I haven’t been doing much sewing recently, since the completion of the Six Napoleon dress. I wore it out, but it wore me out. I love it, but to honest I wanted a little break once that was finished. I have had a holiday, tidied up my sewing area, tried to finish my YSL halter neck dress. Unfortunately and unaccountably I have lost the pattern I made. This is so annoying. I was really interested in trying the boning on it. It may turn up, or I may make another one. But right now I enjoying the hiatus and making sewing plans.
This year I want to make a nice casual wardrobe. My daughter, Esme, who I see most days told “You do workwear really well – you need to work on your casual wardrobe”. And I agree with her. I don’t really know how to do causal so it is beautiful and comfortable, flattering and practical. I have given this some thought but I need to work on it some more. As a result of working out that I wear quite a few jumpers and cardigans at the weekend – for warmth and comfort – I have started learning to knit. And, with the best amount of support and advice from you, and some nice vintage knitting books, I have made a start. But knitting is so slow compared to sewing, and progress shots are fairly tedious, I haven’t got a lot to tell you. Other than the grey Purl Alpaca jumper has stalled as I don’t know how to do the yoke. I have a date with Nat who is going to help me.
So for now I am mainly planning, and knitting in spare moments (I have started on this pattern). My tension square was too big (mainly because the only needles I had were .25mm too big) so I bought some new needles (in the right size). This pattern will be interesting for me as it is knitted in pieces rather than in the round and I will have to sew it together. This scares me…. But it is much easier (for me) to get a lovely tension with the long needles, tucked under my arm. I also have the opportunity to use double ended needles. So lots of learning. I was going to do a fair isle type pattern, but in the end I stuck to stripes. Easier to do something simple as I learn.
Last night we had another cling film party, working on trousers this time. I will give you a full update soon. Since my holiday, where we did rafting on the river, I have been thinking about making a wet suit. Our new home is on the lake and we are planning to do lots of boating (canoeing), lake swimming, and maybe waterskiing. So I had been thinking about making a wet suit. Something retro, 1960s style. Certainly using light colours, and influenced by 1960s styling. I had envisaged using my skin-tight, perfectly fitting cling film blocks to make a unique wet suit. This might have been the high point of my 2017 SWAP.
But then, as it often does, reality set in. I started to look up scuba fabrics (actually proper scuba is not what you are using to make your stand out skirts and dresses from, oh no. It’s completely different). And I began to investigate how to create waterproof seams. Big challenge. And how to manage the construction process on an ordinary machine. Then, like you do, I began to look at eBay and found I could buy one, worn twice, in my size for £50. The first picture shows my holiday, step-in wetsuit with frayed knees (fine in warm weather) and my new purchase which is just the job for freezing UK waters as it fits snuggly. You put in on through the head opening and then pull the neckpeice over from the back and zip it closed across the upper chest. It is not the easiest garment to put on.
So what are the plans now.
I managed to create an overall list of what casual garments I wanted to make. And I appreciated your useful feedback.
- loose-fitting trousers 1
- loose-fitting trousers 2
- loose-fitting trousers 3
- sweat shirt
- long-sleeved T shirt 1
- long-sleeved T shirt 2
- pullover jumper
- unstructured jacket
- loose-fitting pinafore dress (or a skirt)
- jumpsuit/boiler suit
I had already illustrated possible casual trouser styles I prefer. Thinking about the tops I had planned one knitted item and three T shirt type tops made from jersey But now I am wondering if I might try to knit more than one garments for my SWAP. What if items 5, 6 and 7 were knitted, instead of sewn? And if I managed the following four items?
- Short sleeved T-shirt
- Long sleeved inside jersey
- Chunky outside jersey
These four items would allow me to improve my knitting technique no end. I am practicing a T shaped/short sleeve jumper already (see above). I could make one of these with stranded colour work, possibly the inside jersey to wear with trousers or the pinafore dress. The chunky outside sweater could use an Aran weight wool and could be a Scandinavian type sweater or maybe a cabled pattern. The cardigan is the most challenging, so I would leave that until the last and if I ran out of time I could make a further sewn garment.
Anyway, my plans are coming together. The SWAP rules are usually out in October so it is not too long to wait to see if this plan can fit (it has plenty of flex).