Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bread&Butter Sewing Plans

Siebenhundertsachen is holding a blog challenge called Project Bread&Butter. I'm actually too late for the link-up (late enough that everyone's already doing part two), but as I'm itching to plan some sewing, I've decided to join anyway. Project Bread&Butter is the German equivalent for "sewing cake", if you want to put it like that. I've actually never quite understood why anyone would eat copious amounts of frosting (though I can see the appeal in sewing it). Frosting isn't a German thing. While we do have fancy cakes (Sachertorte or Black Forest cake, anyone?), they usually feature cream, or chocolate, or ganache. The real fancy ones have buttercream. Personally, my favorite has always been pound cake, with either a chocolate or lemon glaze. But most days I'd take a freshly baked slice of rye bread with seeds, slathered in fresh butter over cake, hands down. ;-)
So before this blog post totally devolves into a discussion about baked goods: Project Bread&Butter is about those garments you actually wear every day. The ones that hardly see your wardrobe, because they constantly rotate between being worn and being washed. What do we actually need more of? Are there any gaps in that wardrobe? Any garment in need of getting a twin? A garment that would allow others to be worn more often in combination?

I'm not going to count the clothes I wear at work, they're all-white and need to stand up to being frequently washed, so I'm happy for them to be RTW. The rest of what I frequently wear falls neatly into three categories, with some overlaps:

1. everyday clothes, which I wear on the way to and home from work, so they need to be bike friendly, and I wear them during my lunch break (which I tend to spend at home) and when I get home from work.
Activities: apart from biking I tend to spend some time on the computer, reading, sewing, or doing chores (getting groceries, cooking). My main requirement is for the clothes to be comfortable, and to look put-together enough to be in public. I also seem to prefer the easiness of just shrugging on a dress in the morning, over chosing separates. Currently, I rotate between Lolas and the small number of other long-sleeved knit dresses in my wardrobe. Going by last year's experience, tunic-length tops over leggings would also work (but it's a bit too cold for my Bruyère at the moment). I actually tend to select the "boring" over the "nice" dresses for everyday wear. Maybe because I want to keep the "nice" ones for the weekend, when people actually get to see them.
2. weekend clothes, to leave the house, meet friends, go to choir practice etc. These need to be less bike friendly, though I still prefer comfy. I tend to wear my "nicer" knit dresses, or sometimes pullover and skirt, although at the current temperatures, I tend to reach for my RTW wooly sweaters instead of my jersey tops.
3. lounge clothes, for evenings and the part of the weekend that I spend at home. These need to be comfy, and I still like to look put together, in case a friend comes over or I need to go out and run an errand - I prefer not to have to change completely to do that. I tend to wear a lot of leggings instead of tights like during the week, and either my workday knit dresses or layered knit skirt and jersey tops. My fleece Lola is also a top contender when it's cold.
It's also a sad fact that my sleepwear consists of mostly worn out t-shirts and boxer shorts, even though I've been collecting fabrics to remedy that. Maybe this project will finally make me bite the bullet and actually make a couple of nice PJ sets.
What I don't wear: I don't wear jeans in winter - I hate the way they get snug when layered over tights. I also hardly wear any shortsleeved dresses, because I don't like my current crop of cardigans for layering.

So what's the plan?
I think I could actually do with another long-sleeved Lola (or two), or barring that, another kind of long-sleeved sweater or jersey dress - and maybe a couple of three-quarter sleeved ones for when it gets a little warmer. I already have some fabric that I planned for a Jasper dress. I think a Bruyère over leggings would also be nice for everyday wear, as soon as we're back to more sping-like temps. Maybe I'll even fix the sleeve cuffs of the one I already made. I could also do with another couple of leggings, and was wondering if maybe a knit skirt or two could round out my wardrobe (although I do prefer the ease of just reaching for a dress on an early workday morning).
I also think that a couple of cardigans to throw on over the shorter-sleeved dresses would be nice. For now, I have one me-made Miette and a couple of basic RTW cardis in neutral colours. They're all v-necked, with a button closure, which for some reason prevents me from layering them over dresses. I imagine that a longer, waterfall-type cardigan without a front closure, and sleeves lose enough for layering, might work out better for me. I've had my eye on the Oslo cardigan from the Colette Seamwork magazine.
For lounge wear, I'd also like to try the True Bias Hudson pants, which have been in my pattern library for what feels like forever. For PJs, I was thinking some kind of elastic-waist woven shorts and colour-coordinated t-shirts, which is exactly what I'm wearing most of the time.
Last but not least, I really need a new handbag. I have a pleather one (from Tchibo) that's good enough for my everyday needs, as it fits my tea mug (or a small bottle of water), wallet, emergency brolly, ebook reader, keys and those other little odds and ends. I haven't had a decent larger handbag or tote (that fits a bottle of wine to bring to a party, or my knitting and a good book when on a trip) in what feels like forever, though. The Betty Bowler has been on my to-sew shortlist for ages, I think I've bought three separate fabrics for that specific pattern. I still need the bits and bobs - so that's going to be my bonus project!

I find it really hard to confirm to dates and timelines when it gets to sewing, so we'll see if I manage to keep up with the official Bread&Butter project. I've got until the end of March, though, so I'd say it's entirely possible. :-) Are you taking part in any challenges or sew-alongs at the moment?

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