SS2012 SWAP, Revised: Spring palette, what Spring palette?

I’ve been seeing a lot of gorgeous pastel-inspired Spring palettes out there, but you won’t see anything like that here. Spring palette, what Spring palette?

The best thing about sewing entirely in monochrome (off-white, light grey, medium grey, dark grey, black, silver, black/white patterned) is that there’s never an expiration date for this season’s “colors”. I wore black for years and years year-round before I started to sew. I was always told it was a “New York thing”, and lately I’ve been starting to embrace it again, only this time adding pale grey and off-white to the mix.

Here are my candidates for the Spring/Summer 2012 SWAP (sewing with a plan):

Dresses: 2 – Long Dress, One-Shoulder Dress
Tops: 2 – Basic Shirt, Basic Blouse
Pants: 3 – Colette Clover in grey twill (not shown, already done), Colette Clover in metallic denim, Colette Clover in black denim

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Here are larger photos of some of my favorite fabrics from this batch.

The metallic denim I found is gorgeous. It’s very very dark blue but photographs almost black and is shot through with silver.

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This was the fabric that inspired it all. I found this splotchy black/white rayon last week.

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I’ve been quietly following a lot of modern designers as well, but that’s another post for another day.

Image sources: thank you Net-a-Porter for letting me dream big (and plan even bigger.)

Change of Style: Vintage meets Rock and Roll

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Style inspiration: Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kat von D, leather, jersey, denim, lace. Fitted silhouettes, 40s blouses, 50s pencil skirts. Black, grey, white. Simple shapes, year-round pieces that work with each other.

So my inadvertent hiatus didn’t last too long. The new camera came in today, but I’m still missing a USB cable so I can’t upload any pictures yet.

My two weeks off from sewing and blogging has made me re-assess how I dress naturally. Slowly and surely it’s reverted back to black denim, black leather jackets, plain jersey t-shirts, sheath dresses, lace stockings, leather ankle boots, black cuffs. The new vintage-inspired elements I carried on were sheath dresses and pencil skirts.

I was trying to write a cohesive paragraph about this, but I do better with lists:

1) Vintage makes me look 10 years older. No kidding. I love how graceful and on point vintage looks, but for me I feel like if
it’s not done all the way, it doesn’t look right. It was also starting to feel like I was wearing a uniform, which is not good.

2) I’m tired of setting my hair. I’ve been sleeping in curlers for the past two years, and I’m just way too lazy now. I’m also tired of fighting with my hair’s natural state, which is wavy, curly and naturally rebellious.

3) Sewing in grey/black/white monochrome is very easy. No palettes, everything goes together. Less color variation mean a tighter focus on silhouettes and textures, and less on buying fabrics to match other fabrics. Also more of a focus on abstract graphic prints, stripes, plain fabrics.

4) Will still sew vintage patterns, but styled modernly. I learned how to sew on vintage patterns and I still love them. However, after some reflection I’ve realized it’s not really me. That means 40s button down blouses in lace or weathered chambray mixed with Clover pants or distressed denim, or 40s blouses accessorized with leather cuffs.

5) Will also sew modern patterns, mainly jersey tops. I also realized I wear a lot of my basic jersey tops because they are comfortable and go with everything, so I need to stop dawdling and start on my Sewholic Renfrew soon.

6) Sense of style is bred out of practicality, comfort, attitude and wearing whatever makes you feel beautiful. For me that means realistically embracing the fact that I like wearing flat shoes, cigarette pants, jeans.

I still love vintage and still want to continue to sew vintage patterns, but this time with my take and interpretation of how it suits me and less of a “vintage accurate” way of dressing.

Fall 2011 Projects: Sewing with a Plan

I started a SWAP (sewing with a plan) for Spring 2011. Matching up combinations of tops and bottoms meant that there was a wide range of projects that I could sew, and that each one would be worn again and again. I have about three more projects left using the cotton in my stash, and then I plan to start my Fall SWAP.

Here are the projects that I plan to make:

Tops: (left to right)
1. Wearing History blouse
2. Cap Sleeve blouse with front buttons, self-drafted (inspired by McCall’s 7305)
3. New Look 6808, blouse #1
4. New Look 6808, blouse #2

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Bottoms: (left to right)
1. Wearing History trousers, #1
2. Wearing History trousers, #2
3. Colette Patterns Ginger, skirt
4. Simplicity 4254 with modified waistband, skirt

Spring 2011 Storyboard: Navy and Pink

spring-2011

The best thing about sewing your own clothes is that you decide the trends, palette, and what you will want to make for yourself based on styles that flatter you (as opposed to flatting the masses).

I made a quick storyboard for possible projects for Spring 2011. Since I plan to sew a season ahead, this would be in progress right now. I picked the items of clothing that most closely matched fabric type, cut, or color, and thus the details in the storyboard aren’t entirely accurate.

Items I already own:

  • navy cotton poplin skirt (sewn last year)
  • pink cotton floral blouse (represented by polka-dot blouse, sewn last year)
  • white cotton floral blouse (already owned)
  • brown cardigan (already owned)
  • brown oxfords (already owned)
  • Items to make:

  • Anne Adams scalloped dress (in progress)
  • violet or pink skirt suit
  • navy gabardine pants
  • white cotton blouse
  • Items to buy:

  • camel trench coat
  • My Work Capsule: Fall/Winter

    The idea behind capsule dressing has been around for awhile now. Take 3 basic bottoms, 3 basic tops, and add accessories and you could be dressed in five minutes.

    Since I’ve been making most of my own clothes for this past year with a few notable exceptions (tights and undergarments), I’ve already been dressing this way without knowing it. I wanted to streamline my next few sewing projects so they’re practical and efficient. I put together a basic work capsule for fall/winter:

    Screen shot 2010-12-17 at 3.16.26 PM

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    3 Basic Bottoms:
    + black pencil skirt (already made)
    + black wide-legged trousers
    + black wool 1940s gored skirt

    3 Basic Tops:
    + black lace blouse (already have)
    + black fitted cardigan x2, plain and beaded (already have the plain)
    + black fitted bustier top or silk with lace tank top (already have)

    Accessories:
    + black/white spectator shoes (already have)
    + black rounded toe ankle boot (already have)
    + thin black leather belt (already have)
    + vintage-looking pins (already have, but don’t wear)

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    Since I’ve been dressing this way already, I already have more than half of the items from this list. I have a few vintage-looking pins already but never take the time to incorporate them into my wardrobe. This would effectively break up the all-black monotony and give each outfit something unique. Based on this capsule idea, here are my conclusions:

    Things I need to make:
    + black wool 1940s gored skirt
    + black wool wide-legged 1940s style trousers

    Things I need to buy:
    + black beaded cardigan