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’.

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Navy, Spotty Rushcutter Dress

I’ve made a Rushcutter Dress and I’m in love!

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-7RushcutterI bought the pattern a couple of months ago from In The Folds, a fairly new pattern company. Now I’m having a bit of a break from work (though I really have to start searching for a job soon!), I’ve had time to make some of the patterns I had in my stash and use up lots of my fabric stash.

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-1I bought this fabric at the same time as the lighter blue spotty cotton I used for my Archer Shirt from Rolls and Rems – it’s okay if you’re sick of me talking about Rolls and Rems, now I’ve left London I’ll have to find some new shops in Gloucestershire! (Btw, I accidentally just typed Gloucestershite, I hope it’s not a Freudian slip!)

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-5I bought 2 metres of fabric, which is generally my standard amount if I’m not buying it for anything in particular, and it was ooonly just enough – I didn’t have enough to cut the (optional) hem facing or the waist tie, which was fine because I like loose things so I wouldn’t wear it with a belt anyway.

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-3
I made size B, with no changes. The way the pattern is written, you can adjust the size at the back seam/ zip if you feel it’s going to be too loose. I did think I should have measured this and then maybe taken it in a bit as things tend to be big on my back, but I didn’t make any changes and I feel like the fit is fine across the back – it’s obviously drafted to be slightly over-sized, but it doesn’t look like I just make it a size too big.

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-2The design element of the Rushcutter that I particularly love (apart from everything else!) is the yoke – the curve where it meets the rest of the dress and the nice seams. Lovely! Also giant pockets!
Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-8Also, the only bias binding I had to neaten the neckline was pink, like the sample one in the instructions!

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-9I’ll leave you with this outtake – obviously I didn’t smile in time for the timer! I look like I might punch the next person I see…….

Navy-Spotty-Rushcutter-10I’m definitely going to make more Rushcutters, I love everything about it – the shape, the style, the fit. It’s definitely a secret-pajamas kind of dress, but makes me feel quite put together. I’m also dreaming of a Summer version with no sleeves (which is the other view of the pattern)……and maybe a hack as a tunic, over skinny jeans.

Have you made the Rushcutter? Are you tempted to?

 
You-may-also-like-coral

Blue Spotty Archer Button Up thumbnail Denim-Dress-Shirt-thumb 2 Gingham-Violet-Thumb 2

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