Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017: A Year in Review

Wow! I cannot believe the year is almost over. It seems to go by faster every year and I just want time to slow down. I thought I would join in with sharing my top five sewing hits and misses for 2017. I'll start with my top five hits for sewing.

First up, my Marigold Dress.

I made this dress to wear for Easter, but it also got lots of wear throughout the spring and summer months. It started with the fabric - the Art Gallery rayon challis was just so lovely and I had to have it! I decided on the Marigold because I had made it before and it is a style that I always enjoy wearing. I wanted this dress to be perfect because I loved the fabric so much, so I really focused on getting the fit right. I lengthened the bodice and it is much more comfortable than my first Marigold dress.  

This dress taught me so much about my sewing skills and opened the door for endless possibilities! I was able to take the Novelista shirt pattern and make it into this dress. It was a lot of work, but I learned so much and sometimes the best sewing is the kind where you take your time and focus on the details. I haven't worn it as much as I wanted to but now with the subzero temperatures we've been having, I can wear it again! 

Next up is my unblogged Lane Raglan. 

I never blogged about this top, but I wear it all the time. I love how the ruffled fabric takes the shirt up a notch. It is perfect for everyday wear, but makes you feel a little more put together. The Lane Raglan is also one of my most favorite patterns for both me and my sister. I have made it countless times this year and I wear a Lane at least once a week. 

Fourth, is my Fringe Blouse

Until making this top, I never really wore woven tops. This is mostly because in the past the woven tops I made were quilting cotton, and quilting cotton is just too structured for most apparel garments. This top is made with rayon challis and is just so soft and wonderful to wear! The Fringe pattern might be my favorite pattern this year. I used the dress version to make my Christmas dress and will be sharing pictures of that soon! 

Last, but certainly not least is everything from my experience on Project Run and Play!

If I had to choose just one sewing highlight for the entire year, it would be Project Run and Play. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being a designer for any type of sewing competition. It was an amazing experience and I am grateful to have been apart of it. I did a lot of sewing for my siblings throughout the year, but my best sewing for them was during the weeks of Project Run and Play. I even tried sewing for my brother and his outfit is one of my favorites! I love sewing, and I love seeing the joy on my siblings faces when they see I made something for them. 

Now, I'll move on to my sewing misses or fails. In my opinion, even if something doesn't work out, it's never a fail because there's always something to learn. I have sewing failures for several reasons. Sometimes it's the fit, the wrong fabric, or it's just not my style. I would rather always sew great things, but then I wouldn't learn from that. 

First, is my Daintree skirt. 

This was never blogged, but you can see it on my instagram here. I made it during a pattern test for Melissa of Blank Slate Patterns. I love the pattern, but this one just doesn't get much wear. During the pattern test, we discovered that a panel was missing from the pattern pieces. It is intended to be a half circle wrap skirt and it's designed to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions. However, mine still flashes open if it's windy due to not having that extra panel. I would like to try making this pattern again, especially now that I have a serger to do a rolled hem. 

Second, is this unblogged Wildflower Top. 

I really wanted to like this red and grey Wildflower Top and I made it with the intention of filling a wardrobe gap. To be honest, the day this picture was taken was the only day I wore the top and that was back in May. Now, it sits unloved in a dresser drawer. I have made this pattern before and I really love wearing the turquoise one I made, but this red one just doesn't feel right when I wear it and I'm not sure why. 

I will combine my third miss into this same picture. It is the Janie dress my littlest sister is wearing. We love the pattern and I have made it many times for her. It has even been the pattern for her Christmas dress for the last two years. However, the one she is wearing in the picture above was hardly worn. The fabric has very little stretch, so I think it just wasn't comfortable for her to wear and it was really tight around her head. That being said, I will continue making this pattern for her because it is definitely a TNT!

Fourth, is this Jalie Nico Shirt I made for my brother. 

It is a good pattern and it was my first time sewing for my 20 year old brother. He had requested a shirt made by me and even paid for the fabric. The fabric is the reason this is a sewing miss. When I was finished sewing it, I discovered a small hole in the front center of the shirt. I was able to fix it by sewing on a faux button placket to the front and my brother wears it all the time. This shows that quality fabric makes all the difference! Now, when my brother wears it, my youngest sister calls him "cool guy" and this is his "cool guy shirt". 

My final sewing fail is my Blackwood Cardigan

This is a sewing fail again due to fabric choice, not pattern. Before I say anything else, I must say that this is a new favorite pattern of mine and I have another one planned for myself in more suitable fabric. I also made this pattern for three people for Christmas and it was a hit all around. This fabric may have been okay if I used a serger. However, at the time I made it I did not know I would be getting a serger and sewed it on my sewing machine. The fabric is really thin and loosely woven so all of the seams stretched out. I was able to steam most of the seams back to normal, but there is still noticeable waviness along the front band. None of this has stopped me from wearing it and I will be making another one soon! 

Finally, I just want to share a few non-sewing related highlights from my year. As much as I enjoy sewing, it's not all I do with my life. 

In October, I completed a bucklet list item by running my first ever full marathon! It was definitely a top highlight of my year. I have been running for seven years now, but a marathon is the farthest I've ever run. I'm not sure if I will do another one, but it was an incredible experience and I got to do it with my brother. It challenged me in so many ways, both physically and mentally and I will never forget the experience. 

My sister and I took a road trip to De Smet, SD in July to visit the homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have been wanting to go for a long time so we finally made it happen. It was fun just to spend time together and we even made prairie skirts to wear on our vacation. Our cabin was shaped like a covered wagon too!

I have been playing the violin since I was six, but hadn't taken lessons since high school. In February, I started lessons again and it has been fun learning new skills and playing new pieces. I am enjoying it!

In August, my brother and I took a road trip to Missouri in an attempt to see the eclipse. Unfortunately, it ended up being cloudy and rainy where we were, but it was still fun. We saw parts of it and made the most of our little road trip. There is always next time!

Finally, this summer I had the opportunity to plant a garden and it did very well! I rented a plot in the town where I live and had great success. It was fun to watch it grow throughout the summer and I learned a lot. It was my first garden and I loved having fresh vegetables. I think I have enough zucchini in my freezer to last almost a lifetime though! 

This has been fun to look back on my year. 2017 was a great year in so many ways and I can't wait to see what 2018 will bring! Thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a Happy New Year! Merry Christmas!