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Once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Celtic Knot Silk Scarf: How to style?

I love this silk scarf printed with celtic knot patterns, but find it very tricky to style.
 I would love some ideas of how I can incorporate it into my everyday wardrobe.
The colours are camel (not hugely flattering to my complexion), an ecru/off-white which is neither white nor cream with touches then of teal blue, olive green and rust.
I think it would be most exciting with a rust ponte dress and amber earrings, but other suggestions are most welcome.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Cream jeresy top finished

And its finished.
does not droop when worn. does need a press.
just wanted to share

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Berry Business - Cream jersey top

I am slowly working on Simplicity 2977 - the top View B, with sleeves added from another pattern in a luscious cream jersey.

It should work with lots of different things in my wardrobe. This will be the cream jersey top in the Berry Business SWAP plan
Ivory and cream are super useful in tops particularly as they work with so many combinations where something else already has a print/pattern/fleck/texture going on. I am going to apply the neck facing strip, more as a neck band, so I can ease some of the excess in (as I've not done an alteration on the tissue) and have a nicely fitting neckline.

Meanwhile the various grey fabrics have been through the laundry. The grey 'boucle' jacket will in fact be made from an Ikea Gurli throw.
In with the throw were black and grey ponte, some charcoal jersey and some light grey knit. Everything came out looking OK, with the pontes in particualr having a great hand, I am really looking forward to sewing the grey dress and may sneak a black one in too.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Berry Business SWAP 2014

My plans are all up in the air again. I loved the Berry SWAP on paper but when I started describing each piece to a sewing friend and thinking if it would work in my lifestyle I really backed away from it. I'd done some sewing research at lunch time in a nearby department store and so had a good mental imagine of what was current, and some of the planned pieces were just not going to cut it - the border print skirt for example.

I started again still incorporating some of the Berry pieces but also some more classic navy blue and mid grey since its my business wardrobe I want to bolster. This also reduces the number of pieces all in the same colour - something I put in SWAP plans a lot, but then get bored with actually sewing. I'll let it mature a little and then update my thread.

Well I've left it 24 hours and not only do I still like the 'Berry Business' collection still, I keep thinking of extra things the new grey and navy 3PACs would work with from my existing wardrobe. I have swiped images from rtw for this, but they give the general idea of the colours and styles if not the exact pieces I hope to sew.

So here is the first cut

Navy 3 PAC
Navy boiled wool jacket
Cream knit top
Navy and cream checked cutabout skirt

Grey 3 PAC
Grey boucle jacket
Cream self striped blouse
Grey ponte skirt

Berry 3 PAC
Burgundy ponte jacket
Pink silky cowl neck top
Burgundy ponte skirt

Wild cards
Grey ponte dress
Burgundy ponte dress

The tops will work between most of the 3 PACs, and the dresses work with the various jackets, especially with added scarf or necklace.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Berry SWAP instead?

The fabrics have been in my stash for a long time, except the corduroy which was originally rust coloured and I dyed with Dylon machine dye in 51 Burgundy. This has been in the craft supplies for years. And the bright pinksatin was acquired from my mum's stash earlier last year when she was clearing out a bit before moving.

At left, 4m of a knit which is a space dye of burgundy, pink, ivory and dark brown. This fabric has been in my stash for a long time and moved house with me 3 times, maybe it should get sewn now.
This would be a turtle neck top, a simple shell top and a cardigan jacket.

2nd left is the 2m length of 115cm wide corduroy fabric. This had been in my stash a reasonable length of time too, but only recently became purple.
This would be casual cord trousers, and any leftover scraps would be made into waistcoat fronts.

The centre fabric is the lovely plum ponte. This too has been in the stash for a very long time and very much wants to be a shift dress for work. Its very wide and I have 3m of it, so I am hoping that with clever cutting it can be a dress, cardigan jacket and a little straight skirt.

2nd from right is a hot pink satin. There's 1.5m of this and it is a lovely fabric. This would be a soft shell with a draped/cowl neckline.

At right, 1.5m of a very wide crossways border print fabric. Also a very long lived member of the stash, I am imagining a simple woven tee style blouse showcasing the border print, and a matching longer length straight skirt.

This can be made to work with the current SWAP rules as follows:-
3 PAC1 - Ponte suit + blouse
Plum ponte jacket and matching straight skirt, worn with hot pink satin drape neck blouse (peeks at neckline).

3 PAC2 - Cord trousers + top and cardi
Plum cord trouser worn with space knit turtleneck top and space knit cardigan jacket

3 PAC3 -  border print skirt + top, plus another top
Plum/cream border print skirt and blouse, alternative top of a space knit shell.

wild cards
Plum ponte dress
plum cord waistcoat

Should issues occur with the plum pieces other substitutions would be things like a cream knit top, cream textured shell, black wide leg pants and etc

Monday, 6 January 2014

SWAP 2014 Keeping Focus

I've had a SWAP plan in my head based around dark green, black, cream and orange/rust for a little while, and and some way through sewing it.

It is of course at this point I suddenly become hugely inspired by a completely different palette and now have an urging for dark burgundy, warm pink, white and navy blue, with the burgundy in particular really catching my attention. The burgundy and pink could also work quite well with some black, grey and white classics instead of the navy.

The SWAP this year is set up as 3 sets of 3 garments which work together plus 2 wildcards, so I suppose I could have a green set, a black set and a burgundy set if that is something I really wanted.

Anyway in the meantime I have a green tweed waistcoat and a cream knit top to sew up, so those will take at least a week and then I can recap, see if I am still lured by the berry tones.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
edited to add I had a root through the fabric stash and could make a whole 11 piece plum/blackberry/burgundy/wine collection from 5 lengths of fabric I already own, and the pieces would all mix and match with a 3 piece plum suit I bought from the local dress agency. On this basis the whole green and copper thing would just be a little capsule and the berries would suceed instead. Hmmmm.

Friday, 3 January 2014

SWAP 2014: Green Corduroy skirt

Since I couldn't find some of the pattern pieces to sew up the orange cowl neck tops, I decided to get on and sew up one of the ready cut out projects - a dark green corduroy skirt.
This is from remants left over from making some trousers several years ago, and uses Simplicity 9825 cut as long as the scraps would allow.
It has an invisible zip and a centre back split and comes just below the knee, so should blend into the dark green boots.
 

The corduroy is lovely and soft so should be a nice casual skirt to wear.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wonderful handknit birthday gift.

I sew a bit, and dabble in other crafts (mostly ones involving glue, paint and making a mess) but never quite mastered the art of knitting. However I have a very creative and talented friend J who sews exquisitely complicated things and also knits exquisitely complicated things, sometimes as gifts. Yay!!!
(I think you can see where this is going...)

So I had a birthday recently and was lucky enough to get a squishy package from J containing these beautiful socks, they are soft and silky and many of the colours of the rainbow - are they not beautiful? I am not sure what the yarn is made from, something very soft and with a lovely sheen to it.
The colours are wonderful, they definitely include green, gold, orange, pink and purple, and I think I can see blue, copper and coral as well.

Thank you so much for such a beautiful birthday gift. I know how much works goes into these and I cherish them!

Rainbow Ruthie xxx
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updated to add that J says this is Bamboo yarn

What I'm planning for 2014

I'm not going to review the 5 best garments from last year, or analyse the statistics of my sewing projects because frankly I'd rather spend the time sewing. If you were looking for that sort of stuff then sorry!

Other sewing bloggers are also writing their creative goals for next year. I suppose I do have some of those. Mine are
- complete the Stitchers Guild SWAP 2014
- paint an abstract cirlces canvas in the style of Damien Hirst (I'm not a fan of the preserved animals, but did like the coloured circles on a white background I saw in an exhibition yesterday.)
- reduce the stash by sewing items for charity craft fayres, my home/wardrobe or give unusable fabric away to the charity shop.
- sew things appropriate for work e.g. soft jackets, tailored trousers, work blouses and work dresses.

That's really about it on the sewing/creative front as I really need to focus more on my life goals which are

- pass the probationary period in my new job and be confirmed as permanent
- declutter my stuff
- manage my finances and keep the paperwork under control
- buy a little house and move into it, and get it to feel like home.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Orange Dartless Woven Tee - SWAP 2014

I used a narrow panel (110cm) of what seems to be polyester fabric, which had been crinkled and dyed in diagonal stripes of red orange, orange and golden orange. I cut the front so the red orange would be close to my face and the golden areas further away.
This version of the dartless shell blouse is cut slightly wider across the centre front, and the layout on the narrow fabric carefully done to allow a loop scarf to be cut also.
This may well be part of my Verdigris SWAP, being of course the coppery coloured part of the verdigris (though it seems more 'flame' coloured to me, but lets not worry about that!)

This fabric is the sort where you can screw it up into a ball, and when you open it back out again it looks exactly the same, so could be quite useful for travel.
I will try and do some photos of me wearing the recent garments on Friday evening as I do now have a blouse, a skirt and a jacket, so a whole outfit I can show you!
Can you see how the colours in the blouse connect with the copper detailing on the dark green suede boot?
I've added my grandmother's brooch to the lapel as well as this also echoes the copper tones. Conservative but with a little twist of Ruthie colour.