Saturday, January 14, 2017

Top 5 Everything: A Final Look at 2016

I know, I know...I'm a little tardy for the year-end-review party. While I haven't been the most prolific blogger this year, I just couldn't let January end without participating in Gillian's blogging tradition of reflecting on one's makes in the top five format. In looking at my top five post for 2015, it's easy to see that 2015 was all about trying a million different things--jeans, bras, coats, sewing with silk--some with more success than others. In contrast, 2016 was more focused on quality or unique fabric finds combined with simple shapes and a lot of TNT, repeat patterns. And I'm fine with that. It's fun to read sewing blogs and see how the various stages of the sewing experience are quite similar for many people. You start off a little overwhelmed, making rookie mistakes with quilting fabric, and experiment a lot while trying to find your style. Then, after your first successful make, you become obsessed and want to make absolutely everything--coats, jeans, lingerie. Then, maybe, you slow down and become more selective and discerning. After all, sewing is time-consuming and you don't want to waste valuable free time trying to make everything or ruin expensive fabric on the latest Indie to hit the blogs...At least, these have been my sewing stages.

Let's start by laying out the positives:

1.) My TNT SJP top

SJP top is done. Glad I didn't hoard this fabric. #frenchseams  #true bias #sutton #suttonblouse

I absolutely love the origin story of this unique fabric and also feel like it really fits my style. It's a TNT for me--a True Bias Sutton, which may be my all-time favorite pattern.

2.) Shibori Knit Mandy Tee

Shibori Knit

This is another example of the fabric really calling to me. I discovered bamboo rayon this year and there's no turning back. Another TNT pattern--the Mandy Boat Neck by Tessuti. I made several Mandys this year and credit the pattern for getting me out of a sewing slump.

3.) Dungarees


This was such an incredibly fun pattern to sew and the dark blue linen is so nice to wear. I had a lot of fun sewing most incarnations of the Marilla Walker Roberts Collection.

4.) Roscoe Blouse

What do you know, another True Bias pattern. This fabric, a bargain find at Fabric Outlet, really appealed to me and matched the requirements of the pattern really well. I also made a sweet, Pegasus version.

5.) More Undies

What can I say? I like making underwear. It's no-stress sewing and a great way to satisfy the need to make something without buying a new pattern or fabric. I made these using  the Seamwork Geneva pattern.

Now on to the not-so-successful makes...

1.) Hot Patterns Halycon Top


I wrote about my first wadder of the year and my attempt to salvage it. Still not quite sure what happened.

2.) Seamwork Perry Dress

Hope this is the type of dress that looks better on...#seamworkmagazine #perry #sewingblogger #sewingclothes

This never made it to the blog. I really like the look of a lot of Seamwork patterns--the cool styling, variety of body types modeling, etc.-- but I think their block doesn't work for me. I did manage to salvage this by removing the elastic waist and turning it into a tunic. It got a lot of wear after being modified.

3.) Deer and Doe Melilot

Melilot in progress #deeranddoeaddict #deeranddoe  #robertkaufmanrosechambray #sewing

Major disappointment here as I love D&D, but something weird happened after my FBA. The collar was way too short. Also, it feels small around the shoulders, and I hate that it doesn't have a yoke in the back.

4.) Navy Pinup Bra

Bra #2

It looks pretty but doesn't fit me. Now that I found a brand of bras I like and fit me really well, I've pretty much given up on bra making. That just means more money and time for making other things.

5.) Itch to Stitch Zamora Blouse

Sweet pattern, but I don't think it's me...#itchtostitch #itchtostitchzamora #indecisione

I knew from the start that the style wasn't for me, but I'm so impressed with Itch to Stitch patterns I tried it anyway. Good lesson in realizing that I know my style better than I think I do....if that makes sense. At any rate, I'm still incredibly impressed with Itch to Stitch. I posted on her Facebook page, suggesting she post a hack on changing the neckline--i.e., without a bow-- and she followed through and posted a detailed modification. How cool is that!

So there it is, my year of making in 2016. Some things didn't make it to the blog, but I think what did gives me a sense of the direction I want to go. Overall, I'm happy enough with the types of things I've been making such as simple shapes, and I definitely want to continue working with better quality fabrics. What I want to change, actually, is the focus of my blog. I'd like to spend more time in the ideation phase and focus on inspiration and technique, rather than just making stuff and throwing it up on the blog. We'll see what happens. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and view my makes. I wish you only the best for 2017!


  1. That is such an accurate description of our journey as sewists!! I wonder where we'll go in the next few years?

    1. It certainly is fun to watch people discover sewing. Thanks for hosting another year of reflecting upon our efforts!

  2. Totally on board with your sewing plan! I often buy multiples of RTW that I like, so the same applies for sewing. Love your Marilla Walker dungarees--think I must try that pattern!


    1. I definitely recommend the Roberts Collection. The dungarees were fun to make, and since it's a pattern collection it also comes with a cute little top and a jumpsuit.

  3. My favorite is the mandy tee. The colors and shape are just really flattering on you. Your dungarees are super cute, too :)

    1. Thanks, Carmen! I think I made four Mandy tees in 2016. Such an awesome pattern.

  4. Love your Mandy tee!! You look stunning in it!