Author Topic: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)  (Read 2966 times)

Offline Melinda_B

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Thinking 'aloud' here, re SWAP, although all the below could easily change on a whim.

Having returned to full time work a month ago, I need more work clothes.  While I could wear a 'uniform' of black pants/skirt and a top, I'd like to have more variety but still have it easy to grab some clothes each morning without time spent planning an outfit.  Work style is business casual, more on the casual than the business side.  We also have Casual Friday's, where most of us wear jeans.

We're coming into Summer now, and when the SWAP officially starts we'll have around five months of hot or warm weather.  Also, my workplace is airconditioned, but being an older building it varies from hot to feeling like an icebox.  So, layers.  Which works well.

I am still very much coming to terms with 'my' style.  I tend to be conservative, and would like to branch out a little.  In the past I've either worn suits (far too dressed up) or been exceedingly limited in my wardrobe due to finances.  At this point in life, we're now in a position where we're comfortable, and I'm finding that I've changed a lot over the past few years since I worked in an office, I'm more confident, and care a lot less what others think.  However I do need to feel comfortable in my clothing, both physically and internally.  So those comfort zone boundaries need to be stretched carefully.

I expect black or charcoal to be one of my neutrals, and probably brown for the other.  If possible, I'd like to use stash for this SWAP, as I have a huge stash, nowhere to keep it, and a husband who wants to know why I'm buying fabric when I have so much at home already!  I'm also in the middle of decluttering, and will be getting my sewing room back in the next few weeks when the teen moves out (sad she's moving out, excited to have my sewing room back). 

Patternwise, I have a million patterns already yet find myself gravitating back to a couple of designers who I know fit me well and I like their style.  To simplify this SWAP, I think I should limit my patterns to TNT, and if not a TNT now it should be tested before January.  I can see this as a motivator to both test those patterns I've been looking at for awhile, in preparation.

I love the idea of a Sudoku SWAP to organise outfits, although I'm not very good with accessories, so that could either be a growth stretch or a stumbling block.  Although really, I could always leave those spaces free or just add a pair of earrings in!  The sudoku concept would fit well with the Designer Swap also, or at least in my head it does!

Recently I've noticed that I've been bored with sewing simple items, and have really enjoyed a sewing challenge.  So while most of the wardrobe should be simple/easy, I may need to add in a detailed or long term item as well.  Although since I want to include a couple of semi-tailored, fitted, jackets, they could well fill that need.

Next steps:
- get some more project boxes as I won't have enough for SWAP
- pick some garments and colours, print them out and have a play with sudoku layout (I can visualise better on paper than on the screen)
- declutter the stash and choose fabrics.  I have a plethora of prints, however solids and neutrals are severely lacking.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 12:33:24 PM by Melinda_B »
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 12:49:11 PM »
Plan:
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
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

**Putting these here for my own reference**


Setting sudoku aside for a moment, could do the neutrals as 'column' outfits - three items of skirt/pants, top, and a layering piece (6 items).  Then add in three more tops in the colours and prints (9 items).  Add in two dresses, probably classic shift dresses, in a version of the neutral colours (11 items, and could be worn with the jackets).  Or add in a bottom piece in the colour, to make a two piece dress and to coordinate with either a neutral and/or one of the prints.  Or a layering piece in the colour or prints to wear over the neutral column.

I'm not usually a fan of colour blocking, but can see myself mixing some neutrals and the prints in some designs as well.  So many options....
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 12:50:09 PM »
Couple of lightbulb moments today:

- I would never wear an outfit that was the same shade for bottoms, top, and layer.  So I'll need to keep an eye on the shades of colour. 

- dark blue will be a better neutral than black, as I can then incorporate a pair of dark blue denim jeans

- can combine neutral solids and the prints in a single garment

- 'same shade' can also incorporate things such as a lace overlay, completely different type of fabric, seaming embellishments, etc.  Same shade does not mean just one single fabric - I may need to be reminded of this regularly!

- Embellishments can make the same shade/fabric look completely different
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2017, 05:03:04 AM »
Starting to get a bit worried I'll be making all my SWAP planned garments before Christmas!!!

Found an amazing knit this morning that will definitely be part of this SWAP!
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2017, 01:00:01 PM »
Dear Melinda - remember you get a lot more done when you get off facebook/internet and actually do the sewing!!!!   ;)
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 08:44:42 AM »
Pictures have been pulled off the internet, line drawings where I could find them for the patterns.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:31:36 AM by Melinda_B »
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 12:30:04 PM »
Pre-December, I need to:
- toile the Lorie Jacket (been planning that for about 12 months!)
- toile the Vientiane skirt
- find the Marfy top pattern that I toiled, and check it still fits
- toile the Ravanna wrap pant, or at least the body part of it
- search the stash for navy ponte (Jade), Liberty or Rayon (Marfy), knit print (Kathryn top), knit stone colour jersey (Maggie top).  I know they're all in there somewhere.
- check the knit boucle is close enough in shade to the stone jersey to be considered the same colour, if not then rethink that wild card. (dark brown wool suiting???)
- dye the rayon crepe for the Ravanna pants (it's currently an unusual pinky tan)
-  check what I wanted to change on the Miss Maggie top, I know I wrote myself some notes when I made it last.

Options - buy the jeans RTW, sew up the cardigan before 26 Dec, use the teal feather print Kathryn as the pre-made item (check it can be worn with both navy and brown)

I also have some other sewing that I want to get done before then too - a dress for a 12yo friend, and some summer dresses for me, and possibly some tshirts as a Christmas gift for hubby.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 12:22:57 PM by Melinda_B »
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 12:42:03 PM »
The teal and feather print top works beautifully with both navy and dark brown, so it will be my made before 2 Nov garment.  I'll update the table when I've made my cardigan, as it will then stay as is until after 26 Dec.

May need to rethink the navy dress, as I've just purchased a navy fabric with small white dashes on it to make a dress - not thinking that I had a navy dress planned for the SWAP.  I'm not sure if making two different styles would make the two dresses different enough for me to be happy with.  Considering moving the navy Jade skirt up to the Navy set instead, and using that wildcard spot for another top that uses a combo of print and solids.
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2017, 12:45:23 PM »
And the Hvar jacket needs to be rethunk.  The fabric wasn't really in the right shade, so I attempted dying it darker (cotton/poly blend boucle) and it didn't work.  In fact, it didn't work so badly that I had to overdye it a second time with a darker colour.  It's ended up a gorgeous maroon-ish and cream marle, which is lovely but totally doesn't work for the SWAP!  Bonus is that I can make it up without having to wait for christmas and the SWAP start, downside is that I need to fill that wildcard slot. C'est la vie!
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 01:33:55 PM »
Next setback - I dyed the rayon crepe with "Truffle Brown" procion dye from Dharma Trading.  According to their website it's a very dark brown.  The fabric has come out a dark purple/blue.  It's a gorgeous rich colour, but totally not the brown it should be.  I've posted on their facebook page, but really there's nothing they can do.  I'm feeling quite sad and flat at this, right now.

On the plus side, I probably have some dark brown suiting somewhere that I can sub in for the crepe and still make the Ravanna Wrap Pants.  But may change my mind, I'm not sure I want the suit fabric look.  Who knows.  Going to go and sleep on it. 

On the plus plus side, I have a vague idea for an AC top to make as one of my wildcards.  That idea is still marinating in the back of my brain.
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2017, 07:54:26 AM »
One of my favourite online fabric shops has just started stocking 100% organic cotton, milled and knitted in Australia, in solid colours.  Have ordered a couple of metres of navy to check it out, and will incorporate it into the swap somehow.

Printed and taped the pattern for the Marfy top, and have some muslin fabric to make a tester out of.  Just need time - competing priorities, need to get Christmas sewing done, plus I desperately need summer tops for work.  And the brown cardigan for SWAP.  Although really, SWAP can get pushed down the list as I can do that after Christmas.

In other news, hopefully the kiddo will finish moving out this weekend and I will then have a sewing room.  Great news not just for sewing, but we'll get our lounge room back!  That however takes more time....  LOL

*gets off the computer and heads back to the sewing room*
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 05:39:26 AM »
Update: I've made some changes to the plan.  Have completed one top made before the rules, the Itch To Stitch Kathryn top, and one top made between the rules and the start of sewing, the Marfy sleeveless top.  I've decided to include an AC classic jacket, although I haven't decided on what pattern/stencil I'll use.  Hopefully I can get that started in the next week or so.  I've also ended up with some gaps, and I'm still thinking what to include in those spots.

Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 12:46:14 PM »
This is the Itch To Stitch Kathryn top, made in a Como Egyptian Cotton knit.  It's a stunning fabric, however my overlocker needles cut holes in it. This is actually my second one, I loved the fabric and look so much I decided it was worth spending *mumble* dollars and buying more fabric to remake it.  I sewed the seams on my machine, using the stretch/overlock stitch, with a very fine needle and there were minimal holes this time.  It's become one of my favourite tops and has been worn to work at least once per week since making it. 

« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 05:10:52 AM by Melinda_B »
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2018, 02:04:35 PM »
Whilst shopping for Dress Shorts yesterday (need them for monday, didn't have time to sew) I found a navy linen skirt that I loved the pockets on.  The skirt itself was nothing special, and I found the styling really not to my taste (gathers in the centre front and elasticated back) but those pockets!  Slanted double welt pockets, on navy linen.  Gorgeous.

I may replace the navy Jade skirt with a navy linen skirt, or possibly the navy jeans.  But I have 1.25 metres of heavyweight dark navy linen on it's way to me.  I do need to draft the pattern (Sure-fit to the rescue) and sew up a toile.

Am also thinking about lining the skirt, to help reduce the linen wrinkling.
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 06:35:19 AM »
The linen arrived and it is divine!  Lovely and thick, wonderfully opaque, and a beautiful dark navy.  It's been through the washer and dryer twice now and has softened and has hardly any wrinkles in it.  Now to draft the skirt and find time to make it.

Also bought an airbrush today, to help with my AC jacket for the SWAP, and also because the idea of painting on fabric is fun! 
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/

Offline Melinda_B

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Re: Melinda's Working Wardrobe SWAP (no comments in this thread please)
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2018, 05:37:01 AM »
Cross-posted from the SWAP discussion thread:

I'm going to officially 'resign' from SWAP.  I just seem to have lost interest in making the garments that I had planned.  And I have a pile that I want to make, that don't fit SWAP, and find that I look at them and think "I should be working on my SWAP" and then feel guilty so I don't sew anything. 

I know I don't need to resign really, but I feel that I need to acknowledge it's not working for me right now. I suspect if I had been able to jump in in January when it was all fresh I would have been closer to finishing.

What I have gotten out of SWAP - Four garments that are in constant rotation.  Several ideas for future garments.  Putting the SWAP plan together taught me a lot about planning, which is something I tend to lack, and end up with orphans. 

Maybe a 6PAC would be a good next step, both shorter and simpler.

I'll still be following along, and very interested to see what everyone else makes!
Melinda

Perth, Australia
Personal Blog - https://melbrennan.com/