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Sunday 30 May 2010

Vogue 2046 Adri pattern from 1997

Adri Pattern Vogue 2046 from 1997 turns out to be in my stash but I think the pieces would need some alterations to be modern and flattering to my figure.
This must be a Winter time pattern as it has long sleeves and wool jacket etc
I notice a few common denominators among the various wardrobe patterns in my stash, (I also have some Vogue Career Wardrobe patterns from 1994, 1995 and 1996) which are
- neutral colour palette (grey/black, taupe/white, charcoal/black, check/black/white, cream)
- simple uncluttered pieces (round neck, V neck, classic notched collar) with no frills or excessive detail.
- shown with simple accessories - classy earrings, watch, scarf, bangle, handbag etc
- body skimming silhouettes
- The pieces generally included are jacket , dress, top, skirt and pants although one slightly daringly has long shorts instead of a skirt. The dress is generally just the top elongated or with a skirt portion added.
- The top/dress neckline is either a simple round neck or echoes the neckline of the jacket.
- Underlayers have slim sleeves to fit under the jacket.

Armed with this information I think it would prove fairly simple to construct your own wardrobe pattern by pulling pieces from your various TNTs and as long as the colour palette was consistent, the necklines and sleeves work together and the various lengths harmonise nicely it could really work.

Vogue Wardrobe Patterns - both Adri

I like the skirt and trousers in this one, but the jacket could have a bit more shape to it, and I like sleeves in my tops.

This has a less good skirt shape but does have a basic dress as well as a top. The jacket is short and more fitted.

I like these but Vogues are expensive so I have not actually bought either of them.

Monday 24 May 2010

Fabric Cupboard

Here's my tidied fabric cupboard.
Top section bulky things like fleece and wool for jackets and a few other things which would not fir anywhere else. Half of this is hidden above the door frame which continues up to the ceiling
Next section blouse weight fabrics. You can hardly see the shelf here as its narrow.
Now down to the wooden shelving unit. Sitting on the top are the pieces not chosen for teal, lime or brown/orange collections.
The next shelf down is trouser weight fabrics in black, brown, navy and charcoal. Boring but very useful.
Below that is my knits shelf .
And the bottom section has linings and satins plus some more bottom weight fabrics.
There is a lot of inspiration in here.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Black and white wrap top

Part of the newspaper collection this Black and white knit top is based on the Jalie wrap top.
I've made that design multiple times, but this is the first where I have used a contrast band.
I had plenty of fabric and could have easily had a print band, but I liked the idea of the contrast black band.
I didn't have anything suitable in black in the right weight so bought a small remnant of black to cut bands and so on for tops like this.

I've used the cover stitch to hem the top and sleeves, and am getting more confident using it now which is good. (as ever click to view it 'big')

I have now done 6 pieces in the Newspaper collection, so at the end of May I shall stop (I may do a few more knit tops) and move onto the Turquoise Trends wardrobe instead.

Fabric cupboard sort out

Having brought back my new fabrics from Saturday's shopping trip and also decided on the colourscheme for my next collection, I pulled everything out of my fabric cupboard sorted it, added the new stuff, added the leftover stuff from the Amber Glow and Newspaper collection back in and put to one side anything I thought 'might' work with Turquoise Trends. I also started a box for hideous fabric which can be used for muslins.

I then put everything except Turquoise Trends away tidily, then did a first purge on the TT pile and put back anything which had the wrong colour combos, etc.
I now need to do a second purge on the TT pile to get my core fabrics for the collecton and then when time permits next week I'll be able to start sewing.
I printed off my various storyboards on stuck them on the cupboard door when sorting to help me with my decisions, as my colour memory is not that great. I'll then have to also compare the fabrics to each other as although I see in colour, the differentiation is not great - ie 3 things will appear to me to match a printed swatch and then they won't match each other afterwards.

I do quite like the process of going through the cupboard discovering beautiful fabrics that I forgot I had. I found a cool tweedy type fabric which has all the colours in it for Turquoise Trends so I'll drape that around each possible top and then audition the bottoms fabrics to check it all works.

I also promised DH I'd mow the lawn and make us both something to eat but I'm sure he can survive just a little longer...

Turquoise trends: Inspiration from East

Here I have mixed and matched from the various East collections (click to view larger) to show the type of garments I might sew. Obviously I have my own prints which are different to theirs, but I am currently planning
4 bottoms
- dirty denim jeans
- 'Dried herb' twill pants - this is the darker Khaki colour
- 'Eucalyptus' Pants - this is the lighter Khaki colour
- striped pants - of the various neutral colours

4 tops
- 2 print knit tops (turquoise + other colours from the palette below)
- 2 plain knit tops (Turquoise + Chartreuse)

1 topper
- Teal cardiwrap

1 extra
- who knows, maybe another topper, or a dress, or another knit top

Saturday 22 May 2010

Turquoise Trends

Having bounced ideas off YorkshireLass I think I am now going to go with Turquoise with Yellow-green (Aurora) and the Khaki type colours of Tuscany, Dried Herb and Eucalyptus.
Maybe with additional inspiration from the 'Draping' and 'Military' looks.
N.B. Inspiration Board only. I'm not really planning on sewing those garments.

Turquoise, lime and khaki

OK, more thoughts, still based on the Pantone colours:-
How about the sort of khaki tones of the Eucalyptus (Green Khaki) and Dried Herb (Greyed Khaki) teamed with the Turquoise and just splashes of the Aurora (Yellow Green)?

That would be a bit fresher and a bit different than the Sea Collection I did last year.

Click picture to see full size and read the writing

Turquoise as inspiration

Whether you want to deck yourself in turquoise from head to toe is a personal choice because this vibrant colour is sure to get you noticed. If a full turquoise outfit is too much for you, it can be worn as an accent colour – think a scarf, shoes, a purse or jewellery. Turquoise jewellery it great to offset an all-black or all-white outfit and most pieces are affordable. If they are not, cheaper, synthetic versions are available. Turquoise mixes well with browns, neutrals and deep blues and is very trend-setting with yellow-greens. This season the colour should be worn boldly for a strong Bohemian statement. (taken from this link)
So if I take turquoise as my starting point I can then go off in one of these directions
1. Monochrome + turquoise
Black and white pieces teamed with the turquoise accents - think East's Avignon Collection.
2. Browns
Turquoise and brown is absolutely lovely. I do fear a little though that its getting to be a slightly dated combo and isn't as fresh as the black and white. Having said that it is in the Pantone report for Autumn Winter as Lagoon and Chocolate Truffle, so maybe more of a cool weather combination.
3. Neutrals
This is more of a summer take on the turquoise and brown. The lighter neutrals - all those taupe, stone, beige type colours imply warmer weather. I don't have a lot of stash in those colours though as its not something I can wear around the face, though its just about OK for trousers.
4. Deep blues
Turquoise and deep blue is a lovely combination. The only minus is I love it so much I did it last year already. I do wear a lot of that stuff, and I think the blue undertones are particularly nice with the turquoise, they contrast but in a nice way.
5. Yellow greens
Ooooh now this has a little bit of spice to it. I have to say I really like the way chartreuse type colours pop with turquoise.
I like the top row of these colour combinations from Designs In Paper and think it could really work as the basis of a wardrobe.
The blue could be deepened further and work with the turquoise and the chartreuse, and I think that really does say Spring/Summer. East have a collection which uses similar colours - East's Mosaic Collection I would replace their wedgewood blue with the turquoise.

PR Wardrobe Contest

I love to sew capsules and wardrobes where the pieces co-ordinate.PR has a Wardrobe contest starting soon, which as seems the way with wardrobe contests has a twist, this one to identify and follow a current trend withi at least one garment in the collection.
"Wardrobe Contest" Rules: On Trend Wardrobe : June 1 to August 31, 2010

Total pieces required: 10
4 bottoms, 4 tops, 1 topper, 1 Free Choice

All tops must go with all bottoms. A topper is something worn over other garments (eg, shrug, jacket, cardigan); it must go with all outfits (including the 'Free Choice', unless the free choice is a 2nd topper).

At least one item needs to incorporate a current fashion trend. You can 'prove' this via a 2010 article, a picture of a runway or RTW item with the key feature, or reference to a current fashion related website that shows the trend being used. (Examples: The season's color forecast; retail website; runway shots.) Only one item has to fit the trend being used, although as many as desired can.
The trend part is proving quite hard for some people (including me). Sure I get inspired but often by fabric and colours rather than designers or trends. I had initially thought of a red/white/navy nautical theme, but failed to find red/white or blue/white striped fabric - though did find some turquoise and white PLUS another lady on the thread has come up with a lovely nautical inspired storyboard, and it would be a shame to steal her thunder, so I'm not sure quite what I want to do.

I have lots of fabric now, so it needs to be based on stuff I have in stash as having spent a good amount of money on the stuff in the last post I want to utilise at least some of it in the collection.

One thing that did strike me with the stuff I bought was TURQUOISE, which is apparently the Pantone colour of the year, and helpfully is a colour I like and have in the stash a little already.
There are also other references I quite like from the FashionEra website.
Turquoise, draping, wide leg nautical pants, trenchcoats, colourblocking of contrasting/multiple colours.
Anyway we'll see how it goes. Sometimes it all goes 'click' and I know what the next collection will be like.

My only reservations about a Nautical + Turquoise collection, is that my PR collection last year was called 'Inspired by the Sea' and used shades of navy, teal and turquoise, so I'd be rather revisiting something I have done before....

Fabric shopping results

I really hammered the viscose knits section, and pulled them out in lots of different colours plus bought some more knits by the metre. Knits are hard to find but I wear my sewn knit tops a lot so make an effort to purchase nice knits.

I also bought two pieces of wool mox fabric - one textured shades of brown with copper squares in satin and the other lots of Ruth colours on a dark background. These are for soft cardigan style jackets for work.

I also got a leather off cut and bags of leather scraps, to try making a little blackberry slip cover.
Jenni surprised me by making me two blackberry holders in different designs, both of which can be hung from your belt. (Thank you Jenni - very much appreciated!)

Also not pictured
two weights of iron on interfacing, a roll of very ugly poly knit fabric to use to test tee shirt patterns (esp hot patterns etc) and a roll of dark teal satin for linings or maybe a blouse.

Jenni also helpfully put some more pins into version 2 of the Onion jacket muslin, despite having a VERY ANNOYING time trying to find the shop with dodgy instructions.

DH and I had planned some gardening this afternoon, but its way too hot for that - peaked at 32.5 degrees C, which is bonkersly unEnglish and frankly the whole household (cat included) is flaked out from it doing not a lot, but at least it gave me chance to phtograph and share my fabrics on the blog.

Fabric shopping plans

I am off to Abakhan Fabrics in Preston this morning, and should be meeting Jenni and her mum there.

I'm not entirely sure how I want to focus, or even if that will make any difference.

For instance, I could just buy stuff I like, or I could try to buy things from a list (if I can find them) and add in a few bits I like. Do I go with the slightly vague Nautical themed summer wardrobe in mind, and try to stick to the colours that would work with that? Take swatches of existing stuff and try to match them?

Things I think I want to get
-interfacing - boring but necessary
- stripey knits - lots of them about in the garment shops and would work with Nautical if I go that way.
- cheap knit fabric for test garments. A slightly dangerous approach, but there are some new patterns I won't try with my nice knits, so in order to branch out a bit, especially with a few HotPatterns I need some fabric I don't care about but has enough stretch to be realistic as a test.
- nice knits - in fun prints and colours
- stripey fabric for trousers, as I really like striped trousers
- small scraps of velvet as DH wanted a drwstring dice bag.
- scraps of leather to make a new case for the BB as I lost the original one somewhere.
- lime satin to line the floral trenchcoat

Colours - plain knit fabrics in black, navy, brown, teal, red, coral, lime etc
Print knits in the colours
Especially looking for red as a bit short of it for the black, red, white wardrobe.

However they do not always have what you want, so I will just have to see what is there when we go.

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Very cute sewing machine

As recommended by Melissa at Fehr Trade I really have fallen for these mini sewing machines at John Lewis. Basic and I hear quite noisy, I am hoping to treat myself to one with some vouchers. The red is out of stock though still viewable on the website but I rather like the pistachio version. How cool it would be to have a portable sewing machine, no more reading in the hotel room when away with work I can annoy my neighbours by sewing instead!
Link to machine on John Lewis website

Sunday 16 May 2010

SWAP summaries

The Contest doesn't allow the combined garment photos for judging, but I love that snapshot of all the pieces.
So here are my combos (click to view full size):-

I like both collections, but I think the Botanical garden has used the colours better. I have olive, ivory, coral pink and spring green. Imagine it for a moment without the spring green and its lost its pep, which is frankly what happened to Amber Glow. AG uses black, chocolate brown, ivory and red orange and despite the use of the very strong red orange colour somehow does not have the same freshness and zing as BG.
I have cut out but not sewn up a wrap blouse in antique gold which should have been part of Amber Glow, maybe that would have added the required pep.

The green and pink are pretty much opposite each other on the colourwheel (OK not quite), so maybe the orange needed a contrasting colour as well. I would have been limited a bit by the stripe fabric used in one of the pairs of trousers which had a dark brown background and stripes in white, tan, yellow, and orange. The antique gold was a nod to the yellow.

I am now thinking about my newspaper collection, and whether just black/white/red will have enough pep to it without the addition of another colour e.g. emerald green, or whether becuase I have used black and white which are already a strong contrast, the red alone is enough.

I have had a good look though the current Collections at East and some of those do use something like black, white + strong colour, but they also use prints in the those colours. Maybe my newspaper collection is OK if I use plenty of prints and incorporate a bit more red into it.

Monday 10 May 2010

SWAP Photos are up at Stitchers Guild

The SWAP photos are now up and there are 14 entries for your enjoyment.
If you are a member at Stitchers Guild you can vote for whichever one you like best.
Obviously if you like one of mine (Botanical Garden or Amber Glow) then please vote for me, but pick your favourite.
For those not familiar with Flickr -  the link takes you to a Collection page where you can see sets of all the entries.
Click on a set to see more.  Click Detail to see all the photos on one page, you can then click on each photo to see more - 'all sizes' above the photo will give you an enlarged view.

Voting is open to all current members of Stitcher’s Guild.
Voting ends midnight Saturday 15 May
You have three votes - for first, second and third places.
You may not vote for yourself.
Please email Ann Rowley your three choices in order to
annrowleyukuk at yahoo.co.uk 
The subject should be  SWAP vote
Please sign your email with your Stitcher’s Guild identity.
You first vote is final – you may not change your vote.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Simplicity 4076 Knit Top: Red/white print

Simplicity 4076 gather front top with sleeve from Simplicity 2603.
It needs hemming still, but although I now have the cover machine threaded up and working fine, I think I will leave the actual hemming to another day. I find doing a new technique at 10:30pm at night is not generally constructive!

Coverstitch machine

I have a Janome Coverpro 1000. I bought it online rather than at my local dealer and never learned to use it.
It got packed away when we moved house and I have never used it on a garment.
I think it is time that changed so I am going to thread it in white and try to coverstitch the hems on the 'Newspaper' collection knit tops with it as I make them.


Well the study floor is now clear and I found some gift vouchers from Christmas which is a nice little bonus to spend.

I like to read sewing boards and sewing blogs. There are a couple of areas which I noticed are VERY popular but I've not really got into that much so far.

One is Vintage. I've not really got into vintage although I have some vintage patterns both original (60s/70s) and reprints. I think there are a few reasons why. One is the styles - there are a lot of dresses, and those style don't fit my personality or lifestyle. The other is that for me certain styles which epitomise an era also have for me negative connotations about the bad things of that period, particularly to do with how women were treated. So for instance why would I want to go to work in a 1950s dress? This was a period when women could be made to leave work if they got married, where it was perfectly legal to pay a woman less for the same job, etc etc. I have no desire to encourage those things again. I expect to work as hard as a male colleague and get paid the same.

The other is refashioning. This I quite like from the creative and recycling side, but some of the end results people share online are very low quality which puts me off, plus I do like to shop :-)
I've considered a few times taking the Pledge, and as long as it lets you buy shoes and fabric, I can probably live with it TBH.

The Pledge

I __________________ pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed__________________.
Wardrobe Refashion seems to be a victim of its own success having grown so large its too big for TypePad now. Anyway I think I might have a go on my own terms for the rest of May and see how I get on.

Here goes

RuthieK's Handmade May Pledge

During the month of May I shall make clothing, jewellery and household items solely from existing supplies or recycling existing items. I may buy fabric and appropriate notions where I do not have anything suitable to complete the project on hand. My target for May is 10 garments, 4 items of costume jewellery and 4 household projects (bags, cushions etc)
For the purpose of this the last few days of April are part of the Handmade May timeframe, and so I'm including the tee, waistcoat, trousers and cardiwrap which I made or started at the end of April.

What next in the Newspaper Collection?

I have been enjoying the EVEology catalogue which has some great ideas for dressing for different body shapes, creating a capsule wardrobe etc.

In terms of the current 'Newspaper' Collection, I can't quite decide whether to sew more trousers now, or switch over to tops. The trousers take black thread, the tops white.

If I stick with the bottoms, the next item would be black jeans from the side pocket Burda pattern, with added back pockets and red top stitching. If I switch to tops, I have a whole load of options as I have so many nice knits to choose from.

I'm feeling more pro the tops at the moment, so will go and switch the thread over on the machines to white.

I need to tidy up/sort out in my study and so am trying an approach of 30 mins tidying/sorting before I then go and have fun sewing. Let's see how much I can get done in 30 mins!

Saturday 8 May 2010

Charcoal and white stripe trousers and black cardiwrap now complete

The charcoal and white stripe trousers are now complete and just need a final pressing.
This is the third item in the Newspaper collection.
Black rayon lycra cardiwrap also completed. This is the 4th item in the collection and is shown over the black and white top.

Friday 7 May 2010

Wardrobe Sewing

I am back from a lovely break away but didn't do any sewing. Whilst working on my two SWAPs I rather neglected some other things and need to seriously focus on sorting the large volumes of paper junk I have dumped in my study as I am working fom home more than I used to. Also need to do some Spring cleaning and generally catch up on household tasks but should be able to squeeze some sewing in between the other things.

I will carry on with the 'Newspaper Collection' which is black, white and red. The next pieces are the striped trousers and a black cardiwrap.

SWAP grand reveal is on Monday 10th May so I'll put some photos of the collections up over the weekend. Ann has asked to not have a combo picture, so the ones I have sent in are mostly me wearing the items with one hanger shot, but I'll do a combo story board of the pieces being worn and review them on PR once the contest is over.

I'm going to have another concerted attempt at getting rid of some fabric, particularly the home dec scraps in the garage. I plan to make some large and squishy envelope floor cushions (with inners) for the cat, some fabric shopping bags, maybe the odd duvet storage bag and then try and be brave and get rid of the rest on Freecycle or to local groups. We'll have to see how that goes!