This year, I'd like to see us turn our attention back a bit to the original concept of a wardrobe that works well together -pieces that all coordinate and form a cohesive collection with a huge number of possible combinations. However, we're still a sewing board, and I still believe "sewing" should be the primary focus.
So.... Let's return to the tradition 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:
3 "wildcard" items
For our "sewing" focus -and this year's twist- let's make at least one garment that is reversible, transformable, or upcycled from another garment. For instance: a dress that can be worn as a shirt, a pair of pants that can roll up to be worn as shorts, or a jacket that can also be a dress. "Upcycling" includes remaking an older garment into something new, taking a vintage pattern and modernizing it into a more current style, or recycling the fabrics or notions from another item to incorporate it into something new. The original item to be reworked does not need to be a garment; you can remake a dozen scarves into a skirt or transform an old handbag into a collar and cuffs -use your imagination.The "wild card" options can be just about anything you like, but they must be "garments" not accessories (hats, bags, blankets, etc.)
As I mentioned in previous posts, here, here and here, I wanted to try something very different, and I used patterns from a designer called Tina Givens. She has her own couture line here, and she certainly has an unusual 1920's meets 'Out of Africa esthetic.
This is what my final collection looks like:
Before editing. I actually made more clothes than I needed. Just in case! Unfortunately, the pair of patterned trousers did not make the final cut as not all my tops worked with them. Nonetheless, I think that they are great, and they will be worn. Lots!
Here are my finished 11 - five tops, three bottoms, two dresses (that can be worn on their own or doubled up as tunics) and a duster coat/tunic.
Here are the individual garments:
And a few close up photos:
And I was also intrigued to see how many 'looks' I could get out of these garments. Would you care to take a look? (the answer is after the collection of photos):
5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#1) + 1 duster = 10
5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#2) + 1 duster = 10
5 tops x 1 pair trousers (#3) + 1 duster = 10
2 dresses on their own + with/without the duster + with the trousers (#1) = 8
2 dresses + with the trousers (#2) + with/without the duster = 4
2 dresses + with the trousers (#3) + with/without the duster = 4
For a grand total of 46 looks! Well, that's 'Me Made May' sorted!! And on the subject of numbers, Tina Givens actually sells her Couture Collection, and I priced up some of the items that I had made. For my costs I did not pay more that $8/m, the trousers took 2m and the slips/dresses/jacket 3m:
Trousers x 3 = 3 x $270 = $810. My Costs 3 x $16 = $48
Slips x 5 = 5 x $279 = $1395. My Costs 5 x $24 = $120
Dresses x 2 = 2 x $349 = $698. My Costs 2 x $24 = $48
Jacket/Tunic x 1 = 1 x $308. My Costs 1 x $24 = $24
Now, it would be fair to throw in some thread, buttons, elastic, 3 x TG Sewing Patterns etc - let's say $50. I am not going to price out my time as I sew as a hobby - this is my entertainment. So let's look at the totals:
TG Couture = $3201 or $291 per item
Spotty Dog Social Club = $290 or $26 per item
Interesting. My costs are just less than 10% of the designer originals. The Couture items are actually sold in a shop in Calgary - I'll have to wear some of my collection and then go and stalk the shop! Do you cost out your clothes? Do you think that it is fair to compare with the Couture originals?
Meanwhile, back with the SWAP . . . . . I checked the dates on Artisan's Square (who run the SWAP) and I posted on February 24th that I intended on taking part - so about 8 weeks to make these garments. Not bad really - the joys of using simple but fun patterns!
I'm just waiting to see what the instructions are for submitting photos etc - I have dozens more photos, and will attempt to load them to Flickr, for you to see. I've no idea if that link will work - I don't use Flickr very often!
Finally, I wanted to upload just one more photo - after all, Alberta is cowboy country!