02 January 2015

2014 Sewing Round-Up

I didn't sew as much this year as I desired to. We moved in the middle of the year and while being VERY happy about the move, I have been a little sad and directionless. I'm doing better now that I have more of a life plan made - anyone want to move to Oregon and join our Space Science non-profit? I am also giving myself permission to sew and not think of it as time wasted because I am not looking for a job. The things we get in our heads sometimes...!

Here is a round up of my favourite things I made this year and the not so favourite things. I gave away a lot of my handmade clothes to friends because it fit them better than me, so I don't have photos of all the clothing I made.

Favourite things made this year:

Top of the list has to be the Dissertation Dress. I made this at the end of May to wear to my dissertation defence and now it has become my default interview dress. I LOVE it. For the top, I used the Maria of Denmark Day-to-Night drape top which I cut at the waist mark and added the skirt from the Lady Skater dress.

On the dress form.

I used a grey, heavy knit from JoAnn's and it has worn pretty well. There is some pilling along the sides and back, but it is not too bad. The waist is about an inch too high on me and the armholes are a bit tight. If I make this again for me, I'll fix both of those issues. With the heavier knit, the cowl isn't too scandalous - I made the day-to-night top with a thinner knit and every time I bend over the world gets a view of my lovely homemade bra. I love this dress so much! A couple of my friends loved it so much that they wanted one of their own. It was great that we are all similar in size, so I didn't have to change the pattern too much.

Here we are standing in front of my friend's poster at AGU.

They said they got compliments all day on their dresses! One of my friends fit into the trousers I made earlier this summer better than me, so I gave them to her and made her another pair in maroon. For my other friend, I gave her my coat and I'm going to try to recreate this DVF dress for her. I like making things for other people!

The other thing that was an absolute winner for me this year was my birthday dress. I used the Lola pattern and took XXXX-L sweatpants and made it a super cute, warm dress. It is undercover PJs for sure. I usually wear leggings, boots, and scarf with it.

The pockets are SO large that they are almost completely useless and I keep meaning to put in a smaller more useful pocket. I will probably lengthen the sleeves to full length the next time I make this. Other than that, I LOVE this dress. I made it in March of this year and I was so happy when the weather cooled down again so I could pull this back out.

I think those are the only things I made this year that I keep reaching for over and over. I am excited to make more things that I love next year.

In the Things that are just okay category, I used one of Matthew's grandfather's Hawaiian shirts and the Scout pattern to make me a loose, drapey top. This was my first time using rayon and I really like it. It is soft and cool during the summer. Perfect for a Hawaiian shirt. I don't love this on me because it is a bit too short. The blouse-y casualness works okay for a summer shirt, but I think I only wore this a handful of times.

After the shirt above worked okay, I decided to made another Scout shirt using some green silk a friend gifted me before she moved and some black crepe. I apologize for the wrinkles, I pulled this out of the scrap bag to take pictures.

The fabric doesn't drape as well as the Hawaiian shirt, so this just hangs from my breasts and looks like a smock. The back is also really tight, which didn't happen to the one above, and is really difficult to take on and off. Maybe I need to go up a size? It looks better when I wear it with a cardigan, but I don't love it. Off to the scrap pile it went!

Here are the final two garments that ended up in the scrap pile.

The first one is using a blue fabric from the same friend who gave me the green fabric above that I made into a blouse thing from BurdaStyle. I wrote about it here.

I tried to change the pattern from petite to my long waist without a muslin and ended up with the waist around my hips and it looking so so frumpy on me, with MUCH too big arm holes. Off to the scraps! Pleats and ruffles around my midsection are not really for me.

Finally, my fast food Archer. I wanted to try out the butt ruffle variation of the pattern after seeing several of them sewn up. I lengthened the body a bit too much and I used a cotton shower curtain as the fabric, so the result is me feeling like I am a fast food worker. It is too bad because my stitching is super straight, but it looks out of place with the non straight stripes printed on the fabric. Fail.

You can see other things I made on Kollabora. Of which, I only still have the Dissertation dress, my bras, and the green skirt.

So things that I have learned this year. I really like clothes that have minimal colour - grey, black, navy, maroon, brown. And things that are bright, have ruffle-y bits, or gathers are destined to go to the scrap bin. Here's to a monochrome, smooth new year!


  1. space science non-profit in Oregon? I'm in!!!

  2. Let's do it ladies! We need a brainstorming session!!

  3. When and where. Meeting in Portland sometime this spring? :-)