Friday, December 29

2017 Top Five Sewing Misses

Just like anything in life, sewing is a learning process. If you were to go shopping, you would try styles on and see how they look. We do that a little virtually as we search hashtags to see how a pattern looks on other people, but sometimes we just get sucked into the "new pattern" black hole and have to make something because "its just so pretty." Sadly, a lot of those things turn into fails.

This year was a huge learning curve for me. The first 6 months especially were full of pattern testing styles that just don't work for me and sewing patterns I absolutely adored on others but just have no place in my closet. I actually had so many failed projects this year that it was hard to narrow it down to the top 5. I've already donated several items I made this year or given them to people who liked them, or threw some in the garbage in a fit of rage.

So here we go!

5. Waterfall Raglan

This was a sad one because the girls version is a favorite of my daughter and this women's version is a beautiful top on so many people! I just love Gabriela's patterns, they're fashionable and fun to wear but sadly this one just isn't flattering on me at all - but seriously looks incredible on others! I decided to use it as a base to make a regular knit peplum tee out of but I don't even wear that top. It turned out to be just too big and long with the gathers hitting me at the wrong spot.

This one was a good learning experience for me though because this year the most revealing thing I learned about my style is that I just don't wear knit tees. I like the idea of them and pin photos of a lot of other people wearing them on Pinterest, but when it comes down to it, I prefer woven tops. They are lot more flattering on me and with the right pattern and fabric can be just as comfortable. While analyzing my wardrobe and outfit choices recently, I realized the only times I wear knit tees consistently is to bed.

So I think I'm pretty much done making them.

4. Vogue 9251

I was absolutely 100% sure I was going to be smitten with this dress! I fell in love with it on Emily and all her lovely versions here and here. And then I chose this fabric for it, which ended up being the same fabric that Brittany used for her version of this same dress - you can see it here.

It looks amazing on these ladies but mine just fell flat. I had a ton of fit issues that no one else seemed to have on their bodies, and it was really low - which admittedly is pretty common place with wrap dresses so it wasn't really surprising. I sewed in a snap to keep it closed higher up but every time I moved, it just came unsnapped anyway so it was pretty useless. The midi length also turned out almost ankle length. I shortened it to midi length and found it incredibly unflattering so I chopped it to knee length.

When I sit, the wrap skirt falls open super easily, the inside tie closure doesn't stay together very well and is a little bulky, add to that the annoying snap that won't stay shut - I wore it once and then never again. But the fabric is J Crew overstock and absolutely amazing. I want to take it apart and see if I can make something else out of it to salvage that fabric.

3. Leschi Blouse

I already wrote a post on Instagram here about this pattern so if you're interested in the full details, head there. The short of it is - really poor fit, very unflattering on my body. I have talked to several people who had all the same problems as me and after I came out with my review of it on Instagram, several testers of the pattern messaged me and confirmed these problems were brought up in testing but not addressed. It was my first pattern by Straight Stich Designs but I've heard her other patterns are better so maybe I'll try others in the future - I don't know.

2. Scarlett Moto Skinnies

Let me preface this one by saying I've seen some really cute versions of this pattern on other people with the moto stiching, so for me its on the miss list because of fit, discomfort, and style on me.

The idea behind these pants is sort of a faux, cheater jean style that can give you a jeans look without all of the effort of making real ones. But my problem with them on me is that they have no fly, and not even a faux fly. Add to that no front pockets and they seem like dress pants to me.

With a dress pant style trouser in mind, I made them in stretch twill with 20% stretch. The pattern is made for fabrics with some stretch but no more than 10%. And thats not really enough to have a comfortable pair of fitted skinny pants. I had to size down a little with the fabric I used but not enough to change the integrity of the pattern.

It has two options for closures: either no closures, just a knit waistband sewn onto the pants for a pull on style (which I was not okay with because I only wear pants like that when I am pregnant) or a side zip with a woven waistband. I went with this option which also contributed to it feeling like a dress pant. It calls for an invisible zip which is my main problem with these. That pants fit ok - not great (after I added 2 inches to the rise and removed a five inch wedge out of the back to keep it from gaping) but the zip broke as soon I put them on and then when I re did the zipper it wouldn't even zip. I started unpicking it (in these photos the pants are just pinned closed) and then threw them in a bin for 9 months until I tried them on again and decided to just throw them out.

They don't really match anything I have, I don't wear pocketless pants, and as fitted as these are they could use a tiny bit of vertical stretch.

1. Mcalls 7542

This was McCalls most popular Spring pattern this year. If you're a sewist anywhere chances are you saw or sewed this. It has so many sleeve options and had the potential to be an amazing staple - just leave off the fancy sleeve frills and you'd have a basic woven tee in two lengths, then add al the sleeve options and you could make anything with this.

It was everywhere and people were looking so cute in it and I never read a negative word about it so I finally talked myself into it. I made one and loved the idea of it (hadn't worn it out yet or really analyzed the fit other than knowing it was too big) and instantly made two more with different sleeves in a smaller size.

You may notice you've never seen photos of me in these tops on instagram...That's because I never posted any! This is the most ill fitting garment I have made in my life, including items I made as a kid and teen still learning to sew. My first one was too big and so I sized down for the next two and can hardly move in them! The armscye is really weird and goes too low, massively restricting arm movement. Its also super short so even with my pencil skirts it can't be tucked in and can't be worn with my high wasted jeans without everything still being revealed.

I've already donated one and the other two are still in my closet only because the fabric and sleeves are so beautiful that I occasionally suffer through the discomfort to wear them for a few hours at church.

So - what were you misses this year? Did you learn anything surprising about your style? Are you a woven fan girl or team knits? Let me know!


  1. Great post! I have found that I prefer woven tops in the summer and knit in the winter because they stay in place better under layers. Thanks for permission to just toss some items. Hope you can reuse that pretty wrap dress fabric!

    1. I agree - knit base layers are perfect in winter! And yes! toss those items that make you feel guilt and anger and just don't work - it makes room for all the good stuff!

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  3. This is so nicely sewed stuff. I loved it and got some inspiration. Will use my Best sewing machine for making similar stuff.


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