My Almost Autumn 6PAC

Apologies for the garbled post.  I write my posts a day or two before actually publishing so that I have a chance to re-read the post with fresh eyes before you can read it. Even with that, I will still catch errors and omissions later on.  In this case, I didn’t get back to read the post before it went live, hence I’m editing and republishing now. 

So sorry to admit that I didn’t complete a 6PAC for Fall 2015. I had good intentions and started fine, but along the way fell apart.

Perhaps it was the way I started.  I was sweating through the summer heat  trying to think of cool weather and warm clothing all the while sorting through fabrics to configure my fall group.  My first downfall may have been the color selection. I’m so far out in the sticks that acquiring coordinating fabrics is challenging.   Often I buy through the internet after navigating endless pages of less then illuminating descriptions.  Thankfully, color is much better represented today than it was in the past, but that doesn’t help with fabrics acquired previously or with fabrics that are not fully described.   The blue above is one of those. It’s a lovely color but not one that I would buy had I been in the store. Nonetheless,  I thought I had enough of this muted blue color and the coordinating ginger brown to make a 6 PAC.  So I started sewing.

The blue pants, a cotton/poly fabric, were constructed using my TNT PP113 pattern. Because I had used the pattern so much, I did a small amount of embroidery (not visible in the pic) along the hem.

The blouse is the same shade but lightened so much that it appears white.  I used Louise Cutting YED pattern and chose embroidery colors to coordinate with the next pair of pants a cotton/lycra constructed using Trudy Janen’s Designer Jean pattern 906. For the plaid silk vest/3rd layer, I chose the sleeveless version of Conni Crawford’s 5793.

So far not bad. The 5 garments work together for a late summer collection.  Then I blew it.  I had chosen a cotton/poly sheeting to make a long sleeve blouse. I ruined it. I dunno. Bad day.  I didn’t have a replacement fabric.  My 6th piece and the one which would have made this a transitional collection could not be completed.

I’m miles and miles away from any fabric store  I waited for months until I could get to a real fabric store. I should have just called it done when I realized I had ruined the final fabric/garment. But I didn’t and I preserved the completed garments unworn for weeks  in the closet. That turned out to be another mistake because…

the YED top which I lovingly embroidered because I thought I had it fit was pretty bad when worn. It was amazing for the 10 minute photo shoot and initial wearing. But  during the first actual wearing, I found I’d made a terrible mistake. The back pulls from underarm to underarm. Almost like something sawing back and forth and very uncomfortable.  The front armscye binds.  It’s not that the garment is too small; rather it is too long between shoulder and underarm. I’m not sure by how much. I am sure that when fitting a bodice I shouldn’t select the initial size based upon my hip measurement. Yes, I’ve finally adopted the view point of many of my peers:  fit a bodice by starting with the bust measurement then adapt to fit the hip.

The ginger jeans also turned wicked during wear.  They had felt large during fitting and I had accordingly stitched the side seams a little deeper until they both looked and felt good. But wear warms the fabric and encourages it to stretch apparently in all directions.  The jeans which fit beautifully during pics and in the morning, became rumpled and dumpy when worn.  A good hot wash shrank them back to size but now I’m reluctant to wear them. “Dowdy” is not my sewing objective.

Thankfully the plaid, silk, over blouse/vest/3rd layer is fine  during wear.  However, it doesn’t work well as a 3rd layer.  It doesn’t provide the warmth I need in the grocery freezer section nor the protection I need when the sun blazes upon my arms.   It is too warm to wear a 3rd layer during d most of late summer/early fall. I’m hoping rescue it by converting to a blouse next spring.  I  take away the knowledge that the short sleeve vest positively does not work in my lifestyle.

Sigh.  I made a 5 PAC instead of a 6 then effectively lost one of the tops due to fit and one of the bottoms due to the way the fabric stretches during wear; and lost my 3rd layer because short sleeves don’t work as on over blouse in my life style.  So I don’t have a collection at all. I have a pair of pants in an odd blue color and a hope to fix my 3rd layer into a wearable short sleeve blouse. I might have an outfit since I can combine the pants with other neutrals in the closet and wear either my navy blue or white  summer jacket pieces as a 3rd layer.

You know, that’s just how it goes some times.



This Collection pointed out a very real problem I have, that of acquiring coordinating fabrics when I am so far away from fabric sources. I’m already formulating a goal for 2016 to use or dispose of the several small groups of fabrics which were purchased thinking they were one color when in truth they weren’t.  I need to know how to avoid these odd pieces and how to select fabrics from my on-line sources that will work. At the same time, I don’t want to look in my closet and see a coordinated mass of black and white. I do want to see some color in there.


6 thoughts on “My Almost Autumn 6PAC

  1. Your pants and YED top look wonderful from here. The overblouse (pattern style & fabric plaid) is not flattering you, from here anyway.
    I always go to Nordstrom’s and look at Eileen Fisher (EF) and other designers and their collections. EF’s tops are usually a solid color that seems to coordinate with all of the EF pants (black, brown, beige, blue denims or white pants). Usually no prints for EF, maybe an occasional stripe. I like some prints though.
    I wear a uniform. I usually wear black pants (black dressy, lounge-at-home & PJs too). I shop online for fabric, too. Black for the pants is easy to find. Fabric for tops has to be either a solid color or a print with at least some black in it to coordinate with the pants.
    For non-black pants like denim blue, blue, pants or white or beige or brown pants I only like black tops. But many other solid colors (like EF shows) coordinate with the non-black pants.

    1. Not yet, but I’m seriously considering it for pants. I can work with blouse fabrics, but a fabric intended for bottoms that doesn’t work for either color or weight factors is a real bummer. When I get to the fabric store, I always look and buy from the bottom weight section.

  2. I was going to mention the swatches, like sewingplums above. I recently subscribed to the swatches from Vogue Fabrics and FabricMart. The Vogue swatches come as sort of color coordinated collections. They both have a subscription fee, but you get some sort of credit along with it, and it is worth it to me to not be buying blind.

  3. To get coordinating colour fabrics – how about dying? You know, buy white/whitish fabric (has to be cotton/rayon/silk) in different weights and then dye them together in the washer? I had a wonderful patchwork jacket once that apparently was first sewn together, then dyed. The colour was taken on differently by each fabric, so they were of different shades, but it all coordinated.
    And I hear you when it comes to sleeveless third layer. I gave away a vest, because if I need a third layer, I need it on my arms as well.

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