Thursday, 18 August 2011

My first 6 PAC/Cohesive wardrobe

So Elizabeth aka ejv on Sticher's Guild sewing forum suggested that rather than doing a larger SWAP that we do something based on 6 pieces.

I hadn't entered one of these SWAPs before so thought I would give it a go.  Generally speaking I try to build a cohesive wardrobe when I sew, so anything I make will work with something else I have in my wardrobe (either shop bought or made by me).

I started my 6PAC with McCalls 5239 pants (see left), however I selected the option without the pleats at the front. After making all my pattern alterations,followed by a muslin, this has now become my TNT pants pattern for all future pants. 

I selected a lovely Navy crepe which hangs beautifully and is not too heavy for the summer/office wear.  With this TNT pattern I can add, belt loops, pockets, etc to change the look, and for this pair I added a turn-up.

The remainder of the collection sort of grew organically - I either bought some fabrics I liked and found a pattern to sew it into, or visa versa.

 So here is the collection of patterns used for this part of the collection.

I travel extensively for work, so I am always looking to be able to pack a small cohesive wardrobe, that I can pack in a carry-on case to last me for approx 1 week.

Here are all the pieces laid out on the bed to create my different looks.

3 x pairs of shoes, 1 x bag,  2 x belts,  2 x bracelets, 1 x pin, 2 x necklaces,
1 x purchased twin set, 1 x waterfall cardigan - V 8305, 1 x polo-neck - V8670, 1 blouse B5365, I tee V8670, 1 x pants M5239,1 blouse OOP S9581.

So here are the ingredients (so to speak) I have to work with, so the question is, how many different looks can I get from these items?

So for part 1 - I used 3 pieces, V8305 +V8670 + M5239 with the following accessories:pale blue shoes and bag, blue belt, pearl necklace x 2 - 5 different looks and I have only used 3 key pieces.  I have tried to follow the Vogue pattern front with the different ways to wear the waterfall cardigan.  Of course can easily wear the top and cardigan and shoes equally well with my black TNT pants.

So for part 2 - I used 6 pieces, OOP S9581 +V8670 + M5239 + B5365 with the following accessories:Navy and white shoes, gold belt, pearl necklace x 2, Blue belt and the blue cardi from the twin set.  This has given me another 6 different looks.

As you can see, I have worn the OOP S9581 with the neck tie loose and tied, and for the B5365 white blouse with and without it's detachable tie.

I would note at this point, both blouses and the T are very light weight and pack very well with little or no creasing.

This is the last item - RTW twin set with M5239 pants, gold belt, navy and white shoes, pearl necklace (my Chanel inspired look).

So I have 6 key pieces that I have made myself - every single item is from fabric purchased from my local market with a total cost amounting to around £10 for the fabric.

Here are the shoes and bag in close up - the Gabor shoes were purchased from ebay (an unused item, as were the pale blue shoes and bag) - the Hobbs navy and white shoes are probably the most expensive item here but were, of course, purchased in the sale at less than half price.

Last but not least - above you can see all the pieces laid out on the bed and then piled up ready to go into a carry-on bag together with toiletries and underwear - easy peasy.

I now think it would be good to add a navy skirt to this collection and I am now thinking some cream/beige. items...........................

Last but not least thanks to my D Mike who took all the photographs - I have to say, doing all the different changes was difficult enough, but what was worse is that having taken all the photos when he went to download them onto his laptop, we found out the disk was corrupt aghrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - new disk found, inserted into the camera, I now had to dress in all the outfits for a 2nd time....... I never want to be a model........ its hard work.  Thanks Mike I love you loads xx

More later.


  1. Great collection!! Your outfits look wonderful. You've definitely made the most of this collection. And I LOVE those blue shoes!!

  2. Wow! Great collection, very wearable. Classic with a funky edge. I think you look great :-) Loved the packing shots, shows how neat it is.

  3. Fabulous collection. You have really got everything down to a science. Looks great on you.

  4. A perfect collection and one that can be packed quickly and efficiently. Enjoy wearing the outfits you created.

  5. Very nice and professional looking and also it sounds as though it's all travel-easy. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I really like your 6PAK. Also, you got a great fit on the pants. The whole thing looks very stylish and classic. Nice job!

  7. Thanks for all your compliments, they are much appreciated. I found it fun to put the items together - Ruthie put a link to Nancy Rix-Rice's web site which is very inspirational (thanks Ruthie) - plus Elizabeth's suggestion to put together a 6PAC. I know the concept of the 6PAC is to select the fabrics, a list containing all the items you will make together with the plan, but that will be for next time........ this was just a sort of starter taster for me, but I do want to add to this collection.

  8. Really great wardrobe. Classic colors but interesting fabrics and styles. You must be so thrilled. Photographing the outfits was my least favorite part of the SWAP contests I participated in, but I loved my completed SWAP wardrobes.

  9. That`s a beautiful classic 6 PAC - I Love it.