This is a long (yet fascinating!) post and there’s a fun and important sale announcement at the end, so you might actually want to scroll down at look at that first!
Sometimes all the clutter in my brain really gets in the way of clearing up the clutter in my brain. There are just SO MANY THINGS — so many patterns — I want to knit or sew and wear, but most of them wouldn’t be the right thing to make right now. As in, they wouldn’t solve my urgent problem, which is that between last year’s massive purge and this year’s lack of funds and growing aversion to store-bought clothes, I am lacking many of the core garments upon which functional wardrobes are built. So rather than starting with what kinds of outfits I want to be creating for myself, I had to start by whittling down my wishes to what are the pieces I find myself wanting to reach for every morning that simply don’t exist. That is the problem I need to solve first, and I also need to resign myself to the fact that I need to buy some of it, to get the problem solved soon enough. Here’s where I’m at:
TOP LEFT: The two most-worn items in my closet are the Endless Summer Tunic that Alyssa made me and that 20-year-old linen tunic I unearthed last year, which is now really looking like I wear it twice a week, because I do. Tunic-length tops are pretty critical to how I dress, but I’m also severely lacking anything with sleeves! So I’d like to make a couple of longish, oversized, split-hem, woven tees (likely tweaking Grainline’s Scout Tee pattern) along the lines of this Ace & Jig tee and this Madewell one. They’ll work under pullovers for now, with vests as it warms up, and on their own in warm weather.
TOP CENTER: That said, those two sleeveless tunics get so much wear because that really works for me, and at least one of them is not long for this world. I intend to make a pattern and successors for that top, but again, I need to concentrate on what’s most efficient right now. So I’m thinking of Liesl’s Gallery Tunic done sleeveless. I loved making the dress and feel like I could cut two or three of these at once, batch the sewing, and get immense year-round use out of them. (I’d love to have another Endless Summer or two; might enlist Alyssa to do that for me!)
TOP RIGHT: The utter absence of pullovers in my closet is as much of a difficulty as a puzzlement. How did the happen?! I literally have one pullover sweater, this cotton fisherman. Because it will be fabulous in its own right, and to step in for the missing sweaters right away, first on my list is this modified woven Hemlock Tee we talked about last week. In boiled/wool for now, and in linen a few months down the road.
MIDDLE LEFT: The sweater version of the previous entry. This one there are no question marks or mysteries about: It will be top-down, knitted in black Lettlopi on US10 needles. It will be quick, it will be warm, and it will be worn. But I can’t cast on until Bob’s sweater is done.
MIDDLE MIDDLE: The grey sweatshirt-ish sweater I cast on last month and set aside for Bob’s sweater. I’ll probably actually whip out the black one before getting back to this. Priorities.
MIDDLE RIGHT: I keep having the thought that if my Trillium were grey and my Acer were black, I’d be vastly better equipped to get dressed in the morning. I love both sweaters dearly, but I’m over the purple and have never really figured out the brown. I do have a camel sweater this shape (short and boxy) that gets tons of wear, and I really need another in either grey or black, preferably grey. I’m thinking charcoal with this sketch, but also thinking of attempting to dye my Acer black, which would solve multiple problems in a single, quick act. I have flashbacks, though, to trying to dye things black in the ’80s. That was neither fun nor successful, so if any of you who suggested it on my black yarn post have specific advice, bring it on!
BOTTOM LEFT: It’s crystal clear how useful this dress is, and I just need to make a cool-season version, plain and simple.
BOTTOM CENTER: I long for a skirt that is this exact shape and fullness, with pockets. Not too full, not A-line. This seems surprisingly difficult to accomplish. Please tell me I’m wrong.
BOTTOM RIGHT: Again, the wide-cropped pants (or jeans) we spoke of last week. I do have the idea of cropping a pair of denim trousers I already own and never wear, and I broke down and ordered another possibility, but basically I’m not sure what the solution is to this one. I’d prefer not to have to make them when there’s so much else to be done.
So those are my targets. Everything goes with everything (and with everything else I already own) — the pullovers can go over the dress, skirt or pants (or jeans) on their own, or can be layered over the tunics over pants or skirts. But it’s only that 100% versatile as long as they’re line drawings. Once you start filling in fabrics and colors/patterns, it gets harder to keep them interchangeable. So that’s my next job. I like a wardrobe that’s as close to Garanimals as possible. (Or as my friend Patsy says, “I like to be able to get dressed in the dark and not have to wonder if my clothes match.”) But I also want to use as much fabric from my stash as possible, and those are slightly conflicting goals. So we’ll see!
(Indispensable Fashionary Panels from Fringe Supply Co., of course.)
. . .
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! I mean, happy MY birthday to you. This year, I want to give a gift not just to all of you but to some people in need. So for today only, I’m offering you 10% off everything on the Bags & Baskets page* (note the Field Bag is excluded) with code GETGIVE, and 10% of all purchases today (bags or otherwise!) will go to Heifer International’s Women Artisans in Peru project. I’m a long-time fan of Heifer International and their mission to not only reduce hunger and poverty around the world, but to empower people in the process. And I’m sure you’ll see why I’m excited to support the Peru project in particular:
“Your gift will support Heifer’s work with groups like local craft cooperatives to help members learn the fair market value for their creations; connect directly to buyers so they don’t lose income to middlemen; and adopt clear standards for yarn, dyes and designs to secure their status as the world’s premier alpaca artisans. You’ll also help train farmers to produce more eggs, fish and green vegetables for family diets, and more fodder for the woolly alpacas and other animals that help them achieve sustainability.”
So to save and give at the same time, head on over to Fringe Supply Co., and use code GETGIVE on the shopping cart page for the Bags & Baskets discount!
*Discount cannot be applied to previous orders. Available on in-stock merchandise only, in the Bags & Baskets category (Field Bag excluded). Offers expires at midnight Pacific time, December 17th 2015.