Yeah, it’s a year end review- skip it if you want!



Yup, it’s a year end post. I know,  50% of you hate it and 50% of you think it’s a fishing for compliments experience. We shall see.

Blog truths: Often the makes I love the most and wear most are not  the stuff that gets the most blog endorsement. I don’t even blog some of my staples- cuz who wants to read about another top with 3/4 sleeves.  Often we post things that we want to love, we try to love, but we just know are wrong. What makes us do it? For me, it’s pushing the dream- I wanted my time to have been worthwhile, but sometimes it isn’t. Then I dream on and try to make the poses flattering enough to hide that parts I know didn’t work. I’m still making some clothes that don’t work for my body or my lifestyle. So for me, year end posts are about ripping off my personal sewing bandaids and planning for the next year based on what works for me and what I like to wear.

Ready for whiplash? Here’s the worst make of 2014:


Whew! Do I wear it? Yes. Do I think it’s the best use of fabric and pattern….no. Every body flaw gets it’s own focus in this one. I swear, I can see my belly button. I come home with bruised ribs and a woozy headache from sucking in all day.  Oh, mercy. Resolution: more attention to waist/hip detail and fabric choice!

This is so much better- still boxy, but the structure and fabric weight keep everything in there looking better! So a good combo of fun to sew, wearable and spiffy!

blue calhoun5

Back to the bad: Ok, I’m not petite, I’m not short waisted- I’m fat-waisted. I have minimal room at the waist for too much going on- this pattern is for the willowy and I made it anyway. Because….I don’t learn? Because it looked cute on the envelope. What a sucker! Spoken like the person who bought a ’99 VW bug! Also, those damn ties got stuck in doors, in the dog, under my desk chair wheels….do I wear it? No. I made a darling little unblogged top out the the excess and sent this one away!!!


Ok, so did I learn anything? Yes!  Simplicity 1431- curve friendly, waist defining- sleek, but swirly. Hmm….you deserve a remake!


Inching toward fit with a curvy retro vibe, but not hitting the mark- I throw on a cardigan with this at work- which takes all the cute away, and all you get is HUGE skirt being manoeuvred all  day. The sleek side panels of the Simplicity dress have a softer angle outward and give me the look I’m wanting with less ‘are you going square dancing in that?’ feels. It also suffers from ‘if it looks strange on the envelope, why would you think it won’t on you?’  syndrome.  I give it a 5- even the French judges didn’t like it.


Ok, we’re almost done. Here’s a favorite of my year that I think straddles the fit, fun and wearable best for me.  Mccalls 6739. God I love a sleevelet.  I bought this same upholstery print in another color family and it will see a summer make. I wish I had that latte right now…..


Ok, now here’s the 4 that made the people at Goodwill shiver with horror when  they opened the box:

PicMonkey Collage

Only Bruders gorgeous presence makes the collage palatable! So children, my lesson was: keep at it, but remember the shape I have and stop believing the envelope! Sometimes a bad ideas cannot be unbadded.


photo credits: meadhawg, google images. All images remain the property of their original owners.

48 thoughts on “Yeah, it’s a year end review- skip it if you want!

  1. gilliancrafts says:

    Your hits and misses are a tribute to how great you look in turquoise and coral! Your colours are always a win, even when the pattern turns out to be less than ideal. 🙂


  2. I know it’s not fashionable… but I confess I love these posts. Reviews & posts in those heady days of love when the garment first leaves the sewing room are great but what happens after a few wears… or no wears? That’s interesting to me.
    I also find it odd that people think you are fishing for compliments if you declare you don’t like something on yourself? Why isn’t that acceptable? For me, the wearing, styling etc is just as important as the sewing techniques – some might think that’s shallow but if you are making fabulous garments but not wearing them or liking them… what’s the point?
    I think it’s interesting to consider why it doesn’t work as a finished garment is just as interesting as whether it is a ‘good’ pattern. I mean it’s not as if some patterns haven’t been sewn & reviewed before, in the case of my recent sewing misfires, the McCalls shirtdress & Hollyburn skirt, they have been sewn & blogged a bazillion times. I made them… thought they were great patterns but don’t like the finished garment on me. I’m finding the comments on my Hollyburn skirt interesting because it is all wrong on me – and it’s interesting to read people’s thoughts & suggestions on what’s wrong, what they like, suggestions to fix it. I like that interaction & collective thinking.
    Anyways, I like your favourite picks. Great fabrics… and I used to think you were Queen of the Jungle but you may be Queen of the Tunic. Perhaps you will be Queen of the Jungle Tunic this January?
    Sorry for the rambling comment – I’ve just had my morning coffee!


  3. You are SO right on this one. Ignore the envelope technical drawing at your peril. I have made many a garment I ended up chucking in the charity shop pile because of poorly placed extra flounces! Here’s to a productive 2015 full of sewing possibilities!


  4. Learning what shapes and fabrics look good on your body type is probably one of the most challenging things…it’s SO easy to believe the pattern envelope. Who really wants to translate “Pattern” into “reality”, anyway? But, a must if you’re not going to waste time churning out wadders 😉

    I always learn something from your blogs. Thanks for sharing your year! Looking forward to 2015 🙂


  5. i love these posts, where we hear about what the garments were really like and if they got worn. I must be in the 0.005% of blog readers, along with busylizzy?!!
    I have got much better at picking patterns that will work for my shape and life but wonder if I will ever manage to totally resist the urge to make something I suspect will be unflattering from the technical drawing. Sometimes you just want to try something new.


  6. Your blog causes me laugh-out-loud enjoyment. I, too am learning the hard way to find the correct fabric and patterns that work together, and that look and feel comfortable on me. I recently found your site, and look forward to all your posts. So, thank you and Happy New Year!


  7. So much truth in your first words. Although, what I do love about these posts is the honesty – what worked, what didn’t. Sometimes I’ve been devastated to see something on someone’s miss list… but if it doesn’t work in real life, it doesn’t work, no matter how nice it looks in the photos 🙂 And yep – not believing the envelope is a hard lesson to grasp!! I still struggle…
    Happy (impending) New Year to you! x


  8. I laughed out loud. You totally crack me up and it’s good to see other people have put time money and effort into something they pretty much wouldn’t be caught dead wearing. Keep on blogging!!


  9. I love these review posts. A year is a long time to make, wear and decide if it works or not, and reviewing the output of the last 12 months is helpful for the New Jungle Year! Thanks for telling us about the misses. It’s a good reminder of the learning process that is sewing for oneself.


  10. I loved reading this! My blog has all the same clothes on now as i feel like i have found the right shape for my body! I think it will become an inspiration blog only for 1950s style circle skirt dresses! Haha 💝


  11. Love, Love, LOVE your posts and your year review is great. It’s so refreshing and more than helpful to see a real garment made up for a real woman. I am not a twig or a giant…somewhere in between and I love your style and ever honest comments!


  12. Skip your year end post? Never!

    I like your Simplicity 1431 and Mccalls 6739.

    Sometimes I wish I had a few more Really Bad Makes so I would have stuff I don’t feel bad about getting rid of but most of my never worn garments are of the Beautiful But Doesn’t Fit My Lifestyle variety and I can’t stand to give them up. “I will wear that someday. Of course I will; I love it!” And thus my undersized closet is way overstuffed.


  13. Your post today reminds me of those food writers who have “Don’t eat this, eat this instead” photos. While one saves calories, yours saves us time and frustration and fabric!
    Now you need to put up a collage in your sewing room of your best fits and best looks and expand with new cool fabrics. Whew…a whole new year spread out ahead of you starting with the Jungle sewing…never stop, Anne!


  14. I 100% love these posts too. Mostly for the commentary, because true snark is a gift you should never ignore, but also because I’m so glad that other people have makes that don’t quite work out.


  15. You are not alone – we all do it – wrong pattern, good fabric: wrong fabric, good pattern! It’s what’s makes sewing such an enjoyable challenge. A very productive year for you. Thanks for sharing.


  16. Oh wow, awesome post! I love the way that you structured it comparing and contrasting your hits and misses! I think I sometimes get sucked in by novelty factor, like, “ooh, this will be fun to sew”! But will it be fun to store wadded up in my tiny closet when I never wear it cause I feel ugly? Probably not. I don’t know why I still make things sometimes that I would never look twice at in a store! So silly!

    I really, really like that last pink shift dress on you. The neckline is perfect for you and so is the color. Make an animal-print version!!!


  17. I always enjoy reading the end of year reviews – especially ones like yours that are so witty. Love your hits. I also like the 3rd donation to charity. I must be missing something. It looks great. Have a wonderful New Year Anne and see you next year on “the cruise”.


  18. Keep at it. You’re stylish and you’re also realistic about what works and what doesn’t.

    I picked up a roll of fabric the other day because it looked/felt great. And then a little voice inside of me said “Hey. That print already looks out of date!” So I eventually put it back on the rack. It’s taken me this long to hear that voice and I’m sure that little voice has been yelling at me for ages.

    All the best for 2015.


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