I really do love this 5 challenges thing Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow runs. Its a really good opportunity to take stock and reflect on how my skills are improving, how my wardrobe is shaping up and how my attitude to issues of sustainability is shaping my life – both at work and at home.
Her first challenge is the top 5 hits of 2017. This was a really difficult list to curate which is a brilliant sign for me – it means I’m more and more making good quality garments which suit me and my lifestyle.
So without further ado:
Grainline Morris blazer
I won this pattern in IPM 2016 and though I’ve made previous blazers before this has become my favourite. Partly because I made it out of a block colour which means its wearble with most things. But mostly because its lovely and soft and quite modern. I’ve read lots of reviews where people said they didn’t like the sleeve length (it stops at bracelet length) but I think thats one of the standout features.
Anyway I made this navy one in January and have been planning a second one ever since then. Just life has gotten in the way until now.
This is made from an Ikea duvet that I picked up in a bargain bin. I originally made it because I wanted to join in the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge on instagram but was too poor to buy new fabric. And yet despite its lowly origins this has been one of my favourite summer dresses and has amassed so many compliments from friends and strangers.
Butterick denim culottes
Irritatingly I bought this pattern only for it to arrive as a freebie with my next issue of Love Sewing Magazine. Still it means I can regift it to someone next year. I made a mock up using the pattern in red because I’ve been wanting a pair of red cullotes for, like, forever. Sadly they just didn’t suit me. The side-seam pockets on the hips billow out and tug down making my crotch looking something awful. And then the centre front invisible zip is just odd. So I reworked them and made them more jean-like in shape with hip pockets and a proper fly front out of a soft denim. Again these became my favourite summer make and got worn constantly. The best bit was I could wear them when cycling to work without any fear of flashing.
Zebra button back blouse
The pattern is a New Look pattern I’ve made oodles from so really this shouldn’t be anything remarkable. The fabric was also just an impulse buy at the Knitting and Stitching show in Edinburgh in May. And yet the 2 come together to create my favourite garment of the year. A zebra button back blouse it turns out is the staple garment all wardrobes need.
As a zoology graduate this also garnered a lot of admiring comments from my colleagues and clients. A bonus for me.
I set my target for 2017 to make a bra and my lovely husband supported this by buying me a sewing pattern for Christmas – Madalynne’s Simplicity pattern. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be. It was just too darn small for my boobs.
I next attempted the Maya bra a free pattern to download. This one was too big unfortunately (starting to sound like a Goldilocks situation isn’t it?).
And so to my final attempt when I’d lost a bit of heart, the harriet bra. Not only did it fit it looks freaking bad ass. As a result I’ve made a second and I’m halfway through a 3rd. I may venture into the Boylston bra in 2018 but I’m not sure if I need to. This pattern is awesome, makes bras that fit me brilliantly and is versatile enough to make many different versions.
Are you joining in the top 5?