Top 5 Hits of 2012

Hi there! Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I realized that I don’t really have much/any time to wrap up my Top 5 lists before the end of the year! Somehow I always imagine that there is two weeks between Christmas and New Year’s instead of one (maybe because they’re so packed with activity). So with that in mind, I’m going to forge ahead with my Hits without the inclusion of my newer projects. Luckily, I’ve made at least five very useful and delightful projects this year; here they are in roughly chronological order!

1. The Persimmon Shirt

This shirt is every bit as bright as the photograph, and it cheers me up every time I put it on. It walks the narrow line between success and failure because I unknowingly made it from very low-quality, fragile voile. This means I only hand-wash it, but I still consider it a favorite from 2012!

Pattern: McCall’s 6436
Fabric: cotton voile

2. The Grown-Up Flower Girl Dress

My life-long dream of being a flower girl was fulfilled this February thanks to my very indulgent uncle and now-aunt who got married after 20 years together. I waffled between making matching dresses for my sister and me and decided at the last minute to go for it. I made a muslin for myself, finished my dress, then made some guesses about my sister’s dress based on how mine fit her.

Even though I haven’t had the occasion to wear this dress again (where does one wear a loud hot orange Amy Butler floral?), I’m so proud of the fit and construction.


As a bonus, I also made my husband’s shirt that he wore to the wedding. We’re looking practically model-esque thanks to my sister’s superior photography skills!

Patterns: Butterick 5639 (dress),  McCall’s 6044 (shirt)
Fabric: Amy Butler quilting cotton (dress), thrifted cotton gingham (shirt)

3. The Red Bustier

Here’s another exercise in good fitting. I made several rounds of adjustments to a muslin before making this bustier top and really saw a lot of gains from it. This top layers really well and has been a versatile piece for both work and other occasions. The fabric was first thrifted by my friend Elizabeth, then re-gifted to me when she made a big move to California.

Pattern: McCall’s 6325
Fabric: thifted quilting cotton

4. The Wedding Guest Dress

I’m so very proud of this dress. Somehow I managed to sew slowly and carefully but complete it in a matter of days before a wedding (with a muslin!) It was my first time sewing a big project using silk and definitely the most expensive fabric I’ve ever sprung for.

Pattern: Vogue 1228
Fabric: silk habotai

5. The Long-Awaited Minoru

Months in the making, my Sewaholic Minoru has quickly become one of the most-worn pieces in my wardrobe. I expect that will be even more true when the weather warms up a bit. I won’t go on too much about this piece since it’s blog debut was fairly recent, but it definitely makes the Top 5.

Pattern: Sewaholic Minoru
Fabric: Cotton twill with cotton lining

There you have it! The Top 5 Crab&Bee creations of 2012. (PS I had no idea I was such a McCall’s fan! The first three items on this list all involve a McCall’s pattern).


In February, I was a flower girl

Awhile ago, I made brief mention of a wedding that Bee and I went to with our parents and our men in February here and posted a potentially confusing image of Nathan dressed in gingham with his arms covered in leis here. Three months have passed and I forgot to post about the wedding!

Are you ready for the most exciting part aside from the actual marriage? This February, I got to be a FLOWER GIRL!

When my uncle and his partner of twenty years told us they were getting married (in Hawaii!), Bee and I were beside ourselves. Once we’d processed the wonderful news, we sent my uncle a tentative email asking if we could fulfill our childhod dreams and be their flower girls. And bless him, he indulged us.

I hemmed (ha!) and hawed about making our dresses; I’d started a new job fairly recently, I hadn’t sewn much for other people, etc. But less than a month before the wedding, I made a rash decision. I was making the dresses.

Bee and I have a mutual admiration for one another’s styles, and we do like to trade things back and forth, but given unlimited resources, we would probably choose very different things to wear. I drove the fabric-buying decision and she drove the pattern selection process. That’s how we ended up with Butterick 5639 with its empire waist and cap sleeves with a really loud Amy Butler persimmon floral print. Democracy in action!

I was pretty impressed with the pattern; I made a muslin and a few tweaks on the real version, but nothing major. It was also easy to adapt it for Bee once I’d made mine. I lined the bodice with voile left over from my persimmon shirt and finally learned of the magic that is possible with an invisible zipper foot (borrowed from my friend after he heard my griping about my zipper probs). I’m never going back. It’s next on my list of sewing-related purchases.

The wedding was pure magic and Bee and I had a grand old time being twinsies. Bee was working her camera magic and didn’t make it into her own beautiful photos, but rest assured that the effect of the two of us in our flower girl dresses was very striking!