Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 5 of 2013

This time of year I really like seeing all the year in review posts so I have decided to join in.  Mostly just the 5 favorite things I made with a few inspirations and goals thrown in.

Top 5 of 2013 - An Annual Blog Series

I had a lot of favorite creations this year so it is difficult to narrow it down to just five. I have decided to go with the items that suprised me, things that I made which I anticipated to be nothing special but ended up loving and wearing a lot.
Reaching all the way back to my first blog post of 2013 is this New Look knit long sleeve top. I love this top and wear it all the time. Of course it is my favorite color but the shape and style suit me perfectly. Just the thing to wear instead of a plain t-shirt. I made 2 for myself, and 2 for gifts. 

    Aqua wrap top frontWrap top sweaterknitWrap top knit grey stripe front

My next favorite has to be this corduroy jacket which was a complete suprise. Not really my color at all however it caused me to rethink my color palette a bit. I think this was the # 1 item in terms of repeat wear for 2013. A perfect jacket to pair with jeans, most any color top and the contrast sleeves are always something that people notice and think is a sweater knit. The details are in this blog post.

Olive cord jacket front

For my third item we jump to the 4th of July and this knit top I made using fabric from Girl Charlee. A super simple top but this fabric has the perfect weight and I love the color pattern. I am now a big fan of Girl Charlee fabrics.

red and white knit top

For number four I was completely suprised by my affection for the Jacket Express, which I made while viewing the Craftsy class of the same name. I signed up for this in order to get the pattern which I planned to make for my mom.  I detoured by making this test version for myself and ended up with another of those items I never expected to wear much that jumped into heavy rotation during the late summer and early fall. Perhaps it is the soft red denim that is the star but this jacket is oh so wearable. And I don't even mind that the sleeves are too long (I just fold them up). Also you can see I am wearing  it with my trusty Vogue 1247 denim skirt - the most worn item from the previous year.

red denim sleeves on me

So I have made it through the year choosing favorites and not a dress among them. Perhaps a lesson to be learned?  I did make a few dresses but my favorite is a rather simple one I made at the end of summer in the pre-vacation sewing frenzy. New Look 6184 is just about perfect, the fabric and color are my dream combination. The Marfy pattern dress I made got a LOT of comments and I do love it but this one will get more wear when the hot weather returns.

NL6184 knit dress front

It is difficult to whittle the list of fav's down to just five so I will throw in a couple of close contenders. The bright blue coat I made from the Burda Style Book and the purple knit Vogue 1351 dress are winners as well however I have not worn them as much.
                            Blue coat frontV1351 Purple dress

As for the rest of the Top 5 categories, I am not much for introspection and reflection when it comes to sewing (or anything else for that matter).  Items that were not so succesful were thankfully few and I really had nothing that I didn't wear at least once or twice. In pursuit of a black denim jacket I made one that didn't work out for me style-wise but I passed it on to my friend Alice.  I do see that making separates is certainly practical, in particular tops and jackets that can be mixed and matched get a lot of wearings.
Inspiration - I find that everywhere. Goals for next year - stretch a little with my color choices, perhaps even a few neutrals (but beige...never). Fine tune fitting on shorts and pants, maybe even a swimsuit. Attack my fabric stash of wools before our warm weather arrives. Revamp my sewing room (in progress) and reorganize my pattern files.

Or more likely, be distracted by a new pattern and forget all these ideas. Either way I will enjoy the time spent with needle and thread.

Today after a bit of house cleaning and organization I plan to spend the afternoon sewing. There is that unfinished Burda jacket on my dress form and some pre-shrunk plaid flannel for a shirt. The more time I spend sewing today the less I spend on-line ordering more stuff :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and still have more fun/family/vacation time in the week ahead.

Happy year end sewing, Beth


  1. What a great retrospective. I am particularly fond of the purple dress and the beautiful coat. Happy New Year!

  2. Hope you had a great holiday, Beth. Loved your post! Just popped back to look at your green jacket post as those sleeves really do look like sweater knit! Lots of helpful info in that post.

    As for Jacket Express, I am STILL trying to find red non-stretch denim that is not bull denim. Red bull denim is easy to find but way too heavy. Maybe I need to start googling for red denim tablecloths like yours!

    I was inspired by your purple dress to make my navy one, which will be (spoiler alert!) my #1 dress of this year in my retrospective.

  3. The purple knit looks absolutely lovely on you! And you've motivated me to get going on my own Jacket Express. Happy sewing in 2014!

  4. I love your favorites of 2013. You always combine great sewing with cute and practical garments. I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store!

  5. All your makes are a hit! my favourites are the tops, so practical and pretty...and the dresses, they are both beautiful...oh, and the green jacket! Nope, I just cannot pick a favourite!

  6. Loved the "be distracted" bit - sure, why not? Life is short, enjoy! Happy new year to you.

  7. Some lovely garments there! Good plans for next year too.

  8. Enjoy your blog! I signed up for the Express Jacket class and am waiting for the pattern to arrive...found the most beautiful material for 2.99/yd!
    Keep up the separates theme...I don't even own a dress... :)

  9. Love your favorites! I especially love the bright blue coat -- just beautiful. I'm sure we'll see many more wonderful creations in 2014!

  10. Scrolling through your pictures I can't pick a favorite and I can see why it would have been hard to narrow the choices down to just 5! I've really enjoyed your construction posts this year. One of my goals in 2014 is to make a pair of pants that actually fit me so I hope you post about any fine tuning that you'll be working on. Happy New Year!

  11. I find it hard to pick favorites out of your five because they all are so very nice! That's why we sew, so we can have it all right?!

  12. Your close contender blue jacket is my absolute favourite from that short list, but I always find your creations really inspirational! I want to be able to sew like you!