Best and worst of 2015

Reading other sewing blogs has inspired me to share my most-loved me-made garments and to come clean about the some of my more epic fails. It makes me feel so much better to know that even my favourite sewing bloggers have had projects that just didn’t work. My couturious year in review.

The best:

The black and white gingham check peplum

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Top: made by me, Pants: Banana Republic, Shoes: Sam Edelman Photo: © Sydni Legge

I probably wore this blouse twice a week all spring. I loved how well it turned out (this was my first attempt at making my own bias tape and it made all the difference), I made it fit fantastically and it was soooo on trend for this spring. The peplum was also shockingly versatile, I could wear it with trousers and statement necklace for a very polished and professional look, or under a sweater to look collegiate, or tucked into a skirt for a sweet, 50s vibe. And the colours went with everything.

Runner up:

The sparkly bow sweatshirt

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This was made from leftover fabrics from two different projects, but quickly eclipsed both! I love the light pink and sparkly contrast fabric (it’s Laura Ashley in linen and polyester, if you must know) and some run of the mill stretch knit. What I love about this sweater is how ridiculously comfy and interesting it is all at once. I pull it on over a tank and jeans and it’s insta-chic (well, I think so at least). This sweater has become my winter staple.

Honurable mention:

The multi-texture grey sweatshirt 

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This would have been my runner up had it not been for the bow. Until making my sparkly pink bow sweater, this got a lot of wear. It’s casual with jeans or dressy with trousers, a collared shirt and a chunky necklace. Also ridiculously comfy and warm.

Honourable mention:

The front button gathered skirt

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Feeling very proud of my very homemade and very coordinated outfit. Skirt, blouse and necklace all made by me!

I’m particularly proud of this one as I didn’t use a pattern. It did invoke a lot of math and rectangles, so I won’t pretend it was super simple. This skirt got a lot of wear this summer as it goes with everything, was super light and airy and right on trend with the button down front.

Honouable mention:

The swan skirt

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This was a complete impulse make. I have a bright pink swan sweater that has become something of a fan-favourite, so when I saw this fabric, I had to buy it. This skirt was also made sans patron as, over labour-day weekend I decided it had to be part of my first day of school outfit. It is literally a rectangle with elastic. But I love it.

Old faithfuls:

The rosette necklace

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Necklace: Made by me Photo: © Sydni Legge

The rosette necklace is still a regular part of my rotation and I continue to get compliments on it!

The blue rose fit and flare

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Dress and Necklace: Made by me Photo: © Sydni Legge

The blue rose is still a mess inside, but still perfect for weddings, graduations, showers. I made it so, so, so long ago, but I still love it!

The worst:

The green plaid dress

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This one is actually heartbreaking. I spent so long and so much money making this dress. I lined it with flannel for warmth. I finished everything impeccably with bias. I meticulously matched all. That. Plaid. And, in the end, it was the zipper that broke the sewist’s back.

Several things went wrong. The bodice was just a little too tight with that flannel lining. It was all too heavy for the poor invisible zipper. And there was just too much bulk where the bodice attached to the skirt. The result was a zipper that split. Every time. More than once, I performed delicate surgery to get that dang pull back on the teeth.

When finally it was cold enough for the flannel lined dress, I put it on to wear to school. Of course, the zipper split. What caused the panic attack, however, was the immovable pull, making me fear I would have to go to school in half a dress with some large sweater to conceal the flaccid, flapping bodice like a plaid tumour.  I eventually had to destroy the zipper with pliers and quite literally threw the dress into a box in the back of the closet. Last, week I decided I would never fix it and just threw it out. It was sad, but I learned a lot and I will always have the memories of how it looked on the dress form.

Runner up:

The chambray top.

This was so bad, I didn’t even bother with a photo.

I just made it too small. This was before I understood muslins.  I think I will try this one again, as it had a slight peplum and adorable Peter Pan collar.

Honourable mentions:

The green peter pan blouse 

Due to a failed attempt at a scalloped hem, I added a bias cut plad strip to the bottom. While nothing about this was necessarily wrong, I just never managed to wear it. Instead of being cutesy, it looks like something a school mistress would have worn in little women. I just never managed to feel like I could rock it.

The green plaid skirt

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After my botched dress and blouse projects, I was determined to get something out of that hunter green plaid that I could wear. The first attempt had slightly mismatched plaid (even an eighth of an inch will be enough to stop me wearing something), so I completely re-cut it. Which the second iteration was impeccably matched, I botched the fitting. I wanted the waist to be snug still when nylons pinched me in, but it. Just. Didn’t. Work.

Of a collective six meters of the solid and plaid hunter green fabrics I have NO wearable garments. It makes me sad as that was my second big foray into planning a sort of me-made capsule. Ah well.

So. The biggest lessons I’ve learned this year? While it’s fun to make pretty, complicated dresses, it’s considerably more fun to wear casual, simple designs. And I love knits! I am cured of my need for woven fabrics and can absolutely embrace the stretch. My sewing resolutions for this year are to make multiples of my favourite patterns (more peplum blouses and easy to wear skirts coming your way!), continue to think in capsules and to take a couple of courses for the more complex stuff. I’m going to finally use that Chanel fabric!

 

 

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