Posted in My Musings, Sewing

Review of my 2016-7 sewing

I didn’t feel I had had gone far enough into my sewing journey at the end of last year to do a review.  But I don’t want to discount my first few months of sewing by ignoring the first things I made so this is a review from the beginning of my sewing journey rather than just 2017.

The first few months of sewing were a steep learning curve and looking back at my first few makes I’ve learned a lot since then.  Moving on to 2017 I had a lot of ambitions, I signed up to #SewMyStyle and had a long list of other patterns I wanted to make.  Given my limited sewing time I really should have proceeded with more caution buying up patterns.   1 garment per month was too much for me especially on top of all the other things I wanted to make

My Makes to date are:

In 2016
Skirt – Gathered Skirt
Top – Sorbetto 1
Top – Sorbetto 2
Skirt – Box Pleat Skirt
Dress – Bettine
Other – Baby Bibs
Other – Alterations/Costume
Other – Bag

During 2017
Pullover – Toaster Sweater
Dress – Cowl Neck Dress
Dungaree Dress – Cleo
Top – Silk Cami
Top – Valley Blouse
Dress – Darling Ranges
Skirt – Pencil Skirt
Trousers – Ultimate Trousers
Jumpsuit – Sallie Jumpsuit
Other – Alterations/Curtains
Other -Pattern Weights
Other – Refashioning – Beach Dress
Other – Baby Bibs
Other – Baby Blanket

My UFOs are 
– My Bag
– My Trousers

There are a number of garments that are no longer in my wardrobe:

My bettine is gone, it only lasted a couple of washes before I found holes and frayed bits.  I didn’t have my overlocker to finish the edges and I should have taken more care over washing.  I didn’t think it was easily savable or worth the effort.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that the dress was not really flattering on me.
Both my 2016 skirts need to be relegated to the scrap bin, I’ve worn them both a fair few times but should really any more the gather skirt has holes and the pleated skirt has an embarrassing zip plus the skirt wasn’t made from a stiff enough material and doesn’t hold its shape or the pleats the way I wanted..
Both my Sorbetto tops are still functional but the fabric was too stiff (quilting cotton) and the shape and size of both is a bit of a joke.
So that is Everything from 2016

I’m still wearing most of my 2017 makes however a few thinks are starting to show wear/damage: 

My Cleo, has been washed and worn a lot but I have recently noticed that the straps have some fraying and popped stitches.

I love my silk cami but last time I ironed it I noticed a bit of fraying and lost stiches on theinside of the french seam.  Its got some life to go and I will be really sorry when it is done as I really do love it.

Going strong
Valley Blouse, it continues to wash and wear well
Pencil Skirt – so far so good.
Jumpsuit – Love it and anticipate many years of wear, given I can’t wear it when it isn’t xmas.

Whilst it makes sense that it is my older makes are the ones that are on the way out because they have been washed and worn more and have I have improved. I’m a bit gutted that my Cleo & Silk cami are past their best

Looking back at my 2017 aspirations

2017 aspiration – #SewMyStyle
I wanted to make 7 of the #SewMyStyle items, but I only made 3 of them
– Toaster Sweater
– Valley Blouse
– Darling Ranges Dress (not finished in the #SewMyStyle month)
Of the unmade items I’m most keen to make the Anna Dress so will try and fit that in next year.

2017 aspiration – Sewing Knits
I wanted to make 4 knit patterns.
So far I have made 2
But am still keen to give both the CoCo and Heather dress a go so will keep them on my to do list.

 2017 aspiration Overlocker Development
I haven’t spent any time doing the Craftsy Class but have gotten better at threading my overlocker (tension balance continues to be an issue).

2017 aspiration –Trousers
I had 2 pairs of trousers on my list.
However the learning curve for trousers was bigger than I anticipated, and having made 4 toils for the SOI Ultimate trousers and that they still don’t fit right this is my biggest miss to date.

2016-17 Conclusion
What I think I need to learn from all this is to remember my sewing time is limited, I need to be more realistic on the number of makes I have time for, I don’t enjoy make deadlines, and when I select something more complicated it will take me a longer to make it.
The other thing I need to bear in mind going forward is budget.  I had reasonable sewing budget for 2017 but spent nearly double it.   I’ve slightly reduced my sewing budget for next year and aim to be more frugal in my spending and to make more of an effort use existing patterns and fabric.

With that in mind I have some aims & projects for 2018:

Jacket January 
I’ve been talking about making a jacket in my class for ages.  I was asked to set a date so I picked the first term in 2018, initially a number of my classmates agreed to join me in Jacket January but they changes there mind or aren’t going to be in class that term, but one or 2 others might be interested now.
I want to make a channel style jacket, and have had the pattern for over a year.

At some point in the future I want to do a bra making class but think I should start with pants, just giving it a go myself.

Lined dress
SOI Joan Dress.  Again I have had the pattern (and the fabric for over a year) I think 2018 is the year to make this happen.

Colour Blocking 
I would like to give this a try, I’m thinking getting round to making a Tilly & The Buttons Coco would be the ideal project.

Trousers – Take 2 
Starting with a different pattern I will be giving trousers another go at some point during 2018

On top of these I have lots of other lovely patterns, and lots of fabric so I plan to figure out some things that will go together and mix in some easier projects in-between my big challenges (without spending much more).

The final thing that I need to improve is my blog posting, as I write this I have more than 10 draft blog posts, most waiting for me to do pictures – which continue to be my weak point although they are may favourite part of reading other peoples blogs – there is a lesson there.  



5 thoughts on “Review of my 2016-7 sewing

    1. Thanks, you too! I was really disappointing with my first attempt. I’m haven’t decided whether to just try another pattern or to follow some pattern cutting instructions and make my own pattern and see I can get something that fits that way.


      1. That must have been really disheartening for you – and you’re right, it is definitely a massive learning curve. My first pair of trousers was an unwearable disaster. But then ill-fitting RTW trousers were pretty much the whole reason I took up sewing, so I should probably have guessed I wouldn’t match any pattern designer’s block without a lot of alterations. I’ve sewn some wearable trousers since then, and each time I’m getting closer as I learn more about the fitting process and the different fabrics. When you feel like tackling it again, I’d recommend either drafting your own block, or going back to the same pattern as before (so you don’t have to re-learn a new one) and using the new Closet Case Patterns pants fitting e-book to help you do the fitting ( Heather’s organised all the info on trouser fitting in a really logical way with simple diagrams – I’m finding it really clear and helpful. Fingers crossed you can crack it this year!


      2. You are right, I’ve never had a pair of RTW trousers that properly fit me, my waist to hip doesn’t match standard shape. I think drafting my own pattern is probably the right way to go. Thank you for the Closet Case files resource, it is very thorough and I think will be a lot of help!


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