Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5 Misses and Hits of 2015

Yeah, I'm a little late to the party here, but I was busy with a lot of recent writing over at the CSC, plus there was a health crisis with a close family member that killed my sewing and writing time. Late to the party or not, though, I wanted to write this post both for myself and for anyone who might be interested--I know that I love reading year-end roundups on others' blogs.

Also, in case you've been looking for pattern roundups the past few weeks, I haven't written any--only because things have been very quiet on the pattern release front.


Top 5 Misses


Let's start with the "misses". Truth be told, I didn't have many outright misses this year--I've gotten a lot better about muslining, and that definitely prevented a few disasters. I'm also not going to call anything that's any sort of a muslin a "miss", so that eliminates several experiments that didn't work out. Most of my "misses" therefore fall into that category because for one reason or another, the garment just didn't get worn much.

5. Simplicity 1317: Raglan-sleeved top

I hesitated to put this one on my list because it was the first thing that I sewed after my dad died last spring. But, if we're going to be objective, I didn't wear this a whole lot. The sleeve proportions are weird, and let's face it--a short-sleeved sweatshirt is only going to get worn in transitional weather.

Simplicity 1317
4. HotPatterns Peasant Blouse - silk version

This one is up here strictly for fabric choice. I love the double gauze version that I made...the silk version? Not so much. Or maybe I'm just still not over the trauma of working with that georgette yet. In any case, it hasn't been worn much.

HP - Peasant Blouse (silk version)

3.  Simplicity 1254: Leanne Marshall coat

*sigh*  After all of the work that I put into this, I really hate that it ended up on this list. But the truth of the matter is that by the time I finished it, the weather wasn't really cold enough to wear it, and then I sewed up the Closet Case Files Clare Coat as a pattern tester back in August/September, and the Clare is the coat that I reach for. The Clare is just a better-made coat; the Leanne Marshall coat was a learning experience.

Simplicity 1254: Leanne Marshall coat
2. BurdaStyle Plus "Vintage Chic" dress

File this one under "I should have made a muslin". I think that this pattern has a lot of potential for me, but because I didn't muslin it first, there are just enough things off with the fit that this dress was only worn a few times before ending up in the back of my closet as the weather got cold. Maybe it would get worn more in the winter if I had made one of the coordinating cardigans that I had planned to make, but that hasn't happened yet.
BurdaStyle "Vintage Chic" dress
1. HotPatterns Trilogy Top

Oof. File this one under "Hubris, lots of hubris" AND "You really, really should have made a muslin." I wasted two yards of good double gauze fabric thinking that I could outdesign the pattern designer, and I lost.  The comedy of errors that was this top is detailed in my blog post about it. The best thing about this top is that the worst parts of it are easily hidden under a jacket, so I've been able to at least get some wear out of it that way.

HP Trilogy top

Top 5 Hits


In happier news, I had a REALLY hard time narrowing this list down to 5. It turns out that I made a lot of garments this past year that I wear a lot, so I'm really happy about that. My purple Appleton dress, Burda pants, and CCF Clare Coat barely missed the cut on this list, so I want to call those out as honorable mentions.

5. Closet Case Files: Carolyn Pajamas

Yeah, I know, I haven't actually even blogged these yet, outside of my project post for FabricMart, but I LOVE them. I loved this pattern--these were so much fun to make! You can read a little about them over on the FabricMart blog, and when I get the chance, I'll write up a more detailed post here and go more into depth on my pattern alterations.

CCF - Carolyn Pajamas
4. Blank Slate Denver Tunic

Yeah, I know, I haven't blogged this one here yet, either. I did blog it over at the CSC. I was on the fence about this one when I first made it, but it's turned out to be a wear-every-wash-cycle garment, and I get a lot of compliments on it. Everyone seems to love the fabric--especially the contrasting cowl. I know that I love wearing the fabric--it's really soft and has held up well to machine washing.

Blank Slate Patterns - Denver tunic
3. Blank Slate Marigold Dress

I love this dress. I wore it a ton this past summer, and I'm sure that I'll wear it a ton when the weather warms. I'm happy with the fit, and the fabric (a rayon poplin) was a perfect match for the pattern. Love the no-gape pockets, too!

Blank Slate - Marigold Dress
2. HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse (Double gauze version)

A hit in one fabric and a miss in another. I'll be making this fabric again, but sticking to double gauze for it from here on out.

HotPatterns Refined Peasant Blouse (double gauze)
1. StyleArc Misty Jeans

I've made two pairs of these and wear them Every. Wash. Cycle. The fit is a little better on the second pair (with the white topstitching), but I love both pairs of jeans that I've made from this pattern. They're so comfortable that it's ridiculous. Expect to continue to see more of these on this blog in 2016.

StyleArc Misty jeans

In my next post, I'll talk about how I did on the goals that I set for myself last year and set some new goals for 2016. If the post isn't too long at that point, I'll also talk about my non-sewing highlights for 2015.


  1. Nice round up. I've got the denver tunic but the idea of taping it together makes me want to cry. I wish there were a copy shop version. Hopefully in early 2016.

    1. God, that did take forever to tape...but it's mainly because I printed off both the tunic and the flared dress at the same time. I'm very grateful that I could use the paper slicer at the office to slice off the margins.

  2. Ditto nice round-up! I love reading everyone's but yours is one of my favorite blogs, Michelle. Happy New Year!!

  3. Great roundup. I love your double gauze peasant blouse. It's amazing how much a fabric can influence the outcome of a pattern. All the best for 2016. Xx

  4. Happy new year! :) I love reading round up posts too - I find it fascinating hearing what works in "real life" once it's been made.
    I'm especially loving your Carolyn pajamas (that piping!) and the Misty jeans. :)
    Have a great 2016!

  5. Nice round up! The Leanne Marshall coat is on my to sew list, hope I can learn some from your experience. Your pajamas look fabulous! Happy New Year!

    1. Yeah, it's not a bad pattern per se, but there's a lot left to be desired in the instructions, and it'll affect the outcome of your coat if you don't already have another coat or two under your belt.

      With your experience, I'm sure you'll be fine!

  6. I think since I am a new reader of yours I never saw the Marigold post. I have always been hesitant about that dress, but seeing how your designed it, it looks great! Also I have PJ envy, those rock!!

  7. Happy New Year! I don't know how you manage to be so prolific with sewing, weekly pattern posts, AND the CSC when you commute and have a wee kiddo.... but I'm glad you manage it all, because I enjoy everything you do! Have a great 2016!

    1. Thanks! Sewing and writing both keep me sane. And the need to organize things is either one of my personal strengths or the most annoying thing about me, depending on who you talk to. :P

  8. Can't wait for the PJ's review, I've got my eye on them and your reviews are always so useful. Happy New Year x

    1. Thank you! My alterations actually weren't that extensive--I used a size 20 and made a few full fill-in-the-body-part adjustments from there.

  9. Happy New Year! This is my year for sewing dresses I can wear to work: I'm finally going to crack that Marigold FBA/waistline issue; seeing a picture of yours reminded me how cute it is!

  10. I love love love that Marigold dress. The fabric choice is beautiful on you! I have two yards of that and I think I'll get more and make a dress. It's so sweet!

  11. I love love love that Marigold dress. The fabric choice is beautiful on you! I have two yards of that and I think I'll get more and make a dress. It's so sweet!

    1. Thanks! I love it, too. I have another cut of that Frock rayon in another colorway--I wish they had even more colorways of it--it's such a great fabric for dresses.

  12. I really like the Vintage Chic dress and the Leann Marshall coat. I remember your sewing adventures with that pattern. If you want cold weather, you're welcome to visit me. =)

    Isn't it funny how fabric can make or break the same pattern? You're rockin' the HP Peasant Blouse in double gauze. I think the silk just doesn't have the structure to do the design justice.

    Anyway, I'm forever a fan and look forward to seeing your 2016 creations. Happy new year!

  13. I am anxious to see the details on the PJs. I so want a pair. But, as a large busted woman, I have yet to wrap my head around the bust adjustments for something I won't likely wear a bra in. I am also looking forward to your undergarment info as well!

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