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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Sorting the Fabric Resources

I have a lot of fabric.
I consider it to be resources - ie for using rather than a stash or collection.
However I want to have a sort through of it and only put the better colours and fabrics for me into the new cupboard.

There are a couple of resources I am drawing on
The first is a Craftsy course by Nancy Nix Rice I watched on the free weekend which is called.

Sew to Flatter: Plan Your Best Wardrobe

In this Nancy uses a personal colour swatch to help a sewer sort her fabric stash.
She uses small swatches, but I think I would just have my swatch available and compare the fabrics to it.

The other is a post by Wendy Ward where she works through using the fabrics you have, starting with a cull.

Shop Your Stash – 4 Easy Steps

 There are various blogs of people sorting through their fabric but they don't really add much more to the story I find.

Any way here is my plan.

Step 1 Empty the shelving, move the shelving out (done)

Step 2 Vaccum, construct the new cupboard (in progress)

Step 3 Sort through the fabric thoughtfully, fold neatly and put the keepers back in the cupboard.

I split my fabric into 3 main categories and I think I will continue to use them.
They are :- knits, wovens, home dec/craft

I am planning to have approx 1/3rd of the new cupboard for each of these, however I'm not quite sure how that will work out as I have 4 shelves (giving 5 compartments) each in a 1m wide cupboard and a 0.5 metre wide cupboard.
Probably I will put knits on the higher shelves, wovens on the lower shelves and home dec and crafts in the other cupboard.

I plan to compare all the garment fabrics to my Sophisticated colour swatch from Imogen Lamport, focussing particularly on my signature colours.


And prioritise fabrics which blend well with the swatch going back in the cupboard.
Others may go to one side to be overdyed, and lots will go for donation.

I'm making some enquires re donations, but its proving slightly hard work thus far!

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Sewing Room Overhaul

No sewing going on at the moment, but I've cleared off the old open shelving in the sewing room and moved it to the garage for storage there (more what its intended for).
I have had this in use for 6 years and its moved house with me so happy now to upgrade it to something nicer.
I am going to replace it with a PAX cupboard from Ikea which I hope to get on Monday.
It is deliberately slightly smaller and therefore I will be sorting the fabric back onto it and choosing some to release. Need to find some local options for that in Derbyshire / South Yorkshire / Nottinghamshire which might include local sewing groups and scrapstores.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

SWAP thoughts

Reviewing where I am up to on SWAP and where I need to go next.

Now you may remember the rules say:
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
I have decided I am going to choose
Brown and teal as my neutral colours.
One accent color of ivory and two prints.

I had a look back through the things I've sewn already to get some items for this.
Let's pick 3 brown items, 3 teal items and 2 print items and see what that looks like
I need to have at least one ivory garment as this is my accent colour, I could in fact have just a single ivory item, and add another each from brown and teal. Let's add a brown skirt and a teal jacket - then I have a core 4 of each colour.
I think that works OK and they all meet the minimum of 2 outfits rule.

Or I could have more ivory items, or more brown or teal items not yet sewn.




Monday, 19 March 2018

New Look 6216 plain trousers

I made lots of alterations to the back of the New Look 6216 trouser pattern and sewed it up in this stretch gaberdine from the fabric resources.
The fabric is quite stiff but maybe will soften with washing.
I don't think I've quite got the crotch curve correct, or maybe I need a bit more length at the back waist, anyway they are good enough but might get improved further.


Sunday, 18 March 2018

March Fabric Purchases

Having sewn 52 metres, I decided it would be OK if I bought a few. So I went along to Economy fabrics and came home with some elastic and these fabrics. I have plans for all of them, so lets see if they come to fruition!
Click on the photo to see it larger
1. Far left is a sweater knit that is also stretch lace. Or maybe its a sweatery stretch lace. Anyway you get the idea it is stretchy, it is lace, and it has that furry pile of a sweater knit. It has stretch across the fabric so should be OK for a cardigan of some sort for choir. (Black is not in my palette but is the uniform for choir).

2. Second left is a lovely soft cotton fabric, very light but not sheer at all which will be lovely in the summer for breathable PJ pants.

3. The 3rd fabric is a cotton knit with almost no stretch. I like the pretty aqua colour and it will be some sort of loose knit top which doesn't need the stretch factor.

4. In the centre is a lovely viscose jersey tie dyed in a grey-green on a cream background. The green is darker in some places and lighter in others. This is going to be a top and the scraps should play nicely with another fabric in similar colours.

5. Jersey stripe in pale grey and dark grey, its less high contrast than the classic black and white. Casual top and maybe accents on something else.

6. The dark grey (maybe slightly greenish, maybe not) is very lightweight (microfibre) but a good yardage length. I'm planning a maxi raincoat to wear over long cardigans.

7. Far right is a burgundy sweater knit with no stretch. I'm not quite sure how a knit has no stretch, so this may not be garment fabric. But it reminded me of the colour of a favourite worn out jacket I had to get rid of, so I'm planning a cardigan jacket, though may need to use a pattern for a woven unless the fabric softens up a little.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Stash Shrinker - 50 metre update

Back in January I decided to use the Stash Shrinker from SewJourners.

This has worked really well for me as I only need to input what I have sewn and what I have bought, no measuring of the existing stash which is large and has built up over many years.

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 28 items and sewn up an amazing 52 metres of fabric which I am really happy about.
This was done btween 23rd December 2017 and 16th March 2018.

Not everything worked wonderfully, some things haven't been worn yet, others were too tight or shrank in the wash but most of the items worked out pretty well and I'm pleased with them.  
Here are 27 of the items (the 28th is not pictured, but was a test of a coat pattern which I've not yet made up in the final fabric).
As you can see I've really upped the brown section of my wardrobe which was lacking rather and is one of my two key neutrals (the other being navy).

My SWAP this year is going to contain brown and teal! With ivory probably being the 3rd colour.

I'm not quite ready to rethread the machines, as I want to make some more brown trousers and refine the fit just a little more.
I wonder what the next 50 metres is going to look like?

Friday, 16 March 2018

New Look 6735 pinstripe jacket

I made this jacket from the same stretch pinstripe suiting as the trousers, so now have a stretchy comfortable trouser suit.
This could be a good way to make trouser suits for work.
I used the cardigan pattern from my favoiurite pattern of all time, New Look 6735, shortened and without the belt.

I have interfaced the lower section of the front band, so could add buttonholes and buttons in future, I was undecided so left them off for now.

I'm looking forward to wearing this.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

New Look 6216 Pinstripe Trousers

I made these brown pinstripe trousers from New Look 6216, using some fabric from deep in the fabric resources.

I've used this pattern before in teal linen and they look completely different in a stretch suiting fabric.
I'm making a cardigan jacket from the same fabric to have a trouser suit that should look fairly smart, but actually be super comfortable!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

SWAP thoughts

Thinking aloud, on multiple topics.

I dyed some different pieces of  beige fabric to a taupe colour with Dylon Machine Dye. It's ok and could be my second SWAP neutral. I have enough coordinating pieces of taupe fabric for top trousers and cardigan.
I used a whole package of Dylon Pebble Beige, half a one of Dark Brown and half a one of Pewter Grey. This gives quite a brown taupe, if you want it more grey then use less Pebble and Brown and slightly more Pewter I reckon.

I'm still thinking about trouser fitting.
I watched multiple different trouser fitting courses on Craftsy when they had the free weekend.
Each had a different approach. It was a bit of an overload and I've got a bit blocked and need to process.

I want some more brown trousers that are a little smarter. I have 3 stretch woven fabrics in different shades of brown with varying amounts of stretch which I want to use. I need to have a bit of a think about how I would approach it though.

I'm also still thinking about colour palette for my SWAP.

The rules state
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
I asked a question
two accent colors and one print - does the print need to contain all 4 of the colours (neutral 1, neutral 2, accent 1 and accent 2)?
one accent color and two prints - do each of the two prints need to contain all 3 of the colours (neutral 1, neutral 2, accent)?
and was told ' Nope. The print just needs to work with at least two outfits.'

If I leave out the Tweed jacket and skirt I could go for
Option 1  - dark brown, dark teal, ivory and turquoise/light teal
Option 2 - dark brown, taupe, teal, ivory
Or add the Tweed back in since the garments are already sewn.
Option 3 - dark brown, teal, burgundy
Option 4 - dark brown , teal, burgundy , ivory.

I suppose there are further options where I have only 3 colours but two prints.


The tweed garments are these.
The skirt is made with the dark side of the fabric out, cut in bias panels and hemmed with the selvedge.
The cardigan jacket is made with the ligher side out but the dark side showing at the front collar which also uses the selvedge.
This is what the fabric looks like in better light.
And here are the tweed pieces in better light. They are quite wintry though.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Plain chocolate brown sweater knit cardigan

I had some dark brown sweater knit in the stash. It was going to be a challenge to hem it as it was fine and might not hold up well to the coverhem.
So that's when a cardigan style with bands at all the hems is ideal. New Look 6786 was my starting point
The changes I made were to widen the front band, lengthen the sleeves (to full length with the cuffs), make the cuffs shorter to fit at the wrist(rather than sleeve bands), used the shoulder/upper body from the New Look 6735 cardigan which I had altered and has a narrower shoulder, omitted the buttons/buttonholes and belt. I did keep that lower band as is and I think it works well. I also added inseam pockets from another pattern and they work well even in this soft knit because the longer length means they don't show below the hemline.
I'm really happy with how it came out and think this will see a lot of wear.
My 6PAC now contains a dozen items - 6 cardigans, 4 tops and 2 trousers.
This is in addition to the seven items I made earlier, totalling 19.

I am planning two pairs of brown trousers and then will think about a colour change. I might rework the tie dye brown cardigan before I do though as I don't love the whole shoulder/sleeve area on that cardigan (I changed it for the later versions) and it would be better to fix it now.