Monday, December 17

Sewing Hits of 2018

Alright sewing friends, like I mentioned in my Sewing Misses post, this year was so good in the sewing arena. I had so many hits and so few misses that these posts have been hard to write. They were hard to write last year too, but for the opposite reason. So many misses it was hard to narrow it down! 

I spent quite a while narrowing my hits down to five, so these patterns that I'm sharing here are serious winners in my book. There are others I super love and only very narrowly missed this list.

I also must mention - I am the literal worst at getting photos of my makes. It takes so much time planning and with two kids and one on the way its been harder than ever this year. And of course now that I want to snap photos in them for you, I'm way too pregnant to fit into most. So you get some real life crappy photos taken throughout the year in places like Harry Pitter World, random parks, the cemetery on Memorial Day, etc.  You're welcome:) At least its proof these patterns are tried and tested and worn on the daily.

So here we go!

This is a Melissa Watson pattern with Palmer and Pletsch fitting instructions so its easy to get a great fit the first time. Its a shirt dress with buttons down to the natural waist, a hidden button placket, collar and collar stand, 3/4 sleeves (or sleeveless option), a partial elastic back for a comfortable fit, and an a-line paneled skirt with a curved hem.

This dress is so flattering on me and a style I love. I've made these two, both out of rayon challis, but I want to make another one next year in a solid color. Maybe in a tencel twill or rayon linen.  

I did make some alterations to get this look. I added 3 inches to the skirt to get it knee length and added more length to the sides which reduced the dramatic curve of the hem. In the navy one, I altered the pattern to use the short sleeve from the highlands wrap dress, and I did an exposed button placket instead of concealed (although you can't really see it in this busy print.) I have a blog post on it here if you want to see and read more.

 4. Chi Town Chino knee length shorts:

This is such a versatile and useful pattern to have. I have the full expansion pack which gives you mid thigh shorts, skirt, full pants, and these knee length Bermudas. They are a chino style without a true waist band, but a waistband facing that comes together really nice and looks great. They have a center back extension which makes adjustments for all sizes really easy, no matter what your waist to hip ratio is. My only adjustments were to add 1.5 inches to the rise to get a higher mid rise instead of the true mid rise they come with. And I slimmed them quite a bit just because my upper thigh is so much larger than my lower thigh so they were enormous at the bottom. But that is super easy to do. I absolutely love this pattern and wore them loads this spring and summer. Like to my sister's home in California, to Harry Potter World, and everywhere else I went every day. 

 Its shocking how much I wore these tops this year and yet I have no photos. So let these photos suffice. And although that's a horrible quality photo from Harry Potter World (paired with my pink chi town chinos) it shows I really wore these eveywhere. I've made two of these, both in the cropped view with 3 inches of length added. After I have the baby I plan to make the tunic one (in a regular shirt length without such a dramatic curved hem in the back) and the dress. I want all the versions. The cropped ones (with added length) are easy to wear with my gingers, morgans, chi towns, and basically all other bottoms that I have.

There are plenty of options in this pattern but both of mine are full button ups with the collar and collar stand. Maybe I'll make the popover version with a mandarin collar next. And both of mine are made in rayon linen, which I love for this shape. Just enough structure for a button up and to show the body of the pattern, and also enough drape as to not add too much bulk from quite a boxy top. But I think for the true shirt length and dress I'll use something with more drape like a rayon poplin, challis, or tencel.

I made my first Farrow last year and liked it, but it was enormous. I mean, it fit as intended but huge tent dresses don't look great on me. So this year I figured out the perfect fit for me (a 12 graded down to a 6 - I have a whole post on that here) and this year made two more. The navy one I haven't really been able to wear yet. I wore it once but then I was too big for it (I made it while pregnant) so I'm just waiting to have this baby and then it should be the perfect loose fitting postpartum dress. If you go by your measurements and make your actual size, you could wear this your entire pregnancy which would be a plus. My adjustments to this pattern were the sizing changes, a broad back adjustment, shortening the sleeves and adding 3 inches in length.

Favorite jeans ever! Button fly, non stretch denim, cropped length. I absolutely cannot wait to make more pairs next year. I made these in a 10oz rigid denim from Threadbare Fabrics. Next I want to try them in a heavier fabric and with an exposed button fly. I love the rise on these. Its called a mid rise but its quite high on me still and although I always love a a true high rise, I find this rise the most flattering and comfortable on me. I want this same rise on all my jeans. I think I'll try the Dawn jeans next year and do a full comparison for those interested.


Ok,  I know that's five but there are two other patterns I simply can't leave off the 'hits' list. 

I made this back in January during the #coatmakingparty that I hosted on instagram with Rachel and Nicole. I am sooooo glad I made this. It is currently the only coat I own that will still button around my 33 week belly, and its warm, cozy and cute too. I used melton double faced wool from Mood and a Robert Kauffman mammoth plaid flannel from Raspberry Creek Fabrics with rayon in the sleeves. I wore this from January-March and now its back in heavy rotation. 

This was my first real coat is a fabulous pattern to start with. Its a-line so you don't have a lot of fitting to do. It has raglan sleeves so you don't need to ease in thick wool sleeves. Just bust darts and a two piece sleeve for a good fit. I added some fish eye darts in the back of mine because I should have done a sway back, but because the loose nature of this coat, that wasn't even essential, just my preference. I also added two, or maybe three, inches to make it a but longer for me. I seriously love it and wear it all the time.

I tested this pattern back in January/February and then immediately made another. And both are definitely in the 30 wears club. I wear one pretty much daily over a zip up Halifax hoodie to the gym. This is a great casual jacket because its fully lined but loose and doesn't require fitting. It has a hood option, two different pocket options and drawstring options as well. Its a total staple in my wardrobe and if you haven't made one, you should. Also, I blogged about this here if you want to see and read more about sizing, etc.

Ok, now I'm done. Apparently I couldn't keep it to five this year. Just too many things on my 'super successful sews' list this year!

So what's on yours? Did you have any hits you just need to shout about, because I'm all ears! Or was it more of a misses year, like last year was for me? Let me know!

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