So ... this started out as a brilliant purple crewneck Merino sweater, plus some blue/purple floral fabric first used in this project. I love the sweater's color but rarely wear it because the color is so vibrant that it's hard to wear with anything but neutrals [or at least any other clothes I currently own], but the basic crewneck means I always felt a bit plain when I wore it. Seems like the perfect candidate for a refashion, eh?
I had originally envisioned this as a sweater-with-bib, one of those fads that was really popular 4 years ago (and isn't that the beauty of handmade? Doesn't matter how late you are to a bandwagon, you can still get your arse up on it long after the rest of the riders have jumped ship). I started by removing the crewneck, after which I panicked that the subsequent neckline was too wide to make a proper bib and, once the panic died down, hastily invented Plan B.
Enter the peter pan collar, complete with improvised drafting and numerous revisions (envision me standing with a muslim collar pinned to sweater, looking in the mirror and marking with pen directly onto the muslim. Classic.)
Somehow these photos don't do justice to the strange effect this combination has upon the resulting refashion. My dad, who normally doesn't have much of a fashion opinion, took one look at me in my new sweater and, well, convulsed. My mom uttered a noncommittal, "Interesting ..." and after several seconds of speechlessness, said, "Well, it's kind of Laura Ashley." Personally, I feel like I tried to drag the 1950s into 2010 and got stuck in 1990 instead.
Let's talk about this one, shall we? My theory, and chime in if you have a different one, is that the peter pan collar, already quite feminine, becomes over-the-top feminine in such a girly, flowery fabric, and as such begs to be paired with a girly color and fabric, something like a soft lavender cabled twinset. Like, playing up the retro look, instead of trying to drag it towards "modern." Yet the saturated purple color moves in the opposite direction, and the result is stuck in the sadly familiar "not quite a girl, not yet a woman" no-mans-land of Epic Wadders.
OK, but I do like this detail of how I dealt with the too-long sleeves. Simply tuck them under to halve the length, and then secure with 2 fabric-covered buttons. Mimics, a tad, the buttoned detailing on coat sleeves.
So now we move on to how to proceed from here. As usual, I'm torn:
1) More is better. Somehow, I tempted to think that if I just added a fabric-covered belt in matching fabric, all would be healed and somehow this entire look would be pulled together. I think that I barely have enough leftover fabric to pull this off.
2) Double the risk, double the reward/failure. I'm also tempted to think that my initial instinct was correct and that this fabric combination works better as a sweater-with-bib, in which case I would unpick the bias binding, remove the peter pan collar, and attach a bib instead. The collar would then be saved for another project [hm, eBaying lavendar cabled cardigans, maybe?]. Truth be told, I'm not sure I have enough fabric for this, unless of course I carefully match seams and piece together the leftovers.
3) MMM/SSS lessons, silly! And of course, there's that realization by many of you after MMM or SSS that once we wear our handmade "eh" pieces several times, we come to forgive their sins, so maybe I should commit to wearing this out of the house 3 times before I pass final judgment. Ali? I think you're going to drag me out of the house in this one though, because I'm not sure I can actually bring myself to be seen in public in it.
Augh! How to proceed? What would you do??? And where do you think this project went off the tracks? Would any peter pan collar work with this type of sweater/color? How do you balance factors like pattern, scale, color value, style, and retro elements when planning projects ... or what else do you take into consideration? This is super nice fabric and a super nice sweater, and I hope to 1) salvage it somehow, and 2) learn from my mistakes so that I don't repeat them.
Speaking of not repeating mistakes, here are my raw materials for this week's project in the October Refashion Challenge ...