Author Topic: Stephanie's NOT got the blues SWAP (comments in discussion thread only, thanks!)  (Read 2737 times)

Offline stephaniecan

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OK, after my grand debacle last year, I swore I wouldn't try again. Here I am, however, because SWAP is a great concept and because I actually really really need to organize my thinking around colour to spark up my wardrobe. I also thought I didn't need lots of clothes but actually I want some new clothes and I want to dive into sewing again. I do love sewing and this year did little of it.

So...this is a placeholder as I have no idea what my colours are going to be. At the moment, my wardrobe is at least 50% blue. I would say it is likely at least 2/3 80 % blue. I have pin-striped blue, pale blue shirts, blue suits (I work in fiscal policy so, um, that won't change), blue sweaters, a closet full of blue coats, blue running gear (!), blue pyjamas (!), blue socks, blue slippers (mom's fault!). I also have blue eyes (also mom's fault ;)). The one thing I don't have is the blues, as I am a cheerful person. I have wishy-washy muted colouring so I unfortunately can't wear the orange that I am attracted to. Even bright and cheery red is very improbable. My partner is a classic, sophisticated Italian who always picks out navy blue, brown, grey and green for me so I'm not going to get any help for colour jump-starting there...There's a crazed patternista hiding somewhere inside..

So here's to colour play. My neutrals will probably still be classic things like maybe brown or taupe and grey, as I look great in those neutrals, but maybe I'll venture into green and some deep red/burgundy and if I'm really smart something fun (turquoise?). My stash is mostly blue, but not only, so that should help. Recently I have been attracted to florals for shirts and I do love wearing dresses and have very few dresses. I'm kind of airy-fairy at times (disregard the works in fiscal policy thing) and I really crave lightness and brightness and being able to twirl in my clothes...

TO be continued...

« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 02:09:20 AM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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I wrote this last evening...
I really should be sleeping as I have a move to do...and work in the morning...

But such is the SWAP craze that comes over me when planning is involved that I came up with a tentative plan by looking at photos of my fabrics on my computer (fortunately, I took photos of my stash over the summer).

In an effort to avoid more blue, I think I have come up with a combination or potential combination that may work. I have some of the actual patterns in mind, too. I had the wonderful idea at the beginning of my thinking about this that I would use red as a neutral, but as usual I recognize that I don't look that great in bright red! Too bad! I wear it when I'm in the mood for it but this needs to be a collection that makes me feel great when I actually have it on.

So...tentatively, pretty much all from stash (a serious objective), here's the plan:

Neutral 1: Deep brown/maybe slightly greyed-off dark brown: 1) jacket in corduroy, 2) dress (wool), 3) cord trousers;
Neutral 2: Mid-grey: 4) dress (wool); 5) pants or skirt (wool); 6) jacket/blazer (wool); 7)? maybe: cable knit fisherman's sweater
Accent 1:  Sea green - Not quite teal but a green blue or a deeper green with a touch of blue in it (but not actually blue!) skirt or dress, YSL blouse with long tie);
Print: This is somewhat open as I have a grey silk print with teal, yellow, purple in it that might work for a dress or blouse; alternative is a Liberty floral print I picked up recently that would make an interesting shirt/blouse if combined with other fabric; another alternative would be to knit a sweater I have been planning for a long time, with icebergs on it (colours of the yarn are acid blue-green, greys...difficult to explain). I have already somewhat worked out the design.
Accent 2: This is also somewhat open and could become a print as I have a beautiful cream silk with green hand drawn birds on it that I would love to use. Alternative is deep raspberry or magenta  (blouse and/or coat).

The only fabrics not in stash would be silk for a sea green blouse and/or a raspberry-coloured blouse.
Last but not forgotten: accessory would be a hand-embroidered belt or a hand knit beret.

Photos of fabric on my blog.. Will post references at some point.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 02:58:56 AM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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Sort of some of the palette....


I'm having trouble finding the image I want to post.


Disregard the blue! :)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 01:23:08 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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Wow, I'm getting behind. :)

Just a quick update. As I mentioned, I moved last weekend. I'm very busy at work as well, as usual, so I'm just back to fabric fondling again this weekend. (How I love to take out my fabrics and dream about what they will be, put them side to side...I think we can all relate!)

I'm quite happy with my plan so far. Nothing is exactly set in stone, but the overall tone of the collection, the colours and the patterns seem pretty clear to me. Many have similar lines and are dressier than the items I have made in recent years. I'm excited. I hate having these lovely materials sitting in stash. I tell myself that if I mess up with them it will still be better to be wearing wonky garments made with favourite fabrics than having the fabrics hiding in plastic bins in my sewing space!




Happiness-inducing colours...

Neutrals: Grey, dark brown
Accents: Plum and/or pine green or deep teal
Patterns: One or two patterned fabrics, depending on whether I use both accent colours (patterned fabrics could be Liberty floral; bird silk; checked wool (lines in plum colour); or another fancy fabric I broke down and ordered (it has trees on it!!! trees!).

Some likely garments:

Some other likely and/or possible garments (although the coat will probably get made after SWAP...):

Way more fun than one should be having, no? Images are hosted elsewhere but I don't know how to make them smaller. Sorry! (PS Sorry moderator: Updated to correct grammar! Updated with help from Eva to reduce image size.)
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 01:22:16 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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Last evening I sat down with my notebook to think about the SWAP plan in practice. (I should have sewn, but I was feeling mellow after the gym and cooking...why isn't there more time?)

Much cleverer ladies (see, e.g., Indigotiger), have already been mapping out a timeline for making. I started doing this and realized how key this will be for me in launching my SWAP. In past years I ended up being lazy in January and having to make a push at the end. I'd like to spread things out much more this year, also because I will enjoy the sewing more. Also, my partner will be here in February for at least a week and so I'll lose that time. I'll also be abroad until January 9, after Christmas, so there's a chunk gone there.

What occurred to me is this plan:

November, December: fit/toile skirt of plum suit, which also happens to be the bottom of the grey dress, so make the grey dress for Christmas. One garment down, one toile down!

January: work on grey jacket, which will be more time-consuming. Make either grey pants (adaptation of TNT pattern I think) or a skirt (perhaps from toiled skirt pattern). That's two garments in January. If there's still time, make a shirt or blouse at the end of the month (both shirt/blouse patterns are pretty close to TNT). (3 or 4 garments completed in total)

February: brown cord jacket (that's the big project for the month). Skirt (toiled already in December). And this is when it occurred to me that I am going to need to make a shirt or blouse at this juncture, because if I didn't manage to make one in January, I'm going to be annoyed that I can't make a full, fancy pants new outfit with my making! (This is where the psychological strategy will come in) (3 more garments added, hopefully at 7 in total by this point, but maybe six, and more likely 5: 1 in Dec and two in January and two in February). Also, in January and February I can be working on knitting a sweater in the evenings, because I tend to knit when watching tv or relaxing. I can finish a sweater easily in a month or two, but could push it into March. The sweater will be either a grey thing or a "print" if I so desire. So that could bring me to 7 or 8 garments (dream on, Stephanie! Oh well, we all have to have dreams.). Let's say more realistically that I am at 6 at this point.

March: brown wool dress. Plum wool jacket (seems to be a fairly simple jacket, so I think not as much work as the grey and brown jackets above). In my fantasy life, that could bring me to 9 or 10 items made in total, but more realistically, I would be "successful" (i.e. more productive than usual) if this if brings me to 8 garments. If I could squeeze in a 9th, e.g. a shirt from my TNT shirt pattern in a print, that would make me very happy and then I would only have to worry about two garments and the optional accessory in April.

April: I would like April to be fun. April should be about finishing off the collection with things that tie everything together. I really loved Audrey's (ALY) idea in regard to design features that can connect the elements in a collection, e.g., ruffles, or a particular style of pocket, for example. I'm going to think about this (before April, of course! I think there is a common element to the collection so far, as I do like dresses with unnecessary style lines, e.g., diagonal seams in weird places). Maybe in April I'll use the tree fabric that is winging its way to me to make a lovely dress (which would actually be a simple dress I think, to show off the border print (so no weird style lines...Oh well, I tried).

Many apologies for taking you through the weird thinking in my head. This was a very useful exercise, however, which I will need to revisit after I start sewing, to keep myself on track.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 02:01:10 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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Hello! After a long Christmas holiday away and a few days getting settled back at work... I am finally ready to sew! (Well, I sewed a bit in December, but only in the toile domain and one shirt for my best guy.)

Right now I am locked in the (typical for me) overthinking stage in which I question everything I ever thought, consider every pattern I own or have ever seen for substitution in my plan, and likewise become unconvinced that my fabrics go together at all.

Conclusion?

I just need to start and sew something, with the skirt/dress that I toiled in December being an obvious choice. Man, perfectionism is such a drag!

Hope everyone is well and that those who are ill will be feeling better soon. I am disinfecting my hands all the time given all of the bugs going around town at the moment. It makes this a good moment to become a hermit at home with a sewing machine. Thank goodness for sewing machines!

Offline stephaniecan

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I think I have learned recently that the fun of SWAP for me is in the planning and in watching what everyone else is doing!!

I have two garments on the road and a third toile made, so in theory I could catch up at this point, but I am not sure I will manage. I guess I must be getting older as I find I need more rest and recovery time in a busy life and I definitely like to take my time as I make things. That said, I have much more sewing time coming up in the next two months and so never say never!

May the force continue to be with everyone who has a nice SWAP on the road. I will watch your progress with interest.

Offline stephaniecan

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At the risk of embarrassing myself later on, I will say that I have reworked my plan and have one I really love. I also have my sewing machine threaded and ready to sew a skirt I have already toiled, tomorrow.

I am not sure I can complete the entire collection during the remaining time, but in the minimum I will have a half dozen garments or so that I really love and then can continue a "slow SWAP" to complete the items afterwards. I recognize that I am someone who needs time to meander - sometimes I like to sew on a schedule and to get things done over a short time period, but more often I like to revisit fabric and pattern choices and think (and dream...oh how I dream!) about how to get what I want. I am also really keen on incorporating a bit more pattern in my garments than I had originally planned. This could evolve into a "two year SWAP," and in some ways it is already as my new plan has elements of last year's plan that I did not complete last year. At least I know that my taste/style are consistent! Maybe what I should do next time I plan a SWAP is to pretend I am also working for a client and have to meet the client's deadlines and expectations (I am a fickle and unreliable client. :))

Carry on!

Offline stephaniecan

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Stephanie who does not have the blues enrolled in a shirtmaking class in December (thinking it was a good idea) and then spent the last three Sundays making a blue and white shirt...oops. The class used a men's pattern, which I altered somewhat, but it remains a "boyfriend fit" shirt. That said, I did improve some of the finishes on my shirtmaking. At the same time, this can't be a SWAP item as I am going to stay true to "no blue." :)





It got me thinking again about what holds me up in sewing these days. I used to sew much more quickly. In a way it's maybe a good thing that I have slowed down. I reached a point at which I didn't want to sew unless I could sew high-quality things. I am still unsatisfied with my FBAs on more fitted tailored shirts, and although I can fit trousers well I change my idea of good shape all of the time (for example, I love wide-leg trousers and have made some nice pairs for SWAP in the past, but I tend to trip over the bottoms and they are often not practical,e.g. in snowy or wet weather, unless I wear snow pants over top). In other words, maybe I am experiencing growing pains that are interfering with my focus. :)  Recent issues of Burda with lovely images of vintage camping style have me dreaming of linens rather than wools.

I'm going to soldier on (giving myself a pep talk all the while: "You can do this!"). I really want some new clothes and I have such a nice fabric "stock."

Offline stephaniecan

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Some real progress is finally being made, although I admit that my mind is darting all over the place and I am not sure that my colour scheme will hold together. That said, I'm taking the "sew now and figure it out later" approach (I know this is supposed to be a plan... :)). In my defense, plum is indeed one of my planned neutrals, so I can include these two garments without embarrassment!

Better photos will be forthcoming, but here is the plum skirt I was working on, waiting to be properly pressed and hemmed. Oh and waiting for my body to get into it! There was no light for photos this morning, however. I probably would have stabbed myself with multiple pins, anyhow. I do that a lot. Do you? I even step on them sometimes. Fortunately, I do not put them in my mouth. :)



All I can say is that it is better than it looks...I think!



Matching sweater. I want to sew most or all of my garments for SWAP, as I already know how to knit and want to improve my sewing, but I've been working on a matching sweater for the skirt in small bits of knitting over the last few weeks. The pattern is Docklight by Julie Hoover, who is one of those designers that I am always impressed by. She makes designs that appear to be simple but that are relatively sophisticated when you look more closely. The design elements hold together well. I love the colour of the yarn, too! A mix of spongy fisherman's rib and lace paneling:

« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 01:35:13 AM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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Well, I am hanging in there! I have a plan for a few garments in the next few weeks, so we will see how that goes. At the moment, however, I am mid-make with some teal trousers under the needle. I'm not sure I love the wrap-over front, but it's good to try new things. This is 117 from the February 2018 Burda. They are missing the waistband (front is currently pinned) and the pleated bottom panels. I'm not sure how teal fits into my SWAP, but I will figure it out! Next up are a few garments in neutrals. I swear!



Offline stephaniecan

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Well, I completed the teal pants and I really love them. I'm still a little bit confused as to how to incorporate them in my SWAP. I'm really struggling with the colour dimension of this SWAP, as I am trying to experiment with colours I don't usually wear (since I mostly wear blue, normally :)), while still using stash fabrics. I think this will come together in the end, although I'm pretty sure at this point that I will have a finished SWAP as of about June. :(

Nevertheless, let's celebrate small succcesses!



That's a belt loop above the pleat, near the closure, in case you are wondering. These have four belt loops and I love the way Burda accessorized the original pants with a colourful scarf pulled through. That is in my plans. (117 February 2018 Burda).

I'm looking forward to figuring out how to accessorize these and also to experiment with different types of tops that could be worn. I don't have many suitable tops. I like white with these, but I think I would, surprisingly, also like navy and a deep raisin or mulberry colour, close to my plum. I'm going to play around.

Hope you are all having fun. I'm making a blouse in what is probably not the best colour for me (oatmeal), but I think I can accessorize it well enough to make it work.

Happy sewing! (With apologies to the moderators for updating this several times, to correct for mistakes.)
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 08:16:17 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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They're a little wrinkly in this photo, but here's a side view:


Offline stephaniecan

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I realize that there are probably few less comely garments than a skirt lying inert on a sofa, but my winter legs are too pasty white to share at the moment and the skirt lacks buttons (I have a bad habit of poking myself with pins when I pin something on myself)!



This was an experiment because the linen was not quite opaque. I decided to underline it, which added more weight than I had hoped. I still like the heavy, durable safari/utility skirt vibe I got out of this, but I am looking forward to the dress version of the same pattern, which will be in the same linen but unlined and floaty (shirt dress version 114, Burda 02/2018).

This SWAP is hobbling along and I am going on a twelve-day vacation, but I will not give up. :)

A photo to better see the colour. I do love the linen.





« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 10:56:46 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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It's a long shot, but valiant efforts are being made. Too bad that April can't suddenly grow another five days!

I did start my dress in the hazelnut neutral I had planned:

Bodice:



Bodice with skirt:


(I am not as wacky as I seem...the waistline seams do match up but I did not pose the dress well enough for the photo. :))

Now to add a collar, facing and sleeves!

I have had Out of Africa fantasies for maybe thirty years, so maybe I'm finally getting there! (I just need Robert Redford to come and wash my hair.)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 11:23:04 PM by stephaniecan »

Offline stephaniecan

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I feel like a perfect schmuck, but I don't think I will finish by end of day tomorrow. I have five garments done and two others started (plus a half-done optional accessory). I can probably finish two more by tomorrow evening but I won't make it to nine plus the optional RTW and the previously-made (I should learn and make something between Nov and Dec 26, but unfortunately I only knitted a hat and some Christmas presents during that time period).

On the other hand, I loved the camaraderie of the SWAP this year (as always) and I did learn quite a bit as I worked through my garments this year. I will definitely finish the garments I have started and will likely complete a "collection" by this summer. I made three items at least that I really love and that will get worn a lot, plus others that will likely grow on me (and I love the ones already started but not complete, so far...) so that's a win.

Here's the latest. No matter what I do I can't get it to not look wrinkled!!

Updated just to say that the pattern is 114 from the 02/2018 Burda magazine. It looks quite different in the linen to the versions in stretch cotton in the magazine, but I like it.




« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 11:17:13 PM by stephaniecan »