Monday, January 15, 2018

Top 5 Everything for 2017

Hey there! I'm finally getting around to Gillian's Top 5. I love taking this time to look over a year of makes. I learn something from all my endeavors, and the long view is so helpful for figuring out where I want to take my sewing. 

So, let's get this started. 

Top 5 (in no particular order)

Painted Silk/Rayon True Bias Sutton Blouse



It's not uncommon for my favorite thing to be the last thing I made; in this case it's a TNT pattern made in fabric I love. I hand washed this yesterday, and today I lovingly steamed out the creases from the air drying. I love it as a useful garment and enjoy wearing it, but with the french seams, simple and elegant shape, and the luxe-feeling fabric, I also appreciate it as a beautiful object. It's very much in line with where I want to take my sewing.

True Bias Lodo Dress


This one never made it to the blog, though I did blog my first Lodo here. Clearly, I'm a True Bias fan. I think she's a master of proportion. Also, I really think this pattern is just so clever. It's designed for heavier knits like ponte, so you can sit at a desk all day and still emerge at the end of the day relatively wrinkle-free. Also, the woven facing makes for such a lovely neckline that doesn't get stretched out. It looks simple, but it's a pretty ingenious design when you think about it. 

Chalk and Notch Fringe Blouse

I'm proud that I took the extra time to get the fit right on this. It was totally worth it. Also, I discovered rayon crepe, which is such an awesome fabric. I'll definitely make at least one more top this year and, hopefully, a dress.

Closet Case Patterns Kalle Tunic

I love this pattern. It's sort of unassuming but also just a little bit special, and there are so many variations. I love how I feel when I where it, which is pretty much the ultimate outcome I can strive for when I sit down to make a garment. I plan to make a black crepe version with the sleeve extension in the next couple of months. Also, another white version in a less transparent fabric.

Seamwork Jill Coatigan

Coats and jackets always provide more bang for your buck. To date, I've worn my coatigan every day since I snipped my last thread. This just fit perfectly into my wardrobe and satisfied my desire to mimic the kind of unstructured outerwear I was seeing fashionable women wearing on the subway. It looks great over leggings, jeans, or work clothes, and the aubergine color seems to magically go with everything in my closet.

In addition to my top 5, I have two MVPs—workhorses that made getting dressed every day so much easier. 

Helen's Closet Blackwood Cardigan
I made four Blackwood cardigans this year. Much like the TB Lodo, I think it's a really clever pattern because it fills a void for a close-fitting cardi that can be worn comfortably under a coat, is perfect for the office or for knocking around in leggings, AND is a quick and easy sew. 

True Bias Emerson Pants
I made four pairs of Emersons yet I never got around to blogging them. The pair in the above pic is the perfect bottom fabric match; unfortunately, the color just doesn't go with anything else I own. I used a fabric from my stash that I had purchased years ago, well before I consciously shopped with a limited palette in mind. I do love this color, though, and hope to wear it with sandals and a white tee this summer. I made three additional pairs in tencel (olive, black, camel) from Blackbird Fabrics. Tencel has excellent drape, but the wrinkle factor isn't ideal for work and it doesn't wash and wear beautifully. I'd like to make a lined pair in a light wool trouser fabric. I think that would provide better wearability.

Top 5 Misses (Actually, I only have 3)

Closet Case Patterns Charlie Caftan

I let myself get caught up in the new pattern release splash. I'm just not a caftan person. In addition, I picked the most uncaftan-like fabric possible. The fabric lives on in a more appropriate form now as dinner napkins and oven mitts.

Cashmerette Webster
I picked the wrong size and fabric. I would like to make this again in the correct size and a pretty, silky fabric. 

Closet Case Patterns Ebony (Raglan)
I've made a ton of well-worn and well-loved Ebony tops and tunics, but the raglan version just doesn't work for me. The fit feels sloppy instead of oversized and comfy. Also, while the fabric is beautiful, the color/pattern doesn't suit me. I wish I could wear yellow...

So, overall, a good year of making!  I think I'm at the stage where I know what I like and want to make. As I mentioned in my last post, I'd like to up my sewing game and seek out more elevated points of inspiration. I deliberately slowed my sewing down by making underwear with scraps, but I still ended the year with some garments that I really like. I'm also pleased to note that two of my top five from last year (shibori mandy and SJP sutton) are still in regular rotation, which seems like a good indicator of a thoughtful wardrobe.

Top 5 Highlights (Well, 3)
  1. Organizing my sewing space has helped tremendously by decluttering my apartment and my headspace. 
  2. Visiting New Orleans and having an appropriate travel wardrobe was awesome. What a truly unique town.
  3. I had a number of satisfying work projects where I took some risks. I'm so happy and grateful to have a job that I love.
Top 5 Resolutions/Plans (Well, 3)
  1. Exploring other interests. Beej gave me ceramics classes for our anniversary, which I have yet to use. Be warned, you may see some claybabies on this blog in the future. 
  2. Save more money. I added up my fabric purchases for the year, and the total amount caused my eyebrows to rise. I pay my bills in full and deposit money into my savings at the end of each month, so it's really not a problem, but it's helpful to be mindful of what I spend on my hobby.  
  3. Travel. Beej and I are planning a vacation this year to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and an, er, milestone birthday for me. The best way to come to terms with getting older is to celebrate somewhere fabulous, right?
Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2018!

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