Saturday, 6 January 2018

My Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2017

I’m once again linking in with Crafting a Rainbow’s Top 5 of the Year. So here’s my top 5 - both hits and misses in this post. They are roughly in order from the start of the year, rather than being in favourite order. I've included a link to the original blog post which will have details of pattern used and more details of construction etc. I've used different photos - I think the actual blog post has better photos but for some reason I couldn't pick them up today. I had to cut down my labels as there were way too many characters.

Top 5 Hits

1 Orange padded gilet for my grandson

In February, I made a padded gilet in class and asked for the pattern to be sized to fit my grandson. He liked it and it did fit. It’s too small now of course - he has grown so much in the last year! I’ve included it here because I learned such a lot making it. I have some fabrics for new ones for him and his brother but would need to identify a suitable commercial pattern. I'd use microfleece for the lining next time around and bought some in a  lovely lime green. I don't think I ever blogged a photo of the completed garment. An earlier post where I tried it on him for fit is here

2 Check self-drafted tank

In March, I made a simple sleeveless top using a block I had made. Armholes and neckline bound with contrasting, visible, bias binding.

I like this top and wear it regularly - but I would choose a different fabric next time around as this is a bit ‘spiky’. I would make it in a natural fabric - this is polyester.

I’ve included despite not being 100% happy with it as it looks good and taught me a lot. This was my first venture into using a print on a print (contrasting tartan bias strips). I loved the result.

Blogged here.

3 Nettie bodysuit

Nettie worn with trousers and a cardigan. Long sleeves next time.

In the summer, as part of my class on stretch fabrics, which ended in July, I made a very successful Nettie bodysuit. As this was done in class, I followed class instructions rather than pattern instructions and made a couple of modifications. I intend to make more but haven’t got around to it as yet. I would want to add sleeves to the next one.

Blogged here.

4 Murder Mystery weekend garments

Under this one heading, I’m going to include 3 separate garments, all of which were made for our murder mystery weekend in November

  • Yellow jeans for David (in photo below). David likes these and has worn them since and intends to go on doing so. I previously made him jeans from my own pattern (part of another course) but this was from a commercial pattern, which made it easier for me. I made a couple of tweaks and would alter more next time around. Blogged here.

  • My colourful jumpsuit (in photo above). My son-in-law loved this and I wore it again over Christmas, especially for him!! Actually, I love the jumpsuit - it’s just that there aren’t many places I can wear this bright a fabric! However, I will make up another more ‘sober’ one! I don't often wear my own handmade garments as I'm so critical about finish and fit. Blogged here.
  • My ‘flower power’ dress. I love it. I would make the smaller size next time, though. It was comfy, cosy and warm with plenty of space for Christmas pudding eating! I guess I would do the sleeves as per pattern though as these aren't very practical for working around the house! Blogged here (with better photos).

5 Red Silk Dress for Helen

I absolutely have to include Helen’s red silk dress even though it’s less than two weeks since I gave it to her!!  I know this will be worn and worn and worn, like its RTW predecessor. She loves it and it fits. This is, incidentally, my entry into Designin' December, conceived and run by Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I made It!. There is currently voting on her blog and on IG. Blogged here. This link is to the 5th of a 5 part blog! Previous posts were about developing the pattern, toiles etc.

I have had a few successful makes, both garments and craft type makes but the ones above are my edit.
Top 5 Misses/Failures

1 Bias Cowl Top for my Mother

You can see that it's falling off the shoulders

The first has to be the bias cut top I made for my mother’s birthday in January 2017. I had made the same top for me for the PR Sewing Bee (but didn’t pass beyond the second round) and as my mother loves a cowl neck and I had some fabric that she gave me, I thought this would be a good idea. The fabric was fine.

My mother told me the top was lovely etc. Some months later, I had the opportunity to see her wearing it - what a disaster! She told me she hadn’t wanted to say…
The fit was awful. I recently suggested I remodel/remake but I think she has got rid of the top.

I should say, my mother has lost a considerable amount of weight (weight that she can’t afford to lose) so that has contributed. Also, she has a marked ‘dowager’s hump’ (I hate that term!), which I did try to take into account when I made the top.

So it’s not the pattern, or the fabric but fit that’s the problem here. Issue - fit. Blogged here - but obviously needs updated to reflect the fact that it didn't actually fit her!

2 Two UFOs which I completed but which aren't a success:

The first is the lace cardigan I made in February 2017, photo above. I just don’t like it. It had been a UFO and perhaps should have stayed that way! I modified the pattern from the original so can’t really comment on the pattern.  Issue - simple dislike. I find it too 'floppy' and insubstantial. Blogged here.

The next was also in February, above - another UFO. This time a cotton skirt. It just doesn’t work as it clings.  I did try to wear it as I like the fabric and felt the skirt fitted but was put off by the clinging. It isn’t lined but needs to be because of this. Again, the pattern is fine, fabric fine, but lining needed and probably fit tweaked further. Issue - need lining with this fabric. I may well get around to doing this as summer approaches. blogged here.

3 My Merry May MAGAM Top, sadly

I loved the pattern on the fabric. I wear a lot of cardigan type jackets.

In June, I made a top from the same pattern as my successful sleeveless tank. The fabric choice was poor, however much I loved the pattern. Snags and runs appeared in the fabric (rips that is, not colour runs)  and despite trying hard to ignore them, I couldn’t. It was binned. Issue - fabric choice. Blogged here. You can see it without the cardigan on the blog.

4 A checked skirt which gave me migraine

My eyes crossed as I tried to sew with this fabric. I gave away what I had left (quite a bit)

In April, I made a skirt. It was finished but I didn’t like the fit and tried to modify. I also didn’t like the fabric. Never worn - and not just because summer was coming up. Issues - fabric choice (the pattern on the fabric even more than the fabric though it was too heavyweight) and fit. Blogged here. There are much better photos on the post

5 Grainline Morris Blazer

My Grainline Morris blazer. Least said the better!! I will, however, try again as I think the biggest issue here was fabric choice. Issues - fit and I think I would like to line it. Blogged here

There are other failures, too, some of which didn't get to the stage of taking a photo and certainly weren't blogged. Forget about them, Anne!

Others - UFOs or WIPs

  1. I have a Linton tweed Chanel-type jacket almost completed. I just have the lining to hand sew. I might do this as we catch up with the Star Wars series. David got movies 1 - 6 for Christmas. We have previously seen them, starting when the first came out in 1977 but it will be useful to see in story chronological order. This is certainly a WIP - and nearly finished.
  2. I started but didn't complete culottes for myself. I may or may not complete them - I do like the fabric but culottes might well be out again. Issue - time available. This is a UFO.
  3. My interminable trouser toiles did get to block stage but I haven’t made them up as yet. I plan to make up in navy wool and navy gaberdine (?)
  4. My bodice and skirt/dress  toiles were not completed to my fit satisfaction. Lots of work here! I will tackle again in the new year.
  5. I have another jacket at toile stage ready to make up. It’s definitely on the back burner. UFO.
  6. I plan to make up a Grainline Morris blazer in lightweight boiled wool. I think this could be a useful and versatile jacket - if I get the fit right.
  7. There are others….
2018 Plans

I will be putting up my 2018 plans in a separate post


  1. I think we often have lots of misses in the sewing world.. Some we can live with, some we can't...

  2. I enjoy seeing what other people view as misses. I really liked some of your misses! Your hits were fantastic of course, too. I tend to get discouraged when I hit a streak of misses; but I need to remember the learning value behind it too. I think it's funny how some things just stay in that UFO pile because we don't get along with them.

    1. Thank you. Yes, it's all too easy to get discouraged. I have learned a lot though. I think there may be a reason why things were UFOs for sure!


Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. Please leave a comment. I welcome each and every one. I value criticism (constructive of course! ), love hints and tips and would appreciate suggestions for future direction.

Update and Continuing with Machine Embroidery Course

I haven’t been sewing anything recently. I’ve managed a few alterations and repairs and a little bit of machine embroidery - though I’ve f...