Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

RTW Fast 2018 - Sewing Plans

I've been thinking more about the long haul of the whole year and what clothes I have, what I need/want and then I'm going to try to prioritise those things.

I've gained some weight through illness and over the holidays, so first I decided to be real, and only have things hanging in my wardrobe which I can actually wear. So I tried things on, a few things went for the donation pile, but anything in good colour, good condition and only slightly too tight is packed away for when I've lost a few pounds. A year is a long time and I'm going to want some of these things back!

I've also tried to sort and categorise things, and I have one area of my hanging space which is only for things which are smart enough for work (and all fit me). I've also sorted scarves, necklaces and etc. This helps reduce pre work stress as I know all the clothes in there are a good fit and work suitable, and its easily to accessorise them.

I spent a lot of time on the Vivienne files website reading various different aspects of what she has on there.
There were two main takeways for me here
- Choosing what colours I like the most
- Working through the Starting from Scratch using those colours and what I already have.
I chose two key neutrals, two main accent colours and a light neutral (navy, chocolate brown, teal, burgundy, ivory).
(I did this in the pie chart in Excel, ivory is actually two ivory segments).

I then noted that I would get the most benefit by sewing more pieces which work with these 5 colours, so I worked through the Starting from Scratch posts on Vivienne files coming up with a version of her wardrobe in my chosen colours which I compared to items I already have.

This then resulted in a list of things to mend or to sew.

This may not be the most creative or artistic way to sew but it will mean I am dressed in clothing which fits the size I am now, works for my life and goes together :-)

The links I used are below, in case they are helpful to others.

I've put the sewing plans in the side bar in a list so they are easy for me to see and refer to.

P.S. I did sew the test coat and will be revisiting that at some point (and its on the list) but I felt I needed a few more work things next and will come back to that a bit later on.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Getting closer with the coat

OK I've traced out all the pattern pieces and laid them out on my test fabric (2.3m of orange wool I tried to overdye). I can't fit the short version onto this without lots of piecing and some things upside down. I was suprised how much fabric the belt takes.
However I can get a good enough layout that I can cut out a test in the orange to check the fit.

From the rough reckoning it looks like 2.6 or 2.7 metres for the short version and an extra 20 cm for the longer version so 2.9m.
I have 2.3m of the teal green and 1.9 m of the teal blue.

For option 10, where the back, front, side panels and sleeves are all in the teal green, with the collar/facing and belt in the teal blue, I would need 2.1m of the teal green and 1.8 of the teal blue (1.3 if I seam the belt at centre back), so that one is definitely doable.

Re the options
1 and 2 still look possible, 3,4, 7 and 8 all have two piece sleeves so I am ruling them out, 5 and 8 can't be done and 2, 6 and 7 have the scratchy green collar which I've decided I don't want. 10 would work, 9 I would have to check but I think is also OK.
So 1, 10 and maybe 9 are still on the table.
10 is currently feeling most likely to me.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Coat option 10

Here's another option for the coat as suggested by someone on SG.
This is a teal green coat with a blue colar and facing and blue belt.
The poster thought I would be able to get front, back, sides and sleeves out of the 2.3 of the teal green - maybe its possible, it feels quite tight.
As a reminder here's the fabric.

I have 2.3m of the darker/greener fabric which is on the left and1.9 m of the lighter/bluer fabric on the right.

More coat thoughts

Some of the options I drew are not practical with the available yardage, however I do have one new one which I really like, and is closer too to my original inspiration.
In this (option 9), the sides are dark as is the back, sleeves and belt. The lighter bluer teal is only used for the front and front facing, which becomes the collar (and the back neck facing which I've not been showing).

This has the contrast distributed like my original inspiration coat and I reckon could be got out of the yardage I have available.

It takes on board a few points which people raised which were
- lots of people wanted the darker at the sides as they thought it was slimming
- a few people found the collar being a different colour to the front distracting, and I think I probably agree.

Other things I have added in as we go on this journey
- there is really limited yardage of both actual fabrics and I'm pretty sure the fabric quantities required is marked wrongly on the pattern. My calculations have at least 3.1 m for the knee length coat, this means some (lots) of the options I drew and people liked I just can't do.
- the bluer fabric is a litle softer and less scratchy then the greener, and I bet that would be nicer round the face where its most likely to touch my skin.
- Some of the designs seem very bitty with a lot of movement between the two colours, I might find it difficult to sew with enough precision in this heavy wool to have the sections lined up and looking good (on the two piece sleeve options etc).

Monday, 8 January 2018

Coat Options with teal blue and teal geen wool fabrics

I am planning to make a coat form this simple pattern
 The coat was the pattern included for subscribers to the UK women's magazine Prima in Feb 2015. (You may be able to find this on ebay but it is not available as a download etc)

It requires 2.9m x 150cm wide fabric.
I have two pieces of suitable fabric, both teal wool but slightly different.
One is 2.3m (darker/greener on the left) and the other 1.9 metres (lighter/bluer on the right), and I plan to use both to sew the coat.

In the picture above the turquoise represents the lighter wool, and the hashed green and turquoise represents the darker wool. In all cases the main front and back panels are from the darker wool and the side panels from the lighter, but I've played about with the sleeves, belt and collar facing in the others, including a couple of options for a two piece sleeve (which I would have to draft).

Updated with the green coloured in darker, more like the real fabric

Which do you like the best?

Here's the layout diagram.
Here are the opposite versions, switched round slightly. I don't think there is enough fabric for 5 or 8.
Most popular form FB, SG and blog was number 4.

Next Teal plans

I have two more things in teal I am desperate to make, and which will take a bit longer than a knit top or an elastic waisted something.
They are a coat and some trousers.

This is the style of coat, though I plan to add a lining also.
The coat was the pattern inlcuded for subscribers to the UK women's magazine Prima in Feb 2015. (You may be able to find this on ebay but it is not available as a download etc)

And this is the style of trousers. This is a plus size pattern from Burda Feb 2010 #135.
I'll have 10 teal things once those are done, and might well give myself a break from teal and move on to a new colour (probably brown). I still have lots more teal and turquoise things I could sew but I'm in danger of having my sewing a bit unbalanced colour wise if I continue too far down that road now. However I can always revisit teal and turquoise again at another time.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Teal panelled bias skirt

I really love this skirt pattern (Butterick 3972 OOP), and its great in cotton and linen fabrics, as it drapes nicely without hugging the lumps and bumps too much.
Its really clever how it takes 5 angular pieces (variations on triangles and a square) and makes a bias skirt. Its very economical to cut out (once shortened).
Its got a lot of topstitching which can be a contrast colour or close. Here I've used a slightly lighter teal, but just ordinary thread.
So now I am up to 8 pieces in my teal collection!
P.S. the skirt and trousers on the bottom row are both made from the same fabric. The skirt is a more accurate colour (its not that green). Maybe I need to retake the photo of the trousers.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Word of the year for 2018

There's a thing around this time of year where people come up with one word for the coming year.
I tried this last year but nothing relalt resonated for me.
However this year its easy, because the word if really obvious to me and for me it is

This has two main aspects for me of HEALTH and LIFESTYLE.

Healthwise I've had problems with dizziness and balance since July 2017 and whilst it doesn't seem to be anything serious (I've had lots of tests and appointments) its taking a long time to get completely better, so my end goal here is to have improved balance and be able to go for walks, use stairs, function well in busy environments etc. I now have some exercises to do and am seeing some improvement which is good.

Lifestyle wise I want to balance work, home, family, relationships, hobbies, health etc by putting appropriate time and effort into each area. Here I want to be sensible and look after myself.

Have you got a word for 2018 and do you find the approach helpful?

Thanks Ruthie

Thursday, 4 January 2018

New Look 6216 Trousers finished

New Look 6216 Trousers finished. They are made from a teal linen.
These are super comfortable and will be great casual trousers.
They look better on me than on the hanger and are a lot more turquoise than my terrible indoor night shot shows them.

Things I did differently (mostly for my own notes).
I cut a size 18 and sewed with a slightly smaller seam allowance.
I added both at the crotch and centre back height on the back piece , and then tapered the centre back seam to give a right angle again (though would replace this with a wedge next time).  I would also scoop the crotch a little next time.
I omitted the drawstring, and only used elastic. I would do this again.
I topstitched the waistband above the seam and below the fold to give a nice casing for the elastic. I would do this again.
I turned up the hems with a narrow hem as I think I will want to roll them up sometimes and it looks better. I would do this depending on the fabric used.
Next time I would add interfacing to the pocket edge, but for this version I like the pockets as they are.
I'm going to have to do a rack shot when everything is done to show the colours better.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Trousers - in progress

I decided for the next teal piece I wanted trousers, and am using some lovely teal linen for them.
I really like this pattern, (New Look 6216)  and plan to also make the top view C. It feels relaxed and current, and has nice slim legs on the trousers. It wasn't that hard to construct so I could see a careful beginner having good results with it.

Here's where I have got to so far today. This was far enough to actually try them on and discover they'll be OK.

I still need to add the waistband/elastic casing, add elastic, press, hem, and etc.
I'm probably going to scoop the back crotch a little and I'm definitely leaving out the drawstring, but they are large enough and should be wearable, I'll finesse the back crotch further in future versions.
I'm also planning a skirt in Butterick 3972, which makes the teal plan look like this.

Teal Fabrics

I pulled out all the teal fabrics and was a bit shocked when I laid them all out for the photo here
Three of these are ones I have used already but have some yardage remaining, two are for the coat, and another is the coat lining and another is just ribbing. Some are many metres, others only small remnants.
I could sew only teal garments for the entire year and still not be done!

There are many exciting options to mix the fabrics together in garments, for instance contrast sleeves and etc

I need to have a good think before I cut out the next teal garment.
Trying to keep myself on course with the SWAP plan, I need to avoid the various print fabrics (both above and others I have since found in the resources) and concentrate on everything going with this tweedy fabric which is to be a cardigan jacket
It has teal, burgundy and a lighter colour with a dark brown ground and is attractive on both sides. The other side is more brown and less of the colours.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Teal flared midi skirt

I thought the Teal collection could do with some bottoms as well as all those tops, so here is a simple skirt.

Years ago I traced the skirt panel from a RTW dress I liked. The original dress is long gone but I still have that pattern piece. Here I've cut the front on the fold, and the centre back has a seam. I've also added a yoke which includes an elastic waistband. I used 2" wide elastic zigzagged to the jersey, folded over and stitched at the saides and back.
It can also be worn with the previous knit top for a dress look but that's a lot of tealiness!
I've styled it with a necklace and belt to give a bit more shape and sense of outfit.
I fill the tummy and hips out a bit more than Doris the Dummy does, but it gives the overall idea.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Teal scoop neck top

Another iteration of the dropped shoulder, scooped neck top.
Here I used a mystery knit fabric which was very hard to sew, and would not co-operate with the overlocker (serger) or the coverhem (though I did just manage the sleeve hems on the coverhem).
So it is not overlocked inside and the main hem is sewn with a straight stitch and then pressed.
It pressed quite well so maybe its a dense cotton knit. It is pretty much identical on both sides and very resistant to needles.
The Teal Winter collection so far! I'm wondering if I can make it a Teal Ten Piece collection, just add a skirt, a couple of pairs of trousers, a coat and another layering piece.....

SWAP 2018

I am hoping to revisit SWAP 2018 and regenerate my interest in fitting something into the rules.
Rules can stifle or encourage creativity, and I'm really hoping to display the latter repsonse.

This was my original plan to meet the rules which can be found here

Choose two neutral colors
Add one accent color and two prints OR two accent colors and one print
Make at least three garments from each neutral color
Make at least one garment from each accent color
Make at least one garment from each print
Remaining two garments may be made from any one or combination of your neutrals, accent(s) and/or print(s)
Create multiple outfits of at least two garments that work for your personal style
Each garment must work with a minimum of two outfits

Optional Accessory: add one self-made accessory as a signature piece that works with at least two of  your outfits

Sewing begins on 26 December 2017 and ends 30 April 2018
One garment may be started on 1 November 2017 and completed prior to 26 December 2017
One garment may be completed prior to 1 November 2017
One RTW garment may be included
Garments knitted, crocheted or woven by you may be included (limit of two since we are a sewing site)
Garments such as poncho, cape or wrap must include at least two pattern pieces, be one of your knitted, crocheted or woven items or have stitch work done by you to be considered a garment (otherwise it’s an accessory)
Neutrals do not need to be the same fabric, however, they do need to work together  **
One garment may be completed prior to 1 November 2017
Candidates (can have only one, or could have something even older)

17th October - burgundy sweater knit top
24th October - burgundy spot top
 30th October - burgundy top

One garment may be started on 1 November 2017 and completed prior to 26 December 2017

Candidates (can have only one)

5th November - claret cardigan
5th November - burgundy print top
19th November - teal velvet tops

23rd December - teal cardigan

Sewing begins on 26 December 2017 and ends 30 April 2018

29th December - turquoise top
and obviously sewing will be ongoing until 30th April (which seems a VERY long way away at the moment).
I will decide later which two items make the premade slots as I really would have liked both of the cardigans, for some reason I thought the claret cardigan was completed early enough but sadly no.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Coat ideas

I want to sew this coat from Prima Feb 2015.

I think the fabric requirements are somehow wrong through as it reckons 2.9m x 150cm wide fabric for the short coat but 1.7m x 140cm wide fabric for the long coat which I think is the wrong way round and the short one is too little.
The layout diagram has the belt piece running down the length of the fabric after the entire front and back, so I suspect the fabric requirements using this layout are actually 2.9m for the knee length coat and 2.7m for the jacket length coat.

I have two pieces of suitable fabric, both teal but slightly different.

One is 2.3m and the other 1.9 metres, so potentially I could mix the two, but I'm not sure if thats a good idea.
I could cut the side panels, sleeves and belt from the second fabric, or go more of a colour blocking route, where the bottom so much of each piece is the other fabric.
Of course I might be able to get it out of less fabric than they say, but it seems unlikely.
I'm going to add a lining also and have loads of a deep teal satin for that which will be luscious.

I have found a few images for ideas. none are exactly what I have in mind, but they give ideas.

Probably this bottom one is the closest as the colours are similar to one another and the colour blocking is in vertical rather than horizontal lines.