Friday, 27 December 2013

Year in Review: The Tim Gunn Project

Awhile back, I started to take a good hard look at my wardrobe. I was in need of some professional looking basics and I turned to Tim Gunn's advice on the essential pieces that every woman should have in their wardrobe. Of course, I'm not the "all-American classic" kind of gal, but I'm trying to make it my own while putting together a more professional look.


How has the sewing challenge been going? Well, here is my dream edited dream list and the items that I was able to assemble from already made and newly made items to make up the essential piece Mr. Gunn suggests as key pieces.

✄ A classic trench.

I didn't make a "trench coat". It is on my list of things I would like to one day make, but until then I do have a trench alternative, Burda 7304. I'm sure Mr. Gunn would let this slight change slide.

Red Satin
Trenchcoat, Burberry
$4,195.00
It is not that I don't like the classic trench. I would love  something like this. Yes!, my inspiration, in a red satin sateen fabric, oh my goodness, that would be fabulous.

I don't have a classic trench coat pattern nor do I have red sateen sitting in my fabric stash. Sew this is purely a fantasy item.

If I were to chose a trench coat pattern there are three patterns that I think are serious contenders, Sewaholic's Robson Coat, Marfy's F3201 and the Pièce de résistance Vintage Vogue 1521.

Okay, that is enough fantasy play. Moving along...


The Black Dress.

I don't really need another black dress. I do have Vogue 1312 in my wardrobe plus three RTW basic black knit t-shirt dresses that are easy to dress up or down. Do I really need a black dress?

That said, I won't cross it off the list just because this is a want rather than a need item. And there is some beautiful free trade black knit and several patterns (including Marcy Tilton's Single Dress) that might fit the bill. Stay tuned, a black dress just might materialize.

The Classic White Shirt.

This shirt was originally supposed to have long sleeves (long story cut short) but I don't mind the shorter sleeve length. I adjusted the bottom waist and hip area to allow for more ease than the pattern suggested. It is also a problem area that I find when shopping for RTW shirts and blouses. I'm pleased with the outcome even though I wouldn't mind a long sleeve french cuff version in a different fabric [insert lightweight linen since I'm on the in-my-dreams theme].

I might have to revisit this item in the new year. For now, this is a good go-to white shirt when those conservative occasions pop up.




 Dress pants.

Finding a pants pattern that fits and is comfortable has been a long time coming. An epic journey that has taken many twists and turns resulting in absolute failure until now.

Now my go-to pants pattern has been an Anne Klein pattern, Vogue 1325. I like the high waist and it falls straight from the widest part of my hips. I've actually make three pairs in wool and wool/cashmere blend. One pair in navy, another in a grey and blue pinstripe and the classic black wool pants. And I wouldn't mind making another pair in the near future. It is crazy to think that I actually can't get enough of this pattern.


✄ The Perfect Pair of Jeans.

I'm still working on this one. I did make a pair of red jeans using Vogue 1325 but made the error that I would need more ease because of my fabric choice. I was dead wrong. Since I made those denim pants, I lost a few pounds and now look like I'm drowning in them. Back to the drawing board on this essential item.

Next time I'm try a different pattern though. Something along the lines of a more classic jean style with back and front pockets. I have a couple of "jean" patterns from Butterick and Vogue in my pattern stash to try out. Taking lessons learned the hard way on my pants journey I'll have to take some time and make a muslin first.

✄ The Day Dress.

This project is cut and ready to go! I just need to change the thread colour on the overlock and sewing machines and get to work when I'm ready to head back to the sewing table.





✄ Any Occasion Top. (Replaces Gunn's Cashmere Sweater piece.)

I do feel comfortable crossing this item off the list since I have Vogue 1274, Lynn Mizono's Angel Shirt, as my go-to any occasion top. (If I must.)

It is made with 100% fabric and I feel that the design is funky enough that I would pick this item for an afternoon at the theatre or symphony or a work day. Sure, it doesn't fit under a blazer but I'm okay with that.

That said, I actually wouldn't mind making the shorter version in some silk duponi that I have in my fabric stash, maybe?




✄ The Classic Blazer.

Channel $4,710.00
I would really, really, really love to add a Channel-esque jacket to my wardrobe. Yes, it is not a "blazer" but rules are meant to be broken, right?

The fabric has orange, pinks and yellows and would work beautifully with the day dress project that I have cut out. Mmmm, maybe some navy trim will pull it all together? No clue on the lining fabric.

Okay, back to the list...

✄ Versatile Skirt.

This skirt is make in a black denim and dressed up with leather trim along the hemline, side and front seams. It falls a little longer than what Mr. Gunn suggested last year but I don't care, this skirt works for me. It is made using Burda 7025 and to be completely honest it does not look anything like the pattern. But I like it.

Actually, I have to disagree with Mr. Gunn on his hemline suggestions because I would really like to make a maxi-length skirt using Vogue 1239 or perhaps the recently discovered Vintage NY Collection pattern, McCall's 7870.

Once I hit on the perfect versatile skirt, I plan to use it with a cream coloured wool that has been in the fabric stash for far too long.

 A Sweatsuit Alternative.

This one cracks me up! I've never fell for the sweat pants/suit look. The last thing I ever would want to wear is something that hugs my thighs. So I think I going all out on this one and make something that I know I will comfortable in, another day dress.


The fabric I have in mind for this is a beautiful light-weight wool in a colour that I would not normal pick. Too funny that is it pretty close to the 2014 Pantone Colour of the Year, Radiant Orchid. So glad I went shopping with a friend that day!

Well, as you can see I still have a lot of work and editing to do before I see the end of this project. It will continue as my on-going 2014 work-in-progress. Wonder what the finally ten items will look like when I finally pull it together.

Happy Sewing!


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