Saturday, September 21, 2013

Wardrobe Planning

This week I've been thinking a lot about wardrobe planning and how to fill the holes in my wardrobe. Actually, I've seen similar posts around the blogosphere lately so I know I'm in good company. I'd like to be able to have an outfit appropriate for any occasion. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I feel like there are areas that I can definitely improve upon. Along with this, I've been trying to define my personal style. Doing so will help me down the road avoid wasted time and money making and buying garments that just don't suit me.

If I had to choose three words to describe what I like, they would be "Fitted", "Textured" and "Unique". To elaborate, I prefer fitted clothes, layers, bulky tops over fitted tanks and pants, mixing textures, unique patterns and color combos, high boots, and scarfs. Lots of scarfs! I also think I'm drawn to 80s-90s inspired fashions, as much as I am almost embarrassed to include the 80s. (Suffering through that neon-infused, hairspray saturated horror once was bad enough.) I can't help myself, I'm constantly drawn to some of those silhouettes. I would also like to branch out and incorporate some 50s-60s styles, but that might Phase II of this project.

I put together a tentative sewing and knitting plan for the next few months to address holes in my wardrobe and try to stay true to what I like to wear instead of the latest trendy pattern to come along. (It's very hard because there is so much awesomeness out there!) My plan isn't necessarily season-specific, and I'm sure I won't go sequentially through the list, but here it is:

Cardigan image from Phildar Tendances Printemps 05.

1. #27/Le Gilet 1 Bouton from Phildar Tendances Printemps 05. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I still knit. This has been a WIP since May '12 falls more in the "just finish the damn thing" category than trying to create something specifically with my personal style in mind. I think it will be a great basic wardrobe staple.  I'm using a nice cotton wool blend, beautifully modeled above by Ms Floozy.

Image badly photographed by me from Rowan 34.

2. "Reveal" from Rowan 34. This is so "ME".  It kind of hits that Matrixy/80s-ish/bulky top to wear over something skin tight style that I love! I became obsessed with obtaining this pattern a number of years ago, and then it sat on my shelf. This is the year! Choosing the correct yarn is going to be key in successful execution, and the suggested one (Rowan Cork) is discontinued.

Skirt images from Burda Style

3. Leopard or cheetah print pencil skirt.  It has been my goal for over a year now to make a leopard-print (or suitable big cat print) pencil skirt. I just can't the fabric! I've found tons of gauzy chiffon, but I need something heavy duty where it counts!

I just wanted an excuse to include another picture of Flooz. Just look at those pretty eyes!

4. Avocado Hoodie from Disparate Disciplines. This pattern is so amazing and I love all of the details! I probably mentioned this before, but I work from home. While I can get away with wearing t-shirts and sweats everyday, I feel better if I put some effort into dressing. I think this hoodie is just right for this: comfy, not fussy, and flattering. I have some double sided sweatshirt fleece from Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL just waiting to be cut out.

Fabric image from Britex Fabrics. Left: image from Burda Style. Right: image from Colette Patterns.

5. Skinny pants. This totally is my aesthetic - skinny pants as a base, a long tank top, and then baggier/shorter/textured top over. Add a scarf and boots and I'm a happy gal! Now, will they be modified Thurlows? Clovers? Something from Burda? I have some chocolate stretch cotton fabric in my stash that might work for these.

Image Source

6. Burda 7866. I absolutely love this top and have made two already (unblogged). These are two of my most frequently worn tops, and it only makes sense that I make a few more. I also think I can modify this into a dress.

Image from Sewaholic Patterns

7. Work Appropriate Top. I need a top for the infrequent times I need to professionally interact with the outside world. I'd like it also to be something other than a Renfrew, since that's what I always reach for first. I'm thinking maybe a Pendrell? I don't think I'm that crazy about this pattern, but so far I have a great track record with Sewaholic patterns. I have a feeling that if I give this one a chance, it could be magical. Or, I've also been wanting a peplum top after seeing all of the cute ones around the interwebs.

Image from Sewaholic Patterns

8. Cordova Jacket. I also need a work-appropriate jacket. I have high hopes for Cordova. I see this as a great piece to play with textured fabrics, or even incorporating some leather!

Awesome wool from my stash. Coat Images from Colette Patterns,

9. Lady Grey from Colette. I think my current silk Saltspring projecct has cured me of being afraid to cut into good fabric. It's not the end of the world if I screw up. I have some amazing wool stashed away for this coat. The only think holding me back now is being to lazy to muslin the pattern.This could be the ultimate statement coat.

(I don't have images for the last two items on my list.)

10. Maxi Dresses.  I'd like to sew at least two of them. I'm not sure of the pattern, or the fabric, but I guess it's good to have some mystery in life.  I'll probably use the Saltspring Dress pattern for at least one, but that's not set in stone.

11. Renfrews. Lots of them.  These are my go-to tops. There are so many possible variations for every season. I don't have specific fabric or version in mind, but I would like to add a few to my to-do list. Maybe a few sweaters? Or, I could try a crop top version? Or go to the other extreme and try to turn this into a sweater dress?

Lastly, here's a silk Saltspring update: I haven't given up! This is a labor of love and I'm determined to redo this! I'm slowly unpicking the seams and trying to determine the best way to re-cut the skirt to avoid any unfortunate pattern placement issues. My supplemental fabric just arrived, so I'll try to figure out next steps in the next few days.Wish me luck!


  1. I think you've covered your bases! I'm too scared to attempt to fit pants, so I'm going to stick with a skirts and sweaters wardrobe this fall. Also,I really want to focus my knitting on accessories rather than garments. I have quite a few sweaters, but almost no scarves/cowls.

    1. Thanks, and I hope so :) I think for my next pair of pants, I'm just going to start sewing and try not to overthink or over fit them. That was my mistake last time.

      And I love knitted accessories. I'm probably the opposite of you, I have a number of scarves (but one can never have too many) and should concentrate more on sweaters.