The Sew-A-Longs & Sewing Contests Facebook group has been a constant source of inspiration for me, for the past few months. In January I spent a month, drafting a pattern for a well fitted shirt from scratch. Although I have been reading, watching you tube videos, and taking Craftsy classes, the monthly sew-a-long offered in January was a must do for me. I love the deadline, and David Coffin, was hosting the event, giving feedback and expertise throughout the month. I ended up with a pretty nice shirt. Even more importantly, a pattern which fits me perfectly, and now I have the knowledge needed to transform it into many different items. It has been a very long time since I have had such an empowering and satisfying experience.
Next up for me is a four month long Sew-A-Long which consists of a themed wardrobe containing 8 pieces to be completed between February and May. Details can be found on the group’s Facebook page. So, three weeks in and I was still struggling to put together my game plan. And then it occurred to me, I do not want just a new wardrobe, I want a makeover. I am petite, plus size pear shaped 50+ gray haired old lady. I have never planned a wardrobe in my lifetime. Clothes shopping consisted of finding the correct combination of colors, textures, price, value, and ease of care. Fit was never great for me, so I gave up and tolerated what ready to wear had to offer. I settled for over-sized tops, to fit my over-sized waist, hips, and butt. Shapeless pants that never seem to find my waist, while clinging to my hips and thighs and pooling on the floor. They do not make a pair of pants, stretch or otherwise that does not need multiple adjustments just to make them wearable, forget about comfort and fit. Needless to say clothes and fashion were never an area that interested me, and to be honest it showed. David Coffin started his shirt sew-a-long posing the question; do you remember a favorite shirt? I did. It was a cream colored linen shirt. I loved how I felt when I wore it. It was retired when the kids came along due to its impracticality, and finally lost over the years, I remembered how it felt to look in my closet, and see that shirt, and slip it on, and wear it all day. It just made my day better. That is what I wanted for my new wardrobe. I wanted to open the closet door, and feel the excitement, and pleasure that comes with wearing something you truly treasure. No one manufactures these clothes. I cannot afford to have someone else design and make them for me.
So here goes, my Sew-A-Long Seasonal Wardrobe, is about bringing excitement and pleasure back to clothing for me. Again I turned to the internet to find the styles that I could get excited to wear. That is when I discovered Lagenlook. It is a German word, which means a layered look, and it has been a popular look in Europe for some time. To me it is both comfortable and stylish. Layering allows you to mix and match and be creative each time you go to put an outfit together. Now, I was truly getting excited. I still face challenges. My size and shape force me to give extra consideration when choosing items to avoid many common pitfalls. But for the first time, I thought I could open my closet and really like what I saw. What a way to start each day!
Here is what I decided to do for my eight pieces.
1. Structured pair of pants. I have narrowed this down to two patterns. Vogue 8499 by Marci Tilton. Will need considerable re-sizing. Second choice is Burda 7400. Using Linen.
2. Structured skirt – Vogue 8499 by Marci Tilton. Will need considerable re-sizing.
3. Jumper – Still looking for a pattern for this… I want inverted curved seam at bust heading down toward waist, then with hi lo hem mid-calf length. Loose and light so it is easy to layer.
4. Short Cardigan – Simplicity 2183 or McCall’s M6845
5. Boxy Short Jacket – Still choosing between Burda 8108 or Kathleen Chatham’s Jacket pattern found in Singer’s Perfect Plus book or A Little Something Jacket by CNT Pattern Co.
6. Long flowy vest – Choosing between three options: sleeveless version of my self-drafted shirt with, larger arm holes, or McCalls M6084, or Vogue V1375
7. Dress – Inverted rounded seam from breast to waist, shaped hem, or Hot Patterns 1179 Weekender Chameleon Dress
8. Tunic(s) – Multiple lengths – shaped hems. Style Arc Daisy Designer Tunic, Burda 6786,
9. Short loose vest – wool or linen in McCall’s 2260
Will probably purchase Knit tee shirts for layering, Leggings, Scarves, Pair of shoes – flat, comfortable, all weather. I am not a feminine person in general. Hate make up, and frilly, or fancy stuff, but who knows before this is over I may even buy a necklace.