In Honestly/ Knitting/ Quilting/Home Dec/ Sewing

My 10 Favorite Projects of 2015

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I’m currently sitting in bed with a horrible respiratory sickness (one I most probably caught while flying home from Virgina two days ago) day dreaming about all the sewing and knitting projects I’d like to start to kick off the New Year. Even though I’ve been slacking on the blog posts lately, and the amount of undocumented sewing projects in my closet is slightly upsetting, I still feel like I’ve had a really productive year of sewing and me-made self discovery. I’ve learned a lot about what I like to sew and wear, what kinds of projects I turn to the most, and what types of fabrics I want more of. The last few sewing projects I’ve finished (and have yet to blog about) are knits, not to mention the last several fabrics I bought are knits, so that’s definitely what I’ll be concentrating on as we head into 2016.

In the meantime I wanted to roundup ten of my favorite projects from 2015…crazy8s_circleskirt_luckylucille1

1.) This circle skirt pattern by Anna Maria Horner was one of my first completed projects of 2015 and was so much fun to sew! I really enjoyed the way it was pieced together like a puzzle and I’d definitely like to try making it again in a more subtle, mono-toned color combination. …or stripes. Stripes would be awesome.

This is the only blog post of 2015 where I did not take my own blog photos. Switching to a tripod and remote situation for taking pictures was a big change for me but I’m super proud of what I’ve managed to shoot on my own and I’m not looking back!

Original blog posts here, and here.

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2.) January was a really seasonally inappropriate time to sew a rayon dress, but it actually got a lot of wear over the summer! While the fabric was a bit challenging for me to sew with, the pattern came together easily (after some Lady Turtle fitting adjustments) and I definitely would make this dress again. Actually I’m surprised I haven’t made it a second time already, especially with all the swoon-y Cotton & Steel rayons released since their first collection.

Original blog post, here.

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3.) I made the Carolyn Pajama Shorts back in February and wear them constantly. Lounge clothes are in heavy rotation in my world and even though I still struggle with “basics are boring, I don’t want to sew those” …I’m finally coming around to the facts: I need t-shirts, leggings, comfy tunics and jammie shorts. 2016 is going to be the year of sewing basics, I swear.

Original blog post, here.

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4.) This project will always be one of my very favorites because it’s the most “handmade” thing I’ve ever created. I drafted the pattern, dyed the fabric, block printed the pattern on it, and sewed it together. I wore it a lot at first and then realized I wasn’t in love with the overall look of the dress. I’m not really sure why… maybe a little bit too 70s for my particular taste? I’m not sure. I do love how I mixed vintage notions in with a modern pattern though, and I really want to strive for this level of handmade in future projects.

Original blogs posts here, and here.

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5.) I don’t know why I waited until May of 2015 to sew a Hollyburn skirt for the first time because it jumped to the top of my TNT list immediately. I didn’t have to make one single alteration to get this skirt to fit well and that never happens to me. I LOVE this skirt. I made several over the summer and I wore them routinely. The only problem I have with high-waisted garments is they can be unkind to acid reflux symptoms, and that’s something I struggle with a lot. I’d like to experiment with this pattern and try it in a some sort of stable ponte knit in 2016.

Original blog post, here.

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6.) Quilts are, hands down, the unsung heroes of my handcrafted life. I’ve only made two so far, but they’re the only projects (besides maybe my knitted hats) that I use, and love every day. I have one on my bed and one on the couch and between myself, Lucille, and my cats, they get snuggled in on a daily basis. I could definitely use some more quilts in my life! I really enjoy the process of putting them together and how you don’t need to make a million fitting adjustments to get it right. I’d like to make another quilt or two in 2016.

Original blog posts here, and here.

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7.) A surprisingly successful wearable muslin, these Cynthia Rowley shorts saw a lot of summer sunlight. This is actually one of my favorite outfits of 2015! I had plans to make other pairs but I never got back around to it.

Original blog post, here.

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8.) I can probably count this project as one of my biggest blogging failures of 2015 because I wore this outfit SO MUCH over the summer and never made the time to document it. I’m the worst! The skirt is another Hollyburn, but this time I made it with an exposed zipper, contrasting topstitching, denim fabric that I bleached and then overdyed, and topped it all off with a really cute button tab closure with vintage buttons. The button closure was actually a clever cover-up for a pretty big mistake in the zipper insertion, and it’s still my favorite “mistake” I’ve ever made. The skirt matches a Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank (also a project I wore over and over and over) in a super cute Harajuku inspired cotton print. One of my biggest goals for the immediate future is to actually blog about this outfit!

Original sneak peek (the outfit post still doesn’t exist yet), here.

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9.) I made this copy-cat dress as a tutorial for Sew Your Hart Out September and I’m still super proud of how it turned out. It’s a modified version of the Grainline Archer Button-up, which continues to be one of my most-loved, most-made patterns. I had every intention of making this exact same dress a few more times in different fabrics but I got busy with other things. …that seems to be a recurring theme.

Original blog posts, here and here.

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10.) Last but not least, my most recent make, the Sleep Season Slouch Hat by Fancy Tiger Crafts. It’s such a simple hat that really embodies all the things I seem to love in my clothing lately. It’s a really basic silhouette that allows a fun yarn to steal the show. It’s comfortable. It’s casual. It was easy to make. Also, it’s a hat. I reeaaallllllyyyy love making hats. They’re kind of the only things I like to knit! Though one of my goals for 2016 is to learn the magic loop technique so I can try making socks and other accessories. We’ll see. Until then I have a million hat patterns in my Ravelry library waiting to be made. …no really, pretty much one million hat patterns.

Original blog post, here.

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I know my sewing influences and inspirations tend to change as fast as my hair color but I’ve been making and blogging long enough now to know what I could use more of, and what I can do without. Most notably, my love for vintage has shifted. I’ll always love vintage movies, music, ephemera, anything vintage sewing/knitting related, and also the fashions of by gone eras …but I’m just not that interested in wearing vintage right now, and therefore I’m less interested in sewing it. It’s safe to say I’ll continue to sneak in some vintage notions and silhouettes into future sewing projects, but on the whole it’s pretty obvious that’s no longer my main focus.

What I do want to continue to focus on sounds like a great excuse for another blog post, don’t you think? πŸ˜‰

2015 has been a year of big changes, and certainly no shortage of struggles (such is life I suppose), but I feel like I’m kicking off 2016 in a really good place! As always, thanks for being a reader and supporting my ramblings. Feel free to link to any of your favorite 2015 projects or posts in a comment below πŸ™‚

xo
Rochelle

  • I had forgotten how much I loved your Anna Maria Horner skirt. The mix of colours and patterns is gorgeous! I’m also seriously loving those high waisted shorts and cat stockings.

    Hope you feel better soon and that 2016 is filled with more creativity!

  • Wow, what an amazing list of makes, well done you! Next year I’ll start making things for myself again (hopefully!), having a six month old is a big time suck πŸ™‚ I hope you start to feel better soon Rochelle!

  • Deborah

    I am constantly inspired by how you put together colors and patterns, so thank you for every post you have had time to do. I also can’t ever get enough cute animal pics, so your blog continues to be one of my all time favorites! You write beautifully and honestly.

    • Thank you so much, Deborah! That’s such a wonderful compliment πŸ™‚

  • Deb Price

    I love all of your projects! You always have the best projects going and you give me hope that my sewing may someday be as good as yours πŸ™‚ Knitting is one of my goals for 2016. I hope I can move on to something other than scarves. Also want to say how much I love your hair and the changing colours! I have just stared do the same thing to my hair. What type of dye do you use, if you don’t mind sharing?
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    • Thank you! You just have to keep sewing and knitting. You’ll get a little better with every single thing you make. It just takes time and practice πŸ™‚

      Manic Panic is the brand I use most frequently because I love their wide range of color. I go to my hairdresser for bleach, but the fun colors I do myself.

      Happy holidays to you as well!

  • Awesome projects one and I – the circle skirt is a particular favourite of mine. I’m deeply sorry to hear that you’re feeling so under the weather right now, sweet lady. I’ll be thinking of you and sending countless feel better hugs and wishes your way.

    β™₯ Jessica

  • Rosie400

    Come down to South Carolina and I’ll teach you the Magic Loop & 2 At-a-Time Toe Up socks! I’ve made a couple dozen using this method – the only one I’ll ever use. Plus makes hats & sleeves a breeze! Feel better and enjoy the holidays!

    • Don’t tempt me or I’ll show up to take you up on that offer! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

      Thanks, happy holidays to you too!

  • wahou! So much wonderful things. I always enjoy seeing your sewing project.
    I would like to try to sew the circle skirt. Such a beautiful design. Happy holidays

    • Thank you! I like that particular circle skirt pattern because it has three versions in one, giving you lots of options.

      Happy Holidays πŸ™‚

  • You’ve made such beautiful things! I love that all of these garments just scream that they belong to you and no one else. I’m glad you’ve had a good year in sewing! Now let’s have 2016 be the year for you being happy and healthy! πŸ™‚ (ANd I owe you an email saying “Don’t worry about it, look after yourself!” which of course, I only remember I need to write when I’m driving or otherwise engaged!)

    • Thanks, Gillian! I’m definitely looking forward to 2016 being the year of happy and healthy …and also giving you a run for your money in the knit fabrics department πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  • Yes……come to the dark side and knit socks! Don’t get discouraged – at first, they are confusing, but trust the pattern and you’ll end up with socks. That might be bullet-proof and fit no human foot (or maybe that just happened to me?), but that’s OK. It’s just yarn. πŸ™‚

    • Ha! That’s great advice. I’m looking forward to coming to the dark side, making a hideous first pair of socks and then laughing about it because it’s just yarn πŸ˜‰

  • Laura

    Definitely try magic loop! It makes knitting sooo much better (for me anyways – I can’t imagine ever going back to fiddling with multiple needles when magic loop works so much of the time!) Your hollyburn skirt was my favorite project of yours (such great fabric!), and was what inspired me to make my own – but I had the same issues as you with the waist πŸ™
    Thanks for your posts this year, I’ve enjoyed following along.

    • Thanks, Laura! I kind of like DPNs for finishing hats because it makes me feel like I’m living dangerously bahaha! …but knitting an entire project on them pretty much seems like the worst ever. Yikes!

      I really think the Hollyburn could be made in a thicker, acid reflux friendly, knit fabric. We should try it πŸ™‚