Category Archives: Wardrobe Architect

Me Made May 2017 recap

My pledge for Me Made May this year was to wear at least one item of me made (or refashioned) clothing each day in May. And I managed it! Yay! I remember when I first started sewing it was a couple of years before I felt like I had enough clothes to be able to take part, so to have enough to wear something every day is pretty cool.

Week One:

Day 1: black simplicity 2451 with my newest charity shop jumper; Day 2: navy spotty rushcutter dress; Day 3: navy blue simplicity trousers and red and blue checked violet blouse; Day 4: spotty drapey knit dress; Day 5: bright blue jersey dress; Days 6 & 7 blue spotty archer with rtw jeans.

Week Two:

Day 8: navy blue simplicity trousers and turquoise coco top; Day 9: black simplicity 2451 skirt and pink stripey banksia top; Day 10: silver toaster sweater; Day 11: flowery archer with rtw jumper and trousers; Day 12: my dressmaker’s ball dress; Days 12 & 13: refashioned coral mustard and navy dress into a shirt; Day 14: blue spotty archer.

 

Week Three:

Day 15: refashioners shirt refashion; Day 16: semi-successful moneta dress with mustard astoria; Day 17: black simplicity 2451 with my favourite charity shop jumper; Day 18: refashioned dress with peter pan collar; Day 19: navy simplicity trousers and electric blue coco top; Day 20: refashioned teapot dress; Day 21: simplicity trousers and my favourite charity shop jumper.

Week Four (and a bit)

Day 22: navy simplicity 2451 skirt and melilot shirt; Day 23: silver delphine skirt and rtw jumper; Day 24: navy scribble striped marianne dress; Day 25: wide-legged trousers I took in at the waist with breton striped plantain tee; Day 26: denim moss skirt with my merchant and mills sewing t shirt; Day 27: Gertie cigarette trousers (as part of my dressmaker’s ball outfit) with a rtw jumper and the coat I made from my Grandma’s vintage pattern; Days 28 & 29: Coco t shirt and rtw jeans; Day 30: navy simplicity trousers and silver toaster sweater; Day 31: electric blue jersey dress.
Things I’ve learned from Me Made May:

  • I hate taking daily photos. Thankfully The Boyfriend was a good instagram husband and took most of them for me, but quite often I’d realise we hadn’t taken a photo when I went to bed!
  • My simplicity trousers got a lot of wear. I definitely need more trousers I can wear at work – though I also wear them on days off too.
  • Quite often (unless I was wearing a dress) I would either have a top or a bottom but not a full outfit, so I need to make more pieces that go together. Hopefully by the time I’ve finished the Wardrobe Architect I’ll have ideas for more of a capsule wardrobe.
  • I failed to refashion anything in May, which was another part of my pledge. I have a bunch of clothes ready for alteration, so hopefully this month I’ll get back into refashioning.
  • There were a whole bunch of things I’ve made – mostly when I first started sewing which I haven’t worn this year and didn’t wear last year, so I’m going to have a wardrobe clear out to get rid of things I know I’m not going to wear.
  • I definitely need to make jeans, and more casual things to wear on my days off.
  • I found wearing dresses easier than putting together separates, so I’m planning to make a few more dresses. They’re also good for hot weather – if we get more hot weather than the one week we had in the middle of May!
  • It was nice to rediscover some of the clothes I’ve made or refashioned which I haven’t worn for a while.
  • There weren’t that many things I wore more than once (apart from my trousers and simplicity skirts), so I think I don’t need loads and loads more clothes, so I’ll try to be more thoughtful about what I make from now on.

What did you learn if you took part in Me Made May? Did you succeed in your pledge?

Save

Save

Save

Wardrobe Architect Week 8: Hair, Makeup and Beauty

For the Wardrobe Architect series this week (week 8) it’s all about hair and makeup.  The Colette post says:

“Hair and makeup are so transformative and powerful. Few other things can completely change the way you look the way hairstyle and beauty products can.”

1. What hair style has been most flattering and comfortable for you? How did it make you feel about yourself? Did it invoke any of the words you came up with in our core style exercise?

I’m now definitely a short hair person. I always had long hair when I was young (under 20), sometimes with a fringe and sometimes without. Then when I was probably about 22, I had a bob cut with a blunt fringe and I loved it. I kept it like that for quite a few years – basically until I moved to London and couldn’t afford haircuts! Then I grew it really long, then chopped it all off in one go into a pixie crop. I loved the drama of having it all cut off at once and I think the pixie crop is definitely the most ‘me’ cut I’ve found. I did briefly grow it out into a bob, then a long bob (and a disasterous moment where I grew out my fringe – I definitely would never not have some kind of fringe in the future!) then I cut it all off again! I’m actually thinking of having a slight change to the exact haircut I’ve had for the last couple of years as I’m a bit bored, but I might just go a little shorter all over for the Summer. Though I am tempted to grow it out a little and go for the full Vidal Sassoon Mary Quant.

2. How much makeup are you comfortable with? It could be no makeup, or a full face with contouring (and all that jazz I could never figure out). Or it could vary day to day.

It slightly varies from day to day, but I never wear foundation and I wouldn’t know where to start with contouring if I wanted to (though I love RuPaul’s Drag Race and would love to have the skills and make-up to do a full drag face!). Mostly what I wear daily is concealer under my eyes, – I’ve always had quite dark circles under my eyes, even as a kid – mascara and I fill in my eyebrows a little because I committed the cardinal eyebrow sin when I was young and didn’t know what I was doing and plucked hairs from the top of my brows, and I overplucked so now have a couple of gaps which I like to fill in. Some days I don’t bother with the mascara, but I do curl my eyelashes as they are quite long but very straight. If I’ve got a bit more time and want to make a bit more of an effort I’ll wear liquid eyeliner (it’s like a felt-tip pen) on my top eyelid. And most days I put a little blusher on to make myself look less pale and tired!

3. How does your makeup and hair reflect your personal style? What do you feel they say about you and your aesthetics?

I’d like to think my hair and make-up is fairly low maintenance, which is also how I like my clothes to feel. I like to be comfortable and once I’m dressed and my hair and make-up are done, I don’t want to have to think about it for the rest of the day. That is one of the great things about having short hair – once it’s dried (and I use a wax to make it less fluffy) then I can leave it alone for the rest of the day, and it doesn’t get in my face.

4. How much product do you want to own? Do you like collecting products, or would you rather just have a few essentials? How much bathroom clutter are you ok with?

I would rather have a few essentials. Since I don’t wear foundation or eye shadow really ever, I only have half a dozen products which I use daily. I do have quite a few nail varnishes, though I’ve got out of the habit of painting my nails, and that’s definitely the only thing I collect. I have one concealer that I use until it’s gone, one mascara, one blusher. I’m not particularly into make-up – and it’s expensive! – so it’s not something I’m interested in collected.

5. What requirements do you have for the products you buy? Do you stick with all natural products? Are there ingredients you avoid?

This question has made me really think. I buy Dr Organics shampoo, conditioner and shower gel and I make sure my make-up remover is free from as many chemicals as possibly, but I’ve never thought about my make-up. I will definitely look at this next time I’m looking to replace items.

6. What colors feel best near your face? How do they relate to the color palette you created?

One of the only colours (other than black for eye liner and mascara) that I wear is pink. I have a blusher which I wear most days to make me look less pale/ill. It’s pretty close to the colour my cheeks go when I’m hot, so I feel it looks okay. I’ve also got a couple of different shades of pink lipstick, but I don’t wear lipstick on a day-to-day basis as I feel overly made-up when I do.

7. What colors never look right near your face? What colors have you tried and given up on before?

Red looks terrible near my face, so I’m not a red lipstick person. I also think red lipstick makes my teeth look yellow. I haven’t really tried too many other colours, I’m not very adventurous with makeup.

8. How much time do you realistically want to spend getting ready in the morning?

Not very much time if I’m honest! I do get up 90 minutes before I have to leave for work, but almost 45 minutes of that time is me sitting and eating my breakfast and waking up. Often I only have 5 minutes to put on make-up, which is what more often than not dictates how much I wear!

9. What types of scents do you gravitate towards? Do you wear perfume? Other scented products? What do you feel the scents you like communicate about your personality?

I don’t wear perfume ever. I don’t know if that’s weird, but I’ve never worn it. I have been bought things in the past but I never really liked the way they smelled, so I never really wore them.

The post on the Colette blog suggests collecting some inspirational photos of hair and make-up, which I have done on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board.

This photo of Ginnifer Goodwin is definitely an inspiration for a slight tweak to my current hair cut. I like the shaved sides, but I have had that before and it wasn’t my favourite look!

I like all 3 of these pixie cuts, from Mia Farrow, Michelle Williams and Carey Mulligan. 60s crops are a bit shorter on the top than my current cut, so that might be an option for the Summer.

These 2 are more inspirational – the Mary Quant Vidal Sassoon is on the right. I would have to grow it out a little to get mine like this, and I fear it would be high maintenance, like my bob used to be because my hair isn’t quite straight. Also I love Tilda Swinton and wish I could have her hair.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Wardrobe Architect Week 7: Exploring Solids and Prints

Well I’ve got a little behind with my Wardrobe Architect posts! The last one I wrote was almost a month ago – so much for writing a post every 2 weeks! I ran out of time for blogging much the last couple of weeks because I was working on my dress for The Dressmakers Ball (which was amazing! Post to follow soon), which took much, much, much longer than I thought. Also last weekend we had a power cut for half an afternoon and a whole evening and night (the power came back on the early hours of the next morning) so I did lose some time there.

Anyway, to this week’s Wardrobe Architect post. It’s all about exploring solids and prints this week (it’s not just a clever title!). The introduction for this week says:

“What I’ve heard over and over from you guys is that prints are incredibly seductive. Fabric stores are awash in adorable prints that look great on the bolt. But often, we get them home and don’t know what to do with them. Or, we make garments that sit in our closet and never get worn, either because they are too loud, too cute, or they just don’t go with anything.

By thinking ahead about the prints that you are really drawn to, you can narrow your choices and sidestep this feeling of being overwhelmed at the fabric store. If you know what’s really you, you’re less likely to collect things simply because they’re pretty or cute.”

There are also some questions to think about to help you narrow your choices with regard to solids and prints:

Prints vs. solids: What percentage of your wardrobe do you actually want to be comprised of prints? Some people wear prints all the time, for others they’re more of an accent.
I think at the moment prints are probably maybe 30-40% of my tops and dresses, but 0% of my trousers and skirts. I would like to have a couple of pairs of cool patterned slouchy trousers, but that probably is about the balance I like.

Scale: Do you tend to prefer large scale prints, small scale, or a mixture of both?
I think mostly I like smaller scale prints – being quite a small person I’m not sure I’d be able to pull off a giant print. Maybe if it was a simple shape of garment and there was, like, one repeat? Oooh, there’s an idea!

Contrast: Do the prints you like use lots of contrasting, bold colors? Or are they more tonal and subdued?
Definitely more tonal and subdued – I know I’d be a bit scared to wear something in crazy colours!

Naturalism: Do you feel drawn to flowing, organic, or naturalistic prints? Or are strong, abstract, geometric designs your thing? Or are there versions of both that you love?
I’m not really a fan of floral prints, so I would go for abstract and geometric designs definitely.

Mood: There are hundreds of styles of prints. Are there prints you choose that relate to your 5 style words?
Not sure, I’ll have to think more on this one.

I’ve narrowed down the kinds of prints I wear to a few categories.

Spots

#SewDots GBSB Drapey Knit Dress#SewDots Delphine skirtNavy Spotty Rushcutter DressBlue Spotty Archer Button Up
(Clockwise from top left: Drapey Knit dress, Sew Dots Delphine skirt (with a spotty lining), Blue Spotty Archer shirt, Dark Blue Spotty Rushcutter dress)


(images from my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board)

Stripes

Interestingly all the striped things I’ve made have been basically the same colour!

Breton Striped Plantain Tee
(Clockwise from top left: Colette Laurel, Ugly Dress Refashion, Marianne Dress (not yet blogged), Breton striped Plantain Tee)

(images from my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board)

Geometric (or not spots or stripes)

Blue Patterned Melilot ShirtTilly and the Buttons Coco Dress (Made Up Initiative)Aztec Linden sweatshirt(Clockwise from top left: Melilot Shirt, Coco Dress, Aztec Pattern Linden, Moneta Party Dress)

(images from my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board)

Florals and Novelty

Weirdly I’ve actually made a few flowery things even though I didn’t think it was my thing! Also there are some cute novelty print fabrics, but I tend to steer clear of them as I’m afraid I’ll feel stupid wearing them!

Yellow and Navy Flowery Deer and Doe Plantain Tee

(Clockwise from top left: Flowery Archer, Flowery Plantain, Vintage Summer Dress, Orla Kiely-esque Colette Laurel)

Interestingly I don’t really wear these items very much, apart from the archer, which I think means I need more archers, and that the prints and fit of the 2 dresses weren’t brilliant!

These are 3 of my favourite novelty prints – I think I could pull off the blue cats one because it’s actually a little more abstract. Or maybe I just need to grow some balls and wear what the hell I like!?

(images from my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board)

I’ve found it really interesting to really analyse which prints I like and wear. The main theme, though, seems to be blue! I think I might have subconsciously known which prints I like, but having really thought about it and bringing it into my mind more consciously, hopefully my fabric buying won’t end with me thinking ‘what am I going to make’ and then ‘I’m never going to wear this’.

Save

 

 

Save

Save

Wardrobe Architect Week 6: Organising Your Palette

I feel like I’ve lost my blogging mojo a little bit recently, but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things, so I’m going to do the next week of the Wardrobe Architect, week 6: Organising Your Colour Palette.

Following on from me identifying the colours I like wearing in my previous Wardrobe Architect post, this week is about sorting the colours into categories, which will hopefully help me make decisions about what to make in which of my colours. I have added a few extra colours to flesh out my palettes.

This was my original palette:

As they say in the original post for this week:

“Neutral colors are basics that go with just about anything. Think browns, grays, black, white, beige, etc.

Generally, neutrals convey an air of sophistication and elegance, though they can become boring if used exclusively or untempered by other kinds of visual interest, like texture, silhouette, or detail.”

 

Colette define ‘nearly neutrals’ as “anything you personally wear like a neutral. You feel confident combining them easily with other colors.”

“Your own definition of nearly neutrals can vary. Think of colors that seem to go well with everything, like burgundy, navy, wine red, very pale blush pink, olive green, gold, etc.”

I don’t have many statement colours, but this is definitely the happiest of my palettes!

“These are the colors that don’t necessarily go with everything, but have a lot of visual impact. For me, these colors elicit some of the strongest feelings. They have a lot more visual weight, and they tend to make clothing more recognizable.

Statement colors can be used in large or small doses. You can have many of them, or just a few.”

They also added metallics to their narrowed down palettes, but they really aren’t colours I wear so it felt like I would be forcing it to add some into mine.

I like how collecting the colours I picked last time into smaller collections will help me focus on creating a wardrobe which will hopefully mean things I make will go with other things I make – and if they don’t, I know they are statement colours so that’s okay!

 

Save

 

Save

Wardrobe Architect Week 5: Your Colour Story

This week’s Wardrobe Architect exercise is about coming up with a colour story for your wardrobe. To quote the original post:

“Color is an extremely powerful force in our lives.

Color affects our mood. It affects how food tastes to us. It affects how and what we buy. The color of the pills we take can even affect the efficacy of the medication within. That is what a powerful psychological effect color has over us.

Not only is color a potent communication tool, but it’s also a nuanced one. We are capable of perceiving a huge number of colors, each one arousing a slightly different feeling in us.

Perhaps you can’t articulate why a certain shade of apricot feels good to you, but a slightly yellower shade does not. Somewhere deep within your mind, a combination of biology, culture, and context makes that decision before you are even aware of it.

It creates a visceral, physical response that you experience as emotion.” (source)

I pretty much already knew what my palette would be, but it’s hard to pin down exact shades of blue (for example), so it did take longer than I thought it would. Also I struggled to come up with 12 colours! Looking through my handmade wardrobe, though, I’ve pretty much stuck to these colours, which really surprised me. I thought I was a bit more all over the place, but it seems I’ve always kept to a fairly limited palette!

I did pin some pictures on my Wardrobe Architect Pinterest board to help me narrow these colours down. I tried to avoid pinning pictures of clothes, though, so I wouldn’t pin things thinking I liked the colour, when actually I liked the silhouette. What strikes me is that this palette looks quite bright, but I feel like I dress quite boringly a lot of the time, so that needs rectifying. I also need more coral in my wardrobe. I really do like it but when I made my lace dress and jacket for the wedding I went to last year, I initially wanted a coral jacket and not a mustard one but I couldn’t find any fabric in the shade of coral I like – and it turns out coral is a word that means anything from pale pink to bright orange!

I feel like these colours are mostly the ones I think I look okay in – I would never put red on my colour palette for instance. Do you find you’re naturally drawn to clothes in colours that suit you?

Save

Save

Save