Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What better day than the very last day of the year to reflect on my Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2014?!  I haven't blogged about everything (or most things) in this post, but I still wanted to participate.  Let's start with the #sewingfails.
Actually, I would like to talk about the year a bit.  This year was extremely challenging for me as I went through my first, and very major, surgery which has resulted in a drastic improvement in my health and prompted an ever shrinking Sylvie.  Because of the changes in my body I took some time off from sewing and the projects I made were ones that I thought could later be adjusted. 
Anyway, Hubs and I also adopted a puppy.  We had been wanting a sister for Lily, but my husband had been unemployed so the funds weren't there.  As soon as he was offered a position we immediately cranked the pug search into high gear.  Hubs found a breeder, and we couldn't say no to the most adorable, teeniest pug puppy ever.  We brought Miley home and soon she and Lily formed a deep sisterly bond.  Having a puppy has been a ton of fun!
I also transferred positions in my incredibly boring job, to a slightly less boring job but one I'm incredibly happy to be in.  It really is amazing the effect on your life as a whole when you really are happy in your job. 
Okay!  On to the lists!

Top 5 Misses

5. Sewaholic Saltspring
I actually wore this dress quite a lot, and did find it lovely and comfortable.  The fault is not at all within the pattern.  I will make this again.  However I cut the pieces on fabric that was off grain or otherwise twisted, so the bodice is constantly twisty.  I will note that I made 4 strand braided straps and they turned out awesome.
4. Deer & Doe Plantain Top
This top was also poorly constructed.  Apparently I had a bought of bad knit sewing.  Initially the top wasn't super flattering on me, the bust was too tight and I just didn't like it on that much.  The fabric however is really nice.  A rare rayon knit from Joanns, double sided with stripes on one side and polka dots on the other.  You might remember that Mary (Idle Fancy link) made a Lady Skater dress with this same fabric.  Because of the double sided construction of the fabric, it is also a weird knit in that it frays.

3. Lady Skater Valentine's Day Dress

I think I just need to tweak the Lady Skater pattern to flatter my figure better.  Or I could try out Bluegingerdoll's Violet which is sexier (more my style!).  Part of the problem is also the length of the dress.  My former job dictated the need to wear dresses that were at least knee length, which apparently just doesn't work well on my frame.  Maybe if I drastically shorten the skirt, that might make this dress work for me.

2. Vintage Moneta Sweaters

Again, the fault is not with the pattern, but with the sewist.  I made two of these, one in black ribbing and one in grey cable.  The grey cable is another two-sided fabric, and the inside is of an awful acrylic.  This is why it's best to actually read and understand fabric descriptions when shopping online.  Neither sweater has been worn once.  The black sweater does have hope, I just need to remove the collar and simply turn and stitch to finish.  And take it in on the side seams at the waist.

1. Butterick See & Sew B5870 Purple Dress

I wore this once.  While it is a lovely color and the fabric is quite nice, my sewing machine fought me every step of the way when I made this dress.  Looking back I think I may have needed a new needle, or had the bobbin upside down, but this dress is very poorly assembled.  On top of that, I had graded it out in the hips and made really weird side seams.  Overall I felt Fatty McFatFat in this dress and never wore it again.  Maybe one day I will turn the fabric into something else.

Top 5 Hits!

5. Colette Patterns Myrtle
I made a fancy version for a wedding, and promptly made a knit version to wear on a daily basis.  My knit version was adopted into a once a week at work rotation.  So comfy, so adorable, so versatile to wear with multiple colored cardigans.
4. Lola Sweatshirt Dress
This dress turned out exactly how I had pictured it.  I was so excited to make it and the dress did not disappoint.  Even though it was a bit big on me at the time I made it, I have still worn the crap out of it.  However I've barely worn it out of the house because my husband says the grey and black colors, along with the simple styling, make it look like a dress right out of Divergent's Abnegation colony.  I don't care.  This dress it stupid comfortable and probably my best constructed item.  It is perfect and I'm very proud of it.  Although now it is much too big to think about wearing in public, I still wear it a ton for lounging.
3. Tilly and the Buttons Francoise FatCat Dress
 Ever since I discovered this fat cat fabric, and Tilly released the Francoise dress pattern, I knew it was a match made in heaven.  I had an instant vision of a yellow edged black collar and bright yellow button embellishments on the front of this lovely purple fabric.  The fabric is an homage to my own fat cat, Linux.  The dress came out nearly perfect, and I wear it to work often.  
2. The Wardrobe Malfunction AKA PaprikaPatterns Jade Skirt
Despite the wardrobe malfunction I experienced the first time I wore this skirt, I have since fixed (tightened) it and wear it all the time to work.  I feel sassy and adorable when I wear it, and it's the first real mini skirt I've worn in many years.  I adore this skirt.  The fabric, the color, the detail.  I love it.

1. The Perfect Shirtdress - Simplicity 1459
Another item that came out (almost) exactly as I pictured it.  The fabric is perfect.  The pattern is perfect.  The construction is beautiful.  I have worn this dress many times and always get compliments.  The fact that I made it, with my own two hands, is just amazing to me.

Honorable mention:  Tilly and the Buttons Margot Pajamas
 I've barely taken these off since I finished them.  I made them out of flannel and used Lauren's technique of elastic + ribbon in the waistband.  Heaven.

Thank you to Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow for starting this tradition!

The Fat Cat Dress - Tilly and the Buttons Francoise

Monday, December 1, 2014

When Erin, the lovely Miss Crayola Creepy, sneek peek'ed her Cat Lady Sewing Challenge WIP I promptly fell in love with her fabric.
Yes, please.  I instantly saw a vision of cats, yellow piping, and yellow buttons.  I missed the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge, which is lucky for me because Tilly introduced her new lovely pattern, Francoise.
Tilly is one of my favorite bloggers.  She's so sweet and adorable, and I loved watching her on the first season of The Great British Sewing Bee.  She's just a doll!  I love her style and also just acquired her new book, Love At First Stitch.  My vision of a purple and black fat cat dress with yellow piping and buttons suddenly formed in the shape of a Francoise dress.  Complete with black collar, yellow piped edges, and too cute for words buttons down the front.

Tilly also announced a contest.  Well okay then!  This is the first time I have participated in any sort of sewing challenge or contest, and I'm extremely pleased with how my dress turned out.  It is *exactly* how I pictured.
This is my first time successfully sewing piping, as well as a successful collar.  I'm pleased as punch.  Am I bold enough to wear a cat dress in public?  Why yes, yes I am.
This dress is an homage to my very own fat cat, Linux.