Monday, 19 October 2015

Project 333 Autumn 2015

Thought I would share what I have chosen for my autumn Project 333, I have been wearing most of this from September and it will run until the end of November, as long as the weather doesn't get too cool too early.  This will be the fourth time I have done Project 333 and it's working fairly well for me.  I'm not too hung up on 33 items, if I need something out of 'storage' I'll get it.  I suppose that's the tricky bit, planning for weather changes.

These are my colours.

Gray, navy, teal, wine, amethyst and rose pink.

Project 333 autumn 2015

First of all I pick ten main items ( as per the dailyconnoisseur's ten-item-wardrobe) This year for me that is 3 trousers, 1 skirt, 4 dresses and 2 blouses.


Dark denim slim jeans (Meandem)
Gray slim jeans (Meandem)
Fuchsia trousers (Toast)


Maria Denmark Yasmin yoke skirt


 - Liberty Lantana Cappuccino dress

 - Denim Curlew dress from Merchant and Mills Workbook

 - Wine Gallery dress by Liesl & Co

This is a recent addition.

 - Teal Bettine dress by Tilly & the buttons

This one has short sleeves and the length is quite short so might have to do some layering.


Sewaholic Patterns Oakridge blouse

Weekend getaway blouse by Liesl & Co

So those are the ten main items, then I have extras to make up to a total of 33 items.  This includes some more tops, including jersey tops, leggings, a couple of sweaters and cardigans, 3 coats and in total 5 footwear.  (3 ankle boots, 1 long pair of boots and 1 pair of flat brogues.

I don't include accessories or jewellry in the 33 items, although I have restricted my choices by only keeping out certain items to use in the 3 months, the rest get hidden away.  This season I also got rid of some more of my original hand made items which were starting to get fairly worn, either that or they just didn't suit or fit me.

It is an on-going process, I have dramatically reduced the amount of clothing I have compared to a few years ago.  As a sewer you have to be quite disciplined as there are so many sewing patterns being released now, but if you have less items overall it really helps you to ascertain what does really suit you as you won't want anything in your precious 33 items that isn't getting worn on a regular basis and that you don't enjoy wearing.

It also makes you a lot more disciplined when you get those 20% off emails coming into your in-box. Once you have chosen your items you don't have to think about buying until the next season. (in theory)

I have enjoyed reading about Slow fashion October and I suppose it has made me realise I need to be aware of how I choose my fabrics for dressmaking and try to make more items with a view to longevity and be more sustainable.  Last weeks theme was 'loved' the ideas being to pick an item that is your most loved, most frequently worn, proudest accomplishment.  I gave this a lot of thought and instead of picking one item, I have chosen the accomplishment of this autumn's ten item wardrobe.  I love the colours and most of the styles, I never set out to make 80% of my clothes when I started dabbling 3 years ago but the more you do it, the more you realise how good it is.  I'm far from an accomplished sewer but certainly glad I started.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Liesl & Co Gallery dress

So this is the Liesl and co Gallery dress, I bought the pattern when it first came out but have been deliberating over it since then, but now that autumn is well and truly in full swing I thought it would be a good transition dress to see me into winter.

The fabric I have used is from Clothspot, it is a damson suiting fabric, a mixture of viscose and polyester and is light to medium weight, which has a black thread running through it too.  I think I can layer up with a fine polo or crew neck top when the weather gets colder.

The dress has an inset front placket, I used some Liberty for the facings (some leftovers from my hubbies shirt, which is a paisley tana lawn called Bourton), the burgundy in it is a great match.

At the back there is an inverted box pleat, which gives a little detail, and the curved shirttail hem is slightly longer at the back than at the front.

There are also in-seam pockets, I also used the Liberty for them so they aren't too heavy.  you can just about see a little peak of it in the photo.

For the dress version, there are full length sleeves with a button cuff.  The method of attaching the cuff is nice and neat and worked very well.  I have a bit of a phobia of making buttonholes, the pressure of getting them nice and neat.  The horror of getting to the end of a project and then for your machine to chew it up at the buttonhole stage!! But, thankfully this did not happen, phew!

And how is it that no matter how many buttons we have in our stash, you still never have the right ones and have to take a mad race to your local haberdashery to buy some.  They didn't come out that well in the photo, but they are a wine and pink mixture, quite pleased, it's all in the details, isn't it?

So after all my deliberation about making it, do I like it?  Honestly, I'm not sure,  I think it's the sizing, I made a straight size 14, but I think I should have blended it to a 12 from the waist down, there just seems to be an awful lot of fabric down there.  The pattern itself has some lovely details and finishes and as it is Slow fashion October I took my time with it and generally I'm pleased with it.  I guess time will tell as to how much wear I get out of it.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Merchant and Mills Chambray Curlew dress.

I've wanted to do the Merchant and Mills Curlew dress for a while.  I made the sleeveless top version of it (here, if you want a wee look) and, in general, I liked it, but it was a little bit snug, so I made the next size up in the dress.

I used a drapey medium weight chambray denim which I bought in my local fabric shop Craftswomanfabric.  They have a great selection of all sorts of fabrics if you are ever in County Antrim.  It's perfect for using on the bias as there is almost a corded line effect which looks very nice on the diagonal.

 On the dress design the back is in two pieces and the two sections are cut on the curve which gives it shape.  As you can see there is some droop going on on mine, looks like there is too much fabric at that point, probably the curve of my back.  If I had more or any training I could probably do something about it but I'm not too bothered about it.

Diagonal lines cut on the bias.

 As with the top, I took my time to tape the armholes, neckline and the back curve to strengthen at these points.  Being on the bias means that there can be some 'drop' so a slight zig-zag stitch is used to counteract the stretch effect.

 I took 3 inches off the length, as I'm not keen on overly long dresses.  I prefer knee-length or just below the knee, just personal preference. (I am 5'5" just to give an idea)  I should also have checked the sleeve length before sewing as they are really long.  I have them rolled up for now but I reckon I would need at least a couple of inches off them, they are also pretty narrow which is a nice feature of the dress, but if you have larger arms you might need to widen the sleeve.  There is nothing too tricky about this dress, probably the hardest part was the actual cutting out of the fabric.  That was a crawl around the floor job, a bit hard on the knees!  Definitely worth taking your time over the little details though.

So that's another new item for my Ten Item Wardrobe, I think this will fit in very well, first time making anything on the bias and I think for those with some more .. ah hem, rounded bits it might even be a bit flattering.

I mostly wear flats or wedge heals during the day but I think it could look well with higher heeled shoes or long boots.

Monday, 5 October 2015

My Weekend Getaway blouse.

It's my favourite time of the year again, that 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'.  I love the arrival of autumn, to me it has always had a feeling of a fresh, new start.  Maybe it's the association with the new school year, but I love nothing more than putting summer clothing away and deciding on the autumn/winter attire.

Since I embarked on the combination of the Ten Item Wardrobe and theproject333 a few seasons ago, it has made be very selective about what I include in my wardrobe.  Each item has to really WORK for me in every sense, that is, colour, size, style to suit both me and my lifestyle.  I will expand on this a little in a separate post, but one of the pattern designers that I love is Liesl Gibson who has a few lines of patterns, namely the Lisette range (for Butterick) and the Liesl & Co patterns.  Nearly everything I have made from these ranges fits me well and I get a lot of wear from.  

So this pattern, the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway dress/blouse pattern has a lot to live up to.  I have made it in Atelier brunette viscose fabric called facet.  It's a geometric type print in a navy and black print purchase from misformake.  The pattern itself has been out for a while, I just thought I should give it a go.

I made it in a straight size 14 with a full bust adjustment of 1/2 inch (really well explained in the instructions) and I think it's a pretty good fit.  It's a very straightforward make.  Perhaps this fabric isn't the best for showing off the details of the pattern, there are pretty shaped pockets, cuffed 3/4 length sleeves, and full front facing and a back pleat.  It all blends in a bit too well with this fabric, I think plain fabrics would show the details off better.

Anyway, it's an easy-going style, relaxed fit, just pull over the head and that works for me, so it is part of my Autumn 2015 Ten Item Wardrobe. The only slight adjustment I might make is to sew the facing up another bit, it is just a little bit low for me, but we're only talking 1/2 to 1", not a big deal.

An addition to my 'project333' has been these lovely oxblood ankle boots, probably the most I have ever spent on ankle boots, but I reckon if you're buying less overall, you're better putting more money into things like footwear, coats etc.  I look on them as a long term investment.

Happy Autumn!