Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 5 of 2014!

Hey all! A belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year to you!

I'm jumping on the "Top 5" bandwagon. I followed along last year, but didn't post my own. This lovely idea, care of Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, is both a look back at 2014 and a look forward. 

Top 5 Hits: What have you worn or loved the most?

This one I am dividing into 2 lists... top 5 hits for me, top 5 hits I made for others. 
So, really it's a Top 10:

Top 5 hits for me*:

(* I feel like this list might need to be amended to include the Thread Theory Camas Blouse I just made, but perhaps I should give it time to marinate. Also, I am super proud of my Ginger jeans, but maybe need to work on the fitting a bit more before calling them a top 5 hit.)

1. Plantain, for sure. A TNT pattern for me! It works in jersey, it works in sweater knit, I love it... these three (green heather jersey, neon striped jersey and tan sweater knit) are big wardrobe winners:


2. Stretch denim Meghan dress from Love at First Stitch: I wear the crap out of this one. The only thing I would change next time is to add a bit of length. It seems to have shrunk lengthwise with wearing/washing.

3. Simplicity 1666/Lisette Attache peplum blouse: great pattern! I love both versions I made. The leopard one, in particular, was a surprise for me... out of my comfort zone, but I love it!

4. Black jersey Moneta: What a staple piece! This dress is comfy and simple and the perfect backdrop for all sorts of accessories: crazy necklace, bright scarf, loud blazer.

5. A tie: my floral Sureau and my southwestern Emery: I love both dearly, but the Sureau definitely gets more wear because I can rock it at work. The Emery feels a bit loud for the office, so I haven't worn it as much as I would like. But I still adore it!

Top 5 hits for others:

1. Plantain: gah, flattering on everyone!

2. Strathcona t-shirt: a TNT pattern for Timmy:

3. Soleil dress: this pattern is so freaking adorable. Looks like Miss Z and even Anna got lots of wear out of it last summer. Must make more for next summer!

4. Chambray McCall's 6044 for Tim: he likes it, he really likes it! I was super proud of this shirt and Tim seems to really dig it. He wears it regularly. Must make more!

5. Elephant MC Hammer pants: these toddler MC hammer pants I made for my nieces are pretty awesome... paired with matching Lola tops? Cute overload.

Top 5 Misses: What went wrong or never got worn? 

Most of my misses are no fault of the pattern, but rather one of fabric choice. I gotta pay better attention to stretch recovery with my knits! Live and learn.

1. Liesl and Co Weekend Getaway Top: I really wanted this one to work for me, but it just didn't. I never wear either version I made...

2. French terry Mabel: I love the Mabel pattern. My ikat print ponte Mabel just barely missed making the top 5 hit list, but the french terry Mabel is a bust. No stretch recovery = terrible skirt. After an hour of wear, it is basically falling off me.

3. Neon popcorn Plantain: another knit recovery fail. This damn fabric will not bounce back. It was stretched out even before I finished sewing the shirt! Unwearable. Boo.

4. Lady Skater peplum top: also not much in the recovery department for this old-school knit fabric. Also, I think my peplum is too full. Have only worn this make once.

5. The Staple Dress... I liked this one at first, but I am not feeling it after wearing it several times. It bunches up at the hips because of the pockets, the waistband is always traveling upwards, and I feel like it's just not that flattering on me.

Top 5 Highlights: Tell us about 5 non-sewing highlights of your year!

Most of my non-sewing 2014 highlights are travel-related, 3 of them from my trip to New Zealand:

2. A waterfall full of baby seals north of Kaikoura... haven't blogged yet, but check out this sneaky peak on Instagram, or my GIF below:

3. This passion fruit-filled donut, from Picnic's Bakery:

4. Scuba-diving in the Andaman Sea in Thailand, particularly seeing these awesome, enormous squid in all their iridescent glory:

5. Cambodia's Angkor Wat (our tour guide knew all the best photo poses):

Top 5 Reflections: Looking back, what have you learned about sewing or yourself?

1. I learned how to sew a zip fly when making my Ginger jeans! And it works!

2. I learned I have to alternate my sewing projects to keep my sanity... one complicated, then one simple project.

3. I learned never to cut fabric at night when tired.

4. I learned I need more me-made pants.

5. I learned that I need to figure out how to do a swayback adjustment and make it happen regularly.

Top 5 Goals: What do you hope to achieve in 2015?

1. Pants! I need more of them (see reflection above) and I need to learn how to fit them. First on my list are a) more Ginger jeans, b) Colette Clovers, c) Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers, and d) the pedal pushers from Gertie's new book.

2. I have to be more conscious when choosing knits (see misses above). Recovery is key!

3. I must go back and make a second version of many of the patterns I tried this year. Lots of "wearable muslins" were made (see: Bruyere, Comox, Anna, Yaletown, Ginger), but now I have to bust out the good fabric! 

4. Zipper perfection... I needs it. Lots of my invisible zippers still show at the waistband. Must fix that. Any tips from the peanut gallery?

5. Gotta work on making my way through my substantial pattern and fabric stashes. They are getting out of control!

Phew, that was a long post!  Can't wait to read your Top 5 lists! Thanks to Gillian for masterminding this fun tradition.

Happy new year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thread Theory Camas Blouse in Mod Flowers

I snapped up the Camas blouse, the newest pattern from Thread Theory (and their first pattern for women!), right when it came out. I've enjoyed working with their other patterns and thought the style of the blouse was really flattering, too. Also: I am a pattern junkie. Welp... Merry Christmas to me!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dude Sewing: Striped Strathconas

Tim and I are not really doing true gifts for each other this Christmas.  We are forgoing them in favor of going diving in Bali for a couple days. Wooo! Life is hard.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bubble Fairy Twin Dresses

A couple of dresses I am sending back to my nieces for Christmas!!  Based on their Halloween costumes, my understanding is that they are big into fairies.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Stripey Bonnie

I've been meaning to buy and try out a Bluegingerdoll pattern for a while now, but the two newest patterns, Violet and Bonnie, pushed me to dive in. The Christmas sale helped, too! Since the Bonnie sewalong was still going on, I decided to start with that... 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Kanerva in Lawn

Woop woop! Back at my sewing machine after a few weeks off, busy with work, a business trip to Vietnam and Thanksgiving.

My first foray back into sewing is the Kanerva peplum blouse by Named. I think the pattern is a sleek, modern take on the peplum and I love the button back. I've had my eye on it since I saw it pop up around the blogging world earlier this year... I was particularly enamored of Kirsty's two Liberty Kanerva blouses. Amazing.