Monday, 21 December 2015

My Top 5 Hits of 2015

Hi there folks!

How are your festive preparations going? I've decided to give myself a break this year and not do homemade gifts- the amount of late night sewing I was doing this time last year was exhausting, and I doubt contributed to a great result in the end... Besides, I've made plenty of homemade gifts this year, no need to put myself through the mill!

I do have a project to blog, a smart little Vintage Pledge number, but haven't had time with all the festivities (and subsequent lie-ins) to get photos just yet. Hopefully I'll get around to it before the year is out, if I can still get it on after all the festive eating, it is rather fitted!

In the meantime I've decided to get on board with Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow's Top 5s again, as I found it a really useful exercise last year- plus I love reading everyone else's posts! The hindsight factor is pretty useful too- so many things I wasn't initially keen on I've grown to love, and slightly less positively vice versa- but it's all learning!

So, here are my Top 5 Hits! In reverse order....

Number 5: Gertie's Vintage Casual Easy Knit Pencil Skirt

Can I call a pattern this easy a win for me? Well for precisely this reason I think I must. I've made three of these in total- one for Josephine (although possibly in a slightly unsuitable fabric) and two for myself- one is unblogged as they're so fast to sew and chuck on that it almost seems silly to post a repeat of a pattern I haven't made much of a variation on. I have a slight suspicion I might get an overlocker for Christmas which will make this an even faster make! This is so easy to wear- the high waist means no gaping between waistband and top, it's comfortable, and I can even wear it to cycle in.

Number 4: My Vintage Pattern Pledge Butterick 3505

Just a casual day dress but one I love to wear and feel elegant yet comfortable in. I'd love to make another of these in the above-knee length as featured on the pattern envelope, and maybe be totally true to the instructions next time with some seam binding to strengthen the underbust shaping too. I did my first ever invisible hem with this dress and it worked a treat- definitely a technique I'm happy to have in my repetoire!

Number 3: Tilly and the Buttons Mimi Blouses for Me and Alexandra

Unfortunately both of these should also be chalked down to misses as they are both a bit too small- I had one size traced for Alexandra according to her measurements and was too lazy to trace again so used the same for me as we are a similar build and the shirt has plenty of ease over the bust where I'd normally make adjustments. However it was a bit small for us both, especially on the biceps! We can both get the blouses on, but the fit isn't the most flattering. Which is a huge shame as again, despite grieving over small details of the finish at the time, looking at either shirt with rested eyes reveals them both to have been made with a lot of care and if I must pat myself on the back, I really like the print and button choices for both (although the fabric choice for my damselfly version is undeniably a bit stiffer than is called for).

Number 2: Great British Sewing Bee Book 2 Chicken Shirt for Angus

Another big deal was making my first ever men's shirt. Presumably fitting men should be easier than fitting the female physique- but it was not so with this pattern due to the crazy small armholes. I had to do a lot of work to make the armholes and sleeves work, and even though I was initially a bit critical of my finish on a few of the areas looking at it with a bit of distance it's actually something I'm proud of. I also transferred all of my adjustments onto my traced paper pattern so if I ever felt like making it again I could do it a lot more easily! Next time I think I'd rather go for a pattern with a more reliable fit and stretch myself with more advanced shirt details like a proper stand collar and cuffs instead.

Number 1: Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans View A and View B

I may not have gushed about my love of these much when I originally created them, but actually both my pairs of Ginger Jeans are pretty good - if not 100% perfect just yet. However, considering that they're both really 'wearable muslins' I've learnt a lot about jeans construction and reckon I can work on the fit to make my perfect pair or two (or three) next year! I'm no longer quite so afraid of trouser construction and have mastered the fly front, so a couple of big wins right there.

This has been a fun exercise to chart my changing hair colour for this year too, and my enduring love of flat soled Doc Martens. Have you noticed that for the jeans posts I'm wearing the same shoe in a different colourway? Guess I'm becoming more entrenched in my ways!

Will you be posting your Top 5s? I'd love to have a gander and glean some inspiration for next year's sewing plans! I'll likely be putting up my Top 5 Misses sometime soon too, although as you can see from my comments here it's always a mixed result for me, I never consider anything 100% perfect or 100% awful.

Have a lovely festive season everyone!

NorseOtter xxx

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