• Welcome to Stitcher's Guild Reloaded. Please login or sign up.
March 20, 2019, 05:09:12 am


To reply to a private message, you must login to the forums and use the messaging system.  If you attempt to answer the email notification, it just bounces to me.

Stephanie's Venice (Acqua Alta) Bookshop SWAP (comms in SWAP thread pls)

Started by stephaniecan, November 03, 2018, 12:16:05 pm

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


November 03, 2018, 12:16:05 pm Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 06:39:07 pm by stephaniecan Reason: Edited title as SWAP started out as a "Florentine Cathedral SWAP" and changed...
I know I said I wouldn't do this, but I want to drastically reduce my stash, while fighting the perfectionism bear, and I love the camaraderie of SWAP, so...
I will also have a fair bit of time I can dedicate to sewing over the winter, so I think I can do this this year. I'll focus on simple garments like pencil skirts and shirts, with some pattern mixing and maybe one or two more complex jackets and/or dresses to add interest (and to keep me engaged).

In any event, even if I don't finish, I hope that some people enjoy the sharing of planned collections...

Inspiration photo:

I have a tonne of fabrics in the colours in this image, but my neutrals will be grey and brown. I have quite a few plaids that I feel would mimic the windows in the buildings in the inspiration photo. I'll go in that direction for prints, with accents in green and yellow.

This "bird silk" fabric that I have been waiting for years to sew needs to get used. They are not the same birds, but among my favourite birds are the rondini (swallows) that swoop around Florence at dusk, looking for insects, and are seen around the cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore) in abundance.

I will probably knit one or two garments to blend with the others. I have lots of choice in this regard as I have suitable yarns in stash (e.g., yellow, as above, and other left over balls of other yarns that could become a stranded vest or sweater to add some pattern/design interest).

I recently made this hat (still sewing in ends and not yet blocked), inspired by the inspiration photo:



I really couldn't tell you why, and it is probably reflective of some grand, personal flaw, but I usually don't read instructions.*
As a result, I skimmed over the SWAP rules and came up with a tentative collection that doesn't yet seem to match the rules.

*My partner always laughs at me when I accidentally get stuck on some setting on my camera and wonders why, in two years, I haven't read any parts of the manual. When I get really desperate I go to Youtube.

Actually, I do know what the reason is for this lack of interest in reading instructions: I've always been more of an intuitive. I like everything to be a puzzle that I have to figure out on my own, regardless of whether there are experts who could make my life much easier.

Anyhow, some recent discussion in the pre-SWAP discussion thread suggests that six garments in neutrals are required for this SWAP (if one maxes out the 1-5 patterns or accents). I had originally chosen grey and brown as my neutrals, but I am not sure that I want six garments in these colours. Maybe I'll change my viewpoint as a go along, but I do love some livelier colours, so I've been thinking about yellow as a neutral. I'll need to find a yellow that suits me.

Probably because I had this idea simmering away in my brain, I bought this vintage pattern this week, which may become a pre-SWAP item:

My tentative plan (likely to be changed to better fit the rules):

1) grey wool jacket to match a skirt I am making right now. (It uses a Vintage Valentino pattern and is short and in a 1970s style). (neutral 1)
2) brown wool skirt (fabric is kind of a tweedy brown-olive, in reality) (neutral 2?)
3) grey trousers or skirt (same grey fabric as 1) (neutral 1)
4) knitted turtleneck or simple top (brown? yellow?) (neutral 2?)
5) knitted fair isle vest (not sure if this will happen, but it's a thought. (pattern 1)
6) orange and grey plaid shirt (pattern 2)
7) extravagant print blouse (pattern, obviously :))
8. blue-grey and brown plaid shift (hmm...combo of two neutrals or print)
9) dark grey jacket (has fine orange check in it but almost not noticeable. Definitely reads as neutral grey) (neutral 1 again)
10) green silk shirt (accent)
11) green dress or, more practically, another simple skirt or pair of pants. (accent or neutral)

Optional/substitutions: brown cord outdoor jacket, plaid coat...maybe a yellow dress?

This is a confused plan, so I need to think a bit more clearly about what outfits I could make from these items. I also recently made a red dress (September) and so I could technically sub in red as an accent (there is a tiny blob of red in my inspiration photo, although realistically red is not a dominant colour in this image (unless terra cotta is considered to be a red!).


Apparently Canada Post, because of strikes, is having some serious issues with the processing of packages, so my Valentino pattern may not arrive anytime soon from the US. (Fingers crossed!) As a result, I'm going to be toiling this one this weekend for CCL's dress challenge, which perhaps could also be included in SWAP(?):

I also started knitting a sweater, much against my better judgment as I have outstanding Christmas "orders" from my mom (sweater), partner (flannel shirt), and best friend (gnome mittens...I know), as well as my partner's sister (scarf). I was feeling selfish, and this is in my SWAP colour palette:

I was at my local fabric store this morning as well, and although my objective is to use materials I already have for this SWAP, I realized how helpful it is that I chose grey and brown as my neutrals as there are many many lovely brown wools available. (I already have a lot of fabrics in grey.)

I am getting so excited about the sewing!! I have already prepared a couple of patterns that I will toile before the holidays, which should help me to get off to a good start in January. Hope everyone else is also feeling the building excitement.

Or maybe it was Santa that did that to me at this morning's parade...


Just back from vacation and really looking forward to getting started on the SWAP again and enjoying everyone's work!

I am conflicted about my plan. I hate the fact that I often change my mind, but I do find that I crave at least some brighter colour than I have included. I also struggle with the fact that I have both some warm and cool elements to my colouring but am probably mostly cool. I tend to wear a lot of soft navy blue, tweed, and greys. I also look great in a muted dark green. So...bright red is somewhat of a no-no but something I love to wear.

I suppose I should change my inspiration photo and my colours. :( I need to think about this as I do also want to de-stash. I'm thinking that maybe I could change my neutrals from grey and brown to grey and dark blue and then add accents in green and red for fun. I'm going to play with this and dig through my stash to see what I can do, and what will work best. I will also search for a new inspiration photo.

Thanks to those who have written at length in the forum about choosing colours, value, etc. I look forward to digging in in greater depth.

The light is poor in these photos but I took two photos of me in the red Pucci dress I made in September, on Christmas (after Christmas dinner, so there was a bit of bloating going on!):


Sorry to the moderators for another post so soon, but I took this photo in the Acqua Alta bookstore in Venice over the holidays and perhaps this would work as well as any other as an inspiration photo?


This feels a bit like cheating (OK, so it is a bit like cheating), but I may go with one of my Venice bookshop photos as my colour inspiration. I say cheating as pretty much every colour is available to me in these photos!

I love this one, too, as the verb "capire" (to understand) is visible in the stacks:

All this in an effort to include red in my collection...

I think I've settled on grey and blue as my neutrals, or red and blue as my neutrals, with accents likely to be green and perhaps white. That's quite a big departure from the colours and palette I suggested in the autumn. I'm wondering if it has something to do with the change of season. We are in full winter now and when I think of making clothes I think of cool colours. I also think forward to springtime, when I crave fresh and bright and clean colours. I'm fickle, I know. I'm giving myself until the end of this week to commit to a plan, any plan!

So far, to simplify, possible SWAP items:

red dress (done, previously-sewn)
red jacket (mostly cut out, now to start sewing). If it works out I see this as a highly versatile piece, to give a punch to different outfits.
possibly a red and white striped RTW shirt

blue suit: jacket and trousers (I have lots of navy blue and mid-blue wool, so all stash, and something I'm quite looking forward to making)

That's up to five items.

(if not blue, I may include a grey jacket (already cut out but not sewn)
grey trousers (not cut out, not decided) or
grey skirt? (I have enough wool to do this))

Items 6 and 7:

white or pale blue shirt
silk blouse in a pattern or an accent colour, or something with extravagant sleeves

Items 8,9:

dress (green?)
knitted sweater or vest (green? fair isle?)

Items 10,11
pencil skirt or a cigarette pant
fun, short-sleeved blouse (maybe a pattern)


Since I get maker's block a lot of the time, I decided that I needed to simply start something and then let the collection evolve out of the rough set of garments I have sketched out. I am sure it will work out. The types of garments will likely stay the same, in any case, but permitting some looseness will allow me to play with colour and pattern as things get made and I can see how they fit together.

I started the red jacket! I cut out all of the underlining and hand-basted the silk organza to the wool crepe. Whee!

It's a pure, clear red. Not sure why it photographs pink. :)


Well, good news and bad news.

The good news is that the red jacket is well underway. I have also traced and fitted a pair of pants and have at least one dress toile in progress.

The bad news is that I broke my ankle on Wednesday night.

That will slow me down a little bit in the interim as I will have trouble cutting and pressing and tracing. Would it be within the rules for me to guide my partner to cut out some trousers for me, I wonder? For now, once I don't have to continually elevate my leg, I'll get back to sewing the jacket and can perhaps focus on a knitted piece for a few weeks. I'll have to catch up in March and April. I think because I have set some clear parameters for myself I should be able to do a lot in March and April. I feel quite motivated, perhaps by the challenge of being somewhat limited by the injury. I really want to finish this year.

Glad to see everyone else's work shaping up!


Not much to report since I am still in "ankle up/down" mode, but I did get some swatches of silk from Emmaonesock so I am dreaming of the blouse and possible shirt dress I am going to make for my collection, which is becoming increasingly nautical/nature-oriented.

I think I am going to make a blouse in the darker red (even though I love the brighter red), and maybe a dress in the brighter blue. Something about the light and dark blues also makes me want to colour block. Maybe cuffs and a placket on the dress in the lighter blue?

I have in mind a sort of a crazy design for a sweater that I can start knitting next week when G returns to Italy and I have some downtime/alone time. I made some female cardinal motifs and then a sketch of a sweater. Sounds kind of crazy but I do this kind of thing from time to time.


Hmm...I wonder if there is a way that I can rename this thread?? In my mind this is now the Venice (Acqua Alta) Bookshop SWAP

Well, I have passed the three week mark with my broken ankle. I finally got a transfer bench installed in my bathroom so I took a shower by myself today. Ahhh...

I also am feeling more up to sewing now so this weekend I will begin sewing in earnest again, even though I still have to wheel myself around for another three weeks. I have been working from home so during the day can't sew. In the evenings, I have been knitting a pullover, given that knitting is easy on the sofa with my foot elevated. I feel as though this pullover (Dathan, by Kate Davies), will be a cheerful addition to my Venice Bookshop SWAP. :)

The pattern itself provides a basic dolman design. The knitter decides on the stripe sequence. I received a sample pack of 15 balls of yarn from the designer as part of a course registration, so I laid them out on the table and ordered them in colour gradients, which is what appealed to me most. Then I am knitting the stripes in a 3-1-2-1 (rows) pattern. This means that the colour ordering is consistent throughout but the width of the stripes different in each round, resulting in the colours appearing slightly different relative to each other depending on the width of the stripes. I'm bordering them in navy blue (my favourite colour).

I initially laid out all of the colours but my partner dislikes purple vehemently and so he pulled it out of the row! I gave in and pulled the dark purple out.

The "reds" in the sweater are a little bit more pink than red, but hey- I'm the designer, no? :) I also gave myself the many colours out with my bookshop photos, I believe.

Cheers and happy sewing! Hopefully I'll be back with a sewn item or two in the next couple of weeks.