Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Hits and Misses: Part I

Do you ever stand in front of your closet and think I have nothing to wear! even though you are staring at a full closet?

I feel like that sometimes when I struggle to find something to match one of my separates. And I just stand there looking at some of the fun projects that I have made in the past and ponder what was I thinking...  

Welcome to my Hits and Misses issue. First up, Part I:  the misses. These are not only my own rejects but also ones that Mama R has rejected over time.  

Vogue 8667
1.  This dress, Vogue 8667, only made it out of my closet once before it ended up in the donate pile. I found it too restricting especially in the shoulder and arm area. My mistake with this one was not making a muslin and choosing a style that is not really me--I fell for everyone's rave review over on pattern review. My fabric choice wasn't the best match for this pattern as well--for someone who embraces the urban lifestyle it does look Little House on the Prairie-ish.  Lessons to be learned: just because a pattern looks great on someone else doesn't mean it will look good on me.   

Vogue 8839
2.  Vogue 8839 was a pattern that I couldn't wait to make. In my haste I neglected to observe that it might be too long. And I broke the budget when I purchased this felted wool ponte knit fabric. It didn't launder well.  It has long disappeared from my closet. Lessons to be learned:  Make a muslin and when lusting over pricey fabric purchase a sample and pre-treat it to see how it handles.  

3.  To go with Vogue 8839, I made this orange coloured skirt. The orange ponte knit matched the the contrasting fabric on the jacket. Even though I loved wearing this skirt and wore it often the fabric did not hold up well. The skirt pilled at the hip area where my purse would hit. It became unsightly and I quickly fell out of love with this skirt. Lesson to be learned:  Sometimes that bargain ponte knit turns out to be not so.  

4.  I decided to make this top from Burda's vintage pattern collection after seeing others make fabulous versions.  My mistake was not paying attention to styles that work for my body shape and jumping on the vintage bandwagon. This top ended up in the donation pile after I rescued those buttons. Lesson to be learned: make a muslin. Yet, I seem to keep forgetting to do this!

5.  And here is another project just like the Burda top. I made it after reading this was voted Best Pattern over on Pattern Review. I used a piece of fabric that I wish I didn't after seeing that the pattern was an absolute flop. I'm still shocked that this pattern was voted as one of the best because of the dart placement in the front. I was too embarrassed to donate this one, it went straight into the trash. Lesson to be learned:  Another fine example as to why one might want to make a muslin.  

6.  This dress was made for Mama R. I thought she would look lovely in this baby blue crepe fabric but she did tell me that she thought the colour was too light for her age. I think she's crazy for thinking such a thing.  Lesson to be learned:  It doesn't matter what I think. What is important is the opinion of the woman who will be wearing the garment.  

7.  I made these jeans in the excitement of discovering a pants pattern that fit. My mistake was thinking that I should add to the seam allowance because I was sewing denim. Don't ask me what I was thinking. They ended up feeling loose and after I lost some weight they became ill-fitted ending up in the donation pile. And using denim for these pants didn't turn out to be the best fabric chose I've made. Lesson to be learned:  Pay attention to those fabric suggestions on a pattern envelope and don't doubt the sizing that worked just because you're using a different fabric.   

8.  This dress is made from a vintage Vogue pattern. Here again, I didn't sew a muslin before hand. Instead, I dove right into the project. It turned out to be a bit snug from the waist to hip area but I was lucky enough to squeak by with the narrowest seam allowance. My fashion fabrics worked out well for this project but it was the unseen fabrics that posed the problem. This is my first underlined dress and it is the underlining that makes this dress a miss. Yup, I used a cheap nylon organza. Lesson to be learned: Don't cheap out on the fabric closest to your skin.

9.  This skirt is a vintage Perry Ellis design. It's made in a floral print denim that I didn't mind using to try this pattern out. The high fitted, corset-like waistband did not work with my body type. It would have worked when this pattern original hit the market and I actually had a waistline. Lesson to be learned: Body types change and just because a style may have worked in the past doesn't mean it will still work in the present.

10.  Oh my goodness, I love the idea of this vintage Vogue pattern. The button back in the A-line skirt, I was sure it would work for me. But I was wrong and so was my fabric choice. The large circular pattern only mimicked the apple shape that my body had become. Lesson to be learned:  Stop spending so much time at the sewing machine and get to the gym. And maybe that home decor fabric should just be used for home decor stuff.

11.  Goodness knows I love a peplm. So after the epic fail of the first front darted peplum top, I was certain that a princess seamed front would be the answer. I jumped in with the last bit of a much-loved cotton print and wouldn't you know it--I should have made a muslin first!  Lesson to be learned:  Take your time and damn it!, make a muslin!

12.  This dress is made from a vintage Simplicity wrap dress pattern. It is made with a cotton/polyester eyelet and underlined with a yellow cotton. It is presently sitting in my closet and in theory it should be getting a lot of use this summer but I have yet to put it on. Last year I received many compliments on it but to tell the truth it just doesn't give me a lot of joy.  Lesson to be learned:  Fix it or lose it. If I'm not wearing something I should make room in the closet for those pieces that really work.

13.  The only thing that is wrong with this pair of underwear is the fabric. The pattern is fantastic and so is the lace but the fair trade organic cotton did not hold up as well.  This item has long disappeared from my underwear drawer.  Lesson to be learned:  Even feel-good purchases might not hold up to the hype.

14.  And this is the same problem that I had with this cotton knit eyelet fabric. I was pleased with the pattern and was thrilled to have some colour in my wardrobe but then small holes started to appear in the knit. It is still in the my wardrobe as a nightshirt but I have to tell ya, I miss wearing this as the garment it was intended to be.  Lesson to be learned:  A bargain is not always a bargain.

15.  This pleated neckline and the fabric would make this a favourite if only I made a muslin and took care in cutting out the proper size. Yes, this jacket came out during the summer of sewing bloopers. Thankfully, I was able to snag some more of that gorgeous fabric.  I don't have the heart to give it away, I'm waiting to ask a friend if they would like it. Lesson to be learned:  Double check your sizing before you pick up those scissors! Oh yeah, and make a muslin!

16.  This dress quickly made it to the donate pile after a co-worker commented that it looked like a costume. I wasn't happy with the high-low hemline and my choice of a winter white dress in a wintery grey town that turned the hemline into a epic mess when I wore it out. Lesson to be learned:  Even though I like the monochromatic ivory / winter white look, it doesn't work in a slushy winter town.

17.   This is a recent make that is still sitting in my closet but hasn't been getting a lot of wear. Those bell sleeves! What was I thinking?  Lesson to be learned:  Not all fashion trends work and when in doubt there is nothing wrong with trying it on at a fashion outlet before investing those valuable hours in the sewing room.

18.  This shirt recently made it to the donation pile. I like this shirt and the print but I just felt like my wardrobe needs to grow up a bit. It is the only reason that this shirt and I parted ways. Lesson to be learned:  Sometimes you'll outgrow things.

19.  This dress has long disappeared from my closet. I just didn't feel comfortable in it. Lesson to be learned:  Should have made a muslin.

20.  There is so much that is wrong with this make. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I do believe that I might have worn this one before it was trashed. This top was made before I discovered the knit (lightning bolt) stitch and a walking foot. Lesson to be learned:  Investing in the proper tools could save you from tragedies like this.

21.  This is another garment that I can't find too much fault with other than I've just out-grown it and it is time to part ways.  Lesson to be learned: Sleeveless sundresses are just not my thing anymore until I get these arms back in shape.

22.  Oh my, sometimes I join in on sew-alongs just for the fun of it and end up with something that just isn't me.  Lesson to be learned:  It's fun to be part of the sewing community but it doesn't mean I have to make what everyone else is making.

23.  This unlined silk jacket ended up in the donation pile after much care and work was put into creating it. I just didn't get the fit right and I felt that the bottom button would pop open if I moved or took a deep breath.  Lesson to be learned:  Comfort is everything and I really should learn how to do a sway back adjustment.

24.  This was my very first Jungle January project. I didn't make a muslin and jumped right in by adding more width to the dress. Instead of creating the sleek style I was aiming for I ended up with a dress that would make Mrs. Roper proud. Lesson to be learned:  Sometimes winging it doesn't work out as you hope it would.

25.  In theory I love everything about this dress and I put so much work into it. Yet, it still is not part of my closet--instead, it was given away.  Lesson to be learned:  The people at Vogue know what they are talking about with their "figure flattery" ratings.  

26.Talking about figure flattering looks, a tunic on a petite frame--not so figure flattering.  Lesson to be learned:  Some trends just don't work on the petite frame.  

27.  I really liked this dress but then I gained some more weight and it just became too snug and uncomfortable. It landed in the donate pile some time ago.  Lesson to be learned:  Gotta make time for the gym!  Oh, and sleeve gussets are the cat's meow.  

28.  This back buttoned top made it to the donate pile even though I like the style. It was the polyester fabric that I found too clingy and made this unpleasant to wear.  Lesson to be learned:  I rather be comfortable than carry around a can of Static Guard.  

29.  Even though this top is made in cotton and doesn't cling, it became a fashion miss in my books. The short sleeves didn't work for me. I've used this pattern for Mama R and made her a long sleeve version which I really like.  Lesson to be learned:  Some patterns deserve a second chance.  

30. There was a lot of work that went into this fully lined dress and then I had to go and shorten it. Big mistake. I didn't like it in the shortened (mid-knee) new length and just didn't feel comfortable in it. And why did I shorten it--because I was following a trend rather than being happy with what I had.  Lesson to be learned:  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  

Well, those are some of my wardrobe misses as I look to assess and fit my wardrobe.  Stay tune to Part II:  The Hits.  

Happy Sewing!  


  1. Looks like you've taken a reality check and had fun with it too.

  2. You are amazing! Not many in sewing blog land would take the time or want to share. Thanks for keeping it real! <3

    1. My sewing and I aren't perfect, but it is a fun journey.

  3. Loved your post! You had me laughing! Now I need to clean out my closet!
    See me at

    1. Thanks! Hey, I also recently made a yellow cardigan using the same Butterick pattern. Yours looks comfortable in that ponte knit.

  4. I actually really like the dress in #16; you wouldn't happen to know the pattern number, would you?
    I'm picturing it in a denim coloured linen...

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Yes, the pattern for the ivory coloured dress is McCall's 7028, here's the link

    2. Thank you!

      And it's a McCalls pattern - so I can actually get it shipped to Ontario. Yay!

  5. Love this post - sometimes it is easy to forget that blog posters have their share of wadders/mistakes and get discouraged when not every thing I make turns out golden.

    1. Thanks, I just have to remember that each project is a learning progress and I do enjoy sewing even if it doesn't turn out perfectly.

  6. Your 'misses' are all patterns I have and have attempted or been scared of- you make beautiful things- even if you don't love them!

    1. Thanks, I just have to learn what styles are best (but damn it I do love a peplum) for my five-foot thick waisted middle age shape. Sometimes I forget I'm not a six foot Vogue pattern model.

  7. So sad such lovely fabrics (my favourites #4, 11, 15 and 21) could not be used and enjoyed for years.

    1. Confession time: The fabric that I used for the top in #4, I still have that fabric in my stash. There is enough of that floral print to make a dress. :) And the fabric used in the peplum top in #11, sadly, I don't have anymore but I do have a Marcy Tilton shirt made out of that fabric. The fabric that I used for the dress in #21 I found in the home decor department and I actually made a pair of curtains for my Mom. There is probably enough to make a sleeveless top if she ever tires of those curtains. Just kidding. And the jacket I made featured in #15, I did rush back to the store to pick up some more fabric after I discovered the errors of my ways. The plan is to make one that does fit properly.

  8. What a great post! I remember so many of these garments, and I'm sad to see so many of them just didn't work out. I love your sense of style - so different than mine, but so awesome none-the-less. :) I'm really looking forward to the "hits" post!

    Also, I love the common thread of 'make muslins'/'get off the sewing machine and into the gym' throughout. I feel you there, friend! :D

  9. I love this post. Thank you so much for putting it together! Lots of things don't *look* like fails to me but I totally agree about not keeping stuff that doesn't feel comfortable. And it's not always easy to check out a style in store first. If I could find clothes to fit in a store, I might not be sewing!

  10. Oh and I love number 27. Do you remember what it is, by any chance?


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