Sewing with a Plan 2015 0.4

posted in: Inspiration, SWAP | 6

The Plan to date

I am making progress as most of the ten garments are now decided. Here is a summary of my sewing plan, so far. Each of the ten hand-made items needs a fabric and a pattern by Christmas. I will need to make up a few of the items before I make my choices as it is necessary for me to get a feel for how things work with each other. While it is generally true that if you make say a suit-with-blouse-set (like Simplicity 7305) they will work together I often prefer to mix and match. By making test garments (let’s speak French, the language of couture, and call them toiles) we can perfect the fit, and learn any new techniques. Also we can also actually try the toile on with other existing garments to check they work together. The SWAP is essentially about getting clothes that enhance each other to create an outfit. SWAP demands colours and fabrics which “match”, but also we want shapes and silhouettes that match too.

Garment 1 Squiggle jacket (top 1)

My two suits are different. The 1967 suit is a very simple, typical 1960s suit. A number of its features make it a relatively easy construction.

  • mandarin collar – simple to make
  • one piece sleeve (with elbow dart)
  • three piece bodice (ie one back and two fronts)
  • option of no buttons (but I will have buttons, and button holes)
  • patch pockets (although these are optional too)
  • easy fit shape makes it easier to fit
  • absolutely classic A line skirt (although I will probably substitute another pattern for the skirt)

It is lined – which I consider essential in a jacket –  interfaced and taped. But as a jacket project for a beginner, this is certainly the type of jacket I would suggest. I have chosen it for three reasons.

  1. Fewer joins make it suitable for my patterned fabric
  2. the squarish pattern on the fabric suits a squarish shaped jacket
  3. wearable – the comfortable fit, the mandarin collar, and it will go with a variety of skirts and trousers.

This week I made a toile of the jacket in blue boiled wool.

Garment 2 Squiggle skirt (bottom 1)

Although I am counting this as two garments I have not chosen the skirt pattern yet. This is where I may feature the wrap around skirt I have already toiled. However squiggle trousers have not yet been ruled out.

Garment 3 – Linen Blouse (top 2)

The suit pattern includes a shell top which is a possible pattern. I have a piece of dark grey linen that may work well for this top.

Garment 4  – Charcoal jacket (top 3)

In order to get a contrast with the boxy 1967 suit I have chosen a 1950s suit for my second jacket. This is a shape that I love to wear. It is a proper fitted jacket, although darted not pieced. I would very much like to toile this jacket before Christmas, possibly in red.

Garment 5 – Charcoal skirt (bottom 2)

The pattern offers two skirts – a pleated one and a pencil. I may make up one of these or substitute another pattern. I don’t have a pleated skirt and I do like them. I like pencil skirts now I have my own pattern. Either way it will be a knee-length skirt not mid calf. The other option here is trousers.  To be decided.

Garment 6  – Blouse to wear with Charcoal suit (top 4)

At the moment I am thinking of a formal work blouse, with a nice collar, probably in white. I thought about this Burda pattern, but possibly with different sleeves.  I have also been printing white beetles on white lawn so this fabric is a distinct possibility.


Garment 7 – Turquoise trousers (wildcard 1)

I am thinking of adapting Burda  11/2012 107D, narrowing the legs, lowering the waist band, and using a stretch cotton  fabric.

Garment 8 – Purchased top to wear with trousers (wildcard 2 – purchased item)

I have been looking at colourful cardigans to wear with these trousers, and found this one, which could work. It includes a blueish grey, along with pink, grey and yellow. Here it is displayed with pink and turquoise, two of my wardrobe colours.

pink, yellow and turquoise jumper
Brora Cardigan

I met up with my friend Galina and we narrowed down the cardigan options

  • find one in a shop
  • use heat transfer printing to put colour onto a white synthetic cardigan
  • buy a nice cashmere in say turquoise or pink and embroider it with colourful wool
  • try aplique on a plain cardigan
  • knit one (I have never successfully knitted a garment for myself although I did a fair isle children’s tank top years ago).

Garment 9 – Pink Skirt or Shorts (bottom 3)

If items 3 and 6 are skirts it is possible that I will make shorts in the pink fabric, to create an outfit with the pink coat. I only have a small remnant piece, slightly less than 1m. I will toile this pattern.

Garment 10 – top to wear with shorts/skirt (top 5)

I have a painted silk blouse in mind here, inspired by Bloomsbury. The light grey silk with a green, pink and grey design would be great.

Heavy grey silk painted
Grey flower pattern

Alternatively I may buy, if I see the right colours together, a Liberty print, or a colourful silk fabric. I do have a blouse at home which is a possibility. It is too early to say on this one. I have written about my painted silk experiments, and it is likely I will produce a brightly coloured painted silk top. No idea on pattern yet.

Garment 11 The coat (wildcard 3)

The coat was a relatively easy decision – the Burda boyfriend coat I had already made for Esme. My daughter’s choices in clothes always interest me as she is a similar shape (but two sizes smaller) and suits the same colours. But she has very different taste in fashion, and she takes many more risks on shapes than I do. So this was not a coat I would ever have selected for myself. But, having made it up for Esme, I have worn it quite often and I love it. It is very boxy, no waist shaping – it is even slightly tapered towards the hem. It is minimalist with shoulder emphasis. But it really is a nice garment – comfy, cozy, rather masculine – it goes over everything and pulls an outfit together. So I had committed to making this garment – in pink – before the SWAP was announced, and now I have the perfect excuse.



6 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    I love hearing about the evolution of your ideas. There is such a great mix of experimental and patterned and classic here, in such a pretty array of colours. I can’t wait to see EVERY item made up. You do such a good job of experimenting with new solutions and approaches. I took your advice about taking it slowly and I am finding that my ideas are starting to gel into something more modest and doable (for me) and cohesive – thanks.

  2. amaryllislog

    I love how each garment is shaping up and your color palette is fantastic. It seems (to me) that everything you are planning to make has a nice spin to it making it uniquely yours. I really look forward to the next edition of the challenge!

  3. Karine

    This is truly interesting to follow your thoughts about this project. It’s going to be so unique. I must say I’m tempted into joining the challenge since a plan is really what I need to avoid making orphans.

    • fabrickated

      Do give it a try Karine. Everything I made last year I wore. I could have done without any other items at a push. It really worked for me in terms of wardrobe. Just because we make clothes doesn’t mean we are not guilty of impulse buying – of patterns or fabric. Spending eight weeks just planning has been an incredible discipline for me, and I think many others. Getting all the garments to work together requires quite a lot of thought in terms of colour, fabric choices, shape and silhouette but it is worth it. The sewing doesn’t have to be complicated – next year I think I will do a casual set for weekends (or maybe lingerie and night wear). But on the other hand I might stick to one designer (eg YSL, or Geoffrey Beene) or one colour (eg green) or make hats to go with every outfit. You see how interesting this challenge can get!

  4. Jenny

    Fascinating to read your plans. You are going to be so busy this winter but it will be worth it. The choices are perfect I think for your lifestyle – it ALMOST makes me wish I still went to work. I used to love wearing suits – they are so versatile and comfortable. I love that Brora cardigan and just had a little look at their website. Very drool worthy clothes and just my style too.

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