Seasonal Wardrobes

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So it’s been a while but time to start talking about clothes and style again! There will be some outfit posts coming soon, I promise I just need to finish a few bits on the first and also reclaim my sewing room back which is currently a mess and being used as a temporary store-room!

Now that spring has emerged and summer is doing its usual hokey cokey of whether it’s going to be hot and glorious and wet and miserable, I thought it would be a good time to talk about seasonal wardrobes and switching them over. I think most people by default have at least two seasonal wardrobes one for winter and one for summer and probably like me tend to crossover in transitional months when the weather is a bit more temperamental. Of course this also depends where you live the world but I’m in the UK so we’re currently in nightmare what to wear season where it’s a toss-up between underdress and you freeze, over dress and you boil to death, looks sunny so risk not taking a coat and drown from spontaneuous downpours or if your lucky you might just get it right but this rarely happens in.

I’m writing these style posts as I’m trying to get my wardrobe that I’m making/putting together to not only reflect my personality and style but to also be functional and season appropriate. At the moment I have issue with fluctuating weight which is making sewing plans a bit difficult as I have no idea what measurements to go by but this is an issue for another day and I think I have the situation in hand and the problem is being sorted. I’ve also been in a bit of a style rut because a) I work at home and tend to just wear comfortable clothes and b) despite having a fabulous selection of clothes, not currently being able to fit in them is kind of annoying but as i said working on that.

Do you have a seasonal wardrobe?

So do I have a seasonal wardrobe? Yes I do, though at the moment I’m kind of in a wear what fits kind of stage so most of the winter I’ve been layering up summer clothes with thermal socks and woolly cardigans. I hope to get a few more winter staples made before next winter, that being a few layering jumpers, some long-sleeved cardigans and a few pairs of winter appropriate trousers.

Do you switch them over?

Most of them yes. I tend to pack away most of my dresses, especially strappy ones and things like shorts, thin blouses, light cotton trousers etc as they rarely get worn during the colder months. I tend to leave a few skirts and dresses out that can be layered. Now that it’s spring I’m thinking about things to put away, like my heavier coats, boots and thicker woollen tights. Now is a good time to do a stock take of what you have, clear out non repairable items, recycle or resell things you haven’t worn for ages and see also what needs replacing.

These days it’s so easy to go into a department stores and raid the racks because things look pretty and half the time they just sit in the wardrobe, I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. As I spend most of my time working from home I’m looking to stock up more comfortable and practical clothing. The end of season sales are a good time to grab a few bargains in prep for next year like boots or a coat, or as I’ve done stock up on my underwear and exercise clothes once the Jan/feb fitness rush was over.

How do you store your clothes?

I store my clothes in a couple of old vintage suitcases which I’ve found over the years. Depending on how much space you have you could use shallow plastic storage boxes to store under the bed or on top of wardrobe. Or vacuum bags if you have a loft.

I launder all my clothes before storing them, I line the suitcases with draw liners and I also stick in a sachet of lavender or some cedars balls to repel moths. I also hang these in my wardrobe and clothes draws regardless of the season. Make sure clothes are dry, if you put them in even slightly damp they’ll smell musty when you take them out or even worse develop mould depending on the fabric content.

How to plan your seasonal wardrobe.

So pretty much the same rules apply regardless whether you’re purchasing or making your clothes. Think about your style, what do you like? What do you wear often? And finally what do you need? Always look to invest in your wardrobe, you’re better off buying one decent long serving item than five cheaper alternatives that fall apart after a few wears. When I was at University the first thing I bought with my student loan was snorkel/parker coat and some cat boots to see me through the winters. I still have the coat, it’s been twenty years and the best 30 quid I ever spent! I may not it wear it as much but it’s still there if I need it.

These days I try to be practical when spending money on clothes. Take my wedding dress for instance, generally that’s something you where once but I went for a cocktail dress instead so I could get more wear out of it as I hate to see clothing languishing in the back of the wardrobe unworn and I have worn it again. Although I tend to make more of my own clothes now I still apply this to the fabrics I purchase and the items I plan to make. I also buy a lot of vintage, part of this is to do with style, another part is to do with cut and fit, another part is keeping clothes in circulation and out of the landfill.

Do you have any tips to add about planning or storing your seasonal wardrobes?

 

Choosing a Colour Palette For Your Wardrobe

How do you choose a colour palette for your me made wardrobe?
Although I’m specifically talking about your me made wardrobe, these principles could easily be applied to choosing colour palettes for a bought wardrobe as not everyone has the time or inclination to make their own clothes. There are several ways you can do this, you could do it by what’s in trend for this season. Pantone’s colour of the year is greenery, whilst I like bright jewel colours, I, myself  have found myself opting for more subtle shades this season.

Is it by season?
Colours you pick can easily be influenced by the season, I tend to go for brighter colours in the summer and more muted tones in the winter and kind of mixed in spring and autumn.I think the weather does sort have an influence over the colours I choose,e even with my choice of hair colour.

Is it by your favourite colours?
Oddly I don’t. My favourite colour is pink, yet it’s a colour until now I don’t have much of in my wardrobe. it’s easy to keep picking your favourite colour and then you end up with a monochrome wardrobe, which I try to avoid.
Or by occasion?
You might find that your work wear wardrobe takes on a completely different palette to that of your out of work clothes, or they might not depending on your line of work. As a freelancer I can pretty much wear what I want but when working for someone I less frivolous in my choices of office wear.
I’ve always struggled with colour palettes because my tastes and influences vary wildly. As you know I’m pretty much influenced by every decade and trend that’s passed by and cherry pick from each one, which leads to quite an eclectic wardrobe.
Recently I got back into Pinterest. Pinterest was one of those things I got into when it first started and you had to request an invite. And then I just kind of forgot about it and when I came back everyone was a profession pinner and had thousands of followers and I’m like trying to play catch up ( this sums up every social media trend I have joined!) but I’m not trying to be an influencer and like Instagram and everything else there are courses you can do to make you a better pinner, to make your pins more pinable etc but to be honest i think I’m too far behind to catch up or care about catching up. I need to do stuff at my own pace.
Anyway I digress (as always)! I started using Pinterest to record colour combinations and compositions that I liked as a way to help with my photography and this inadvertently ending up influencing other aspects mainly my choice of colours for this years wardrobe. I’m obsessed with colour, I always have and recently this has been showing up in my colour choices for clothes through bold colours and prints but towards the end of last year I started making some softer additions to my colour palette choices.
I’ve never really been into pastel colours, I’ve always though of them as too soft and girly which is complete bullshit, I think that stereotyping brainwashes in to believing that colour has some sort of gender significance and they don’t! Anyone can wear any colour regardless of their gender, it does not mean anything other than you like that colour!
So I generally buy the bulk of my fabric during Black Friday and the January sales (or basically when there is a discount or sale on) and I noticed that I had changed my usual colour choices quite a bit to a more softer/neutral palette. Even with my wool choices.
I bought some paintbox yarns and picked five colours that were the complete opposite of the colours I picked last year. Last year were all very bright jewel colours, this year they were more mute. Now I could say that it’s down to trend but to be honest there is such a wide variety of colours and prints to choose from it probably more down to preference that influence.

Like anything and you I probably mention this too often on here but style is not static. yes you probably have a core style but things do change, you add, you take away, you’re forever experimenting, pushing the boundaries of who you are.
So maybe Pinterest taught me to give those pastels and metallics a chance, or maybe because it’s because it’s been so on trend it’s subliminally influenced me, or maybe I’ve just decided to add a softer element to my wardrobe.
There are still prints in my choices for this years wardrobe, though I did take a slightly different approach in that I pretty much bought with specific projects in mind, and didn’t stick to my usual 2ms which actually turns out is quite limiting in choice especially with the vintage patterns I have in stock.
There are more colour pops than colour blasts. Rather than go for an all over bold print, I’ve picked with subtle pops of colour instead.
I’ve gone for more cream and white bases. This is highly unusual for me, I do no own very many white items, though I have noticed a few cream pieces have crept into my wardrobe as of late. And more pink because this is my favourite colour.
And florals have been making a comeback.
And I’m still obsessed with grids!
There are a few wild cards thrown because variety is the spice of life, though I’m not sure whether to use this fabric with lines vertically or horizontally. I guess that will depend on pattern chosen.
Have you chosen a colour palette for your wardrobe this year? If so what did you choose?

Natasha

The ‘I love You Wade Wilson’ Dress

So I normally name my clothes after song titles but this one was inspired by Deadpool which I love and the fabric pattern just kind of reminded me of film, so I named it after the lead character. I also promise that I will start doing proper posts soon of me actually wearing the clothes I make but I won’t lie, I haven’t been feeling up to prancing around in front of a camera these last few months but I will get over myself and get on with. Plus I have some really nice makes planned and I’ll be talking about in my next post of some fabric I got recently, my wardrobe planning is taking a different direction.

I used a 1970s Maudella shirt dress pattern and made version #3, though I’m kind of tempted to make the suit version, even though I’ll probably never wear it! I wanted to make a belt but didn’t have enough fabric in fact I didn’t have enough material to do a full length version as I was working to my usual 2m of fabric, which I’ve now stopped buying as a standard length as it’s apparent most of my dress patterns need at least three metres! I’m now only buying fabric with specific projects in my mind and ordering to pattern requirements which should keep my fabric stash from growing too big and also cut down time choosing which fabric to use.

I like this fabric but it is a bit migraine inducing!

I did tone down the collar a bit because it was a tad too big for my liking and one gust of wind and I might take off!
This dress had been sitting in my WIP pile form last year. I think I started making it last summer and although it’s a tight squeeze it actually fits (just) even though I did adjust the pattern to accomodate my 40 inch bust, so by this summer I should be able to wear without squishing my boobs!
The pattern itself was pretty easy to follow and instead of standard darts, it has French darts which I had not done before but just requires a little tacking before sewing.I’ve also learnt that darts should really be pressed upwards instead of downwards!

I managed to sew the bias binding on the wrong side of both armholes! Thankfully and easy mistake to fix. Though my proudest achievement on this dress is the pockets.

Though the sleeveless version on calls for one pocket I decided to do two pockets and managed to do some near spot on perfect pattern matching. The smaller the pattern repeat, the harder it can be to match the pattern up I find. However, with a good steam iron to press the corners and a little patience in-between the pattern making me going boss eyed, I managed it. The left pocket is a little off but I’m still pretty stoked how these turned out!

And that my friends is my fourth finished item of the year and also a vintage pledge to boot! Though Vintage pledge is technically not running it’s usual format this year, there still is a pinterest board to pin this years makes to.

Pattern – Maudella 5749
Material -100% cotton
Style -Vintage
Size – 40 Bust
Post Title – Inspired by Deadpool

New Year, New Makes!

It appears I’m lacking a little in the creative title department but as much as I want to do more outfit posts of the things I make, I also don’t want to over do it to the point of boring people to death with similar items or items I have made before. So I want to blog more about making new patterns and the challenges I found with them. Also I’m a little too lazy and one of these items took so long to make, it’s currently too small for me to model anyway! But I want to keep you up to date on my me me made wardrobe and whatnot.

Come into My Dreamland Dress

This was the first dress I finished this year that has been sitting in the WIP like forever! So I installed a zip, finally mastered the art of bias binding and managed to find three buttons that matched in my massive random button stash!

This material is by Tula Pink and the pattern I used was a vintage shirt dress pattern. I didn’t have enough material to the a fill length or sleeves, so I had to shorten the skirt a bit.

My plan this year is to master fiddly finishing bits like sewing button holes that actually match, zips that aren’t lopsided, pockets of all kinds mainly ones with welts, waistbands which are not wonky and belts. On my current project I’m also teaching myself to add lining to an item where the pattern doesn’t include one because I’ve decided in my infinite wisdom to use a fabric that requires a lining because it’s a bit see through!
Pattern -Vintage Shirt Dress Pattern (unbranded)
Material –  Tula Pink Fox Trot in Dusk
Style -Vintage
Size -40 Bust
Post Title – Come into my Dreamland by Ed Harcourt
Death Trip To Tulsa Skirt

So sometimes I bulk cut out stuff in preparation for a sewing marathon, get distracted by something else and then forgot a project or two I had cut out. At one point I was convinced I had lost the pattern pieces I used for this skirt because I had tidied it away so well and they happened to be still attached to the fabric. It was only when I rediscovered this project that I also discovered the pattern pieces weren’t lost at all. This is why I try to stick to my one project rule but to be honest that never works. In fact when I decided to finally sew this skirt together I had just cut out another skirt!
This pattern is a simple skirt that I’ve sewn a few times before, it’s great when you only have a metre or so of fabric to use. It’s categorised as a one hour project but between being distracted updating Instagram and making cups of tea, it’s always more like two hours.
When I bought this material which is a thick cotton canvas, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I was originally thinking a coat but I thought it might be a bit too much, so I decided on a skirt and used the rest to make bags and purses for the shop. I still have a little bit lingering about somewhere as well.
So this was my second finished make of the year.
Pattern -New Look 6843
Material – Cotton Canvas
Post Title -Death Trip to Tulsa by The Mark Lanegan Band
Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill Skirt
I was actually looking for some other fabric for a project when I stumbled across this my local haberdashers, it was just to good not too buy. Being about £12 a metre I decided only to buy 2 metres and use for a skirt. The pattern was too bold for me to want to make a dress out of it but thought it would make a great statement skirt that could be paired with a black top. I also love the retro vibes is has going on.

So I rummaged around in my stash for a skirt pattern but due to the nature of the print I ended up taking the skirt pattern off a dress and altering the width of the base of the skirt, giving it more of a flare.

In my bid to use up whatever I can it my stash I used some pink cotton muslin as the lining. I’m not a fan of polyester lining, so I tend to opt for cotton where I can, it sort of matched as there is some pink in the print.

 I’m not totally happy with the waistband and this is something I need to work on as you can see this is an abysmal attempt at a waistband. I think I should have probably skipped the buttons and used a longer zip and maybe a hook and eye instead but it’s all a learning curve. I think I’m going to add some belt loops mostly to hide the mistake!.
This was my 3rd make of the year.
Pattern -Modified skirt from Butterick B4724
Material – 100% Cotton, no designer info available
Post Title – Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill by The Horrorpops