I like to look back at the year and reflect on how productive I’ve been. You’d never believe it by reading my blog, but I have been reasonably productive in my sewing! I thought I’d put together a quick list on my best and worst projects of 2019. There is a vague chronological order to these although I’ve had to go by memory as I’ve barely blogged about any of these projects and I can’t remember when I completed them!
Top 5 hits
My first real success was one of my Simple Sew projects. What I liked about this was that my idea to hack a simple t-shirt pattern into a cardigan worked. I wrote a blog post about this one. You can read about it here.
I’ve made 5 shirts this year. I really enjoy making them as they’re quite meaty sewing projects and you get a real sense of achievement when you finish them and they fit! This pattern is the Saraste shirt from Named’s book Breaking the Pattern. There are several variations with this pattern, but I went with the shirt, as opposed to the shirt-dress or top. The shirt is long sleeved and has these little cut-outs in the shoulder. The problem with those cut-outs is that they are right where your bra straps are and that is a little annoying. I made the blue stripey one first and liked it so much I immediately made another, this time with short sleeves and no cut-outs. I made the second one from my long-stashed Liberty Carline fabric. The Liberty one is a little on the bright side for me, so I do feel a little self-conscious in it, but I need to get over that. The fit on these shirts is brilliant on me and I didn’t need to do any adjustments at all. Definitely a keeper!
The next one is my curveball hit of 2019. It’s another Tilly and the Buttons Cleo pinafore dress. This one is unblogged but I have made another and blogged about it here. I picked up this leopard-print fabric of unknown composition from one of the vintage fairs that are held regularly in Scarborough. It’s a velvet/velour fabric on a sort-of canvas backing. Really odd fabric but sturdy enough to make a Cleo from. I made this dress in time to wear it to a sewing meet-up in Dewsbury where I got stroked by lots of other sewists. We were getting some odd looks in the pub in which we met up in! Anyway, this dress has got far more wear than I thought it would even though my family hate it! I just like to embarrass them at every opportunity!
I dithered about including the next project in this list. Not because I don’t love it (I do), but because it was so easy to make and so little effort was involved, I almost feel like I’ve cheated! I think this is my most complimented garment of the year which is my main reason for including it. This is the Walkley dress from MIY collection. This was my fifth version of the pattern but the first time I’ve made the dress version. You can read about my first three versions here but version four is coming up later in this post…
This next project was one that could have easily gone on the misses list as the intended recipient (my husband) didn’t like it. However, my daughter claimed it and she wears it a lot. To be fair, it looks much better on her than it does on Paul. I won’t say much more because I actually wrote a blog post on this one and you can read about the whole debacle here.
I made a lot of stuff this year and there are a few more projects I’m happy with…
This Suki robe was made for a good friend and it was very well-recieved. No blog post I’m afraid.
This next one was an emergency fancy dress costume that I needed to make my husband and I for a food-themed running race called the Marathon du Malton. I didn’t want to sew anything so we ordered some crap costumes from Amazon but they didn’t arrive! I had to think quickly, and a quick Pinterest trawl gave me the Oreo cookie idea. All I needed was some cheap black cotton and some batting and I was good to go. My daughter helped to make these. We painted the Oreo design (one each) on padded-out hula hoops that I found in the shed. I added some straps so Paul and I could wear them like rucksacks and we wore white t-shirts for the ‘cream’ bit. I was quite pleased with our costumes and I was really pleased with my position in the race – 5th woman!
My last honerable mention is one of my latest makes. This is a Closet Case Kalle shirt made from brushed cotton tartan fabric that I bought from Sewupnorth back in October. I love it. It’s so warm to wear and I’ve worn it a lot already. I don’t have any good photos of it so this one above will have to do!
Top five misses
I don’t have too many misses nowadays but I do have a few. Every so often a project goes badly wrong for any number of reasons. Here are my top 5 misses…
My first one shouldn’t be a miss. It is a hacked version of Ready to Sew’s Juliette skirt (I made a well-loved pleather one last year, here). I made this skirt for the #designindecember challenge and you can read about my inspiration if you click the link. It is well sewn and it fits me well, but there’s something about it which just isn’t ‘me’. It looks great…on the hanger, just not on me! I’ve worn it twice. Once to a party and once when I forced myself to wear it to work as part of Me Made May. I think it may be the midi length that doesn’t do me any favours. I’m thinking I may cut off the bottom panels and take it back to how the skirt was originally drafted. A shorter A-line will suit me better I think.
The next fail is my fourth version of the Walkley top as mentioned above. Not sure why but the neckline massively stretched out so this has gone in the bin!
Next up is a Minecraft inspired shirt that I made for my son. Unfortunately my son would have barely fitted into this even if I made it for him five years ago! It’s tiny! If you have a small boy you’re welcome to it. I’m no judge of age and size (clearly) but I’d guess about a 5/6 year old may fit it. It may make me finish it off sometime if someone wants it!
I can’t even look at the next one without cringing at the photo, I hate it so much! These dungarees have never been worn. They are way too tight, despite sewing up a size 14 based on my measurements. This pattern is McCall’s M7547 and it has been doing the rounds on Instagram where it seems to look good on everyone else but me. Thankfully the fabric was unwanted and was donated to me so I only lost time. I made it for the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge.
My final miss is completely my own fault and I feel terrible about it because I was gifted the fabric from Doughty’s specifically to make it. It’s the latest Simple Sew pattern, the Olive blouse. I have written a blog post about this so I won’t say too much, but that blog is yet to be published on the Simple Sew website so I can’t publish it on here yet. This one was going so well until I messed up the neckline and button placket. I have worn it out once though and nobody said anything!
All in all, not a bad year for sewing but a terrible year for blogging! I’m currently compiling my #makenine list (nine sewing patterns that I really want to make) for next year. I didn’t bother with this challenge this year but I kind of wish I had – it would have kept me on the straight and narrow! I will be back early in the new year with that post so until then, I hope you have a happy new year xx