Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Items: The Me-Made Version

I'm at a crossroads in my sewing. I'm trying to edit my wardrobe. I mentioned that I need conservative work clothes. I seem to have too many fun clothes. They are fine for working at a school but if I go out in the grown up world, not so much. I thought for fun I would take a look at Tim Gunn's 10 essential items through a me-made lens and see if I can find some inspiration.

1. Basic Black Dress
1.  Basic Black Dress.  Tim Gunn describes this essential item as "a transition piece."

My basic black dress is Vogue 1312. Okay, I might be stretching it with the "basic" theme but I do consider it a transition piece, it's black and I do feel oh-so-fine in it.

But if I were to add a basic black dress (with sleeves this time) it would be Marcy Tilton's Vogue 8904 in a black cotton knit fabric. I just need to do a test run on the pattern before I commit to cutting the gorgeous free trade cotton knit that I picked up at Mitchell Fabric.

2. The Day Dress, Vogue 1985
2. Day Dress.
A dress, described by Gunn as one that you can wear to work but not for a evening social function. Hmmm, thinking... That would have to be the Teal Traina dress pattern that I picked up last year, Vogue 1985. I've been meaning to sew this one up for quite some time.

3.  Classic White Shirt.  I have white fabric in my stash and I know that I would like one with french cuffs. Connie Crawford's, Butterick 5365, shirt might work.  I do like the fit and the darts from the neckline. I would just have to redraft the cuff and then I would be all set to go on this project.  

4. The Classic Blazer, Vogue 8333

4.  Classic Blazer. Ah, this will be a challenging project. I have Claire Shaeffer's pattern, Vogue 8333, in my stash for this essential item. And it is a petite-able pattern. I need to get to work on this one, it's been on my want-to-sew list for far too long.  

5.  Dress Pants,
Vogue 1325
5.  Dress Pants.  I can check this one off the list. Hands down the best pants pattern I'll tried has been Vogue 1325. I made these pants in a navy but I wouldn't mind making a couple more pairs of pants using this pattern. For sure a pair in black and maybe a taupe? Can't go wrong with neutrals, right?  

6.  Trench Coat Alternative
6.  Trench Coat.  Okay, I'm not a traditional trench kinda gal. Burda 7304 is more my style. I love this pattern. My fabric choice made this project a lot of work (bound seams) but I think it was worth it in the end. So, I'm going to cross this item off my list.  

7.  Good Pair of Jeans. Along with a blazer I have never sewn a pair of jeans. Which is kind of weird when you consider the amount of denim that is part of my fabric stash. Likely, because pants have been a challenging item for me to fit rather than lack of interest in sewing jeans. And I do own a copy of Sandra Betzina's Vogue 1034. Yeah, I've got no excuses for this one.

8.  Skirt. Mr. Gunn suggests something that can be paired with the white shirt and blazer for an easy, polished look. That would have to be my favourite Rachel Comey's skirt pattern, Vogue 1247, as my essential skirt piece (lengthened, of course). Since there are five versions of this skirt already made I think I can cross this off my list.

10.  Sweatsuit Alternative
9.  Cashmere Sweater. McCall's released a cardigan pattern McCall's 6803 and Vogue has some sweater appropriate patterns but I don't ever recall coming across cashmere fabric in the stores, have you? I'm going to cross this item off the list just because I have a RTW item that fit this bill.

10.  Sweatsuit Alternative.  This item cracks me up because I would never consider a sweatsuit. I would never in a million years consider yoga pants in public. But if I get this right Mr. Gunn means errand-running item. For me that would be a dress or skirt. I do have McCall's 8246, circa 1996, the side buttoned dress with a jean jacket would work for me. And for the chillier temperatures that would be Advance 8436 that I've been meaning to make up in the blue and black flannel plaid fabric.

Well, that's it. With Tim's help I have a sense of my next few sewing projects.

Vogue 8904 (Basic Black Dress)
 Vintage Vogue 1985 (Day Dress)
 Butterick 5365 (White Shirt)
 Vogue 8333 (Blazer)
 Vogue 1325 (Dress Pants x 2)
 Vogue 1034 (Jeans)
 McCall's 8246 (Sweatsuit Alternative)
 Advance 8436 (Sweatsuit Alternative)

But first, I have another dress to make for Mama R.  Happy Sewing!

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