"Why in the world did you pick this name for your blog?" ...so glad you asked...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 5 of 2012

This awesome idea came from Crafting a Rainbow to me via Anna in Technicolor.
I was JUST thinking this afternoon that it would be a good idea for me to do some sort of round up post to cap off the year and get started with new goals and such.


Here is the layout:

  • Top 5 Favourite Creations (most worn, or most loved!)
  • Top 5 Sewing Fails (UFOs, worn once, or complete disasters!) 
  • Top 5 Lessons Learned (either practical tricks and techniques, or life lessons) 
  • Top 5 Blogs and Bloggers that Inspire
  • Top 5 Goals for the New Year 

  • Here goes:
    Top 5 Creations

    1. The zigzag knit shirt from McCalls 6078.  This is certainly not most worn.  I wore it once for a date night and decided it needed special undergarments to make it comfortable to wear again... and then it got cold.  Here's the thing though, this is one of those pieces that I love to see in my closet and look forward to getting the opportunity to wear again.  It's not an everyday shirt (although I may wear it more in hot weather), but I'm just so glad to have it.  I don't feel that way about most of the things I make.

    2. The white seersucker sundress from McCalls 6349.  Yet again, this is not a "most worn," just a, "wow, I love it!" I wore this dress for the 4th of July and that's it.  I thought it would be worn all summer, but, honestly, I just don't reach for dresses that often.  I took the time to make it really well and the fit is superb, down to the straps being perfectly placed to hide bra straps.  The time I took to do it right means it feels like an important addition to my closet.  A white dress isn't the first thing I think to grab, but I've got a great one when I get the hankering.

    3. Ok, those first two didn't really follow the rules... and this one is exactly the same!  Oh my gosh y'all, I promise the last two will be frequently worn!  Ok, Vogue 2899, my crowning glory this year.  This is the most challenging thing I've sewn, not really because any one step was difficult, but just because the pattern looks daunting and there were so many dern pieces and so many different seams and I was using a fabric I'd never used before and, and , and!!  I wore it once, to my hubby's end-of-year recognition/graduation dinner, and felt like a million bucks.  Aaaaand felt like 100 million when I got to mention to a few folks that I'd made it. :)

    4. The Scout Grainline Tee.  I've only made one, but I really love this baby.  I want to make more, I've just not been inspired by the exact right fabric yet.  I throw this on a lot... with my red or turquoise Colette Clovers or with jeans.  It was quick to make.  It only took a yard for my size. The fit was perfect for me.  The cut is flattering and easy to wear.  I happen to love the fabric I paired with it the first go round (which is making it harder to pick for the next one!)  It was an all-around win.

    5.  My red and blue Colette Clovers.  My first pants!  Such an accomplishment and they are both in regular rotation in warmer months.  I think I've lost a tiny bit of weight since I made the red ones, so the darts aren't holding on for dear life.  hahaha!  and I feel more comfortable wearing them.  The blue ones are perfectly comfortable.  yay!  Definitely a goal reached in 2012 to try pants.

    Top 5 Sewing Fails
    (why were these much easier to come by? and harder to pick just 5?)

    1. Simplicity 2281.  I had such high hopes from the pattern envelope.  Read the blog post for the particulars of what I didn't like about this dress.  It's not in my closet any more and I make a yucky face every time I come across the pattern in my stash. 

    2. McCalls 6519.  Nothing wrong with the pattern here, just didn't know what I was doing with the gorgeous silk gorgette I used to make it.  The hem is all cinched in and wonky.  If I could fix the hem... and not be afraid to wash it... I might actually wear it.

    3. The Plumber Jumpsuit, also no longer in my closet.  It turns out that the comment from my husband did seal the fate of this piece.  And maybe the choice of fabric had something to do with it too.  Gabardine wasn't a good choice.  I still have hope for this... maybe in black... or in a tropical print...

    4. The "Please Strangle Me Blouse"  ugh.  I never wore it and it's in a wad in my laundry room.  It's just so disappointing for me.  I HATE this pattern!!! It wasn't all the pattern's fault, but I still am going to blame it on the pattern and continue to HATE it.

    5. The Anthro knock-off.  I was really impressed with myself and then never wore it in public.  It IS still in my closet, but it probably needs to be tossed or given away.  I'm too afraid the fabric won't lay right in the back and it kinda looks funny sewn down in those ripples.  The fabric Anthro used was a little flow-y-er than this voile is.  It just ended up being not that flattering.

    Top 5 Lessons Learned

    1. Sew fewer dresses!!! SARA! Sew fewer dresses!!  I have to tell myself this because guess what is on my sewing table right now.... yes!  a dress!  A dress that, even if I love, I will rarely wear.  I am in love with the idea of dresses, but I do NOT wear them except to church and on dates.  I just don't.  I hope to wear more in the future, maybe when I'm not bending over to pick up Cheerios and reaching across to strap a toddler into her carseat.  Maybe?

    2. Take the time to do it well/right.  This is such a catch 22 for me because the fun in sewing right now is not the process, but the finished product.  I just want it DONE.  But when I cut corners and try to get it done fast instead of taking the time to finish it nicely, I feel like everyone can see the shoddy work while I'm wearing it, so I'm too ashamed to take it out of the closet.  OR It just plain looks bad.  So how's that workin' for ya, Sara?  Seems like the pieces you took your time on are the ones you enjoy.  Let's be logical about this, shall we?

    3. Along the lines of number two, if you have a resource, like, say, a serger, take advantage of it!  Don't let it languish just because you don't want to take the extra half hour to figure out the threading and the tension!  (This one seems pretty much a specific personal issue and not a broadly relatable problem.)

    4. Use the clothing you see at stores for inspiration.  When I first began sewing, I just picked a quilting cotton I loved and a cute dress pattern and sewed it up.  Pretty much what I had been doing with my little girl's clothes.  But, honestly, if I saw a dress in a store like the first ones I made, I wouldn't try it on.  I'm not drawn to easily-wrinkled, stiff cotton dresses.  Now granted, it's easier for a beginner to sew with the quilting cotton that will iron and stay where you put it and cut and pin nicely, but now that I feel comfortable sewing with various fabrics, I'm really trying to take specific note of the look and feel of things I'm attracted to as I walk through the mall...the cut of the pattern, the shape of the garment, the pattern and feel of the fabric.  I'm actually having to educate and inform myself about what I like.  Kinda weird, but it's helping me own my sewing endeavors more.

    5. It's ok to use a pattern more than once.  Tilly and the Buttons had a One Week One Pattern Challenge to encourage getting more use out of a pattern than just one garment.  This really came alive to me in 2012.  I wasn't buying patterns with the thought of them being go-to patterns, much loved friends that I could depend on to make a garment I loved.  All patterns can't be this, of course, but I wasn't really giving them a chance before.  I would buy a pattern to make one garment with a specific fabric and then "mark" it as done.  I used Simplicity 2892 four times, the Sewaholic Renfrew 5 times, the Colette Clover pattern twice and Anna Maria Horner's Socialite Dress pattern twice.  Now I see the potential ahead of time, like with the Scout Grainline Tee or Sewaholic Thurlows.  Incidentally, this was the first year I've really ever bought anything in multiples.  I found a great fitting pair of cropped pants at Old Navy and bought two more pairs in different colors when they went on sale. :)

    Well, this is long, isn't it!?  I'll do the other bits in another post in the next two days.


    1. okay, first of all, great post! Super fun! Secondly, sew aprons to wear over those dresses so you can pick up cheerios in style. Thirdly, great goals. I need to do this, too.

    2. Wow- I love all your hits, especially that blue dress. I quite like most of your misses too, but I can understand from what youve written why you don't!
      Totally with you on number 4- I often get half way through a project to realise that while it looked good in my head, when its on I look like an overgrown toddler... needs fixing next year!
      Mine are here: