A year of sewing - Tragic style

I've really enjoyed reading all of the 2013 Hits and Misses that have been popping up on sewists blogs lately, the brainchild of Gillian. I did a little summary in the middle of the year of how some of my makes were wearing/holding up, and it's been interesting to see what choices I've made since then. I've definitely tried to make more things that are practical and wearable, and that fit with garments I already have. It's easy to get caught up in the latest fashionable or popular pattern/sewalong/competition and forget that expending precious time, fabric and money on something that won't be a valued or flattering part of one's wardrobe is a bit pointless! I've also come to the realisation that there are only so many cute skirts/dresses that I need in my wardrobe which is bursting at it's colourful seams - 2014 is going to be all about basics!



It's also been interesting to think about how I've been spending my spare time this year. My mum made the comment the other day that she thinks I'm addicted to my iPad! It's true that I'm on it a lot, reading blogs, researching tips and techniques, ogling patterns on Ravelry. I used to be a huge reader of books (fiction) - and this year I've hardly read any, which saddens me. I've a whole shelf full of books waiting to be read, but it's like my attention span has atrophied to some degree, and so this is one of my non-sewing goals of 2014 - to reignite my passion for reading, and to try to find a bit more balance in my hobbies. Does anyone else struggle with this balance?

Looking back I've made a LOT of things. For the most part I've had more hits than misses, and it always fills me with pleasure to wear something I've made that makes me feel fabulous! Anyway, I'm going to start with my lesser successes of the year. It's interesting, but most of the patterns that I have had both fitting and wearability struggles with have been the independent patterns......

1 - Colette Laurels
I've worn my yellow muslin quite a bit in the cooler months, but it is too tight in the armpits. My second Scandi version I've still never worn and I've only worn the dress a couple of times since it (sniff) shrank. The shortness doesn't bother me, but the tightness in the armpits isn't comfortable. I spent several hours trying to rejig the fit with another muslin but just couldn't get the armpit/bust/diagonal drag lines worked out. In the end I gave up and it was a breath of fresh air when I made New Look 6808 which is very similar in style - I intend to make a Laurel-esque dress using it, and I think it will become my basic bodice block too, once I have corrected the sway back.


2 - Colette Clovers
I do wear my floral Clover's occasionally, but I've hardly worn my chequered ones in the last few months. It disappoints me that I have made 3 different versions, in 3 different fabrics with a stretch component and each time the fit has been different and unpredictable. Can I be bothered trying again? I'm not sure that I can! I have my eye on Gertie's trouser pattern.....


3 - By Hand London Denim Charlotte
The main issue with this make is the heavy denim, without enough stretch, which is frustrating as it was expensive! The length of the skirt make's it hard to walk in, and I find myself bypassing it when flicking through my wardrobe. I also think there is fundamentally an issue with the pattern - most reviews I have read have mentioned the excess horizontal fabric fold across the hips. I do love my Monet version though, and hope to wear it a lot over summer. It's a lot more stretchy and lighter weight fabric and I've made the vent higher so it's easier to walk, and the busy print hides that little fabric fold. Won't be making another version in a hurry.


 4 - Named Tyler Shirt
The big drama with this of course, was the stretching of the neckline. I still wear it a lot, but the fabric is starting to let it down - it's not very sturdy, and the centre back seam is showing signs of strain and splitting across the mid-back. Essentially the size I purchased is too small across my bust/back and hips, but fits in the shoulders, and being a raglan and a pattern that is only sold in 2 sizes at a time I can't see how I'm going to be able to make a future version that fits better without a lot of mucking around. I think I'd rather try an Archer, or one of the shirt patterns in my Ottobre mags!

5 - Megan Nielsen Kelly Skirt
This is unblogged (coming soon!) and I don't blame the pattern. I stuffed around with this and altered it so much that it's barely recognisable as the Kelly - gutted! Stay tuned for this sad little sack!

Let's cheer up! Lets look at the winners!

1 - Style Arc Elle Pants
I've worn these at least twice a week since I made them in October. They fit very well straight off the pattern, but needed a little tweaking in the lady-garden section. I've just cut out a second pair after making said tweaks, so stay tuned. Sadly the fabric of the first pair has worn and balled appallingly  (lucky I only paid a couple of $ a metre) so I'll be repossessing the elastic in the waistband from them for the second version, and version 1 will head into the rag bag.


 2 - Various knit tops
I'm going to bunch in 3 patterns here - the Renfrew, the Maria Denmark kimono sleeve tee, and the Burdastyle dolman tee. These are all great patterns, which I have made many versions of. I haven't had to buy myself a t-shirt or knit top all year! My fave has to be the Crazy Cat Lady top, which always gets comments when I wear it, and I do love my wool Renfrew. Winners all round.







3 - New Look 6000
I made this for my friend's wedding, and felt very swish indeed. I'm pretty certain I wouldn't fit into it now, and I remember on the day I had a small amount of trouble inflating my lungs fully due to the too tight torso but it's gorgeous, fully lined in silk and was a huge amount of work - I was very proud to wear it!


 4 - Grown Up Dorothy Dress
I love this dress, and the fabric. I feel instantly chic when I wear it. Not much more to say!


5 - New Look 6808
Despite not wearing it much due to it being wool and making it at the end of spring, I was so pleased I finally made this up, and thrilled at the fit (see above re Colette Laurel!). The sleeves eased in superbly and its such a versatile pattern. I have at least 3 more planned in my mental queue!


I'm going to be a crazy kid and have another 2 makes - it is my blog after all!

6 - Colette Beignet
I love my Beignets! Damn they're a lot of work, but worth it in the end. Instant chic.


7 - Purl Soho Cap Sleeve Sweater
Honorable mention must go to my first ever knitted sweater. I've worn it a couple of times, and I do love it despite its flaws. Great memories are knitted into every stitch, along with a generous amount of my cats hair.


My goals for 2014 include making welt pockets for trousers, and continuing to attempt conquering trousers in general. I'd also like to try making some outerwear. I've finally been convinced that the By Hand London Victoria blazer might be a good addition to my wardrobe, and I wouldn't mind trying a Minoru jacket. In the meantime I have my Glamping wardrobe to address, and I still have some gorgeous silk jersey from NYC to making into something divine. I won't get bored, that's for certain!


Comments

  1. I love this review of your makes. And of course I love the crazy cat lady shirt too. Super impressed with your knitted sweater as well. I think that you are absolutely right when you talk about the importance of not getting caught up in the latest/fashionable pattern/sewalong/competition but instead remembering to stick to what is appropriate for your body shape, life and style preferences. And yes, I have the same problem of not reading as much fiction as I'd like to. I think that one of my new year's resolutions will be less computer screen time, more kindle/paper page time. BTW, love your combi renovations!

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    1. Thanks Lara! You're particularly good at choosing patterns that suit your body and lifestyle - very sensible indeed! Happy new year!:)

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  2. Your knit tops are an impressive group, and it looks like you made a goodly number of pants this year! And I'm cackling about the phrase "lady garden".

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    1. Thanks Morgan - nothing like comfy and stylish stretchy wear! And nothing worse than an uncomfortable lady garden hahaha!

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  3. Very impressive year! And I've had a similar realisation looking back over the year; next year I need to be much more considered in what I sew - no more wardrobe orphans :) By the way, is the B & W photo a renfrew? I didn't know it had a boat neck option - love it!

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    1. Yeah it's a Renfrew and I worked out the boat neck myself. I did a tutorial ages ago on how to adapt a round neck tee to boat neck! I love boat necks - so stylish! I loved your top 5, I think my fave is the sequin skirt!

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  4. Great round-up of make this year. Knit tops are in my 2014 queue for sure!

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    1. Thanks megan - good luck with the knits - I know I made a few wadders to start with but with practice and good finishes and good fabric choices my makes have improved out of sight!

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  5. Nice recap. Your New Look 6000 is incredible, and the colour is to die for! Way to go with the knits too!

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    1. Thanks Andrea, it was sooooo much work, but great to wear!

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  6. I was so happy to have found your blog this year. Great sewing year. I love all your hits and both the NL are just so stylish. Welt pockets are on my list for 2014 as well.

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    1. Oh that's so lovely of you Kirsty! I feel the same about your blog! And I was so pleased you were featured in the liberty mag - beyond awesome!

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  7. Thanks for sharing! I'm enjoying reading bloggers Top 5s, and super excited to be writing my own this year. One of my goal for next year is pants, and I think the Elle pant is my top choice.

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I'll look forward to reading yours! I love the Elle pants - version 2 is cut up just waiting for some spar time!

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  8. Love your hits! They're all so gorgeous, but the grown-up Dorothy dress is especially sweet. I had the same issue with the Colette Laurel dress. I was able to monkey out a fix for my sleeveless version, but when I pulled the pattern back out a few weeks ago to make a sleeved version, it was a disaster! I'm not sure what was worse-- the initial drafting or my awful attempts to fix it before I had any idea what I was doing! Not sure if I should try to fix the pattern or just buy another shift dress pattern and start over. :(

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    1. Thanks Sonja! I'm sure with your skill you could rejig the Laurel, but I've seen the same fitting issue from a lot of people, so it might be better to cut your losses and start over - I can highly recommend NL 6808 - no dart shifting, really well drafted for my body shape!

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  9. Lots of lovely things! Hope 2014 is just as successful!

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    1. Thanks so much! Thanks for popping by :)

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  10. Dude, you had me at Elle pants, Renfrews, and kimono tees! We just might have matching wardrobes!
    You've made some great stuff this year - and I'm so curious to see your Glamping wardrobe! :)

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    1. Thanks Gillian! Great job kick starting the hits and misses! And the glamping wardrobe is coming along, slowly!

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  11. Nice roundup - and very interesting to see which patterns worked for you this year. I have heard great things about the fit of New Look patterns...

    I just found your blog via Morgan's; I've got a stripey Maria Denmark top too (only goes with rtw jeans at this stage) so I HAD to see yours ;)

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle! She's such a sweetie to give me a shout out! It's a great pattern - I think I'll have one in circulation pretty much for the rest of my life! It's my perfect tshirt! Thanks for coming by!

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