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)
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.
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.