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?

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!

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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Not-So-Elegant Ballerinas!

I’ve been working on a new project, which in my mind was going to be brilliant! The reality has been a bit different. I started out by sketching ideas out. Some sketches were OK, some needed a bit of work.

After completing a good few sketches, many I was too embarrassed to show here, (yes, they were more awful than some of the examples below!) I decided to make a start on the embroidery. The huge learning curve here was to make damn sure I have nailed all the tricky aspects at the sketching stage because they will look SO much worse when you transfer that to stitched medium! I’m almost too embarrassed to show you this poor ballerina with her witchy face and wonky legs but I’m hoping that sometime soon I’ll be able to triumphantly come back here and show you my finished project with a dainty ballerina and some elegant lettering but in the meantime, here is my shame!

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Poor ballerina with the lengthy arm and giant hand

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Again, I wasn’t super happy with the hands but otherwise I was pretty happy.

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Hands are all wrong again! But I do quite like this, she looks like a pixie.

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This girl has just had her Christmas dinner and seems to have lobster claws for hands. Oh dear!

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What I’m listening to:

Episode 12

 

Psychedelic Embriodery Designs

I’ve been working on a new piece which I finally got finished last night. I’m pleased with a lot of it, I love some of the paisley motifs;

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I also love the colours, the warm reds, yellows and oranges on the blue background really pop! However, there are a couple of stitches and things about the design and layout I’m not overly happy with (is anyone every completely happy?), but all in all I like the finished article.

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What I’m listening to:

Serial Podcast