Tuesday, April 6, 2010

SWALP Considerations

First of all, thank you so much for the nice comments on my coat and dress, and the kids' pants. It's so motivating to get compliments from people who know what it means to sew. So thank you!

I'm contemplating where to go next. (Other than some kiddie pieces that will most probably get thrown in in between!) Some considerations:

1. I'd like to branch out in color.
Yes, it's spring and I love pulling out the bright greens, soft pinks, buttery yellows that reflect the spirit of the season. But I already have quite a bit of these colors in my wardrobe, and I don't necessarily like them in jackets and pants, which I need more of - in spring weights - in my wardrobe.

A color I've been wearing very little of, unless it's denim or leisurewear, is blue. Since I have so little of it, I've been wary of sewing blue things, thinking they won't go with anything in my wardrobe. I will need to sew a few pieces/a SWALP, which gives me a bit of apprehension, but after the sewing successes of the last year, I'm half convinced I can make a go of it!

Exhibit A: These fabrics from the stash.
All bought at different times, they would go together very well I think! The blue (in the navy colorway, but not very dark) fabric is a lightweight wool if I remember right, enough for a suit. The red-white-and-blue print is a cotton voile, and the light blue polka dot is a lightweight poplin. I also have a white-on-white embroidered eyelet cotton that would fit in here.

2. I need to get into sewing blouses.
First, because I wear them a lot. Second, because I've never sewn them so far. Third, because the voile and poplin above are shouting "Sew me up already!" (Can't you hear it?)
And fourth, because dedicated sewer and refashioner Zoe, who impressed by dressing all-handmade in all of March, has just announced Me-Made-May, and I want to take part in it. If only in the "lite"version, meaning one of the garments I wear on any given day will be made by me. At least, that is the plan!

(I'm trying to convince myself Zoe with her lovely navy wardrobe in Me-Made-March isn't the reason I'm getting into blue. No no. I can't be imitating another sewer every second garment I make, right?)

3. Chanel style jacket anyone?
Prominently featured in my sewing hall of shame is the Chanel-type jacket I never finished (so far). All that handsewing overwhelmed me, and I appreciated having more than one finished garment at the end of the year, even though that meant leaving the jacket for someday.

Although I don't feel up to the task of completing said jacket, I have another Chanel-style bouclé fabric in my stash (in spring-y yellow too!) and I may have thought of a method to get a bit of Chanel style into a machine sewn jacket: by adding an organza underlining and quilting this to the fashion fabric, then sewing and lining it like a regular jacket. Tell me it can be done!
Exhibit B: Bouclé fabric, silk organza and lining (the lining is less brown and lighter, although not the exact orange of the bouclé):

This jacket would possibly provide more immediate gratification than the blue SWALP, but it would also need a few more pieces for company, and other than a pair of white pants I'm out of ideas. I don't want too garish a color combination, but most neutrals don't go with the bouclé either... Must go contemplate some more.
Happy sewing!


  1. Voile usually makes really pretty blouses- you just have to be careful to use a lightweight interfacing in the collar and front band. :-) I should sew more of them as well, since they're fun and interesting but not TOO hard.

  2. I love that red white and blue fabric. It reminds me of some of the stuff I loved wearing when I was a kid in the 70s.

  3. I'm behind in commenting, as you know, but that coat and dress are lovely! You did a phenomenal job.

  4. Love the blue pieces! I think you should conquer your first blouse as your next project. It will be refreshing in between coats and jackets!



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