Top 5 hits of 2013

My ambitions of photographing a few more projects before writing up my Top 5 hits went out the window when I got horribly sick last Wednesday. I’ve turned the corner, although I’m still only getting out of bed to to steam my face and refill my ginger tea. Now that I’m coherent and just starting to get antsy from all the bed rest, I thought I’d write up my 2013 favorites.

1. The Huge Quilt
What went right: used lots of scraps, highly useful, fit my original vision

crabandbee.com | scrap quilt

So much sick time in bed has really given me time to appreciate this quilt. Even though its creation involved a lot of repetition, it was worth it.

2. White Mathilde
What went right: second-hand fabric, lots of wear, good fit, fits within my wardrobe

crabandbee.com | Tilly & the Buttons Mathilde blouse

Adjusting the bust width and dart position as well as removing the back button placket made my second Mathilde even better than the first. I wore it constantly in the early fall, when it was a bit warmer, and look forward to wearing it again in warmer temps. I used  thicker but loosely-woven linen I got at the second-hand fabric store.

3. Pleated python pants
What went right: second-hand fabric, lots of wear, good fit

crabandbee.com | Burda 7250

After many muslins and a month-long hiatus, I finished my first pair of pants! I wear them constantly. Sure, they have issues – the fabric is fun to look at but kinda nasty, the waistband isn’t pretty on the inside, and I now know that lengthening the front inseam above the knee would make it easier to bend my knees. But the fit is great, I love the style and I freakin made pants.

4. Birthday blues shirt
What went right: lots of wear, good fit, fits within his wardrobe

crabandbee.com | McCall's 6044

This was the second super-successful man shirt I made this year. I think the Western-style yokes really make this shirt interesting but not flashy – just like my man. It gets worn a lot, even into the fall/winter.

5. Shibori Satsuki
What went right: textile experimentation, repurposed undesirable fabric

crabandbee.com | Victory Patterns Satsuki

I think this is one of the more beautiful things I’ve made this year, and it was my re-introduction into dyeing cloth. This is pretty much only a summer top, with the shoulder cutouts and wide sleeves, and I’m eager to wear it again.

Honorable Unmentionables: So, Zo scrunds
What went right: used lots of scraps, lots of wear, good fit

crabandbee.com

Sewing scrunds might have sounded a bit absurd to me a few years ago, but I completely see the practicality now:  they fit wonderfully, they guzzle up knit scraps and they sew up quickly. I think I’ve got enough scraps to make up some more!

So what have I learned from choosing my favorites from 2013? Unsurprisingly, I like projects that see a lot of use! I feel good when a project uses up scrap fabric or thrifted fabric (or transforms undesirable fabric). Good fit is imperative, as is good fabric choice. Four of my favorite projects this year (the quilt, pants, Satsuki, and scrunds) were outside of my comfort zone, and I was glad of the challenge once I was done.

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42 thoughts on “Top 5 hits of 2013

  1. You need to make more pants! I love the cut of those ones on you, and you put so much work into them… now it’s time to sit back and crank out a pair or two in fabric that is nicer to wear! (The originals looks great tho!) Also, it occurs to me… What would Satsuki be like in a light sweater knit? A Satsuki for every season!

    1. I’m one step ahead of you, Gillian! Well, kinda – the picture of the busted welt pockets I posted on Instagram was the backside of a new pair of the same pants (with some updates). I’m down to about two pairs of pants that I wear regularly, so the sooner I finish them, the better! I’ll bet a sweater knit Satsuki would be luxurious.

  2. I said it before and I’ll say it again – I love your approach to these posts!

    I am SO glad you are getting a lot of wear out of those python pants, because I think they’re so cool. And while I’m very sorry you’ve been so ill, at least you have a gorgeous quilt now to cuddle up under! Hope you’re back to 100% in no time 🙂

  3. I love your quilt, it is fun but not too craftsy… while I admire those quilts they wouldn’t fit in my home at all, something like this definitely would!

  4. I’ve yet to get around to my hits/misses list, but I love your term “undesirable fabric”. Such a good way to put it! And the python pants are awesome – good luck with your next pairs.

  5. All your makes are so lovely; it must have been really hard to pick just five! The ones that made the cut are stunning. I completely love your shibori dyed number… and I’d love to try this technique out for myself sometime 🙂

  6. So sorry to hear you’re under the weather. This is a great post, and must be a mood-booster to see your fantastic creations at least 🙂 I’m in love with your Satsuki top, though your top five list is impressive all -around. Feel better, Morgan!

    1. It sounded similar to the horrible bug you caught earlier this fall. It really lingered! And yah, I was really excited to have this post to write up while I was sick! It was the second-best thing next to actually sewing.

  7. Wow, what a great list! And all such different items! I, too, love how you use a lot of thrifted fabric. And I’m hoping to get into making some unmentionables, too… hopefully in 2014!

  8. So many great makes and all so different. I agree with Gillian that those pants are such a great fit and look for you! Hope you are feeling better. x

  9. Beautiful creations Morgan, every one….I’m in awe of your men’s shirt though! So professional looking, well done!

  10. Ugh I am sorry to hear you have been poorly – it’s certainly the time of year for illnesses it seems! I loved reading about your most favoured projects of 2013. I’m not at all surprised your quilt made the list (it’s one of my favourites you made, too). Also that excellently executed shirt and the Mathilde blouse – I had dismissed that pattern until I saw your version! I think you’ve had a great year for sewing.

    1. Thanks so much, Philippa! This is definitely the most I’ve ever sewed in a year, and I feel more confident. I am feeling better and can’t wait to get back into it. 🙂

  11. Lovely makes – all of them. That quilt is just perfect, I had a scrap quilt on my agenda this year as well, but haven´t quite gotten around to making it yet. Maybe there still is time? We´ll see. Hope you are feeling much better and that you are enjoying the holidays! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Solvi! I’ll bet you’ve got some lovely scraps, based on your fabric choices for projects I’ve seen. And there’s always 2014 to finish your scrap quilt!

  12. Morgan, I love all your hits and also how diverse they are. Your Satsuki is beautiful and that quilt looks super cozy. Also, I had not realized until now that you removed the back buttons on your Mathilde! One of the reasons I held back from that pattern was those buttons – I was scared they would dig into my spine the way my Sencha buttons do. Plus, you made trousers – super star!

    1. Thanks, Andrea! I’ve only worn the buttonless Mathilde since I made it (it doesn’t hurt that the bust darts are in the right place and there’s a bias-bound neck instead of a facing, either). I’m probably going to make another Mathilde this year and will definitely forgo the back buttons because I like how it looks better.

  13. Wow, that Satsuki is gorgeous! I also like the idea of taking the buttons off the Mathilde–I’ve generally tried to avoid button-back blouses, because I think that trying to get in and out of them would annoy me to no end.

    1. Thanks so much, Becky! I found I could actually get in and out of my buttoned version of Mathilde by pulling it on and off – so maybe if you like the look of the button-back blouse, it might be a good one to try! For some reason, I couldn’t get over the idea that the button placket was gaping when I couldn’t see it.

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