Saturday, January 7, 2012

Palettable: Spring Basics

Your looking at the culmination of a lot of work. A freakin' lot of work. And my husband would like you to know he did half of it.

(BTW, don't bother clicking on it unless you're only interested in a larger view of the colour swatches. However, if you right click the image and open it in another tab, you will be treated to the loveliest digital artwork!)

As you can see, my spring colour-scheme is decidedly northern. Partly, this is because I live, uh, in the North. Partly it's because I just can't do the springy pastel palette. Oh, I like it. It's lovely and sunny. It just doesn't reflect the shades and tones I wear.

I've planned six garments over 12 weeks:
I've made the dress, the T shirt, the yoga pants and the skirt at least once before. The yoga pants need some pattern alteration. When first I made them, I didn't understand crotch depth and length. Of course, on reconstruction, what can't be improved?

This project is about making things pretty. Making things well. It's also about making things I know I'll wear.

Let's deconstruct the value of each piece, shall we?
  • V8413 dress is flattering. Every time I wear my wearable muslin, so many people comment on how elegant it is. But, secretly, it's comfortable and easy! I'm going to make it in bright orange doubleknit, a colour and fabric I do not shy away from.
  • Y'all know I worked that T shirt pattern hard. Just check out the 8 zillion posts :-). A T shirt is endlessly useful. Esp. one in a cheery jewel tone rayon jersey.
  • The grey, cotton jersey yoga pants are practical writ large. They're not exciting, but they'll probably get more use than any of the other items. If I sort out the pattern to reflect my crotch depth and length, I'll really have done myself a good turn for the future.
  • The culottes are the outlier. I haven't seen the pattern pieces yet (though it's on order). I considered altering the Clovers into culottes, but I don't know if it will work with my current level of experience. I would love for these to work so I can make them for all seasons. For these, I've reserved the darkest fabric - a brown-burgundy wool blend suiting. I just can't see them in a bright colour, though I will wear them with bright colours (acid yellow, anyone?). I imagine these will be an early spring garment.
  • The Ginger, well, this skirt is a joy. And I've reserved for the bias cut version of it the most spectacular of colours - a cerise wool-blend twill of such depth that I am overjoyed just to look at it.
  • The final top, with a scarf tie, walks the line between euro chic and American classic. I'm going to throw in a little bit of gamine by using a lovely rayon jersey floral that combines all of the colours in my palette.
Can you believe that I had 3 of these fabrics in my stash already? And that I still spent $150 bucks on fabric?? (That does include some stupidly expensive lace I bought for the current and future Ruby's .) I mention this a) because it horrifies me that I'm spending triple digits on clothing that isn't actually made yet and b) because I feel compelled to remind us all that sewing is freakin' expensive. But not as expensive as gorgeous RTW or designer clothing.

One other note, the croquis is much cuter than the last one, no? It's cuz I drew it from a posey photo, not from a dour posture appropriate for charting measurements. I heartily suggest you do this. I feel much more like Posey Croquis (P.Cro?) than that last drawing.

Any thoughts about all of this? I'd love to hear from those of you who have already undertaken one of these palette projects. Or from those of you who might do one soon. (I have to imagine that Colette Patterns will reintroduce its Spring Palette Challenge, as I know it was very popular.)


  1. I love cullotes! I have a vogue pattern, can't remember which designer, but it has been on my sewing wish list for a while!!!! Yay to trendsetters and fearless sewists!

  2. Look at that sassy croquis!
    I've just purchased that Vogue pattern in the sale so I can't wait to see what you do with it :)

  3. Culottes,great idea. I play golf but will NOT wear those little short golf skirts so the Butterick pattern could very well be the answer.

  4. Lovely palette, and I love your storyboard - everything is right there and accessible. I'll look forward to seeing your finished pieces!

  5. I love your fabric choices, and I think your wardrobe will be smashing. I'm shocked at the cost of fabric for your palette, but I suppose if you think about it, you could easily spend that much getting that much clothing at a mall store (and that's if you ignore the designer stuff completely). And yes, sewing is definitely expensive. Frustratingly so, since I've been eyeing a silk cotton for a couple weeks now that's $14/yard (I'd need 3), and just can't make myself do it.

  6. I actually have an easier way to make a wardrobe storyboard in Powerpoint, a basic Microsoft Office program. You can see both here and here. If you or anyone else is interested I'll do up a tutorial on my blog? I'm about to make my Spring-Summer 2012one so I could do it at the same time. Just let me know.

  7. That's a pretty palette. Nice work.

    The V8413 dress looks really tempting, would love to see a photo of your muslin on you or the form.

  8. Yes, fabric is expensive, but if you're making the clothes yourself, and custom altering them to fit you, then the money is well-spent. There is so much satisfaction to be derived from constructing clothes yourself. And I think that satisfaction trumps any expenditure you could make in a store for factory-made clothes that you'd probably have to alter anyway.

  9. Marina: We should get that ball rolling!

    lazystitching: You are going to love that pattern. Trust me.

    Anon: Very good idea indeed!

    Gail: Thank you! Did you do either of the Colette palette challenges? Something tells me you did but my memory sucks!

    CGC: Just throw in the towel (or the silk :-)) and go for it! About half of that bill was for 2.5 yards of lace, if you can believe it. If I'd thought about it too hard (as I have in the past) I would not have been able to justify the purchase. But then I wouldn't have the finished product!

    lsa: I totally have to check out those posts. Thank you!

    Susan: You would love the dress. You should make it :-)

    E: It's true. And I've come to terms with the fact that what makes all clothing look good is a) fit (first and foremost) followed by b) quality of fabric. If I'm going to do this, I'd better do it well.

  10. I offered a gaucho class this early Fall,(Kwik Sew 3433) but got no takers in spite of the super cute sample I made up. They were super easy to fit though, with many of the same excellent attributes of the Ginger skirt. I love the above the knee length on that Butterick pattern!

    I totally love the silhouette of Posey Croqui!

  11. Laura: I can't believe that! I would have taken it. You have to make them for yourself. Join our campaign to bring back the bottoms of the 70s!

  12. I adore gauchos and culottes and have often had a pair in the closet. My last pair is a good bit too large now so it may be time for new ones as I wear them all the time when I have them.

    The palette overall looks great and I can imagine it on you. Can't wait to watch it come into being.

  13. Oh I'm doing something similar - planning 6 garments that might actually match (for once!)I like the colours you've chosen, bright and cheerful and spring-like.

  14. M: As soon as you get into your new home you can make some :-) I'm starting the floral scarf neck top today.

    Kestrel: I really like the palette you have chosen too. Should be fun to bring it into being, yes?