Sewing With A Plan 2016 0.6 – decision time

The Sewing with a Plan rules were announced six weeks ago and I have been thinking, and dithering. I had three ideas – a collection of calm, classic neutrals; a collection inspired by Vivienne Westwood with a vibrant colour palette; and a light, summery collection that would work well from May to September.

I actually want to make all these clothes – around ten items in each collection. But

Vita brevis, ars longa,occasio praeceps,experimentum periculosum, iudicium difficile.

Life is short, and art long, opportunity fleeting, experience perilous, and decision difficult.

So I have weighed up everyone’s input. We probably had the most “votes” for the exciting/creative/tailored Viv, followed by more gentle, sweet pea summer, with the neutrals turning most people off!

By the way Pantone have just announced their colours of the year: Serenity (a light blue) and Rose Quartz (light, slightly muted pink)

Pantone colours Serenity and Rose Quartz
Pantone colours Serenity and Rose Quartz

But, partly to my own surprise, I am sticking with the sweet peas. The reason is that I want summer clothes and I have many summery fabrics in my cupboard that I want to use. I have no room for more fabric (until we have built our new home, tee hee!). I am not pleased with all the fabrics, but I have decided that I can substitute new or different fabrics as I go.

Also I am going to break away from the idea that I must plan it all out in advance – stating which item I will make in which fabric, in a specific colour, showing the pattern I have chosen.

Lots of participants – there are 40 this year! – have a very clear idea (almost from day one) of what exactly they are going to make. I just can’t do that. I have lots of ideas (tell me about it – my brain sometimes aches with the lists it holds). But I need to go with the flow a bit. One thing leads to another. Inspiration comes throughout the year, not just in one block. My plan is this;

Everything I make will co-ordinate.

My collection will harmonise. Everything will work with everything (in terms of shape and colour) and I will create a flexible and wearable set of clothes. This requires plenty of planning and thought, but it is not a shopping list plan. It is a commitment to harmony.

So what’s the Plan?

Pack 1 – Green and silver (3 items)

Pack 2 – Mauve (3 items)

Combo – Blue and white (2 items)

Wildcards – A pink dress, a second dress and a painted silk skirt (3 items)

I am going to start with a wild card. This will be a pink dress I can wear on Christmas day. It will be made from the bright pink silk in the middle of the pile above. I know, once I have started, more inspiration will flow and i will be able to flesh out my plans.

So what is the first item on my cutting table? A 1968 Vogue Paris Original.

Yves St Laurent pattern Vogue 1897
Vogue 1897

I will be making Version B “street length” (I don’t have enough fabric for a long sleeved version). Have you noticed how I am taking my colour and trimming inspiration from the envelope? I often do this – consciously or unconsciously. I know I have bought old patterns where the outfit is made in yellow – it just attracts me! I did read that YSL was inspired by Queen Christian – I am not sure of where! Shams mentioned a friend of hers used this as a wedding dress, adding a hood to the cloak. Sounds great!

As you can see it is an Yves St Laurent pattern. In my view he is the master of the modern silhouette. You may remember my love affair with Vogue 1557 – the shift shape. This dress is a lovely 1960s style with a high oval shaped neck, a neatly fitted princess bodice and a stiff A line skirt coming from the high waist. An utterly simple dress that needs to be made very carefully so that it speaks for itself. I have bought some bling to trim it with (from Bury market). The dress is underlined with two types of underlining, and I will add a soft silky lining too.

On Instagram lots of people have said “make the cape too!”. I am tempted, but I don’t think a stiff evening cape is something that will work with my SWAP. We will see. That’s it for now. I’ll let you know how I get on next week.

17 Responses

  1. Sounds like a plan, can’t wait to see the dress made before x-mas 🙂 And the sweat pea inspiration seems great! Good Luck!

  2. It feels like you are now happy with the start and general direction you want to take in colours and summer clothes. Getting to use the stash is great and you have some luscious pieces of fabric there.

  3. Love the pink fabric intensity but wondering about the silver trim….can it be maneuvered to go around a neckline or are you using something else? I’m sure there were lots of winter weddings using this pattern when fit was precise and flattering…those were the days, Kate!

    • Yes I think you are right. I have thought of that and bought a range of trimmings! I will test and report back. And yes I think this would be lovely as a wedding dress – I do prefer a more classic shape myself!

  4. This screams Alexandra Bastedo to me [ a very early crush- remember ‘The Champions’?] or even Lady Penelope, especially in that shocking pink colourway. What underlinings are you using?

    • I am afraid I had to look up Alexandra – she was a real beauty in the mould of Hitchcock’s Ice Blondes. However Lady Penelope was a real favourite of mine. In terms of underlining I have used a soft silk organza for the top half and cotton organdie for the skirt section. I hope it works! Have you better advice?

  5. Very elegant design. Interesting that the pattern directions advise using underlining to keep the skirt flared. This should be beautiful for Christmas celebrations.

  6. I love that full Pantone colour palette… currently my home screen wallpaper. I have confidence in your sewing with a vision #SWAV

  7. I think the pink dress will be a stunner! The trim is amazing.

  8. Sparkling and lovely! You make me want to rush out and make a similar dress, K. I love the idea of a bright pink Christmas dress. Great vision for SWAP and lovely colours.

    I must say though that in contrast the new Pantone colours look rather flaccid- like something you’d find in a dental operating room.

    • I laughed out loud with that one. I know what you mean. You should see my dentist – a gorgeous 6′ plus woman of Nigerian origin, with big hair and exceptionally white teeth, who wears bright turquoise or shocking pink scrubs and looks amazing!

  9. Well, I’m glad you have an inspiration that you love. Being of the plain and simple school, I say “no” to the cape–but it would make for one heck of a “wild card!”

  10. It all sounds rather lovely I’ve been waiting with interest to hear what your final choice would be. I like the added darker shades and I love the pattern you’ve chosen it looks straightforward and should get you off to a flying start.

  11. Stick with go with the flow for your SWAP! When I sewed mine I did end up making some changes at the end. Personally, I like that you’re sewing a spring/summer wardrobe. It will surely photograph better in April than a winter one will! Good luck!!!

  12. I was so thrilled to see those new Pantone colors of the year. Beautiful. Staying with the pink holiday dress is a wonderful idea. I love sewing myself a new Christmas dress every year. I wore this year’s for the first time to an event today and felt fancy and bright. As for your SWAP, one garment at a time in harmony should work out lovely. I love the theme of harmony. My SWAP this year has the theme practical. Lots of cool linen garments that keep the sun off my sensitive skin. And that is as far as I have gotten with a SWAP!

    • I really like your shiny linen dress Mary – it is a classic, but with a twist, and like this one a bit of bling to lift it out of the ordinary.

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