2019 hits and misses countdown

I’ve decided this year to extend my hits and misses thoughts to a couple of new categories as a bit of a countdown from 5 to my proudest make of the year. I’m including some of the things I’ve learned this year, and the skills I have learned. Before I jump straight into the sewing though I thought I would introduce a different kind of special ‘make’ – meet baby Lottie!

She is a grand total of 4 weeks old, and is just lovely. We are all doing really well, and getting used to being a family of 4. She looks great in this wee lap tee and hat I made her, but we should probably get back to the sewing! So without further ado…

5 hits

I still haven’t worn this Ascent Fleece very many times but already I can tell that the sizing is great, resulting in a fleece which is comfortably roomy without being oversized. The feeding zips work really well, so I’m sure it will keep getting worn as the weather gets colder.

I would include both the lion and penguin dungarees in this category, even though the lion ones aren’t in use yet. Toby looks really sweet in the penguin pair, and I love that they are totally unique with their self drawn applique pocket designs. These are definitely ones to keep for Lottie to wear when she is bigger and I’m thinking about ways that I can customise some other garments for them too!

My Oslo cardigan was one of my first makes this year, and consequently is probably one of the most worn. I think it gets worn at least twice a week because it is great for layering up and is really comfortable too.

I am wearing this long sleeved Amber top in constant rotation at the moment. I’m loving being able to layer it up under dresses and shirts. Sometimes the tried and tested patterns like the Amber are the best, and while basics in solid colours aren’t the most exciting to sew they do get worn!

Not sewing, but I am really pleased with the cardigan that I knitted for Lottie. She has worn it a couple of times, though it is a little bit big at the moment. Hopefully that means it will fit all winter! More than anything, I’m just proud that I got it finished because my patience for knitting is definitely limited!

4 misses

Toby’s Honeydew Hoodie hasn’t been worn as much as I would like. He seems to have loads of jumpers at the moment so there is too much competition when I open that drawer, and one of the snaps isn’t set very well and doesn’t do up properly. It does seem like a shame though, because I really like it in these photos!

The proportions on this Raspberry Romper just seem a bit off. I’ve been meaning to modify it to make it less voluminous on the bottom but didn’t find time over the summer. I think I might take the romper part off and add a simple gathered skirt instead for Lottie.

This Givre Top just struggled to make it into regular rotation, partly because it was totally the wrong size during my pregnancy and isn’t very feeding friendly. I think I may see if it fits better into a friend’s wardrobe because I can’t see it becoming a staple for me and it seems wasteful for it to just sit there waiting.

Not exactly a ‘miss’, but two years after buying the pattern and fabric this coat is still not finished. I think I’ve just struggled to commit time to a big project, and it might be even more difficult now that my sewing time is even more limited. The draw of the quick progress keeps bumping this down the ‘to do’ list, but I do need to prioritise finishing it next year!

3 learning experiences or “what would I do differently next time?”

Be really careful when setting snaps- as already discussed above! Also, reinforcing knits in the areas where the snaps will end up seems like a good idea in future. I’m always a little worried that the fabric will stretch and the snaps will fall out. They don’t feel as sturdy as I would like.

Small seam allowances in high stress areas might need reinforcing. Toby’s bunny coat is beautiful, but the heavy ears have been pulling on the hood seam and need a bit or TLC. Next time I make one of these coats I’m going to make extra sure that the ears are secure and I think I would sew them in twice- once at the actual seam allowance, and once inside it. These ones I’m going to have to open up the hood slightly to repair which might be quite fiddly!

Measure more accurately. Fortunately I was able to adapt this overlocker cover by hemming it much shorter, but it would probably have been better to make the adjustment before cutting out. The covers are both a bit floppy too, so if I did it again I think I might interface them with some fusible fleece to give it a bit more body.

2 new skills

My applique skills have improved no end this year. I’ve used them on the bunny coat to attach the fur to the hood and ears, and for the animal pockets of the lion and penguin dungarees. With some experimenting I’ve worked out some settings that seem to work well. I think my next challenge should be to do some applique on jersey, perhaps a t-shirt or jumper for Toby.

Being willing to adapt the instructions to achieve a better finish. It didn’t work perfectly on the Eugene Henley, but it was definitely an improvement on the methods suggested in the instructions. I am pleased with the finish on the Oslo cardigan though. I’m going to remember in future that the instructions for a pattern are just guidelines or suggestions. It’s ok to read ahead and adapt them to suit my needs.

1 proudest moment

Whenever Toby wears his bunny coat and I get asked about it! Authough it is the most complex completed project from this year I found it very satisfying watching it come together and I love the end result. Being so small it was fairly easy to just do one or two steps at a time and each seam is pretty short and speedy. I’m definitely still thinking about making Toby another animal coat for next year.


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