Friday, 16 November 2012

Plans and ideas

When it comes down to it, I'm really kind of a "make it up as you go along" sewing person. I have patterns. I have fabric. Sometimes I figure out which patterns match up with which fabrics and then I know what to make. However, I do need to do some forward planning, or sometimes I find things that are Meant To Be. Here is one Meant To Be idea and two forward planning requirements that I am thinking about at the moment.

1. Meant To Be: A summer maxi skirt

Sari fabric
This fabric actually arrived today after I stalked it on eBay, keeping my fingers crossed, for the full 7 days it was listed. I don't know why it made such an impression on me, but I was the only bidder and was thrilled to get it for very little money. It's printed with a thing that says that it is a sari fabric, from India, which is interesting but also annoying because it's printed right on the fabric in the middle! At any rate, it's a border print (along the selvedge) 5.5m in length (which I gather from Googling it is a standard length to buy sari fabric) and about 110cm wide.

Lorena Buck Maxi Skirt Pattern
The fabric is a little bit greener than that photo suggests, more turquoise than blue. It's very thin, and it has a very faint geometric pattern.

If it were a 150cm wide fabric, I'd make a maxi dress of it, but with it being 110cm and me being as tall as I am, I think the best bet is to make a maxi skirt for summer. When I went looking for long, lined maxi skirt patterns that would work for border prints I came across this free lined maxi skirt pattern/tutorial by Lorena Buck which I think would be perfect. The fabric/pattern combo is very very summer-y/holiday-ish, so I will save the pattern and the fabric for at least the summer (not that we get much summer here!) or for my next warm trip abroad. It's not worth making it now because my ever fluctuating weight means I have no idea what size I will be by the time I experience some warm weather.

2. Forward planning for a wedding outfit

Vintage Simplicity 7386
I just got a Save The Date a few days ago for two friends of mine who are getting married in June 2013 and a group of us who will be going have been talking wedding outfits ever since. I have two possibilities in mind right now, but I reserve the right to change my mind 92435234 times between now and sewing anything at all, of course.
My first thought was a dress with a little jacket thing (June in England? Still a high probability of cool/rainy weather!) and thought about a vintage Simplicity dress pattern I picked up a while ago now, Simplicity 7386. I sort of thought to do a print and a solid for the dress and jacket, though which way round I don't know. I found one review/make of the pattern online which looks actually pretty great. I'm normally not into the vintage look AT ALL, which is why even though I always want to like the sort of Colette/Gertie/whatever pattern aesthetic, I actually really can't imagine making any of them. However, I don't think this is too crazily vintage at all. I don't love the high neckline and I actively dislike the centre front seam, but those are both things I could deal with, I think. The bigger problem is that I've not successfully made a dress yet. Or a woven FBA. Or anything else that might be useful. But it's not needed until June, and I could only start sewing in like, May (see above re. weight) so maybe I would by then!

Tailcoat Top front
Tailcoat Top back
Plan B is separates, for the simple reason that I like them and they might be more re-usable. The whole outfit would be built around this amazing free pattern from Your Style Rocks for a Tailcoat Top. This, plus a slim pencil skirt, plus some kind of blouse because otherwise that is WAY TOO MUCH SKIN for a wedding (or, frankly, any other time). I was thinking of maybe just a plain little short-sleeved, collarless woven top - either a shell or maybe with buttons up the back. The pencil skirt I'd pick between three different patterns I've identified in Burda magazines -- they all have little seam details to make it a little more interesting. The problem? The instructions for the Tailcoat Top are of the "and then drape the pleats" variety, and it's (for a newbie like me) a pretty complicated pattern even before you deal with those kind of instructions. Fabric wise, though, I already have things in mind, in some combination of blue and silver. One other problem: I don't know what I'd wear over that outfit for the getting-to-the-venue-and-back part of the wedding experience.

Plans A and B will no doubt have been replaced by Plans C through R by the time I actually sew anything, of course, but the planning is half the fun.

3. Something silly and fun for a party

I'm going to an event in late March (I have to travel 3000 miles to get there, if you're wondering how I can possibly be so certain of my plans at such temporal distance) that requires some kind of ultra fun outfit. The thing I'm going to includes extremely informal evening event -- people will be there in everything from jeans to fancy dresses. It's also, to be frank, kind of trashy/fun/silly. Last time I went to this event I wore a wiggle skirt and a blouse (that REALLY didn't suit me) in shiny black satin. I have literally NO IDEA what I could wear this time. I keep thinking maybe the answer is to get a really silly/fun print and make up a dress with a twirly skirt -- not necessarily full on 50s style, but a full skirt with a close-fit bodice. I'm really not much for prints, but this is one occasion where a ridiculous print would probably work for me. That's as far as I've got with this one! I do have a free 1950s dress pattern from Sew magazine, but it has dozens of pattern pages to stick together D:. However, there are also patterns in Ottobre and I have one more twirly skirted dress pattern among my envelope patterns as well.

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