Thursday, 22 December 2016

Misses and reflections from 2016; a year of unintended selfless sewing

Do I,  don't I?

I feel every garment I've sewn has taught me something.  I can't help feeling that listing my less than successful makes will make everything more negative than it should be. A few of my less than successful items have never reached my blog,  I don't have photos - and I prefer them to stay anonymous! They have gone from my thoughts! Though hopefully they have still taught me something

So I think I'll combine this post with reflections. Interestingly, this was a year of unintended selfless sewing!  All my successes are for other people and the misses are all mine! I don't have a single successful garment for me from this year! Single reason - fit. 


Once more, I will link with Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow



I'm only going to include 2

Cashmerette's Concord tee - blog post here (this is the 3rd of 3 posts) 

Puckered neckline and shoulder too far forward almost visible here

 Reflections on the Concord

I may try this again,  making the anti-forward shoulder adjustment which would also hopefully improve the sleeve and neckline fit.  With a better suited fabric (I think the fabric was a little too heavy although it did have the required stretch) and proper neckline trimming, I hope it might work after the adjustment. This version certainly didn't.  I gave away the finished tee as there were too many issues needing fixed, most of which needed to be fixed at cutting out stage. I couldn't even wear it around the house as it was actually uncomfortable.

This tee shirt reminded me of golf. One of the bad shots I have is a slice which is an uncontrolled  banana shaped shot to the right, if right handed as I am. There are a variety of reasons for this shot. One so called solution is a special ‘offset’ club head which pushes the ball left. I tried one and it simply didn't work for me. The trouble is, a slice is occasional and has a variety of causes so one solution doesn't fit all.

I'm not sure that everyone requires the same amount of forward shoulder adjustment, if indeed they require any. I have seen some doing a further forward shoulder adjustment on this tee.  In that case,  why arbitrarily decide on an amount?

I need to decide when it's relevant to try to continue and when it's best to give up,  taking into account the amount of work that has already gone into it and how much more is required. This tee has both good and bad reviews. I have had feedback saying it's worth it to continue - and feedback saying it's not. I'll decide next year!

Simplicity 1458 - blog post here (again this is the 3rd of 3 posts)

Above two before further alteration

Above two pinned for closer fit
I came up with a 'finished' dress but didn't like it at all - there were ongoing fit issues - too loose and unfitted. I haven't felt the desire as yet to move on with this, though I have since been fitted into it and have sorted the pattern. Maybe next year. On the other hand, I have unfinished dresses which will suit me better. If I had loads of time, I could consider both.

Reflections on Simplicity 1458

I entered a contest with this dress which was ridiculous when it fits so badly and doesn't suit me. What was I thinking of?  It was sewn okay but there was no way I would wear this in public - yet I put it out there. My only excuse is that I was in a post wedding slump and needed the impetus of a deadline to sew something. That's the only excuse I have. I've pulled back from contests.  I will sew only if it suits me to.

A few UFOs

These aren't technically misses since they're not finished. Included are Grainline’s Morris blazer, which I saw as a quick make for a casual jacket and McCall's  blazer, via my class. With both,  there are ongoing fit issues but I've run out of time for them before Christmas. This term,  my classes have been covering tailoring and I hoped to have a finished jacket by now. I've had to put it aside, though, as Christmas sewing takes precedence. They are both getting there. Both have required rather a lot of adjustments.

Reflections on this year's sewing

Is finished better than perfect? I'm really not sure. I can't wear things where I know things have gone wrong,  the fit is poor etc,  so at least if something is not finished, I still have the option to improve it. I know that I see problems in things I've done more than others are likely to and I'm trying to ease up on myself. That doesn't mean,  though,  that I intend to accept a standard much less than I could achieve with a little bit of effort.

I started my blog to chart my progress and I have seen progress. That's very pleasing.

I don't create a lot of garments. I don't need too many - I already have a full wardrobe and my clothes last a LONG time.  So I prefer to focus on making things  that fit well, and are sewn well. At least as best I can do. I'm more than happy to learn new techniques - new to me,  that is.  I've learned that cheap fabric leads to disappointment and poor results. And a badly fitting item looks bad even in good fabric. 

Not everything in my wardrobe fits well, though, and there are gaps. I intend to focus on those gaps and improve fit where I can. That comes down to trousers to a large extent! And jackets and blouses to a lesser extent.

I like sewing for my daughters but I have to understand that sometimes this is really for me and not for them! That's okay.

This year, I have expanded my range, my skills and my confidence. There is nothing I won't try now, though I will continue to seek help and support through my classes. I really value the direct contact with tutors.

I will carry on making toiles!  Maybe, hopefully, not so many. 

I will do another post, possibly after Christmas,  with my goals and plans for 2017.


  1. I find there is cheap fabric and cheap fabric - I often use cheap cottons as I find them quite adequate for casual life in Newcastle Aust! But I think a cheap polyester will always look cheap, so you are wise to steer away from them. Merry Christmas, and good luck with your sewing plans for 2017.

    1. Oh, I agree! I suspect this is the same as my mother used to say - it's cheap or it's inexpensive. I have had several good buys of very good fabric that was very inexpensive. I've also had some poor buys of more expensive fabric that was nasty. I haven't quite yet developed a good fabric knowledge.
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Look forward to reading more of your projects in 2017.


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