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Daily Archives: May 31, 2017

mid-year progress report: the misses

It occurred to me other day that 2017 is basically half over. I’m both surprised at how quickly time always seems to pass and happy to see summer coming right up. So, with half the year behind us, I thought it would be fun to review a few of my favorite projects and also talk about the ones that miss the mark, the “hits and misses” so to speak. To ignore the flops in particular does a disservice to growth, and I think it’s important to know why something didn’t work in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Most everything I’ve made this year is either a favorite or something I really, really love, which made compiling the hits list a challenge to narrow down. The misses, however, were a breeze to identify. The projects in this post are stinkers for a variety of reasons: overthinking, straying too far from my aesthetic, and making silly mistakes. In the case of this first flop, I’m guilty of forcing myself into a trend I knew wouldn’t work for me.

Miss #1: the off-the-shoulder top. I’ve worn this top one time, and I will never wear it again. Never. It sits my closet, looking pretty, but it’s completely impractical and I am really, really uncomfortable in it. It’s hard to resist a trend sometimes, especially when it’s everywhere and so many people look so cute in it. The off-the-shoulder thing is a trend so pervasive that you kind of look around and wonder if the fashion industry is having a good laugh at our expense. “Let’s do a bunch of the same top over and over and over again! They’ll love it! The’ll buy them all, and then everyone will look exactly alike!” Even the pattern companies are popping out top after top that looks exactly the same. It’s kind of a bummer.

Anyway, the thing with these tops is that you have exceptional skin to wear them comfortably, and I do not. I have a couple scars on my back that I like to keep covered, so a top like this instantly becomes a situation where I say, “I can totally wear this IF I wear my hair down AND if I wear a necklace . . . ” and that is no way to approach your projects or getting dressed. I’ve wasted a lot of time doing that, and it’s too frustrating and discouraging. I do like the color and the pom pom trim, but anything this baggy doesn’t do me any favors. And if the stupid off-the-shoulder part had popped up over my shoulders one more time the day I wore it, I was probably going to rip it off and chuck it in the trash right then and there.

Miss #2: The navy striped dress. I can’t tell you how much I despise this dress, and considering how much I love stripes, this one really stings. The original idea was to have all the stripes going in the same direction but in an effort to do something different, I decided to go vertical on the skirt. Shouldn’t have done that, it’s distracting and jarring to look at. Also, the navy stripes on the bodice should be more over the bust. So much white over the bust draws the eye to that area, which is awkward and unflattering. This bodice pattern is 1″ too short for me (I’ve since corrected that), so the waistline is sitting higher than it should which makes me look stumpy and messes up my proportions. My effort to hide that with the sash belt only exacerbates the issue.

This dress didn’t even make it to my closet. It sits in a spare closet, waiting for the day I finally just toss it or donate it.

Miss #3: the yellow striped dress. This one breaks my heart, because the fabric is some of the prettiest I’ve ever bought. I had big plans for this dress, after using a Butterick pattern with such success earlier this year, but I just couldn’t get on board with it. After deciding to scrap the Butterick pattern and go with something more classic and simple, I cut a new bodice and skirt. Trouble was, I cut the skirt in three pieces instead of four, creating an interesting dilemma where the side seams end up about halfway into the front of the skirt. I never cut rectangles for skirts, so I was really tripped up by an incredibly basic principle. (And maybe the two margaritas I had the night before weren’t helping?) I tried to cleverly pleat the fabric to hide the seam, but it just didn’t work. I do like the bodice though, so it’s possible I’ll be able to cut out a straight skirt with the scraps I have left and salvage some type of dress. But, quite frankly, I’m not terribly optimistic at this point. You can read about the progress of this dress as of a few weeks ago here. And, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw this fabric all over the place. Now you know how that worked out.

Version 1: 

Version 2:

Annnnddd, version 3 is a pile of cut up bits of fabric.

I’ve made a lot of garments so far in 2017, so I’m okay with having three things in the flops category. There’s a handful of things that fall into the middle somewhere–I don’t love them or hate them–but these three were without a doubt unsuccessful. I will note the mistakes, focus on what did work, and happily move on to the second half of the year. And, on Friday, I look forward to spotlighting the things that did work. Any guesses what they are?

Feel free to tell me all about your hits and misses. We can commiserate! Ha!

Have a great week!