Review of 2017

As this year approaches its end I (like many other sewists and bloggers) thought it would be fun to look back and see what I achieved sewing-wise.

The main part of my planning for this year had been my #2017MakeNine but I only managed to make 4 of the 9 patterns I had planned to make.

To slightly defend myself (against who?!) I did make 3 of the 4 patterns twice. (For all the makes below, click on the photo to be taken to the full blog post).

I made 2 Marianne Dresses and I love them both – both are from quite light weight jersey so they’re not the best for the cold weather we’ve been having in the UK recently.

I also make 2 Moneta dresses, though I don’t really wear the first one because I stretched out the neckline while making it.

I also make 2 Inari Tees, and I have a dress version cut out ready for next Summer – I didn’t get around to making it last Summer as it didn’t seem to last long enough!

The other make I managed from my Make Nine was my Roberts Collection dungaree dress. I did want to make the dungaree version as well but I didn’t get around to it.

I bought denim to make both pairs of jeans back in April but I didn’t quite get around to making them. I also have 2 fabrics to make the Carolyn Pyjamas from so I think I’ll bump them onto next year’s list too.

I also had joined the #SewMyStyle project and although I knew at the outset that I wasn’t going to make all 12 garments throughout the year, I only managed one – the Toaster Sweater, which I think was the pattern from January (though I’m pretty sure I made it late).

Although I didn’t make loads of the things I had planned at the beginning of the year, I did make quite a few things in the last 12 months.

I made a few presents and non-clothes, including 2 pyjama cases (a monkey and a penguin), a sack for work, a tailor’s ham and sausage (stuffed with fabric scraps), and a moomin embroidery (which helped me realise I actually quite enjoy embroidery).

I managed to refashion 3 garments: a simple tee refashion, my Christmas Party Dress and – the one I’m probably most proud of – I refashioned one of my dad’s suits into a suit for me.

In terms of sewing from scratch, this year I made:

  • 8 dresses
  • 1 pair of trousers and one pair of culottes
  • 2 skirts
  • 8 tops
  • 1 pair of shoes

The shoes were definitely a highlight! And after listening to Jasika’s episode of the Love to Sew Podcast, I feel inspired to make more shoes!

I am also proud of having made trousers for the first time! Shame I didn’t parley this into making more pairs of trousers as they are the thing that is really lacking in my wardrobe now.

These trousers are probably my most worn make of the year, but also getting honorable mentions are my stripey jersey dress which I’ve worn loads considering it was a late-in-the-year make.

I’ve also worn my grey-blue melilot shirt loads this year, so I definitely have more planned.

I feel like I can’t do a round up of the year without mentioning my Dressmakers’ Ball dress – ooh, I’ve just realised I made an extra pair of trousers than I listed above because my dress had trousers underneath! It was definitely one of my favourite makes from the year and it was fun to do some – very basic – drafting to alter the Emery dress to make the copy of the Emma Watson outfit I liked so much.

There were some other things that I mentioned I wanted to do in 2017, like make a quilt, re-upholster a chair and make a wall hanging. I did none of these things. I did, however, complete the Wardrobe Architect project and I do think this helped me to focus my sewing and fabric buying.

Obviously on a personal level, 2017 wasn’t the best – and 2016 sucked too – so here’s hoping 2018 isn’t quite so crap and I have no family sadnesses.

Did you meet your goals in 2017? Are you rolling some of them into 2018 if not? I will – I think some of my #2018MakeNine will be the ones I didn’t make in 2017!

Geometric Yellow Marianne Dress

Following on from the success of making the In The Folds jersey dress for the second time, I decided to make another Marianne Dress (by Christine Haynes). The fabric was from Fabrics Galore, quite a while ago and I originally wanted to make a Closet Case Patterns Ebony Dress from it but I ordered 1.5m and not 2m. And I’m quite glad as I really like this Marianne dress. I really liked the other one I made, but I made it a little late in the year so haven’t worn it too much. But I’ve worn this one several times already!

I made the size 4, as before, but with the long sleeves and the cuffs. Plus I added pockets. Because pockets! I borrowed the ones from the Emery Dress and although they don’t sit perfectly flat, because the jersey is quite stretchy, it’s still a great thing to have pockets in a dress!

I feel as though this version doesn’t fit me quite as well as the other version, probably because of the sleeves. I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to fitting jersey, so I don’t know how to fix the drag lines under my arms. I did sign up to the Tilly and the Buttons Learn to Sew Jersey Tops Class a while ago so hopefully I’ll pick up some tips from that once I get around to taking it!

I really should have ironed the hem before I took these photos!

I really like the little cuff details on the long sleeves. They’re supposed to have buttons on, but I like them without.

And this is today’s outtake. No. Idea.

Do you have a favourite jersey dress pattern? I’ve made quite a few, but mostly only once or twice, I don’t have a tried or true pattern yet.

 

 

Stripey Jersey Dress

One of my favourite dresses I’ve made is this electric blue one, from a free pattern by In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine. I always get compliments whenever I wear it, and I love the slouchy shape, though it still makes me feel put together.

I love buying new patterns, and each time someone releases a shiny new one (Closet Case Patterns Sasha Trousers, I’m looking at you!) I find it really hard to resist buying them. I have so many patterns I’ve not yet made so often I make things once and think ‘I really like this, I’ll make it again’…..and then I don’t. So I’m trying to remedy this by making more versions of things I’ve liked making and wearing but have made only once or twice. This is the first of those patterns.

I made the size 10, as before, and the only change I made was to cut off the pockets (which are attached to the front and back pieces) and cut them out separately as I couldn’t quite fit the pieces as they were on the fabric. Speaking of which, this fabric was the one piece I managed to snag when What Katie Sews did an Instagram destash a few months ago. I could cheerfully have bought loads of things, but I was mostly too late, boo! But I did get this great stripey jersey. It’s nice and thick but still has a bit of drape so the dress hangs really nicely.

I was telling my friends at the Sewing Bee Live that I’m not totally convinced about raglan sleeves on me, but looking at these pictures, I don’t know what my problem is! I have a hang-up that my shoulders are wide, but given that that is often the place where things are too big on me, I think I might be a little bit mental! Since making this dress I’ve cut out another Linden sweatshirt, to give it another go as I wasn’t totally in love with my first version – but that may have been due to the fabric more than anything else.

I cut the neckband with the stripes going the other way, not realising that the fabric only stretches one way. So I can barely get it over my head! I think I might remove the neckband completely and just turn the neck under as that is the one place on my other version that isn’t totally comfortable – it’s a bit strangle-y when I’m sitting down.

I didn’t add the cuffs, which I had done on my other version, so I just turned a small hem up on each sleeve end. I also left off the hem band this time as I felt it made it slightly long on the other version. I also couldn’t squeeze it out of the fabric, and I’m glad I left it off as I like the more a-line shape of the skirt when it’s not pulled in by a hem band.

I did have enough fabric to pattern match the stripes on the side seams, but the eagle-eyed among you may spot – if you look at the hem – that the hem is not straight when you compare it to the stripes. This is because I wasn’t as careful as I could/should have been when folding the fabric in half to cut out the front and back. It looked like the stripes were lined up, but they were one out so the stripes have actually formed a spiral around the dress, so it’s impossible to hem it with the stripes straight – I tried and I reached my starting point but was still pinning more and more out of the hem as the spiral moved up the dress! Oops! Lesson learnt.

And today’s outtake it brought to you by not making it back to my photo spot in time for the camera timer!

Do you make patterns more than once or are you seduced by shiny new ones, like me. Or a combination of the two? I think that’s what I’m hoping I’ll aim for as I don’t want to stop supporting all the wonderful indie designers, but also I don’t have unlimited money and time for buying and making new patterns constantly.

 

 

October Makes and November Plans

October was a fairly productive month for me, mostly because I had last week off work and used most of my time off as a sew-cation, with a couple of days doing fun stuff for The Boyfriend’s and my birthdays (which are 8 days apart).

My first finished make was my coral  Sew Over It Anderson Blouse.  I think the fabric might have been a little on the thick side for the pattern, but I do like it and I love the colour – I need more coral clothes in my life.

I also managed to finish 2 of the dresses I had planned to make – my yellow geometric patterned Marianne Dress and my black and white striped In The Folds Jersey Dress. They took one afternoon each – I love sewing with jersey!

My biggest project of the month, however, was my suit refashion for The Refashioners challenge. I juuust got it finished in time for the deadline, though I doubt turning a suit into a suit will be imaginative enough to win the amazing prize package! If you follow me on Instagram you will have already seen some photos of my refashion, and there will be a full post coming on Friday explaining all the changes I made so sorry if you get bored of seeing it over and over again! I’m pretty please with how it/they turned out, if I say so myself.

So now onto my plans for November. Are you getting as sick of me saying I’m going to make jeans as I am? It’s been a whole year! Maybe November will finally be the month!?

The Sew Over It Nancy Dress I planned last month is already partly made, so this is a little cheaty, but I hope to get it finished this month.

I’ve also cut out a couple more shirts as I find myself wanting to wear shirt more and more, so hopefully I’ll get my white Archer and my spotty Melilot finished too.

I think this should be enough to keep me going!

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August (& September) Makes and October Plans

I’m back from my blogging break. Thank you to everyone who left me a message on my last post. It’s lovely to know there are people out there who are so nice and caring. Sorry I didn’t reply – I didn’t really know what to say.

I ended up not making much in September – I was working on an embroidery thing for my Aunt, who I made the meme cushion for and I wasn’t at home for quite a few days so I didn’t sew any clothes, but I did have some sewing fun at the Great British Sewing Bee Live and seeing the Balenciaga exhibition at the V & A museum – there will be full posts on each of these things (including my stash from the GBSB live!) coming up soon.

So my makes are from August. You’ve already seen the items that took up most of August – my outfit for the New Craft House Summer Party, including shoes! By the way, they’re throwing a Winter Party on December 9th. You should all definitely book tickets – I’ve already booked mine, to defend my ‘best outfit’ title! 😉

The only other thing I made was another Collins Top – I love my first one so much I made another over the bank holiday weekend……and then the weather went really cold so I haven’t worn it yet, boo!

And now onto my plans for October (and probably November too, to be honest!).

I really definitely want to make my 2 pairs of jeans, which I already have fabric for, made by the end of November. I want to make one pair in October, but I haven’t decided which pair yet.

I’ve had this coral Anderson Blouse cut out for a couple of months, and now it’s getting colder, I do need some more nice long sleeved tops for work, so this is first on my list to make – hopefully I’ll make it this weekend.

I bought this amazing mustard graphic jersey from Fabrics Galore a couple of months ago (they’re sadly out of stock, but they do have it in a grey colourway) and I’ve decided it might be perfect for an Ebony Dress – I’m not sure I’ve got enough, so if not it will probably be a Marianne Dress, with the long sleeves.

If you can’t tell, I’m craving snuggly jersey dresses now it’s getting colder. I got this stripey jersey, which is pretty thick, from What Katie Sews’s destash sale and I’m hoping there is enough to make an In The Folds Jersey Dress as I like my electric blue one so much. I might shorten it a bit, though, as it is pretty long!

The third dress on my list is the Sew Over It Nancy Dress out of this amazing crowd print viscose which I bought at the same time as the mustard jersey above. Fabrics Galore still have this one in stock!

My final plan for the next month or 2 is to at least cut out the Carolyn Pyjamas in this amazing boaty Liberty print fabric my friend gave me a few months ago. Now it’s getting cold, I find I want some lovely snuggly pyjamas – a lot of my ready to wear clothes, including pyjamas, are getting a bit worn out now but I’m reluctant to buy replacements, so I’m going to try to replace the things I still wear that I’ve bought with versions I’ve made.

The one thing I really absolutely must make is my suit refashion for the refashioners. This is my suit. It actually belonged to my dad – I asked my mum if I could have it a couple of months ago, and now it definitely feels more poignant to be refashioning one of my dad’s suits. I think I’ll ‘just’ make it into a suit that fits me as I don’t have one, and I figure I can wear the trousers and the jacket separately at work if I don’t want to be as smart as wearing a full suit!

What are your sewing plans for Autumn and are you joining in with the refashioners this year?

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