SWAP Winter 2012

So, wanting to actually sew with a plan for the first time ever in my life because I really need a functional fall wardrobe this year, I’ve been reading, thinking, reading and thinking some more about Steph’s blog posts on colour and wardrobe planning.  I quote from one of her Conversant in Colour posts:

If you’re new to the process of wardrobing, I suggest starting with:

  • a basic topper with a bottom in a neutral (a suit, or a casual jacket/cardi and a bottom) (Use the Neutral Color)
  • a simple blouse/tee (Use Color 1)
  • a more “interesting” blouse/tee (Use Color 2)
  • another bottom (Use Color 1 or 2)
  • maybe with a dress in a color/fabric that harmonizes with the rest.

This would give you two tops, two bottoms, a “topper” and maybe a dress.  That’s eight outfits.  (Did I count right?)  If the idea of sewing a “topper” sounds scary and weird, then don’t sew it.  With the dress, that’s still 5 different outfits.

This is manageable.

Hmmm.  Manageable.  OK.  So, I know I need bottoms and tops, and I’d like to make a wool dress and a couple of jackets.  This is my list of needs:

  • LRD (wool crepe)
  • trousers (wool)
  • jeans/casual pants
  • fall coat – need this!  Big time! Probably should be first on the list.
  • Chanel inspired duster from last season (why not?  I’m never on trend!)
  • two or more blouses (I really need want pretty tops)
  • jacket or two

And now I need to marry fabric to the garments.  But what to do first?  Choose the designs and then the fabric?  Vice versa?  Or decide with the fabric/patterns in tandem?   This is new territory for me.  I’ve always shied away from the process of planning because I just wanted to get on with the sewing.  But I’ve come to the point where I really want things that look like they belong together in my wardrobe – not random stand-alone pieces.  What do you do? Have you ever sewn with a plan?  Did it work for you?

8 thoughts on “SWAP Winter 2012

  1. I have done one SWAP and it does help immensely with you home sewn wearing! It’s always worth a go and good to start with a small no. Of co ordination g items like you said! Good luck! X

  2. This is always confusing to me. I try to make a plan and then get side tracked. Now I try to focus on one outifit at a time. 2 pieces that will go together. Some times in the end they don’t look good together. Argh!

  3. Hello. Can´t help you much here! I never have a plan when I sew. Like you, I want to make functional clothes this time around ( no more pleaty pleats!) Carolyn from handmade by Carolyn has this thing that got stuck to my head, saying that when deciding what to sew, it should go with at least 5 or 6 (not sure right now) things in your cupboard. I´m happy if I find two!

  4. I’ve never done this but I think I’d have to start with fabric because it’s more difficult to find a particular kind of fabric than a pattern to with it – or it is round here anyway! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

  5. I sew a lot of wardrobes…I’m kinda obsessed with them because they make dressing so much easier. I take fabric & patterns and kind of work with both of them to come up with an idea for a collection but first I pick a color scheme. Knowing what color I want to emphasize really makes it easy to pull fabrics and patterns. Also, I tend to use a lot of TNT patterns in my wardrobes because to me the point is to get wearable clothes without a lot of fuss & fitting!

    I know you can do this. I’ll be following along and cheering you on because you will be thrilled at the end when you have 8 perfectly matched outfits!

  6. Great minds think alike! I just posted my fall/winter sewing plan inspired by the same post as you! ^__^ For some I already have patterns picked out, but I’ve left a few open for whimsy 😉

  7. Hey Tia–

    I suggest starting with fabric. I like to have a few little piles… I don’t stash as a rule, but right before I stitch a collection of garments I tend to amass a few lengths of fabrics. Some are for bottom, some for tops. Some I don’t know and throw in randomly to see if they work. Then separately I’ll pick a few patterns/designs I like and that I think will work together. Then I take out any patterns I don’t think will work with my fabric. Then I pick the simplest garment and get started. Or the garment that jumps out at me. Some people like to fully plan every detail of the process, but I find more often than not I spend hours making a list/storyboard and then it goes out the window while I’m sewing anyway. 🙂 Does that help at all? A bit?


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