Sewing with a plan

Have of you heard of SWAP? It’s a yearly challenge to sew 11 garments that will all work together. Some years, every top has to match every bottom; other years, the 11 pieces simply have to work together as a collection.

This year the rules are very flexible and I finally feel I can commit to such a big project.

  • 1 “3 pack” of Color(s) A (3 garments)
  • 1 “3 pack” of Color(s) B (3 garments)
  • 1 “Combo Pack” of Colors A & B (2 garments)
  • 1 “3 pack” of Wild Cards

I went through my stash and chose the fabrics and patterns I want to use. This made me realise I have way too many, more that I could sew for several swaps. And I still love most of them so I should stop buying more.

My first pack is full of colours and it’s my favorite.  The shirt fabric is a poly cotton blend, the top will be made in a cotton silk blend and the trousers in cotton sateen.

The second pack doesn’t have any prints and the colours are quieter. Cotton sateen for the trousers, swiss dot cotton for the top and raw silk for the jacket.

The combo pack has prints again – cotton viscose blend for the top and medium weight cotton twill for the jacket. I think the stripes will look nice going in different directions on the lapel. I might add a waist seam and play with the stripes direction.

And the wildcards which are not plain but they will go nicely with the rest of the garments. Two of them are dresses so they can be worn by themselves anyway, but I think the wrap dress will look great with the yellow jacket, and both dresses will go well with this coat. The coat goes with everything, the dots are very small so it doesn’t really look like a print from a distance.

Two garments may be previously sewn, one may be purchased, and two may be sewn up before the official sewing start date of Dec 26, 2015. I already have the denim dress but I didn’t take pictures for a post yet and I want to make at least the wrap dress before Christmas. I want to wear it to my work Christmas party which is on Dec 17.

There are a lot of garments but only a few patterns. I have Simplicity 2599 and Butterick 5678 for the tops, both of them are patterns with different cup sizes so I’m hoping I won’t have a lot of work to do with the fitting. I’m showing two different trousers patterns, an Ottobre and a Burda, but they are very similar and I will only make one. I’m still debating on that, I know that Burda trousers fit me well, but I like more how the Ottobre look on the model.

trousers

Ottobre on the left and Burda on the right

The jacket/coat patterns are very similar so I will probably fit one and use that pattern to alter the other two. I think out of the 3 I will start with the coat, so I can wear it during the spring.

I made the board in PowerPoint and I was surprised to see you can remove the image background after adding it to a slide. I don’t know since when this has been a feature, but I found it very easy to use and you don’t need any photo editing software. Of course, you do need to have Microsoft Office. If not, I recommend Gimp, it’s a powerful free photo editing software. It might take a while to get the hang of it, but there are a lot of tutorials online.

Do you like to make plans? Are you just having fun and sew whatever you feel like? I was on the fun crew but I never have anything to wear so I’m switching gears.

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Bust my stash! or Less shopping, more sewing

It’s been a little over a year since I moved to London and a little less since I started buying fabric and patterns here. I have developed quite a large stash since then, there’s a lot of fabric hidden in dark cupboards, cardboard boxes and the bottom of my wardrobe. I have a high stack of sewing magazines (mostly Burda) and a big drawer of patterns. I won’t have time to use all the fabrics and patterns I have in the next year, but I still kept buying. During the holidays I spent quite a lot of time browsing on-line shops and I bough more fabric and patterns. I love so many of them, and I’m sure I have enough love to give to even more fabric and patterns, but I’m not treating them well by stuffing them in dark places.

Soooo, I decided to stop buying more for at least 6 months. The only exceptions will be interfacing, zips, etc and the occasional Burda. Oh, and I’ve already subscribed to Sew Magazine, so I will get that every month too.

These are the last two pieces of fabrics I bought from myfabrics.co.uk. The fabric came from Germany, but I think they have an office in UK. The spotty one is a boiled wool and the spots are actually blue. I am looking for a fitted blazer pattern in my stash, I’m sure I have something to use it for. The yellow check is a poly remnant, 0.8m. I think I will make a sleeveless shift dress out of it.

Before or around Christmas I bought this from Textile express fabrics. Waterproof poly cotton (Burberry apparently) and seersucker. I’m going to use those stripes for a v-neck dress with a center front seam.

The weekend after Christmas I went to Walthamstow, hoping to meet The man outside Sainsbury’s and find this beautiful jacquard Karen used months ago. He wasn’t there, but all the shops were open, so I didn’t come home empty handed. The wool check is from Saeed fabric, only 5/meter. They also had boiled wool and it was 50% cheaper than what I paid for the spotty one. Their wool didn’t have spots, but they had plenty of colors to choose from.

I bought this raw silk for Pauline Alice’s Quart coat. I had to buy 10 meters because I couldn’t find any in smaller quantities. I’m going to try and dye 3 meters a darker green. If it doesn’t work, I will still have 7 meters left.

Beautiful cashmere bought from The man outside Sainsbury’s 4 months ago. Not sure what to make with it.

I’ve only used 3 of the fabrics I got in Goldhawk Road at the the meet up.

And there’s plenty more hidden away that I don’t have photos of and probably don’t even remember I have. I’m going on a stash busting diet and it shouldn’t be hard considering the beauties I’ve hoarded.