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Wednesday 31 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - Bonus 7th piece - plain brown knit top

I've sewn a bonus 7th piece to the 6PAC as it was a bit bottom heavy.
This is a plain brown top, from a soft viscose jersey, and the same pattern as all the other tops recently (traced from RTW).
This top works great as a more background piece, under various jackets and tops, and with brown or brown based bottoms and giving some of my interesting necklaces an appropriate backdrop.
The previous plain brown top wore out and left a wardrobe hole, so this should get into rotation pretty quickly.

Tuesday 30 January 2018

Stash Shrinker

This was shared with me


And I decided to have a go with it and downloaded the spreadsheet template to use.

Rather than just start purely in 2018, I decided I would be more honest with myself if I went back to late December where I stopped sewing gifts/charity items and started sewing for me and also bought a big batch of fabrics from a local roll end shop.

I have sewn loads of projects in late Dec/January (12 apparently), but even with those its a while before I'm going to have earned the right to buy any more fabric!
I have one more January project in progress, but that's only cut out and no stitching started so it may or may not make it into January as a completed item.

So at this rate I need to sew another 6 or so garments (a whole 6 PAC!!! ) before I can buy any more fabric. Oh heck!

Happily I do have 6 new pieces planned and I'll tell you about those another day.

Just remembered I bought some fleece blankets to make more hats next year and a sweater knit throw to make a coatigan as well as some things I'd not mentioned on the blog (test for the coat pattern, lining for a skirt etc). Putting these in the spreadhseet shows just how dire the situation is. I am accumulating even when I don't think I am. Its a very helpful tool, even if I don't like what it is telling me!

Saturday 27 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - Brown and bronze knit top

Here's the 6th piece of collection, a knit top of the same style as before, this time in dark brown jersey printed with a bronzey gold metallic swirl pattern.
I've just used the camera flash here (and switched off the room light) and its come out much more true to colour. I can use that approach to retake the other photos.

I love the metallic accents here, which adds interest, texture and a bit of sparke, but not really any colour.
This has been in the fabric resources for a long time, and I don't recall when I bought it. I should think it predates my move to Derbyshire though, so more than 7 years.

I also took all 6 pieces outside and hung them on the fence under the carport for this daylight shot.
 This gives a good indication of the colours, ie pretty dark brown. The tweed is really pretty and needs some close up shots I think.

Friday 26 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - Jumbo cord stretch trousers

Chocolate brown stretch jumbo corduroy trousers are also finished. The colour in this photo is much more realistic (the corduroy skirt is made from the same fabric). I'll do some better photos next week some time.

They are the Style Barb with the legs slightly flared. I've left all the length and done an enormous hem just in case they shrink a bit in the wash, then I can let them down slightly.

Here are the first 5 pieces together. I have another knit top cut out and construction started.

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - variegated tweed skirt

Here's the 4th completed item in the Chcocolate Collection, a panelled bias skirt in the same tweed as the cardigan jacket. For this I used the darker brown side as the right side (seen on the jacket collar) and added a slightly shorter lining, the elastic encased between the lining and the skirt.
Uses Butterick 3972 OOP View A (centre), lengthened slightly and with the fringed selvedge added to the hem.
I've got two more chocolate pieces cut out and partially constructed and hope to share them before the end of January!

Debating between underlays for stretch lace fabric

Muted teal
And dark brown
I want to bring out the colours more than the lace pattern.

More underlays (which did not make the shortlist) over here.

When I've made lace tops in the past I've left the sleeves sheer, so that would look like this
Hopefully that's OK?

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - variegated tweed cardigan jacket

I really loved this tweed, and thought of SWAP when I bought it. That must've been a few years ago as I have no memory of where I bought it or when, however I had serged the edges and pre-washed it so it was all ready to go.
Apologies for the horrible indoor shot. Once the Chocolate collection is done I'll done something in natural daylight where I show you them all together.
This is what the fabric really looks like. A dark brown background with a boucle effect in soft red, teal, soft green and ivory. Mystery fibre content.
As ever this uses the cardigan pattern from Prima November 2010, which I have found to be so very useful. Its slightly shortened and the flare reduced. I also positioned the sleeve hem and front band to take advantage of the pretty selvedge, and sewed the back neckband from the wrong side so it doesn't show when folded over in wear. I love the way the darker reverse shows round the neckline.

Excitingly after cutting out the cardigan I was able to cut out a skirt to match, though I've decided to have the darker side visible for the skirt and the selvedge applied as a trim. Once cut and sewn I will share that too, they could be worn together as a relaxed tweed suit or as separates with my teal, burgundy or brown pieces so hopefully will be very versatile.

Approaches to Capsule Wardrobes

There are multiple different approaches to capsule wardrobes, and one may work better than others for a particular person, lifecycle and season.
Imogen Lamport used 12 pieces
  • 2 x jackets or cardigans (top layers)
  • 4 x bottoms (skirts/pants)
  • 6 x tops
  • Each jacket must work with all the tops and bottoms.
  • Each top must work with all the bottoms.

Bridgette Raes has an approach of building an outfit and then adding one item into another outfit and so on.

or using a print as a starting point

And there are lots of variations on the http://www.theviviennefiles.com/ .

This year the SWAP rules don't tell you how many of each garment type you should have, but do give guidelines about the colourways, with a lot of emphasis on neutrals which does not appeal to all.
Choose two neutral colors
Add one accent color and two prints OR two accent colors and one print
Make at least three garments from each neutral color
Make at least one garment from each accent color
Make at least one garment from each print
Remaining two garments may be made from any one or combination of your neutrals, accent(s) and/or print(s)
Create multiple outfits of at least two garments that work for your personal style
Each garment must work with a minimum of two outfits

What's your preferred approach?

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - chocolate stretch jumbo cord skirt

I am aiming to make a six piece collection in chocolate brown by the end of January.
Yesterday I posted the first item, a paisley print tee, today I have moved on to a skirt, so I now have a whole outfit.

This chocolate stretch jumbo cord skirt uses the back piece of the skirt from Vogue 2989 lengthened.
Two down, four to go!

Monday 22 January 2018

Chocolate Collection 6PAC - chocolate paisley tee

I am aiming to make a six piece collection in chocolate brown by the end of January.

Although the suggested garments are:-
2 jackets or cardigan sweaters, one in dark neutral, the other in a neutral or a colour
2 tops, one in a neutral and the other in a print or a colour
2 bottoms, both neutral, at least one to match one of the jackets

I think I am probably going for 3 tops, a layer and 2 bottoms all sewn in brown thread, and using simple tried and tested patterns I think it is entirely doable. I will share as I go.

I have started with this chocolate brown jersey with a white and beige print of paisleys with a trailing vine.
This uses my TNT dropped shoulder top which I traced off a favourite RTW top.

One down and five more to go!

Sunday 21 January 2018

Swatch for wardrobe colours

Here's my swatch for the wardrobe colours.
This is the 'Sophisticated' palette from Imogen Lamport's Absolute Colour system which has a range of 18 palettes.
"Your ideal colours are soft and cool with a depth of colour like summers evening. Charcoal is your black. Your ideal jewellery is a combination of brushed silver and brushed gold."

It is neither really deep nor really light
It is more cool than warm but not extremely so.
It is definitely a Soft (Muted) palette.

I love it and although its been some adjusting, I'm having a lot of fun with it.
Imogen names all her colours but they don't match with pantone or anything else.

The dark cool brown is called Burnt Cinnamon
The ivory is called Soft White.
The navy blue is called Sargeant.
The teal is called Mallard.
The soft red is called Hawthorn.

These are the colours I am trying to work with for my general wardrobe and also (without the navy) for SWAP.

I've also been trying to do my own version of this post by Imogen Lamport about Dressing to Your Contrast.

I'd like to try a version for an outfit as a guest to a May UK wedding as well in the same sorts of colours.

Friday 19 January 2018

More wardrobe colour scheme ideas

When I started Imogen Lamport's 7 Steps to style in the summer I did get the photos done to get the colour swatch, purchased that and got my signature colours. I'd broadly stuck to that but slightly forgotten about it for a while.
From the summer, this one is me in a teal top, with a lighter turquoise cami and a greener necklace. Its a nice look for me I think.
This one also from the summer is me with my signature colours from the 'Sophisticated' swatch, and wearing one of the pinks (Wood Rose) with a purple necklace (Damson).

Not shown here is the 'Soft white' from the Sophisticated palette.
So when I do pick colour for my wardrobe pie chart above they will be from the signature colours above, plus the Soft White.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

RTW Fast 2018 - Sewing Plans

I've been thinking more about the long haul of the whole year and what clothes I have, what I need/want and then I'm going to try to prioritise those things.

I've gained some weight through illness and over the holidays, so first I decided to be real, and only have things hanging in my wardrobe which I can actually wear. So I tried things on, a few things went for the donation pile, but anything in good colour, good condition and only slightly too tight is packed away for when I've lost a few pounds. A year is a long time and I'm going to want some of these things back!

I've also tried to sort and categorise things, and I have one area of my hanging space which is only for things which are smart enough for work (and all fit me). I've also sorted scarves, necklaces and etc. This helps reduce pre work stress as I know all the clothes in there are a good fit and work suitable, and its easily to accessorise them.

I spent a lot of time on the Vivienne files website reading various different aspects of what she has on there.
There were two main takeways for me here
- Choosing what colours I like the most
- Working through the Starting from Scratch using those colours and what I already have.
I chose two key neutrals, two main accent colours and a light neutral (navy, chocolate brown, teal, burgundy, ivory).
(I did this in the pie chart in Excel, ivory is actually two ivory segments).

I then noted that I would get the most benefit by sewing more pieces which work with these 5 colours, so I worked through the Starting from Scratch posts on Vivienne files coming up with a version of her wardrobe in my chosen colours which I compared to items I already have.

This then resulted in a list of things to mend or to sew.

This may not be the most creative or artistic way to sew but it will mean I am dressed in clothing which fits the size I am now, works for my life and goes together :-)

The links I used are below, in case they are helpful to others.

I've put the sewing plans in the side bar in a list so they are easy for me to see and refer to.

P.S. I did sew the test coat and will be revisiting that at some point (and its on the list) but I felt I needed a few more work things next and will come back to that a bit later on.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Getting closer with the coat

OK I've traced out all the pattern pieces and laid them out on my test fabric (2.3m of orange wool I tried to overdye). I can't fit the short version onto this without lots of piecing and some things upside down. I was suprised how much fabric the belt takes.
However I can get a good enough layout that I can cut out a test in the orange to check the fit.

From the rough reckoning it looks like 2.6 or 2.7 metres for the short version and an extra 20 cm for the longer version so 2.9m.
I have 2.3m of the teal green and 1.9 m of the teal blue.

For option 10, where the back, front, side panels and sleeves are all in the teal green, with the collar/facing and belt in the teal blue, I would need 2.1m of the teal green and 1.8 of the teal blue (1.3 if I seam the belt at centre back), so that one is definitely doable.

Re the options
1 and 2 still look possible, 3,4, 7 and 8 all have two piece sleeves so I am ruling them out, 5 and 8 can't be done and 2, 6 and 7 have the scratchy green collar which I've decided I don't want. 10 would work, 9 I would have to check but I think is also OK.
So 1, 10 and maybe 9 are still on the table.
10 is currently feeling most likely to me.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Coat option 10

Here's another option for the coat as suggested by someone on SG.
This is a teal green coat with a blue colar and facing and blue belt.
The poster thought I would be able to get front, back, sides and sleeves out of the 2.3 of the teal green - maybe its possible, it feels quite tight.
As a reminder here's the fabric.

I have 2.3m of the darker/greener fabric which is on the left and1.9 m of the lighter/bluer fabric on the right.

More coat thoughts

Some of the options I drew are not practical with the available yardage, however I do have one new one which I really like, and is closer too to my original inspiration.
In this (option 9), the sides are dark as is the back, sleeves and belt. The lighter bluer teal is only used for the front and front facing, which becomes the collar (and the back neck facing which I've not been showing).

This has the contrast distributed like my original inspiration coat and I reckon could be got out of the yardage I have available.

It takes on board a few points which people raised which were
- lots of people wanted the darker at the sides as they thought it was slimming
- a few people found the collar being a different colour to the front distracting, and I think I probably agree.

Other things I have added in as we go on this journey
- there is really limited yardage of both actual fabrics and I'm pretty sure the fabric quantities required is marked wrongly on the pattern. My calculations have at least 3.1 m for the knee length coat, this means some (lots) of the options I drew and people liked I just can't do.
- the bluer fabric is a litle softer and less scratchy then the greener, and I bet that would be nicer round the face where its most likely to touch my skin.
- Some of the designs seem very bitty with a lot of movement between the two colours, I might find it difficult to sew with enough precision in this heavy wool to have the sections lined up and looking good (on the two piece sleeve options etc).

Monday 8 January 2018

Coat Options with teal blue and teal geen wool fabrics

I am planning to make a coat form this simple pattern
 The coat was the pattern included for subscribers to the UK women's magazine Prima in Feb 2015. (You may be able to find this on ebay but it is not available as a download etc)

It requires 2.9m x 150cm wide fabric.
I have two pieces of suitable fabric, both teal wool but slightly different.
One is 2.3m (darker/greener on the left) and the other 1.9 metres (lighter/bluer on the right), and I plan to use both to sew the coat.

In the picture above the turquoise represents the lighter wool, and the hashed green and turquoise represents the darker wool. In all cases the main front and back panels are from the darker wool and the side panels from the lighter, but I've played about with the sleeves, belt and collar facing in the others, including a couple of options for a two piece sleeve (which I would have to draft).

Updated with the green coloured in darker, more like the real fabric

Which do you like the best?

Here's the layout diagram.
Here are the opposite versions, switched round slightly. I don't think there is enough fabric for 5 or 8.
Most popular form FB, SG and blog was number 4.

Next Teal plans

I have two more things in teal I am desperate to make, and which will take a bit longer than a knit top or an elastic waisted something.
They are a coat and some trousers.

This is the style of coat, though I plan to add a lining also.
The coat was the pattern inlcuded for subscribers to the UK women's magazine Prima in Feb 2015. (You may be able to find this on ebay but it is not available as a download etc)

And this is the style of trousers. This is a plus size pattern from Burda Feb 2010 #135.
I'll have 10 teal things once those are done, and might well give myself a break from teal and move on to a new colour (probably brown). I still have lots more teal and turquoise things I could sew but I'm in danger of having my sewing a bit unbalanced colour wise if I continue too far down that road now. However I can always revisit teal and turquoise again at another time.

Saturday 6 January 2018

Teal panelled bias skirt

I really love this skirt pattern (Butterick 3972 OOP), and its great in cotton and linen fabrics, as it drapes nicely without hugging the lumps and bumps too much.
Its really clever how it takes 5 angular pieces (variations on triangles and a square) and makes a bias skirt. Its very economical to cut out (once shortened).
Its got a lot of topstitching which can be a contrast colour or close. Here I've used a slightly lighter teal, but just ordinary thread.
So now I am up to 8 pieces in my teal collection!
P.S. the skirt and trousers on the bottom row are both made from the same fabric. The skirt is a more accurate colour (its not that green). Maybe I need to retake the photo of the trousers.