Thursday, October 18, 2012

Singer Perfect Plus - A New Wardrobe

As part of my commitment of no RTW for a year, I have been leafing through one of my sewing books - Singer Perfect Plus by Kathleen Cheetham.  I have had this book of a number of years and was drawn to the idea of making a number of garments from a limited amount of patterns that co-ordinate together to make (in this case) around 50 outfits.

One thing that I did not realize when I bought this was that the patterns are sized for Petite - and at 5'7", I am a little taller than that, but nonetheless, the idea using just a few patterns for a pair of trousers (pants), a blouse with collar and sleeve variations, a jacket with collar variations and a simple pull on skirt is rather intriguing.

I analyzed the book - because that is what I do(!), and I think that I have now enough information to go forward.  I know that some sewists, especially Ms. Carolyn, have the skill and imagination to do this naturally, but I have a long way to go to get there, so I need all the hand I can get!  The book uses 4 patterns, but I think that I will use more.  One pattern for trousers and one for a blouse, a couple of different jacket patterns, and two skirt patterns - a straight skirt and the calf length straight skirt.  As I test the patterns and make them up, I will post and photograph!

The book makes 18 garments out of 12 fabrics.  3 pairs of trousers, 4 skirts (therefore 7 'bottoms'), 7 tops/blouses and 4 jackets, but starts with a grey pair of trousers and blouse.  Once that is made, the idea is that another blouse is made that co-ordinates with the grey trousers.  Other co-ordinating pieces are made and they made lead you off at a tangent to go and select even more colors.  Sounds like fun!  Here are some of my starting fabrics:

The three middle fabrics are stretch poly/lycras, it is very soft and drapes beautifully.   am already using the red for a dress and a short, straight skirt that I hope to complete this weekend.  The grey will be used to make the first two pieces of my new collection (that incidentally needs a name - I will need to think about this!) and the brown suiting will come into play later on.  The bottom left and right fabrics are poly crepes and will be used for blouses, and the top left fabric will be a 4-gored skirt.

I also splurged a little and bought some sweater knits from  They will be introduced as I go along . . .

Lovely, lovely, lovely!  I should have enough of each fabric to make a twinset - a cardigan and a shell.  They will be in addition to the main wardrobe garments that I am making.  I do love knits and lycra and other stretch!  I hope to nail these garments as these are the ones that will really help me get over the non 'RTW'.  As they are coming from the US to Canada, it will be a few weeks before I get my hands on them, giving me chance to work on my main collection.

So here are the first steps of my plan:
  •  Finish the red garments (dress and straight skirt)
  • Muslin/test a pants pattern and a blouse pattern.  For the blouse I am thinking of morphing Butterick 5300, a Connie Crawford pattern with New Look 6555 - for the collar options.

Make grey blouse, grey pants, and a grey patterned skirt (I am trying to keep the threads in my overlocker/serger the same for as many garments as possible to save having to keep cahnging them!!)
  • Muslin jacket patterns
  • Make black trousers, blouse and jacket using corduroy and a black patterned blouse and a black patterned skirt.
Once these garments are made I will be ready to move onto the next colours/garments.  Incidentally, a lot of these garments will work with my K.I.S.S Collection.

Ambitious? -  you betcha, but I have to start somewhere!

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