Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Review of the Year and Top 5 Hits



Hello everyone! I hope all who celebrate have had a lovely festive break, and for those who don't I hope you're enjoying a bit of peace and goodwill also! Here's my review of what I've made this year, including my Top 5 hits!

For some reason I felt like I hadn't got that much sewn this year, but looking back I have actually made more in previous years (only a slight increase really, but weird considering how I felt there were large chunks of time when I wanted to be sewing but couldn't for one reason or another!). I may have blogged less as a few things I made were outfits where I posted more than one garment at a time. I've briefly summarised my output from previous years and how much of it has survived to compare how this year has fared.

When I started sewing in earnest in 2014 I made 15 things including three gifts, two of which sadly I never got photos of. While many of the things I made that year haven't survived, a surprising number is still in regular rotation – my last three projects of 2015 (a box-pleat midi skirt, my Lady Skater dress, and an '80s raglan-sleeve dress) I still wear really regularly! My second Anna dress still comes out in force in Summer, and I recently made my first Elisalex more wearable by shortening to knee length. Four of the things I've made have been scrapped (first Anna dress, Charlotte skirt, the Ultimate shorts, and my Plantain tee- these all actually fell apart due to cheap fabric, as well as beginner-level construction). I plan to make something else out of the Boho Maxi dress as it's not really something I wear and it's a shame to waste that lovely fabric on something where it barely makes it out of the wardrobe, and the Megan dress I ended up gifting to someone else.

In 2015 I made 20 things (including six gifts). I've given away my Lady Pencil dress as it was a bit of a weird fudging together of patterns and hopefully will make another wearer much happier. I finished off my Ultimate Trousers, and although I don't wear them often they were a good learning experience. My first Ginger Jeans have worn through, and my New Look 6144 is a poor fit at the back and needs a slip to be warm enough for winter so doesn't get very much wear. Both my Tilly and the Buttons skirts gape at the waistband but still get worn fairly frequently, and the other dresses that I made get worn all the time, especially the Anna with a gathered skirt which I initially had down as a fail!
In 2016 I made 24 things (and am hoping to make 2 more before the year is out!). The two as yet unmade are gifts, as were four other things I made this year (one unblogged until I get photos to share, but I love it!). I deliberately decided not to make as many gifts for my close friends this year as it's tiring and doesn't always end in wearable garments if you want it to be a surprise, as fitting is so key! I'm surprised I made as much as I did as I definitely felt like there were more periods of sewing machine withdrawal this year than in previous years, but maybe this is just symptomatic of the obsession taking deeper root! I didn't make everything from my 'Resewlutions' but more on that in a future post...



So, what were my Top 5 makes this year?

This year has been more about separates than dresses, that's for sure! Top of the pile is:



People are surprised these are handmade. I'm not sure the low rise is as flattering on me as it could be, but I love wearing these as they feel so much like a legit piece of clothing, and better than other jeans I've owned! I'm not done with this pattern and might consider either going down a size for a tighter fit (as these almost look like the Morgan boyfriend jeans that Closet Case also released, but they're definitely Gingers!) and/ or raising the rise a little.


Again, I think these almost pass as not looking homemade! They fit pretty well out of the envelope and I've barely taken them off, they're so easy to wear. I really want to make more when I can get hold of fabric with an appropriate level of stretch!



I'm so happy I finally made this happen, as it was an idea that was left to marinade for far too long. I love wearing this dress, although I did have to make a few modifications to the pattern (i.e. using different sleeves) to make it easier to wear. It's still a tiny bit restrictive in arm movement, but I believe the BHL team have addressed this in a re-release of the pattern.



OK, this is two items and neither have been made perfectly, but I wear this all the time and really need to make another so I can ride in style while the other's in the wash! I've been cycling in London for almost 8 years now and it's only really been this year that I made the move to wear cycling clothes and change at work. I used to wear my normal clothing and arrive sweaty and rumpled, with grease stains from the chain and brake marks from getting my skirt caught in the back wheel on my hems for years and years, but now I work in the same office every day (as opposed to travelling to venues all over London, sometimes in the course of one day) I find I can dress in my beloved pencil skirts once again if I don't have to also cycle in them. It's also much safer to be able to cycle without being distracted by whether or not you're being modest! I also upgraded my bike this year and no longer have a step-through frame, so it's essential that what I wear for my ride gives me enough movement to swing my leg over the back wheel when I mount. I have had a few embarrassing moments getting trapped trying to dismount in a sheath dress and getting the front of the skirt caught on the saddle!



Easy fitting, modern but with a vintage twist, I love these and have plans for many more, including a lengthened shirt dress! I think the collar might be a little loose-fitting around the neck which I might adjust for my scrawny neck the next time though – not sure how exactly to do this, maybe just blending to a smaller size there?

I've really enjoyed making more shirts and trousers this year rather than making all the dresses like I used to! I did receive some lovely sewing books over the year (Famous Frocks: Little Black Dress, Boundless Style and Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book) so I am keen to make a few more dresses too, especially as the ones I've already made get so much wear, I need to vary it up a bit!

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I'll be sharing my Top 5 Misses soon, plus some goals for 2017. I'm by no means the most committed blogger out there, but I love having this space to share what I've made and connect with people who have similar interests. Hope you've all had a good year and here's to a constructive 2017!

NorseOtter x



1 comment:

  1. Hi ya - you've made some great makes this year. I am really impressed by the jeans and active wear, both things for me to make yet but everything looks fantastic!

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