I generally like to participate in the Pattern Review contests, if only because nothing gets me sewing like a deadline. But I’ve sat out of the last several contests for various reasons (no time, seriously, being the main culprit this spring). As more of my time freed up at the end of summer, I went to check out which contests were running in the fall, and was rather disappointed – mini wardrobe? Ugh, that’s too much planning, I thought, and dismissed it out of hand. Then I started seeing other sewists writing about the benefits of planning outfits and sewing with a plan and… well, I started to come around to the idea.
The mini-wardrobe idea worm kept wiggling deeper, and then sort of collided with the making-pants worm and then they ate the hey-you’ve-got-this-yellow-denim-that’s-too-stretchy-for-a-coat notion, and suddenly I was googling paint programs that I could use to create a mini wardrobe storyboard and pillaging the stash for fabrics that go with yellow. So, yeah, I guess I’m making a mini wardrobe after all.
(This was the best I could do. Seriously, all you people who make crazy awesome storyboards with your fabric filling in the line drawings, what program are you using?)
My central, or key, item here is, of course, the yellow pants. Because if you make yellow pants, you’d sure better have at least a few things to wear with them, right? The Tori pants pattern was the freebie when I made my StyleArc pattern order a while ago, and, like this contest, I dismissed them at first. Was I seriously ever going to make a pair of cropped elastic waist pants? Well, as it turns out, yes, I was. They’re designed for super stretch wovens, which I realised are ideal for bike commuting – good range of motion on the bike, still presentable for work! And I figured as long as I make long enough shirts to wear with them, no one need know my dirty little elastic waist secret. I had a couple yards of very stretchy, lightweight yellow denim in the stash which I had ordered with the intention of making a coat, but when it arrived it was decidedly too lightweight for a coat and really seemed more appropriate for pants… so I decided to take the plunge!
The coordinating items just fell into place after that. First, I’d been planning to make the Simplicity 2443 jacket out of gray corduroy for about the last two years, and it just kept getting pushed aside. No more delays! – it will go perfectly with yellow pants. I also uncovered in a corner of my stash a very lightweight, very very stretchy knit with a funky gray/black/white geometric print that had just never found the right project. Enter McCall’s 6513, ideal for a light knit since the front is almost completely doubled and there’s no neckline finishing. Done! Another vague project rescued from the annals of planning history was a blouse with bust gathers made from a simple black and white dot cotton poplin. I was originally going to hack a pattern to get the bust gathering I wanted, but my procrastination paid off for once and Vogue released the perfect pattern last year (I’m going to change the sleeve to a slightly puffed, banded short sleeve, though). Finally, my plan to muslin the Thurlow pants pattern by making a (hopefully!) wearable pair of shorts got sucked into the mini wardrobe too, as another bottom to wear the tops with when I’m not in a yellow pants kind of mood. So there it is! And all from the stash, I might add! (Let’s just be proud of that and not consider that it might indicate my stash is way too extensive, shall we?)
I didn’t want to commit to this contest until I was relatively sure I could complete it, hence the
mid-er, late!-month announcement. But so far I’ve completed the titular yellow pants as well as the drape-neck jersey top (reviews coming soon), and I’m nearly finished with the jacket, so I’m cautiously optimistic. All the same, I wouldn’t be surprised if either the blouse or the shorts mysteriously morph into a knit top in the last few days of the month… but you gotta aim high, right?