It’s that time of year again. We take stock, look back, plan for tomorrow. It’s been a pretty exciting/scary/busy time for me, and while I’m sure many of you have had it up to here with all the annual wrap-up posts, I found this exercise really helpful. Taking a comprehensive assessment of what you’ve achieved in a year helps you see the way forward.


Of the fifty or so things I’ve made this year (most of them unblogged, Bad Heather) all but one were from indie designers. The start of 2014 was mostly dedicated to sewing pretty party dresses, but after I started working from home I noticed a definite transition to more wearable basics.

Most worn? Not counting my 8 pairs of Ginger jeans, I’m probably most often wearing one of my many  Hudson pants or Espresso leggings. I’ve made each one at least 3 times; these are patterns that keep on giving. My self drafted drapey tie-dye tee is also pulled out at least once a week.

Closet Case Files - tie dye tshirt and leggings-3Closet Case Files: Hudson Pants

By Hand London dominated my Icing Wardrobe. I need to start going our more so I can pull out my floral Flora dressdenim/metallic Georgia , linen Holly or my ikat Anna.

Georgia+dress-2By Hand London Flora dressBHL Ikat Anna by Closet Case FilesCloset Case Files - Holly Jumpsuit-2

I also loved and wore to death my Fehr Trade XYT hack, Archer shirt, striped Coco and Watson bra.

XYT Workout top by Closet Case Files-18Coco dress by Closet Case Files-6Closet Case Files - Chambray Grainline Archer Shirt-9Watson Bra by Closet Case Files


This year I released two patterns that I love with my whole heart; I’m hoping to release a lot more in the coming year. In early May I dropped Nettie, a dress and bodysuit pattern. The sewalong was a comprehensive guide to sewing with knits. This post on understanding knit fabric was especially popular.

Nettie_new template-01-01

In October I released the Ginger Jeans pattern, along with a limited edition denim kit that I collaborated on with the amazing Jennifer Wiese from Workroom Social. The sewalong was my most ambitious one yet; the most popular posts from that series were on basic jeans fitting, understanding denim and how to make your butt look it’s best with pocket placement.

Ginger skinny jeans pattern by Closet Case Files


This year I started updating the blog on a more regular basis. I realized how much I love writing and making this a place I would want to visit. The most spirited debate came from my post On Pattern Testing. Hearing what you had to say fundamentally changed the way I run my business.

I also shared a few posts on my revamped sewing studio, and made a DIY tutorial for a modern, pretty cutting table. Nothing made me happier than hearing from those of you who made your own as a result.

Closet Case Files studio-10Closet Case Files studio-19

I also wrote a number of more informative posts this year. Here are my favourites:

It’s been a busy year! I’ll be back before the ball drops with some of the things I’ve learned this year. My brain hurts with all of it. Thanks for reading everyone, and I hope you had an eggnogy holiday!

  • What a big year for you! I’m sure it was exhausting, but I hope you are very proud of yourself. Also, now I’m dying to know: Are the jeans you are wearing in the Nettie patterns pics actually Ginger jeans? Or are they from before you started developing that pattern?

    • Those were the jeans that inspired Ginger! An old pair of Gap jeans that had perfect proportions. The final pattern is quite a bit different but it was super handy to have a solid pair of RTW to reference when I was drafting.

  • You’re an inspiration. Love you. XOXO

    • No, YOU ARE!! Kill the interviews this month my beloved!

  • What a truly fabulous year. I can’t wait to see more patterns and great blog posts from you. I always love your weekly wrap up and almost always find something new to read, watch, listen or sew because of it x

    • Thank you m’dear! And thank YOU for being a constant source of sewing inspiration!

  • Hélène

    Heather Lou, you’re one of my Top 5 bloggers of the year. You made me rediscover my sewing machine and all the pleasure it can bring to my life. You also directed me to some great fabric suppliers in Montréal. Mille mercis pour tout cela! All the best for the coming year.

    • Merci cherie! Thanks for all your awesome comments and encouragement this year!

  • “Icing” dresses need no special occasion, just wear them as “cake”. Pretty dresses deserve to be worn as often as possible, even if it’s just to the grocery store.

    • You’re right Hanna. I need to make more of an effort to get out of the comfies! It’s just so so cold here now and tights never keep me warm enough.

  • Oh gawd… I don’t understand how I’ve NOT sewn up your Ginger jeans. 2014 has been a most excellent year and best wishes to 2015. And for my own selfish reasons, I wish upon you many more patterns for the coming new year. And I want to officially make head to toe tie dye for some running clothes, love your blue outfit.

    • Thanks Kathy! I think you’d look bangin’ in Gingers!

  • Awesome bunch of hits. I especially love that tie dye ensemble, and am wondering how I missed that black dress with the sheer muscle back.

  • I really enjoyed this round up, Heather. And I’m super excited to see those new patterns in 2015! 🙂

  • Margo Bergman

    What a fabulous year you have had! Congrats! Can’t wait to see what is next!!!!!

  • Kate Carvalho

    Thanks so much Heather. I just found your blog a couple of months ago and I think I’ve read the whole lot now! It’s one of my faves. I especially love What’s doin, and I love all the knowledge that you share. I’ve got my Gingers cut out and ready to go when I come back from holiday. Looking forward to your posts this year 🙂

    • Aww thanks Kate! Let me know how it goes with Ginger!

  • You’ve had an amazing year Heather! wishing you all the best for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2015! *mwah*
    I absolutely LOVE your blue “splotchy” dress, and the tie dye outfit. Just gorgeous. I like reading all the round up posts too 🙂

    • Thanks for being such a great support this year Carolyn! Wish you just didn’t live so darned far away.

  • I am still thinking about pocket placement……..

    • I am ALWAYS thinking about pocket placement!

  • I’ve really enjoyed your 2014 – and I’m looking forward to your 2015. Happy new year!

    • Thanks for all your kind words and comments this year Stina!

  • I’m still in love with that awesome tie-dyed set! So good! Here’s to a happy and stylish 2015! So excited to see what you get up to!

    • Thanks Sonja! *cue theme song from Golden Girls*

  • Oh, you make the coolest things! I could never pull off any of them, but am still SO inspired! I’m just sourcing denim for the ginger jeans, which hopefully means that this time next year they will be finished 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing what you do in 2015!

  • sj kurtz

    Thanks for your year of blog; I get a lot of goodness (good, useful, funny) from you. And I still love that table. All the best for the next year!

  • You have had an amazingly productive year! Congrats on the two patterns you released. They are both on my to sew list when I lose the baby weight.

  • Gabriela Lopez

    I loved your creations this year dear, I wish this coming year brings as much satisfaction as the last one.
    All best,

  • Doooooode!! 8 pairs of Gingers! I really need to catch up. LOL. I cannot wait to see what you come up with this year! I have absolutely loved following along with your blog this year and with your new full-tim pattern-making adventures! Happy New Year!

  • Looks like you’ve had a truly amazing year – congratulations!! CCFs is now up there as one of my fave blogs to read at the moment so I’m super excited to see what’s in store for 2015. And wowsers! How about that Pattern Testing post! I didn’t see the original but clicked through from here and learned so much – who knew it was so controversial!! Happy New Year 🙂

  • I really like your blog, your topics and how you tackle garment making. I also like how real and inspiring your photos are. Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading more from you in the new year 🙂

  • I remember when you just came out with the bathing suit! and I have to say I loved seeing you evolve on this blog and your business. I am so proud of you! I am looking forward to visiting more frequently and connecting with you!