Top 5s for 2014: Hits


It’s 18th December already, which is just ridiculous; I’m sure Hallowe’en was only about a fortnight ago. Anyway, it’s time for what has become an annual tradition in le sewing blogosphere – looking back over the year in sewing, and picking out Top 5s – Hits, Misses, Reflections and Goals. The annual list-fest is hosted by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and the 2014 intro post is here.

Top 5s of 2014: Hits

I made twenty-six garments this year; 20 of them are listed on my Stuff I’ve Made page and six of them I never got round to blogging. In no particular order, my five favourites out of them are:

Red Thurlows


These have been worn a minimum of once a week since I made them. I was woefully short of work-appropriate trousers, and these, in a nice subdued burgundy, have been a welcome addition to my office wardrobe. I’m still not entirely sure what they’re made from, but it’s hard-wearing and doesn’t fray and weathers the wash.



Truly there are few things better in life than jeans that fit, and I managed to nail the fit on my jeans-shaped Thurlow hack first time. These are my go-to out-and-about trousers: astoundingly comfortable, hard-wearing and capaciously pocketed. They’ve been to a dawn ritual at Avebury, an atompunk LARP game in Calderdale and all sorts of other places.



This was a surprise hit: an impulsive pattern purchase (something I almost never do) on the strength of a single design feature (those pleats!) I’ve worn these a lot. Like, a lot a lot. They’re amazingly comfy for lurking round the house in, yet look reasonably put-together – that excellent property of knit fabrics known to sewcialists as “secret pyjamas”.

Red Nettie


Tops that go round everywhere at the same time! Long sleeves! Full coverage of the awkward area where t-shirts ride up and trousers slide down! As someone whose range of tolerable temperatures bottoms out a good ten degrees before the British winter does, the Nettie is a godsend. I have worn it a lot. And it’s bright red! For someone who loves red as much as I do I have surprisingly few clothes in the proper blinding-postbox hue.



 A late addition, but after all the blood, toil, tears and sweat I put into this I couldn’t really leave it off. Two full toiles. A third semi-wearable/costume version. More hand-stitched bias binding than I ever wish to see again. But it’s come out beautifully, and it is so very warm. (See above re: British winters.) My last big project of the year, and a satisfying way to round things off. Currently it is not getting as much wear as it could due to lack of pockets – I need to get on and add them.


Basically, this was the year that I feel I made real strides with trouser fitting (ahahaha) and got my head around sewing with knits. (Two of the things I never blogged are also trousers.) I plan to do a lot more of both, as I could still do with more work trousers and more home trousers would be nice. Knit fabrics, meanwhile, seem to be harder to buy and harder to cut correctly, but have the pros of sewing up remarkably fast and easy garments that require next to no fitting at all.

I’ve sewn up a bunch of things that have been worn not just regularly, but often, and that’s been wonderful. Several times I’ve noticed I’ve been wearing a complete me-made outfit after the fact, without deliberately picking bits out, and I think that bodes well.

At the other end of things there’s V1419, which was a big, complex project requiring very precise construction (I have never matched this many notches on anything) and a great deal of patience in both fitting and finishing. I was not at all sure it was going to be worth it, but it was in the end. I will probably not be making many projects with this sort of time and materials investment, but it’s good to know that I can if the fancy takes me.


About Craft (Alchemy)

I make things and make things up.
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4 Responses to Top 5s for 2014: Hits

  1. Carolyn says:

    Congrats on a really productive year! I’m amazed that you made so many garments, including all the pants and that fabulous coat! I’m with you on garments that keep out the cold. My most-worn pieces are simple long-sleeved knit tops that I can layer under/over other pieces. Looking forward to seeing your 2015 projects! 🙂

  2. gilliancrafts says:

    You make such great things! That jacket is fabulous – I don’t know how I missed your original post about it, but wow!

  3. Carolyn – Counting back, I’m slightly surprised myself! For 2015 I have some more trousers lined up and some more work shirts (several of my RTW ones are starting to go yellow at the collar and underarms, as they do; I’d like to replace them) but more knit tops are definitely on the list. Probably more Netties at this rate …

    Gillian – Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Top 5s for 2014: Misses | Craft (Alchemy)

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