I’ve been lucky enough to have been featured as a “Style Blog” (really? who me?! go check it out, it’s true!) I bashfully shrink with modesty to think the lovely Susan at Pocketchange considered my mutterings, japes & experiments with cloth & rick rack worthy of such a description, but anyway it got me thinking about style. And then that got me thinking some more.
I’ve been thinking about sources of style & how I decide what to make. You are probably bored of hearing about my aims for a totally self stitched wardrobe & it is now perhaps 19 months since I have bought anything ready to wear (wow! that’s a nice reflection ) But what makes a great working wardrobe? Do I have one yet? There are so many opinions & questions about this subject that pop up with regularity online, even on sewing blogs which makes sense when others like me are thinking about what to sew & why. Recently Shivani posted the very same question, “Wardrobe essentials and do I need to make anything else at all” & came up with someone’s answer to the “50 essentials for your closet”. ( This 50 includes accessories as well by the way). How big is my closet? Easily exceeds 50… I think Me Made May demonstrated that I easily have enough me mades to wear & that is what I do in preference to almost every bought item I still cling onto. Of my me-mades I have more than 14 summer dresses but only 2 pairs of trousers that fit me. I seem to wear these trousers the most at weekends & the dresses hang on hangers or linger in the ironing.
Is my wardrobe a workable one? I don’t think I can truly answer that. Some things get worn more frequently than others, I have favorites in terms of frequency & favorites in terms of special-to-wear-almost-always-provoke-comments-from-strangers. I don’t think I am after a capsule wardrobe – yet. I do have a wardrobe that is actually coming to the point where some of my me mades are losing favour, that is how far I think I have come. You know what I mean? You know,the things that no longer meet your current style/ fit standards, or have worn out, or even look sloppy compared to the soaring heights of sewing standards you now achieve? And what about the clothes I have bought that will need replacing. My pledge to not buy what I can sew will extend to coats, jackets & you know my (bought) undies are getting in a sad & sorry state. The two pairs of successful me made undies do get worn in rotation – I have had some degree of success despite the post I wrote!. Luckily the awesome Zoe from SoZowhatdoyouknow is posting free pdf patterns first for vest/camisoles & knickers to follow…. I shall revisit sewing undies, it’s a promise in line with my goal!
Another casualty of my seamless pledge – bonkers crazy fabric stashing as if any minute all fabric shops that currently exist are going to evaporate &/or I suddenly lose my job & have to live on beans to afford thread, sewing machine needles and the electricity to power my laptop and my sewing machine …(you agree with my priorities though, don’t you?). [PS July there will be modesty in this department. ]
So rambling on, how do I make my decisions? Fabric buying decisions & pattern style/shape decisions come from having had my colours & style for body shape done by my friend who is an image/style consultant. I tell you it focuses temptation when in fabric shops - I only have eyes for those colours that fall within my “deep muted” set. And that means that all the fabric that I choose should in theory complement each other – my brain doesn’t have to engage very hard. It doesn’t mean that I spend any less time in fabric shops making my decisions however! Similarly looking at shapes & styles on sewing patterns also has some theory behind it for me & with this I know when I am breaking my rules which is better than not understanding why I look like a sack of spuds. Having rules like this is what made the Susannah & Trinny phenomenon a revelation to many (& having £2k to go clothes shopping had something to do with every girl’s dream- just imagine having that amount to spend on fabric & patterns!)
OK, so I have my rules & this helps me fight against the temptation, the inspiration I get from reading so many sewing blogs. I have to say that I am not a real follower of style or fashion blogs, & looking around pocketchange made me think perhaps I should have some kind of an eye on what’s happening in the real world…lots of interesting little pieces eg Finding shorts for your shape and height – well I had never thought of that before…..so I have stored it in my bookmarks to dip into. It will always be the sewing bloggers that inspire me however & offer ideas that I am desperate to try. Take this morning’s breakfast read: Rochelle’s rick rack / bias neck facing on the most cutest dress at Lucky Lucille
SO need to have a go at this myself…..& such cute Alexander Henry fabric. Lauren at Lladybird has a severe effect on my willpower, continually throwing temptation at me. Choosing a favorite from her recent handmade wardrobe is just impossible – this dress is totally typical of the fab style & wondrous makes ….& I wish I was as productive & stylish as her
In fact temptation is everywhere highlighted during Me Made May when you get to see the fruits of everyone’s labours being worn IRL from Shivani’s perfectly stylish wardrobe, Roobeedoo’s coats, wide leg trousers, stylish 70s patterns, scalloped shorts & heirloom self knitted cardigans festooned with colour, zing & joy inducing prints…
Read more about Karen’s French seams here.
And can I let you into an inspiration-yet-to-be-realised?
So, how to cope with so much inspiration, even when I know what my own rules are? Shivani has her three “Ws” for decision making:
- What will I wear it with?
Mine is similar, & attributable to my image/ style consultant friend. It is the rule of three:
- Can it be worn with three or more things?
- Will it be worn more than three times?
- Can I envisage still wanting to wear it in three years time?
How do you cope with all this inspiration & temptation? Any tips of yours that you’d like to share?
Now, onto some sewing