Sunday, February 25, 2018

Of Sweaters, Capsule Wardrobes, and Baby Goats

"One more sewing challenge? Why not?"
That was my thought when I saw the Pattern Review capsule wardrobe contest. A set of 6 garments, consisting of one "topper" (jacket/cardigan/ect.), two bottoms, and three tops, that mix and match well. What a great addition to my wardrobe that would be! Yes! I would do it! I was already planning on making myself a new cardigan, so I might as well make five things to go with it. (Never mind that I have a closet full of clothes that work with said cardigan) Thus, I signed up for the contest.

My bottle babies (each the smallest from sets of triplets!), Ruby and Milkyway.

Then baby goats took over my life. Literally. I went from having a pasture full of pregnant goats, and plenty of sewing time, to having a pen full of new mamas and babies, a field full of goats about to kid, a shed full of goats in labor, interrupted nights of sleep, and almost no sewing time. (And I'm not complaining about it because I really do love kidding season and baby goats are just the best, most adorable, little things!) Now, the thing to do in this situation is to acknowledge the fact you don't have time to take on any new sewing projects and put all current projects on the back burner. 

Unfortunately I'm stubborn and I haven't done that. Rather, my mind has kicked into overdrive and my sewing room is more cluttered than ever with patterns and fabric stacked together and waiting to be sewn into all sorts of awesome things - 1890's shirt waists, 1890's tea gowns, 18th century stays, 18th century gowns, 1950's inspired dresses, dresses for my sister, and capsule wardrobe pieces - and I have almost no time to sew any of it! My projects are piling up much faster than I can make them! I'm running out of room in my sewing room to actually do any sewing!

So, sewing this capsule wardrobe for myself. It sounds like a really crazy plan right now, doesn't it? Well actually, it's not. Most of the pieces I have planned are actually pretty simple and can be sewn up in a couple hours, whenever I can catch a bit of time in the sewing room. They are things I can actually get done right now, as opposed to the historical projects I have planned. Amidst all my plans for big sewing projects, I think these smaller projects are keeping me sane. At the end of each week I can look back and see that I've completed something other than feeding goats and cleaning out sheds, and that's pretty darned nice! The things I sew will stay sewn, where as, the goats I've fed, will need to be fed again the next day, and sheds will get dirty again.

My big historical projects? Those need to get boxed up for the next month or so until the goats are less crazy. But this capsule wardrobe? It's happening! 1 cardigan, 1 T-shirt, 1 tank top, 1 blouse, 2 pairs of pants. Those are my plans, and the first three items are already checked off the list! As I mentioned above, when I found out about the contest, I already had plans to sew a cardigan, so that was the first project on the cutting table!

In a lot of ways this cardigan was the definition of an easy sew. Only 5 seams and no hemming required! The only thing that made it slightly complicated was my decision to make it reversible.

I've had the idea to make a reversible, blanket-type, drapey cardigan for over a month now. I saw a friend wearing a sweater that met that description and my first thought was "I like that," quickly followed by "I could make that!" 
From that day on I was keeping my eyes open for just that right fabric. When I spotted a thick sweater knit on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby, I knew I'd found what I was looking for!

 One side of the fabric is a black and white tribal pattern, while the other is just black and white yarn knitted together to make a solid(ish) gray. Being a neutral color, with both a patterned and a solid side, my reversible sweater will go with just about anything!

Fabric in hand, I found Simplicity 8021 in my pattern stash and was happy to see it had the shape I was going for with this project! All I had to do was alter the neckline to get rid of the collar the pattern had. That was easy enough to do! I also, of course, added large patch pockets to the patterned side of my cardigan.

The body of the sweater only has one seam straight down the center back, (no side seams at all!), and I am thrilled with how my pattern matching on that one seam turned out! The pattern on two halves of the sweater is almost perfectly mirrored!

That one seam, along with the sleeve seams, is flat-felled so that it looks equally good on both the patterned and solid sides of sweater. No seam allowances seen anywhere!

My reversible blanket cardigan turned out just as I hoped it would - even though I made it in the middle of kidding season :)

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