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Boppingbeth's Wash and Wear Elegance Eileen Swap

Started by boppingbeth, December 18, 2018, 04:32:37 pm

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December 18, 2018, 04:32:37 pm Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 06:51:18 pm by boppingbeth
Starting with Art:

Eileen try two.  I am basing my SWAP on Eileen Fischer's amazing basics concept and a wish to make something that will fit both my wash and wear lifestyle and my 5'1" not so slender frame.

A lot of the inspiration clothing photos for my SWAP are collected here https://www.pinterest.ca/boppingbeth/swap-2018/  Eileen is known for flattering simple shapes with expensive lovely fabrics.  I spent most of last year getting the basics down in terms of patterns and fit but I didn't manage SWAP.

Her basics are tanks, tees, and pants in black and cream.  I'm going for my standard colours: black, grey and cream base and adding in my usual colour accents: blue, rose and plum with a little dash of green.  (Yes, I know there are too many there at the moment; I expect I will do a Ruthie and sew more than I need and then mix and match to make it work).  I have lots of black basics but not so many grey or cream basics.

Black Basic Core:

Stone Basic Core:



Pull on knit and stretch wovens will be based on the Mama Fit Pant Pattern which I have made about ten times since I purchased it.  Right now the plan is narrow leg, comfort waistband, pockets, in grey and cream. I own a pair of full legged pants with pockets already that I made before the rules came out.  I may add a pair of black straight leg pants to this that can be rolled up and down.

Knit Tank Top: Freedom Tank top by P4P.  Again, I've made this one many time so it is a real basic for me--grey, cream, black
Tank dress: either a sleeveless StyleArc Linda dress pattern, shortened to knee length; black rayon poly lycra or the ballet style dress in black with three quarter sleeves.  This is a basic I need to own and would likely wear all the time.       
Tee Shirt:


A slightly different concept:

I like nine of the pieces.  I will never wear the poncho.



December 23, 2018, 09:20:28 pm #3 Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 06:04:47 am by boppingbeth
I'm not totally set on my colours or the art of my plan, lol.  I like the art but it doesn't reflect the dark/muted side of my colouring.  I am a dark winter/muted summer, more on the pink side of the scale than the peach side of the scale.  So, for fun, I am playing around with a colour sampler program by Sherwin-Williams and a lot of images. 

Readers playing along at home will notice that I like pictures that have similar colours.

If you are interested in trying it, it is here:


December 23, 2018, 09:24:33 pm #4 Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 06:06:04 am by boppingbeth
This is a lot closer to the colours I actually wear, particularly the green and the caviar black.


And in a totally different direction:
A scarf from kathkath.com called Midnight Rose

with the colours extracted. 

Interesting how only the pinks got shown when I see a lot of blue and purple in this scarf.


A better discussion of patterns relating to the EF concepts starting with the Core Eight.

First up: Bateau Layering Tank which is a woven boxy shell in silk crepe, and a pair of stretch crepe slim pants, aka pencil pants in a basic colour.  The greys she uses come and go but there are always black and natural/cream basics in the core.   

EF slim leg pants are generally ankle length pants. Readers at home will recognize that any pull on slim pant can be used as a base for the pant pattern.  I am going to use the Mamacandoit Fit Pants pattern found here: https://mammacandoit.com/collections/women/products/fit-pants-pattern-women-sizes-00-20.  It has pockets and I already have the pattern adjusted to fit me.  I know it will work for this wardrobe concept.  But any slim leg pants pattern will work. 

The layering shell comes in two lengths: a high hip length (the boxy shell) and a low hip length (the long layering shell) but they are essentially the same pattern shape.  The closest I came to finding a pattern that works for this is the Tank from the Mixit Pattern from Sewing Workshop, found here:

To get the different hem lengths and variety, there will need to be some pattern making but it is a pretty straight forward type of pattern making. 


December 24, 2018, 06:51:54 am #10 Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 07:09:58 am by boppingbeth
Next outfit with basics:

This is a layering tank, which is the slimmer knit version of the tank top, a pair of straight leg pull on pants in crepe and a nice sweater with texture. 

Most of the time the layering tank is made in organic knit (natural or black) but EF sometime recreates the tank in interesting fabrics like stretch velvet and silk knits.  If the top is created in colours, there is often an interesting layer top made of a coordinating fabric (think interesting twin set).  Here is a neutral coloured example of a 'twin set':

I have two different options for patterns for the knit layering tank.  Both are Patterns for Pirates patterns.  P4P drafts for a 5'4" hourglass/curvy figure with an ample behind.  This means I don't need to do a lot of work except for shorten the pattern to the right point for my body.  I prefer the Free Spirit tank top because it is fitted at the bust but not so fitted at the waist and it is easy to change all the other things about the hem lengths but the Essential Tank pattern is closer to the EF concept.

Essential Tank Pattern: https://www.patternsforpirates.com/product/essential-tank/
Free Spirit Tank Pattern: https://www.patternsforpirates.com/product/free-spirit-tank/

For the straight leg pants (which are made of stretch crepe or stretch organic cotton or linen, depending on the season), I'm going back to the Mamacandoit Fit pattern, and possibly sizing up one size depending on the stretch of the fabric.  The pattern includes all the leg styles you could ever want, and all the leg lengths. 


The current System Dress is a tank style dress:

My version will be shorter because just above knee length is more flattering on my body.  But this is the Essential Tank Pattern in the long length.
Essential Tank Pattern here:

I actually prefer the old Ballet Style system dress which has three quarter sleeves and a three quarter circle skirt.  It is up in the air which I will end up making, but the pattern I adapted is this one with sleeves added from the Favourite Tee pattern from P4P.


Other System Pants:

Jogger Style pants, usually knit but can also be very light weight silk crepe, always with pockets and narrow width at the ankles, but with or without ankle details like elastic or cuffs.

These are you 'daily sweat pants' in silk crepe, lol.

For knits, if I am not using the Mamacandoit Fit Pants pattern (yes, I do beat that pattern to death, why do you ask?), the Greenstyle Brassie Joggers pattern is a good alternative.

For the silk/crepe woven versions, the Tessuti Suzy Pants pattern is the one I like, mostly because the waist is flat.


The other System Pant is leggings.  Lengths can vary (usually capri or long), fabrics can be organic knit, rayon/lycra knit or stretch velvet if you are feeling exotic.  And sometimes they have the skirt included (which is something I love to wear) but they are leggings. 

I like the free P4P leggings pattern found here, with the optional (also free) shaped waistband found in the extension pack.  It holds everything in. 

And the Ursula Skirted leggings pattern, found here, with the skirt lengthened about five inches:


December 24, 2018, 08:02:02 am #14 Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:19:34 am by boppingbeth
Last, but not least, are the full leg pants, usually cropped style, like these ones shown with a system tank and an interesting vest layer (again, think weird twin set)

These pants can be really full legged (like the ones in the picture) or less full legged, like these ones:

EF varies the fabrics depending on the season, anything from linen and light weight denim to silk crepe and velvet.  Hems can be long or around four inches above the ankle (strangely useful in snowy weather because the hems do not get wet).

I don't have a favourite pattern for this yet.  The P4P pj pants pattern in the capri length, found here, works for the slimmer style but it doesn't have pockets. 

Alternates for these pants are the pants from the My Swing Set pattern, found here:

Or, the good old classic one seams:

Honestly?  Of the three, I am more likely to do the P4P pattern.  It fits and it is flattering.  It just needs pockets. 


December 24, 2018, 08:39:39 am #15 Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 08:53:26 am by boppingbeth
Where things get tricky for my body shape: the EF boxy top.

EF loves boxy tops these days.  Drop shoulder, narrow sleeves, lots of body width. 

Let's be honest here.  A boxy top really only looks good on someone who is tall and fairly rectangular.  On someone my shape (short, curvy, hourglass) this style makes me look like a blob or a snowball. Even when I was at my thinnest, this was not a look I could get away with.  It is comfortable but it isn't my best option unless I am going for look number three, that is sheer over a more fitted shell.  I can sometimes get away with look 4, sometimes, if the top hits at the high hip, has visual interest around the neck and is a soft and light fabric.  But it isn't my best option. 

If I am going to go for this look, I need side shaping.  Something along the lines of the Pumpkin Spice Dolman from P4P

which is found here:

But, I do better with less ease, like the p4p Sweet Tee, found here:

Another option is the new Jalie pattern which is free. 

The jury is out on whether or not I will even attempt this style. 



The 'twin set' concept done EF style.
Very basic top with a matching interesting overlayer sweater or jacket

This is a pomegranate notch collar jacket in boiled wool and a matching silk layering shell paired with dark wash jeans. 

Grey silk layering shell matched with an interesting textured sweater layer.

Similar idea in winter white, with a long layered cardigan and the matching layering shell.


Ok--so what do I really NEED to sew? Um, nothing.  I keep sewing capsules and coordinated wardrobes and I have lots of things for winter.   I already own a lot of black items.  What I need is items that transition between winter and summer, items that work together in that awkward in between. 

Black basics:
- black skirted leggings
- black layering tank top.
- some kind of black layering piece
- a black dress (style to be determined)

Winter white:
--pants, stretch cotton with pockets, straight leg from the knee down so they can roll up and down
--tank top, winter white in the longer layering length, freedom tank top pattern
--some kind of winter white layering piece

--mid-weight blue tank top
--blue button up top or denim jacket

--Cherry tank top
--Cherry jacket



Ok, anyone else playing along go totally off script before they started?  It is not just me, right? 

I had the sewing plan from last year.  It was a bit on the boring side but it followed the EF concept of classic basics with a little icing to make it interesting.  Of course, the fact I didn't finish sewing the wardrobe plan the last time should have told me something. For fun, and because I didn't feel like cleaning the sewing room, I spent the last three days watching Silhouette Pattern sewing videos.  If you watch the wardrobe videos through, you realize they used concepts from EF (number of tops and bottoms, lengths of tops, etc.) but they changed the patterns and colours to reflect the taste of the seamstress.  In the example wardrobe, they switched out the pant for a skirt in one case, and they changed the ratio of knit to woven tops.  I don't know why it blew my mind.  I've been wardrobe sewing for a long time.  I get the whole 'sew a couple of sets of basics and then add wow' and fun.   But it made me rethink my plan.

Case in point: EF uses a pencil skirt as her basic 8 skirt.  I don't wear pencil skirts--they are too restricting for my life and job as an elementary school teacher.  I wear clothing that is neat but allows me to move--skorts, maxi skirts, gypsy skirts. If I want a skirt in my wardrobe, I need to find something that works for me that I would make many different ways in many different fabrics that has a silhouette that works for my body. Enter the 18 gore skirt. 

As usual, the pattern illustrations do nothing for me.  I hate her illustrations and photos; I don't think they do justice to the patterns in any way.  I would never have even looked at that pattern without watching the skirt episode.  But this skirt pattern is fitted around the hips and flared at the bottom and I would absolutely wear that skirt. 

In fact, last night I went into the sewing cave and played with my 8 gore skirt pattern from Jalie in order to create an 18 gore skirt pattern for me.  It took two tries--my first sample fit my friend who is a size 22 (fourteen gores was just about right on me lol), but since it looked amazing on her I just finished it and gave it to her and tried again.  Now I have a bright red 18 gore skirt that hubbie said: that looks nice on you. And a plan for at least five more from the sewing resource cave.  And the realization that I didn't finish last year's plan because it did not work for me.   


Ok, this is the 'last minute suzy' version of SWAP, aka whatever I can finish in two weekends.

Black set
black dress (ballet style dress with 3/4 sleeves and inseam pockets)
black casual pants (finished)
dark wash Eleanor jeans

I have five different black sweaters I own that will go with this set to make an interesting twin set so I don't need to make another one

Blue set:
blue casual pants
blue tank top (already made)
blue cardigan sweater (matches the tank top)
white floral cowl neck sweater top

wild card options:
blue striped top
rose knit dress
rose cardigan sweater
green tank top
green cardigan sweater
white casual pants
white tank top
white lace sweater top