Black Lives Matter

Sunday, 30 December 2018

SWAP 2019 - Colour Groupings

I'll stick with these colour groupings, but may have to sub in alternate fabrics if the yardage is too short or some other issue arises.

I plan to start cutting out the teal pieces soon.

Friday, 28 December 2018

SWAP 2019 Planned fabrics

Here are the fabrics I've chosen for SWAP 2019.
The INK BLUE fabrics left to right - ink blue jersey for a knit top, ink blue and off white print for a knit top, ink blue stretch woven for trousers, jacket and maybe also a skirt and ink blue tweedy fabric for a cardigan jacket.
The TEAL fabrics left to right - print poly knit for a dress/top, print viscose for a knit top. dark teal knit for a top, dark teal woven for trousers and teal tweedy fabric for a cardigan jacket.
And finally a ROSE PINK jersey for a knit top and a STONE stretch lace for a cardigan.

The dark TEAL trousers and knit top are the most attractive to me currently as I have teal thread on the machines and sewing in the same colour story works so well for me. Maybe the tweedy jacket after that before switching to INK BLUE?

I've gone for darker teal as I think this will be more flexible as a neutral.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

SWAP 2019 Plans

I decided that I would have Ink Blue and Teal as my Base Neutrals with Stone and Rose Pink as the Accents.
Using this palette I investigated my fabric resources. I then came up with these possible garments (I know its too many but that gives me some wriggle room!).

* Stretch woven trousers
- Stretch woven jacket
- Stretch woven skirt (fabric permitting)
* Knit top
* Cardigan jacket

* Trousers
* Knit top
* Cardigan jacket
* Wool coat

* Knit top

* Lace knit cardigan

* Teal print top 1
- Teal print top 2
* Ink Blue print top
That would be
2 pairs of trousers and 1 skirt
3 jackets and 1 cardigan
6 knit tops
a wool coat

As a minimum I would like to make trousers, top and cardigan jacket in each of my Base neutrals (INK BLUE and TEAL) and then add some accents colours and prints. The reduced set is marked with a (*) and the extras with a (-).

The light is bad at the moment but I hope to do some fabric photos tomorrow

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

2018 summary and 2019 thoughts

2018 Focus
During 2018 I have concentrated on Stash Shrinker and the Stitchers Guild SWAP 2018.

Some Statistics
I managed to sew up 128 metres of fabric and only buy 64 metres (including blankets/throws which I counted as yardage) so have managed the 2:1 ratio.

I also gave away fabric for charity and via a local contact, though I didn't measure it, there were 4 laundry bags of fabric (of the style below) and a large box of patterns.

I made one pair of shorts for DBF, and some bags for folding chairs for a friend. I made lace curtains for all the upstairs windows in my home and some cushions for a wicker chair.

Everything else was clothing for me! Clothing wise I made 60 garments (and a scarf).

1 blouse and 25 knit tops
4 skirts and 12 pairs of trousers/pants
16 cardigans/jackets
1 coat (and a test coat)

January was by far the most productive month, with the rate gradually dropping as the year went on, but spurred by the SG SWAP in the earlier months and TSP SWAKOP/ SG Autumn 6PAC in the autumn.

In the summer I wore the teal linen trousers and leaf print top a lot.

And the scoop neck tops from the Burgundy Autumn Collection have proved very handy and get worn repeatedly.

My biggest sewing achievements in 2018 were:-

1.  to place first in SWAP 2018 on Stitchers Guild in May 2018.
(I chose to have pdfs of StyleArc Patterns as my prize so will probably see me experimenting with them a bit more this year).

2.  to sew more than 100 metres of fabric during the year (which happened in late August 2018). The rate dropped off a bit so the annual total was 128 metres sewn.

3.  to finally complete (in December 2018) the teal wool coat I have been planning in earnest since December 2017.

Plans for 2019

1.  to join in with SWAP 2019 on Stitchers Guild (though some of the rule phrasing has baffled me slightly).

2.  to participate in some of the contests at The Sewing Place, (where they appeal and the time frame works for me.)

3. to continue to sew at least twice as much fabric as I buy with a new Stash Shrinker Spreadsheet for 2019.

4. to continue to declutter my house, with a particular emphasis this year on the loft area.

And that's probably it. I'm not going to join the RTW fast, any of the PR contests or anything which requires an Instagram account. I may do some of the MAGAM challenges as well.

Note on charity sewing

In the past I have sewn lots of small items for a charity stall. I was not able to attend the May Day event this year due to a wedding. Then taking a step back let me evaluate the return on the effort expended. So I've done very little sewing for charity this year, instead giving fabric away for donations and to local good causes and increasing my payroll giving. I'll see how this area goes in the future.

What are your sewing plans for 2019?

Friday, 21 December 2018

Teal Wool Coat

I have been working on this simple coat very slowly over the last few weeks.
It still needs hemming and a good press but is otherwise complete. I've added a lining in a dark teal satin, and pockets, belt and facing/collar in the slightly lighter teal wool. I think it works quite well.
I should be able to get this fully finished by 26th December for it to be the SWAP early garment (One garment may be started on 29 October 2018 and completed prior to 26 December 2018)

The pattern was from the UK women's magazine Prima, which includes a free sewing pattern for subscribers. This was the one from Feb 2015.
Patterns are available on ebay in the UK. But you can see its quite a simple pattern. I made mine 4 inches longer than the knee length version.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Print fleece jacket - Ottobre Autumn Winter 5/2014 Hoodie #9

I finished this in mid November but I've not been too well so took until now to do photos.
Looking at it now I can see I have not centered the star motif, and the print does not match across the front and back. A lot of that was due to fabric limitations as this was sewn with what was left after I made lots of fleece hats from the fabric last year.

The pattern is based on Ottobre Autumn Winter 5/2014 Hoodie number 9. I made a size 46 flared out a bit at the hip. I also shortened it a little, but kept the side splits and high/low hem. I added in seam pockets made from scraps of a co-ordinating plaid fabric. I also added a centre front zip to break up the pattern a bit as the horizontal stripes were very dominant.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

SWAP 2019 Palette refinement

I've been thinking more about the SWAP palette based on the inspiration, what I've previously sewn (and therefore have plenty of) and what's available in the resources cupboard.

Colour Palette

Ink blue – Neutral 1

Stone – Neutral 2

Teal – Colour 1

Rose Pink – Colour 2

I should be able to have 6+ pieces in shades of ink blue and stone.
Plus 1-5 accent pieces in teal, rose pink and prints.

Ink Blue
- Ink Blue Trousers
- Ink Blue Jacket
- Ink Blue Skirt
- Ink Blue Cardigan

- Stone Cardigan
- Stone Knit Top
- Stone Trousers

- Teal Wool coat (wildcard)
- Teal Knit top

- Rose Knit top

- Ink and stone knit top

Monday, 5 November 2018

SWAP 2019 Inspiration Board

For SWAP 2019 the challenge is to base a collection around an original inspiration. I've chosen Joy's quilt, which in turn is based on a stained glass window in Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
I think I'm going to pull a dark blue and a dark brown as the base neutrals and then add teal, turquoises, pinks and reds as the pops of colour.
I'm going to include the teal wool coat but currently don't have any other fixed ideas for the rest of the collection. Maybe it will develop more organically over the next 2 months.

The quilt hangs on my living room wall, so I get to enjoy it every day, so there's time for that inspiration to sink in!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Winter 6PAC / SWAKOP 2

So I decided that if I added a winter 6PAC to parts of the Charcoal wardrobe I had started earlier in the season I could get another SWAKOP before the extended deadline of December 10th.
So I decided to keep the refasioned circle print top, the charcoal and teal stripe trousers and jacket, and the ponte stripe cardigan and add the following:-

- Teal wool coat
- Teal cardigan
- Dark teal trousers
- Black trousers OR a skirt from the same stripe as the jacket and trousers
- 2 knit tops, which might be one teal, one turquoise or I might play with some teal and black fabrics (overdyed from black and white).
The pieces should mix and match quite well within the black/charcoal/teal/turquoise colourways.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Teal Wool Coat Plans

Last Dec and Jan I made plans for a teal wool coat. I was short of fabric and played about with mixing 2 wool fabrics. Eventually I decided on a layout I could get out of the yardage.

I made a test coat which wasn't far off, and then I stalled. I never posted that test coat on the blog but my stash shrinker shows it was completed on 18th Jan.

I'm planning on lining mine so will need to draft some lining pieces and modify construction to insert the lining.

Thursday, 1 November 2018


Aubergine drapey trousers finished (Burda Style 02/2010 #135)
Added the red faux leather culottes (Burda Style 02/2010 #135 with pockets omitted and length cropped)
And a previously made black ponte skirt
And the SWAKOP is done

Here's what it looks like a the Autumn 6PAC plus

Monday, 29 October 2018

SWAP 2019 Rules Announced

The SWAP 2019 rules have been announced on Stitchers Guild

2019 Seasonal Designer Collection II SWAP Rules

You are still the Designer. Create a cohesive seasonal collection of eleven garments of your choice.

Choose an inspiration piece of your choice --  Could be a scarf, artwork, fabric print, photograph, etc
Choose two neutrals that coordinate with your inspiration piece
Add 1-5 accent and/or print pieces that will work with your inspiration piece (ie: not clash)
Make 9 core pieces
Create multiple outfits using at least two core garment items that work for your personal style
Make 2 wild card pieces that can be used alone, with core items or with other items in your wardrobe
Wild card pieces should still blend in with inspiration piece
Combining fabrics is fine
No restrictions on type of garments

Sewing begins on 26 December 2018 and ends 30 April 2019
One garment may be completed by today (28 October 2018)
One garment may be started on 29 October 2018 and completed prior to 26 December 2018
One RTW garment may be included (it can be existing or purchased at any time before or during the SWAP)
Garments knitted, crocheted or woven by you may be included (limit of two since we are a sewing site)
Garments such as poncho, cape or wrap must include at least two pattern pieces, be one of your knitted, crocheted or woven items or have stitch work done by you to be considered a garment
Neutrals do not need to be the same fabrics
Neutrals may be textured
You will need a photo of your inspiration piece

You can read about them here

 I will need to process this a little bit, but there is time.

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Wendy Ward's book 'Sewing with Knitted Fabrics'

I've made the Kinder Cardigan several times but not tried any of the others yet.

 Derwent trousres, which have wide legs and can be cropped or full length.

 The Kinder cardigan can be short, medium or long.

 The Longshaw skirt is in two lengths, one above the knee the other below the knee. Pockets are optional.

 Monsal lounge pants, these are tapered with optional pockets and cuff at the hem.

Peak T shirt, classic boxy tee, can be lengthened into a dress.
Winnats Tank, is a sleeveless top with a scoop neckline can also be lengthened into a dress.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Burgundy Kinder cardigan

I have enough tops for my collection already but I wanted to sew a cardigan.
It is from Wendy Ward's book 'Sewing with Knits', made up in a mystery knit with no stretch (but a little give). This garment comes in 5 sizes I made the 4th size. I think its slightly too loose and I maybe could retrace in a smaller size. I made the middle length.

Here's how all the pieces look so far... I'm still a bit short of bottoms!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Burgundy faux leather trousers

I had some burgundy faux leather - dark red vinyl front with a black woven fabric back which I thought could be fun as trousers.
I'm fairly flat on the front, but very curved at the back, so used darts to bring the back in. It doesn't look great on the hanger as it needs a curved derriere to fill it out.
I used Burda Feb 2010 Plus Section #135 B but ommited the front dart and pockets for a simpler sew.
Having worn them for one evening indoors I found them very warm, so think they would be cooler to wear and more current if I shortened them to culotte length, I also want to look at some other options for the hem as it got slightly twisted. The rest of the construction worked out OK though.

Fun video on sewing faux leather