The 2014 Misses!

Β Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

Where there are Hits, there have to be Misses! Thankfully I’ve not had too many catastrophes this year so I’ve ended up with just three contenders.

First up: Exhibit A – my Colette Dahlia.

Plaid matching

It’s probably obvious that I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so the Dahlia debacle was a definite low. Lesson learned – I managed to turn it around and ended up with a dress I could live with. The encouragement I received from you all as a result of my moaning was truly inspiring. Thank you. I put the problems down to not scrutinising my toile closely enough, and for choosing a fabric that wasn’t really suitable. It turned out I wasn’t the only one having serious fit issues. The cherry on the cake was having my salvaged rag appear in the Colette Patterns Dahlia Sewalong Round-Up (thanks to Clarinda Kaleidoscope for spotting it!). They clearly hadn’t read the accompanying post!

The V1342 Party Dress


The next ‘miss’ I am confessing to is my most recent birthday frock, the V1342. Don’t get me wrong, I rose to the challenge and loved the look of it, but the soft viscose hasn’t held it’s shape well. The result is a skin-tight fit around the behind and baggy ruching across the bust – not a good combination. Having worn it just once, it’s already losing its shape. No-one, and I mean NO-ONE wants a droopy bosom! I was never entirely happy with the finish partly due to complexity of pattern, softness of fabric, and general lack of skill on my part. It was made as a birthday one-off, and was a fabulous challenge. But I’m unlikely to wear it again without some serious sewing first aid so I think I will reuse the gorgeous teal fabric for a garment I will get lots of wear out of.

The Colette Beignet

Denim Beignet

My final exhibit is my Colette Beignet denim skirt. There’s nothing technically wrong with this number, I just haven’t worn it. Well, maybe twice! I approached this pattern methodically and carefully, and wanted to use it to develop my skills. I took time to top-stitch seams and chose perfect buttons; I was rather proud of the finished garment. The problem here is that it just does not flatter my shape. Probably my biggest lesson of the year has been to really consider what suits rather than making something I’ve seen someone else look fabulous in online.

Sewing Resolutions for 2015

Father Christmas left me an overlocker under the tree, so next year’s first goal will be to learn how to use it. My other ‘resolution’ will be to slow the pace down a little. I have loved churning through make after make; it’s addictive and there’s always something exciting that I want to make next. But it’s not sustainable in the long term, and does not match my objective for well thought-out sewing choices as an alternative to impulse-buying on the High Street.

My 2015 sewing pledge is therefore to devote time and space to improving my skills! See you next year, sewing chums. x


24 thoughts on “The 2014 Misses!

  1. Its interesting what you said about selecting patterns that suit rather than look fab on someone else. I have that issue of buying a pattern i see without considering how it may not work on me..something I also need to work on. Loved the post!


  2. Only 3 misses, good going! Hope you have a long a happy relationship with the overlocker. Mine was more hate than love for the first 3 months, but at least I can thread it now!


    • Thank you. To be honest I’m really daunted by it. The urge to make something on my sewing machine in the new year is stronger than the urge to slow down and learn how to use the overlocker. Must force myself to take the time to learn!


  3. You are being hard on yourself. I have been impressed by everything that you have made. Keep up the good work. I was delighted to get an overlocker from Santa too. It was a complete surprise. Happy New Year


  4. I would be proud to be the architect of any of these – let alone all three. Just think what you might accomplish next year with your shiny new overlocker! Three cheers for the present-giver btw – an inspired choice. Seriously though, chopping up that sexy dress? Perfect for a night dancing at Dover Street Wine Bar (or similar). Happy New Year dear sewing chum x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am impressed by your ‘misses’ too!

    I am currently making a Dahlia, and seem to be spending half my time online, looking at how other people solved the neckline/shoulder issue. If a dress is likely to gape or fall off my shoulders, it will just never get worn. So I have now made three muslins, raising the neckline and altering the front raglan seams. It’s all been a bit frustrating, but I am hopeful of ending up with a ‘hit’ eventually.

    Great blog. How jealous am I that you had an overlocker for Christmas?! Happy Christmas, belatedly, and I look forward to following your blog through next year.


    • Thank you for your lovely comments. In the Dahlia sewalong there’s a tip for dealing with the neckline that involves taking a slice out of the back bodice piece, tapering from the neckline down to the waist, before you cut the fabric. Now I’ve gone back to my toile I reckon that might have solved the problem.


      • I went through all those tips to see what was most relevant for me. My back was not such a problem as my front! I did try taking a wedge out at the front, but then lost the gather, which is a nice feature. I think I’ll have to gather the sleeve tops a bit, though, as they still look sticky-uppy. We live and learn….

        Mind you, in the process I have discovered so many fab sewing blogs and millions more dress patterns that I want to make!


  6. I’m such a convert to using an overlocker! My sewing machine seems so slow and boring in comparison. I’d suggest working on a few simple t-shirts first to get used to how it goes… and I promise it’s not scary or hard at all! Good luck!


  7. I just got an overlocker too – I used it on my first seam today and I am delighted with it (though I haven;t attempted to change the thread or anything complicated like that yet!)
    Three misses isn’t bad at all – I think my misses this year have been down to similar issues – fabric problems and failure to consider what I will really wear and what will suit me. I think your resolution for next year to be more focussed is a good idea!


    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy New Year to you. I am a newish sewer and have enjoyed reading your blog last year and also I like your style! I wonder if you could recommend a book (or online tutorials) which deals with basic techniques to make everything nice and neat on the inside. Many thanks.


    • Happy New Year too! Thanks for your lovely comments and for reading the blog. I can’t put my finger on one good source for basic techniques. I’ve probably found a combination of The Colette Sewing Handbook and the Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing useful reference books. Other than that I’ve learned tons from online sew-alongs, particularly Tilly & The Buttons, Colette Patterns and just reading other peoples’ blogs.


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