Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Hits + Misses

As New Years Eve approaches it is a time of reflection. Many of the sewing blogs I read are participating in a round-up of their 5 top sewing hits and misses for 2013 - hosted by Crafting a Rainbow.

Well, I haven't sewn ten things in 2013, but I've sure had some misses...and a few (non-wearable) hits so I thought I'd round them up here.

THE MISSES: may as well start with the bad news first and work our way up to the (two) things that worked.

DixieDIY t-shirt dress: I attended two classes on sewing with knits and walked away both times with an unfinished dress that didn't fit me. I loved this t-shirt dress pattern but it just didn't love me.

Part of the problem was that I've jumped right in to wanting to sew with knits, as that is what I mostly wear. Sewing with knits is darn HARD, especially for a newbie.  The fabric is stretchy and slinky, it curls and won't stay in place when ironed. My second problem is that this pattern is too small for my hip/tummy measurements and attempts in class to adjust the pattern ended up making it TOO big *face palm*.

Both of these dresses ended up in the charity bag - banished forever from my life.

JoCole Easy Swing Skirt:  Because I'm not a small person if I find a pattern to fit my size 18 body I jump at it, as was the case with this "easy swing skirt" I found on ETSY.  I liked the style, it's something I'd wear and although it was a knit I thought I had a good chance with it. My sewing machine thought otherwise and I didn't even get to start sewing this as my machine just "ate" all the test pieces I played around with. Next...

Goldfinch and Eagle Sirkel Skirt:  It's obvious I need to move away from wanting to sew with this early stage anyway...and try my hand at wovens.

I liked the idea of a circle skirt in chambray but I just could not get my head around the maths of drafting my own (despite all the online tutorials) so I was pretty happy to find this pattern on ETSY that had a waist measurement equal to my own.  I'm half way through this skirt and it's pretty obvious it's not going to fit. Honestly...things are just getting ridiculous now and I'm starting to really lose my motivation to keep sewing. Finding to sewing patterns to fit me is just as difficult as shopping for ready-to-wear clothes. Not happy Jan!

THE HITS: I've had ONE hit during 2013, and one "kinda sorta" hit.

Cushion Cover:   The first thing I sewed in 2013 was this cute little cushion cover at a sewing class at Sew Make Create. Everything went really smoothly and the teacher was REALLY encouraging. I felt so confident when I walked away from the class and was ready to start making my very own handmade wardrobe. Wrong.

Coin Purse: After a series of mega-misses in the sew-my-own-clothes stakes I decided to make something non-wearable, enter the coin purse. This is a bit messy, and not perfect - but I finished it and it serves its purpose so that counts as a WIN from me.

What about you - did you have so many misses when you were first learning to sew? I really feel like the world's worst sewist. THE WORST!

In 2014 my aim is to sew a dress that fits and that I love. Just one - small dreams means that they should be achievable. I'm currently working on a Laurel and so far things are going well. Wish me luck!


  1. Wishing you all the luck possible with your Laurel! That all sounds like a lot of disheartening makes, and I'm really impressed with your determination and positivity. Keep going, you're going to crack it soon, I'm sure!

  2. You're doing great! Keep it up and let me know when you're taking orders!

  3. Thank you! The Laurel fits - I finished most of it in class today. Actually it's a size too big, but it's better that the pattern has to be sized down, not up!

  4. Pfft, Katie! I think that will happen on the 12th of Never!

  5. Hooray!!! Looking forward to seeing pictures.

  6. Misses: a skirt from a pattern found at a op shop - not pretty and too small. Hits: Tessuti Tee - after some tweaking by Jan Jan to fix the t-rex arms situation: I've worn the tee quite a few times, even to work on casual friday. And my attempt at the Goldfinch and Eagle Sirkel Skirt: a little too big on the waist but not enough to not wear. It was my first french seam and first zipper. Man youtube is fantastic for those things....

  7. I need a Jan Jan - then I'd be a sewing star. Do you rent her out?