The debate is concluded; the discussion is completed; the negotiations and proximity talks are terminated and the rules are posted. It’s all happening at Stitchers’ Guild!
The Algebra SWAP ’14 – (3 X 3) +2 = 11
A sewing plan to make 11 garments in 4 months that creates a coherent and well thought out capsule wardrobe. At least that’s the aim – whether I get there, and arrive with cogent, coordinating clothes is another matter. This year’s rules are really simple and easy to follow –
Three separate outfits comprising one bottom, one or two tops, or a dress, or a jacket. Two wildcards.
Sewing starts in the 26th December. We can also start one item now and/or include something already in existence – RTW or previously made.
Last year I choose the colours navy and natural to make my SWAP ’13 and I must admit these clothes have been worn a lot. But when I changed the wardrobe from summer wear to the autumn/winter I noticed how dark all the clothes appeared – navy, grey, brown, dark green – and decided I needed colour to brighten the short, dark winter days.
Now where else does one get colour from, but from nature!
This was my starting point. The more I read about colour – the light spectrum, Newton’s experiments with a glass prism, the good old colour wheel: complimentary and contrasting colours – the more I was seduced by the idea of creating a wardrobe anchored in the rainbow.
I don’t want to look like a children’s TV presenter and I don’t want to stray into hippy-land, so my fabric choices will be paramount to creating clothes that are age appropriate, stylish and wearable, but still honour the concept of a techni-coloured wardrobe.
As I don’t possess a stash I can purchase the fabrics to suit. I think I’ll go for more muted, sedate versions of the colours but still spanning the spectrum. I also have some small issues with this idea: I associate lilac with traditional mother-of-the bride outfits which is just a wee bit too age-appropriate; and my complexion coupled with yellow makes me look ill. Red is a colour I generally use for accent rather than an whole item so I have a few hurdles to get over.
So far I’ve come up with this plan…..
Collection 1 is based in red/orange/yellow . A skirt, a shirt and an unlined jacket.
Collection 2 lies in the yellow/green/blue range. Jeans, a T-shirt and a lined jacket to match the T.
Collection 3 compromises indigo and violet. A skirt and two tops.
My wildcards are also rainbow based: a multi-coloured knitted jumper and a white blouse (mix all the colours together and you get white light). These two items should go with everything I’m planning and hence extend the mix’n’match aspect.
I’m also hoping that I can cross the colour boundaries and wear the yellow jacket with the purple skirt, the blue jacket with the orange skirt etc, to maximise the outfit choices.
All the patterns and fabrics are yet to be finalised and agreed upon but I’m slowly sorting through the styles (and taking inspiration from all your makes – so keep it up!) and taking lots of time online to check out the fabrics. I think I’ll start on the knitted jumper now because I knit so slowly and might just get it finished in time for the end!
In the meantime before the start sewing date, I have a posh frock to knock up. Our now traditional close friend gathering on New Year’s Eve requires evening wear and glam, even though we only party in each other’s homes on a tri-annual rotational basis. This year we are at K’s house and the black satiny thing I made for last year’s bash has now been cut up and used for lining and other things. It was only cheap poly anyway and not made to any great standards as I knew I’d only wear it once.
This year I’m planning to spend a bit more time and effort on the frock. Pattern Vault showcased the Scarlett dress designed by Juliana Sissons recently with a free pattern download from the V&A museum. This is a 1980s wild child dress: red, tight, backless and quite possibly, a knock ’em dead dress. There are lots of other links on Pattern Vault’s post – so have a read.
I’ve downloaded and tiled the pattern, ordered a red crepe with a bit of stretch but I really think I should make a muslin as the pattern only comes in 12 and I usually cut a 14, so there might be a bit of grading to be done.
The hairstyle I think I’ll leave for another time……