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Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Wardrobe Musings

Wardrobe Musings

I love sewing co-ordinated collections, and I like to sew multiple garments with the same colour thread on the machines (sewing machine, overlocker and coverhem). If you read the blog much, you can see that from the sidebar.
However this approach can mean that when something wears out and its not the colour I'm currently sewing I don't sew a replacement garment and suddenly a colourway is trickier to wear as I have odd wardrobe holes.
I also have items for 'mending' or alterations which sit about in the sewing room for long periods of time.
In practical terms this annoys me as I'm not using the garments I have nor replacing the worn out ones. So maybe a bit more discipline is in order.

But sewing is a fun activity and too many rules make it less of a hobby and more like work.

It actually only takes a few minutes to rethread all the machines, so no idea why that's such a big deal for me.
I suppose the fact that my long navy cardigan (above) wore out and isn't available makes me more likely to pick an alternative, but sometimes I just want a navy cardigan (and this time with pockets please!)

Who knows what I will share next on the blog, because I don't think I do!!

Monday, 4 November 2019

Woven and knit top

Burgundy woven front, jersey back top.


I was inspired by this style of top which has a woven front but a stretchy jersey back.
I used New Look 6420 as my starting point. I cut up a size and flared out the hem. In the end I kept the extra size in the sleeves, but removed most of the extra added in the body as it was very loose.
I would definitely sew this again, its a great way of using woven fabrics in a dressy t-shirt. And I know it will get a lot more wear in my lifestyle than a blouse, plus the comfort of the jersey back is wonderful.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Sewing With A Plan (SWAP) 2020 rules announced

The SWAP rules for 2020 have been published! As you have probably noticed I love SWAP (and even won it once) so am of course deep in the throws of planning my next collection.

Link here

RULES:
Your Perfect Vision - SWAP 2020
11 pieces, in two groups:
  • 9 or 10 that may coordinate (be worn together) to form outfits
  • 1 or 2 that MUST coordinate (be able to be worn with all of the others)  (1 if you make 10 other pieces, 2 if you make 9)
  • no required garments
  • no required colors
  • You may include one garment that is knitted, crocheted, or handwoven

SWAP sewing will begin December 26th, and all garments must be finished by April 30th, 2010. Pattern fitting and cutting may be done whenever you're ready.

You may include 1 garment you had already sewn prior to the rules announcement and 1 purchased ready-to-wear garment, or 2 pre-sewn garments made prior to the rules announcement. (I encourage either of these options, as integrating your SWAP sewing with your current wardrobe increases how versatile your self-sewn clothing will be). In addition, you may include one additional garment that is sewn after the rules have been posted and before the official start SWAP sewing date of December 26. If you include these three garments, that gives a total of eight more to be sewn before SWAP ends, for a fairly reasonable 2 per month.

You must choose a theme for your collection to act as a focal point -  something that inspires you and will help give your SWAP wardrobe a cohesive "feel"; it could be a verbal phrase, a photo, a location, an artifact, or even an accessory (like a scarf). You must post what you have chosen as your theme.

You must include, as part of making one (or more) garments, a technique that both stretches your skill set and is something you have been wanting to learn. For example: someone who is a beginner might choose zippers, someone who is further along on their sewing journey might choose Hong Kong seam finishing or welt pockets, someone who loves embellishment might try making an Alabama Chanin style reverse applique garment, etc....

For the purposes of this SWAP, a sewn "garment" is one that consists of more than one pattern piece, stitched together. A poncho (one piece with a hole for the neckline), or a wrap (one piece of fabric) are not. Some knitted or crocheted garments are made in one piece, but involve careful shaping, so they count as garments.

I am planning to sew a collection based around the colours in this beautiful piece of silk I've been 'saving' since 2010.
And it'll hope give me more things to wear with my Zippy Jacket from January, though it may not actually be part of the collection.


Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Wearing the Sage and Purple SWAKOP

I managed to take some photos of me wearing the sage and purple SWAKOP pieces. Some didn't come out for some reason so I don't have all the combinations I tried, however I think it gives a good idea.
Pink New Look 6735 top, with floral skirt  (details here)  badly creased after wearing to work all day. I added a purchased stretchy belt.
Purple Style Arc Molly top and Sage skirt based on Simplicity 8175 view B, though with the front cut on the fold, pockets omitted and elastic waistband casing instead of the shaped waistband.


Dark purple trouser suit in a stretch woven, jacket uses Wendy Ward's Kinder Cardigan and the trousers are  New Look 6216. Pink top as before. 

Same top and trousers but cardigan made from a blanket, adapted from Prima Pattern from November 2010.

I switched the belt on the Kinder Cardigan to tie in with the sage trousers from New Look 6216.

Sage top and skirt worn together as a dress look with a different purchased belt. Top from New Look 6735 and skirt adapted from Simplicity K8175 view C (with pockets and waistband omitted and elastic waist added).
Below same skirt worn with pink top and purple Kinder jacket.


The photos of me wearing this Style Arc Nina were all blurry so here's the hanger shot.

Reminder of all the pieces.

I'm a UK size 18 and being post menopause I'm struggling now with the belly fat. I still think I deserve nice clothes though so I don't let that put me off. Hopefully I can make some better choices on eating and exercise and turn that around going forwards.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Inspired by.... contest - 1.10. - 31.10.2019 on The Sewing Place

Over on the Sewing Place, there is a contest called 'Inspired by'.
Did you see something on the internet/in a shop widow/in a magazine/anywhere really...you can’t get out of your head. Can’t find it in your colour, price group, shape, size? It might be a dominating detail you’d like to recreate, it might be a whole outfit. If the answer is yes, this is the contest for you.
For a long time I didn't think this was a contest for me so just carried on sewing my SWAKOP pieces.
However inspiration has struck, in the form of tops with a woven silk front and jersey back.
Here's a few inspiration pieces.

I thought I'd give a new pattern* a try with some slightly less expensive fabric of a similar drape, before cutting into my silk print.
(* I love my TNT patterns but want to extend my repertoire slightly.)


I'm trying top A in size L. The pattern does warn that this is sized for stretch knits only, but that's why I'm going to try it first! I'm going for something like the emerald green style above where the whole of the front is the woven, and the whole of the back a knit.

Peggy Sagers has a video on this idea which looks to work quite well.

My test version is in a burgundy print with a plain burgundy back, see if it works!

Friday, 25 October 2019

Pink top for SWAKOP

This dark pink top uses a remnant of crinkled pink jersey made up in my favourite pattern, New Look 6735.

The idea was to pick the pink out of the print skirt, but it also works well with the plain sage pieces.

Unfortunately all taken in different lights but here are my chosen pieces for SWAKOP 2019.


The weather is supposed to be better (if rather cold) on Sunday, so I'll try to do some photos then.


Wednesday, 16 October 2019

SWAKOP 2019 - Sage and Eggplant

SWAKOP on The Sewing Place.

You will make 2 groups of 4 or 5 coordinating garments. What they are is up to you and should suit your lifestyle. Each group must have a colour theme.. You will also make 1 bridge garment, a piece of garment that coordinates with both of your groups. This can be made in a neutral colour, a print, etc. Ideally it’ll be some sort of over garment (jacket, coat, cape, vest) that can be worn with most of the combinations you have in your groups.
My plan so far
I think a pink knit top would add a bit of interest to the coloured neutrals.

The Six Yard Wardrobe

In the book 'Sewing A travel Wardrobe' by Kate Mathews there are many interesting ideas for capsule sewing. One which caught my attention when I first bought the book, but which I've not fully put into practice is something called 'The Six Yard Wardrobe' originally conceived by Designer Joyce E Cusick.

from p58
 Joyce realised that if she consistently bought 6 yards (5.5m) of 45"(115cm) or 60" (152cm) solid color fabric, she would always have enough to sew a complete basic wardrobe that includes jacket, slacks, skirt, top* and sometimes a dress.
Today, all her travel wardrobes are created from six-yard wardrobes, plus a few print accent garments and an assortment of accessories.
(*I note the examples actually all have jacket, trousers, skirt and dress but I quite like the top and skirt idea as it can look like a dress or be separates). 

Sewing Plums Blog has discussed this a few times.

Wardrobe in a weekend

Wardrobe Plans

Books for wardrobe planning

I bought a few lengths of fabric in 5-6 metre lengths after this though never managed to make more than 2 garments out of one fabric at the time. I've got more TnT patterns under my belt now so maybe this would be realistic now, as my skills are a bit better.
I have to say that the economic nature of the pattern piece tessellation is very appealing to me.

Whether this works or not depends on
- the size and style of the garments (larger/more complex take more fabric)
- lifestyle and personality (I can make pencil skirts but will I wear them?)
- whether the fabric works for all the different garment types - lightweight suiting or a stable knit seem good candidates.

Before pinterest I used to cut pictures out of magazines and catalogues and gather them in scrap books. I remember one suit I was absolutely fascinated with. It was a 4 piece suit in a dark navy pinstripe. Skirt, waistcoat, jacket and trousers all made in the same fabric, maybe there was a dress as well.
It seems a fairly timeless concept, you could buy a navy pinstripe 4 piece set from Dorothy Perkins today.
 Wide leg trousers
 Mock wrap midi skirt
 Jacket


Dress

You could add waistcoat, city shorts, culottes to this list as well, perhaps a top.

Have you ever tried a 6 yard wardrobe, do you think they have a place in wardrobes today?

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Dark purple Eggplant jacket

I had enough fabric left from the dark purple eggplant trousers to squeeze out a cardigan jacket.
It is based on Wendy Ward's Kinder Cardigan, only with a narrower front band and a belt.
Mine is based on the mid-lngth cardigan (shown in ivory below).
From Wendy's site:
The Kinder Cardigan is a simple kimono inspired open cardigan without any fastenings. It is easy to wear and easy and quick to sew. It will quickly earn its place in your wardrobe as one of your go-to pieces.
You can make the cardigan in three lengths; short, which just skims the hip bone and looks great with fitted skirts and wide leg trousers; mid-length, which comes to just below hip (and yes, covers your bum); or full length, which is just below knee length and looks great with more fitted styles such as skinny jeans or leggings. There is also a choice of short or long sleeves, both finished with a cuff, and for the two longer versions you can add roomy patch pockets.
NOTE: the patterns are in 10 sizes which cover the following body measurement range: bust 80-121cm (31 1/2 to 47 3/4 ins), waist 64-105cm (25 to 41 1/2 ins), hips 88-129cm (34 1/2 to 51 ins)
This pattern is taken from the book a Beginner's Guide to sewing with Knitted Fabrics however I have sewn it in stretch wovens, non stretch wovens, knits with no stretch etc. This version uses a woven fabric with a small amount of stretch so is cut with the stretch going round the body for comfort.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Wardrobe Weeding aka Closet Clearout

Barb recently commented
"I love all your capsules, but how do you store all these clothes. I live in a very small house with tiny closet space. Do you purge and give away regularly, or do you have a great storage solution. Not judging, just curious."


I replied
"Hi Barb, good question - Well stuff shrinks, pills, get stained etc and so gets replaced. I'm quite hard on my clothing!
Some things don't get worn and get donated/given to friends or family.
So just because its in the blog sidebar doesn't mean its still in my house.
However, I do have 2 hanging rails in the built in wardrobe, a freestanding chest of drawers and other drawers and shelves in the wardrobe. I use the Konmari folding method for jeans, cardigans, knit tops, Pjs, camis, briefs etc, and use the narrow flocked hangers for hanging other items (except for jackets/coats which are on wooden hangers). I do store out of season/wrong size clothing in the loft on two hanging rails and in zipped bags. Coats mostly live downstairs in a cupboard. Scarves, bags, necklaces are in my study.
It probably is a bit too much and another purge is coming shortly :-)
Cheers Ruthie"
So the time has come for some Wardrobe Weeding.

Symptoms: clothing is crushed on hangers and jumbled in drawers. It can be hard to find the things you want and you are potentially missing some gems. Out of season stuff is still in the wardrobe though not getting worn. Some items are not being worn or are beyond repair.

Diagnosis: Wardrobe weeding required. 

Prescription: Proceed in an orderly way, without overloading yourself. I find the Konmari method of everything in a big pile makes it too hard, and its better for me to work in smaller chunks.

Think about the overall storage space you have and whether you are using it in the most sensible/practical way. For instance baskets and boxes can be helpful to keep shelves organised.

Choose one drawer, shelf or section of hanging space. Work through it taking out anything worn out, too small, wrong season, wrong dressiness, wrong colours. Remove anything which needs an alteration or repair.

Pack away the wrong season items somewhere accessible (I label with size and season). Refold, rehang and reorder what is left. Put dressy items together, gym clothes together, weekend clothes together and office clothing together. Hang by type and in colour order. 

If something is a 'maybe' item, try it on, and try to wear it soon. That often helps decide if something is a keeper or not.

Put donations in a bag and tie the top up to make it harder to change your mind, put other items in fabric recycling.
Put out of season in a bag and move to the storage area.

Note anything which seems to be a wardrobe 'hole', for example my plain navy top for work was relegated to the PJ drawer so maybe a new one would be good.

--
so far two large bags for charity shop donation waiting to leave the house and another bag of summer clothing up into the loft. The drawers now close without getting jammed!

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Eggplant trousers

Still on the purple autumn theme, here is the latest piece of the 6PAC.
These are New Look 6216 
I will put together a board showing all the pieces a bit later in the month.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Sofa Throw to Coatigan Refashion (Purple Marshmallow Worms!)

I had bought a sofa throw from Dunelm last year. Its basically a small knitted blanket (130cm x 180cm) from very chunky acrylic yarn.
I thought it would make a good cardigan/coatigan, so cut it out making use of the prefinished edges and the cables as much as I could.
The fronts are cut from the side and bottom of the throw using 2 finished edges. The collar is joined onto the front, and has a seam at the back neck.
The back is cut from the other end (so the cables run the other way). One sleeve is cut from each end, so one has the cable running the opposite way.

I don't knit so this is a way to get something which looks knitted by using a throw (or sweater knit yardage).
I've used this approach before but have to say this was the hardest to sew, rather like sewing purple marshmallow worms. It was very thick, the loops got caught on the presser foot and I had to be constantly vigilant to ensure I'd caught all the cut ends in.
I had a much wider seam allowance than usual, sewing first on the sewing machine with a lengthened stitch and then on the overlocker to secure everything.
The overlocker catchment bag is full of purple marshmallow worm casts and bits are in several places around the house.
Once I tried it on, I then wore it for the rest of the evening, I love the final result, it is very warm and snuggly. Perhaps not all that surprising given its basically made from a blanket!

Note re pattern - I don't really have a proper pattern for this, but its based on this Prima Pattern from November 2010. You could probably find something similar in Big4/Burda. Basically the front band is attached to the front and also forms the collar.
Mine is longer then the pattern here and less of a swing shape.

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Simplicity 2603 Plum Cardiwrap

In the same wonderful dark purple jersey I have now made a Simplicity 2603 cardiwrap for B as an option to wear with the floral dress.
She likes to wear it as in the far left picture, with one side thrown nonchalantly over the shoulder.
(I don't make these for me anymore, having concluded that it doesn't really suit my figure all that well).




Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Style Arc Molly Top

Here's the Style Arc Molly top in a dark purple (eggplant) jersey.
I've made some minor changes.
1 - widened the bicep area of the sleeve by curving the lines out and back in again.
2 - shortened the long sleeve by 2 inches, (but only taken a 1/2" hem).
3 - taken a half inch cover hemmed hem on the bottom.
4 - inadvertently made the tuck on the left!
5 - split the tuck into three smaller tucks which I then sewed together from the right side.
This was made specifically to work with the floral print skirt.
The necklace is hard to see but is a silver chain with lots of sparkly coloured dangles in pinks, greens etc which nicely pick out the accent colours in the skirt.