Those Things Which Are Behind. . .

Here we are at the end of the year. I’ve been seeing lots of reflective and thoughtful posts popping up all over and I’ve enjoyed reading them so much that I’ve decided to do my own abridged version.

In the School of Sewing

I’ve been sewing “seriously” for only ten months, so pretty much everything I did was growth. Every completed project was an accomplishment because each one presented a chance to learn a new skill or technique. There are, however, a few projects that stand out as particular learning experiences.


While it is not my favorite dress ever, I still have fond feelings for this shirtdress (I’ll be posting pictures soon). It was the product of my first (and only, so far) sew-along I’ve ever done, and I loved being a part of it. I think the most significant lesson I learned was how to attach a notched collar. Sunni gave an excellent tutorial and if you ever plan to sew a notched collar, you most definitely need to read it (there’s a link in this post.)

Sewing with Knits Striped tee

I love this t-shirt. I wear it far more often than I probably should. To be honest, this wasn’t my first project with knits (it was my second), but I picked this one because I also had to learn to deal with stripes and matching them the best I could.

New Look 6107 china jersey

Okay–I know this is another knit project, but learning to adapt a woven pattern for knits (with mostly my own brain, even!) made me really excited! It opens up a whole other world of possibilities. And going from being totally afraid of knits to wanting to work with them all the time is a pretty big step!

The Sad Face Times

Sometimes things just don’t want to work out.

This dress never made it to completion. I realized well over half-way through that the shape and style of the dress was quite possibly the most unflattering thing I could wear. It’s not all loss, though, because making this fail of a dress sent me on a whole other pathway of enlightenment which I shall discuss more later.

McCall's 5391 hem facings

Remember all my twill? Yeah. . . I don’t really want to talk about it either. The lesson here: don’t be afraid to let go.

Shirt Dress 1

Okay. Maybe it’s not fair to put my very first dress into the fail category, but honestly, I really hated that dress. I tried to love it for its quirkiness and character. But, it was a terrible fit. I didn’t feel great in it. And I had no qualms at giving it away. That’s right, I sent my first dress to Goodwill. Maybe someone there will buy it and make it into a pillow. Or a bag.

Making Good Choices

Sometimes, even when the construction isn’t perfect and the fit is just a tad bit off, some garments still get worn all the time.

Simplicity 2588

My first dress may have been a fail, but my second actually worked out pretty well (pictures are here). While this dress was never worn for its original purpose, I still wear it just about every other week (now that it’s cold). It’s simple, it fits, and I still really love that cording detail on the bodice. But, let’s just say that those princess seams still need a lot of work.

Simplicity 2209

I wore this dress out when it was warm. I realize now that those darts are still not great, but when the heat and humidity take over, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it constantly once again. It’s pretty much perfect for Atlanta summers. (You can see more pictures here.)

New Look 6107 neckline

This blouse is so comfy and so versatile. I still wear it when it’s cold; I just toss on a cardi. I do still want to perfect those button loops, though.

For the Win

I was going to pick only one, but I have to go with two. They are my favorites for completely different reasons.

New Look 6808

This blouse is a technical favorite (pictures are coming!). And by that I mean that I love it because I think it’s some of my best work. This was my first attempt at French seams–I was amazed when they were a success! Also, I learned that the pattern is not the boss of me. Sometimes, I actually do know better–as evidenced by my vastly superior-to-the-pattern zipper insertion method. To be honest, though, I’ve been noticing lately when I wear it that the shoulders don’t really fit at all. I should have made them much broader. More goals for the future!

But still, I’m really happy with all the extra work I did to make this blouse fit well and look great inside and out.

Simplicity 2180

This dress somehow manages to be my favorite in spite of itself. The arms are a bit tight. The bodice bunches in the back. The seams are not even remotely lined up. The zipper is an absolute nightmare. And it’s made out of quilting cotton which does not provide the greatest drape. (You can see more pictures here.)

But, I still love it. I feel that in a small way it sort of encapsulates the style I wish I had. It’s bright. It’s fun. I love the mis-matchy prints that actually work really well together.  It’s mostly comfortable, but not sloppy. It’s a little bit quirky and a lot unique.

Looking over this list I can see that I prefer structure with comfort; I love me some color; and I will never quite do things by the book.

And I guess that’s okay.


14 thoughts on “Those Things Which Are Behind. . .

    • Thanks! I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to figuring out my “style.” It’s such an elusive thing for something we use every day.
      I think it would be good for me to get involved in more sew-alongs. You really do learn a lot!

    • Thank you! Yes, it’s been just ten months, but to be fair, I probably have more sewing time than most people. I’m definitely ready for a new year 🙂

  1. Oh, I like that last one. I use quilting cotton to make dresses and blouses all the time and find that I really like the crispness of it for summer clothes.

    • Awww–thanks 🙂 I’m glad you enjoy reading!
      It’s kind of my personality to get a little obsessed with the things I love; that’s definitely true of sewing. I’m just glad I haven’t burnt myself out!

I'm done. Now, YOU can talk :)

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