I follow a fair few bloggers these days and I have to say that Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow is one of the many I hugely admire. Not only does she have a crazy level of sewing output in terms of challenges, makes and whole projects (The Sewcialists for example), she’s one of those people who often has me nodding my head in agreement, thinking what a wise lady she is. Anyway, enough rambling flattery – the point of this post is that she has a sewing Top Hits round-up she invites people to join in on every year and I’m doing so for 2017. Nothing like a bit of summation and reflection to give you pause for thought and I actually really enjoy reading other people’s. Without further ado then, my top sewing hits for 2017:
1. It was so hard to narrow it down! Do I go for something that I was really proud of or something I wore a lot? I tried to mix it up a bit actually, and the first garment is one that fits both categories. I made it right at the beginning of the year and it was one of my most accomplished garments at that point: the Seamwork Almada robe:
It was one of the first times that I really felt I’d got the pattern and fabric combo right, with the crisp midnight blue lawn and gold accents suiting the kimono style perfectly. It was lovely to sew and I really enjoyed it from beginning to end. And, of course, I’ve worn it a LOT. It’s a great, quick pattern that makes an awesome present for someone.
2. Second on my list is another garment that I wear all the time. I’ve chosen it because it’s an item of clothing I feel is very ME. I wear it all the time with lots of things, matching and clashing, and it fits well. It’s the Jennifer Lauren Juniper cardigan, which I made in a very soft black and white ponte knit.
I made a few other cardigans over the year which taught me that: I wear cardigans regularly – they’re cosy and I like to sling ’em on. The Juniper is different in a way though as it’s more fitted than many other cardigan patterns, so can be worn both casually and also in a slightly more formal outfit. It also has a great saddle shoulder detail that is hard to see with my fabric, but it gives a lovely shape to the cardigan.
3. Third on my list and my first cheat. Yeah, whatever. I put these two tops under the same kind of category: basics with a twist. They are both essentially t-shirts with extra bits, and it’s the extra bits that make me happy. They’re the Papercut Patterns Kyoto tee and the Style Arc Kylie top:
The Kyoto tee has big ruffles at the sleeves, but is also a nice fitting tee elsewhere. It’s the sort of toned-down-but-still-current fashion detail that fits in with my lifestyle, and I wear it a lot. The graphic style fabric is also right up my street.
The Kylie top was my first make from Style Arc and I thought the drafting was super. You can see that it’s basically a cropped tee on top of a full tee, but the back has wonderful wings, which give it quite the eye-catching finale. It’s incredibly warm because of the double layer, and comfy while still being vaguely sculptural. I’d definitely like to try more Style Arc patterns now.
4. Next is a garment I made just a few weeks ago, but it’s notable for me because a nicely-fitting knit skirt and particularly knit pencil skirt is a bit of a holy grail find, along the lines of trousers, jeans, bras, etc. Step in Simplicity 1072, a skirt pattern that I pretty much overlooked in favour of the jumper part for which I bought the whole collection.
I decided to quickly run the skirt up in this fun French Terry knit and, by jings, I am so glad I did! It only took about an hour, including tracing and cutting and I’ve worn it so. much. since I made it. It’s just the perfect casual skirt and I’m going to be making a ton more!
5. Finally, another mix of two garments. These are both items that I won’t have occasion to wear all the time, but which I’m proud of in terms of fitting and finishing. They both stretched my skills in these areas and they’re the Colette Beignet skirt and the Vogue 9264 dress.
I made the Beignet skirt back in February and it was my proudest moment up until that point. I love the Cotton and Steel fabric, adored the buttons and managed to get a good fit. It’s just a shame that with the high-waisted style, it’s something that needs a particular style of top, but I will wear it for as long as it fits me!
The Vogue dress I only just finished, so maybe it’s still just fresh in my memory, but I was also really proud of this, since I made quite a number of adjustments to it, all of which really worked. Plus it’s a pretty ballsy, glittery red Christmas dress and it makes me happy to wear it!
Additional thoughts: it was interesting perhaps that not many of the garments I made for projects such as #sewmystyle have featured. I think that is the nature of a prescribed challenge like that, but you might see them pop up in my Top 5 Misses for the same reason. That’s not to say challenges don’t work for me: the Kylie top, Vogue dress and Simplicity skirt were all garments I made with a little kick from some sort of challenge. I guess the difference was that I chose the patterns myself.
I also only included makes for myself, but there were quite a few for other people that would have made the list. I really want to make a little more menswear in 2018 – I may even check out the #makenine menswear challenge that I saw on IG the other day.
Alright, I’d better toddle off to bed. Look out for my Top 5 misses next week! (Or should that be Bottom 5 misses?!)