A sucker for a challenge

I really enjoyed the Colette Patterns competition. There was a purpose, a deadline and restrictions. Getting creative within those restrictions got my design muscle twitching; planning, testing and finally realising my chosen design was satisfying beyond other sewing experiences.

The start of Me Made May (which I’m not taking part in), got me musing about mix and match, wearable, me-made items. That train of thought, coupled with my sewing competition awakening, morphed seamlessly into to the idea that I could further push myself in design, sewing and wearability by imposing a mini wardrobe challenge on myself. After that, it was seconds till I was pulling fabric from my stash with the aim of gathering together a palette from which I would formulate my designs (which was unfortunate because I was supposed to be cooking dinner…).

Whilst rummaging I came up with The Rules Which Can Not Be Broken:

  • Fabric must come from stash and should include some thrifted items for refashion (notion purchase is allowed)
  • Capsule wardrobe must be separates (too many dresses)
  • Each separate item must go with at least two other items being made and one of three existing wardrobe items

The rules serve as design restrictions, but some wider aims will serve as more of a design brief. They are:

  • Have a mix and match wardrobe I actually want to wear and tie the wardrobe in with current wardrobe items
  • Focus on excellent construction
  • Enact some plans I had last year/make up some long-intended patterns
  • Stretch my sewing and drafting skills with some advanced techniques (and finally complete my personal sloper), and with an eye on THE dress, incorporate skills I would need to enact my currently envisioned design
  • Develop some design concept skills, rather than flit from one make to the next

There were several contenders for my stash palette, but mainly because I wanted to wear the African wax print I bought last summer, I picked the peacock colour-way (or, the turquoise pile).

(Sorry about the quality of the photos. I’m on a steep blogging learning curve and hopefully I’ll get better in time. You’ll see the individual fabrics in much better detail as I get sewing.)

I am matching this selection with three me-made items from my wardrobe, a self-drafted skirt & two Colette Sorbettos, and a weird 1970’s poly jacket I got from Oxfam.

I already had some of those fabrics earmarked for specific patterns so I’m pressing ahead with those whilst allowing other design ideas to percolate.

Hullo world (or, at least, the part interested in sewing)

Louis, Louis (er, and Louis) (from 2noblecrows)

Louis, Louis (er, and Louis) (from 2noblecrows)

The Louis Vuitton eyelet fabric from spring 2012 registered immediately on my bride radar (more on what tickles that in later posts). With the frustration of knowing I would never be able to find that fabric (unless my fabric-stall man outside Sainsbury’s happened to find it lurking in his magical warehouse), I parked it as airy, frothy inspiration. That was until Colette Patterns announced a competition to coincide with the launch of their new pattern, Laurel.

“Yes!” I thought “it’s now or never. Can I possibly recreate something that looks anything like Louis’s eyelets?” The answer, after several weeks of production-line sewing is, probably not! But, then again, does that matter?