2015: Year in Review // Closet Case Files


I‘m sitting in our cozy airbnb in Lille and taking stock of the past year. This was the first vacation I’ve taken in the last year and a half where I really and truly unplugged; I actually managed to avoid checking email for 6 whole days at Christmastime, which felt subversive and wonderful. Granted, half that time I was recovering from the worst case of food poisoning of all time, but still! 6 days!

Lille is charming and I’ve been walking around every day watching what people are wearing, going in and out of little shops, filled to bursting with ideas and plans for 2016. I can’t wait to get home and turn a fresh page. In the meantime, here’s what happened in the passing year.


I’m definitely finding it more challenging to carve out time to sew with a busy pattern schedule. Sometimes you’re doing so many tests and muslins its hard to muster the energy to make anything for yourself, and this fall I definitely felt like my wardrobe was a little sad, in a “the shoemaker’s children have no shoes” sort of way. I did manage to make a few well loved garments this year from other designer’s patterns; the following were my personal favourites (and I still have a half dozen or so I’ve yet to share…..)

Watson Bra by Cloth Habit // Closet Case Files

Galaxy Print Watson Bra by Cloth Habit

Sewaholic Lonsdale dress sewing patten | http://closetcasepatterns.com


This was a huge year for my small business. I released 3 patterns and finally went to print after a year of research and planning. I also released an ebook on Sewing Your Own Jeans. 2015 has been amazing and I am so grateful to all of you; I wake up everyday filled with so much gratitude that I get to work for such an inspiring, smart and supportive community.

My first pattern this year was the Carolyn Pajamas. They have been popular all year long, and I’ve seen so many amazing versions out in the wild (you can check out the Pinterest page here). It’s a great pattern to really have fun with fabric and details. I broke down some of the trickier bits in a few posts like How to sew a notched collar, How to sew piping and Sewing knit piping.

Carolyn Pajamas - PDF sewing pattern

In the early summer I released the Sallie Jumpsuit & Maxidress. It was a culmination of ideas I had for the perfect #secretjamas; a chic one-piece that was so comfortable you could sleep in them or dance all night. Lots of wonderful versions on our Pinterest page. Looking forward to making a bunch more this spring since it’s pretty much all I wore all summer long.

Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi Dress sewing pattern // Closet Case Files // http://store.closetcasefiles.com

Of course this November it was all about Clare, my 60’s inspired coat with two major variations. This pattern has done very well, far exceeding my expectations; I am so happy to see that you guys are interested in so-called “challenging” patterns, since they are my favourite kind to design. We had an in-depth sewalong, and I’ve started to collect the Clare Coats I’ve seen on our Pinterest page.

Clare Coat Pattern // View B // Closet Case FilesClare Coat Pattern // View A // Closet Case Files

I have at least 4 patterns planned for 2016 that I hope will continue to bridge the gap between chic, sophisticated designs and the sorts of things you just plain want to wear every day. And I’m looking forward to collaborating more with Sallie Oh, who of course does the beautiful illustrations on our pattern covers.

Fashion illustrations for printed patterns // Ginger Jeans // Closet Case Files


This year I tried to post 2-3 times a week. I love blogging and getting the opportunity to write and tell visual stories is one of the best things about my day. Here are some highlights.



I started writing about creative entrepreneurship this year. I still have a giant list of topics I hope to get to in 2016.

This was also the year I started writing in places other than this here blog, mostly for Seamwork magazine. I researched the fabric industry, talked exhaustively about denim and interviewed Gretchen Jones. It was fun  to have the time to really get in depth with subjects close to my heart.

Thank you again for reading, commenting and supporting this year. I hope you have a fantastic 2016. Happy New Year!

  • Happy new year!!!! I can’t wait to see what your next 4 patterns are!!!

  • Your blog is inspiring: I love what you write about and how you write about it and wish you the best in the new year!

  • missceliespants

    I hope you have a great time in France post food poisoning. Meeting you was one of my sewing highlights this year. Congrats on all the big things in 2015 and more to come in 2016.

  • K_Line

    Can’t wait to see the new patterns – and be well after that food poisoning. That’s a terrible way to spend a holiday.

  • 2015 was great. 2016 will be amazing! (mimes high fives all around)
    May we all make more good stuff!

  • What an amazing year you’ve had!! I am so happy I got to meet you and I can’t wait to see everything you’re up to in 2016!

  • Jo Dec

    Thank you for everything you’ve shared with us. Yourself, your blog, your work, are so inspiring. My goal for this year: sewing more for myself. My first project: the Clare coat! Have a great year 2016 et beaucoup d’amour.

  • Maria Shell

    Heather- It has been a joy to read your blog this year. Thank you for all you do for the stitching community!

  • Kathryn

    Food poisoning, oh dear! I’m glad is cleared up.
    I echo eveyone else who says this has been a great blog to read this year. Thanks for all your hard work generating excellent content.
    My Clare is finished, and I am dragging the Mr. out for my first ever sewing project photoshoot tomorrow. I am blogless, so would you simply like me to email my pictures to you?

  • Theresa

    Since the hair canvas, which is required in the making of the Clare coat, is dry clean only can the coat be machine washed once it is sewn together? Or is there a machine washable interfacing which I should use in its place? I will be making my coat from canary yellow denim with fried egg pictured flannel for the lining! Yea it’s different. lol

    • I think you should be okay with hair canvas. I’ve washed wool coats with it before (I’m naughty) and while it needed to be pressed like crazy it totally worked…..

      • Theresa

        Thank you! I can get it ordered now. I was thinking of sewing fleece to denim then treating it as on piece. Should I make one size larger then I wear to accommodate the extra thickness? I would then line the coat with flannel material. Going for the warmth factor here in Ohio. Winter has showed up. Boo,

        • Hmmm. Fleece would definitely add some bulk so going up a size in the shoulders at least would probably be wise.

  • sewinsteady

    What a great year! Can’t wait to see what you get into in 2016. 🙂

  • Sandra

    Your 2015 was a great year. Definitely, my 2015 I was like the the “shoemaker’s children have no shoes”. This 2016 I want wear cozy and nice clothes. I want make the wardrobe of my dreams.
    You blog inspired me . ??

  • You had an amazing 2015 and I am so excited to see what you bring to 2016! Your patterns are always so chic and definite wardrobe staples! I always look forward to your blog posts too, even though I am currently super behind! Glad you had a nice holiday!

    • You’ve been far and away my best commenter this year Heather! Thank you for all the support! xo