Best and worst of 2013 lists seem to be popping up all over the place, I love a good list, so I thought I'd better jump on the bandwagon pretty sharpish. Let's start with the successes shall we? Here are my top five handmade hits of 2013:
When I made this blouse I declared that I'd like to wear it for the rest of my life, and I still stand by those words. Red, with polka dots, sleeveless for maximum cardi-wearing action and a perfect Mrs Slocombe bow - I don't think it can get much better than this.
Don't let the simplicity of the lines and the plainness of the fabric deceive you. The cut of this kimono-sleeved pattern is just lovely and the fabric - Brussels Washer yarn dyed chambray - is a delight to wear. There will definitely be more Anna dresses in 2014 and that's a promise.
Gertie Capri Pants
A surprise hit as they have a very high waist, so are not the most forgiving of trousers. I still found myself wearing them again and again all summer long. Maybe because they're a thinly disguised retro version of jeans?!
Blue Rose Shirt Dress
I loved making this and was so proud of the finished dress. It's fully underlined with silk cotton and the blue rose Liberty Tana Lawn is sooo soft and buttery to work with. I've worn it quite a lot too which I'm happy about as I spent so long getting it just right.
1950's Sleeveless Tops
Bit of a cheat here as there are actually two tops, a polka dot version and a floral version. But in my defence, they were both made from the same pattern (vintage Simplicity 4238). Again, their sleeveless status is massively in their favour and the twelve darts in each top makes them a very flattering wear. Along with the original gingham top made from the same pattern, these were on regular rotation throughout the year. Expect a couple in plain colours to make an appearance next year….
One of my aims when making my own clothes has always been to try and make things I'll actually wear. This sometimes means going for the boring option when it comes to patterns or fabric, but this doesn't bother me as my major concern is that the garment must actually get worn. I'm happy to report that out of all the handmade garments in 2013. only one has never been worn and only one has been declared a downright failure. Everything else has been well and truly worn and worn again, which I'm very happy about. So my fails list only consists of two items:
Never worn: Colette Juniper Trousers
Even though they've never been worn, I don't want to declare these trousers a total fail for a number of reasons:
- They're very well made and I'm stupidly proud of this
- They incorporate my Sewlution of 2013 which was to sew trousers with a fly front
- They actually fit me like a glove
They're also very wide and very red… I know I just need to find the right occasion and the right amount of confidence to be able to sashay down the street in them. That day will come, I'm sure of it.
Downright failure - Tofino PJ bottoms
A bit annoying this as I actually really needed some PJ bottoms when I made them. They looked nice, but their failure was all down to the thick piping I used, which went against my better judgement. Not only did I look like Sporty Spice when wearing them, but they were also impractical. If you must know, I sleep face down on my front and would wake up each morning with piping-shaped ridges right down my legs. The piping actually woke me up a couple of times during the night they were so uncomfortable and as a famously heavy sleeper, this was the deal breaker. Out they went I'm afraid.
Apart from that, I'm very happy with my 2013 handmade wardrobe and have big plans for making another year's worth of wearable clothes in 2014 (more on that in a future post).
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for your incredible support, advice and friendship in 2013, it really has been invaluable. I'm so grateful for the friends I've met through sewing and blogging, here's to another happy year in 2014! Merry Christmas everybody! x