After a busy holiday period, I’m having trouble getting back into my usual sewing and knitting rythm. Maybe reviewing what I’ve done last year might help me get motivated for this new one, and get me back in front of the sewing machine? This year, I thought I’d join in the #SewingTop5 series hosted by Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow. So here are my top 5 for 2018, in 5 categories: hits, misses, highlights, reflections, and goals. Get ready for a super lenghty blog post!
Sewing – Project Planning
2017 has been a weird year for me regarding sewing and knitting. On the one hand, I have been super productive: I’ve made many test garments and prototypes for Deer&Doe (including three Luzerne trench coats!), gifts for my family (a second Archer shirt for my sister, a Burda robe for my mom, and even a tablecloth), and lots of baby clothes (the Deauville/Brighton pants and suspenders and the Flax Light sweater have been this year’s MVPs). On the other hand, I haven’t been very motivated to sew for myself. I finished way fewer projects than usual, and published only 13 blog posts this year. I’m not putting myself down though, I know I still have to get used to my new lifestyle which includes spending 4 months a year in France, away from my sewing room, but I miss sewing just for fun. I’d like to experiment a bit more, and take the time to explore techniques or project types I am not used to, without setting hard deadlines or goals. So here’s what I’m excited about for the year to come 🙂
Until recently, I had never seen plastic flamingos, except maybe in The Sims. In France, people are more into garden gnomes, but since I’ve moved here I have seen a lot of their pink plastic cousins and I have taken quite a liking to their kitschiness. So it was only a matter of time until I got myself some flamingo clothing…
Ever since I made my gingham shirtdress, I am completely obsessed with this type of garments. I see them everywhere, I think about them all the time, and I feel like my wardrobe needs a lot more buttons and collars. Given that in the past ten years I have accumulated a pretty big number of sewing patterns, from magazines to Big 4 to indies, I have a lot of options when it comes to picking which one should be my next shirtdress project. So I felt like it might be interesting to share my selection with you. Most of these are already on my shelves, and a few are still on my wishlist waiting for the next pattern sale at Jo-Ann. Actually, the Sew Over It shirtdress was also on my wishlist, but after seeing Emilie’s version while preparing this post, I couldn’t resist and I ordered it as well. As if I didn’t have enough patterns already!
Unsurprisingly, almost all the patterns on my list have some kind of retro feel, with a fitted bodice, a defined waist and a flared skirt. There are some other shapes, such as the Grainline Alder Shirtdress for instance, that I like on others but that don’t really work with my style or body shape. I’m not so sure about the latest Sewaholic patterns either: I really don’t get the Harwood dress, and I think that the bodice of the Nicola might be too blousy.
So sure, looking at all these patterns, there might be a couple that seem well… exactly similar. But the nice thing with shirtdresses – or just regular shirts by the way – is that they are full of little details: collar, sleeve cuffs, plackets… So all of these patterns have a little something that makes them different. Still, I tried to present them here using their line drawings rather than the finished garment pictures, so that it’s easier to compare the design details and see the similarities and differences without getting fooled by styling, fabric choice or packaging.