Sewing with a Plan 2015 0.3

posted in: Inspiration, SWAP | 5

Fabric choices

This is the week I examined the fabrics that I already owned and my new purchases. I have enough fabric to complete two or three SWAPs to be honest and sometimes you have to know when to stop. I do not yet have a complete plan, and the plan I have is subject to change. But I have made some decisions and some investments so I will use this week’s SWAP post to give an update on my fabric and patterns I choices.

Firstly I bought the charcoal/magenta coat fabric because it reminds me of a Vivienne Westwood design called Squiggle. It is a really classy fabric, apparently used by Roland Mouret. In fact while I was buying 2.5m two other people also decided they too would have a piece and then it was gone! So no room for errors.

Vivienne Westwood Squiggle fabric coat
Vivienne Westwood Squiggle fabric coat

Here is a close-up of the fabric. The colours have not reproduced perfectly; the deep grey is made up of a black thread woven with a slightly softer blue-grey yarn. This gives the possibility of matching it with blue, as well as with grey, black and pink.

Charcoal and Magenta wool swatch
Charcoal and Magenta wool

By reason of this purchase I am now committed to Magenta and Grey as my primary colour palette for the SWAP. Because grey and blue are my best neutrals it is fairly inevitable I would feature a blue or grey in my SWAP. Last year it was blue, with pink. This year it is grey with magenta. I have decided to make one of the suits in charcoal, even though I find grey a such an unrewarding colour to sew. Deep grey or charcoal is my “black”, but of course combined with magenta (an almost red, slightly purplely pink) it can be quite exciting.

While the grey part of the pattern is hard and flat, the red is slightly fluffy. This is more evident on the back of the cloth where the fabric appears to have a pile. While I prefer the flat side, and think this is the right side, this variation does present interesting opportunities.

bight pink and grey fabric
under side

Because the fabric is so nice on both sides it would be possible to do a reversible item with this cloth.  This is what I mean about fabric coming first when choosing what to make. Once I have the fabric, have draped it, felt it, really considered it,  I will come to think of the type of item it is best for (eg a coat). Only then will I choose a specific pattern.

Look at my Squiggle fabric on Camilla. A shawl collar would be charming. On the other hand we could create a two piece suit with the jacket and skirt made from opposing sides. A coat and scarf would work. Of course there is the also the idea of making a reversible coat. But while fun, I don’t see the point. Pink or grey dominance would hardly give a really different look, would it?  I actually prefer this cloth to the Vivienne one in the top picture, and am very pleased with it. As you can see below it is a sort of deconstructed dog-tooth check.

2014-11-07 05.32.40

In addition I found a piece of Fuchsia wool under my bed. It is also coating weight, and very slightly heavier than the squiggle cloth. So if I use it for one of the suits it will need to be a fairly robust design.

Deep pink wool swatch
Fuchsia wool

Of course the other option would be to use the Fuchsia for the coat and the Squiggle for the suit. Here is an image of the two pieces together. The lighting is not great and you can see that they do not “match” perfectly. That is fine. I prefer that. What they do is blend, as the two pieces both have cool, bluish undertones.

Squiggle plus Fuchia
Squiggle plus Fuchsia

I also bought a nice piece of blue-grey crepe at Simply Fabrics. Again we have a nice match without it being over done. The grey fabric is slightly lighter and has a different texture. I love this shade of grey which I feel is deeper version of my eye colour.

Charcoal with Squiggle
Charcoal with Squiggle

Having given it a lot of thought I am going to go with

Suit 1: Squiggle (possibly with reversible skirt)

Simplicity 7305 (1967)
Simplicity 7305 (1967)

Suit 2: Charcoal wool

Simplicity pattern S 100
Simplicity S.100

Coat: Fucshia wool

Pink "boyfriend" coat by Burda patterns
Burda 08/2012

This means I have decided on five out of 11 garments, or the ten that I am going to make. Sewing with half a plan.

I have not thought about the blouses or indeed the “wildcards” yet. I will certainly want to bring white in to lighten the palette, but there is room for one other colour, perhaps of a surprising nature. I am thinking of a minty green, turquoise, or bright blue. This Oasis blouse has bright blue with my colours. I would really welcome any thoughts you have on the third colour.

Oasis blouse
Oasis blouse

At the moment I am hoping to create one or more of my tops in hand-painted or printed fabric, but if I see something that takes my fancy I may buy some printed silk. I still have plenty of time. Still to be decided are the two blouses to go with the suits, a pair of trousers, a skirt and two more tops (one of which I may buy). I need my plans fairly clear by Christmas, after which the construction begins.

And in Sewing news… 

I have been thinking about trousers and have made up a pair of tailored pants, using a Burda pattern 11/2012 #107D.  Although I am reasonably happy with this pattern I think I can do better.  Also I have cut out some fabric to toile the Simplicity 7305.

5 Responses

  1. Mary

    I am really enjoying your posts. I am a spring, warm, light and bright. Thank you for posting where you purchase your fabrics. I live just out of London with no fabric shops nearby so it was really helpful to know there are some which sell reasonable priced good quality fabric I could visit apart from Berwick Street.

  2. neucarol

    Terrific fabrics and options. All are excellent so you have quite a dilemma, but a fun one.
    My educated guess is that the ‘fulffy’ side of the Squiggle is the Right side, but using both also good–maybe facing?
    If it is of any help, the Squiggle might need more ‘matching’ in the suit than the coat.
    Can’t wait to see what happens!

  3. Stephanie

    This is so interesting, Kate. I particularly enjoy reading about your well-developed thinking process as you go through each item. I love the idea of colours toning rather than matching perfectly. I also apply this principle in choosing outfits. Agree that the fabric is the critical thing. It’s a problem I’m having with my current fabrics, as I haven’t found the perfect match between fabric and pattern. That grey crepe that you bought is exactly what I had in mind for my pant suit, but we’ll see what I can come up with here. I may go slightly lighter or with a different fabric texture. For an additional colour for your palette, I did love the turquoise necklace that the girl was wearing in the photo you posted of the pants the other day. It’s a striking choice. Minty green could also be quite interesting.

  4. amaryllislog

    Umm I love your squiggle fabric, I too would have jumped on it! The wild card color/colour is really hard. Without seeing the colours together I’m having a hard time visualizing what works together. Are you thinking it will be a solid color or patterned? Pattern might be a whole lot of visual chaos… But then again…

    Great post!

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