My top 5 Hits and Misses of 2013

This year, I’m going to take a self created award for the latest Top 5 post!  As you will see in part two (up tomorrow), this is one of my goals, to be kinder to myself.  It’s been 40+ degrees, I’m 8 months pregnant and working hard on the sewsquirrel pattern store.  Taking blog photos has been a VERY low priority.

Gillian has put out the call for the top5 lists, and while mine is a little late to the party, it’s so good to take the time to reflect.  I find it especially interesting to compare people’s 2013 Top 5 lists to their 2012 Top 5 lists.  It’s amazing how much we can improve and challenge ourselves (and also ignore the ever growing stash).

crafting a rainbow top 5

Top 5 Hits: Favourite Creations, most worn or most loved

Cake patterns tiramisu

This was a fantastic mix of print and pattern, and this has been washed and worn so many times it’s faded grey.  In fact the black faded before any of the print, and I would still wear this around the house/locally if it fit at the moment.  This pattern is comfortable, easy to make and looks great.  It’s well suited to a firmer knit fabric, so I’m tempted to get a similar weight interlock and make another.

Cake patterns tiramisu dress

Hollyburn skirt

The Sewaholic Hollyburn got so much use, it looks fantastic on, and while skirts with firm waistbands aren’t my first preference, this made me a bit of a convert.  This was a really win as it was easy to sew, and the fabric had that mystically perfect amount of drape.  The hollyburn for me was a Work outfit, and as such the pattern probably won’t see much love in 2014 while I’m at home.

beginner sewing pattern sewaholic

Sewcietea dress

This dress was a matter of personal pride, and has only been worn twice in 2013.  It was a labour of love, with hand basting and well, lots of tiny hand stitches everywhere.  It’s was the most time consuming item sewn in 2013, and dang it I’m proud.


Tessuti gridlock lekala dress

This dress gets a mention for three reasons, one being that I actually finished it in time for a competition, two being that I tried a new style for me (based on the best use of the fabric – and I love it), and three, I wore this all the time to work!  Picking the pattern for the fabric meant I was really pleased with the final result, and as it’s handmade the style suits as it’s fitted properly.  Sometimes it’s hard to get past the RTW mental blocks of certain styles not suiting you.

Gridlock tessuti dress

Maria Denmark audrey dress

This Audrey dress was meant to be a wearable muslin, and was whipped up using jumper fleece.  It reminds me of my primary school jumper, and dang it was comfortable, washed well and was suitable for most occasions.  This dress was like not wearing anything at all, and incredibly warm.

maria denmark audrey dress

A most honourable mention goes out to my Tofino pjs, which is one of the few items I wear with my giant preggo belly, and the final versions Jalie 3133, which is pretty much R’s childcare uniform.  At last count she has about 8 in high rotation in her wardrobe.

Top 5 Misses: Sewing Fails, UFOs, worn once, or complete disasters

Silk Pavlova blouse

This gorgeous silk is from Astratex in Richmond, and it was a total splurge.  It was about $50 for two metres, and was SO far out of my skill level.  I love the pavlova pattern by Steph of Cake Patterns, but the damn slippery silk was just out of my depth when I tried it.  It still needs to be finished, but I’m thinking of just calling it a wadder and trying again with some silk georgette.  It’s unfinished, barely recognisable and all around I made a hash of it.  I’m going to try this again with a knit.

Cake Patterns Pavlova

FO cord dress

This cord dress was the first thing I’ve made in corduroy, and while it was cute the fabric didn’t really suit the pattern.  Also, the finish was not brilliant as I should have done lots of test stitches and overlocking…and didn’t.  It was a good lesson on researching fabric before sewing.  *Sigh*.

Cord dress

Husbands raglan tee

The raglan tee fit nicely, except for the neckline which I stretched out HORRIFICALLY.  It makes me very sad.  Next time, I need to shorten the ribbing.  As I pinned it, I KNEW it was too long, but I sewed it up anyway.  If I had trusted my gut, and sewed it at the tension I thought it should be it might have turned out ok.

Raglan tee

Husbands pjs

I cut these way too small.  Aside from that, they were fine.  Just Unwearable.


Oliver and S playtime dress

Oliver and S dressThis is the super cute dress pattern by Oliver and S, the Playtime dress which I love, and will make more of, it just needs to not be in this fabric.  Blergh.  A well made, lovely pattern and I manage to make her look a like a cast member of little house on the prairie.

All in all, I’ve learnt from the fails, they weren’t as bad as my fails last year and I’m very pleased with my favourites.  What more can you ask for?



19 thoughts on “My top 5 Hits and Misses of 2013

  1. I disagree with the husband’s PJ’s being unwearable. I wore them all the time in the winter and they were lovely and cosy!! Lovely to see you in that Lelaka dress again. You look great. Hope you are coping with the yucky heat. I’ve been thinking about you..

    • I’m glad they were wearable for you 🙂

      One day I’d like to fit back into that, but it’s kind of a crazy dream right now. The heat has been fairly horrible, but I’ve been sleeping/living with wet towels draped around me like you suggested and it’s made it much more bearable.

  2. I love your top 5’s & it’s lovely to see them all online together 😉 I must reread your Audrey as it sounds like a perfect winter option – I also have Tiramisu in my top 5, not that I wrote a post, oops!. Thinking of you & the bump in this heat x

  3. I was thinking about you the other day & that you must nearly be due- what a miserable time of year to be almost full term 😦 Fingers crossed the next month passes a bit more cool-ly for you!

    I think your Hollyburn would have to be my fave- as you said the drape of the fabric is so perfect and makes for such a pretty skirt 🙂

  4. I can’t imagine how tiring being pregnant in that heat must be.
    I’ve put off making Hollyburn for the longest time but have finally decided to take the plunge.
    Congrats on the new site, it’s great!

    • It could be worse….at least we have evaporative cooling which drops the temperature a little. It’s raining now which is just SO lovely.

      The hollyburn is just a lovely simple pattern with pockets. One day when I have a waist again there will be more hollyburns!

      • I spent a week in Tamworth which was hideously hot. 40 degrees most days but at least not humid. I nearly died of happiness to spend the day at my friend’s farm on the plateau which was 15 degrees cooler!

  5. Oh woman, you make me belly laugh! I absolutely adore all your top 5’s – the best thing about these types of posts is getting a birdseye view of what you’ve been up to – you should be damn well proud because there’s been some seriously awesome sewing going on.
    And god – I want to help you rescue that gorgeous silk. Save it until after my wedding, will you? I KNOW we can make it work!!!!!

    • Lol, I appreciate your optimism, but I think it’s a lost cause. I might also have too much shame to show it in public, and would rather do it again properly.

      I’ve got some silk georgette from Tessuti in which the second pavlova shall be done. This time with a gelatin bath perhaps!

      • Bugger – that silk is a stunner. Georgette would be so delicious – it’s a fabric I really want to sew with some day. And I’ve heard nothing but good things about the gelatin bath recently – clearly it’s a winner!
        And I take it no sign of the bub as yet – you were missed on the weekend!

  6. Love all your top fives, especially the Lekala dress! I think that dress would easily become a staple piece in my work wardrobe too!

    Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2014!

    • Thanks 🙂 Lekala really have some good professional dresses which is nice, there is a gap in the sewing space for professional dresses aside from sheath dresses.

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