Tag Archives: top 5

Top 5 Sewing Wins of 2015

2015 has been an excellent sewing year for me! Even the fails weren’t all that bad and in compiling my top 5 I even had a few more contenders and had to give some serious thought to which items should make it in the top five.

So, in no particular order (apart from my Best of 2015):

  1. Everyday JeansIMG_2671

Well, these didn’t even get a proper blog post, but still they are probably the one item I’ve worn most regularly in 2015, although I only made them sometimes during the summer. There isn’t much to be said about them, they are just normal, skinny-ish jeans, but they just fit exactly like I like them.


2. Lazy Day Sweatshirt


And this is the second-most widely worn item of 2015. This drapey sweatshirt was made in early spring and throughout the year I have reached for this over and over when I’m not at work. Again, nothing particularly special about this, it just works for me.


3. The British Racing Green Dress


Thus are the vagaries of sewing that both my top 5 wins AND fails contain the same pattern. This British Racing green dress is a win, the Does my bum look big in this -dress a fail, both using the same pattern.  Live and learn!


4. White Rosa Jacket


I’m still surprised by how much I’ve turned out to like this jacket. It started whole love affair with white for me and I’ve worn this loads on cooler summer days as a casual jacket. I made another one in pink, to do honour to the its name “Rosa”, but that never took off as much as the white one. Not bad for a remnant of curtain fabric, ey?!

But the uncontested winner of 2015 is:

The Siena Dress


In this make, the stars really alligned for me!

I bought the fabric in Siena while visiting a good friend. It was the first time I had seen her in about 14 years and while we’d only kept in touch sporadically during all those years I felt our friendship was as strong as it was in the early 90s when we were both students in Ireland, away from home for the first time and just starting out on life. We met at a small rural university in Ireland, where we spent a winter, which was wet, oh so wet, and altough at 21 we weren’t all that young it was still an important time in my life.  When I visited her in Tuscany in April, my friend took me to the market in Siena where I bought the fabric, so whenever I see it I think of her – so I knew from the start that whatever I made with the fabric would be special.


And to me this dress truly is! Whenever I put it on I feel just great. It’s not just that it fits well, I like the style and all that – whenever I put it on I simply feel happy. Even when I take it out of the wardrobe the night before I get  little shiver of excitement about the next day being a Siena dress day.


So while normally I’m not someone who is prone to looking backwards, I think there can be many things worse than looking back at the sewing year that was 2015!


Top 5 Fails that Made it on the Blog

It’s that time of year again when sewing bloggers indulge in the therapeutic pleaseure of not being perfect and admitting to it: it’s Top 5 Fails -Time again!

In my case I have to restrict myself to fails that made it to the blog – because I often don’t get the chance or inclination to take pictures I haven’t blogged most of my fails this year. Fortunately there weren’t all that many real fails, but there were a few items that I hardly ever wore, so these will make up my list of wearable fails. This is a chronological list, starting in January 2015.

  1. Strange Birds Blouse


This should have worked in theory. The blouse turned out fine, technically speaking, but it turned out I wasn’t really too keen on the very loose style after all. Also I hever really fell in love with fabric – I would not have bought this blouse had it been in a shop. So off into the charity bag it went and hopefully on to greener pastures.


2. Greensleeves Trousers


Here some overzealous taking in made the previously loose trousers too tight, so that I feared for the durability of the “pressure points”. That’ll teach me to serge off the seam allowances without trying on the trousers first. Or it should – did this again the other day. Well, live and (don’t) learn!

3. The Shocking Dress


This is a true shocker, because on this dress I love the pattern (it’s probably one of my favourite dress patterns ever), I love the fabric, a cotton stretch satin with just a little bit of sheen – and I still have never reached for this dress. I might be that I just have too many clothes so I never get round to wearing this, but anyway, it still has to make my top 5 wearable fails.

4. One Stripe too Many- Top


Nothing wrong with this – still never wore it. Sent off to charity – I don’t take any prisoners 😉 !

5. Does my bum look big in this – Dress


This goes to show how close agony and ecstasy can be together in the world of sewing. This dress’ solid coloured sister is one of my favorite makes of 2015 – however this one here will never be worn. I’m still debating whether to simply make it into a top or maybe try to overdie the white, but as is, this is my favourite pattern-placement fail of 2015.


So overall the sewing year wasn’t too bad. My biggest downfall is selecting the wrong fabric/pattern combination and sometimes liking stuff more in my head than on my body. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, maybe that’s my problem 😉

Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2014


2014 has been a prolific sewing year for me and I’m pleased to say that with all that practice my skills have improved so much that I made very few wadders as such. But there were a few items that I completed and to acceptable standard and that still have not stood the test of time in my wardrobe.

So feast your eyes on the Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2014.

A click on the picture takes you to the relevant posts



Clear Winner: The Not-At-All-Bomber Jacket.
I really took my time on this, but it turned out that everything is wrong on this, fabric, high neckline, poofy sleeves, short lenght… I have since traced a different Bomber pattern, because I don’t learn, do I?


Runner Up: The Oooh-tight-JeansIMG_8605

Completely nothing wrong with these – I just made them for a thinner version of me… I squeezed myself into them for the pictures, thinking that jeans need to be tight, but I have not worn them a single time since. Chances I’m gonna get thinner? Well….


Joint Nr Three: Is it the Yellow?-Skirts


I really should learn! Here are two skirts that I thought about for a long time, made with effort and put into my wardrobe not to wear them once. I don’t even know why. I still like them, even looking at the pictures now, but I still never reached for them when the weather was right. Does that only happen to me?



And finally the Bit Too Psychodelic-Top

IMG_7866I was all excited when I bought the fabric, but I had to learn that I look better in psychodelic print inside my head than in real life.  I like the pattern as such but I think it looks much better as a dress:

IMG_8124 This top is just too much, plus I always think it looks a bit maternity on me, so this has gone into the alterations pile.  Maybe the fabric is going to be reborn as a tanktop or some thing not as voluminous.


So there, my Top 5 Unexpected Fails of 2015. As of this evening, January 6, I have already completed three garments in 2015, but only blogged the Russian General Coat. If I go on at this rate I might have to increase the list to Top 10 Fails of 2015 😉 .

Top 5 of 2013: The Hits

Here we go in no particular order my sewing hits of 2013:

1. The One For All Top

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have not even blogged about this top and the 5 more versions I made – maybe because I am wearing them all the time. This is my all time favourite style of top and I can sew one up in around and hour. I have them with full sleeves like this and with short sleeves and no sleeves and I just love them.

2. The Serious Dress


3. The Peter Pan Dress

IMG_5083I would have thought that no-one over 10 should think of Peter Pan dresses, but I have seen them so much that I decided I rather like that style after all. I have worn this a few times and still love it, so I count this among my hits.

4. High Viz Skirt

IMG_5884This is another one of those projects that started without any planning. I had vaguely noticed the skirt in the Burda magazine but did not have any specific plans. I never had any room for orange fabric in my life – but then at the fabric market this orange wool fabric spoke to me (given that it was €4 a metre it kind of shouted…) and there started a match made in my version of sewing heaven. I have worn this lots and it is so bright it even cheers up the most miserable autumn/winter day.

5. The Red Dress


This must be my favourite project of 2013. This was so easy to make up – I used a ponte jersey and so did not even need a zip and I think it is just a really flattering style for me. A version with sleeves is waiting in the queue.

So here we go: my list of sewing hits and misses of 2013. I actually found it really hard to compile the hits list because I made a few other garments that I like and my second pair of jeans is just one button away from a place on the list. But that is for another post.