A couple of months ago I spend a week working interstate – where it was warm. Since I have put on weight over the past year, I thought that it would be nice to have some new clothes that fitted me. And then I embarked on a weekend of sewing.
I started with two pairs of Style Arc Barb pants, in Style Arc bengaline. This is a woven with loads of stretch, and I’ve sewn them before. This meant that the pattern was already altered to fit me lengthwise and so these were cut out and sewn very quickly. They are a great mid-weight for wearing in air-conditioned buildings. I have a dim memory that one of the colours is “Nutmeg” and the other “Tobacco”. Don’t quote me though.
I then shopped the stash for knit fabrics that would coordinate with the pants. Because I was aiming to sew a number of garments, I selected patterns that I had used before and that had a small number of pieces. I started with the Style Arc Ginger top.
The fabric is a stable John Kaldor knit that originally came from my mum’s stash – so I suspect that it could date back to the 1980s? Mum, did you buy this at Naughton’s back in the day? It coordinated perfectly with both pairs of pants, and contained tiny dots of other brighter colours.
I sewed it in size 12, and feel that this top is a great summer style for me. I will definitely be using this pattern again. The next top on the agenda was the In House Patterns Kimono tee.
I used scraps of a viscose/spandex knit from Tessuti for the body of the top, with scraps of bengaline left over from one of the pairs of pants for the yoke and neck band. I did have to do some judicious fabric piecing to have enough of the viscose, and only just managed to squeeze it all out.
Since the yoke and neck band were from the same bengaline as one of the pairs of pants, this top coordinated beautifully! Next on the agenda was a Style Arc Maris top.
Last time that I sewed this top I used linen. This time I used printed knit scraps for the yoke and lower band, and Style Arc jersey for the body. So fast to sew!
I used a viscose/spandex knit that was a generous gift from a friend Sue. There is a lot to like about this top. The cowl sits beautifully, the extended shoulder line makes it work appropriate, and the drawstring that gathers the bottom into a circle at one side is really pretty.
The draping really works nicely on my pot-bellied, thick waisted figure. It’s also very comfortable. Nothing clings, yet I’m not swamped in fabric. The top is cut on the bias, even though it’s in a knit. It all works really well.
So that was two pairs of pants and four coordinating tops. Then I started to get concerned about air-conditioning making me cold. So it was back to the fabric and pattern stash I went! I found two solids that I thought would work well for simple cardi-jackets.
This is a fairly thin crepe type of knit and I have no concrete memory of where I bought it. I used Simplicity 1945 (possibly OOP) for the cardi. This cardi worked well over the Ginger and Maris tops.
Lastly, a simple cardi using Kwik Sew 3819 in a cotton/spandex knit from Super Cheap Fabrics. It went nicely with the Yalta top and the In house Patterns Kimono tee.
I packed two pairs of shoes, a few accessories, and fitted everything into a carry-on suitcase. I also managed my pyjamas, toiletries and a couple of knit dresses to wear for dinner in the evening. This was during Me Made May, so I took selfies in the disabled/unisex loo each day.
It was surprisingly enjoyable and relaxing making this little capsule wardrobe. Because I chose patterns that I’d used before, that all had minimal pieces and only simple details, it was very fast to sew them all. Because they were all knits or stretch wovens almost all assembly was done on the overlocker, and I used the machine for hems. I also liked the process of auditioning patterns and fabrics. Usually I make “one-off” outfits rather than focusing on coordinates, so this was a pleasant change. Now these clothes all wait until Spring when it will be warm enough for me to wear them again.