Top 5 Hits 2014

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that I could easily have compiled a separate, top 5 skirts hits alone, but I’ve tried to add a little more variety in here than that. It’s not (always) all about the skirts πŸ˜‰

First up had to be my Galloping Horses dress. This was probably the first dress I made that felt totally me and was pretty, well made. I’ve worn it lots and still feel very proud of it.

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Next up up had to be the MeganΒ (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons) that fitted! I felt like I’d truly mastered knits by this pattern. It’s super comfy and can be worn both casually and more dressed up, so versatile too.

Thirdly, the best thing that came out of my stash-diet: my tweed top. Another item that really does get worn lots and doesn’t feel home-made at all (I’m wondering if I’ll stop feeling like this at some point, I guess when my skills finally catch up to my enthusiasm).

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Well, I managed three before a skirt got a look in πŸ˜‰ Not too bad for me! Fourthly, it had to be my navy blue, linen GingerΒ (Colette patterns),Β possibly my favourite me-make ever πŸ™‚

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My surprise hit of the year had to be my 70s ClemenceΒ (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons). I think it was feeling guilty for causing me such pain to make, but it’s been worn lots and lots. It’s easy to wear in both Summer and Winter, so maybe that’s why it’s become such a favourite. And it even gets compliments! Now, I never imagined that would happen :-). Lastly (and yes, I can count ), I’ve snook in my black, linen DelphineΒ (Love At First Stitch, Tilly and the Buttons).Β This is the most magically slimming skirt ever (high, narrow waist combined with the colour black?), I’ve been asked many times whilst wearing it if I’ve lost weight, which of course never fails to make me smile. Although anyone of a similar height and build would know it’s pretty easy to ‘look’ like I’ve gone up or down a size, depending on how high my heels are and what I’m wearing, pretty much overnight…

I loved that my hits list took more deliberation than my misses! I must be getting somewhere. Or maybe the misses are more firmly ‘burnt’ in my mind…

Thanks again to Gillian of craftingrainbow.wordpress.com for hosting πŸ™‚

 

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Top 5 Misses 2014

I’ve been really enjoying reading about everyone else’s hits and misses of 2014, so it was only a matter of time before I joined in (thanks for the nudge Barbara). First up of the misses had to be my most painfully, frustrating sew of the year… My 70s Clemence… An absolute bu**er of a make…imageimage

Next up had to be BHL Elisalex, which didn’t work on so many different levels: length, fit, finish… However, with a little help from my internet friends πŸ™‚ there was a happy ending to this miss, see here.

Next up was my BHL Polly top. A great, free pattern, but unfortunately one that just didn’t suit me at all. I was really pleased with my neat curve and navy lace, but it was off to the local charity shop for this one 😦 Hopefully it’s found a more suitable home since…

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Fourthly (this fabric must have been jinxed), was my cerise, linen Delphine. This was far too short for comfort. Other than that, I was quite pleased with this, but I’ve shamefully never worn it. I remember thinking I’d add some navy lace to the hem to attempt to lengthen this slightly, so definitely a project to return to next Spring…

And lastly,

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I really did did love this Colette Ginger, but it just wasn’t well made, hence my disaster and patch-up. I have learnt to slow down and improve my finish since, but I had to admit defeat eventually and convert it into a skirt for my daughter instead, so not a total disaster πŸ™‚

We had our first snow of the year tonight, so the thing I notice most in these photos is the beautiful weather, and yes, these really were all taken in Manchester! Seriously, I was as shocked as anyone that we had such a lovely, prolonged Summer πŸ™‚ Seems like a long time ago, which is good in a way as that means most of my misses were from a while ago. But now I’ve probably jinked myself completely, especially when I think about my aim for the next year: to conquer my fear of trousers…

And lastly, one of these misses will actually make it into my hits list too, can you guess which? If you can bare the excitement, stay tuned πŸ˜‰

Many thanks to Gillian from craftingrainbow.wordpress.com for hosting πŸ™‚

 

Learning Restraint, Part II: So What Do I Actually Need?

So what do I actually need?

Well, truth be told, I already have a lot of clothes. Being totally honest, with the exception of replacing socks and underwear, I could probably go a couple of years without actually needing to make or buy anything. Crikey, by some people’s standards, probably far longer than that…

But, no doubt I’m the same as everyone out there who blogs about sewing (or knitting), I love clothes πŸ™‚ I love how they can flatter you, comfort you or just plain cheer you up. I love how they can make you feel taller, slimmer or younger when you get them just right (or whatever floats your personal wish-list boat) and I love the therapeutic nature of sewing (or knitting on a cold, Winter’s evening) and the pride I feel as I gradually improve my skills and get the fit close-r to perfection. But in the spirit of restraint I’ve been forcing myself to consider any new purchases far more carefully than would ever come naturally to me…

i) First up is really straightforward: I need a plain, black, pencil skirt for work. BHL Charlotte, I’m looking at you! I’ve worn my plain, navy one loads (and my fancy, lilac one a fair few times too) so it’s a tried and tested pattern that I know will work perfectly πŸ™‚

ii) Next up is a couple of plain, white shirts as my current ones are starting to look decidedly grubby around the collar and cuffs. Even the very thought of sewing one of these fills me with panic, so this is definitely a RTW one and something sensible to look for in the sales.

iii) Thirdly, I really need some smart, but comfy trousers for work. Yikes, now trousers I’ve so far avoided like the plague in terms of sewing. However I’ve recently seen some fab ones on the blogosphere, mostly courtesy of Jane over at Handmadejane and Karen over at didyoumakethat? I know from experience though that trousers really don’t come easily to my body shape. I’m small, but go in and out a lot. My legs are also my least favourite body part. Black tights in Winter are a godsend and come Summer there’s a whole lot of shaving, fake tanning and selecting of, at least, a medium heel height. There’s a reason I don’t do flats, even though I love them on others 😦

Buying RTW trousers is a royal pain in the butt, but actually, if I crack making my own, I need never brave the changing rooms again, and that has to be a plus… After much careful consideration, I’ve selected Simplicity’s 1699Β (which seemed like a bargain at the time, as it also included a top, dress and even a jacket (one day, sigh…) that I also really liked, but now I’ve seen it comes free with next month’s Sew Home & Style, which I subscribe to, maybe not such a bargain!) And as a back up I’ve also purchased Colette’s Clover trousers (1019) which is a beginner’s pattern and seemed a really simple shape too (although I’ll be attempting the longer version, short trousers are a complete no-no on me). Fingers crossed one of these work out…

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iv) And lastly, I always seem to need some flattering jeans. Now, just a couple of months ago this would have been a RTW option only. But actually, if I conquer the above, who knows? Maybe? 2015 could be the year of the trousers….

So there’s my list of essentials done. But anyone who reads this blog regularly will know that there’s no way I could last more than a month or so without running up a new skirt πŸ˜‰ So I’m allowing myself some fun projects too, but again, they have to earn their place first. So, they’ll be some careful thought put in there too, and then I’m hoping to alternate between my two lists. Sounds simple in principle, I’m hoping I’ll be able to stick to it.

Anyone else rethinking their sewing plans for the new year?