Category Archives: 6PAC_Spring2017

Spring Closet Review: Tops

I did not review my wraps/3rd layers.  I have wraps, jackets and blouses (which function as 3rd layers)  in various colors including my basics.  I’m not entirely happy with all my wraps but not unhappy enough to give serious time and effort replacing them — at least not now.

I did, however try on every blouse/top I expect to wear this spring. As with the pants, I immediately discarded items that needed repair or had faded badly before checking for fit.  I looked not just at “does it go around” but I paid particular attention to the drag lines I’ve been fighting for several years. I.e. did it have round back drag lines?  FBA drag lines? Were the hems level? The Empire line horizontal? I tossed another half-dozen tops. Put at least that many into the ‘maybe’ pile. To tell the truth, I was afraid I would not have any tops without these gross fitting errors. I was quite pleased to find the 11 (shared in pics on this page) which deserved the “OK” classification.

These either had no fitting errors or the drag lines were slight. Relieved, I donated the maybes; and recovered buttons and findings from the “no-go” or “repair needed” categories before throwing those in the trash.

Some of the OK’s may not last all spring. I love rayon challis but don’t give it the care it deserves.  Normally rayon challis last about 2 seasons in my wardrobe. So I know the rayon challis blouses that were sewn in 2015 are on their way out. I also know that I prefer an evenly distributed range of browns, blacks and blues and for spring and  I’d like something that says “spring”  at least  to me.  Several of these say fall or winter.  I will be sewing tops purposefully to round out my wardrobe to my liking and make it ‘springy’.  Happily, I won’t be sewing like the devil to  achieve that goal.

2017 Spring 6PAC Update

Yesterday I posted my first sewn garment for the 2017 Spring 6PAC. Originally I was considering 2 fabrics: the peach skin sewn and a silk  (bottom) that’s been marinating in my stash for about 15 years:

I love both fabrics but felt the peach skin coordinated better with the printed fabric I wanted to use for a knit top.  I’m pleased with my choice

and returned the silk to the stash. I’m  planning to use it this fall should this bright blue still be trendy.

The real value, well besides having a coordinated wardrobe, but I digress…. The real value in completing the 6PAC’s season after season is that time comes  when garments made for previous 6PAC’s can be incorporated into the current season. So the blouse needed to be sewn, but the bottoms are already in the closet:

These are both me-made.  I have to fall back of Peggy Sager’s excuse for the near invisibility in pictures of the garments themselves.  See, I too prefer dark fabrics for my bottoms. Only during  summer  will I wear lighter colored bottoms.

On the left are my favorite jeans Trudy Jansen 906. On the right, Pamela’s Patterns 113 slacks/trousers.  I live in jeans but I do like to have a dressier pant  available. Both bottoms were sewn during last fall and winter. So why are they spring bottoms?  South Dakota, where I live, has a long, cold and mostly-wet spring.  I start wearing mid-weight bottoms about mid-Oct.  Somewhere in Dec-Jan, I add a under layer of tights or long johns and pull out the corduroys and wools. By the first of April (most years), the heavy weight corduroys and wools are retired until next winter along with the long johns.  I may still need to slip ona pair of tights  until about mid-May. Point is, for my weather, mid-weight pants are wearable 3 seasons of the year.  The dressy pants are not replaced often. But jeans? I add a new pair in each of my neutrals (black, blue and brown) at least every year.

My update at the moment shows I”m half way through.  YES I have 3 completed garments

2017 Spring 6PAC Pattern Fabric Match

It should be no big surprise that I’ve decided I will use both the Tabula Rasa Blouse and T exclusively in my Spring 2017 6PAC. I am triplely fond of these 2 patterns because they fit, they can be used with a wide variety of fabrics without further alterations, and from the front they look like classic blouses and T’s. From the front, the princess seam is not visible. Nor are any darts (they are incorporated into said princess seams and side panel).  Indeed from the front, you can’t even tell how easy-to-sew that set-in sleeve is. What’s of question to me is which fabrics will I use.


I’m positive on using the solid print. Just a question of how.  I find that my solid T’s are the first to be worn out.  Especially in neutral colors like navy, black and white, these T’s seldom last a full season because they are the first to be chosen.  This bright blue may not be on my back as often as the neutrals, but I think it will be worn a lot. My internal  debate is on making a plain TRT or adding some embellishment. A solid presents so many opportunities for embellishment. So many things I could do — but should I?  After all, I intend this to be the corner-stone of my 6PAC (along with the wrap and pants). Will embellishment remove it from its anchor status? How much time do I want to invest in a garment which will be worn one maybe 2 seasons before it is ugly?

For a 6 PAC I need  a 3rd layer, 3 tops and 2 bottoms. I prefer one of those tops to be a woven blouse which I can also layer over T’s if our SD Spring weather turns cold. So while both of the print fabrics will be made into TRT’s with sleeve or neckline variations, I’m not sure about the blouse fabrics:

The top fabric (probably Ikat inspired) is a peachskin with a lovely drape. It however is not as appealing layered with the blue, white, green print

as is the Thai Silk:

The Thai Silk unfortunately has much more body than the peachskin. I think I would prefer the silk in a differentstyle. It needs more structure to bring it closer to my body. Unfortunately, I don’t have a pattern fitted which will give it that structure. Do I dare use the silk with the TRJ?

Lastly, but taking up most of my thought process is my 3rd layer.  This is a specialty weave purchased I think, from about 3 years ago

I love its color and the drape. The fringe (selvage) will make a wonderful trim.  Not sure what the fiber  is but that’s OK. After all, my 3rd layers are worn and pressed, without going through the whole laundry cycle, most of the time.

My first thought was to make the TRJ adding an inch  or so to the length; possibly extending the front to a drape. Then I realized that’s not what I’m wearing. My 3rd layers since mid-Fall have been Ruana’s and shrugs

and shrugs with Ruana’s being selected most of the time for maximum coverage.  Perhaps during spring, I won’t reach as much for the Ruana. Then again when I’m cold is when I reach for a wrap. When I’m cold, I want a wrap to cover everything.

So I checked my Pinterest Board “3rd Layers” hoping for new 3rd layer shapes that are current. Something that covers my arms. Oh and something that takes advantage of the drape of my fabric.


Do you have any favorites?





2017 Spring 6PAC Fabric Selection

No you didn’t miss my post on the TR blouse. Like the “IBS Girl” of TV commercials, what I plan to do and what my infirmities  will allow is not necessarily the same. I will  shortly publish my first TRT-blouse, which I think I’m calling the TRB but for now let me share  the beginning of my 2017 Spring 6PAC.

I do look for and at the fashion colors that are forecast each season. But I don’t rely upon them alone. I’m long past the phase of wearing colors because that’s what is in.  I also consult my personal colors and I watch what is advertised on Evine, HSN and QVC shopping venues that are in-line with what my community will buy and wear.  This spring I’ve been ecstatic because one of my best colors, a range of bright blues,  is also a designated 2017 Spring color AND is appearing all the clothing lines on the above channels.

I happily searched my stash for fabrics with bright blues.  Having collected these colors for some time, I have quite a few.  Next I sorted my bright blue for which color matched and also looked for darker or lighter values of the exact same hue.  After all, bright blue applies to several colors on my 3-In-One color tool. I weeded out a little more and ended up with 7 fabrics. Left is

A novelty weave that I plan to use in some kind of spring wrap:

I also have one lighter-weight jersey knit that will be perfect

Of the selected fabrics only 1 is a woven and will make a nice blouse.

I  have 2 more knits either of which will make nice TRTs

The knit on the left (blue and purple)  seems to say winter to me. The knit on the right with its green, white and black, looks more spring.

My real concern is how these two look  with the blouse fabric because, on occasion, I like to be able to slip my blouse over my T’s.

I’m really not happy with how the blouse fabric work with the more spring-link green-white-black but that’s the fabric I’d prefer to use for my 2nd T

I search my stash for a possible alternative and found this lovely woven silk

The darker ‘blue’ is really a purple. The blue doesn’t match the bright blue of the ‘wrap’ fabric but does look good with either T fabric:

Notice anything missing?  Like any bottom fabrics.  My bottoms will be pants.  I have several blue pants that are perfect.  I have a dress pair of navy trousers; a navy pair of DG2 jeans and a brushed-twill, midnight-navy,  TJ906 jeans.  I don’t really need to add bottoms. But I have a bright blue ponte that matches the blue of the Wrap and the solid T.  Which has me seriously considering making a pair of Eleanors with :

Just need to collect my thoughts a little bit more.