The Hundred Years Wardrobe Project

Since I’ve been sewing for a while I’ve decided to try to challenge myself to expand my skills and to sew garments and with fabrics that are outside of my comfort zone. And so was born my idea for the Hundred Years Wardrobe Project.

I’m going to sew one thing from each decade of the 20th Century. There is no time limit for this as I want it to be a fun exercise and deadlines are often where stress lies for me.

I’m going to also try to do some posts about my research for each decade and share some of my inspiration. A while ago I did write some posts about fashion history but I ran out of steam with them – hopefully with a garment to relate the history to I will have more to say and more to share. Some of the makes will be inspired by fashion and some will be from films – either made at the time or set in the past.

I would love it if anyone else wants to join in with this project – I’m calling it a project rather than a challenge as there is no deadline and there will be no prizes, just the pride in having made something cool!

Spoiler alert: I already have my first make made and ready to blog soon!

Crepe Mercury Trousers

As I mentioned in my Summer sewing plans post, one of the garments I wanted to make was some Marilla Walker MercuryTrousers made from this lovely Crepe from Sew Over It. Although I’m blogging only blogging them now, I did make them in early September when the weather was still sort of warm, but I maybe won’t get much wear out of them until next Spring.

But I do love them! And the pattern was really easy to assemble, especially because there’s no fly or buttons – they’ve got an elasticated waist so they’re easy to fit too. I made the size 2, based mainly on my waist measurement because there’s a lot of ease at the hips.

These trousers have excellent deep pockets – now I make my own clothes, I’ve realised my ready to wear trousers (the few I still have left) generally have pockets so small I can’t get even my hand in them, let alone anything else I might want to carry round.

Having said that this pattern was  easy to make, that was definitely true but I made a really stupid mistake. I had been ironing cotton immediately before ironing the centre front seam and I didn’t adjust the heat setting and melted a hole in the top of the trousers, right in the middle. I’m not going to lie, I threw a little tantrum over it and stopped sewing for a while until I’d calmed down, thinking I’d ruined some not-very-cheap-fabric.

But when I’d calmed down and had a think, I realised I could just essentially chop the top off by sewing the waistband on further down the trousers than the pattern called for. In the end I only lost 2cm and I think the trousers turned out fine – the rise was high enough on me that the adjustment didn’t give me a wedgie!

I made the view with the pleats and the cuffs on the bottom, but in these photos I’ve folded the calf up because the trousers are a little long on my, but I really like them and I definitely think I’ll make them again. I really like the wide-legged view too, and I think a pair in some lovely linen for next Summer would be perfect! I also really like the top that comes in the Mercury Collection, so I might give that a go when it warms up a bit too.

I think this might be my favourite ever outtake by the way. You. Are. Welcome.


Have you made the Mercury Trousers? Or do you have a favourite relaxed fit trouser pattern?

 

 

Autumn 2018 Plans

I can’t believe it’s already October!

But with the weather definitely getting colder (I’m currently cuddling a hot water bottle, something I will do for probably the next 6 months!) I’m starting to think about my Autumn sewing plans, so I thought I would share them with you.

As usual, I’m probably being overly ambitious, but hopefully I’ll make most of these things:

I’ve got these 2 lovely sweater knits, which were really difficult to photograph so the colour came out correctly. The one on the left is a lovely mustard yellow and was from Tilly’s pop up shop for her new book, Stretch. The burgundy one on the right was from the Bull Ring market in Birmingham at last year’s Sew Brum meet up, which means it’s been in my stash almost a whole year! I think they will both become cardigans, but I don’t have a pattern in mind – let me know your favourite cardigan pattern if you have one.

Next on my list is another Kalle Shirt – I still really love my first one, though it’s a bit cold to wear it now as the fabric is a bit thin. With this one I think I’ll make the tunic length, and I’ve bought the sleeves expansion pack so it will be more cool-weather-appropriate. I love this fabric, so I think this will become one of my favourite makes!

Not content with making one shirt, I’m planning a second! I have already made one white shirt using the Archer pattern, but I could really do with another one as a white shirt forms part of the uniforms for both bands I now play with, and you can never have too many white shirts! This time I thought I would make a Melilot, but maybe with a pointed collar instead of the rounded one. I haven’t decided whether I do a hidden placket or not. The fabric is from Clothspot and was bought with a voucher I won in the Sew Brum raffle.

And talking of Clothspot, the stripey fabric here, which I’m planning to use to make the Papercut Guise trousers, was bought with the other half of my voucher. The fabric is quite shiny, but I’m hoping it will be a bit toned down by using a fairly casual pattern.

The rest of my plans consist of jeans, jeans and more jeans – I just need to bite the bullet and make my first pair, it can’t be that scary! First up will be the Morgans as I’ve already cut them out, from this fabric I bought from a Birmingham shopping trip probably 18 months ago!

I also got this denim for my Ginger wearable muslin in Birmingham, so they will hopefully be next.

And then, assuming the first pair of Gingers works okay, I’ll make a black and a navy pair (probably without the contrasting topstitching or hardware) from these stretch denims from Fabric Godmother.

This month, however, my main focus will be 2 outfits not mentioned above – I want to join in with The Refashioners this year and I already have my inspiration and all the garments I’m going to refashion – now I just need to do the sewing…..

I was also lucky enough to get a ticket to the Sewcialite Soirée on November 10th, so I need to make an outfit for that too. I’ve got an idea of what I want to make, but I need to buy fabric and possibly a pattern so I’m not totally sorted yet! Are you going? Have you decided what to wear yet?

Are you getting excited for Autumn? What are you excited to make now the weather is cooling down?

Cotton Lawn Kimono

Since the weather is now getting cold, I’ve made a kimono out of some beautiful light-weight cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine (she only has a remnant left of it alas). #sewingappropriategarmentsfortheweather

I used the Simplicity K1108 pattern which came free with Sew Magazine, which I only buy when there is a pattern I want to make. I can’t remember when it came out, but I knew I wanted to make it and I waited for the perfect fabric. I actually found this cotton lawn on a couple of websites last year when I was looking for fabric for the culottes I made for the New Craft House Summer Party (though I realise now it wouldn’t have worked) but it was sold out everywhere, so when I saw that Harriet had it in stock I bought it IMMEDIATELY!

I made the size medium and cut it at a length in between view D and C – they’re the versions without the more bat-wingy sleeves as they’re not so much my style.

Here is a close up of the gorgeous fabric! It fits perfectly into my colour palette.

The pattern is really simple to make – definitely a good make for a beginner. The only tricky bit was the bias binding around the whole neckline – and that was only tricky because I made my own bias binding using this brilliant tutorial from Helen from Stitch My Style and didn’t do the most accurate of measuring, so my binding was a bit too narrow in places so it was impossible to enclose all of the raw edges in places. I cut a couple of wider bits from the leftovers and just put them over the top of the narrow bits, it’s a bit shoddy but it worked. Sometimes you just have to bodge it!

I did manage to wear this once before the weather got a bit chilly! And I was promised that September would be warm, but so far it’s not really warm enough to wear a thin kimono as opposed to a proper cardigan. Boo.

I know that for various reasons some people really didn’t enjoy the heatwave/proper Summer we had in the UK this year, but I am lucky to live in a flat that is cool (because it’s old – the pay-off is that it is also freezing in the Winter) and I work in a place with air con so I am a bit sad that we’re heading back into Autumn and Winter again already.Also I barely got to wear my Birkenstocks! Although I like snuggling up when it’s cold, last year Winter seemed to go on forever and I get a bit sick of sitting at my sewing maching usually in 3 layers, with a hot water bottle and a blanket! Maybe I need to move to warmer climes…..

Anyway, season rant over.

Have you ever actually made a free pattern from a magazine? I think this is the first I’ve made and I deliberately don’t subscribe to any sewing magazines because I don’t want to increase my pattern stash exponentially with things I know I won’t make.

 

 

Art Deco Carnaby Dress

This is my first – and no doubt last – Nina Lee Carnaby Dress and I love it! This was one of my planned Summer makes and I did make it last month, but just as the weather started to turn a bit chiller. Hopefully I will get some wear out of it with tights and a cardigan in this Autumnal weather. I do slightly wish I’d made it without sleeves so I can wear it with a long-sleeved top underneath for extra warmth, but c’est la vie!

And it has pockets! I really like how they’re hidden in the hem seam.

The fabric is some lovely cotton from Sew Over It, which they sadly don’t have any more. In fact I got the last metre and a half/ 2 hours (I can’t remember which). When I first saw the fabric, I thought it would make great pyjamas, but they didn’t have enough left for the Carolyn Pyjamas.

I made the size 10 and the only change I made was to use an invisible zip instead of the exposed one called for in the pattern. I also spent ages trying to pattern match across the back seam and on the pocket seams but it didn’t seem to work as well as I’d hoped. I managed to just about get it to look matched across the back, if not perfectly centred.

The pocket seam is almost hidden, but again, not as well as I’d hoped. I think I just need a bit more practice at doing it – I haven’t done much pattern matching before, so I’m not the best at it!

I really do like this fabric – there will be lots of colours of tights and cardigans I can wear with it. And it was a pretty quick make. This was my first Nina Lee pattern (I have plans to make the Portobello trousers before the year is out) and I’m impressed. The drafting seems to be good – often I find sleeves and shoulder seams really tight, but this fits and is comfortable right out of the packet. The instructions were also really clear and easy to follow. Next time I might do the exposed zip she recommends as the instructions for that seemed really clear too. I would definitely recommend this if you’re relatively new to sewing, or if you want a quick make that will give you a really chic dress.

With this and my jungle print laurel, I have definitely rediscovered my love of the simple shift dress.

p.s. I might keep my eyes open for anyone selling more of this fabric as I would still like some really chic pyjamas – let me know if you see it anywhere!