Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Wedding Belles 5PAC overview

Since I've decided to scratch making another skirt, I thought I would summarize the Wedding Belles 5PAC as well. This is where I finished up on the plan:

And this is the final set of clothes I made:

The World's Slowest Buttons for the jackets I've made did finally arrive yesterday but I was out late with work and haven't had a chance to do anything with them yet.

I will wear all of the first three items (jacket, skirt, white top with lace insert) for the first time on Saturday to my friends' civil partnership ceremony. And I've worn both of the other two items already as well and they are both really nice to wear (my skirt-wearing issues notwithstanding). I really love the light blue top in particular. It's nothing special either sewing or fabric-wise, but it's the fifth time I made that Ottobre basic top pattern and by far the best version I made. I am pretty sure from now on I'll be making every iteration of that top with sleeve bands and the neck band application method I figured out.

Compared to the Earth & Spring collection, this is marginally better co-ordinated. Both skirts go with both tops, but the jacket can't really be worn with the turquoise skirt because of the difference between the shades of turquoise. However, there's definitely a life for almost everything mingled with the rest of my wardrobe, especially the two tops. Probably the least useful generally is the wedding skirt but then a georgette and taffeta white and floral skirt was never going to be the most practical or frequently worn garment in my wardrobe. Wedding wear isn't really MEANT to be day-to-day wear.

Having finished as much as I am going to of two of them, I'm torn on whether I like doing these 6PACs/5PACs/sewing plans/capsules. I love the idea of making things that are deliberately connected to one another, I really do. I'm not sure I've really got the process figured out for how I want to use that idea. With making 6PACs very very roughly in line with the original Stitcher's Guild conception of it, I keep getting hung up on numbers of outfits created and types of garments and sometimes felt kind of stifled by it. It's been difficult to put together things that actually went together -- for evidence see, well, everything I've made so far. I finished both 5PACs feeling kind of a failure because not everything co-ordinated with everything else, and I didn't get all that many outfits out of the capsule wardrobes on their own. This in spite of the fact that actually making anything that deliberately co-ordinated with anything else is actually kind of a step up from my usual "buy some things almost at random in a very limited colour palette and hope for the best" or "buy the whole outfit as shown in the shop" approaches.

The other thing about the 6PAC approach as I initially adopted it was that it didn't leave a lot of room to think about how to incorporate things I already own or categories of items I don't (yet) sew but could easily buy. (For example: my Earth & Spring collection also really includes a pair of dark beige trousers I bought at Next. In fact, those trousers are pretty key to the whole thing, but I never really acknowledged that. The hidden component of the Wedding Belles collection is a pair of RTW French navy linen trousers.)

Overall, I think this 6PAC thing has been useful as a way of structuring some of my sewing so I don't just make stuff completely at random that then hangs, unloved, in the wardrobe, which is what I felt like I was starting to do. However, I do feel a bit like most recently the plan has been organizing me, not always totally functionally, rather than me organizing the plan. I think I need to figure out something looser that combines some planning but also more "this is my hobby, I do what I want".


  1. You hit a nerve with me!! I also think that when I have so many pieces that are so coordinated, it feels like I'm wearing the same thing every day. To me, 72 combos of the same six pieces still looks pretty much like the same outfit.

    I did a little better by finding a color palette that suits me (bright summer colors) and knowing the neutrals that work best with those colors (I like khaki, indigo and navy).

    If I stick to that palette, I do pretty well. Even then, proportions matter too. Just because a cardigan looks great with jeans doesn't mean it will look right with a long skirt - they might look frumpy together even if the colors are right.

    I'm enjoying your blog very much.

    1. I know just what you mean. Some of the SWAP wardrobes I've seen are so very very same-y all the time, I'd be bored stiff after a month. However, on the other hand I've seen some really gorgeous, unusual SWAP wardrobes where the sewer has put together some really amazing outfits, so I guess it can be done. Probably you need more fashion sense than I possess though!

      Glad you're enjoying my blog! I write it, to be honest, mainly for my own entertainment, which is why I'm so long-winded all the time!