Sunday, April 27, 2014

SWAP; in conclusion

SWAP!  
I have had a mammoth dressup-and-selfie session.  Aaaaagh!  How do models do it?!  Please excuse any grim, loopy, vacant or otherwise weird facial expressions that pop up randomly amongst the following pics. 
The good thing is that I am even more confident now that I have made a fairly cohesive collection and everything goes together pretty much as it should: and most importantly, I actually like it all and know I will enjoy wearing everything.  The former is never a foregone conclusion, so that was a particular relief.  :)
To summarise:  the eleven pieces comprise three 3-packs; that is, three sets of three items that go together; and two wild cards.  My three packs each have one skirt and two tops, and my two wild cards are a dress and a coat.

All the things: and each is linked to their original construction posts.

The Alabama Chanin 3-pack: 
1)   a fully embroidered mid-length skirt
2)  a fully embroidered fitted tank and 
3) a plain fitted tank
The first two are hand-stencilled and -embroidered and all three are completely hand-sewn, and all patterns are from the book Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, by Natalie Chanin.  The midi skirt was the most major and labour intensive item of the entire swap, the embroidery alone taking hours upon hours of my time.  I couldn't even tell you how many ... LOTS! just about sums it up, I think!  The embroidered fitted tank looks deceptively little but was also quite major, coming in second place in time consumption.  I'm almost too scared to wear these two pieces! but I'm pretty stoked with them.  The little white fitted tank was a spur of the moment decision, a substitute for a different sleeveless white top that I had initially planned for the swap.  It was relatively quick and easy, and I've already worn it a few times.

The Ivory 3-pack:  
4) Vogue 1170 skirt in ivory leatherette
5) the loose drapey top from the book Drape Drape by Hisako Sato, in ivory rayon/linen knit and
6) Tao blouse, by Tamanegi Kobo, white silk/linen dyed pale cocoa brown
I'd originally planned for my big baggy pockets skirt to be the "bottom" in this group but changed my mind in favour of this twirly little leatherette skirt instead.  I swapped out my swap, haha!  Reason being that I ended up making the other skirt a quite long midi-length skirt, so it has a very similar silhouette to the Alabama Chanin skirt;  this one is very different in length and style to my other two swap skirts and so I decided it adds a bit more variety to the mix.  OK, I admit I realised that only, like two days ago; when I wore it together with my brand new cardigan!  Revelation, and last minute change of plans!  Fortunately I made it within the swap time-frame so it fits in with the rules.    The ivory cowl neck top; I'd originally planned a long-sleeved Tshirt but the fabric was so thin I made the decision to make a double-layered, sleeveless top instead.  The pale cocoa blouse was initially planned to be made with patched-together pieces, all dyed in slightly different shades of brown, but I decided that would be a bit too OTT so I made it plain.  So retrospectively, this is rather colourless and undramatic little group, but y'know what?  I'm very happy with all three pieces, and even more at how they will work beautifully with, like every single thing else in my wardrobe. 

The Autumnal 3-pack; 
7) patchwork skirt adapted from Vogue 8363, made from old jeans
8) hand-knitted Miette cardigan, a design by Andi Satterlund, in aran tweed yarn and
9) top X from the book Stylish Dress Book, by Yoshiko Tsukiori, white broderie anglaise
The sludge-coloured patchwork skirt, well yes, it is pretty eye-catching and more than a bit weird I admit that, but man it's so comfy and I feel pleasantly kooky and a bit avant grade wearing it too.  The white broderie anglaise blouse; from the very first I've loved wearing this nice summery breezy thing! and something like this can be a nice transitional item, worn with more wintery skirts just as the weather starts to cool off just a bit.  I really like the contrast of the delicate white broderie anglais against rough, sombre, rustic patchwork of the skirt.  The mustard cardigan  was supposed to be a jacket, but I'm relieved I went for it as a cardi instead.  

The wild cards; 
10)  (out of print) Vogue 2438, an Issey Miyake designed dress, chocolate brown pin-striped cotton, and 
11) McCalls 5525 trench, charcoal check wool with ivory leatherette piping.
Both made entirely to plan.  I've worn the chocolate dress a few times; it's a simple and comfy, and quietly unusual.  I like it more and more each time, and think it's going to be a long-term favourite  :)

As well as the 3-packs, I took some photos of other combinations just to show how everything goes well together.  I only took the one photo above with the coat, but that's OK; it's a coat and so it will just get tossed over everything when it's cold.  Otherwise, I think I've covered many of the possible wearing combinations of everything.  I might have missed one or two, but yah, I'm OK with that.  I kinda OD'ed on playing dress-ups yesterday and so I can live without photos for a while.  Phew!




So!  This swap is finished.   Please imagine that spoken in the same tone as Poltergeist's "This house is clean".

A post mortem... Well, probably it was good for my self discipline to be sensible and methodical, instead of my usual habit of haphazardly and whimsically making whatever my flighty self desires on the spur of any random moment regardless of whether or not it goes with anything else in my wardrobe, ahem!  And I sure do have plenty of autumn/winter things to choose from now!   ;)  I really like all the things, and so it's funny to me that some of them I probably wouldn't have chosen to make without that plan.   Meaning, maybe it can be a good thing to force yourself to plan and add "usefully" to your wardrobe.  
However, since sewing is my creative outlet as well as a purely practical means of clothing myself, then wild, thoughtless sewing maelstroms are kinda balm for my soul.  And so I reckon it's OK to indulge occasionally.  Within reason, of course.  ;)

56 comments:

  1. What an absolutely stunning collection of garments. You can really see they were well thought out and that a lot of work went in to them. As usual, your colour choices are perfect - especially with your hair colouring I think. I really like the versatility. I'm trying to aim for a similar idea (capsule wardrobe style)...what's fun is how different our colour choices are, that's one of the things I really love about reading sewing blogs. No-one ever makes exactly the same thing and everyone's choices really reflect who they are and their life. It's so much more interesting than seeing clothes someone's bought from a shop!

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  2. Wow, well done for planning well and sticking with the plan (that's a part I'm really bad at...). It's great to see how well everything goes together.
    I particularly like your dress and cardigan

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  3. I Love Them All!!Top Pick Is The White Broderie Top. No, The Jeans Skirt... Hmmm Tough To Choose A favorite! Your Swap Makes Me ThiNk About Trying My Hand On Planning Too. Must Mull Things Over More About The Matter :) Thank You.as Always For Inspiring Me :)

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  4. Congratulations on a great SWAP. Lots of variety.

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  5. It`s amazing! Everything from this collection looks great:)

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  6. Super stylish, great inspiration to persist with my (far less cohesive) autumn sewing plans!

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  7. Like others, I couldn't pick a favourite - they are all so different and yet combine so well. An awesome effort!

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  8. Fabulous collection of beautiful clothes. You fulfilled the SWAP criteria perfectly. Congratulations!

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  9. This is awesome. I love the 3 pack concept. Everything works beautifully in its pack, and switched up. My faves are that leatherette skirt - which has a great swirl and shows off your terrific legs - and the Miyake dress.

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  10. That Alabama Chanin set is jaw dropping lay gorgeous!!!! And I love your dress, cardigan, jacket and leatherette skirt - but to be honest the whole collection is amazing. Congratulations a beautiful collection

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  11. Wow that is amazing!! Just beautiful and it makes me think I should have given this a shot. Very envious of your coordinated wardrobe. Each piece is just perfect. Be proud!

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  12. You made combinations that I never would have thought of, but it all works seemlessly and really seems to reflect your personal style so well! Wonderful collection!

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  13. Gorgeous! All of those muddy, earthy colors look fabulous with your coloring. I've always wanted to wear that goldenrod color but can't. Everything is cohesive yet each piece can stand alone. The white broderie anglaise shirt is my absolute favorite. If you ever want to part with that beauty, you can send it my way! ;)

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  14. It's a gorgeous collection, very cohesive and true to your unique style. I admire your ability to stick with the plan as I never seem to able to.

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  15. a great collection and all very you.

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  16. It's a beautiful collection!! You are so good at knowing your style and making pleasantly kooky look artful. It's the perfect balance of fun, casual, and completely stylish!

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  17. Amazing! Congrats on finishing. And not an "orphan" in the bunch- this collection has so many possibilities for mixing and matching, and I'm sure they also go with things you already own.

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  18. Beautiful work. They all look great with flats....or heels! Personal favorite: Miyake dress.

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  19. Oh Carolyn. All such beautiful pieces. I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but it's probably a tie between the Chanin set and the dress.

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  20. fantastic collection and they do mix and match so well. and this phrase made me laugh " usual habit of haphazardly and whimsically making whatever my flightly self desires" that describes my sewing style all the time !
    Love that Miyake dress, innovative and yet wearable.

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  21. I am drooling over the Issey Miyake dress!! It is really out of print and difficult to find, ah well. This collection came out really cohesive and they all look really together. What a great round-up!

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    1. *They all look great together. (missed the word "great")

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  22. Your SWAP is so awesome and so you! I love so many of the pieces but the Alabama Chanin pieces really jump out at me because of the amount of handwork you did to bring these lovelies to fruition! Good luck in the competition!!!

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  23. Your swap has come together beautifully. So much hard work has gone into this collection and I am sure it the pieces with get worn a lot.

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  24. this is so smart! i love how your pieces mix and match. it's tough to balance the "sewing whims" with the "wardrobe needs," but i love it whenever i see someone make such planned sewing choices. great job!

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  26. Such a fabulous collection - and it is good to hear that you are loving and wearing everything! I also rather like you black shoes with the bar - very 1920's! Great photos - as always! Congrats!

    PS: Had to delete the previous comment due to a spelling error that looked VERY wrong!!

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    1. thank you two toast! and also for explaining the deletion; I'm often extremely curious about deleted comments! ;)

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  27. This is a huge piece of work you've completed. And they all suit you - of course.

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  28. How thoroughly inspiring! Love everything, and how beautifully it all fits together. Standing ovation I reckon!

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  29. Your SWAP is tremendous, I love how you have combined your more artistic pieces with elegant and more simple items to make a cohesive collection. I can't see the more subtle pieces as "colourless and undramatic" at all - I think they are the cornerstone (and hard working pieces) of this fabulous and collection. (although the Alabama Chanin pieces are still making me drool over my computer....)

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  30. You displayed unbelievable focus in sticking to your SWAP. Everything is beautiful. I hope you enjoy wearing them as much as I enjoyed watching your creative proces..

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  31. Amazing SWAP love all your pieces and so glad you are enjoying wearing them!

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  32. Wow Carolyn, such an amazing effort. Everything works together so well. Congratulations on such a great collection of clothes!

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  33. An amazing wardrobe of clothes showing an amazing array of skills. Jo x

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  34. Well done, all those lovely pieces that work so well together! I'm bad about liking too many colours and picking up bits in charity shops. I do know that my best palate of colour is charcoal/dusty or navy blue/taupes (like yours seems to be autumnal colours). I'm trying to stick with my best colours (and maybe some cream for summer) instead of being all over the place. This would be an excellent discipline for me (and here you're talking about indulging)!

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  35. Wow. Just amazing! I tried to do SWAP again this year, but I still haven't figured out how to do a 'collection', like this. It's amazing how so much variety comes together so cohesively. All the textures, silhouettes, colors, perfectly seamless, (except for the seams:) Good work! I'm going to go stare at your collection some more.

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    1. J Whicker; thank you so much for the lovely compliments! :)

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  36. What a beautiful, and cohesive, set of seasonally appropriate clothes. This is what I aspire to.

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  37. Gorgeous set of clothing, you look amazing in each outfit

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  38. Everything looks great! It's neat that you can put together so many interesting outfits from these pieces. I like the Miette with the Chapin pieces a lot, too.

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  39. It's such a lot of focus to follow through on a whole set of garments - without losing interest or needing a creative sewfest along the way - all look great. Finishing in a tight time frame is quite an achievement as well - especially when knitting something.

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  40. A lovely collection. I found myself liking the patchwork skirt more and more as I scrolled through your post. I also really like the brown Issey dress and the AC set and the broderie top and, and...! Great job!

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  41. This is a stupedous collection, and the colours really, really suit you. Well done.I love the brown dress. Good luck in the SWAP competition.

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  42. This is so beautiful! What a fabulous collection! I will keep in mind the thoughts you have gathered from sewing with a plan too.

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  43. No wonder you are enjoying wearing these garments, they are so much a reflection of your personality - or what I can gleam about you from your wonderful postings over the years. Very stunning collection simple but edgy you have my vote!

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    1. thank you very much jacquianne! I do feel like each piece is very "me" so I am glad it appears that way too :)

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  44. I have been either participating or following SWAP ever since 2005 and I must say that your SWAP here is probably one of the most appealing ones I have ever seen. Bravissimo!!

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    1. oh, thank you so much Alison! you are too kind :)

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  45. Amazing! It really is a lot of work to finish a whole collection! My best plans always go wildly astray at some point... but your wardrobe always looks so thought through I'm surprised to hear you prefer the maelstrom! This is a wonderful collection and so nice to see it all together. I cannot begin to imagine all the embroidery, although sometimes those repetitive hand sewing things are so relaxing. Gorgeous, Carolyn!

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  46. This is a very individualist collection. I love the white anglaise blouse and the Issey Miyake dress.

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