Top 5 Hits of 2014 (+ reflections & goals)

15343108663_0fbe099154_m This was a tough list for me to make. I have been lucky to have a number of hits this year, although a lot of them have come in the last six months or so. I really love making a garment that fits me well and looks nice, but that I also wear a lot. So anyway enough blabbing, here are my top 5 hits of 2014:

1. Self-drafted Beetle Blouse - before you get too excited, I drafted this blouse with a pattern-maker template, so it was pretty easy. It was the first button down shirt I ever made, and I still love it to death. I wore in once or twice a week all summer and it still gets a bit of wear this winter with a cardigan thrown over top.


2. Sleeveless Moneta - the sleeveless part of this dress isn't the greatest as there is a lot of gaping, but throw a sweater or a jean jacket on top and you would never know. I wore this dress a ton in the summer and then I paired it with boots and tights for the colder months. It is super comfy and so easy to throw on. Plus I find it goes with everything. 


3. Grainline Studio's Archer - Dudes!! So far, this is my all time favourite pattern - to make and to wear. The buffalo check one was my first attempt - a bit of a wearable muslin. And then my Crazy Cat Lady version is where I really perfected the fit. I have made this shirt up 5 times for myself already (with 2 more in process right now) and once for my Mom. Now that I have my pattern altered perfectly, it is a cinch to make up. I have done an FBA and added a bust dart for my TNT version. I know some of you don't like bust darts, but it make a world of difference in the fit and look of a garment - I promise you it's worth the effort to add one. Someday I may try a dart less FBA, but for now I'm quite happy with how this baby turns out.



4. Ginger Jeans - I have made 2 pairs of Gingers so far (here and here) and I love both of them. I wear them all the time. I honestly can't rave about this pattern enough. It fit me pretty much perfectly right off the bat and the instructions are fantastic. I see many, many more pairs in my future, and I have a really hard time seeing myself buy another pair of RTW pants again.


5. Holiday Party Anna - okay, so this dress isn't really a wardrobe staple, but I absolutely love it. And everybody needs a good party dress, right? I felt so amazing wearing this at my husband's work Christmas party, and I was so proud that I made it myself. I think the colour really suited me, and the border print worked out amazingly. (If I do say so myself LOL.)


So as I said before, this was a tough list for me to make, so I also wanted to include some honourable mentions. I love my Nettie bodysuit and Chardon skirt, I love my Sutton blouses, and I love my Hudsons (see below). I have actually made 4 pairs of Hudsons and they are my go to lounge pant.


I also have to mention my Pyjama Eaters. I had so much fun making them (and posing them, photographing them, and writing about them), and every time I look  at them I smile.


Okay, time for a recap and some goals now: I have had a ton of fun sewing this year and I have learned a ton. I really feel like I have found my calling. It seems I have been searching and searching for a hobby my whole life, and this is one of the first times that I have stayed really passionate and thrilled about something for such a long time (well a year anyway but I'm just as excited about it, or maybe more than the day I started so I think that's pretty good). I look forward to fine tuning the skills I have learned so far and also tackling more complex patterns this year. I am trying really hard not to be intimidated by anything (especially patterns labelled intermediate or gasp! advanced), because I am one of those people who has to do it to learn it. I would also like to attempt making a coat or a jacket this year (hello #rigelbomberjacketjanuary!), and I would really like to make more jeans and some shorts. I am hoping to eventually have a complete handmade wardrobe, but we'll see.  I would also like to make my husband some things - maybe a shirt or two and some lounge pants. I'm trying not to set lofty goals as that seems to make me want to do the opposite - apparently I have a thing about rebelling against rules.

So there you have it - I am finished my wrap up for 2014. I have a bit of a backlog of projects to show you, so I'll get on that soon too! Hope you had a fabulous 2014 and I look forward to sharing my 2015 with you!

2 Monetas for the Price of One....

Okay obviously I am terrible at coming up with blog post titles, but I think we've already established that. Anyway, I made these two dresses a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to take photos or blog about them until now.  We are back in the city and yesterday I went out in the backyard with the tripod to take photos and was startled by a landscaper who had come in to start lawn maintenance - awkward! I smiled, grabbed the tripod, and high-tailed it back into the house until he was gone. Blogger problems! Anyway, I am quite happy with how the photos turned out. Here is my first version:


For my first Moneta, I went with the short-sleeve view in this pretty galaxy print I got from Girl Charlee. It's much thinner than I thought it would be but it is deliciously soft. Like flannel pyjama soft.  So what it lacks in weight, in makes up for in prettiness and softness.


I really like how comfy this dress is, and I feel that while it's still casual, it makes me feel a bit more put together than shorts and a tee. I was on the cusp between sizes, so I went with the L, but am wondering now if I could have gotten away with the M (it's a touch big in the shoulders). I chopped a whopping 2 inches off the bodice so it would hit at my (very short) natural waist, and then I took 1 inch off the skirt. What can I say? I'm short. My only real issue with the Moneta is figuring out which side is the front, and which side is the back. Looking at these pictures, I think there is a distinct possibility that I have it on backwards.


I guess I'll have to put a little tag in it or something. I wore this dress the night we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy and I didn't even clue in until we were leaving the theatre and someone gave me this knowing smile - and then I thought - I'm such a nerd, I wore my Galaxy print dress to the Guardians of the Galaxy! Cosplay and I didn't even know it. LOL. Not really, but I thought it was funny.


For my second version, I went with the sleeveless bodice and no collar. I feel like I have a ton of dresses with collars and I was worried about how the collar would lay in a knit, so I ditched it.


Are you sick of looking at pictures of me yet? Sorry to bombard you, but when I look at sewing/fashion blogs, I like to see all the angles so I can figure out how the pattern/outfit might look on me. Do you do that too? Plus, if you don't like to/have time to read you get a good idea of what's going on based on the pics.


This guy is also made out of a cotton lycra knit from Girl Charlee. It's super soft and I love the print. This bodice is lined and the Colette way of finessing the neck and armholes really is ingenious, but tricky. Thank goodness for the video, or I never would have figured it out. (Note to self, if you are going collarless, finish the neckline first!! And/or read through the entire tutorial before you start so you don't have any surprises at the end.) I have a bit of gaping at the neckline and armholes on this dress. And I am wondering if it's because the bodice is just a bit to big, or if I need to do some minor alterations - but alterations seem like such a pain in a knit dress.

IMG_4891I don't know, maybe a size down would be too revealing of all the lumps and bumps? Am I the only one who gets bra induced back fat? Is that okay to ask on the interwebs? Okay, maybe not bra induced but bra accentuated. And what is going on with the back of my hair? I need a haircut!

So that's it for my Monetas. I really like this pattern and I can see myself making it again - in fact I have some fabric already earmarked for a couple more. It's super quick to make and although I thought the elastic gathering at the waistline was kind of weird (and tricky), I really like the effect it creates and how it gives the waistline a bit of structure too.

I'll leave you with a couple of more pics of how I would wear this dress around town. Unless it is smoking hot out, I don't really love having my arms exposed in public so this is how I would wear this dress to run around - plus sometimes air-conditioned places are freezing! Hope you are having a great August so far!