Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2021

Another year, another round up – a series that I’ve been writing since before I used TikTok (duh), Instagram (yikes), or even WordPress. This is officially the tenth year of #SewingTop5!

I shared 15 blog posts this year, down from the years when I did about 100. Luckily several of them had multiple garments, so here goes my hits and misses.

Top 5 Hits:

Favourite pattern goes easily to the Helen’s Closet Jackson Pullover . I haven’t worn a sweatshirt without a hood since highschool, but this turns out to be all my heart wants right now. I’ve made 5, with a 6th cut out!

My favourite version is this pink and green glory. I bought the fabric for my birthday, and it puts a spring in my step every time I wear it.

Another garment that I loved wearing is this ITY maxi dress made with a pattern from Hey June Handmade. It has a shelf-bra so it is a one-and-done outfit!

Another favourite garment with a healthy dash of yellow? Who am I???

I liked this Helen’s Closet blouse when I made it, but it turns out to be quite a wardrobe hero for work. Loose and comfy, and layers well under a boxy sweater. I keep considering making another.

And finally…

I really enjoy swooshing around in the Helen’s Closet Ashton dress hack. You know I like it because it’s what I chose to wear on the first day of school in September. Besides all the yellow, you can notice a trend, right? 4/5 patterns are Helen’s Closet!

Looking even closer, I think the real theme is that they are all boxy without chest emphasis. Part of that is comfort, part is COVID lockdown fashion… but mostly it is feeling torn between exploring androgeny but also knowing that I don’t own myself (or anyone) androgeny just because I’m non-binary. I’m a person who likes makeup and colourful hair, bright fabrics and florals… but sometimes wearing feminine clothing just feels like one step too far when my heart also wants to manifest not being a women. The important thing is wearing what I want to wear, so you’ll see that reflected in my goals and reflections post!

That got deep…. Let’s dig into my sewing fails this year!

A skirt?? Why did I make a skirt? I guess I wanted to know if I’d wear it instead of shorts, and the answer is, NO. I did not wear it once.

I usually love Closet Core Patterns, but the Mile End Sweatshirt was not my jam.

This Helen’s Closet Ashton dress just didn’t quite work out, and it is because of the fabric. It’s a stretch poly woven, which means it is too hot for summer, but putting a sweater on top hides the fun sleeves and makes it dowdy. Never got worn.

I had a few other fails that never made it to the blog… which is quite normal for me. I like the experimental nature of sewing garments, and I’d rather have fun than get everything “perfect”.

Did you have any favourites or absolute fails this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments or in your own post on a blog or IG!

5 thoughts on “Top 5 Hits and Misses of 2021

  1. My ‘sew-jo’ continues to evade me so sadly more fails that wins. Seamwork Oliver top – so simple in design that it should have been a super easy sew and easier to wear. No and no. McCalls 7862 – again so simple, but the raglan sleeve is terrible and the neckline is worse. There are plenty of fails hanging around in my sewing room 😩 Here’s hoping the Style Arc Balmain tunic turns into a win 🤞


  2. I’ve become enamored of the Ashton top as a dress, because it’s designed so well & fits me perfectly. My wins are my Ashton v-necks & burrito method facings, but my big semi fail was an Ashton sewn out of a jersey- the armholes sagged. I still wear it’s, but would be happier with better armholes.
    I love seeing all your makes, thank you for another great year!


  3. I love your top picks for the year! They are all so wonderfully happy and bright. I’m really excited that everyone is starting to post their yearly round-ups; I always find them so inspiring and informative. I’m posting my Top 5’s tomorrow, though it’s really more like a countdown from least to most successful of the 10 things I did make this year, along with a bunch of other rambling because I haven’t posted in forever and apparently needed to just info-dump about sewing on my blog page. Anyway, I’m trying to get in a bunch of sewing before work starts up again next week, and even though I cut out a bunch of more serious colors and winter-wear, after looking at all of your top makes I really want to pull something colorful and fun out of the stash. Maybe after I get through the current cut pile…

    Happy new year!


  4. How wonderful to hear from you. Just yesterday I thought about how I missed reading about your makes. I worried that you might just not post anymore. How sad that would be.


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