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Top 5 of 2017: reflections & goals

The final part of the Sewing Top 5 Series: Reflections and Goals

sewing overview reflections goals

Reflections

sewing reflections goals

Some, not 5 though ūüėČ, thoughts about my sewing in 2017.

*Deadlines

The common thread for my sewing last year would be sewing against a deadline and not reaching that deadline. That’s no fun because often it left me with an unsatisfied feeling or even with unfinished projects, like the Carolyn Pajamas Dress.
How¬†did I keep ending up there? Because I want to sew everything for everybody and for myself: birthday presents, Christmas presents, party clothes, … Plus, I love to participate in all these exciting sewing challenges the sewing community launches. This was infeasible and led to situations that I was still finishing the party dress for my daughter 5 minutes before she had to leave. So, I had to stop myself making all these sewing promises. In fact, this happened naturally because I lost my sewing mojo last fall. In hindsight, I think this was the underlying cause. The last part of 2017 I did not make any more promises and I feel more confident about my sewing now.

*Sewing classes

Sewing class

In September 2016 I started a pattern drafting course for a year. Here I learned to draft my own pattern blocks for a skirt and trousers using the method of M. M√ľller & Sohn, aka the Rundschau method. These lessons are intense but they also taught me a lot. I enjoyed it so much that this September I started the second year: drafting a basic pattern for a dress. More, I also started another sewing course: couture techniques. This year the focus of this course is sewing pockets. So every Monday I have now 7 hours of sewing lessons and I love it.

*Sewing is a verb

This is the most important insight I gained last year. Sewing takes time and when you¬†take your time for it,¬† you get smashing results. Take your measurements with care, control the finished measurements on your pattern, maybe make a muslin, baste tricky seams, do some fitting and make the needed adjustments, etc….¬† This year I learned to enjoy doing all these steps and leave the quick-sew road behind.

*Sewing blogger

I started this sewing blog a year ago and I don’t regret it. Okay, it is some work and there are already a lot of sewing blogs but it made my connection with the sewing community stronger. That’s why I am going to keep on blogging. I wrote all this in my one-year anniversary post.

 

Goals

sewing reflections goals

*Sew 300 times a year

The first criteria for setting goals is: “Be realistic!”. That’s why want to sew 300 days a year instead of every day. I’m lucky to have my own sewing room so I can easily start sewing most of the days, even if it is only for fifteen minutes. To keep the score I mark my sewing days on the Sew DIY sewing calendar. (How nerdy can you be?)Counting my sewing days

*Make no sewing promises

Like I wrote above I will not make sewing promises anymore. This does not imply that I won’t sew for other people. No, I am still going to do that but without outspoken promises. Also, I still am going to participate in some sewing challenges but I will be more selective.

*2018MakeNine

What am I going to sew in 2018?¬† A variety of garments I hope, but certainly bra’s. The attentive readers of my blog may be a bit skeptical here because I said this also for 2016 and for 2017.¬† Indeed, the Watson Bra was on my 2016MakeNine and on my 2017MakeNine.
Even though I sewed 40 projects in 2017 I only made two garments of my 2017MakeNine: the Paxson sweater and the Hudson Pants for man.
But I still like the not yet sewed patterns of 2016 and 2017 so I decided to keep them on my 2018MakeNine. The new ones are:
*The V9075 Jumpsuit
*The Ellsworth Coat – Christine Haynes

2018MakeNine
2018MakeNine

I wish you all a very inspiring sew year!

¬į¬į¬į

Read more about The Sewing Top 5 series: Hits, Misses and Highlights!

Top 5 of 2017: the misses & the highlights

Following Gillian in her Sewing Top 5 series, next up are: my misses and highlights of 2017.

sewing top 5 misses highlights

It’s a bit strange to make a podium for your misses, isn’t it? You don’t want to honor them but would rather forget them. On the other hand, you learn something from your blunders. That makes them a kind of necessary evil for improving your sewing skills. In no particular order are here 5 of my misses:

1 The Bridgetown backless dress from Sew House SevenThe Bridgetown backless dress from Sew House Seven

What went wrong? First, I cut the sleeves cross grain because I thought the stripes would give a nice effect. On the contrary, this made them pop up instead of falling on the arm. Second, the fabric was somewhat too stiff to give the dress the needed drape. Third, there was not enough ease around the hips. I should have looked better to the given finished measurements. I never wore it.
What can I do with it? Restyling it into another garment will be the only solution for this dress.

 

2. The Saunio Cardigan from NamedSaunio Cardigan Named

What went wrong? What was I thinking using a woven fabric when the pattern asked for a knit. It could have turned out ok if I’d made the arms a bit wider. Now they are at their narrowest. I wore it a few times but I’m not really comfortable in it.
What can I do with it? Perhaps I should make a belt for it like Jessica did. Otherwise, it is also going to the restyling pile.

 

3. The Carolyn Pajama DressCarolyn Pajamas Dress

What went wrong? This Carolyn Pajama Dress hack was supposed to be my entry for the ‘Sewtoghetherforsummer challenge.’ Unfortunately, I didn’t reach the deadline of 21st of June to finish it. Now, it is still laying there on my WIP-pile.
What can I do with it? Finish it! It’s cut and I have all the needed notions.

 

4. The Skeleton PJ’s for my godsonSkeleton Fabric

What went wrong? I promised my godson PJ’s for his new year’s present but I only managed to finish the pants on time. Hence he received a PIP‚ÄĒPresent in Progress. He triet them on and they were on the small side. I could solve this by putting a band on the side seams. I had also already cut the pieces for the top¬†so probably¬†these will be on the small side too. In fact, in the rush to get the present ready on time, I used a too small pattern for his measurements. I made some alterations on it but it was a lost cause. Now, almost a year later, he has grown more than 7 cm so the PJ’s are not usable anymore.
What can I do with it? Use the pieces for a PJ for a smaller child.

5. Turning my WIP’s in UFO’s

I started 2017 with 6 WIP’s‚ÄĒfinished two‚ÄĒ and I ended it with 4 UFO’S.

  • Duffel bag to use for pattern drafting class
    Started in September 2016
    I cut all the pieces and bought a zipper
  • Boxer shorts for my sons
    Started in September 2016
    I cut all the pieces and made a mistake: the front and the back have different colours from the same fabric!
  • Paxson for my son
    Started in December 2016
    Cut all the pieces
    I put the sleeves with the wrong side of the fabric up!
  • Hudson pants for my daughter-in-law
    I made 7 Hudson pants for my family’s New Year’s present. Unfortunately one for my daughter-in-law was too small.

What can I do? Finish all of them!!

 

sewing top 5 misses highlights

Life isn’t only about sewing! Or, is it? So here are my highlights of 2017.

 

1 Podere Santa PiaAbout ten years ago we bought a holiday home‚ÄĒPodere Santa Pia‚ÄĒ in the South of Tuscany, Italy. It is our heaven on earth. Going there as much as my working schedule allows is truly a highlight of my life! More, I can also sew there and that makes this place even more¬†of a paradise.
Every time we visit Podere Santa Pia, or we have friends or family visiting us we take a goodbye picture. You can see them all on Instagram with #ciaosSantaPia.

 

2 Spending time with my familyWe have three, now adult, children and I love them and their significant others to pieces. We installed a tradition to make pizza’s on Sundays, when we are at home. These are great nights.

 

3 Quiet days with friendsEnjoying a “quiet day” at the Martin Creed show at Museum Voorlinden.

We have a more than 35-year long during friendship with another couple. More than 15 years ago we decided to no longer give each other material gifts for birthdays. Instead we give each other time. We call this “our quiet day”, which we organize for each other several days a year. This can involve visiting an exhibition, or a historical place and have a nice dinner together. When this “quiet day” is in Podere Santa Pia (see highlight 1) the joy is double.

 

4 City trip to LondonMy husband had a business meeting in London last May and we took advantage of it to stay there for 4 days. It had been 15 years since we visited and we were excited about the renewed acquaintance with this fantastic city. Totaly new for me now was the discovery of the famous Goldhawk Road, THE fabric shop street. Strolling around in this street and, of course, buying fabric was the crowning point of this trip.

 

5 Nick Cave concertI don’t often go to concerts anymore. This year I only went to two: Bob Dylan’s Never-ending Tour and Nick Cave’s Skeleton Tree Tour. Both of these concerts were amazing but I was totally blown away by Nick Cave. This was so heartfelt and moving, and at the same time energetic and diabolic. The best concert I’ve ever experienced.

 

Next Up in the Sewing Top 5 series are: the reflections and the goals.

 

 

 

 

 

What I sewed in 2017-Top 5: the hits

There are two reasons why I love a new year. One, you can start a lot of things with a clean slate, and two, you can look back and reflect on the past year.
Like last year I collected all my sewing data in an infographic and here below you see the result.

what I sewed 2017 sewing top 5 the hits

What do these numbers say?

In one sentence: I sew for women, using a pdf pattern from an Indie Pattern Designer. No drastic changes here in comparison with last year.

40 sewing projects

These 40 sewing projects are all finished ones. (I may have a few UFOs also). That’s one less than in 2016. Like last year I am a little disappointed with this number because I have this irrational idea in my head that I want to sew something new once a week. I knew I¬†didn’t succeed at this because last September and October I totally lost my sewing-mojo.

 

Top 5 of 2017

I am joining Gillian from ‘Craftingarainbow’ for the #SewingTop5 of 2017. It’s already the 5th time she launches this annual blog series. Like she says: “It’s a chance to review what worked or didn’t, celebrate the highlights, reflect and get some goals for the next year.”¬† All the things I like about starting a new year.¬† So, here I start with my Top 5 Hits.

Top 5 Hits

My hits are sewing projects that gave me the most joy.¬†This joy can be¬†derived from various sources:¬†from the pleasure of wearing it, the challenge of the sewing, the first time of tackling that particular technique, or the gratitude you receive from the person you sewed for…

Here are in random order my 5 Hits of 2017.

The Vogue DKNY V1235 Dress1. The Vogue DKNY  V1235 Dress
I sewed this dress for my daughter to attend the wedding of her best friend. I worked very hard on this dress: I made two muslins for it and executed¬†my first FBA‚ÄĒthat still sounds like a medical procedure ;). It was also the first time I sewed with border fabric. I¬†love how the placing of the border I had in my head came out. My daughter received a lot of compliments on the dress and she loves wearing it. This makes me sew happy!

 

Toaster sweater 2 Sew House 72. The Toaster Sweater#2 from Sew House Seven
Thanks to the SewMyStyle project I sewed this Toaster Sweater and I am so glad I did. It was a quick sew with instant gratification. I wore it a lot and I would never have thought that I could pair it with a variety of clothes, old and new ones, like the A-line skirt and the plissé skirt.

 

Chari Dress Schnittchen Patterns3. The Chari Dress from Schnittchen Patterns
I was a pattern tester for¬†Schnittchen Patterns new collection and though I am not a ruffle kind of girl, I’m glad I picked this pattern. It turned out that ruffles could be stylish for me.
This dress also proved to be the ultimate summer dress when we had temperatures around 40¬įC last August. So, no surprise here that I wore it A LOT!

 

restyle refashion4. The restyling of a men’s shirt
Wow! This project had several firsts for me! I never restyled/refashioned something before and I never hand-printed fabric. I succeeded in both new skills and I am very proud of¬†the result. Extra exciting was that this project was for the First Restyling Exchange. So it was not for me but for Elisabete, who sent me her husband’s shirt and received a top for her. It was thrilling to wait whether the top would suit her and if she would like it. I got two yesses!

 

plissé skirt Lotte Martens5. My Plissé Skirt
I only sewed this skirt on Christmas Eve but it feels like my best sewing project of 2017. The fabric is exquisite and it took only half an hour to transform it into a skirt. More, I feel like a queen when I am wearing it. A fabulous project to finish my 2017 sew year.

Next up are  Misses & Highlights, and Reflections & Goals.

 

MMMay 17 – It’s a wrap!

Me-Made-May’17 is finished! I am happy because I reached my goals: wearing a different me-made garment every day. More, I also pledged to wear at least 10 new me-made’s‚ÄĒsewed between June 2016 and May 2017. I succeeded.
I already wrote about the first half of my MMMay 17. Below, I’ll tell you about the second half and some further general observations.

Me Made May 17
31 May 2017, my husband repaired an old little bench and I am wearing me-¬†made’s.
New garments

MMMay 17 overview

Two Rushcutters ‚ÄĒ In the Folds ¬†// ¬†Simplicity 1355 // Daphne Day Dress¬†‚ÄĒSew This Pattern

 

MMMay'17

DKNY Vogue 1349 // Toaster Sweater #2¬†‚ÄĒ Sew House Seven //¬†Nan√∂o Top and Brooklyn Skirt¬†‚ÄĒ Seamwork

Old garments

MMMay'17

New Look 6106¬†// Seafarer Top ‚ÄĒ Sew Much Ado and Versatile Wrap Skirt ¬†‚ÄĒ Make it perfect // Crepe Dress¬†‚ÄĒ Colette
Zippy Top ‚ÄĒ See Kate Sew and Skirt from Allemaal rokjes¬†// Box Pleat Skirt from Allemaal rokjes¬†// Rachel Wrap Dress¬†‚ÄĒ Maria Denmark

Some observations about the second half of MMMay

There are only little changes in my observations in comparison to the first half of MMMay.

  • Still a LOT of prints! I definitely have to sew some solids.
  • A variety of colours.
  • No repeats, at all.
  • An eclectic style.
  • We had some ‘tropical’ weather so I was happy to wear my Summer clothes.
  • Two old rtw-tops. The others I made myself.
  • Taking a picture of yourself every day is quite confronting.
  • I enjoy the challenge to search my wardrobe every day to look for a new me-made!
Conclusion

I enjoyed MMMay’17. I am thrilled that I am able to wear unique me-made clothes 31 days in a row. On top of that, I’m really pleased that half of them are recent makes. Though I must confess that I didn’t wear some of the old makes since last May, I was happy with the excuse to wear them again.

This challenge also makes me reflect on my wardrobe. There are some gaps:
*  tops
*  trousers РI only wore some comfy pants last month
*  garments in solid colours
*  an in-between seasons coat or jacket
* ¬†bra’s

MMMay'17
My Me-Made-May’s from 2017

It was also fun and inspiring to see all the beautiful makes from other sewists on Instagram and on the blogs. Again I met some new amazing and creative people.

I am already looking forward to MMMay 2018!

MMMay 2016
My Me-Made-May’s from 2016.

MMMay 17 – halfway

We are halfway through Me-Made-May’17 so it’s time for some observations. It’s the second year I’m participating, therefore I extended my pledge.¬†Besides wearing one me-made garment every day I also endeavor to wear at least 10 me-made garments I didn’t wear last year. I also want to wear 31 different outfits. Did I succeed so far?

New garments

Me-Made-May '17NO.7 VANL√ėSE — How to do fashion¬†// ¬†Moneta dress — Colette patterns¬† // ¬†¬†Brooklyn skirt –Seamwork¬† // ¬†¬†Walkey¬†dress – – MIY collection

 

Me-Made-May '17

Two hour top¬†(free pattern) — Sew Different¬† // ¬†¬†Ariadne Tunic¬† (free pattern) — Tanit-Isis Sews¬† // ¬† Veloculottes¬†— Sew This Pattern¬† // ¬†¬†KnipMode skirt

So far I wore 7 new me-made garments thus I am on track. Except for the Moneta dress, these were all sewed last Summer. The Ariadne Tunic is, in fact, an old make but I did not wear it last May. ¬†I sewed it¬†in 2014. The back is perfect but there are some imperfections at the front so I don’t wear it often.

Old garments

Me-Made-May '17

Paula pleat skirt — Maria Denmark¬† // ¬†Amelia Dress — Green¬†Bee Patterns¬† // ¬†Hudson Pant — True Bias¬† // ¬†Sureau dress — Deer&Doe¬† // ¬† NewLook 6106¬† // ¬†Julia Sweater — Compagnie M. and Skirt from Allemaal rokjes ¬† // ¬†Odette dress — Blue Gingerdoll

Seven days I wore clothes that I also wore in last year’s me-made-may. I don’t consider that a bad thing. It means they still fit me and that I am happy to wear them.

Some observations
  • A¬†LOT of prints! I definitely have to sew some solids.
  • A variety of colours.
  • No repeats, so far.
  • An eclectic style.
  • All the tops‚ÄĒexecpt the Julia Sweater‚ÄĒare old rtw’s.
  • Taking a picture of yourself every day is quite confronting. Also, there were a lot of grey¬†days with bad light. A true damper on the party.
  • I enjoy the challenge to search my wardrobe every day to look for a new me-made!

How is your me-made-may going?

What I sewed in March ‚Äď What I want to sew in April

print fabrics
Wearing my print fabrics for MIYMarch17

Although March is a long month I didn’t achieve a lot of sewing. There were a huge workload and family to take care of. On top of that, my sewing room was such a mess that I felt no desire to smuggle in some sewing minutes.
Luckily there is the Project SewMyStyle so at least I sew one item a month. But I succeeded to sew some more. Read all about below:

March sewing
The nanöo top

sewing realizationIf you follow my blog then you know that every week I select patterns that are special for me: “the eye-catchers“. ¬†The nan√∂o top was one of them. This pattern gives striped fabric a nice cachet. I wore it several times and get compliments about it. Probably there will follow more.

Watson bikini’s

sewing realization

I was desperate in need for new undies and nothing better than using your leftovers to sew some. This time I used the Watson bikini pattern because I have it for more than two years now. Also, the pattern kept popping up lately. It is a quick sew‚ÄĒespecially when you use your overlocker. But I like the fit of the Ladies Basic Briefs Bottoms from Jocole more. That is the pattern I used for my previous self-sewed undies.

The Virginia leggings

sewing realization

The third project of SewMyStyle was the Virginia leggings from Megan Nielsen. Leggings are way out of my comfort zone but I accepted the challenge. I am glad I did because these are so comfortable and I love to wear them combined with a dress or a skirt.
sewing realization

Straight skirt

I finalized the muslin of my self-drafted pattern¬†for a straight skirt. This is the project I’m working on in the pattern drafting class I am following

WIP’s

Did I finish any WIP’s this month? No! Did I create new WIP’s? No! So the score remains 6 WIP’s.

April Planning

What are my sewing plans for this month?

  • First, I would like to sew a Moneta dress for my daughter. (repeat from my March planning)
  • Second, I am going to test a pattern for Snitchenatterns. (sshht, big secret)
  • Third, the April project of SewMyStyle:¬†The Bridgetown Backless Dress from SewHouse7
  • Fourth, I would like to start on the V9015 jumpsuit. This pattern has been an eye-catcher twice now.
  • And last‚ÄĒthis is a keeper‚ÄĒI really would like to finish at least one of my WIP‚Äôs.

What are your sewing plans for April?

 

What I sewed in February – What I want to sew in March

Wow, February was a short but such an intense sewing month! As I told you before the theme of the month seemed to be secrecy and that made the sewing really thrilling. Even more thrilling was the grand finale of the month: the Moneta Party! Read all about it below:

February sewing
  • The 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange

    reversible tote bagFor my Secret Valentine I made a reversible tote bag and a coin purse. I wanted to sew both for a long time and I had a great time doing so. The tote bag came together very easily but I struggled more with the coin purse. Even after making one for practice I kept struggling with attaching the fabric to the frame. But a handmade gift can afford some imperfection, can’t it?

  • The Daphne Day Dress from Sew this Pattern

    Daphne Day DressI consider myself lucky that I could test the latest pattern of Sew This Pattern. It was a bit challenging but I like that because you can use your skills and the result gives you a lot of satisfaction. I used some vintage cotton fabric I had in my collection. When you live in the Northern hemisphere and you test a pattern from a designer of the Southern hemisphere then you have to brave the cold to make some pictures. But I’m really looking forward to wearing this Summer dress in the Summer!

  • The self-drafted skirt for the pattern drafting class

    I’m so enjoying this pattern drafting class that I’m taking. Our first homework was to draft a block for a straight skirt. Mine turned out to be a bit too small so I have to make some alterations for next class.

  • The Moneta dress from Colette Patterns

    The sewing community had a blast of a Moneta Party. Sewing together a Moneta dress was really very stimulating. I had great fun. Read all about it here.

  • The Saunio cardigan for the SewMyStyle project.

    The second project of SewMyStyle was the Saunio cardigan of Named Clothing. This pattern is a little out of my comfort zone but I accepted the challenge.
    I made it in a loosely woven linen with a woven print and lengthened the bodice with 13 cm. It came together very easy except for the sleeves. The front of the sleeve cap needed easing in and it shows.  Also, for me, the sleeves were a little too narrow and I widened them as much as my seam allowance let me. But I still think there is something not really right with the design of the sleeves.
    At first I wasn’t thrilled with the result but after wearing it a day¬†it grew on me.

  • WIP’s

    Did I finish any WIP’s? No! Did I create new WIP’s? No! So the score remains 6 WIP’s.

 

March Planning

What are my sewing plans for this month?

What are your sewing plans for March?

What I sewed in January – What I want to sew in February

Wow, I blinked a couple of times and January has passed. Even February is already flying away. Still, I wanted to share what I sewed in January and look ahead for my sewing plans for February.

January sewing

The sewing theme for this month seems to be gifts: for my husband, my family and my godson. You will find a roundup below.

  • Men’s¬†Hudson Pant from True Bias

    Men's Hudson Pant
    Men’s Hudson Pant for my man
  • Finally, I sewed my beloved pants for my husband. It was already my fifth one so I had no trouble with the sewing. I made it in a real soft light-weight jersey I found at the Neuk√∂llner Stoff in Berlin. I used some leftovers from my Wren dress for the pockets. The fit is spot on but my husband is not really in favour of smaller legs and the ankle cuffs, so he made his demands for the next one! But he sleeps in it.
  • The Seamwork Paxson

    Seamwork Paxson

  • The Seamwork Paxson was on my #2016MakeNine list. ¬†Last December, I cut one out for my son but accidently sewed the back with the wrong side of the fabric to the good side of the fabric. That’s why it is still a WIP today. Luckily, I could use the same size of the pattern¬†for my husband, so that was a win.
    Because the plan was to use this sweater together with the Hudson pant from above, I cut it in the same jersey. The sewing went easy‚ÄĒlike all Seamwork patterns. Alas, the arms and the bodice were too short. Luckily it fits me. So now I have a new sweater and my husband has half a pyjama.
  • Pyjamas for my godson

    He got them as a new year’s present but I only managed to finish the pants. So he received a PIP‚ÄĒPresent in Progress.¬†I made them in this funky skeleton cotton that I also found at the Neuk√∂llner Stoff in Berlin.

  • 7 Hudson Pants

    To celebrate New Year I made matching Hudson pants for my family and myself. How I did that I will tell in a future blog post.

    Sewing 7Hudson Pants
    Hudson Pant sewing line
  • Toaster Sweater#2

    January was also the first month of the SewMyStyle project. I finished the Toaster Sweater with ease last Thursday of January and I love it. You can read all about here.

  • Did I finish any WIP’s? No! Did I create new WIP’s? Yes, the pyjamas for my godson. So now the score is 6 WIP’s.

February Planning

What are my sewing plans for this very short month? And it seems the theme is secrecy.

  • First, of course, the 2017 Secret Valentine Exchange.
    I’ve selected my fabric and at the moment I’m totally absorbed in the making of my gift.
  • Second, I’m going to test a pattern for a dress. It’s the¬†Daphne Day Dress from Sew This Pattern.
  • Third, the second project of Sew My Style: the Saunio¬†Cardigan of ¬†Named Clothing. This pattern is a little out of my comfort zone but Jessica‚ÄĒone of the SewMyStyle leaders‚ÄĒmade already a very inspiring make.
  • Fourth, making a muslin of my first self-drafted pattern of a straight skirt‚ÄĒassignment for my pattern drafting class.
  • Fifth, the Moneta Party! I’m going to sew my first Moneta.
  • And last, I really would like to finish at least one of my WIP’s.

What are your sewing plans for February?