2016 has been a fascinating year for me. While I can’t believe it’s almost over, I kind of love sitting here and looking back on the past 12 months… So much has happened, so much has changed, and there’s so much to learn from it all.
Gillian over at Crafting a Rainbow does these Top 5 posts at the end of every year, and since I love looking back, I’m going to join in! You can see my Top 5 Hits post here, and now it’s time to take a more sombre tone, and look at my Top 5 Misses of 2016.
Ah, this one started out so well-intentioned… I was sorting out my sewing room’s closet, when I came across one of my earliest sewing projects. I had followed a Pinterest picture to create a medieval-styled dress. It was, well, rough around the edges (literally) and ill-fitting, and I’d used completely the wrong fabric for such a project. But since it was huge, and had minimal seams, I excitedly cut it up to create something I could actually wear! I cut it into a Colette Moneta dress, and quickly sewed it up. Before hemming, I tried it on to see if I should lower the neckline. Aaannnddd I felt like a sausage popping out of its casing. You can’t totally see in the photo above, but this dress is skin tight. It’s crazy. Then I realized the fabric I used – a textured polyester double knit – had actually no stretch. I assumed it was like the texted poly’s I use, but I guess it’s probably a lot older (a friend gave it to me for free years ago), and not at all similar. Lesson learned: check fabric stretch before cutting it out. Ah well, my little sister is a size smaller than I, so I’ll give it to her, and she’ll probably love it.
Free Spirit Tank
I made this rayon/spandex Free Spirit Tank for my spring PR Wardrobe Contest, and at first, I loved it. That first photo above was before I hemmed it. The middle photo was after hemming, but then I wore it, washed it, and when I wore it again, the hem was all out of whack. So I carefully marked even lengths all the way around, and hemmed it again. Once it was washed again, the hem was all funky again! Urgh. The fabric came from the bargain center at Fabricland and cost me $2/m. I quickly realized that it was just a case of get-what-you-pay-for, and I gave up on the top after taking photos for the contest. Lesson learned: Cheap fabric makes cheap clothes.
Hot Pink Shorts
Another item from my PR Wardrobe Contest entry, I so wanted to love these shorts. But I made these from a new pattern, hoping for a wearable muslin. However, I really needed to adjust the rise on the pattern. I also rushed through making them, and didn’t finish all of the seams on the inside. And again, I used cheap fabric from Fabricland. (Well, not super duper cheap, but basically, I’ve learned not to buy stretch denim from Fabricland. My expectations of stretch denim is much higher than what Fabricland offers.) They stretched and bagged out weirdly within a day, as well as fitting strangely through the rise, and they started to fall apart in the wash. So they were retired at the end of summer. Lesson learned: Sometimes it’s okay for a muslin not to be wearable.
Puppy Print Tank
Another project that I so wanted to love – a modified Vienna tank in cotton poplin. But, a few things went wrong. 1) I don’t wear novelty prints. I love them, I admire them on other people, but I just plain don’t wear them. 2) It feels like scrubs. I added that scalloped hem to make it not feel like scrubs, but it still does. Cotton poplin kind of just has that feel to it. 3) That hem needs constant ironing and fiddling to make it sit nice. After one wash, it went into my I-need-to-iron this pile, and that’s where it still lives. I could iron it and handstitch the hem facing down more often, but see points 1 and 2. Lesson learned: Fabric choice is key.
Bird print chiffon top
Oh man – another item from my PR Wardrobe Contest entry. This one is a little blouse made from polyester chiffon from JoAnn, using a modified Simplicity pattern. The problems with it? 1) Static. Oh, so much static. This top clings like crazy no matter what I do because of all the static. It would shift up and down and all over town as I wore it as well. 2) Uneven and too-short hem. I forgot the lengthen this top, and the shifty chiffon left me with an uneven hem. It bothered me to the point of distraction every time I wore it. Looking at these photos again, I really like the shape and style. I really should make this pattern again, just using a better suited fabric. Lesson learned: Don’t buy cheap fabric. And if you do, use it for a non-wearable muslin.
So, all in all, these misses weren’t too terribly bad. Actually, they all seem to be caused by poor fabric choice. As I go into the next year, I will be much more mindful about buying high quality fabric, as well as pairing fabric with patterns better.