Sewing with a Plan – departing from the plan

Here is my project plan – to produce a wardrobe of 11 interchangeable items by the end of April. I am making reasonable progress. I have five items made with only five or six (depending on whether I introduce a RTW item or not, as permissible) to go. So at the half way point I can pause to consider the outcomes. The coat and jacket are quite challenging, but I am confident I can do this.

Project Plan
Project Plan


But. I am missing something. I want to introduce something a bit different, an item where I can really express myself. Regular readers will know that I have already pondered and played around with the question of adding in a pair of trousers. Or shorts. Or a jump-suit. Or an embroidered cardigan. Or a loose, hand painted over blouse or coat. I used quite a lot of the preparation period and January to consider all my options. The rules of the contest include the idea of something that can change or become something else. This is actually an idea I find fascinating in design – especially housing design (part of my job). Something that can adapt, be multi-purpose. Something dynamic!

  1. 1.
    (of a process or system) characterized by constant change, activity, or progress.
    “a dynamic economy”
  2. 2.
    (of a person) positive in attitude and full of energy and new ideas.

I like to think I am dynamic in the second use of the term. But here I want to try to capture something of the flexibility of a garment that has the ability to change. I also want a statement item that will bring everything together and hold the strong colour palette – deep grey, strong purply-red and turquoise green. This desire has impressed itself on my as I painted my fuchsia suit linings.

So rather than introducing trousers I am thinking how can I get some brightly coloured, hand-painted silk into this collection?

Here is a summary of my thoughts so far:

  • A silk velvet or satin scarf that will go with everything
  • A silk crepe blouse that will especially match the grey and pink suits
  • A silk crepe skirt. Quite a full one that ends below the knee.
  • A dress. I don’t have one in the collection and a shirt waister, or something with front buttons would be versatile over trousers or with a blouse underneath
  • A pair of trousers
  • An open coat/jacket that can be worn on top of the other items – maybe a sort of loose kimono or even a light-weight trench coat

And then there is the idea I am warming to, as it is a kind of hybrid solution, is a skirt with top (called a camisole in the 1960s) attached. Here are a couple of 1960s patterns I have that use this couture technique. The skirt is attached to a camisole, avoiding the need for waist band, and allowing an overblouse to sit neatly over it, giving an elegant line. Here are two patterns from my collection. This camisole with overblouse is so evocative of the 1960s to me. For my version I would have a camisole that could be seen, but also could be covered up by an overblouse (two of which I have already made up for the SWAP).

Any views?

9 Responses

  1. sewruth

    Tunic, long shirt or short dress – can be worn over trousers and also on its own with boots and tights, even bare legs and sandals; tucked into skirts – really versatile – the 2-in-1 garments. Are you one item short on the tops? This would fill that gap too. Something like this perhaps –
    You still have achieved a great deal, especially your jacket and I look forward to seeing all the items together. Lovely colours.

    • fabrickated

      Thanks for the kind suggestions Ruth. I already have two tunics in the SWAP (I lengthened the overblouses for the same reason as you suggest – to get more options). And, no, I am not short of anything. My problem is more ideas than I can include with the 11 garments. I will think about it for a few days. Thanks for your encouragement. And I am really liking the mix of charcoal, magenta and turquoise too. A bit like your SWAP last year – you keep seeing fabrics that would work and your brain can’t just leave well alone!

  2. lynbromley

    I like the idea of something hand painted. A scarf would be easy, but a bit boring! I love Ruth’s idea of the tunic, plus it’s a great style for your body shape. I quite like the 60’s camisole attached to skirt, but it reminds me of kilts attached to bodice when I was about 6! I think the fabric choice would be really important if you decided on that.

    • fabrickated

      Oh thank you so much for reminding me of the kilt with bodice. Yes! I had one too; the vest top was a kind nylon jersey and kilt was polyester.

      I am not sure the painted camisole idea is is going to work but I am fairly keen to try it. I love the Nina Ricci suit, although it could be the nonchalant and stunning model, the gorgeous shade of blue-grey, the buttons and the white accessories.

      And I agree a scarf is boring but I may do one anyway. And I would really like a full skirt for spring/summer. Ooooh. Too many choices.

  3. helen

    yep, I was transported back to the Kilt with Bodice – nylon knit vest top attached with a hand knit jumper over the top….
    Your hand painted silks are beautiful.

  4. Stephanie

    I have to admit that the shirt-waister is the idea that jumped out at me. I haven’t seen a camisole skirt combo in person before I think so I’m not as able to imagine that combo in the silk fabric. The patterns are very pretty though. That Nina Ricci one caused a sharp intake of breath on my part. Chic chic chic. You always pull such beautiful things out of your hat so I look forward to the surprise! Dynamic in the second sense you are indeed.

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