My Top 5 Misses of 2014

It’s time for my Top 5 Misses – i.e. the clothes that never get worn! Now, I have to say that only one of these is a real fail… the rest just turned out to be “meh”. I have a LOT of clothes at this point, and if it’s not a favourite, it won’t get worn.

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

First up, #1-3: Faux Wraps!  People went wrap-dress crazy this summer, thanks to Jenny from Cashmerette… and I hacked, not one, but two faux-wrap patterns for myself!

First up was this top:

Modified Renfrew Wrap Top

Cute, but NEVER WORN! Not even once, except for these pics. I’m not comfortable wearing tops that are snug around the middle – there’s just no way to avoid muffin top. Plus the binding flips out, and it’s not modest enough for teaching in, but not comfy enough for weekend lounging. Boo hoo!

Next up, in the same vein, two faux wrap dresses:

Wrap Dress

So. Many. Stripes! Wore it once, maybe?

Wrap Dress

Love this fabric, but don’t feel confident enough that the neckline will stay put through the day. Of course I can wear a cami, but that messes up the wrap in a different way. As well, the elastic waist stay I used in this dress is pretty hefty, and feels bulky when I wear leggings underneath.

The good news is that I have extra fabric of both the cherry print and the turquoise/green splodges. One day I might get the motivation up to somehow splice in a different bodice so that these things get worn! I hate seeing good fabric go to waste.

#4: Ponte Shift Dress
Plaid Ponte Tunic

Worn… once? I think that what annoys me most about this dress is that the armholes are too big, so when I raise my arms the whole dress lifts up too, revealing my slip. (Can you see it in the far left pic?) The neckline is also slightly stretched out… normally I’d just throw a cardi over top and call it good enough, but the shoulders are the best part of this dress and a cardigan covers that up. I did manage to make a cute raglan top out of the scraps though, so I don’t begrudge this dress for not working out.

Now for the real fail:

#5: Cake Carmine Shrug
Carmine attempts...

Look, I love some of the Cake patterns. I’ve made a total of about 25 Tiramisus and Espressos, combined. But this pattern? It’s really, really not what I expected from the line drawings! I made two versions of this, including an adorable piped one, and they came out hideously wrong. I did manage to (sort of) save this pink ponte version by attaching the circular ruffle to a TNT pattern instead, but it still doesn’t get worn.

There you have it! One of the reasons I like using patterns over and over is to avoid total disasters… when I’m stressed and sewing for relaxation, I always choose a low-risk project. Every now and them I’m in the mood to experiment, and it’s ok when those go awry. (I tried a few ideas for cute pjs over the summer which didn’t work at all, but they were really just muslins, so who cares? Likewise, last Christmas I sewed a lined quilting cotton dress just to prove to myself that I still remembered how… That thing is NEVER getting worn when I have knit dresses to choose instead!) I like sewing to be a creative release and an emotional safety net.

How about you? Are your least favourite projects this year TNTs that went astray, random experiments, or wild adventures that just didn’t work out?


25 thoughts on “My Top 5 Misses of 2014

  1. Too bad the wraps didn’t work out – I remember how excited you were about them over the summer. Oh well! You know I love that ponte shift dress on you, but it’s a shame it’s uncomfortable to wear. Like you said, chalk it up to experimentation I guess. Sometimes you never know how something will come out until you give it a try!

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    1. Yeah, it’s hard to predict of new styles will work out! I always find it comforting that I can shop up my less successful makes and use the fabric for something else. If all else fails, everything can become clothes for my little niece!😉

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  2. You are very good at sewing things that work! You know what you need and what you will wear. I’m still working on that. This year, I think I had more misses than successes. This was a funky year for me. I love that shift dress on you!

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    1. You’ve got such a great personal style though – and it’s not boring, so of course it will take you longer to figure out patterns and fabrics that will work for you!🙂 It’ll happen!

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    1. I’d like to salvage those wrap dresses and top… do you think I should cut apart all the seams, and resew the whole thing? Do I have any other options? (I refuse to rip out that much serging!;)

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  3. I actually really like both wrap dresses, although from the photo, it looks like maybe the waist seam on the striped version hits a little low? The blue-green splotchy one looks GREAT though! I can’t believe that’s a fail. (Granted, we all know how pictures can “lie” when it comes to wearability.) Is the splotchy one really not wearable with a cami underneath?

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    1. The splotchy one is wearable… I just haven’t chosen to wear it in months, which means it’s pretty much doomed. Unless it seems more appealing in spring? Which *is* possible… Hmm…

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  4. I love the green ‘splotchy’ wrap dress too… but if it’s just not right – it’s just not. My ‘misses’ are often more about making things that aren’t me. For me being comfortable is as much about physical comfort as it is feeling like ‘me’

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    1. I’m fascinated that the Alder pattern turned out to be “you”, just as you are getting into more drapey and asymmetrical styles… but that’s the magic of clothing! it’s never entirely predictable what we’ll love.

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      1. I think what appeals to me is the lack of ‘waistband’ with the Alder, it feels less structured than the McCalls shirtdress yet still ‘fits & flatters’. When it was released I wasn’t fussed on it at all but looking through my wardrobe I do love shirts so it suddenly made sense!

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  5. I totally get where you are coming from with the wrap dresses and tops, but they all look fabulous on you in the pictures. Funny how we make things thinking we will wear them, but knowing we won’t. I have a couple things like that too! Love these posts!!

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    1. Maybe I should just offer those dresses to Anne… I wonder how they’d fit on her?

      ps. Oh, and I’d love to know which things you’ve made just don’t “work” in real life!

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  6. I still love that shift dress! Such a bummer that it’s uncomfortable. I’ve been loving that silhouette lately. Used to think it would look terrible on my pear shape, but since I can make it fit me I don’t have to worry about the too loose on top/too clingy on bottom trade off (yay sewing!!).

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    1. It’s nice to be able to ignore style “rules”! Sewing has definitely opened up what I’ll consider wearing, because I can make anything in a way that will suit me better.

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  7. I think that shrug is lovely. I’d put a big broach on the front to pin the two edges together. The ruffle is particularly pretty. Isn’t it funny the things we hate and yet others like them!

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  8. I understand how they may not feel comfortable, but think the 3 wrap garments look great! Maybe the top would suit being worn with a skirt for work? Love the shift-dress silhouette on you as well, so shame it isn’t easy to wear.

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  9. Nice to see that the hits are outnumbering the misses – and I really like the blue cherries on you! My misses this year were style fails, for sure. But if I don’t try new things, I’ll never know if I like them! It’s sad when nice fabric is “wasted”, but I try not to get too bummed by the lost sewing time anymore. Just learn and move on, I say!

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  10. Funny how all of those still look rather cute in the photos.😉 I think it’s pretty cool that all of your misses were some kind of fit/fit expectation problem. Means that you know very well what styles and fabrics/colours to sew, right?

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  11. Isn’t it funny to see the way that we become pickier about fails as we have more sewing experience? I just looked back at my 5 misses from 2012, and they were due to just awful, awful sewing or terrible fabric choices. This year’s misses (not posted yet, so slow!) are just different shapes or styles that I experimented with and didn’t fall in love with. Yours seem to be similar- there’s nothing wrong with the garments, but you’re just not comfortable with them. It’s a sign that your sewing ability has really progressed!

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    1. I agree! It’s nice to be making less technical mistakes, and more “Well, it was worth a try!” mistakes! Sometimes I wonder what I’ll be sewing after a decade… will I become a technical sewer? Will I go couture? Will I still be making t-shirts? Or – gasp – will I move on to another hobby?

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  12. I agree that TNTs & really knowing your style cuts down on the misses. That said, I’m glad you’re still experimenting to keep things fun & interesting. My misses were more about trying new things & styles. It’s nice to be at the point where construction wise the garment is fine and I can really narrow down what I’m not thrilled about be it fit or style.

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