.  My current style inspirations are Jess (Zooey Deschanel) from New Girl, Lemon Breeland (Jaime King) from Hart of Dixie and of course, the lovely Duchess of Cambridge.  My goal is to make myself some more sophisticated clothing with some vintage style — from casual everyday looks to dressier and formal clothing.  As I continue to weed out and donate RTW clothing from my closet, I hope to replace it with well made classic pieces that will last me many years.

I just love Jess’s (and Zooey’s) style from New Girl.  All of her colorful dresses, cardigans and ballet flats and lots and lots of polka dots!  Everything is very wearable and comfy and basically akin to what I wear most days.  I honestly started watching New Girl just so I could see her outfits!

When I was sick in November, I started watching Hart of Dixie on Netflix.  I really love Lemon’s vintage style.  Some of her outfits are a little too out there or too matronly looking for me, but most are just so lovely and unique.  I’ve seen her wear outfits inspired by the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.  Everything is rather demure and feminine which are things that I look for when creating my own fashions.  I really need to knit myself some of those cardigans! I love the appliques and trims and floral touches.

And then there is Kate!  I honestly found her Issa style rather boring (although very wearable) at the beginning of her public life, but I really enjoy seeing what she is wearing these days.  She truly knows how to put together a classy outfit and re-wears her wardrobe unlike the Hollywood set.  She always looks fabulous and dresses perfect for every occasion.  I love to read about her fashion choices and the fabrics used in making them.  I definitely need some more lace and eyelet in my life! :)

Besides sewing, what I’m really looking forward to this year is being able to SEE CLEARLY!! I have a degenerative eye disease called keratoconus and I have been seeing different specialists for the last few months.  My keratoconus is very severe and I will need to have cornea transplants in my both of my eyes in the future.  If I did not have others to talk to in my online keratoconus community who have had cornea transplants, the idea of this surgery would be much more daunting to me.  Fortunately, I went to another specialist last month at UC Davis and I will be able to wear special scleral lenses and be able to hold off surgery.  These lenses are kind of like an ocular prostheses.  There are only about 20 or so doctors around the world who can fit these, so I am very lucky that I have a preeminent optometrist relatively close that I can see.  She said that I was the worse case of keratoconus that she had seen and was not sure that she was going to be able to fit me as she was off into uncharted territory with me.  Fortunately, they worked and I did not even have to have the steepest ones, which means that I may be able to last a while longer until my inevitable eye surgery.  I can see 20/20 and 20/40 with them. :)  The change is phenomenal and I have been anxiously waiting to get them!  I get my lenses at the end of the month and then have to see my optometrist every two weeks for four appointments and then every six months after that.  It’s a good thing that I really like my new doctor and the staff!  Unfortunately, it’s about 3 hours each way to get there….. but oh so worth it!  Although I love my glasses, I am greatly looking forward to being able to see clearly and be glasses free this year!!!!! :)

I hope such wonders await you as well in the new year!  Thank you all for being supportive in both my sewing and my struggles with my eye health.  I greatly appreciate each and every one of you. :)


Good tidings!


  • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)

    Yay Tanya a year without classes and no surgery – more sewing! Have a fabulous 2014 and I look forward sharing your sewing projects :-)

    • Sandra (Sewist-Stitch)


    • tanya maile

      I’m looking forward to it!!!!!! Thanks, Sandra! :)

  • Laurie

    Happy New Year Tanya! I really like Zooey and her style too… I have never watched Lemon but am off to check her out. That green dress on you is great btw!!! Good news on your eye problems. I am so happy things are looking good in that area. It’s nice to be able to see clearly and we should never take that for granted!

    • tanya maile

      Thanks, Laurie! You will love Lemon’s clothes! Actually there are a lot of great clothes on that show! Sometimes you don’t even notice how bad your vision is until you see it corrected. It’s like someone cleaned the windshield and I could see everything I’ve been missing! Can’t wait to get my lenses! :)

  • melissaormonde

    I really love your style inspirations! My tastes in clothing tend to run very similar to yours :) I haven’t made any new clothes so far this year either but I’m hoping to get some good sewing time in soon. I’m glad to hear that things are looking up with your eye issues too. It’s nice to start out the new year with some good news!


    • tanya maile

      Thanks, Melissa! Yes, I know! That’s one of the reasons why I love your blog! I’m sure you’re busy with wedding planning now that the holidays are over. It’s so exciting! :)

  • dani e

    Glad to hear from you! Love the inspiration pix. So cute! I am also working on my sewing list and trying to find a more sophisticated style. I have to continue building my sewing skills though..Can’t wait to see what you work on next. Congrats on the lenses!

    Dani e

    • tanya maile

      Thanks, Dani! Practice definitely makes perfect. Although it seems like there is always something new to learn in the sewing world. Good luck with your sewing list! :)

  • Amanda

    Oh! Some great dress inspirations on here! I also loved watching Pan Am…only for the gorgeous outfits! Lovely, lovely! I am so inspired by you and your makes now I know about your eye problems. You are incredible! Hope everything goes well for you with your appointments.

    • tanya maile

      I will have to check Pan Am out! I love anything from the 1950s and 60’s. I am very much looking forward to seeing well again. I haven’t been able to do any intricate beading or anything like that for a while now unless I squint and that hurts after a while.

      • Amanda

        Definitely check it out. Story line is very twee, but the clothes are gorgeous .