Now that I’ve got the coat making out of the way I can concentrate on my sewing plans for the coming year. I’ve done a review of 2019 here & found that goal setting & taking part in challenges really works for me, so there will be more of the same in 2020.

I’ve sewn up 4 of my 2nd Make 9 grid, which I called an Autumn/Winter plan, so I’ve got these 5 to sew & I’ve got the fabric earmarked for them so they should be sewn up before Spring as I’m still keen to sew these & the 2 jackets will be more appropriate for the milder weather.

Challenges

There’s quite a few challenges that are going on throughout the year that I will dip in & out of just for a bit of fun. The MAGAM Sewalong has a monthly theme which is announced on the 1st of the month. The first was Genuine January, the interpretation was quite broad but I decided to incorporate this with a few other challenges that were running too & entered the Palo jeans from the Named Breaking the Pattern book. My interpretation of Genuine was that they had been made entirely from scraps & old pairs of jeans, so fitted my frugal ways. Even better Februarys theme is Free – my favourite word! For this I made the Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee, which is a free pattern, made with free fabric that I picked up at a meet-up – double free even better!

Sea of Teal also has a year long challenge to #SewYourWardrobeBasics. Januarys theme was denim, so I also included the Palo jeans in this. February is stripes, so I managed to use both the jeans & the Mandy boat tee for both challenges, which pleased me no end .

I’ve also been taking part in the #sewadresseachmonth hosted by @killerkitch13. Now you may think I’ve already got enough dresses but this one is specifically aimed at sewing vintage or vintage replica patterns. I’ve accumulated quite a few over the past year, some that aren’t in particularly great condition, so probably not worth a lot but I love the challenge of working with the old patterns, as I learn such a lot from them. I usually have to size up but the one that I had for January had to be taken in a little bit. Also the skirt pieces were missing for one of the views, so I had to apply a bit of creative thinking to make it work.

I wanted some dresses to wear with the Princess coats that I was sewing & thought that these 2 dresses would be perfect for each style of coat. I managed to squeeze the fuller skirted one out of the lining fabric from my full length red coat. I found the animal print on the Minerva website, it has a little bit of stretch so, I could eliminate the zip, always a bonus in my book.

Sewcialists Challenges

Sew the precious is another year long challenge run by the Sewcialists, encouraging us to use up our precious fabrics, whatever your definition of precious is: expensive, treasured bought on a trip. I have made a conscious effort recently not to be afraid to cut into ‘the good stuff’, what I need to stop doing is toileing in fabric that I don’t particularly love & then not sewing the garment up in the intended fabric! I have a couple of fabrics that I bought on various trips abroad that I want to get used up this year, so will definitely be joining in with this one.

The February Challenge for the Sewcialists is denim & I have 3 large pieces of denim in my stash – (don’t know how that happened!), so I will use this prompt as an opportunity to get at least one piece sewn up.

The Great Module Sewalong

So, although I’m not going to plan another Make 9 just yet I am going to participate in @TomKatStitchery’s Great Module Sewalong, which is running until March 24th. I’ve got a trip to Switzerland planned at the end of February & will need some warm clothes. The idea is to sew one topper, (a coat/jacket/blazer/cardigan), 3 tops & 2 bottoms & that all the items can be worn together & coordinate. I’ve fancied sewing like this for a while & even touched on it in this post but so far have never got around to it. I’m keen to use as much fabric & patterns that I have in the stash as I can but without it limiting me too much.

Starting with a colour story!

I did intend to delve into looking into my Seasonal colour palette & did a quick free quiz over on the Kettlewell site here. It was no surprise that I wasn’t an Autumn or Winter but I was never sure whether I was a Spring or Summer. This particular quiz resulted in me being a Summer & I must confess that these are the colours that I am mostly drawn to but there looks to be a lot of choice there. There are lots of other ways of assessing your colours, such as the Colour Me Beautiful & Dressing Your Truth Systems & I think that I will delve a little deeper into this at some point but these colours below are definitely what I am drawn to, whether they suit me or not is a different thing!

So, I had a bit of a stash dive. Given that my favourite colour is blue & I have LOT of blue fabric, it’s no surprise that you can see a lot of it in various shades in the picture below but I am trying to push myself a bit & I thought that if I started with the patterned piece in the bottom left hand corner & tried to build a module around that it may just give me a starting point. I know that there are more than 6 pieces of fabric here but this was just my starting point & I think that I will probably do more than 1 module too. I have plenty of fabric to go at!

Top left: Navy Viscose Jersey, Right: Red Boucle
2nd Row left: Lightweight cotton navy & red origami birds, Right: Navy stretch cotton twill
3rd Row Left: Teal silk & acetate crepe de chine, Right: Teal boiled wool
Bottom left: Lightweight floral viscose with teal & red, Right: Indigo denim

I think the colour palette below, picked from the summer range closely resembles what I have come up with in my fabric choices, maybe the shade of red os a bit off but it’s what I’ve got & I think that in the flesh the red boucle isn’t as bright as it is in the photos.

Choosing the Patterns

Whitney @ TomKat Stitchery suggests using patterns from the same company as, theoretically, the fit should be the same on them all, so once you get the fit right for one the others shouldn’t require a lot of work. I’ve gone backwards & forwards trying to decide which patterns to use. Seamwork came up with a rather handy little winter travel capsule wardrobe that I like the look of. I love how it works together & have most of these patterns, except the trench coat, as I’m not fond of the collar on this one & I have the Sew Over It Anna trench 95% made, which I could pull out of hiding & fix that damned lining! See this blog post about that particular drama.

Seamwork Winter Travel Wardrobe
Top L-R: Nora, Neenah, Oliver, Akita
Bottom L-R: Dezi, Dexter, Francis

I also bought some Stylearc patterns before Christmas that I’ve never got around to making up, see below, along with the Closet Case Patterns Rome Collection & Sienna Maker Jacket. I also have the Sew Over It Work to Weekend Capsule wardrobe so I’ve got plenty of options, it’s just a case of having the time to make it all up before we go.

Decisions, Decisions …

In the end, just to be contrary, I have decided to go with a combination of the Seamwork & the Stylearc collections with other things thrown in, as sometimes you just have to let the fabric speak to you!

Starting with the tops – the red boucle was a remnant that I picked up at the Manchester Sewing Bee meet up, so I only had an offcut & it screamed Toaster sweater by Sew House 7 to me & will be much needed for the trip that I’m making. I feel that I also need a turtleneck to layer under other garments, so I will make the Neenah from Seamwork with the navy viscose jersey. (The Neenah is actually a dress pattern but I have made it as a top before). As I’ve made both of these patterns before, I know that they fit & are relatively quick to sew up. The lightweight floral viscose will be the Ascot tunic from Stylearc, I can wear the navy Neenah underneath, along with a black one that I made last year.

Because we are doing a lot of sight seeing & it’s going to be cold I’m going to eliminate skirts from this module & concentrate on trousers. I think that the blue stretch cotton twill will make a lovely pair of Mia jeans from the Sew Over It work to weekend wardrobe, again, I’ve made these before, so no fitting issues, unless I’ve put on weight, which is highly possible! The colour of them will be a bit smarter than regular jeans, so fine for an evening out with the tunic or another nice top. If I get time before we go, I will make another pair of Palo jeans out of the dark Navy denim, all one colour this time with an adjustment to the crotch & lengthened from cropped to full length. I love the fit of these around my waist & backside & want to take the time to make them again, so won’t rush this, as I’ve got another pair of black Mia jeans that I can substitute in for the trip, if time is running short. This will also use up a piece of denim for the Sewcialists challenge.

Finally the topper. This will be the Stylearc Parker coat in the Teal boiled wool but is definitely not going to be finished before we travel. The pattern is for an unlined coat, so may not be warm enough for where I’m going but will be fine for Spring here, if it ever stops raining! This boiled wool has been sitting in my stash for probably 3 years now & hopefully there will be enough, there’s no pattern matching & I like a challenge, so it should be ok. The beauty of this palette is that I’ve already got plenty in my wardrobe that I can mix & match into it, including the stripey Mandy Boat tee & Palo jeans I made earlier in the year plus I’ve got lots of other ideas & fabric matches for more modules in the Spring.

So that leaves the lightweight navy cotton with the origami birds which will either be a Kalle shirt dress with long sleeves, to wear over the jeans & turtleneck or the Deer & Doe Melilot shirt, I bought both the Melilot pattern & fabric at the Manchester meet up. The teal silk/acetate mix will probably be a self-drafted dress, because I’ve got to have a dress! I’ve recently been on a pattern drafting course & have a vision of a V-necked semi fitted shift dress, with a large bishop sleeve & deep cuff. This may be a little overly ambitious for my first pattern draft but I can give it a go! More on the pattern drafting course later!

So that’s it. A lot of toing backwards & forwards for this but a useful exercise for me. I’ve got fabric for a lot of the items in the Seamwork collection & will definitely make the CCP Sienna maker jacket at some point as I have fabric for that too, along with the rest of the make 9 for Autumn/Winter, so I had better get sewing.

Have you got swept up with the idea of sewing in modules & planning your makes or do you prefer to see where your mood takes you? Let me know in the comments below.

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