Sewing Top 5 2016

HelenHelen's Makes8 Comments

Top 5 2016 : Sewing Highs

Sewing Top 5 2016

I love the annual Top 5  hosted by Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow.  It is so much fun to see everyone’s pics and to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments of the year.  I also enjoy the clarity that comes from this and the plans for next year.  I’m going to split the process up and focus on the best today. It is way too hard for me to pick 5, but I did manage to narrow it down to 10, let’s do this.


Cascade Duffle Coat

Most Adored: Cascade Duffle Coat

Coats are the kind of projects that leave you feeling like you left a little bit of yourself in there when you are finished.  Not in a bad (or creepy) way, but in a loving, caring, so much freaking effort kind of way.  I could not be happier with my Cascade and I had the chance this year to show it off to Jen in person, which was quite the highlight in itself!


Refashioners 2016

Most Work: Re-fashioners 2016

This project was more successful as a garment than I expected.  I love how it turned out, and I wore it a lot in the warmer months! I’m so glad I decided to take part in the refashioners challenge, and I can’t wait for refashioners 2017!


Kimono Robe

Most Beautiful: Self-drafted Robe

Everytime I put this robe on in the morning, I feel relaxed and content and comfy.  It makes me feel how commercials portray women feeling in the morning, like, ‘ooooo, I just can’t stop smiling and basking in this pool of sunshine while I eat my yogurt”.  You get what I mean, this robe is my pool of yogurt.


Colfax Dress

Most Surprising: Colfax Dress

I’ve labeled this dress most surprising because it’s simple design really opened my eyes to a boxier silhouette working for my body. I adore it in this coral silk blend and over the past summer I wore this dress so many times!


Winslow Culottes

Most Rewarding: Tencel Winslow Culottes

Perhaps my most rewarding experience this year was launching my first PDF sewing pattern, The Winslow Culottes!  I made so many versions of this pattern in the testing process, but these ones that I made for the sewalong get a ton of wear.


Harriet Bra

Most New: Bramaking at camp

This past October I attended Camp Workroom Social and learned how to make my first underwire bra from the bra queen herself, Amy from Cloth Habit! I loved the class and so enjoyed the camp experience, you can read all about it here!


Reno & Dakota

Most Fun: Reno & Dakota Swimsuit

You can really go off the wall with swimwear fabric, which makes the sewing experience very fun indeed! I love this swimsuit so much and we had such a blast in Mexico last February, so this one is a winner all round.


Kelly Anorak

Most Challenging: Kelly Anorak

I pretty much gushed my heart out about this pattern and how great it was to be challenged to try new sewing things in my full post, but essentially, this jacket was one of my favourite projects ever.  I am so excited to make another one for rainy weather soon!


Lark Tee

Most Worn: Bamboo Hudsons and Striped Lark

Last but certainly not least, my most worn items are, of course, basics! I throw on my bamboo Hudson pants every chance I get at home, they are simply the most comfortable things ever.  When I don’t feel like getting dressed I reach for my leggings and throw on my striped lark, it never fails :).


So…what did we learn?  I think the most obvious takeaway here is that almost all my favourite makes from this year are solids!  I’m always saying I’m a print person – and I do make myself a lot of prints – but it seems that I feel more comfortable on an everyday basis in solids!  REVELATION. I will, of course, continue to make both, but I’m slowly getting a handle on making clothes I will truly want to wear.

Well, those are my sewing highlights! Still to come in the next couple weeks are some sewing lows, some life milestones, and, of course, my sewing list for 2017.  Which I will stick to 100%, naturally.

Top 5 2016


About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

8 Comments on “Top 5 2016 : Sewing Highs”

  1. I really enjoyed your recap (as I have them all!) it inspires us to look back at what we’ve made that we love (and those that make us cringe!) I love your remake in denim so much I’m thinking about doing the same thing! I wore the heck out of a denim dress I had years ago and a remake denim maxi skirt back in the ’70’s to rags 🙂 I love your jackets too – wow so well made! Thank you for going to all the work to put this together for us 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your further breakdown – most fun, most rewarding etc. I think that is a great idea and one I will consider next year, though this year my list is already up and not subcategorised. I have enjoyed your blog since I started following it, rather recently, as a result of your denim dress.

    1. Thank you! It is fun to throw the categories in there, I just chose one for each, no particular system. Feel free to use them if you like next year! I really enjoyed your roundup, too!

  3. How warm have you found your duffle coat to be? I’m currently muslining a wool coat, but can’t decide if I want to plan to interline it with something for added warmth.

    1. I have found mine to be perfect for Vancouver, but we only get down to about -5 at the coldest. It is lined with flannel, too, but not interlined. I did the sleeves in silk, so they are less warm, but I often wear a thin sweater under there, too! I think Heather from closet case files did a post about interlining her Cascade last winter 🙂

  4. I did a double take on your cascade photos: “Is she pantsless under there?” I *think* you are wearing camel colour pants?
    Lovely makes all around – you must sew carefully, because your garments always look nicely finsihed and smoothly pressed!

    1. Haha, yes, I am wearing pants under there! I have since gotten rid of those pants for that exact reason, actually! Too close to my skin tone. Thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *