After the success of my first make 9 I thought that I would lay down my plans for Autumn/Winter 2019. There are about a gazillion things that I want to make over the coming months & it is taking all my might not to just get stuck in & start but I think a more rational approach would be to step back, take a big breath & have a real think about what I need.
Assessing What I Already Have
I’ve been taking part in the #SewYourselfSustainable this month, (September) & one of the challenges was to do a Wardrobe audit & look for the gaps before steaming ahead & making more of the same. They produced this lovely graphic, which essentially compares Me-Made v RTW garments which you can then use to decide what to make (& maybe not). Here’s mine, I thought that they added the tights in as a joke but it turns out that there are patterns out there for them: Wolf & the Tree Tights Pattern – not for me at the moment, I have no clue where you would buy the fabric, anyway I couldn’t be bothered counting mine up, I have around 20 pairs at a guess, likewise for undies & bras, (more on bras later).
I love a checklist & it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done a full audit but essentially I have way more Me Made than RTW now but like many people, the favourites get worn a lot & a lot doesn’t get worn – a bit like the 80/20 rule – 20% of the stuff gets worn 80% of the time. In the main, though, I reach for my Me Made stuff rather than the RTW, so it’s time to let go of the ‘just in case’ stuff.
Out With The Old
A lot of my RTW clothes are ancient, I have a T-shirt that is around 30 years old, which I probably wore up until 5 or 6 years ago for dog walking. It’s faded but not holey, so I kept it for decorating & such. I have quite a few T-shirts like this & old work clothes, nothing particularly wrong with them but the tight arse in me won’t part with them but I think it’s time to send them for recycling or the charity shop. Most of my remaining RTW has come from car boot sales or charity shops, so have already had a 2nd lease of life. It’s a long time since I’ve been clothes shopping, with the exception of some of my underwear.
But getting rid of me made items is harder. There is a sentimental attachment to them that you don’t get with RTW, the hours not just making them but also choosing the fabric & the lessons that have been learned along the way. For these I am going to assess what fabric can be salvaged, I’ll do that too for some of the RTW.
For anyone who is in the UK Adele at Button & Pip has just launched a Me-Made Swap Shop, which is a fantastic initiative for anyone that wants to pass on their unloved Me-Mades & maybe give a new home to some-one else’s, any funds raised are going to Pancreatic Cancer UK. It’s being held at Sew Wardrobe on Saturday 2nd November 2019 10am – 3:30pm in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1AH. If you want to read more about it got to Adele’s blog or YouTube video: Button & Pip
Assessing My Style
I had a go at the Seamwork workbook a couple of years ago & thought I’d give that another shot, as my lifestyle has changed a bit since the last time that I did it. They have some good resources on their site, including downloads of all the line drawings of their patterns, so that you can add them to your plans. I’ve had mixed results with some of the Seamwork patterns in the past (see 2nd dress on the left in the re-purposing picture, it just didn’t do anything for me) but I’ve added a few in my make 9 as there are some good basics & I really need to make use of my membership.
I worked through the Style Workshop, which gets you to really think about what you wear & why. I have a slightly more casual going out wardrobe now, as we tend to walk to the pub at the weekend with the dog, rather than being out every Friday, Saturday night & Sunday afternoon, compared to a couple of years ago. We have also been on a couple of cruises in the past, which calls for more occasion wear, we haven’t been for a couple of years, so I have no need for any more ‘fancy’ dresses. I need easy to wear, comfortable clothes, in the main & smart dresses & separates for work. If you’ve got a spare couple of hours I can recommend it.
I’ve also had a look at the Love to Sew Worksheet produced after they did the Create Your Dream Wardrobe episode, (you need to subscribe to their newsletter & they will send a link) This is a bit quicker to work through I think & gets you to look at a few of your favourite items, as well as colours, prints & silhouettes that you like. I’m personally drawn to things that are smart, stylish & comfortable. I prefer neutrals & stripes but have quite a lot of florals too. & blue & pink are my favourite colours. I’d say that is pretty well reflected in the fabrics that I pulled out here, there’s a bit of teal in there too.
Another Rabbit Hole!
I’ve been watching TomKat Stitchery over on YouTube lately – (Told you I don’t go out as much!) – she has some really good tips about sewing in capsules taken from RTW capsule wardrobes. These are generally 6 items, so one ‘Topper’, a cardigan, say or a jacket/blazer, 2 bottoms, skirts/trousers/shorts & 3 tops. I think this can easily be translated into a make 9 plan with the addition of dresses/ jumpsuits & maybe a bag or a coat. (My first make 9 included a bag)
The theory is that if you have 3 capsules that work together, (or 2 make 9’s) i.e. 18 garments, you should have 200+ combinations of outfits so that you’re not wondering what to wear on a morning, especially as all the pieces should be able to be combined together. I’m not convinced that by adding a cardigan to an outfit that you have 2 separate outfits or that I will always have something different to wear for months on end with only 18 garments but I do like the idea so I’m going to give it a go.
Another tip Whitney gives is to sew a lot of patterns from the same pattern company, that way you will know the block that they are working from & have less fitting issues – this idea I do like – fitting is a ball ache quite frankly but a necessary evil.
I’d like to incorporate a couple of challenges into the mix too, to give me some deadlines to work with, #SewingStripySeptember run by the #sewingpatternsandprints girls, speaks for itself & I have a stripe earmarked. #SewFrugal19 run by Jay Jay @thecamdenstitch. This should be an interesting one as Frugal is obviously my thing, I’m hoping to do something with one of the dresses that need repurposing. #ScrappySeptember run by #magamsewalong to get creative with scraps & remnants of which I have plenty! See here Or maybe I could combine all 3 in 1!
In With the New
So after all that navel gazing what have I come up with? Without further ado here are my plans, using patterns & fabric that I already own:
I was originally going to make the Pauline y Alice Serra coat, which I bought the pattern for when it was released but I don’t have the fabric for this & I do have some denim but I think it would be fun to make this out of old jeans, as an upcyling project. Anyway a denim jacket is great to throw over most outfits I think & will be a nice challenging make. I will still make the Serra, when I find the right fabric.
I love a long sleeved top in the colder months, I have either the stripey jersey in the picture or a lovely pink rib that will work well for this pattern. I think it will be a staple & will probably make more than one – unless I have issues putting buttonholes in a stretch fabric!
I’d overlooked this pattern but saw it teamed with a Seamwork Danni, which I made last year & forced myself to wear last week as it is really low & needs something underneath, both the Elli & Emmie would work. I’m a bit concerned that it looks short in the pictures, so will probably need to lengthen it, someone remind me please! Any way fabric wise, I love the colour in the picture but don’t have anything in the stash & probably wouldn’t wear it but I think that the blue & white viscose pictured above the stripe would work & look good with jeans too – if I remember to lengthen it
Pearson & Pope Martha Blouse
Pearson & Pope are a new pattern company to me. I won 2 of her patterns in a the Sew Together For Summer Sewalong. The Martha looks quite simple at first but has that stripe feature & bias bound neckline, to give it enough interest, (both can be omitted). I will probably make a toile in a chalk blue viscose crepe remnant from the Named Solina Dress, (not shown) & then perhaps another in the off white viscose in the bottom right of the picture. You may be thinking short sleeved top in Autumn.Winter Sam – really, but I’m thinking menopause! If it’s cold I’ll wear a cardigan, I hate long sleeves under cardigans.
Vogue Patterns 9246 blouse
I had intended to make all of the garments in this collection to make it easier on myself for fitting but I think that the trousers are designed for a Ponte knit, which I don’t have & don’t think I’m ready for & I think I have nicer jacket patterns in my stash, (there will be another Jasika at some time, hopefully in navy). The blouse has remained, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be oversized, so will have a proper look before I dive in, I don’t like anything too big & baggy but again the off white viscose is also earmarked for this, there’s quite a lot & the Martha blouse only needs 70cm apparently.
Pearson & Pope Agnes Skirt
This is the work wear row can you tell! A pencil skirt, with pockets, I love the simplicity of this with some lovely couture touches on her website, that I’m looking forward to having a go at. I’ve got loads of potential fabrics, (none of them pictured!) but will try it in a navy linen to start with & if it works out well, there maybe a few in the pipeline.
Jalie Charlie Bomber Jacket
So on to the smart/casual. I won the pattern & fabric, along with the video tutorial by Crafty Gemini for this earlier this year & think a lightweight jacket, that is warm enough will be a bit smarter than my walking coat, when we wander down to the pub on a tea-time, (as long as it’s not raining).
Named Ruska Knot Dress
I’ve already made 3 patterns form this book, so I know that I don’t have to do much with the fit & it’s drafted for someone who is 5’8″, which is my height, so no lengthening required, (this is useful information btw, I don’t think it’s that easy to find out easily sometimes). I have the pink marled jersey knit earmarked for this. I can see this being a comfortable dress to wear, when shopping or out & about, with the denim jacket over it too.
DIYP Augusta Moto Jeans
I saw Diane @DreamCutSew had made these over on Instagram a couple of weeks ago & got the pattern while it was on offer. I think the pleated panel at the mid leg, gives it an interesting feature & will be something to get my teeth into. There are videos & tutorials about the fit too. This is the only pattern that I don’t have fabric for but I do have a voucher for Minerva to spend. I’ve inserted a bigger picture below so that you can see the details.
So that’s it for my Autumn/Winter plans, my wardrobe audit revealed I had plenty of dresses, so there is only one, I wear dresses a lot but otherwise I think I’ve got enough in there to mix and match together & with my existing wardrobe, navy blue features quite heavily, not surprisingly & I am using what I’ve got. What I haven’t done this time is give myself deadlines for when I need things making, so it will be interesting to see how many get made compared to last time. There will be, of course, other things that get made over the next few months, as I’ve recently joined the Minerva Makers team, so look out for me there. My first blog post for them goes live on the 27th of September, sneak peek below & I have received my next batch of fabric.