Thursday, 12 July 2012

Building a wardrobe

I read through the entire Colette Sewing Handbook after I bought it, cover to cover. It had some really good tips and information in there. It's a really good starting place for people who don't know much about sewing (like me). One of the chapters in it was talking about building a plan and being thoughtful about what you make and picking projects that work together and in with what you have.

I think I've done a reasonably good job so far, I wear everything that I've made so far and I don't think I've had any real misses, though there are a couple that I'm less than 100% thrilled with - mainly due to poor finishing techniques on my behalf than anything else. But to be honest with you, I've never put any real thought into my wardrobe, buying things that I like or need sporadically and making do as much as I can. One of the reasons that I've loved sewing so much is that it's a good way for me to build my wardrobe without feeling guilty about spending money on clothing.

Since I've taken up sewing, I've been giving long and hard thought about what aesthetic I'd like my clothes to reflect. What do I like to wear? What do I feel most comfortable in? What are my staple items? I've been pinning a lot of gorgeous dresses on Pinterest, and I do love dresses and wear quite a few of them, but really, in my day to day life, I wear more skirts than dresses. I think that's because it's easier to vary the outfits by changing a top etc.

Pinterest has been really useful, but I've discovered something even BETTER! I'm now totally addicted to Polyvore. It's a really good way of building outfits, dressing them up, and trying to come up with key items that I'd like to make for myself, as well as what accessories I need to buy to complete the outfits. I'm going to try to come up with a few different items and build as many looks as I can from the pieces. It's a risk free place to play around and also work out what I like and what I don't like.

For instance, I have realised that I dislike fussy tops. I don't mind a little embellishment, but really, I like a simple fitted top, either knit or tee. I also like bright block colours teamed with neutrals. I like some vintage items, but I like them mixed with a few more modern touches so that I don't have to commit to a whole vintage wardrobe, which I would find intimidating and not casual enough.

I spend most of my time at my day job, which is in a pretty casual office. Jeans are everyday wear, not just for casual Fridays. I tend to still stick to skirts and cardigans, but dress up a little more depending on whether I have external meetings with authors or not. Weekends I like to look smart, but not feel too constricted. I wear my jeans and my converse sneakers and probably pinch one of The Chef's big hoodie sweaters when he's not around to notice.

I have a plan for my next pattern shop, all at Sewaholic this time: Minoru Jacket, Renfrew, Cambrie dress and the new Thurlow trousers. I haven't placed the order yet, but I can't wait to... I think these patterns will all fit well with my planned wardrobe and will all become staples. I'm especially excited to try the trousers, and more than a little scared, because I find it so hard to find clothes that fit my 28inch waist and 40 inch hips. I also have THIGHS, and short stumpy legs, so being able to make jeans and corduroy pants that fit and (hopefully) flatter my figure will be AMAZING. I suspect that my high hopes for these pants won't live up to expectation.

In other sewing news, I finally started sewing up my new Hazel muslin! I suspect that it hasn't worked as well as I'd like, from initial draping over myself, but I haven't actually tried it on yet. It might take a while before I get something that fits properly, but I'm learning by the attempts, so I am trying to not get too downhearted. I stopped off at Cleggs last night to pick up some more lining to replace the stuff I butchered last weekend and did a stoptake when I saw some gorgeous fabric on sale for $3.95 a metre!! Brilliant! I bought two metres of it. It's pretty sheer, so I'll underline it with some white cotton and I think I'll make another Hazel out of it, once I've worked out the pattern, of course.

It felt good to get some proper work done, for once!

1 comment:

  1. God, tell me about it. One of the pairs of trousers I bought on eBay fit me everywhere (even my generous bootay) EXCEPT across the thighs. :(

    Apparently women (especially curvy women) aren't allowed to also be muscular. I often have difficulty with short sleeves that don't fit my upper arms due to the fact that I have biceps.

    And it's not as though I'm a serious athlete! What must the women of the AIS wear??