Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Pie Crust Promises and Plans

Well, I reached the end of 2014 with many semi-promised makes unmade. I won't go into these in detail - but there were way too many. DH feels I need to focus on making things for myself, though he's not averse to the jacket I'm planning to make him using the lovely thick Burberry wool I bought when we were in Harrogate. I need to find a suitable pattern as I'm not up to drafting one for myself, though maybe I’ll have to as I haven't found a suitable gents' patterns on my searching (and of course DH has to approve, possibly the most difficult part!). There don’t seem to be many around. Anyone any ideas? I took a photo on my phone of a jacket that was fairly near the idea but it is so out of focus that I can't use it.

The other promises, those that I intend to honour, are New look 6048, a Project Runway summer dress with fairly full skirt, for DD2:
a tweed mini skirt for DD3 using a basic McCall’s 3830
or Style pattern (1961 or 1987 - both pretty old patterns and not on any database I found) and possibly a further, modified, New Look 6047 blouse for DD1.
I'm afraid my daughter was ill when she took this photo.

DD1 likes the blouse as she likes simple cuts. She finds it a touch low, by the sound of it, but said that she could fit a camisole underneath, so it sounds as if there is too much ease. I had done a FBA so perhaps I need to keep this but make a smaller size. She would also like it a little longer.  Our plans to visit after Christmas have also fallen through because of illness so I haven't seen the blouse on my daughter as yet and she hasn't been up to taking any different views.
I re-start my sewing and pattern cutting classes in mid January and have one more sewing bee next week. In the college sewing class, we're going to be looking at trouser skills and then make a pair of trousers, to fit. Making a well-fitting pair of trousers is something I have aimed towards. I started fitting using the Sure Fit Designs system even before I started on my current path. I made some pretty acceptable but not perfect muslins but I was actively losing weight at the time and as a result, the fit was off every time I tried it. I'm afraid I've put most of that weight back on - but not for long. I do plan to get rid of it again. In a previous class I attended, I started to make a pair of pants from a Palmer Pletsch pattern McCall's 6901, but the summer break then life events stopped me continuing - and the fit was horrendous, even after tissue fitting, so I've had no desire to pick it up again, but pick it up I will do and  either finish or jettison in the next few weeks.  I also need to finish the skirt I started making using the same McCall's 3830 pattern I'm considering for my daughter's skirt, above. Until I finish these two and finish the alterations and repairs for DD3, I'm best not to start anything else. However, I do plan to better document both my stash and my makes.
McCall's 6901. This looks slim fit - mine were most definitely not!!

My youngest daughter has long wanted a mini skirt made from our family tartan. This is not a tartan in current production (I don’t know if it ever was - certainly not in the years we tried to find it) but a few years ago my husband sourced a 'pattern' for the two tartan variants, the dress (rusty orange red) and the hunting (moss green) and a mill in the borders of Scotland willing to weave it. It cost a pretty penny as there was a minimum quantity required and each yard was pricey anyway. DH ordered the minimum quantity of double width heavy weight hunting tartan. When it was on the loom, he was called to see it and took a bottle of malt (whisky - Dalwhinnie in this case) with him to toast the tartan with the weavers. He got a kilt made from some of the tartan (there's 8 yards of tartan in a kilt) but there's a fair bit left over.
You can just see the kilt (hunting tartan) in this photo,
though the tartan itself is clearer - there's some double imaging here. I wish I had a better view.
The ghillie shirt was one of my first ever makes last year. I entered it in a Pattern Review competition for men's wear. It has never been worn since! Now that I have a modern sewing machine, I could have completed the neckline closure, which I couldn't do at the time. And the fabric would be more suitable next time around.

The tartan is really a bit heavy for a skirt for my daughter - and I have quite liked the idea of a long straightish skirt perhaps in tartan but more likely a complementary colour. Women aren't supposed to wear tartan and a tartan skirt alongside the kilt would be too much in any case. So we need to get more tartan woven in a lighter weight.  I'm not sure whether we'll choose the hunting or the dress. We haven't checked to see whether the mill is still in business but need to do so soon. It’s not really worth ordering just for a mini skirt, though, but perhaps we need to do it anyway.

I have been looking in the after Christmas sales and have bought nothing. Not a stitch of clothing. I nearly bought a pair of bargain Jaeger trousers but they were a little large in the waist, so I decided not to - I’m at my maximum weight at the moment. There was also a lovely brown leather jacket which was almost perfect - but the shoulders were a little wide for me.  The smaller size didn't accommodate my hips. I tried on and rejected quite a few other items.

This led me to realise

1.   It's not a bargain if it doesn't fit well, so I end up not wearing it

2.   Cost should not be the prime motivation in purchasing

3.   I need to consider colour more carefully

4.   I need to be sure that any new garment would fit into my wardrobe (literally as well as metaphorically!)

5.   Any garment needs also to fit into my lifestyle.

6.   I'm becoming much fussier, thinking 'I could do better than this' or asking why I should buy something imperfect to alter or tolerate

7.   I have too many clothes already.

8.   Like many, a small percentage of my clothes are worn repeatedly.

9.   I need to discard clothes before I can have more - there is literally no room for more!

Oh, and I have nothing to wear!


1.   I am going to spend on average 1 hour per day for the next month going through and culling my clothes. I am going to be ruthless.

2.   I am going to follow a plan - not sure which one yet - to identify a series of outfits I can wear with the clothes I have. I'm reading some blogs for ideas and already have a number of books including Colour Me Beautiful (I was considered a summer years ago but sometimes wonder if I've moved more to winter with my silver grey hair. I might try to get retested)

3.   I am going to identify any gaps in my wardrobe and construct a reasonable plan and timetable to fill those gaps.

4.   I'm going to bite the bullet in more ways than one and I'm going to sign up for the RTW Fast. Am I mad? I'm so slow. I'm not very proficient. Etc.  However,  I have lots of clothes so I shouldn't often be in the position of having a serious deadline (although I have always responded quite well to deadlines!). And it's not as if I can just go out and buy clothes anyway. My skills would hopefully improve dramatically over the course of the next year. I'm assuming of course that I can wear the RTW I have, can modify that which I already have to fit and can continue to purchase footwear, lingerie esp bras and jewellery. I'll check out the rules, though.

5.   I have downloaded an app to help me with the wardrobe planning

6.   Tidy and rearrange ‘sewing room’ aka dining room. A lot of my stuff was moved out for Christmas to allow full use of the dining room. Today we started to rearrange the room with a view to making the layout more sensible and I started to cull my books and magazines. There's already quite a difference. Tomorrow we'll start to move my sewing stuff back in but we plan to keep the big boxes of stash fabric elsewhere (though not sure where that is!) and I might get to start to sew early in the New Year.

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