Tuesday, November 4, 2014

the downhill side

in which our plucky heroine notices that not only is this current year galloping towards the final stretch, but that the exciting knitting project is just over halfway completed...

Knitting the Fox Paws pattern is really enjoyable, and I think my favorite part is this row, where the stacked increases form little "fox toes"...

There are many projects in the works currently here at Acorn Cottage: income generating, various sorts of work trades, and useful and decorative things for both house and self, but nothing is in a state of completion. I am being drawn towards focusing my avocational time towards wardrobe planning and refurbishment, as my everyday wardrobe is direly in need of attention; the last wardrobe rebuild was two years ago, and with a minimal quantity of clothing, even well made garments begin to wear out if worn once or twice a week for that long.

Particularly since the rules for SWAP 2015 has just been announced, as well as the beginning of the Winter 6PAC, figuring out if my needful garments can fit in the general matrix of those plans is a fun challenge.
SWAP 2015: "the traditional 11-garment format, with all the tops working with all the bottoms, and wildcard garments that work with every other item.  This year, we need to make: 5 tops, 3 bottoms, and 3 "wildcard" items... this year's twist- let's make at least one garment that is reversible, transformable, or upcycled from another garment." ... "You may make dresses, but they only qualify as wildcards this year." 
Winter 6PAC: "The generic formula for winter is: - two over layer tops, one generally heavier (dare I say coat?) and one lighter.  For maximum versatility at least one of these, possibly both, will be a dark neutral colour.  Highly recommended that at least one is a cardigan (i.e. closes down the front) as they are more versatile in terms of creating outfits. - two under-layer tops.  - two bottoms. You must also limit your colour choice.  Two neutrals, or a neutral and a colour, are plenty.  Do not whine.  This is not your whole wardrobe forever.  This is the foundation for this season."
The requirements for SWAP rather threw me for a loop, as my dresses function as tops between November and April, but that is neither the letter or the spirit of the rules. There isn't much need for additional knit tops in my wardrobe either, but the camaraderie of Stitchers Guild is a great aid to maintaining sewing mojo, in addition to a wonderful source of feedback...

After a good nights sleep, and some more thought, it became clear to me that the problem I am having with the new/old SWAP idea is the requirement for five tops, and my ongoing difficulty with fitting the upper half of my torso. All my TNT garments avoid that problem in one way or another (pinafores leave most of that part uncovered, knit tops are stretchy, and my basic dress has a bias bodice) Maybe I could use this as encouragement to once again tackle fitting a basic woven top with a button front, which would definitely be a good addition to my group of TNT patterns. This has been a project I have attempted several times over the last ten years without a satisfactory result; I would wear blouses if I had them.

The next few days will hopefully yield a revised wardrobe plan as well as progress on the stitchery for Blue Cedar House, and beginning the Dragons Mist coronet project...

November SMART goal challenge
1 Norse collar embroidery * *
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  1. Good luck with the fitting. Remember you are 3D. This makes it all rather more interesting!

    1. The 3-D aspect both makes sewing more interesting and makes it more frustrating! I am actually looking forward to sorting out this bodice issue, as it has been holding me back for years now, and I suspect I will learn yet more about how I differ from "standard" shape. Also I recently found out about two different places local to my area, that have Open Sewing workshops with expert instructors that can help with solving difficult fitting issues - so if I get stuck and cannot figure out what to do I can get some hands on assistance. (though I have great confidence in the online help of my Stitchers Guild compatriots)

  2. Re creating a blouse that fits you (from Stitchers guild). Have you ever used that Russian site, I believe it is Lekala? From what I've read, ordering a pattern involves making a good number of measurements of your body. Results are mixed, if I remember correctly, but it might be worthwhile to order a blouse or jacket and see how it fits. Lekala patterns cost only a few dollars, I believe.

    1. I have only ever once downloaded a pattern, (from a different site) and it was an expensive hot mess! I have heard some good things about Lekala, and if I don't have a good result from trying to adapt my current patterns, I might consider that as an option.

      The thing about downloaded patterns is that even if the pattern itself is inexpensive, the cost of printing out many sheets of paper is not trivial, and more expensive at home than at a copy store. And then the fuss and bother of taping together all the pages before I could even trace out the pieces and start trying to grade and fit the garment! (For example, I was quite tempted by the Liesl & Co "Cinema Dress" pattern, which is only available as a digital download. Even if I didn't count the pattern cost (15$), there are seventy five pages to the pattern, which would cost at least an additonal seven or eight dollars to print out.

  3. Good points on the cost, you have really figured it out. Since your most challenging area is the shoulder/bust, you could choose the simplest bodice pattern, not a whole dress. It would require less paper.

    I almost exclusively use recycled paper (the back side of laser printed papers) that I gather from work, so paper is free. My printer is an inkjet; if I used a laser printer at home the ink on the first side would soften from the heat & dirty my printer. However, the paper at work is 24 lb, heavier than most used, so 2nd-side printouts are clean and readable. There's still the ink; I use what is supposed to be the font using the least amount of ink (century gothic) (but that doesn't apply to pattern downloads). I wonder if there is a way to print a PDF file using less ink, making a paler but adequate printout.

    It sounds, though, that the whole process is extremely annoying to you and working with your current patterns and fabric is enjoyable, so I'd say do what is enjoyable.