SWAP: What Went Wrong

Remember back when I was all about making myself a capsule wardrobe that was super coordinated around 3 colors with some accent prints thrown in?

That feels like a lifetime ago.

But I had plans! I sketched them out! I put them on Instagram:


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I blogged about them to hold myself accountable. And then, like that book warned us, sometimes plans just don’t work out.

Maybe you watched the movie instead. The point is the same: sometimes plans just don’t go they way we want them to.

And that’s what happened to me. The deadline was at the end of last month, but all this time I’ve just wanted to focus more on my monthly signature color. That was a hell of a lot more fun than trying to seek out sage green in the middle of the winter. But I did make some stuff, the majority of it simply failed in execution.

Here’s the original visual:

I made or attempted to make: the cardigan (twice), both pants, the yoga skirt, and the vintage blouse. Basically I started at the top left, worked my way across, and stopped in the middle.

Of these, the only successful make was the lounge pants. I love them.

The yoga skirt was at first a disaster because it had a ridiculous amount of ease for the flimsy supposedly matte jersey knit I used. I cut it down to a smaller size, but overshot and it became too tight. So I upcycled it into a Seamwork Dana (which wasn’t particularly successful either, but that’s a different post). I tried again in the green double knit I bought for the cardigan, and while it fits it’s a bit tight. The knit has too little stretch. Oops.

Both attempts:


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The sand colored in stretch cotton sateen cigarette pants took a LOT of fitting to get right and frankly I lost my utter mind with them. So they were abandoned. For good. Instead I had enough leftover fabric to make the skirt you guys voted on, and that was another semi-successful one!

I attempted the cardigan twice and the damn vintage shirt THREE times. The cardigan was really my fault. I didn’t do an FBA or a swayback adjustment, and the front band attachment was a bit fiddly, but it would have been doable if I hadn’t used my serger and let it eat holes in everything.


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So I tried again! Still didn’t make any adjustments though, and still didn’t know how to use my serger properly. $25 worth of fabric, down the drain. Sadz.

I had just enough to eek out the yoga skirt, and…see above. I really wish I’d had a sage green sweater knit because the Circle Cardigan would have been PERFECT for this. Maybe in the fall, something like that will become available. I do love me that cardigan.

But the worst of all was the vintage blouse, Simplicity 8452, a reissue of a 1950s pattern. The pattern itself is simply a rectangle manipulated to make armholes, a yoke, and then crossed over in front. Sounds easy!

My muslin was about 5″ too short in the front (despite usually having to shorten blouses–clearly things were a little different 60+ years ago). The armholes were also too tight, so I cut the muslin up to see how much I needed to add and WHERE, and went to town.

I made another muslin in a drapey white rayon knit. Sidenote: can I tell you how much I despise rayon knits? They grow like weeds! But at least this time I got the armholes right. The problem was the back was just too long. Adding 5″ across the entirety of the bottom of the rectangle amounted to an extra 10″ in back. I don’t know how, probably dark magic.

With that lesson I made it in the bluvender “matte jersey” I had perfectly matched to my accent color (it wasn’t really matte jersey, that’s just what the Orphan Fabric StoreTM labeled it, more like cheap and shiny knit–but the color was a dead match for the purple/blue I wanted). What a disaster! I got as far as making the yoke/armholes (which at least kind of fit), and folding over the front hems, and that was it. Even after cutting off the excess at the bottom, the back was still off. Usually I need a high round back adjustment, which I couldn’t figure out how to do to this. Fabric pulled in some places and pooled in others. Finally I just abandoned it, too. I’m not going to waste even more fabric ever figuring this out.

And that’s all I’ve got to show for it: 1 pair of pants and 2 skirts that will maybe fit sometime in the future, when I shrink back down to size.

I still plan to attempt the rest of the shirts at some point. My mom has asked for a few of these anyway, so I won’t have an excuse to make myself a copy, too. But for now, I’m releasing myself from the commitment to this project. And I feel a-okay about it.

Have you ever had something like this happen to you?

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