2013 Year In Review: Hits

Top 5 of 2013Continuing with my 2013 Year In Review posts, I’m happy to present my Top 4 Hits of the year (yes, I only have 4 again).  Yay!  These are the garments I’ve worn the most, enjoy wearing the most, and am most proud of.  They’re the garments that make me feel like a million bucks – confident, stylish, and just a little smug.  : )  Hope you enjoy seeing them all again!

Top 4 Hits of 2013

1 – Blue striped Renfrew

Sewaholic Renfrew 6 blue striped cowl neck - hand on hip

Why it’s awesome: As simple as this top is, it’s become my absolute favorite handmade garment to wear.  Its key to success is the perfect storm of sewing: great fabric, great fit, and fits perfectly into my everyday wardrobe.  The fabric is just the right amount of stretchy and drapey, and the top is fitted without being too tight.  I love look of the stripes, love the colors, and love the cowl neck.  It matches with a lot of my other clothes (both handmade and RTW), and perhaps most importantly, it keeps me warm and holds up great in the wash!  What’s not to love??  : )  I find myself “saving” this top to wear on a good day — clearly the key to a successful garment.

Another great thing about this top is that it’s so easy to wear and care for.  No ironing required, no cat hair removal, and it goes just as well with jeans as it does with a skirt and tights.  Less work = more wear.

Lessons learned: Pairing the right fabric with a pattern is key (buy a swatch!), and it helps to choose colors and styles that will go with the rest of my wardrobe… and my lifestyle.  In other words, plan ahead.  : )

2 – Blue polka dot blazer (Simplicity 2446)

Blue polka dot blazer - Simplicity 2446 - attitude pose

Why it’s awesome: Pride, yo.  To say that I feel smug when wearing this blazer is a huge understatement.  : )  I still have a long way to go in terms of blazer construction techniques and professional details, but seeing as this was my first attempt, I think it came out really well.  It was a huge personal challenge for me, and I’m proud of all my little accomplishments along the way… including getting the fit just how I wanted it.  This blazer got a lot of wear in the fall as a light jacket, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it once the weather warms up a bit.  It’s my sewing masterpiece thus far!

Lessons learned: Taking the time to tackle a challenging project and get it just right is totally worth it in every respect.  This garment gets worn and loved, and it was a great learning experience for me.

3 – Colette Beignets (navy and caramel)

00 Colette Beignet navy twill - finished project

Colette Beignet caramel twill - finished project

Why they’re awesome: Much like the blue striped Renfrew, these skirts fit perfectly into my everyday wardrobe and are on high rotation.  I always look forward to wearing them, and they make me feel so confident and put-together.  Yay!  The fitted/straight cut is flattering on my body, and the buttons and belts add some interest.  Best of all, the skirts are fully lined in Bemberg rayon and are therefore completely static-free, making them an absolute pleasure to wear with tights.  No sticking!

I put some thought into sewing these skirts, which I think paid off big time.  I had identified a hole in my wardrobe (warm winter skirts with a slippery lining) and identified some neutral colors that would blend in with my existing tops.  I knew what kind of cut (fitted) and length (just above the knee) that I wanted, and I made these skirts with those clear goals in mind.  Voila, much-loved and often-worn garments!

Lessons learned: Plan ahead!  Instead of sewing whatever I want on a whim in whichever fabric catches my eye, I need to put more thought into my sewing projects to ensure I get garments that are flattering AND functional.  The extra planning time is totally worth it.

4 – Butterick 5353 dresses (turquoise and yellow and yellow polka dot)

Turquoise and yellow dress - Butterick 5353 - finished!

Yellow polka dot dress - Butterick 5353 - finished

Why they’re awesome: By far, these are the handmade garments that have garnered the most compliments, including when some random guy walking down the street exclaimed “Miss, that is a beautiful dress!”  I think the slim cut is flattering on me, and I think the bold colors are eye-catching.  The dresses look great in the summer on their own, or with a cardigan and tights in the winter.

The problem with these beauties, however, is that they don’t fit very well into my everyday lifestyle, and therefore don’t get worn nearly as much as I’d like.  While they’re comfortable, I don’t have enough freedom of movement to wear them to the lab.  Also, since I lined them in cotton, they’re hard to wear in the winter with tights.  I made a slip, but it’s just not the same as a full rayon lining.

Lessons learned: I think a few handmade dresses like this are a great addition to my wardrobe, but the keyword is a “few.”  They’re great for occasions, but I need comfortable separates for everyday wear.  Also, I’m totally sold on Bemberg rayon for lining all my future garments.  Hands down.

Well there you have it, my favorite garments of the year!  I kinda wish I could wear them all at once.  : )

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