Thursday, 27 December 2018

Hits, misses and neutrals in 2018

I seem to have been quite busy with sewing this year but with very little to show for it! I have quite a few craft items which have been successful in their own category and some knitting - oh and repairs and refashioning. As there is so little to show, I’m doing one post for both successes and failures for the year. I'm not including failures that didn't get as far as being made up - and there are quite a few of those!

I will do them in order from the start of the year, all together in one category. Click the title to get to the appropriate blog post where the pattern number and details will be listed.

As before, I'm linking to  Crafting a Rainbow’s Top 5 of the Year.

Kimono - success
In January, I made a kimono for myself. I like the kimono, feel it fits well and do wear it. There is a but - the colours are not right for me and I have been intending to remake with a fabric more suited to my colouring and my other clothes. I tried to get a similar fabric but haven't been successful. Nevertheless, I consider this a success.

In January, I finally finished the Chanel-type jacket I had been working on for some time, after starting it in a two-weekend class I attended with Margaret of The  Crafty Creek in the autumn of the previous year. I think the jacket looks great but I haven’t really worn it. This is mainly because I feel it is a bit snug (I have put on weight, alas). I feel it is snug around the biceps and it lies with the two fronts quite far apart. I learned such a lot from this exercise, though - very much including what I would do differently next time. The main thing I would change would be to overlock raw edges before started construction. I’ll have to say this is a neutral as it hasn’t been worn in the way I had intended – so neither failure nor success.

February was a very unsuccessful month with several items and pieces of fabric being rejected. March was a more successful month

It was cold in March. We haven't had much cold weather yet this winter.
I made the Jasper sweatshirt and have worn it a lot though it’s only getting cold enough now to think about it again. I like it but it was criticised on the style website I’m a member of for being too dark for my colouring - while I didn’t want that to influence my view of it, it has to some extent. I plan to make it again but in slightly lighter weight fabric

New Look 6481 tops - 2 x successes 1 x fail
I’ve worn these tops a lot. The fail was as a result of using a fabric with insufficient stretch and it was too tight for me. It went to my daughter who wears it, as far as I know so not a total failure. Operative error.

Regularly worn. I like one better than the other - the one that has slightly more stretch - as it feels more comfortable. Same fabric as the NL 6481s

Trousers - epic FAIL
For the whole year, well until autumn really, I was trying to make well-fitting trousers. The closest I got was making up a pair of trousers that I was forced to wear for golf matches as I had no other suitable trousers which still fitted me. I did get to wear them but they were neither stylish nor comfortable.
I intend to solve the problem in 2019!
I have so many awful photos of the various stages - this was the least bad
I haven't linked to a post

Self-drafted top - failure
I finished this but have never enjoyed wearing it. The fit just isn't right.

I made another Cashmerette Concord, this time with a V neck, tunic length. I’m not really wearing it - I think because the neckline is a little loose/stretched and a bit low for my liking. Operative error again.

Items for my daughters - successes. Probably
I made another pair of culottes for Joanne. While she was visiting for Christmas, I made some repairs to a much earlier pair of these culottes (she loves this style) and has told me she hasn't started to wear the most recent ones as yet.

I also made another silk dress for Helen. 

I am sure these will be successful but it’s too early to say as yet.

Gosh, that’s not much to show for a year! The trousers took up a lot of my time and made me feel completely despondent so I had to give up. I did a lot of garment refashioning, garment repairs

Machine embroidery - successes
I started to use my embroidery machine and enjoyed it. There is quite a big learning curve that I haven’t mastered yet, but I’m beginning to produce items that I have enjoyed making and the recipients have liked receiving.

I attended a few classes - working with leather; silks and sheers and corset making. I have taken something from each class. My oldest daughter likes the corset I made (a standard size 12 with a D cup, clearly not for me!) and even though it is a sample speedily made up a couple of days before Christmas, she has taken it home with her. My youngest daughter found a little too much space in the cups - she added a couple of cooking apples to fill the cups out! She liked the waist shaping it gave her, though - she has a fairly straight figure

I have some WIPs, ready to restart in January

Make Nine Project - failure
I signed up for the make nine project and have not succeeded in making anything like 9 items. This is because quite a few of my items were going to be trousers/pants and I haven’t got the fit right as yet. Is it possible that I won’t be able to? I didn’t make the jacket as that was to go with the trousers.

RTW Fast
I have been more successful with the RTW 2018 Fast, depending on how you measure success! I have done the fasting - but have not managed to fill the gradually increasing holes in my wardrobe.

7 Steps to Style and Evolve Your Style - failure
I intended to put everything into this but found I just didn’t. This was partly because I was on the RTW Fast and so wasn’t buying new clothes (or even charity shop clothes for refashioning). I had a huge bundle of old clothes that needed restyled but they got me down, I had little idea how to proceed (Lots of trousers) so I abandoned that idea.
I haven’t seen much point in buying new fabrics when I have huge stash or new patterns ditto. So this coming year, I will concentrate on making what I have manageable and reflect me.


  1. Hi Anne, I think you've achieved a great deal this year, especially for someone fairly new to sewing. You've tackled things I've never tried (Chanel jacket, sewing with silk, corsetry) even though I've been sewing for longer.
    The foot injury must have been a great pain and frustration this year.
    Although I sewed the most I ever have for myself this year, there were a lot of repeats and a few failures and I was doing variations on two knit tops, 2 cardigans, 2 styles of elasticated trousers etc.

    I abandonded the RTW fast part way into the year, the FB group was annoying and I did want to buy things to wear. I don't regret this and it has changed my shopping to be more thoughtful.

    I've not been on 7STS much this year. I have my palette and a rough understanding of the rules. My hair is still mostly dark, so wearing darker colours works OK for me. I do think your face is more the focus when you wear the lighter colours, but I sometimes wear things which I know are not ideal but are comfortable/warm/already in my wardrobe etc. The group will comment based on the rules they have learned. So it is feedback rather than criticism. I find it hard to take sometimes so I've not done many photos!

    Trousers are challenging. Some of mine didn't work too well this year. I've had to let some out, others the fabric is just one that doesn't look smart, others I tried an alteration that didn't work quite right etc. I have been making trousers with an elastic waist so they are quite quick.

    Sometimes OK is good enough, and celebrating the successes is the best way to be encouraged. Please don't be too hard on yourself, I think you've had an amazing year, the green silk dress is just lovely!

    Cheers Sew Ruthie Style

    1. Thank you, Ruth, I hope you had a great Christmas and can look forward to a marvelous New Year.
      Thank you for your positive comments about my sewing. I think that my previous career has pushed me to expect more from myself. I've always been competitive (I'm not saying that's good or bad just the way it is) and I find it quite difficult not to be very veryvgood at something.
      I agree with you about the groups and the comments; one of the reasons I haven't been active.
      I probably would have bought RTW but can't get things to fit!!
      I do think okay is sometimes good enough! I've worn things that I wouldn't have done previously add I might have seen the faults and I've been perfectly happy. Each item is a learning experience.
      2019 will be the year of the trouser even if they're all palazzo pants!
      Your year has been outstanding

  2. I think you're being too hard on yourself, Anne. You've made some beautiful garments! Your French jacket is lovely and completing this project is a success on its own. That New Look top looks stunning on you! I sometimes think that the more we know about colour and style, the harder it is to get everything right at the same time! Finding fabric in the perfect colour, with just the right amount of drape and preferred fiber content for that right style garment....and sigh, not to mention the fitting challenge. I comfort myself with the thought that we learn more from our failures than we do from our successes. But I agree with SewRuthie: we need to celebrate those successes!

    1. Thank you, Marianne. I agree with your thoughts about choosing the right fabric. As for fitting.... Yes, we do learn more from our failures than our successes. I love the French jacket and hope it will fit when I've lost a bit of weight, once I become more mobile. I will do another but have taken note of the things I will change.
      I've lived everything you've done or at least shown this year. x

  3. Anne - move your Chanel jacket way up to the top of the success list. I know how much work and love goes in to making one of these and the learning processes involved - wear it open like a cardigan which I think Coco always intended anyway. I wear mine with jeans as well as skirts and dresses, that's the beauty of them. I also know that, as sewers, we are all too willinging to show everyone the faults and mistakes - take the compliments graciously and don't mention the errors. You are an inspiration. Thank you and Happy New Year.

    1. Thank you. You are so kind. I will. I agree about noticing faults. I don't think this jacket has faults as such, just that it's a bit tight (biceps) with weight gain and I would do things differently next time to make it easier for me. I will accept compliments graciously - thank you. Happy New Year to you too!

    2. PS I'm planning to to make another jacket quite soon, ready for the spring


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...