More Top 5, this time my hits and misses for the year. I actually found it quite hard to put this list together, as I feel like everything I’ve made has taught me something, even if it has turned out to be something I’ve barely worn. I’ve mostly based my lists on what I’ve worn most/least, with a few things that I’m especially proud of thrown in. So, in no particular order…
Top 5 Hits of 2014
-My mustard button back top, from the Grainline Hemlock pattern. I wore this all winter over my button down shirts, and I’ve been tossing it over my striped tee shirts as an extra layer when its a bit cool in the mornings on my way to work. Its been worn so much that one of the cuff bands is starting to come away from the sleeve, so I’ll need to fix it up soon! I used interfacing on a knit for the first time on the button bands of this top, though I wasn’t game to attempt buttonholes!
-Tee shirts! I know its kind of cheating, lumping all of these together, but learning to make my own tee shirts which actually fit has been so awesome. I like making pretty dresses and skirts, but my monday to friday uniform is tee shirts and jeans (and that tends to be what I wear on the weekend too, unless I’m doing something special), its hard to get excited about what I wear during the week as I get changed into scrubs as soon as I get to work. The Renfrew and Bronte patterns are great, and I love being able to mess about with the pattern to get exactly the teeshirt I want. Every tee shirt I’ve made has taught me something different about working with knits (including how to sew knits in the first place), and about how different knits will act and affect the look of a garment, even if the pattern is the same.
-My gingham Scout Tee, the happy accident! I love wearing this top, it fits me perfectly through the shoulders and back and it makes me feel good. I have so many plans for other Scouts, but they’ll have to be pretty exceptional to usurp this one from my favourites pile.
-the Papercut Patterns Coppelia cardigan. Probably the worst photos on my blog are in that post, as I had to take them at night under artificial lighting! But the cardigan is one of my most worn me-made items, it goes beautifully with my dresses, or just with a tee shirt and jeans. Initially, the red merino dyed my tee shirts pink, but it stopped doing that after several washes!
-my Grainline Archer shirt. This was the first thing I made which made me sit back and think ‘holy shit, I cant believe I’ve just made that!’ It’s far from perfect, but it was my first foray into the world of collar stands, shirt cuffs and plackets and button bands, so I’m really very proud of it. And there are many more to come!
Honorable mentions should go to my Malu coat, which has had a depressing amount of wear given that I finished it as the beginning of summer, and to my Grainline Alder, for many of the same reasons as my Archer shirt made the list!
Now for my top 5 Misses of the year…
-my Papercut patterns Rigel Bomber. I don’t know why, but I just don’t feel comfortable wearing this! On a practical level, the cuffs are too tight, but that doesn’t account for why I don’t like wearing it. I’m a bit sad about it, because I put a lot of effort into making it, but you can’t win them all! I think I’ll join in with the Rigel Bomber Jacket January sewalong, and maybe made it in a heavy knit instead. I will not let it beat me! This jacket was my first attempt at welt pockets, and at drafting a lining for an unlined jacket, so I learned a lot sewing it.
–Merino Moneta dress. Just a bad choice of fabric! The merino is far too soft and heavy, and doesn’t have much in the way of recovery, so was never going to be a good choice for a close fitting dress. I’ve worn it a few times, but it just stretches out over the day, and I end up feeling a bit swamped in it! Making it was a good learning experience though, and I’ve learned my lesson regarding knit fabric choices.
– my Macgyvered mens tee shirt. This was a total experiment , I took a patten off one of Monsieurs RTW tee shirts. Unfortunately I forgot to add seam allowances, and then I sewed the whole thing with flatlocked seams, which don’t appear to be particularly strong…as a result, it is pretty much falling apart. I’m really pleased with how the pattern turned out though, and next time I’ll add seam allowances and sew it together with a stronger stitch, and it should be good!
-my Flolly playsuit. I’m kind of gutted about this one, because I was really looking forward to making it! Unfortunately, its incredibly uncomfortable. If I lift my arms up, I give myself the most incredible wedgie, and the same if I bend over. Not good! I think it might be the result of over fitting, if I had made the playsuit in a softer fabric, and made it looser and more relaxed, then I think it would have worked better.
-my Colette Jasmine top. This was one of the earliest things i made for this blog, and it shows! Its miles too big, the fabric is way too stiff for this blouse, and then I used stiff interfacing on all of the facings! It was a nightmare, but it did teach me about cutting and sewing bias cut fabrics, and was my first foray into matching stripes (which I have to say, look remarkably good for a first attempt!) Also, no seam finishing at all!
Looking at this list, my major successes this year seem to be Grainline Studios patterns, and things made from merino wool. I’m lucky to have such easy access to merino in pretty much any colour and weight I could ever possibly want, its so lovely to sew with and wear! My misses seem to be mainly a result of poor fabric choices, so thats something to work on next year. Now I’m going to go back to fighting with the zip on my Christmas dress, it just does not want to go in invisibly…