Category Archives: Yearly review

Top 5 of 2012 – the misses

Following on with the Top 5 of 2012 series being hosted by Gillian over at Crafting a Rainbow, here’s the top 5 misses I’ve had with my sewing this year.

Which is a bit sad to look back at in a way – the loss of fabric and time and creative hopes. (Although lets be honest here – it’s mainly the loss of fabric and all the potential it had that’s sad. *cry a little tear for fabric hopes lost*) But hey, every failure is an opportunity to learn, right?! So, here goes – the top 5 misses of 2012.

The ‘Didn’t read the instructions’ miss – the gingham shirt
Um, yeah. No excuses here, really. I have a rather terrible habit of launching myself into a new project, without pre-reading the instructions. If I had, I would have realised a bit sooner (i.e. before I started, rather than when I was more than half finished) that the button placket on this is decorative only. I.e. not fit for my intended purpose for it. I also committed my other usual sewing sin and didn’t try it on as I went – far too short, and that neckline won’t even fit over my head. (Heck knows how they managed to get it on in the 1940s?!?) I plan to rescue this though – making the button placket functional and adding some length.

The ‘Poor fabric choice’ miss – the Sunshine Slip
A lovely light silk/cotton blend seems perfect for lingerie, right? Yeah, not so much. That cotton part of the fabric, well, it clings to other fabric. Which is not a good property to have in a slip. This fabric also had a heck of a lot of stretch along the bias, which made it a right pain in the butt to sew. This never even got worn, which is a shame as I love the colour. May have to cut it up and see if I can use the fabric in a lightweight top.

The ‘Really should learn to read instructions first’ miss – the Honey Vegas dress
The "Honey Vegas" Dress
Um, yeah. Maternity dress failure. I saw the pattern envelope, with girls wearing lovely flowing muu muus, and thought “a-ha! Perfect maternity dress style that I can belt to wear again afterwards!”. Not so much. Once again, half way through the project I discovered this is actually quite a fitted style, with a loose bit at the back to give that drapey effect. (Although I am hoping to get some wear out of this next summer!)

The ‘Poor fabric choice’ miss #2 – the Hey, Baby! dress
Heck knows what I was thinking when I got this fabric. It’s so not me at all – not my colour, not my type of print, and definitely not my type of fibre. Sheer yet kinda stiff at the same time, I had to underline it. And that stiffness didn’t work at all with this style dress. Nor did the neckline work on me, being a bit too high. I hated it whenever I wore it. Oops. Heck knows what I’m going to do with it now.

The ‘Poor fabric choice’ miss #3 – the Pixie skirt
This was actually a reincarnation of one of my 2011 failures – the Green Is Green dress. The heavy cotton drill I chose was too stiff for the original dress, so I tried to rescue it by turning it into a skirt. Which just didn’t fit me right, and I didn’t love it, so I gave it away to a friend who did love it. At least this one has found a happy home.

Clearly, there are two main lessons I should have learnt this year – choose fabric wisely, and read the pattern instructions before starting a project. Not sure if I’ve really learnt that first one all that well yet – it’s not uncommon for me to pick a fabric and think “hmmm, not sure if this will work…. oh what the heck, I’ll try it anyway!” and just go for it. That may never change.

Reading the instructions first though? Might have to be a 2013 resolution…..


Top 5 of 2012 – the hits

Have you seen the Top 5 of 2012 series being hosted by Gillian over at Crafting a Rainbow? (Which, by the way, is a fabulous title for a blog, I reckon.) Basically, it’s a time to reflect on the past year of creating, and look at the year ahead.

So, here goes – my first Top 5 of 2012 post – my favourite creations.

The one I’m most proud of – the All Buttoned Up dress

All Buttoned Up dress
Made from a 1940’s pattern, I did my first fully hand-stitched hem, and fabric-covered buttons. Those details make me smile whenever I look at it, and when it fits me (hopefully it will again in a couple of months!) it’s on high rotation in my wardrobe.

The most-worn-during-pregnancy one – the Generations dress

The "Generations" Dress
Turns out these 1970’s shift-dress styles are super-comfy when pregnant! Along with the Bookworm dress (made from the same pattern), this was worn heaps during my pregnancy.

The classic basics one – the Powder Room PJs

The Powder Room PJs

Made during the Pajama Party sew-along, hosted by Karen of Did You Make That, I love these PJs. I made two pairs this year, these and the Turkey Pajamas, and they’re my two favourite pairs of PJs. (Note to self: must make more….)

The unexpected favourite – the Braveheart dress


To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to like this dress all that much. It’s not my usual style, fabric, or colour. (I made it as an early-days-of-pregnancy dress, before we told everyone we were expecting, but most of my fitted-waist dresses were already too tight!) But you know what? Turns out I love it! Everything about it, and until I got too round for it, it was on high rotation in my wardrobe as well.

The end-of-year favourite – the Gingham-To-Go shirt


I faced another wardrobe challenge after the little boy arrived, and I had to figure out what I could wear that a) provided easy access to certain areas, b) actually fitted at the moment, c) I liked to wear, and d) would hopefully be wearable as my body changes size. The Gingham-To-Go shirt was the first garment I made that met all those criteria! I wear it at least once a week, and you’re likely to see this pattern cropping up again very soon.

So there we have it – my top 5 creations for 2012. Quite a mix, since they run the gamut of my “normal” size, pregnancy garb, and breastfeeding-friendly styles! The funny thing is, if I hadn’t had a baby this year half of these garments wouldn’t even have been made, and yet here they are, in the top 5. Life’s funny sometimes. 🙂