Top 5 Hits of 2016 and some Misses

Hi everyone , I hope you had a great Christmas break! I had some lovely, very busy days with friends and family. This year our presents were primarily handmade but I didn’t manage to take any good pictures and now they’ve all disappeared to their new homes. In contrast to some other years, I really enjoyed the process. We started making presents already in November, and had enough time to finish all of them without too much stress.

The Christmas craftiness however meant that I didn’t have time for any selfish sewing and don’t have anything new to show here. However, since it’s the time of year for reflection, I thought it would be great to join Crafting Rainbow’s Top 5 of 2016. I don’t have the same output as some others out there, but still 2016 has definitely been quite a productive year. Looking back through my posts, these are the 5 hits of 2016:

Noelle Swimsuit: My favourite project this year was this swimsuit. The combination of the self-designed fabric and the modern cut of the Noelle pattern, just work so well together. Even though this was my first swimsuit ever, the construction went really well, and I learned a lot of new skills during the project. It’s really unique and got lots of compliments. It’s just a shame that I have to wait until next summer to wear it again.

 Tea House Dress: I had been obsessed with this Nani Iro fabric for ages, and all the wedding invitations this summer meant that I had a good reason for making a new, pretty dress. The shape of the dress is very flattering and it was very comfortable to wear, even through the hottest summer weddings. The dress has so many gorgeous details (big pockets, sash, kimono sleeves) that make it an interesting garment to sew and wear. I’m tempted to make another one maybe in a solid colour and more drapey fabric for a different look.

Liberty Print Blouse: This blouse was quite an unexpected hit in my work wardrobe this year. When I picked up this Liberty print at Shaukat in London, I was really unsure what to make with it. I loved the print on its own, but couldn’t picture it as a garment. Now in combination with this blouse (copied from a rtw garment) I absolutely love it. It makes me smile when I put it on and brightens up my work wardrobe.

Sand-washed Silk Top: On my first trip to Goldhawk Road I fell in love with this rust-coloured sand-washed silk. It’s the most gorgeous colour and it feels amazing. I combined it with the simple Shell Top from the GBSB Fashion with Fabric book and they are perfect together. It’s a great top for work, it works well under a blazer and tucked into skirts. I love it so much that I bought the same fabric in a lovely teal colour to make another one.Checked shirt for him: while I occasionally do some selfless sewing, this shirt was the first real garment that I made for my boyfriend. I love making shirts and this one came together without any problems. Even the fit was pretty good right from the package (I will shorten the sleeves next time though). This double sided fabric was fun to work with, as I used the smaller scale pattern for subtle contrasts at the button band, cuffs and undercollar. The bonus when sewing for your boyfriend: he is well dressed and you can look at your creations.

Misses:

This was a year of very few misses. I have learned to take my time to construct garments and also to figure out what I actually need in my wardrobe. So instead of 5 misses there are only two and even those are not disastrous makes by any means.

Granville Shirt: This shirt in theory should be a wardrobe staple, it fits and is well made. Still when I dress for work I never reach for it. It’s something about this navy fabric that makes this shirt look very outdated. The texture of this Japanese shirting is gorgeous up close but from afar it just looks like a stripe. In the end it just doesn’t feel very modern and will probably end up in the charity shop.

Self-drafted high neck top: The issue here is really the fabric, it’s a weird linen/polyester blend, that is just difficult to work with. This is already the second top I tried to make from this fabric and again I’m not really in love with the result. It didn’t help that the pattern that I used just didn’t fit very well. The many iterations combined with the impatience that I always seem to develop when working with cheap fabrics, led to a garment that is OK to wear but could fit better. The fabric also seems to be too stiff for the gathers and in general I am not sure about the peplum shape. All in all an experiment in new-to-me shapes that just didn’t convince.

So, this was 2016, sewing-wise an exciting and successful year. Can’t wait to see how the next year will go, I have some big projects planned. I wish you all a very creative 2017!