Top 5 of 2016

Every year, Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow hosts a Top 5 of 2016 round-up, whereby members of the online sewing community share their top 5 hits, misses, highlights, reflections and goals. I haven’t been blogging long enough to do a full post on each category, so today I’ll share one from each.


A woman stands in a garden, wearing a white button up shirt and red skinny pants.

My definite hit for the year are my Style Arc Elle Pants. Made up in cherry red and berry purple bengaline, these pants are comfortable, stylish and easy to wear. They’ve also opened up the rabbit hole that is sewing stretch pants! My only complaint is that they are made from such a lightweight, cool fabric, I can only wear them in the warmer months.

A woman walks under a pergola, wearing stripey loose tee, purple skinny pants, and hat.


My actual miss was the Maria Denmark Kirsten Kimono Tee, which never made it to the blog. I was so frustrated with the fit I cut it up into rags before finishing! But I’m sure you want to see something with a picture, so here are my Style Arc Misty Jeans. The bleeding dye from this denim completely ruined this project. They’ve been washed countless times and still run, so I’m going to try some colour remover to get that shit out for good.

A woman stands in a garden archway. She wears a cutlery print button up shirt and dark skinny jeans.


It’s been a shit of year, health-wise. (Everything-wise, really.) Watching my health decline to the point of needing a wheelchair again and being entirely dependent on my parents is fucking depressing, to say the least. I hate reflecting on what I have accomplished, as my abilities generally do not last long before ME/CFS rips them away again.

But with all my fingers and toes crossed, I am proud of starting this blog, and being published on The Mighty, Adios Barbie, other blogs and in my local paper. Having gone from barely being able to write witty epithets to the letters section of The Age, to publishing a 5-part Dummies’ Guide to ME/CFS, is a massive accomplishment. It is in part thanks to my dear friends who have proofed and encouraged my writing. I just hope this ability lasts!


A woman wears a retro style dress in pink and yellow print, with matching hair flower.
The Lindy Bop Ophelia dress knock-off, made for a friend.

I’ve come a long way this year with my sewing. I’ve finally reached the place where I feel confident I can sew pretty much anything, within reason, and can now pick a project and let my creativity run wild. Sewing for friends helped this process: it made me realise that the little things I would get hung up on are “flaws” no one else would notice. Just getting in and doing the thing is more important than unpicking and resewing a seam a million times to make it just so.

With my health, I truly did not realise how little was known about ME/CFS before I started writing about it. In particular, it surprised me to have family members who have seen me at my worst, dying in a hospital bed, tell me that a lot of what I share is completely new to them. I have also had medical professionals, both working and in training, contact me to thank me for sharing my story, and to offer their support. This is heartening beyond belief, and gives me hope to carry on.


Burda 6798 jeans sewing pattern.
Really I just want to look like this bad-ass mofo.

Jeans, jeans, jeans, baby! Although my Misty Jeans were a wadder, I had so much fun sewing them I immediately acquired more denim for other jeans projects. In the queue are Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans, mid-rise with stretch indigo denim from M. Recht, Burda 6798 with rigid, light wash denim from Spotlight, and Style Arc Georgie Jeans with super black stretch denim from The Fabric Godmother (bought with the credit I received for the dodge denim).

Again, I hate setting health goals because I have no control over my body, and it is disheartening to see goals pass me by. I would truly like to be able to walk moderate distances again, and take myself out of the house. Part of me hopes to find a medical professional who can help me, but as I cannot travel to the city for appointments, it is a futile dream. Recent news that the Griffith University National Centre For Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases in Queensland has been granted funding for a diagnostic test for ME/CFS is promising, but we are a long, long way off treatment and a cure.

Here’s to a slightly less shitty 2017!

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

7 thoughts on “Top 5 of 2016”

  1. Great post. I am really grateful for your posts on the Mighty and your posts here on ME/CFS. Your advocacy and voice are so important and very much appreciated. ❤ I'm glad to have gotten to know you more over the year and have a fellow spoonie to chat with. Many hugs and here is hoping 2017 is a better year for us both. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You certainly should be proud of your writing achievements, not to mention your sewing accomplishments and everything else. You’re a great writer and, above all, I admire your fire, particularly given your health situation. I truly hope 2017 sees an improvement for you and you are certainly doing everything you can to raise awareness for other sufferers, so bravo! Happy new year Siobhan!

    Liked by 1 person

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