2017 Top 5, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights!

Top 5

Hey, everyone!

It’s that magical time again: Top 5 season! I look forward to doing this every year, so I hope you all don’t mind reading about it. πŸ˜‰ Gillian’s link-up post is here, if you want to find even more Top 5 posts!

As usual, I won’t do a full battery of separate posts for each section (Hits, Misses, Highlights, Reflections, Goals) but will group them together in my usual fashion (Hits + Misses + Highlights, Reflections + Goals). Before we dive in though, here are some “Mads Stats” for my 2017 sewing!

Total Garments Made: 30!!!!! WUT. Seriously, this deserves confetti, guys! This is by far my highest output ever; in 2016 I only managed 12 garments (plus 1 set of potholders and 6 sharks…), and 2015 was only marginally better at 13 (plus 1 shark). FWIW, I have my “fail” garments in that tally, because they were completely finished before they were designated as “fails.” More on those in a bit!

I am somewhat shocked at my productivity this year, because I felt like I was really busy in 2017 (for me–we introverted homebodies have a decidedly skewed perspective on what constitutes a hectic schedule)! But maybe having more commitments helped me devote more of my downtime to my sewing, since I knew I didn’t have All The Time In The World. πŸ˜‰ Whatever happened, I am hoping to keep it going in 2018–my goal is to replace all my RTW stuff with self-made, after all!

So I made 30 things, but what 30 things did I make?? Below is a little chart that breaks that down:

Garment Type

As you can see, Tops were my “top” category this year! πŸ˜‰ Pants look pretty robust, but that includes the 2 pairs of Hudson pants I made for myself so it’s a little misleading. “Other” is where I put my lady tux jacket and the two Burda 6718 sweaters I made for Tom. (One was a surprise gift for Xmas, so you haven’t seen it yet!) I count those more as outerwear than tops worn by themselves. πŸ˜‰ And Skirts and Dresses were pretty neglected categories, but hopefully I can do something about that in 2018.

As to my Fails, I actually had 5 of them (according to my parameters–my sewing, my rules!); here is where they occurred:


You guys know I tend to put things in both the Hits and Misses category sometimes, and that’s what’s happening with the Pants and Other “Fail” items in that chart: those are my tux trousers and jacket. One top Fail and the dress Fail are ones that you all haven’t seen: the top was a t-shirt for Tom (the one that shrank a whole bunch in the first wash), and the dress is one I made this summer that I ended up hating. :-/ But in all, I’d say that 5 fails out of 30 things sewn is pretty good! It’s also not a surprise that the most populous category had the highest number of Fails–that’s to be expected.

Since most of what I made this year was for me (yayyyy!), I won’t be counting Tom’s stuff toward my Hits and Misses this year (his stuff is all Hits though, hooray!). So without further ado:

Top 5 Hits

  1. Hudson Pants
  2. M7471 (same post as above)
  3. Black jeans
  4. Navy/white striped Lark tee
  5. Blair Shirt
    Honorable Mention: Both of my Reeta shirtdresses and my tux

Shirts and Sweats-31Shirts and Sweats-29

Shirts and Sweats-1SSJ (14 of 25)

11.24.17 clothes dump (24 of 42)

pink shirt-striped shirt (11 of 17)


Before you wail on me for putting sweatpants at the number 1 spot, I want to point out that they are in that spot because I wore them more than any other thing I made this year–by far. As in, every single night that it was cold or chilly (or over-air conditioned), I wore my Hudson pants to bed. I am so glad I finally made that pattern! Now I just need MORE!! (Sorry guys, I am not a very sexy sleeper–function over form is my pajama jam!)

The rest of my Top 5 is mostly about the same concept: how important things were to me getting dressed once they were made. The Blair is kind of an exception to that, since it’s very seasonal in Ohio, but I am really proud of it–it’s just one of my favorite things I’ve made!

That brings us to my Top 5 Misses for the year. These are my Fails from the 2nd chart, although I don’t have a photo of Tom’s sad shrunken t-shirt for you.

Top 5 Misses:

  1. Tuxedo Jacket
  2. Tuxedo Trousers
  3. M7591 Dress
  4. Men’s Raglan T-Shirt, Mk I
  5. Selja Knot Tee

abbeytux (15 of 16).jpg

abbeytux (6 of 16)Dress (1 of 13)

SSJ (9 of 25)

My tux had to be in the Misses category, too–I am just not super happy with how it turned out. I know I can do better. 😦 That M7591 dress, though I wore it out of the house twice, is just super unflattering IMO and I don’t think the colors are good on me either; I can pretty much guarantee that thing is being recycled. (Yes, that’s right: I went to all the trouble of taking blog photos of M7591 but never finished the post. That doesn’t bode well for a garment, does it?) And the Selja is just a poor-fitting top all around, and I hate my stripe-matching fuck up. I only wore it twice (3 times if you count blog photos). It’s probably getting recycled, too. 😦

Now it’s time for my Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights of 2017! I just made it to 5 of these, guys–some of them aren’t particularly earth-shattering, but they made my year better!

  1. Knitting – 2017 was my first full calendar year as a knitter, and I am still totally in love with this hobby. πŸ˜€ ❀ Not only did I branch out to cowls and fingerless mitts this year, I set a personal goal to knit 12 pairs of socks in 2017 AND I DID IT! (And incidentally, half of them were made for other people!) I also started my very first sweater, and although it isn’t even close to being done, that’s a big milestone. And my sister gifted me Bristol Ivy’s new book for Xmas, so I have plenty of inspiration for my 2018 knitting already!
  2. Band – I auditioned for a 90’s alt-rock cover band in January and somehow they took me. πŸ˜‰ (I maintain that it’s because I am a girl, and girls in rock bands–even if they’re hack musicians–is super 90’s…) It’s been challenging but also a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to us being more active in 2018! It’s also been a great excuse to sew crazy shit, like my glow-in-the-dark skirt. I’m hoping to make Gig Sewing a “thing” in 2018 as well!
  3. New Axe – Related to #2, I bought a new guitar this year! I haven’t bought a guitar in 7 years, so this is a big deal! Since the band typically plays hours-long sets, I need a backup for my JagStang. So what did I get? A Fender Modern Player Telecaster Plus! It’s literally their own knock-off of the original Fender Telecaster Plus from the late 80’s/mid 90’s era. (Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead had one–need I say more?) The original Tele Plus is long discontinued, and while you can find them used, they’re ridiculously expensive. Lucky for me, Fender makes this version for a wayyyyyy better price. Which is good, because I have an art sticker that’s been burning a hole in my proverbial pocket, just waiting to be slapped onto a guitar–I wouldn’t do that to a pricey one! πŸ˜‰
  4. Family – Frankly, any year that we are still a family of 5 is a good one! Tycho has had more health concerns this year, and we are trying to enjoy whatever time together we have left. Tom and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary in 2017, which is ridiculous! πŸ˜‰ And my aunt is moving back to Ohio after many years in another state, which is exciting.
  5. Tales From The Crypt – This year, due to another performer getting sick, I was asked to help with a really cool event at a local historic mausoleum, Greenlawn Abbey. I got to dress in (authentic!) 1910’s garb and tell visitors about a particular person who is buried there. The setting is breathtaking, of course: the mausoleum dates to 1927 and is made of granite, with an interior of white marble. Not only that, but the preservation association working to restore and publicize the site has done incredible work and is all volunteers. (The Abbey fell into disrepair over the decades since its completion, and was truly in a sorry state when these folks stepped in.) I have attended this event as a guest, so it was really a privilege to be asked to participate–these are real stories we’re telling, after all! I am considering joining the association officially next year, if I think I can commit the time. And if not, I still plan to help as much as I can!
BeFunky Collage

Literally every finished knitting project for 2017!


Band in action!





GLA Collage

Tales from the Crypt!

That’s it for the first part of my Top 5 for 2017! I’ll be back very shortly with my Top 5 Reflections and Goals. πŸ˜€ Thanks for reading!!


16 thoughts on “2017 Top 5, Part 1: Hits, Misses, and Highlights!

  1. This is all so great! I am in awe, or should I say awwwww (a cat and dog joke)!!! 12 pairs of socks? Jeez Louise! I love allll your stuff! Especially your Hudson pants.

    Cheers and happy new year to all 5 of you!

    • Thank you so much, Ann! I can always count on my fur-kids to steal the show–they’re just too cute! πŸ˜‰ And I am glad someone else appreciates the Hudsons: they’ve been my best project(s) by far in terms of wearability.

      Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

  2. You had a fabulous year with lots of great makes, but I must say, your striped Blair shirt still takes my breath away – LOVE IT! I’m also in awe of your beautiful assortment of knitted socks. As a knitting newbie, I find that incredibly inspiring and enviable. I can’t wait to see what you do in 2018!

    • Thank you, ellegee! ❀ I always feel like a badass in that Blair shirt, haha! AND OMG I AM SO EXCITED THAT YOU ARE KNITTING!!!! Trust me, if I can knit socks, so can you! My "secret" is to knit them two-at-a-time, that way there is an identical pair ready to be worn once I'm finished. (My other secret is having a full hour for lunch at work–you can accomplish a lot of knitting in an hour!)

      • You are going to LOVE sock yarn–so many wild colors! And I’ve found that hand-knit socks are superior for wearing inside of boots and to bed, and I’ve worn all manner of other kinds of socks for those purposes previously. πŸ˜‰

  3. What a year! I always look forward to reading your blog posts and seeing what you’ve made. Hope you have a really fabulous 2018!

  4. Abbey!

    I am so impressed! 30 garments, and so many successes! I’m getting repetitive here saying you are inspiring, but what other word can I use?

    Meanwhile, I have been meeting other participants of the Ready to Wear Fast through the private Facebook page. The coordinator of the sewing challenge, Sarah Gunn of Goodbye Valentino, sent us all an e-mail the other day that 600 people had signed up! Today’s the last day for registration, so maybe a few more people will decide to take the plunge. I’m seeing participants from all over the U.S. and Canada, lots from Australia, others from the UK, and some other interesting places like Haiti, South Africa, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. I said to myself it would be so easy to spend one hour a day on this Facebook group–365 hours in a year, which would be significant time I could have spent on actual sewing. There are definitely benefits to gain from the interactions but I’ve got to avoid the powerful Facebook time suck.

    Part of the RTW Fast inspiration for the Fasters and publicity for the challenge will be the Instagram feed that will be on the Goodbye Valentino blog (if I recall correctly), which I expect will be fun to look at and participate in. It will also be publicity for us sewing bloggers.

    I loved your charts for your sewing successes and failures! I’ve got to learn how to add graphics like that to my blog. (Hmm…why am I paying my web guy? I could ask him.)

    I’m looking forward to reading about your reflections and goals. If you have the strength not to buy ready to wear in 2018 (and I definitely understand about the fear of missing out on unique garments from The Alley), it would be great to have you as a fellow participant in the RTW Fast.



    • Thank you so much, Paula! I still can’t quite believe I made that many things either, but numbers don’t lie! Speaking of which, I use Excel to make the charts; then I copy the chart (via right-click, “Copy”) and paste it into MS Paint, where I can then save it as an image file. No web guy needed! πŸ˜‰

      I am so excited to see how you make the RTW Fast work for you and your sewing this year! (My participation isn’t official, but I will be playing along the best I can–barring any amazing vintage finds, of course!)

  5. Pingback: 2017 Top 5, Part 2: Reflections and Goals | Life in A "Mads" House

  6. Pingback: New Year, New Tops! | Life in A "Mads" House

  7. Pingback: A Triumphant(ish) Return! | Life in A "Mads" House

  8. Pingback: 2018 Top 5 – Hits, Misses, and Highlights | Life in A "Mads" House

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.