Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Thoughts and project in progress

I have a burgundy ribbed cowl neck top in progress. The rib is badly bahaved and needs elastic in the seams. It may be a while before you get to see it.

I have been doing some personal style exercises and came up with this as what I am aiming for.

Simple clothing which fits well.  Moderate blended colours in clothing, tastefully assembled in a thoughtful manner which is interesting but not overwhelming. A little spark in each outfit which makes it fun or different without being too out there. Individual in a calmly assertive way.

be interesting to see how that goes.

I think I'm going to add - QUIRKY -  to my style words as well and perhaps also FUN?

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Animal print skirt

Straight skirt from a remnant (90cm) of a print sweater knit I bought in Portugal.
Some sort of animal type print containing dark brown, tan, ivory and cranberry, should work well for Autumn.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sewing Room Photos

Done with my little point and shoot, may try some with another camera later.
 Left hand wall - bookshelf and table for sewing machine and TV!
 from the door, showing bookcase and table on left, shelves with curtain on right and small desk on the wall with the door.
 Here's the shelving unir, full of fabric, wadding etc. (window curtains need to be shortened).
Small desk with the coverhem machine. Embroidery machine will go here too.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sewing room changes

I had a guest room mostly filled with a double bed, and a small desk/shelves/filing cabinet along one wall.
It was very cramped when using the computer so I often brought it downstairs to the dining table, but it was then in the way for meals.
I had a very small sewing room, filled with shelving and a table wedged under the window between the shelves. It was OK but quite cramped.
I have had one overnight guest in over 4 years and have bought a sofa bed. So decided to make the best use of the house for me but find some solution for guests if/when they come.

So I donated the guest bed, and have just ordered two of these.
These can be used together as a double mattress, separately as single mattresses, and as seating when not in use for sleeping. And are light enough to throw in the car and take when sleeping on the floor at a friend's house.

I have switched the study and sewing rooms over. The folding mattresses will probably be seating in the study. The table in the study has removable legs. So if guests come I will move the computer, take the legs off the table and move it out the room, unfold the mattresses and give them a private space.
I also still have the sofa bed in the living room, so can host up to 4 people if needed, but have more space for my computer and sewing all the rest of the year. I think a happy compromise.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

More KonMari.

Working through shirts and blouses, tops, PJs etc. Making progress. Slow going.

Wardrobe wants are becoming clearer.

Dark dresses, not black
Navy trousers
Orange cowl neck
Warm pink cowl neck.
Soft turquoise cowl neck.
Sea green cowl neck.
Anything in burgundy.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Wardrobe gaps

I have been through all the suits, jackets, trousers and skirts now trying things on. Donating lots of it.
I have found a few wardrobe gaps.

I need smart knit dresses in a dark colour but not black.I have 4 black dresses, two purchased, two self sewn. All a reasonable fit and very appropriate. I have kept them for now in case I need them.
I need to replicate those dresses in navy, burgundy, charcoal and brown.

I also need some navy trousers.

I still need to  sort through and decide on knit tops, knitwear casual trousers etc.

Wardrobe sort out

I have all my clothes out on rails or in suitcases, this includes all of the autumn/winter clothing from the loft as well. The amounts seem excessive and I am finding it a little overwhelming.

So far with my palette in hand I have separated out the black and too bright things. I've also put the summer specific stuff to one side and they will go back in the loft during the winter.

As you may recall the right hand section of the built in wardrobe is built in over the stairwell.
Whilst this makes good use of the available space it does mean that things in this section of hanging space, particularly across to the right are difficult to access meaning it is best used for bulky and less used things.

Any tips on how it would be best to hang things? Advice seems to be to hang by type of garment and then by colour, separating matching suits. I might keep my suits together, and then work out what skirts/trousers could go with which jackets. or maybe I need to have a big trying on session first.

As a muted but able to go slightly warm and cool I have both brown and grey in the wardrobe, which don't go with each other too well, but can play with the soft reds, warm pinks and teals.

I have made good progress this evening trying jackets on and allowing things to go. Someone around my size will find a great black based wardrobe in the local charity shops!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Every colour tweed

Well a lot of colours anyway, this could be made up into a jacket that goes with nearly everything.

Brown and navy could work as neutrals, then orange, pink and blue as accent tops.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

First impact to the wardrobe

Yesterday evening and this morning I pulled out a few wardrobe pieces which yelled 'Bright' to me. They clearly don't harmonise with my new palette and hopefully will make a local Clear/Bright person happy once the stuff has arrived at the charity shop.
I haven't really tackled the black items yet and there were some red things which I put back in the wardrobe (not as bright as the red belt and skirt in this photo, so thought they might be OK).

Lots of things in my wardrobe do seem to be in harmony with the current palette, but I fancied a few more and went to some inexpensive places this afternoon, picking up these.
Underneath on the left is a dark green belted cardigan, longer length and with a waterfall front. This is great for bringing out my eyes.
Underneath on the right a burgundy fleece which is a bit more subtle than some I have. It'll work with two of my checked winter casual shirts which contains burgundy.
On the top from left to right, ivory and grey striped boatneck top, the stripes are a bit softer than some of my other striped items, and the boatneck seems comfortable as the fabric is very soft.
Next an ivory and grey marl top (reading as ivory). This is very boring (or is that versatile), but should be a handy neutral piece under things and is much softer than white.
In the middle is a camel top which is a turtleneck unfortunately. I'm going to return this as it is uncomfortable and unflattering. I had swapped it at the last moment for another top and missed the neckline detail. (Returned today)
The 4th top is a soft burgundy marl and great with the fleece jacket.
The last one is a soft medium blue also marled.
The tops were from Primark so a cheap way to try new colours, the cardigan and fleece were from two other places and cost a little more but still not expensive.
I can imagine these all working together with grey, taupe, brown or dark plum trousers.
It'll take a little while to gradually shift the wardrobe over, next weekend I might have a thrift store shop with my swatches or hit the stash and get sewing.

Draped as a Muted

I went to see the lovely Kate yesterday and she used her colour draping swatches to see which palette would be most flattering for me. Kate uses a system which has the 6 directions Deep/Light, Warm/Cool, Bright/Muted out of which a person usually has a main direction, and then can have a secondary and a tertiary. So its a bit different to the 4 season approach if you have come across that.

For the first part we sat outside for the natural light and I got to look in the mirror as we went as I wanted to tune myself in and understand why one colour swatch was better than another. I varied a bit but the one fairly consistent element was Muted. Also Warm slightly edged it over Cool and neither Deep nor Light was better than the other. So this gave me Muted with a slight secondary of Warm.
It was obvious that all the bright and clear colours had that effect where people notice your shirt first and you somewhere afterwards.
We were looking for subtle changes in the skin tone between the colours on some of the others, did something bring out the redness, did the darker area under my eyes become more or less obvious, did my skintone appear smooth or bumpy. It took a little while for me to tune in to the nuances of this, and there were some where I could hardly tell, but most I could see the difference for myself.

I understand that this means I need to keep my colours slightly greyed, which explains why a bright pinky coral tee shirt looked great after I'd washed it by accident with something dark, just knocking the colour down a notch!
This palette doesn't contain black, but Pewter, Brown, Khaki and Grey blues are alternatives for trousers, jackets, coats, and so on. It contains off white and some lighter colours for tops/blouses.

Kate showed me lots of ways to mix similar toned colours together, I particuarly liked the various pink/burgundy shades together and all the teals together.

A Taupe was particularly good (did you know that Taupe is french for Mole, I didn't).
This is a great colour as it contains grey and brown and mixes in with anything in the palette.

Anyway I see some interesting wardrobe and fabric stash decisions coming up, but also some fun opportunities to use some of those muted colours.

The whole palette reminded me of muted scottish landscapes, blues, greens, browns, greys, purple from heather and a softness to the light because of the angle of the sun.
This is going to be interesting!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Cool brown silk turtleneck

I needed a break from the sanding and undercoating of workwork so went back to the sewing room to finish off the brown turtleneck.
A burn test on scraps seemed to indicate this is silk which I had suspected as it is gorgeously drapey and delicious against the skin.
This uses the body from New Look 6414 View C and the 3/4 sleeve from New Look 6735 lengthened to full length. I drafted the collar piece myself, the same length as the original neckband but many times deeper.
This will be great under scratchy wool pieces over the Autumn Winter and a good foil for my various coloured chunky necklaces and silk scarves.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Painting the orange pine wardrobes

Not a sewing project at all, but I've been wanting to paint the built in orange pine wardrobes for a while.
The drawers in particular are beautifully and solidly made. The large wardrobe doors above are slightly warped and may be replaced in future.
For now though I have removed the drawers, sanded the frame and doors and undercoated them with Dulux Super Grip Undercoat, and will then be painting with Dulux Satinwood in Natural Calico.

Of course I've had to empty the wardrobes completely and my clothes are spread about in suitcases and on hanging rails with shoes in cardboard boxes, plus the weather has cooled a couple of degrees and bare legs and sandals now seem a bit chilly. I had a break yesterday evening, but try to do a bit each evening, hopefully being able to finish everything off at the weekend.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Style Challenges

I've been posting pictures for a Style challenge I am doing over on my other blog which is here.
Sew Ruthie's Colour & Style Blog

Please do leave comments if you pop over there.
If you just want to see the next sewing project... the brown turtleneck will appear Monday probably as life got busy.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Cool Dark Brown Ponte Leggings

Here's the leggings, or maybe they are slim knit pants (they are not as tight as leggings, but still a very different silhouette to my usual wide leg pinstripes).
These are McCalls 5394 which I made up previously in a black self stripe knit. I've not worn them yet as it is still summer and more shorts and skirts weather.
So here's what the 6PAC looks like now. (P.S. I know I don't seem to be able to count)

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cool Dark Brown Ponte Cardigan

The cardigan had to be made from the limited remaining fabric so I used the Prima November 2010 pattern again but shortened it and made the collar area a little narrower.
The selvedge had an interesting fringed effect so I have used that as my finished edge.
So I now have a cardigan, skirt and top all in the same shade of cool dark brown, enabling me to create an inner or outer column.
Here's the 6PAC so far.
I have leggings/slim pants and a turtle neck still to sew in the brown but after 3 garments I am already bored of it. Just need to push through and finish those off this week.