2015 In Review

The new year is a logical time to review the previous. Trouble is, I’m just not in the right frame of mind. We’re currently holidaying in Hawaii, which has not been in the least bit trouble free. I’m talking accommodation cancelled by the owner at the last minute without refund, missed flights due to inadequate visa information by the travel agent – I could go on… but won’t. One more thing (!) I will not ever book with Airbnb again, I calculate I’ve had about 40% fails with it and our holiday leave is far too precious for that.

3 days after we return to Sydney, we’re moving out of 2 houses and renting them while we relocate to Geelong, just outside of Melbourne for a year. Stress? What stress?

So while I’m consolidating my disparate wardrobe from 2 houses, it seems opportune to do a big clean out. The ‘other’ wardrobe is all shabby chick, the home wardrobe a bit ‘this n that’.

Here’s what I’ll be tossing.


The blue chopped up style lines of marquee, blogged here. It’s huge, it’s nasty feeling and I do not ever wish to put it on my body. Definitely a failed Patternmaking experiment.

I discovered I like my Sass and Bide glitzy trousers for partying and generally dressing up while still looking alarmingly dishevelled! More like these, but how many wildly creative artisanal pants can a girl wear. Maybe one more pair for winter that look great with my new jacket tailored by Brita (stay tuned, pics coming).

Thats it, really. I tossed other baddies earlier in the year, don’t think this is my only fail! Thing is, I’m quite attached to a lot of what I make even though I can’t/won’t/don’t wear them.

Question mark category

Very tempted to do away with both pairs of Style Arc culottes blogged here. I have mixed feelings about them. On one hand I am always asked where I bought them and “oh wow”, “so cool”. On the other hand I just find them very difficult to wear. What goes on top? Not my usual silhouette and I’m just not that comfortable with large bottom, small top. It’s not a look that plays to my strengths, my preference is for slim bottoms and slightly loose tops.


I really love this granny’s tea cloth top – self drafted. However, the centre front points to the crotch and is a bit weirdified! I can’t lop it off because that will cut through the embroidery. Live and learn!

A dress version (R) of the Style Arc Georgia peplum top (L) remained un-blogged. Photo failure and lack of interest! A bit Alice in Wonderland perhaps, I just need a blue hair ribbon! The original green Georgia peplum top is a little beauty (mate!) not sure why I don’t wear it more? I think it’s filed under ‘going out smart casual’ in my brain. I should make this again in a more casual fabric and colour for everyday.


I don’t wear the straight business-y dress much/ever. Well suited to doctors appointments, solicitors appointments and parent/teacher interviews. While I do these things sometimes, perhaps it’s not enough to warrant any more appointment dresses!

DSC00886 (1)

The starry night maxi set is great and I’d wear it more often if #1 son didn’t look quizzical when asking “do you really want to show skin Mum?”. Hmmm, definitely going to add another row of fringing to the top to lengthen it. I’m sure then it will be a fun wardrobe item I’ll wear.

a little more off the sides please

Red,white, black casual skirt is too long for flat shoes, but still a useful thing. Must shorten and add top stitching for increased casual integrity!

Looking at the ‘collection’ I’ve made, not much goes with anything else. Not enough casual basics. But…casual basics = boring sewing!

The plan for 2016 but don’t hold me to it – tee hee!

  • make straight trousers, I wear them a lot
  • Try more synthetic fabric blends. I like mixed fibre content in RTW and I do think sometimes they give a garment longevity – I know, shoot me now!
  • White shirts, white shirts white shirts!
  • make the damned Brita jacket already!!
  • 2016 – work on rock chic, less shabby chick!
  • and the Hawaiian holiday quote “get good”!

I’ll leave you with a random surfer dude taken this am. Maili Point, Oahu, Hawaii.



Add yours →

  1. I find holidays stressful enough (but maybe that’s just my family) but I’m sure by the time you’re supposed to leave, you’ll be having the time of your life. It looks wonderful; please tell us more when you’re ready.

    It’s sad to admit defeat and chuck out some of your own makes particularly when time and hope had been invested in them, but at least it frees up space for new things, and you do learn a hard lesson sometimes! I l look forward to seeing your 2016 makes, especially the rock chick and white shirts collections.

    Get good on that surf board already!

    • I’m so bloody afraid of the surf in reality Marijana. I grew up near the Gold Coast – Queensland’s surfing mecca and only remember nearly drowning in huge surf all the time while my english parents seemed to think I was having fun frolicking in the waters!
      Yes, white shirts for 2016 and lots of rock chick, though dayem I hate to look like mutton etc! This might be a fine line!
      I might just have to do a travel post, we’ve been laughing ourselves silly today because we visited suburbs in Oahu with PLUs – so familiar, so comfortable… but we are staying in the ghetto!!

  2. Lesley, what a great post. Your work is so fine that it puts all of mine to shame (but gives something to strive for, which I love). I really think that with your skills you can aim to make the “best” of all of those basics that you mention as boring to sew, so perhaps they will become interesting? I also love your idea of doing more of a “rock chic” look. I feel as though this (as well as femme fatale) is something I should experiment with in 2016 as well, having been boys clubbed into sort of impersonating a man on a daily basis (sounds weird, but perhaps you know what I mean).

    Sorry to hear, incidentally, that you had such poor luck with Air BnB. I have to say that so far Gianni and I have been 100% satisfied. Our place in Iceland was like a fairy tale cottage and we have found way better places in Italy than we have through agencies in the past, and at better prices. Good luck with the moves, too. Sydney is gorgeous of course but I also have a big soft spot for Melbourne, maybe because it was the first place I planted myself the first time I lived for a period in Aus. Lucky you (although I feel your pain re. relocation).

    • Nawwww, thanks S. I don’t think basics maintain my enthusiasm long enough to ‘get good’!! And sorry I do have to correct your nomenclature – definitely rock chick!! Yu have such a good rear, but also a lovely face S. Deciding which to show off may be stiff competition. Would you consider something along the lines of my self drafted wool dress mentioned in this post perhaps? The drafting details are on the Studio Faro blog I’m sure. Do let me know if you’d like me to locate them for you, I know you’d look gorgeous in it and sometimes those ‘blokes’ need a diversion. Geelong for 1 year is doable. Perhaps if we like it, we’ll stay longer!
      I’ve managed some fantastic Airbnb’s like one I can highly recommend in Little Withington on a working farm. But seriously meth ghetto is not my thang!

      • Yes, rock chick. Oh no re. the ghetto. That’s such a disappointment but can be easy to do (book in a dodgy place or where there is a dodgy area nearby) when it is sight unseen. At the risk of offending my lovely American friends, I find the US particularly difficult in that regard (although I don’t know Hawaii in the least). I hope you’re having some fun anyhow and I hope you do a travel post!

        Your grey dress is absolutely gorgeous and I know you are right that it would look good on me. A couple of colleagues of mine on the policy side dress like that and look very svelte and chic. I used to wear dresses like that when I was in my 20s and early 30s and to be honest I really resist wearing those clothes again. It’s not that I think they would look bad on me; it’s more that I don’t like feeling like a lawyer. When I have important meetings with senior officials I have two grey suits that I turn to. Both are pretty classic and businesslike but with very slightly interesting details (one jacket is supposedly a Dior copy) but I only wear them when I absolutely have to. These days I want things that are quirky, for whatever reason. Fortunately, I’m somewhat excused from being “lawyery” by virtue of the fact that I work with numbers. There’s some tolerance accorded to us as sort of the academics of the workplace. They really only care that the numbers are timely and robust.

        Incidentally, I don’t think the mutton thing really exists anymore…or at least I like to think so. 🙂

  3. sewitorthrowit 21/01/2016 — 12:54 pm

    I love those sequined pants.

    • Copy them – easy! Actually Sass and Bide are a great high end label in Australia, 2 accountants started it!! I got these on super special because, I think, taking up the frayed hem perhaps messed with people’s minds? Anyhow, lets hear it for knowing how to take up a frayed hem!

  4. I reckon, the things you don’t keep are still things you’ve learned something from, good or bad! If you don’t keep the culottes, but like the fabric, make them into something else or use as a toile! I’m the same I prefer slightly baggy tops and slim legs. One of my favourite fabrics is viscose, or rayon, which is, apparently not man made but natural fibres, drapes beautifully! Make the boring basics interesting with the stitch details you would find on rtw!

  5. I have always had the desire to have a wardrobe of lovely clothes. Not too many, but each and every one of them fitting perfectly and working well together. Sadly, this dream has never come to fruition. I think, since getting back to sewing, my wardrobe has become even more chaotic! Not only that, I have a couple of drawers full of carrier bags containing half made projects. Before reading your post, I was contemplating being really ruthless and getting rid of not much loved finished items and revising whether to bother with some of the unfinished ones. There is always a reason that they are unfinished and when I get time to sew, I really don’t have the heart to put the time into sorting these out. However, its so much harder to throw out/ give away garments that so much time has been invested in. Still, as Linda says, hopefully I will have learnt something from my mistakes.
    Good luck with your sorting out, Lesley.

    • Yes, no garment is ever wasted if you learn something and it fits someone, somewhere via a thrift shop!! Its really difficult to reign in enthusiasm I find. All the pattern, all the colour, does not a co ordinated wardrobe make!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: