Two duds in a row

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a pattern that just did not work for me at all, but strangely, I’ve just had two in a row that I’m giving up on entirely.

I fell in love with the chic styling of the Hot Patterns Monaco Top – the slit opening, the slim lines, the angular bib, the pieced bottom, and all sweetened by the cute gathered sleeves. At least, that’s what I thought the pattern was for…

I should have really listened to the earlier reviewer of this pattern (who also didn’t make it past the muslin stage) and just cut my $18.50 losses and run far, far away.

Happy 2022! (Year in review)

Happy 2022! As is traditional, I like to take the chance on the first day of a brand-spanking new year to have a look back at the year before, step back, and reflect on the good (and not-so-good) things that happened. 2021 was always going to be a strange struggle of a transition year, but I kinda feel like we had a bit of practice going into it, so my outlook was a little better than in 2020. But as this is a sewing blog, let’s first take a look at this year’s output…

Sewing World magazine May 2013

I meant to post this last week while I was away on my world travels, but I found it hard to tactfully review bits of it without adequate sleep (and even with more rest, I may still have failed!).

Sewing World is a British general-sewing magazine with a mix of garments, crafts, embellishment, with a definite skewing towards beginners, but with the odd advanced article thrown in, too. It’s one I’ve picked up and flipped through in newsagents over the years, but never really felt compelled to buy more than once or twice. In recent years they started publishing a pattern sheet insert in the magazine, which IMHO makes it a million times easier to sew projects from instead of drafting from instructions or scaling up from a grid.

My sole reason for buying this issue was to get Tilly’s skirt pattern (see below), but I figured it was worth sharing the rest of the magazine with you since there are probably a lot of you who are unfamiliar with it.

The first article is all about how to tweak a teeshirt pattern to make it fit properly, which is definitely a Good Thing, and is often something that sewists ask about, especially since most FBA articles require some form of darts. I’ve got no problem with the tips offered in the article, but as I flipped the page…


And with that, dear readers, absolutely every shred of respect I had for the article’s author and the entire publication went flying out the window. What. The. Eff.

Look, I know the Big Four put facings on knits, and I scream in horror at the sheer ugliness, stupidity, and enforced crappiness of theirs, too. That someone who purports to be an expert would do this to poor, unsuspecting sewists is just unforgiveable, especially when a folded, sewn, and topstitched neckband is a) simpler to achieve, b) simpler to draft, c) better looking and d) …actually, no D. Just don’t.

Moving on… deep breaths…

From the awful to the sublime – the real reason I bought this issue is to get Tilly’s Marielle skirt! I just love the pencil skirt shape, and the asymmetric buttons and trim, just lovely!

Happy 2013!

As is traditional, I like to take the first of a new year to take the opportunity to look back on what I’ve sewn in the previous year. So without further ado, here’s a visual reminder of 2012!

Click the image to see it better, or right-click here to see it in a new tab to get a better look!

Tip: If you’d like to skim back through the posts for the above projects, you can click Gallery in the upper left menu, which will only show you finished projects, without all the magazine reviews and in-progress reports getting in the way!

By a mere glance at the collage, it looks like I’ve sewn less this year than in past years, but really I just became more efficient with my photoshoots and so most of the photos contain more than one garment! That, and there were a few that weren’t properly documented, oops.

The Year in Stats

In terms of pattern companies used this year, I made: 11 Burda magazine (more on that in January as I finish up my Year of Burda), 6 Papercut Patterns, 5 Jalie, 4 Pattern Magic, around 4 self-drafted, 2 Manequim magazine, 2 Young Image/My Image magazine, 2 Pattern ~ Scissors ~ Cloth, and one each from: Lekala, Simplicity, Vogue, So… Zoe, Christine Jonson, Wiksten, and KnipMode (oh how the once-mighty have fallen!).

By my count, I made: 19 Tops, 15 pairs of Trousers, 4 Dresses, 4 Skirts, 3 Coats/Jackets, plus two slips and a handful of pairs of panties, an iPad cover, some running armbands, and a boat skylight cover!

But the biggest number of them all – 21 of the above were for running! omg.

KnipMode wrap blouse

Even though I prepared this to sew in hospital, I was in and out so fast I ended up sewing #20b from the May 09 KnipMode as my first project back in my own sewing room since it was all cut, interfaced, and ready to go!

I chose to make the 20b variation since I liked the full (rather than band) collar, the roll-up sleeves, and the breast pocket, which made it look a bit more like a camp shirt than an Asian-styled top. It also means I’ve finally used the last of the enourmous stash of fabric I bought in America in August 2007, as this cotton/lycra poplin was originally intended for that Hot Patterns blouse disaster…