The Top 5 lists are back!
Head on over to Gillian’s blog to grab an icon and check out her suggested lists and thoughts on why looking back on our projects is a useful exercise. As a navel-gazing type, I needed no convincing to join in again.
I’ve still got some unblogged 2013 projects and hope to share them before I do the hits as some of them are contenders. I’m optimistically assuming I won’t sew up a spectacular failure in between now and New Year’s. So, in chronological order, here are the 5 projects that have not stood the test of time.
1. Sweater Renfrew
What went wrong: fit issues
This picture really says it all. I tried to wear it anyway for 6-7 months, but I now know that I needed to widen the shoulders as well as make them more square. I hated how it lifted off every time I moved my shoulders. It’s been sold to a thrift store, and I hope it’s found a good home with someone who is more slender- and sloped-shouldered than I. Shouldn’t be hard! I recently re-visited the pattern and was able to employ some of the fit knowledge I’ve gathered this year to make the necessary alterations.
2. Natural-blocking tunic
What went wrong: low-quality fabric, sewing inexperience
I really, really like the concept of this tunic but I always ended up feeling a little sloppy when I wore it. The seam between the top (cut on the bias) and the bottom (on grain) looks a little wavy. The tan linen (yep, THAT tan linen) didn’t wear well throughout the day. I ended up cutting it to a shirt length, which helped, and it went into a dye vat this morning. We’ll see if it survives!
3. Basic black sweater
What went wrong: low-quality fabric
This sweater is still in my closet, but its days are numbered. I made it out of a rayon slub knit that I purchased at Pacific Fabrics when I couldn’t find a sturdier black sweater knit. It attracts lint and generates tons of its own. I wore it to the salon to get my hair cut, and the stylist looked like she didn’t want to touch it when she went to hang it up. I felt some shame, but continued to wear it because it worked so well with my tank tops.
I think this is the worst sort of fail, because I don’t think this garment will be desirable enough to donate or sell when I decide it’s too disgusting to wear. It feels very wasteful! I suppose I should looking for a textile recycle option. I’d really like to re-make it in a nice sweater or linen knit and will make every attempt to vet the quality of the fabric!
4. Wiksten tank hack
What went wrong: hasty sewing, fit issues
I was still figuring out how low to make the neckline on my Wiksten tanks when I made this variation, and it’s just too low. I chalk this one up mostly to hasty sewing, because I think that’s why I overlooked the neckline. I’m pretty sure this tank has embarrassed me in public. I need to unpick the neck and arm bindings so I can fix it. By the time spring rolls around, I’m hoping to feel motivated as I really like the two-fabric design and the button placket.
5. Isabel-inspired PJ pants
What went wrong: hasty sewing, “meh” design
I think I was just too much in a rush to finish these pants for the Pajama sew-along to do them justice. I was adapting a pattern on the fly (and very quickly). I wish the slant pockets came in further. They’re a little big through the leg and the elastic cuffs hit at an awkward spot. I didn’t even want to wear them to lounge around the house. They were sold this weekend to a thrift store. Still, I’m glad I tried to improvise and I used thrifted fabric.
By my count, the culprit tally is fit issues (2), low-quality fabric (2), hasty sewing (2), sewing inexperience (1) and “meh” design (1). I’m not that concerned about the last two. I think it’s exciting to learn something new by making a mistake, or by dreaming up an idea only to realize it needs tweaking. Fit issues also get easier to tackle with experience. It’s the hasty sewing and bad fabric that I’d like to work on in 2014. I’ve been rushing through less projects this year and I’ve noticed a huge uptick in quality (and I tend to catch fit issues that come up.) The fabric issue isn’t completely in my hands, but I think a mixture of educating myself on the feel, look and structure of good fabric will go a long way – as will trusting my instincts. If I think back to when I purchased the black rayon jersey, I remember my desire to get it sooner drowning out the voices saying the fabric wasn’t quite right.
Taking a look back at last year’s misses, I had 4 instances of unsuitable fabric (too thick, too thin, no drape, etc.) and 2 instances of hasty sewing. I do feel like my fabric choices have improved immensely, so it’s nice to not have that problem pop up this year! And while I have the same number of hastily-sewn projects, I sewed a lot more projects this year – most of them, without rushing.
Are you reflecting on your year in sewing?