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Colette Fall Palette Challenge Wrap

3 Jan

With the end of the year also came my self-imposed deadline for the Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge and whilst I barely completed half of the original plan, I still consider it a big success.

It all kicked off with the collection of inspiration images on a pinterest board. These formed the basis for a fall colour palette. I loved the changing leaves against smokey blue skies.

The colours were quite a departure from my previous wardrobe which was dominated by blues and greys and other muted shades. I was only able to bring 20 kgs of luggage to the UK so it was a fresh start to my wardrobe. You can see the change below – the photos on the left are from Self-Stitched September 2010 and on the right is everything I made in 2011.

In terms of garments I started with a very limited wardrobe so it was expanding on the basics.

It was fun to start experimenting with croquis, which have now developed into my own mini-me version.

Here are the successfully completed garments:

The Seasonally Inappropriate Sorbetto // The Colour-blocked Blouse // Double-knit Jenny Skirt // Linen Rooibos Dress // White Lace Tee

And the items that didn’t get made:

The Pants: I’m part way through the fitting process with both the Colette Clovers and the Wide-Leg Pants but as anyone who’s attempted pants knows – it’s a long and frustrating process. So right now, we are on a break.

The knit top: I found it was cheaper and easier to just buy one – I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel 😉

The blazer: This is about 80% done – it just wasn’t inspiring me.

The dresses: Are still on the cards at some point this year but they’re cross seasonal so it doesn’t matter if I put them off.

The biggest thing I realised is that I need to feel motivated in order to sew. I steadfastly refuse to let it become a chore or something I have to force myself into. The result is that the less exciting items got pushed to the back of the list. It’s something I need to think on how to remedy.

Still, the palette worked well which is why I still consider the challenge a success. Most of the garments I sewed that weren’t part of the original plan were still consistent with the palette.

The Toast Tunic // The Christmas Macaroon // The Burda Blouse // The Brumby-blue Dress

I’ll definitely take part in the Spring Challenge when it rolls around.

My new colourful wardrobe.

Fall Challenge: The Seasonally Inappropriate Sorbetto

11 Nov

I love this fabric but it is entirely unsuited to the season. A super light weight silk cotton, I purchased it in June with the intent of making a light and floaty summer top. When you see the fabric up-close you can tell the cotton thread is the warp and is a more maroony red than the silk which runs across the weft and is more a burnt orange so it’s nice and breathable with a saturated colour.

The shop I bought it from was my local fabric store in Onehunga and is an Auckland legend. Antique Fabric and Lace have the self-proclaimed “largest range of Beaded Sequin Motifs in the world”. Like a museum they only display a small proportion of their collection at a time and still check out the walls.

I can’t even explain the mix of things you can find here, just look closely at the pictures and you’ll get the idea.

But back to the top…

It’s the trusty Colette Sorbetto pattern, of course, with some alterations.

I split the front and back pieces in half horizontally then slashed the bottom piece in four places from the hem to the stitching line and spread them each an inch apart. The fabric has a nice balance of drape and body so I wanted almost a circle skirt effect. The gaps were filled with tissue and seam allowance added to the midriff top and bottom.

I only had 1.5m of the fabric but it’s quite sheer so I was very lucky to eck out an extra layer for the top of the bodice, the rest is finished with bias strips.

Unfortunately when I tried it on it felt too shapeless and it was too late to add more darts. Instead, I added two black ribbon ties under the bust where a waistline dart would form and when they’re tied they produce  just the right shape.

So there it is, and I think I may be in denial about the cold weather. Still, with a cardigan I think it will still get some wear… silk is warm right?

(Braving the cold)

Fall Palette Challenge: White Lace Tee

19 Oct

Number three on my Fall Palette Challenge wardrobe may be my most favourite item this year.

It’s a simple white lace kimono sleeved tee, based off Colette’s free Sorbetto tank pattern. I raised the neck front and back then used this tutorial from Analog Me  to draft the kimono sleeve.

The lace is a cotton found on Goldhawke Road which the proprieter swore had also been purchased by buyers from top shop (hmmm, take that with a grain of salt) however at only £4 a meter it was a good deal. The underlining is a slinky synthetic twill that feels really soft and would be a nightmare to sew if it weren’t together with the cotton lace.

I cut the lace out first then squared the edges of the lining on the cutting board securing with pins. With the lace on top I used more pins to hold it in place before hand-basting around the edges and along the dart legs. Once the basting was in place, cutting the slinky fabric was easy and the rest of the top was sewn as one layer.

What I really like about it is that the simplicity of the pattern meant I could spend more time on things like this and french seams and hand-tacked binding. The details combined with the silkiness and weight of the fabric means that this feels like a quality garment even if it only cost £7. It’s something about the heaviness of the fabric that reminds me of trying on expensive clothes, I think.

This may be my favourite Sorbetto yet.

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

21 Sep

This autumn Sarai & Caitlin from Colette Patterns are reprising their palette challenge from Spring with the Fall Palette Challenge.

I’m really excited to participate as my feeble attempt at Self-Stitched-September has been hamstringed by my lack not just a lack of self-stitched clothing, but clothing in general. In fact, my entire wardrobe since moving to London consists of:

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 shirt
  • 2 tops
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • under garments, pjs, tights etc.

People pack more than this when they go on vacation.

I’ve had a really chilled summer and the only people I know over here are family so there hasn’t been a need for pretty new clothes but summer is fading and the time has come to start job-hunting so the challenge has appeared in perfect time.

So here goes. The challenge is low stress and spread over 8 weeks, although I’m going to run it out to the end of the year and try for a few more items.

The first step is to pick a palette for the season. Over on pinterest, I’ve been happily collecting inspiration on a fall pinboard, as have many other participants,  then I mashed some of them together and came up with this:

(Visit pinterest for the sources)

I love the intensity of the almost neon yellows and golds against the warm ashy greys of the tree trunks so that was my start point.

It was so hard to narrow down the choices though so instead of just four or five colours I picked a range of neutrals and fancy colours that will hopefully all work together and incorporates some of the RTW items I already have.

As you can see the iron oxide orange picks up on the colour of my Rooibos dress so I’m counting that one as my first item just so I can say I’m not as behind as I could be.

The next step is to plan the other items in the challenge but I’m still finalising my picks so that will have to wait till next time.

x Alana

Designer Pattern Collaboration Process: Cynthia Rowley + Simplicity

19 Aug

Over on Simplicity Pattern’s blog they have a really fascinating series of posts following the collaboration process for a new pattern in their Cynthia Rowley line.

What was most surprising to me is how much of the design work is done from Simplicity’s end.

The dress pattern they are creating is for this one from Rowley’s A/W 11 line.

A sample of the original garment is sent to the pattern team who inspect all the seams, fabric and design elements. They then digitally trace the pattern from the garment and make a muslin version, whilst starting to incorporate different variations for making at home.

 

Photos and sketches are sent back and forth between simplicity and the designer’s team until both are happy. Then a sample garment is made using the suggested fabric before finalising the design.

I thought it was really interesting to see how it develops and you can see much more detail over at Simplicty.

All photos via Simplicity.com

 

Fall Simplicity Release

13 Aug

It seems that Simplicity released most of their Misses patterns in their Early Autumn Release because I’ve just had a look at Fall and for the most part it’s children’s and halloween costumes. Fine if you like that sort of thing – but personally I don’t think i can walk around all Autumn dressed as the Black Swan.

Of the rest, these ones caught my eye –

Could make for a nice long-sleeved fall dress. I’m thinking a solid double knit?

One half of me likes this (and the stylish Jessica at Green Apples has bought it too) because it’s simple but interesting. The other half says it’s just along tee shirt shaped with a purchased belt. What do you reckon?

I really like the amazing fit patterns and again a long skirt could work going into winter.

Love the collar and top stitching on the purple and red versions to the left.

There are a couple of new Lisette patterns which were so popular in Spring. Unfortunately they’d be a little boxy on me, sigh.

And they’ve added a new line called Sew Simple which include just one simple pattern.

What are your picks?