Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

Sewing blogger Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow has a little Top 5 thingy thingy for all sewers to participate in at the end of each the year.  I found it really interesting and useful to read everyone’s posts last year (before I had even started this little blog here) so I thought I would give it a whirl.  This first post is going to cover the hits, misses, and reflections  my second post is going to introduce my plans for a greener, slower sewing year next year.

Top 5 Hits 

My sewing skills have improved so much over the year that I find it really hard to judge things fairly so I broke things down into categories, and had such trouble getting it down to 5, so I didn’t. Click on the images to see the original posts.

1.  My Favourite Make – Christmas Vanamo

I love this make for so many reasons, the fit, the colour, the finishes.  Perfect make to end the year.
Christmas Vanamo

2.  My Most Worn Make – Holiday Shirt

I think this shirt fits even better post mastectomy and always makes me smile!  It is also holding up well to a lot of wear.
Holiday Anyone?

3. My Most Practical and Always Useful Make – Yellow Ducky

Whilst there are things about this jacket that irk me, it always attracts comments from people. I have used it almost every week  in the evenings when it suddenly dips a few degrees here, perfect for the sideline on a chilly evening, or hiking or even running in torrential rain.  It has passed all the practicality tests with flying colours.

My honourable mention:  snuggly snuggly Nani Iro.

Teal Party

4.  Super Blokes Favourite Make – PJ’s!

Worn every single night since they were made, I cannot argue with these being the winner!

Fam of monkeys

His heart T gets comments from strangers on a regular basis so comes in a close second.

Happy Heart Day

5. Kidets Favourite Makes:

The tiger jacket has been worn by both of them this year.  They both have loved it so much I am not sure I can live up to its popularity!


My favorite is this jumpsuit which has been getting worn very regularly.


Top 5 Misses

1.  Top of  Vintage Vanamo

In my quest for fitting this top to my new body, I didn’t account for the curtaining fabric having no give, and so it is too tight and it uncomfortable.  People seem to love it when I do wear it, but it doesn’t get out too often. That said, it was the perfect muslin for for Christmas Vanamo, up top as my number 1 hit.

Vintage Vanamo

2. Jumpsuit

My “wearable” muslin of the Ailakki jumpsuit was tooo tight around the middle and the fabric has frayed at all the joins.  It is in the box for recycling into something else. But again, I went on to make 3 successful versions of these so not a huge loss.


3. Husbands Shorts

So I have learnt some lessons about making mens clothes.  Mostly that they are SUPER tough and rough on their clothes.  The linen pair of these shorts just couldn’t handle the strain, and the brown pair, whilst more sturdy in the fabric had problems because the quality of the zip and button were not up to the wear.  They await some mending. Next time I am investing in quality bits and pieces and reinforcing in all the key places.

Happy Heart Day

4. Wrong Choice of Fabric

Whilst I do love this second version of this pattern magic dress, the first gets worn way more often because this fabric is too thin as a dress and hasn’t held up well to washing. Unfortunately, it is also not as flattering post mastectomy.  It is in the box for recycling.  Man I look sick in this one!

mmmAY dAY 21

5. Two Piece Setacular

Washing disaster! This top didn’t withstand it’s first wash so I need to stop the unraveling with more than just a zig zag stitch before I wash the skirt.  In the meantime I have just been wearing it without washing! Ha. Filthy.

Genius or Madness? Setacular Upcycle

Top 3 Reflections 

1. I made a lot more than I expected

If you read this blog regularly then you know that this year was huge for me.  I started this blog just months before being diagnosed with breast cancer and so this blog almost became a public record of the physical changes my body took during treatment.  I lost my hair during Me Made May and so hat sewing became top priority as did comfortable clothing.  At the end of my treatment I decided to remove both breasts, and suddenly my wearable tops shrank significantly.   I stopped work, and learning by doing become a very handy distraction on the days I didn’t have the kids.  As a result, I believe I sewed a lot more for me than I would have in an average year.  When I started this blog early in 2014 I thought I would post once a month with a make.  Turns out I posted 54 times.  Phew!!

For me this year, it was what I needed.  Sewing got me through and will now keep me clothed!

MMMay Day 26

It's a Cloche

2. Sewing Multiples of One Pattern Really Works

Not only in terms of perfecting fit, but also in becoming a better sewer I found that sewing multiples really worked for me. I made up 4 versions of the Named Ailakki (one is a skirt) and 3 of them have been winners. I also have 2 versions of  Named Wenona, with more planned, two Named Vanamos, two Drape Drape 2 no 4 tops and two Lekala dresses. I don’t plan on expanding my sewing stash in the new year.  Everything I need I already have.


Red Wenona and Circle

Ailakki the 4th

3. New Fabrics versus Second Hand

Without counting, I think my makes this year were around 50% new fabric and 50% secondhand.  For as long as I can remember, the majority of my wardrobe has been largely secondhand (whether bought from a charity store or from numerous clothes swaps).  In contrast, since I started sewing, I have bought new fabrics when I cannot find secondhand than matches the image in my head, perhaps more than I should have, and occasionally of questionable quality.  Whilst I think this is all part of the learning process I am going to take a new approach next year… more on this next time…