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Thursday 21 February 2013

SWAP thoughts (updated)

So I'm thinking about taking this jacket, and basing the SWAP around it.
I need to have a bit of a think how that's going to work. Its perhaps a little hard to see but this is a navy/grey/white herringbone wool jacket with a light blue lining. I think the jacket would work well with both more tailored and more casual items in the SWAP collection, and by changing round the accessories a bit change the tone, brown leather for casual, but black leather for smart. It is a slightly longer length though so not sure how that would work with the dress or skirts. It was great with navy trousers and blue and white striped shirt today.
Updated to add here it is popped into the SWAP, with the navy skirt removed and the red skirt reinstated, and I'm not feeling the love. Much as I love the jacket, it really does only seem to work with pants.

Been busy

Hiya folks, there's no problem chez Ruthie other than work being long and hard, and weekends being taken up with chores and getting to see my sweetie. So all is OK but sewing output has been pretty much nil.
For the hand luggage only trip I bought a bag which exactly meets the definitions, rather than trying to sew one. Not a deliberate move particularly, but I found it onsale inexpensively and decided it was a good idea.

So that's sorted, and it works quite well as a weekend bag too.

I am currently debating whether I drop out of SWAP altogether, or morph my plan to include instead a thrifted Orvis jacket. A beautiful classic piece and a great basis for a wardrobe.
I don't see me having the time or energy to sew the original plan at the moment but I love to participate.
I'll try and do a picture of the jacket tonight.

Tuesday 5 February 2013

SWAP Update

Well the second striped top has shrunk slightly in the laundry, this one in width, making it form fitting rather than loose fitting so still wearable. The plain navy worked OK though, so I'm still OK as far as I can tell.
I've also fixed the split on my previously made item of a denim blue skirt.
 So this now leaves the SWAP technically half done with 5 items still to sew.
 Work is quite hard going and I am now doing the budgetting and legwork regarding buying myself a little house after Easter so sewing is taking a bit of a back seat again.
This will be my 4th move in 5 years, so please bear with me as I am sure the sewing is going to be impacted. Swap may not get finished this year.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Wardrobe sort out

Have made a lot of progress, mostly with plain skirts/trousers with textured jackets.

I've also ironed all the shirts and blouses as that makes them more likely to get worn. Mended the hem on some other trousers, and reorganised how it is all hung in the wardrobe
I found a textured navy jacket which works with the navy trousers. I'd put it to one side to switch the buttons, but that can be done another time.

Now to go through the knit tops and pick out the smartest ones which could be used with suits. I could also use a few pencil skirts in my wardrobe.

Variations I have come up with so far.

Matching Jacket & pants (or skirt) ie suit - if plain, or very fine stripe, wear with shirt or tops which co-ordinate e.g. striped shirt.

Strong jacket, e.g tweed, bright colour etc - plain dark pants/skirt, and either similar plain dark top OR a plain top which picks up a colour in the jacket.

Slightly hard to match jacket - plain dark dress

Non matching trousers, this is the one I am still struggling with and most of my Ruthiemade ones are in this category sadly.

Also wondering what to wear with some lovely camel wool trousers. They were bought as an outfit with 2 print blouses and plain co-ordinating cardigans, but the cardiagans are too casual, and not really warm enough for the weight of the wool trousers.

I've rehung all the stuff which hangs up and refolded all the knit tops, so progress of sorts I guess.
The orphan trousers are still in the sewing room as are a couple of query skirts.

I've hung on the outside of the wardrobe doors (its a 5 door fitment) seven outfits (for five working days, gives me choice).
In each one I have only one 'Whimsical' element ie colour/print in the hope of keeping things more professional. They are

- Dark brown pinstripe suit. Cream and brown jungle print knit top, Orange cami and orange pendant necklace.

- Camel wool trousers. Ivory satin crinkle blouse, ivory linen mix jacket. Neutral pendant.

- Tweed jacket in red with black, grey and white check. Charcoal grey pants and top, chunky silver necklace.

- Black pinstripe trouser suit. Dark red silk blouse with red/gold necklace and gold earrings.

- Navy wide leg trousers, navy marl jacket. Blue and white stripe fitted shirt. Navy/silver necklace and silver earrings.

- Crinkle blouse in a black and white print, black trousers, grey marl jacket and a black/grey/white necklace.

- Black and lime boucle skirt suit. Lime shirt with pewter buttons.

There are only 5 working days, but I have some choice depending on how I feel that particular morning.

Style 2887

I bought this Style pattern 2887 yesterday in a charity shop for £1.99.
It Is from 1997 so not exactly modern, but I liked the centre back seam, and the princess seams as that should make fitting changes easier. It has a shaped cuff rather than one which buttons, but if I didn't like this in practice I could always switch it out for a more classic cuff from another pattern.
The darted views are only for knit fabric, so I probably won't do those. Fabric requirements is 1.8 metres for the long sleeved version in a 16, though with all those pieces maybe a more frugal layout can be achieved. The long sleeves could always loose their shaped cuffs, and just have a simple hem instead.
Quite a lot of sewing involved though, in making that collar, so we shall see. But I could imagine myself in a shirt of this style which is half the battle.
Thanks for the replies on the wardrobe dilemmas. If I posted a few partial outfits would you be able to suggest the missing item? I am aware that I have, for instance, no plain white blouse that fits me. (I have one but it has large mother-of-pearl buttons and doesn't fit too well as the sleeves are too tight.) Do I really need one, or can I substitute a cream knit top?

Saturday 2 February 2013


Well as you can see, no Frugal Fabric Friday post. Mostly this because I have started researching online and visiting in person potential houses as the old house now has a sale in progress. This is incredibly time cosuming, though I do seem to be making some progress.

In parallel I am still working to upgrade my work look, which probably requires a thorough clear out of the wardrobe, with pieces to my favourite local charity shop or ebay and incorporating my more recent purchases into actual outfits, rather than just random pieces of clothing hung in the wardrobe.
I noticed for instance that a lot of things I own are striped, printed or textured, which makes pulling together outfits from the disparate looks somewhat difficult, and explains why the plain black trousers seem to get worn a lot.

I'm trying to incorporate advice from two books - 'Unstuff your life' and 'Nothing to Wear'.

I can see a gap for the navy jackets I had planned, but don't have the time or brain concentration to sew them at the moment, so will try and manage as best I can with what I have already. I think some things were in the 'repair' box, so maybe those can come back into rotation if I manage the repairs soon.