Wardrobe Architect Challenge 2015: January

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

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Ready for work!

Simplicity Pattern 1609 Shift Dress

I’ve been a bit lazy on the old dressmaking front recently, a few iffy and unfinished projects turned me off it. I missed making my own clothes though so I decided to ease myself into it with a nice easy pattern; Simplicity 1609. I got all my bits and bobs ready and cut out the pieces I needed to make view B of the pattern.

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I used a lovely piece of Amy Butler Henna Paisley to make the dress, I figured it would layer up nicely in the cold weather and brighten up dark days but would also make a sweet summer dress.

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The pattern came together beautifully and was a dream to make up. The trickiest part was matching up the facing but even then, I just needed a bit of patience.

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(The light was going here a bit so the pictures aren’t great).

I managed the whole dress in an afternoon and wore it out to meet friends in Glasgow last night. I got a lot of compliments and will definitely be running up a few more of these staples! Last night I teamed this with a turquoise short sleeved sweater (with the bow popping out at the neck line), turquoise tights and navy blue shoes and bag. I felt very bright!

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