Project Everyday Update #1

About a week ago, I shared my plan to make myself clothes for the entire month of April. And then in May, I am going to only wear those clothes PLUS any new ones I manage to sew. Only my under and outer wear will be commercially produced.

One of the reasons for my current fascination with garment sewing is the reality design show Project Runway. So, I thought I would call this Project SewAWAY because that is what I would be doing. Walt suggested Project Hallway. Which made me think of calling it Project Everyday. I like it. And it is exactly what I am trying to do–create a wardrobe from scratch that I can really wear every day.

Today is the eleventh day of this project, and it is time to access what I’ve got and what I need.

As long as I made the garment, I am including it in my wardrobe for May.

So, this post doesn’t go on forever I am going to systematically share the pattern, the line sketch of the pattern, the fabric, the garment on Gertrude, and the garment on me. Here we go.

The first piece I made is from the Laurel pattern by Colette. This tunic is made of woven wool and vintage kimono fabrics. I can easily wear a base layer under it which is a bonus. I wrote about this pattern in more detail here.

Next up, I created a uber-comfy lint collector based on the Lola pattern by Victory Patterns. I used a good quality fleece from Seams Like Home here in town.

Fleece is a great sub-arctic textile that has not been fully explored. You see it in active wear, but it can be used for dress wear too. I used the Coco Pattern by Tillie and the Buttons to make this retro fleece top. This time, I put the fuzzy side of the fabric on the inside.

I liked the Coco Pattern so much. I made it again. This time I added the cuffs. This one is made from a very sturdy wool knit with lace embossed onto the surface. I think this garment sends a mixed message–it says dowdy Aunt Mabel and cool vintage dress-up all at the same time. I wrote more about this garment here.

About this time, I came up with Project Everyday. This meant I couldn’t be making a bunch of dowdy hipster clothes to wear once in a blue moon. I needed to think about making clothes that I wear day in and day out. I needed to address my fear of t-shirt knits. I needed to watch Marcy and Katherine Tilton’s The Ultimate T-Shirt class from Craftsy three times and then do it. This t-shirt is made with Katherine’s T-shirt pattern for Vogue. It is made from black ponte knit. I survived! I was so excited about this t-shirt that I wore it for three days straight. Walt offered to wash it. I took that as sign that maybe I needed to make some more.

But first, I made this tunic from another Katherine Tilton pattern produced by Butterick. I made the pockets smaller and flatter as well as curved the hemline. The fabric is a beautiful soft Bamboo/Spandex cotton.

I then made another Tilton Tee using a striped Rayon/Lycra Jersey and a 100% cotton gray T-shirt from the thrift store. I struggled with combining the two levels of stretch and the different weights, but I like patchwork.

And finally, I used my left overs from the Lola and the first Coco to make another Coco. I’m telling you this pattern has it all. It is easy to sew, very wearable in our climate, and looks good.

So that is where I am at. Here is my wardrobe as it stands on the 11th day of April.

By now, you may have noticed something. Yes, it is true. This stitcher has no pants. I am going to get right on that as soon as I can convince myself to stop making t-shirts.

But first a few notes.

Why is it that the best pictures of me are always blurry or I have my eyes closed?

My palette has unintentionally skewed towards brown, black, and grey. It is true I wear these colors a lot, but it has become obvious that I need to wow it up a bit.

When I try out a new pattern, there is a learning curve related to fabric, technique, and fitting. It is for this reason, I need to discipline myself to work with the patterns I know.

The fear of pants must be dealt with.

Wearing clothes that you have made is a wonderful feeling.

I need to create a a list of what should be made when and do things in that order, but will I?

Do not wait ten days to do an update.

What do you people think? I take advice.

This entry was published on April 11, 2014 at 4:13 PM. It’s filed under Project EveryDay, Sew and Sew and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

16 thoughts on “Project Everyday Update #1

  1. Alice Troxel on said:

    Loving the attitude. I made all my own clothes starting from the time I was in junior high, mostly from the financial necessity. When I began making a living wage, it became a treat to BUY clothes,so I stopped. Except for Halloween costumes and scrub tops I haven’t made clothes in years.
    You might be inspiring me to think about sewing clothes again!!

    Pants are a challenge initially, but once you get the hang of fitting them, it’s a skill you will have forever. Great work on the wardrobe.

    Dont forget your quilt cottons. I’m imagining some cotton tops and dresses in your wonderful handmade fabrics. Maybe some simple A line or princess seamed dresses and tops to show off the fabrics ? Some asymmetric jackets over your T-shirts?

    • Thank you Alice for your ideas. You are so right about creating some layering pieces. That is at the top of my list. And I’ve pulled some quilters cottons too.

  2. What an admirable project. Thanks for taking us all along for the ride.
    Have you looked through India Flint’s ‘2nd Skin’ book? She has lots of ideas for reworking existing garments – accepting India’s philosophy means reworked garments would qualify for your project.

    • Thank you Lesley for the tip. I ordered the book. Right now, as I focus on traditional garment construction, I am using thrift store clothes as fabric as well as fabric from my personal stash. As I continue to explore garment construction, I hope to do more work with reworking existing garments. Thank you so much for sharing India Flint’s work.

  3. You say you are on a kick of neutrals and miss your patchwork. Try this. Go to the thrift shop and buy three or more decent used t-shirts, the larger and wilder the color; wash them, then make a few patchwork infinity scarves. Mine are tubes about 8-9″ wide that vertically seam to 4-5″ wide. Twist them once or twice and make them long enough to drape double . They are warm, soft and add a punch to neutral garments. I buy the t-shirts 5 for a dollar here in SC and have quite a stash. I try to find 100% cotton. Even the gothic printed ones and other patterns cut up are great combined with solids. You can save the hems of shirts as-is for the ending if you’d rather not infinity them–just make single ones that you can tie or loop, length depends on what you like. Just seam, do not serge as this makes them stiff. I made many for gifts for friends and tried to remember what colors they like. Have had many compliments.

  4. pmgarrett2 on said:

    truly awesome!

    patricia garrett, lcsw box 671643 chugiak, ak 99567 907-854-7288

    Date: Sat, 12 Apr 2014 00:14:15 +0000 To:

  5. I’m impressed with what you’re doing here! As for pants, they’re pretty good. I suggest that you make yourself some PJ bottoms or “around the house” pants for starters. Take a look here:

    I like the oxford and european pants. I’ve made some PJ bottoms, lounging pants, and dressier work pants from these patterns. You can make them with and without pockets. Of course, there are other similar patterns from other indie pattern designers. Be sure to check for feedback about these patterns.

    Continue having fun!

    • Pants! I would be tempted to use an old favorite pair of pants, cut them up for a pattern rather than start with an unfamiliar one– just because Kathryn Hepburn (size 4) looked good in them. Just my lazy take on a potentially complicated task to complete in a month. No waist-band ones fit me best and are easiest to alter with the darts and a bias facing. And there is always elastic since you are making tunics. And then there are always tights which can serve as underwear if you challenge yourself too seriously. Carole

      • Carole- We think alike! You’ve basically got my strategy figured out. Do to just convince myself that it is time to do it!

    • Denny- Thank you for the great advice and the tip about Casual Elegance. I had not heard of them, and their patterns are really elegant and simple which I like a lot. I have made many pairs of pjs. But I live in jeans, so it is going to be a compromise. I doubt I will actually get a pair of jeans made, but I think I can make some denim pants that will feel sturdy enough to function in. Thanks Denny!

  6. This is the first time for me to read your blog, and I’m following you now! Love your plan and style. Keep it up!

    • Janie- Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad you like the blog. I try to keep fun and interesting even if that occasionally means I look a dork.

  7. Pingback: Project EveryDay Update #2 | Maria Shell

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