The lovely Gillian , who I discovered in Me-Made-May this year, has inspired many of us to post a li...

Best and Worst of 2012 & Reflections

8:10:00 p.m. Sew Hopeful 7 Comments

The lovely Gillian, who I discovered in Me-Made-May this year, has inspired many of us to post a list of top 5 hits and misses.

Top 5 of 2012

Top 5 Hits

Sorry, linking to all of these kinda does my head in but you can find them all on my Completed Projects page I've linked the photo's to the original post :

Chiffon Blouse Simplicity 1872.

I was thrilled to tackle my first chiffon project and produce a wearable garment. It was also my first thing I've made using all french seams and I love not only how this looks but its robustness - I can chuck this in the wash and it comes out perfect, no fears of fraying or unravelling.

 Colette Jasmine, first of many...
The wonderful Jasmine. It needed a bit of tweaking to get a perfect fit, but I am very happy with the result. I am getting better at appropriate fabric choice and the result is a blouse I will be wearing for years to come.

Colette Peony
The Colette Peony represents a leap forward in understanding how to fit for my body. This is the first time I tried a forward shoulder adjustment on and I am amazed at how less than 1/2" can make such a difference. No wrinkles at the back sleeve!!!!  This dress is quite fitted but there is no tightness or pulling or tugging anywhere, despite the close fit in the bodice.

Simplicity 1880 my first sewalong
This dress is a win for a few reasons. One, I love it and wear it alot. Two, its my first sewalong dress, which I loved doing and learnt so much from. Three: I wasn't happy with the skirt and sleeves but by revisiting it and taking the time to fix it, I now have a dress that was "ok" but I didn't feel like wearing much, to one of my favourite makes.

Miz Mozelle
Finally, the Miz Mozelle.  I saw this online and knew it would work for me.  Its very comfortable and flattering to wear, a great "fat day" dress due to the elastic waist and forgiving shape but I also hand stitched the bias tape trim for a perfect invisible finish inside and out.  Its well made and I like the feeling knowing that gives me.

Top 5 Misses

Colette Juniper
I orginally posted flattering pictures of these pants but I really am not happy with them. They are too big in the crotch (I can grab more than a couple of inches if I do a Michael Jackson crotch grab), the fit is not great and I need to revisit and fix.  But I'm exhausted....I already spent so much time on them with what I have since found out is a drafting error in the pocket area.  I think I may just accept these are my major "fail" of 2012 and move on...but hey, nothing is really a fail is it, its all knowledge and experience, which is worth every minute.

Simplicity 2444
The dress itself is great.  The fabric's bad dye job bleeding pink into the white area was not.  Boo.  Still haven't summoned the courage to dunk in water again with a colour run fixer to attempt to fix it. I have since tackled it with some Dylon Colour Run Remover and it is much better so this is less of a miss now and more of a lesson in fabric choice and watching for colour runs.

Burdastyle Lydia top
My second Burdastyle Lydia top, which I made (panic sewing anyone?) as part of Me-Made-May-2012.  The fabric I used developed massive needle holes from the serger along the underarm seams when I ripped out a mistake.  I tried to fix by darning the holes but this top ended up in the bin.  It looked insect eaten.  A lesson on fragile fabric.

Drops Design Cardigan
My big crochet project this year.  The sleeves are too tight.  As this is a try on as you go pattern I have no excuse as I knew they were very tight but I pressed on regardless. Duh.  I need to either rip out and redo the sleeves completely or just put in the growing pile of "things I have crocheted that I will never wear".  I also would like this better a little shorter and with a plainer bottom band so I can wear with dresses.  I will probably revisit this in 2013 and turn it into a win.  It's got potential to be great.

A line skirt
It looks ok in the photo, but the waistband is WAYYYYYY too thick and bulky.  I didn't grade the seams (and I should have) or I should have used a lighter fabric for the waistband facing.  I need to revisit and fix before I will wear again.  The lining is not right either, I think its too long or was cut off grain as it sits strangely.  Anyway.  It needs work.  I have since seen some better ways of finishing off waistbands so they are not so bulky so its an easy fix.  I also have more understanding of using slippery fabrics so I will probably redo the lining as well.

And for some reflections

Sewing is a massive stress relief for me but I think perhaps it has got a little out of hand.  If I am not sewing I am thinking about sewing, reading blogs about sewing, planning my next sewing project or talking about sewing.  Avoiding real life perhaps??? In between I attempt to do everything else required of me as a wife and mother etc etc.  I promised my children that I was not going to sew for a whole week (arrgghhh) and my 6 year old danced for joy.   Oh dear, a bit of a sign, that.  Also she has been saying "you love sewing more than me" more than once over the past few weeks.  That's not a sign, that's mummy being hit over the head with a sledge hammer.  Balance is needed.  I sewed a circle skirt and a sleeveless jasmine blouse this week so that will be my last project for a couple of weeks.  I will be attending to some health issues and striving for better balance between the emotional, physical, creative and spiritual.  Its a juggling act, isn't it!

So that is me being rather pensive and reflective on this day only a couple of days away from the end of the year.  I'll be 43 in March next year and it will be my 15th wedding anniversary in August 2013.  For some reason both those numbers seem significant to me.  Life is rushing onward at great speed, I can hardly believe it.


  1. Your fantastic 'hits' far outshine the few 'misses.' It seems that it is time for you to take a small breath, and enjoy your beautiful children - sewing is a skill/stress relief/talent that you can always pick back up, whenever...J

  2. You do romantic English-garden florals so well! All of your hits are beautiful.. and well, who cares about a few misses in amongst so many wins?!
    In truth, I've been wondering a bit lately is the insular world of blogging about our sewing obsessions makes us loose a bit of perspective on things too. I mean, I love sewing, but maybe I should get out a bit more! :P On the other hand, the stress release it brings you is very important... and I'm sure you have more patience for other things because of it!

  3. The things about "misses" is that we tend to learn more about all sorts of things which is a "win". Take care of yourself, yes we are all a bit obsessed with sewing, however for me it is my way of coping with a very stressful job.

  4. I love that Miz Mozelle dress. I hope to make one this spring.

  5. Janelle, your hits are beautiful and your misses are all learning curves and without them, you wouldn't improve. I have learnt so much from my mistakes and usually someone else benefits, so not a miss afterall. I have been obsessed with sewing for as long as I can remember and I am about 12 years older than you. But for most of it, I didn't have the internet and blogs to follow which I now love but find very time consuming. I got so much sewing done in the past and now that my life has had a total turn around and my children have left home, I have so much time to sew. And thank goodness that I have this passion, otherwise I would go crazy. My son hated being dragged around fabric shops when he was little but has incredible patience with his girlfriend who asks him to go to fabric shops with her. So don't worry about your children as I believe they need to see you do things just for yourself sometimes. You do need me time and if sewing is it, it is a lot better than a lot of other things. (schnui) Happy New Year!!!!!

  6. Nice. Those pants are probably fixable-might be a good idea to link those images to the original post you reviewed those makes on. See you around and thanks for installing disqus XD

  7. Yeah, linking is coming. Blogger does my head in a little as the linking process is so laborious. Used to working with joomla (you can add a component that allows you to link by right clicking and then just selecting the post you want to link to). Loved your review of the Burdastyle Book BTW. Made me laugh but you nailed what was niggling me about it as well. Disqus I actually installed directly as a result of one of your posts! I agree it makes conversations much easier, although I ended up having to hack into my html to make it work, and managed to lose some of my more recent comments in the process (working on that one). The pants I will revisit once I stop being annoyed about the pockets.


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