Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top/Bottom 5

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

I love Gillian's Top 5 idea - the five I like the most and the five that didn't quite work out.

 I started sewing (seriously ;) ) in April because...well, I think for a lot of reasons. Mostly, though, it was a creative outlet, a challenge for me during a time when I wasn't feeling challenged enough at work, and a path to a more positive body image. As I've mentioned before, I tried to learn to sew a few years ago and did make a few things that I only occasionally wore outside of the house...and then I couldn't wait to get home to take them off. I think I was overwhelmed by all the variables in sewing but also impatient. I wanted to make all kinds of cool stuff right away before taking the time to learn some of the more tedious, but important, parts. I also think I didn't have an honest or healthy perception of my body.

For my misses, I'm not focusing much on the stuff I made the first couple of months when I was just learning. Somehow that doesn't seem helpful or informative. Instead, I'm looking at items that missed the mark because they aren't my style, I never wear, don't fit my lifestyle, etc.

better bottom 2

  • I called this my "new favorite" after I made it. And I really do love the Bronte pattern, and the neckline is so very sweet; however, I just don't ever wear close-fitting tops. The raspberry colored one is from a fabric that is so off grain and cheap that I hate the way it feels against my skin. Into the goodwill bag it goes.
  • The Colette Ginger skirt is just really boring, not something I like to wear, and is way too big in the waist. 
3 of bottom 5

  • I actually think the Saiph tunic in a sweater knit is a fun idea that I may very well try again, but the colors/pattern/proportions just do not suit me. I don't hate it, but I don't feel great in it either. 
  • Similarly, the Papercut Clover is a cute and easy top, and I spent a lot of time working on french seams and underlining the sheer fabric. But I don't feel great in it and the black and white ended up somehow too severe. 
  • Finally, the Tessuti fave top is an easy and FREE pattern, and while I like to wear it around the house with leggings, I don't think it's a good shape for my proportions. Dolman sleeves are not my friend.

Since I like to end on a positive note, here are my top fives. These are garments that turned out close to what I imagined in my head, or I felt I turned a corner in understanding a technique, or I just really love to wear.

3 of my top 5

  • True Bias Hudson pants - I made some sewing mistakes around the pockets and along the elastic, but I don't care because I love to wear these ALL the time both at home and around the neighborhood. 
  • I never got around to blogging this, but I really do love this Arielle top from Deer and Doe. I knew immediately when I saw this pattern that I wanted to have some fun with the collar. The only downside is that the rayon fabric is quite thin and wrinkles super easily.
  • The Deer and Doe Sureau changed my mind about dresses. I thought I wasn't a dress person, but I think I just hadn't met the right dress. It was also my first successful FBA. Things started clicking for me.
other top 2

  • The True Bias Sutton blouse is such an easy blouse to wear and be comfortable in but still look polished. I love it. 
  • I made two Bruyeres and my other one (with the polka dots) is a better fit and more accurately sewn and I like it a lot, but this plaid fabric just makes me really happy when I wear it. I feel great and it must show because I get tons of compliments.
So there you go. What a great year! I can't believe how much I learned and am so grateful to all those bloggers out there who generously share their knowledge and beautiful makes as well as their stumbles. It's certainly made this second attempt at learning to sew easier than the first.

For 2015, there will be more of the same. More attempts at garment making, more experimentation, more challenges, more fabric (but hopefully less waste), more upcycling. I will make an effort to get better at hems, learn to do a blind stitch, and try to avoid UFOs (like the two Colette Anise jackets I never finished). I sure could use them right now since the temperature has dropped. I'd also like to make another quilt. So many things to make, so little time....

That's it. Cheers and Happy New Year!


  1. Oooh, that sutton blouse is killer on you! And the plaid Bruyere is gorgeous! Every winter I crave plaid, and I never have enough to wear! You've accomplished SO MUCH in your first year of sewing - just think what the next year will hold!
    Thanks for joining in the Top 5 lists, and have a great 2015!

  2. Thank you, Gillian! And thank you for hosting the Top Five!