I have been enjoying the posts everyone has been writing in response to the Coletterie Wardrobe Architect Series. Writing my own has been more difficult!
Defining my core style was the first challenge. There are lots of women whose style I admire, but I don’t want to dress like them. I do feel lost style wise, so I tried to think of a time when I didn’t. When I worked in an office, I was a creative person (marketing) in a non-creative environment (accountants and lawyers). I used to wear simple suits and tailored dresses with interesting, sometimes eccentric shoes. And so it hit me - I had a style then!
Now, I work from home and can wear whatever I like. I’m not buying clothes so I can make anything I like. All that freedom and potential is too much and I have no idea what to wear.
My first step was to pin some images randomly and then look for patterns.
So it seems I still like simple semi-fitted shapes, with an interesting pop of colour, and classic accessories. Apart from two denim skirts, I don’t own anything like these things. I’d love a shirt in drapey fabric like Sophia Coppola’s, but don’t own any shirts at all! Not shown here, but I’ve also pinned several shirt dresses. No, I don’t have any….
I had grand plans this year to use up my stash and not buy any new patterns. I have changed my mind! I have sold or given away lots of my fabric and patterns, and I’m replacing them with things that reflect what I’ve learned.
This is my favourite ‘working at home’ outfit at the moment - my new red hoodie with a denim skirt, fleece lined footless tights (mmm!) and cozy socks. I’ve only made the hoodie so far – I’ll work on making the rest!
This is quite an old pattern – Vogue 9926. I cut a bit of the top of the sleeve as I was getting a strange puff effect. I love the neckline and the fit of the shoulder and sleeve.
For the hem, I found a mock band hem in The Overlocker Technique Manual by Julia Hincks.
1. With the wrong side up, fold a hem. Pin and press.
2. Turn to the right side. Fold the hem down so you have the raw edge level with the new fold. Serge these three layers together.
3. Turn the hem down, press and you’re done!
The Overlocker Technique Manual looks really good – lots of lovely, clear photos. I’ll write a review when I’ve had time to read it!
Pattern: Vogue Elements 9926 (1996)
Fabric: Ponte jersey
The winner of my Sew Grateful Week giveaway is Sam of A Little of What you Fancy!
Congratulations, and your parcel will soon be on its way.
These flower hair grips look so pretty and are great for using up scraps. They sell well at craft fairs too – I like to sit behind my stall and make them!
You will need-
Pinking shears, needle and thread
5 circles of printed fabric, and 1 of felt, with pinked edges
Hair clip with sewing holes
My circles are 5m across (I use a small cookie cutter, and draw round the inside) and the hair clips are 4cm long.
Fold each petal in half, then in half again. Sew to the centre of the felt, keeping all the petals facing the same way.
Sew on the button and the clip.
I made this flower to go with a dress for my baby niece. The pattern is Simplicity 9784.
If you’d like to win some hair clip backs, My Sew Grateful giveaway includes some!
It’s Sew Grateful week again! I’ve been reading sewing blogs for two years now and can’t imagine sewing without being part of this fantastic community. Thank you!
For my giveaway I have -
Hot Patterns L’Odeon dress and blouse (uncut)
A vintage pattern for a beach set
Vintage and ceramic buttons
Hair grips with sewing holes – I’ll be writing a tutorial for flower grips using these later in the week.
Open to everyone, everywhere, just leave a comment below. I’ll draw the winner on 1 March.
Thank you so much to Debi for organising.
Finally, I’ve made something I want to wear! I’ve had a string of half made things that haven’t worked – so frustrating.
This is the Cake Patterns Red Velvet dress, in gorgeous black crepe jersey.
I lengthened the bodice by 2 inches, and shortened the waist by about the same. I used the flat box pleat option on the skirt, and just love the result. I like full skirts, but gathering around the waist is not a good look for me, so this is perfect.
I liked it so much made another one from navy double jersey – slightly less flowy than the crepe jersey, but also becoming a firm favourite.
Are you following the Colette Wardrobe Architect series? It’s been a revelation for me, and made me realise why I still (after major wardrobe detoxing) have clothes I don’t wear.
I’ve been mainly writing blog posts about this in my head – which is no good to anyone – but I will actually write something down soon! Anyway, one of my new favourite silhouettes is one of these dresses with a fitted cardigan.
Pattern: Cake Patterns Red Velvet dress £11
Fabric: Morgan Crepe Jersey (£15 – on sale at £4.99 a metre!) and Double Jersey (£20) , both from Minerva Fabrics
Waaay back in June last year I started a Pattern Pyramid. And now it has reached one of my favourite bloggers, Shanni Loves!
This is just a small selection of the patterns, many more have been added along the way.
Head on over to here to enter!
My tiny contribution to Jungle January, over at Pretty Grievances – a dress for my baby niece.
This is McCalls 5416 and it’s a grrreat (sorry) pattern. This dress can be made shorter, as a top, and there is also a pattern for shorts.
The fabric is needlecord, left over from another project. So soft and cosy, and washes well too. The facings are a tiny remnant of Cath Kidston cotton. Vintage buttons from the stash.
It won’t fit her for a few months, so no pics of her in it yet. Her mummy is very excited about this dress though, so I’m sure there will be some!
I’ve been meaning to replace my boring plain cream laundry bag for ages, and as this year is all about using up the stash and getting things done, here it is!
This pattern, from the Great British Sewing Bee book, has some very nice details. There are two ties, which ‘drawstring’ at the sides, and the channel for the ties is a little way down the bag, so it has a frill at the top when closed.
There is also a loop at the back to hang the bag, which is a lot neater than using the drawstring to hang it.
I made my bag wider than the pattern so I could make full use of the repeat on the fabric. I also used a hemmed square of fabric for my loop fastening instead of the grosgrain ribbon they recommend.
The fabric is from the Habitat V&A collection, 1988 and is called Morello. I bought this from a vintage dealer for a few pounds. It has some tiny marks, but those were easy to cut around. I think the colour combination is lovely.
You can find the bag pattern here.
Fabric: Vintage, Habitat £5
Time in stash: 7 months
Pattern: £0 (a gift)
Other: herringbone tape from stash
I do like to have a goal, so what to commit to this year? There are so many things I’d like to learn to sew – trousers, a lined coat, many many techniques….but if I try to do too much I won’t achieve anything!
This year I’m joining Sarah and around 200 others in the Goodbye Valentino Ready to Wear fast.
I’ve bought only a handful of items in the past couple of years, and this means some of my clothes are wearing out.
Most of my purchases last year were because I didn’t have enough t-shirts and tank tops for the summer. I had the fabric and the patterns, but no time to make them. I don’t want to break the fast, so I need to plan ahead this year and make what I need.
I’d like to make a few things for my baby niece – she’ll be one year old in April – and there is some home furnishing sewing to do. Those 6 dining chairs I was going to recover? I’ve done one!
Mr D occasionally looks wistfully at the lovely shirts other bloggers make for their men (my plan to persuade him this was a hoax didn’t work) and he has a favourite jacket that needs relining.
Combined with all this is an overflowing stash drawer, and many unmade patterns. I can do a lot of sewing without buying anything – maybe a zip or two.
So, this year, my sewlution is to make 52 things, one a week. I have no idea if I will be able to do this, but I’m going to plan my sewing and always have something to work on on my sewing table. Little and often might just work!