Wardrobe Architect Challenge 2015: January

I’ve now completed my first month of the Colette Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge.


It’s been an interesting month. I started out by getting myself a pretty notebook to help me keep up to date with the challenges and worksheets. Boy, did I hit the jackpot with these McCalls Patterns notebooks!


I used my notebook to help me to complete the weekly worksheets and it was so great to take the time to objectively look at what I wear, why I wear it and how it makes me feel. It was also great to finally admit that I can’t get away with playsuits, no matter how cute I think they are!

While working through the tasks, I made a few Pinterest boards. Firstly, I created a board which I can add image I think represent my core style (and images I like)
Follow Honey’s board #WAChallenge2015 My Core Style on Pinterest.

I also made a board for my Spring Summer ideas

Follow Honey’s board #WAChallenge 2015 Sping Summer Silhouette on Pinterest.

I’ll continue to add to both of these boards over time, growing my database of styles, prints, colours and silhouettes I like.

Over the course of the month I managed to come to several conclusions;

1. I have a strong connection to vinage style, especially that of the 1960s and 1970s. (I already knew this but it was great to pinpoint specific styles I liked). I particularly identify with the Breton Stripes & Cigarette Pants of the Beats, Mary Quant’s mini skirts, Stevie Nick’s flowing shapes, the print and pattern variety of the decades is also astounding. As is the use of texture from cottons, to suede to furs. I love it all!

2. I don’t like (or suit) low waistbands as they cut me on my widest (flabbiest) area. See the problem with playsuits above!

3. My surroundings have a huge impact on the clothes I choose. Different social circles influence the clothes I choose, the weather also has a strong influence on my clothing choices.

4. I have a deep appreciation for the handmade (again, this wasn’t news but always nice to reinforce the importance of quality over cheap, fast fashion).

5. I love textures! Layering multiple textures is my favourite way to change styles and to make clothes work for several seasons.

Is anyone else participating in this challenge? How did you get on with month one?

1970s Crochet Bag

I’ve really enjoyed looking at 1970s crochet patterns. Some are hilarious and some are just gorgeous. I really love accessories and more sedate clothing (count me out of head to toe crochet jumpsuits).

I decided to make a crochet bag out of some aran wool I had recently bought. I’m really loving mustard at the moment so I started with that and made myself a granny square bag. I made a lining from a vintage bedspread I bought years ago.

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I made 3 strands of chain and slip stitch which were plaited together to make the handle. All in all I’m pleased with my new bag, I may even go as far as to add some tassels to the bottom, or make a second bag with those details. Who knows?!


Vintage Shift Dress

I loved my Simplicity Shift Dress so much I decided to whip up another shift. I modified this one slightly, I used bias binding rather than neck and armhole facings and opted out of the seam down the front as it irritated me that the pattern didn’t match.


I loved the bow on the other dress I made but I decided to keep this one plain as the pattern of the fabric was so lovely I wanted that to be the main event! Speaking of the fabric, I got this vintage sheet on a shopping trip in Manchester last year and although I can’t remember the cost, I do remember thinking it was a total bargain! I’ve got a load left too which I might knock up into a sweet summery Sorbetto!

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Bridesmaid Dresses

I’m getting married this year (YAY!). We both decided early on that we weren’t up for spending a load of money on a wedding. To this end, I’m trying to make as many things as I can. I’ve started making decorations (I’ll share these soon!) and I’ve also decided to make bridesmaid dresses for my two bridesmaids. I want them both to feel comfortable on the day but they both have vastly different styles, to address this, I said to both of them that I would pick a fabric and they could select whatever pattern they wanted. This means that they’ll both (hopefully) have a dress they like and I can have them in a matching fabric. I really hope this works! Over the next few months, I’ll keep you updated on how I’m progressing with the dresses.

The girls will be wearing this pretty blue bonded lace:

They can be my “something blue” on the day. Plus, this shade is one of my absolute favourites!

My sister chose this modern pattern:

And my best friend chose this vintage pattern (funnily, they both selected Butterick)

I’ve measured up my sister and am about to start her toile. Wish me luck, I’ve never made dresses for such and important occasion before, and certainly not for someone else to wear! Yikes!

Tilly and The Buttons Coco Working Dress

I finally got around to making my first Tilly Coco dress. I bought this pattern ages ago and had put off making it for a few reasons. Firstly, I’ve never sewn with a knit fabric before and to be honest, it scared me a bit. The thought of all that stretchy material getting out of shape and tormenting me was daunting! Secondly, I’ve always had a bit of a nightmare fitting sleeves. I finally bit the bullet and got stated with some black and grey ponti do roma I picked up in the sales. I figured this it would be a good addition to my work wardrobe.

I started out by cutting the pattern out and having a read of Tilly’s instructions. I loved the colour booklet and step by step guide.


Once I had my pattern cut, I laid out and cut the fabric. Putting the pattern together was a dream! I loved the instructions and tips throughout. I particularly liked using the ribbon to stay the shoulders. So pretty!


My only hiccup was when I accidentally sewed my sleeve on inside out, right as I was congratulating myself for making great progress, pride always comes before a fall!

Anyway, I still managed to get the whole thing done in around 2 hours, including cutting the pattern out and I have a great work dress! I now want to get some brighter fabrics for more fun versions!



Ready for work!

DIY Yoga Mat

I’ve recently started a new yoga class which doesn’t supply mats so I have to bring my own. The only problem…I don’t have a bag to carry my mat to and from the class. Keeping my new year goals in mind, I decided that rather than go out and buy a bag I would make one.

I had picked up some pretty remnants of fabric last time I was shopping for threads so I decided to use them.

Fabric Remnanats

I measured my mat and sketched out a pattern idea, hoping that it would work! I’ve never really drafted my own pattern before but I figured that this was as good a place to start as any. I wanted a bag which fitted my mat, had a long enough strap that I could wart it as a cross body bag when I cycle and should have an internal pocket to fit my phone and any cash I might need.

I started out by cutting my pattern pieces and ironing interfacing onto the ends and internal pocket to try and ensure that the bag would hold it’s shape a bit and the pocket was stiff enough to hold my bits and pieces. I then sewed the pocket piece to the lining fabric.

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I decided to use the exterior fabric for the pocket to provide a bit of contrast to the inside of the bag.

Once I completed the pocket I joined together all the lining and exterior pieces and attached the zip. Next came lots of swearing and pinning as I tried to attach the ends and handle to the main body of the bag. This is where some more experience in pattern drafting would have come in handy. I realised that I should have changed the shape of my end pieces slightly and the handle could have been attached much more easily. However, I finally managed to finish and I’m really pleased with the outcome. It will be ideal for carting the bits and pieces I need for yoga as well as my mat. Having this nice new bag will encourage me to get out with my yoga mat much more!

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Food Gifts

Over Christmas I made a lot of hampers to give as gifts to friends and family. They were greatly appreciated and it made me feel great to give not only a gift people appreciated but also a gift I had made myself. Putting that extra time and effort was really rewarding and I love to hear people tell me how much they have enjoyed munching on the goodies I included.

All of the hampers had the same contents:

Lemon Curd, Chocolate & Coconut Truffles, Chocolate Dipped Meringues and Lemon Drizzle Cake. I printed up some wrapping paper, bags and tags using some cardstock and brown paper and all in all, I was pretty happy with the results.

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My First Curtains! Sanderson Dandelion Clocks

I have wanted to know how to make a good set of curtains for a long time and have been planning to teach myself. However, my lovely friend who runs a bespoke soft furnishings store in Edinburgh said that she would teach me. I am so grateful as she has taught me so many skills I would have never learned had I tried to do them myself, including how to properly measure a window!

Once measured up, the fabric was ordered and she taught me about positioning the pattern correctly and ensuring that all of the curtains matched! Luckily, I was allowed to use my friend’s cutting table as I haven’t got a space large enough in my house.


After cutting we hemmed the main fabric, turning up a double 3 inch hem and hand stitching it. We then cut the blackout lining machine stitched a double 2 inch hem. I was a bit annoyed about my stitching on this as the machine tension must have been a bit out as the stitches were all different sizes. I didn’t want to unpick it though as it would leave holes in the blackout lining and allow light to seep through. I’ll just have to live with the irritation! Following the hemming, we positioned the blackout lining on the main fabric and folded the sides of the curtains in to cover all raw edges. This was all hand stitched too.


We added the header tape and pressed the final curtains ready to hang in my craft room! I completely loved the process of making these curtains and I’m even happier to see them hung up! I’ve got another set to make for the second window but here we are with the first window!

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2015, Here I Come!

Like everybody else, I am starting 2015 by setting some goals. I don’t want to call them resoloutions as I feel it’s a bit more positive to achieve a goal bit by bit, rather than achieving or not a promise you make to yourself. I have always made a mental resolution in the past but usually, I’ve not stuck to them. I feel like actually writing down some goals and sharing them may help to ensure I achieve these goals.

Anyway, here we go for my 2015 goals.

1. Be Nicer to Myself: Like everybody else, I completely over indulged on rich foods and alcohol! I’m feeling completely unhealthy and ready to be kind to myself with some more fruits and veggies, moving a bit more and just replacing prosecco with water! I also want to ensure that I am not just kinder to my body, I also want to be kinder to myself in general. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to being self critical and piling on the stress. I want to try and change this behaviour, seeing the learning elements of mistakes and trying to reduce the stress in my life, by taking on fewer negative projects and replacing them with positive projects that give pleasure, rather than stress!

2. Be More Focussed: I love to start new projects, learn new skills and develop my experiences. However, my attention span can be a little goldfish-y and I have a mountain of unfinished projects. This year I want to really develop a coherent portfolio of completed projects. I also want to improve my non craft skills, using my blog and social media more effectively to share what I’m up to. I want to open and populate my Etsy shop.

3. Be More Frugal: I feel like I can be a bit wasteful. Whether that’s allowing food to go bad in the fridge, buying clothes and shoes I don’t need or being frivolous when I’m shopping, buying lots of cheap things I don’t need. This year I want to focus on buying and making quality, rather than quantity. If I need to buy something, ensuring it is well made and will last me a long time.

4.Do More of What Interests Me: This relates to Goal 1 a bit. I am guilty of agreeing to do things that don’t make me happy in order to keep the peace or make other people feel good. This year I want to be a bit stricter about what I agree to get involved in, if it doesn’t make me happy I want to avoid it. I know this isn’t always possible and obligations are always going to be there but I certainly want to cut down the amount of negative or unproductive things I have to do.

5.Be More Grateful: I’m not an ungrateful person but I want to look more at the positives in life. I want to take a little time each day to write at least one positive thing that happened or I felt that day. Even on the worst days I want to find one good thing to appreciate, no matter how small. I am hoping that in the long run, this will help me to have a more positive outlook on life.
What are your goals for 2015? How do you go about achieving your goals?