Wednesday, 5 January 2022

wardrobe essentials 2021 - looking back and forward

Happy New Year!

I mentioned in my previous post that I am not keen on round-ups of the past year and that I prefer looking forward. I am making an exception for my own garment sewing year because I was thinking about this the other day. I felt vaguely dissatisfied with my sewing year and I don't have a lasting memory of a truly fabulous project. As I was noting down what I made, I realised that I was really quite prolific with regards to finished garments and I wondered what made my sewing year less satisfying than previous ones. I can't pin it down to one single cause but I know that most of my projects were stretched out over some time, a seam now and then and somehow this makes it less exciting. 

Starting with my sewing year highlight, this was the purchase of my new sewing machine, a Janome 6700P.  The will last me for the rest of my sewing life. I had been saving for a long time but found it difficult to part with my pennies. I'm a bit silly like that. Then I received my Teaching Excellence Award which paid for a good proportion of this expensive machine. I love the extended work space to the right of the foot, which is really practical and not just for quilting large quilts. I donated my very old Janome Memory Craft 4800 to a young woman who wanted to take up sewing and I hope she gets good use of it. 

Here is what I made last year, in no particular order.



Megan Nielsen Sudley Dress/Blouse. I made two tops using this pattern, after making the dress version in December 2020. The first is a short sleeve black textured viscose top, made with fabric remnants from the Sudley Dress. This was a Guthrie & Ghani Sewing Society kit that contained enough fabric for a maxi dress version (not part of the pattern). I made the knee length original version so had extra fabric. I also made a midnight blue long sleeved top with elasticated cuffs. The blue one is possibly my favourite make. I love the neckline. 




Several Cashmerette Concord t-shirts. I've had this pattern for years and had to reprint it because it was a bit worn out. I made a yellow ribbed long sleeved version, two long sleeved stripy ones with a scoop neck: pink/ginger and teal/orange. I also made a short sleeved striped pink/ginger  t-shirt and a navy/white striped one, too. Both have high necks. I never made the V-neck version. Maybe next year?



Two versions of the new Casmerette Stanway t-shirt. It is published in the book Ahead of The Curve, which is full of fitting advice and tutorials for curvy women and includes five patterns. Fitting to a lumpy bumpy body can be quite challenging and I purchase this book before it was even released. The Stanway t-shirt is a raglan top designed for jersey fabrics. I made blue ribbed one and a plain white one for layering. This is going to be favourite pattern, one that I make several versions each year.



The Sew Me Something Emelia Dress. I made two, one dark blue one and a lazy seaglass green one. Lazy because I didn't make the sleeve ties. I like the V-neck line of these. Both are linen and both can be worn as a dress or as a tunic over jeans, layered with long sleeved t-shirts when it is a bit chilly.



The Sew Me Something Helena Dress. This is another useful tunic/dress. like the Emelia Dress but with a very different neckline, which is scooped. It also features pin-tucks down the front. I made this in bright orange linen. 



Megan Nielson Dawn Jeans. I made the shorts version as a practice for straight leg denims. I used a rose pink needlecord for these shorts. The pattern is for non-stretch denim but my needlecord had a slight stretch, which was no problem. The shorts came out well and got a lot of wear over the summer. I never got around to sewing the actual pair of jeans and I also never took a photograph with me wearing the shorts.



Closet Core Elodie Dress. I used a divine light blue viscose fabric with a beautiful summary pattern. I started this too late in the year when wearing summer dresses was no longer possible. My reasoning is not always as clear as it should be. The dress hangs in my wardrobe and is not yet hemmed. I forgot to take a photo. Next summer maybe.




The Sew Over It Sylvia Robe in a black textured viscose with a floral pattern. A firm favourite, I wear it all the time. I also made a dark grey version with Sorona viscose linen. Sorona is a fibre made from corn starch I think. The fibre blend didn't work so well for the Sylvia Robe, it is less floaty than the other one. No photo of that one I am afraid.




Tilly and the Buttons Billie sweatshirts. Before then, I didn't own a single sweatshirt! I made an orange and a dusky blue version using a flecked sweatshirting fabric. The orange one has gold/orange striped cuffs and neckband. The blue is just plain blue. I love both and wear them all the time. How could I live without a sweatshirt??



Megan Nielsen Jarra Sweater. Yes, another sweatshirt. This one is dark grey, boxy and short and the sleeves are grown-on. This is now my favourite pyjama top, it is cosy and comfortable. 




Tilly and the Buttons Lyra Dress. This is not a pattern I was naturally drawn to, it has a gathered skirt attached to a blousy top, which I thought might not be so flattering on a fat body. I don't remember why I chose to make it now but it came as a kit from Guthrie & Ghani, which takes away decision making about fabric and buttons etc. I made a short sleeved denim chambray version finishing just below the knee. I am surprised how much I like it. I am wearing it now actually. Very comfortable. 

Looking ahead, I am not sure where my garment sewing will take me. No doubt there will be a few t-shirts because they are practical and always needed. I have the Sew Over It 1960s coat pattern which I'd love to make with a Peter Pan collar. Sam bought me this pattern for Christmas 2020 but I haven't found the right fabric yet. I have been looking for a bright yellow wool but as you can imagine, this is an unpopular choice for a coat. I love sewing coats but unlike t-shirts, there is limited use for a large number of coats. I also love sewing with wool. I want to make a proper pair of jeans, not a shorts version. I do have everything I need for that so no excuse really (but I am sure I can come up with one).

For now, I started making a dark teal needle cord Georgie pinafore (Jennifer Lauren Handmade) with an exposed zip. Richard gave me the fabric for Christmas and I took a bus into town a few days ago to buy a more or less matching zip. I have to put this on hold until the weekend now as I am back at work and there is lots to catch up with. 

Thanks for visiting 😊

15 comments:

  1. So many lovely items. I particularly love the blue tunic top with the v neck. It suits you really well. Maybe 2022 will be the year of making more clothes! B x

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  2. wow, so many lovely garments, I think my favourites are the Emelia and Helena dresses, I may just have to pop them on my to sew list...

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  3. You did really well with all of your garments.I like them all and you really know what suits you.I think that some sewers get disappointed simply because they see a pattern they like but don't think about their body shape. They just see what the model looks like. I need some of those " this is the back " labels. Brilliant.

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  4. You've made some really lovely and very professional garments, nicely done one and all. I really love the robe and the blouses with ties. I shall look forward to seeing what you make in 2022! Jewel orchid cutting is now sitting in water and I am waiting for roots to appear - could take six weeks or so apparently. I want to be sure it 'takes' before I send it. CJ xx

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  5. Wow, what a wonderful post. So many lovely clothes you have made. I love the linen dress, I do love anything made of linen. I looked up your new sewing machine, it looks a bit scary to me, mine is an incredibly basic thing that I bought for £5 twenty years ago!

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  6. Wow, excellent work! I wish I had the talent and patience to make clothes. These are wonderful :)

    Happy New Year!

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  7. Oh fabulous sewing and good use of new machine. Love sewing my own clothes as no one else has that top lol

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  8. This looks like a very productive year. I love sweatshirts (I don't make my own though) and I wear them all along wintertime (mild winters here in Brittany) and now I think it will be hard to live without an orange gold striped cuff sweatshirt...
    Maguy

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  9. These all came out great! I am surprised you didn't include the quilts you made! That's sewing too. I seem to recall you did a few...

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  10. Happy new year. You have made some wonderful things and I look forward to seeing what you will make this year. The dusky pink shorts look great, I also want to make some jeans but as mine are currently fine I don't have the motivation to make more of the same and I think I'm scared of rivets! As a bag maker that is a bit mad as I really ought to use them, maybe this year. Have a good week. x

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  11. Happy New Year, Christina!

    Really beautiful items.

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  12. I used to make all my clothes, but I haven't in such a long time. It seems timely reading your post today because after years of not sewing clothes I ordered a skirt pattern today off Amazon. I've been looking for a simple Aline skirt that I could make out of cotton print and wear in the summer with a pretty tee.
    Your wardrobe is lovely and I know because you make it yourself it is well made, much better constructed than anything you purchase.

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  13. Gosh, you are so skilful. And so productive. I love every single piece. Can't wait to see the 60's coat. Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022.

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  14. As a result of your sharing I've book marked the sew me something dresses, I do love a tunic dress that can be worn with leggings or jeans. When I looked at the pinafore dress I smiled as I'm sure my mum in law gifted me a vintage pattern in that style, however that was back in the day when women were either stick thin or wore a corset 😂. It will be interesting to measure it against a more modern pattern. Happy sewing! x

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  15. You've made some beautiful clothes.

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx