Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 Fall Capsule Wardrobe: The Planning Progresses

Thanks everyone, for commenting on my proposed fall sewing plans. Here's where things stand now (after one of those really "in your face" sew-planning days that yields as many questions as answers - and paper cuts):
  • I bought the StyleArc Danni Dolman dress, Emily Knit Top, Sunny Knit Top and Fiona Cardigan. (See here for tech drawings of each.) 
  • I put together one of those documents I like to make, outlining my fabric, pattern and pattern-with-fabric options. On page 2 you can see that I landed on these capsule collection choices: 
    • StyleArc Sunny Top (in Navy French Terry, if I can do it with 1.25 yards...)
    • Self-Drafted Kimono Sleeve Dress (Electric Blue Bamboo)
    • StyleArc Danni Dolman Dress (Lavender Modal)
    • True Bias Hudson Pants (in Slate French Terry unless I can't do the Sunny in 1.25 of Navy French Terry. Then I'll switch them cuz I think I can get short Hudsons out of a smaller yardage.)
    • Vogue 8323 (Lavender Modal or this blue (what a shock) Tencel/Wool jersey I bought from Fabrications a long time ago but don't seem to have any record of, like, anywhere. It's in my closet though. Should have enough of one of these.)
I dispute the required yardages given that I always shorten EVERYTHING by 3 inches. So I'm inclined to give some of my shorter yardages a try, if it seems possible.

What does this tell me about myself?
  • I'm embracing the knits big time.
  • I'm not into setting in sleeves, apparently, because every one of these options (that has sleeves) has a kimono sleeve of sorts.
  • I like making capsule collections of 5 items.
  • 4 of these will be work-worthy (if perhaps on Friday)
I spent Sunday aft making up documents, altering my TNTs (yup, if you go long enough, you've got to revisit and alter these things) and assembling downloadable patterns. Now I remember why I buy the ones in an envelope. Lord, what a time, paper, ink and tape suck. Still, it beats waiting. I think.

Here's a glimpse at what I was up to:

Sunny Cocoon Top 
StyleArc Sunny Cocoon Top. Yeah, those are my exceedingly brown feet (only part of me with colour).
Have you ever seen a pattern that looks like this? Seriously, I cut the 10 but I am vaguely afraid. It's very loose looking. I can tell (having done very prelim measurements) that I'm going to have to cut 4 inches off the length and 3 inches from the sleeves (or maybe the centre back?!) The sleeves are measured from the centre back and they're drop shoulder. This should be an adventure, she says optimistically.

Danni Dolman Dress
39 pages to create a dress that's 2 pieces and some ribbing. This is more than half of the floorspace of my sewga room...
Here's what's left after cutting - but note the cutting is rough. I've left space around the cut lines to make alterations...
More to the point, have you ever seen a dress that's effectively 2 pieces?? This thing may look hideous when finished (or not) but it ain't gonna take a long time to put together :-) I need to consider my alterations on this one. I think I'll compare my self-drafted dress (which is also a cut-on sleeve design) and consider shortening the sleeves, waist (to remove overall length), back piece (to remove fabric pooling at the low back and a slight restructure of the boat-esque neck. I'm really narrow in the shoulders so a boat neck for me is like an off the shoulder thing for someone else.

Vogue 8323: I had my biggest shock when I went to check on V8323, which I have only sewn once, back in 2012. OMG, people, in case I wonder if I've learned anything over the years, let this be my example. I am seriously scared by what I found, alterations-wise. Let's just say that I have no idea why I cut all of the excess length of the bodice from the shoulder height?! Actually I suspect it's cuz the armscyes were insanely long (a Vogue trend) and I didn't know what else to do. My originally altered sleeve head looked like a skinny disk. It was insane. I don't know how any of this could have come together into a tolerably adequately-fitting garment. I now understand why it was always so weird feeling to wear.

Strangely, I didn't start from scratch. The Vogue pattern paper can't take it and, really, the original garment wasn't a disaster from a fit perspective. Instead, I went back to my knit sloper and copied the arm depth and armscye shape. I suppose the original had a really long waist and a low-set bust apex - which is the only way my haphazard alteration could have worked. Being self-taught is dangerous, people. We'll see if my latest alterations give me a good result.

Hudson Pants: I don't envision any serious alterations to the Hudson pants (except for shortening) because I only recently fitted them and my lower half is much less prone to changes these days than my midsection.

Self-Drafted Kimono Sleeve Dress: I did alter the self-drafted kimono sleeve dress by adding 1.5 inches at the waist tapering at the full hip. That was a hit to my ego. The bodice (from a vintage Simplicity pattern) is so whack, I daren't do too much to change it (other than making sure the waist works with the skirt). The top was a very good fit in ponte though I cannot figure out how it comes together correctly. I guess I'll relearn as I make it again.

I hope to get started on this next weekend and then complete it over the September long weekend.


  1. Ooh, this all looks so exciting! You really worked hard yesterday!
    For the Danni Dolman, what about adding a centre back seam for shaping?

    1. I was so adrenalined by the end of the day that I couldn't sleep!

    2. And I will def be adding the back seam to get rid of any potential pooling.

  2. Woo! Can't wait to see you sew these up! Tip: buy a couple of glue sticks to save on tape. Seriously. So much faster, easier, and sturdier than taping all those pages together.

    1. I never thought of that!! Does the glue wear off eventually (if you fold up the patterns and store them)?