Posts Tagged ‘ wardrobe ’

Finishing more and more

Today was just a silly sleeve job on a long fine wool sweater dress, a black Nina Ricci that goes almost to my toes. The short sleeves were too long still and frumpy looking.It’s not a length I normally wear but it looks like an amazing canvas for jewelry: Probably piles of long necklaces. And now it’s done and hanging in the closet, just in time for another deep freeze.

Because really I’m thinking about my spring wardrobe and what’ll be in it.

Wrap dresses, lots of them. Wrap tops, too.

Purples and grays and blacks.

Silk, mostly thrifted, but not all.

silk magenta print

Little knit tops that fit right. Skinny shells with little ruffles down the fronts.

Spring inspiration

First I’m looking at shapes:

I keep picking up patterns in these shapes is the good news.

Holy f-ing idea!

I’m so terrible at it.
And then my brain also gets cluttered. It feels so good to complete things, and even better when they work and you actually want to wear them.

Of all the join-ups out there right now, this is the project I want to hop onto.

Then again, so’s this one.

I think I can combine the two, by actually finishing the clothing I’ve begun and using the patterns  and fabrics I’ve hoarded this fall and winter. Think there’ll be some refashioning involved, too, not just scratch sewing.

Now to get down to business…

Wardrobe: Keep it or pitch it?

In culling my closet, I’m trying to be honest and stick to the rules. That’s harder than it seemed.

Take this guy. Fantastic magenta blouse.


I put it on. I applied the rules, ignoring the brand name (“Shapely”).

  • Solid magenta color (#6): Keep it.
  • Doesn’t need ironing (#10): Keep it.
  • Simple design, kicky cuffs, fabric has great sheen (#11): Keep it.
  • Woven, not knit (#1): Pitch it.
  • Neck kinda high if I button it decently (#2): Pitch it.
  • Little bit blousy. Not great fit as it is (#5): Pitch it.

See? That’s indecisive. So I’m going to try wearing it to work with a very fitted long pencil skirt in textured black twill. If I love it then, I’ll keep it. If I don’t love it then, this little guy gots to go.

Here’s another one. This I made, one of the first things I tried in knit fabric. It’s Simplicity 3790 with stuff from an amazing Hobby Lobby clearance sale. Like 60″ @ $2/yard. Made an exact copy in the same stuff, only cream where this guy’s black.

top-black lace

This keep’s much clearer:

  • Simple design, interesting fabric (#11): Keep it.
  • Knit, not woven (#1): Keep it.
  • Neck nice and deep (#2) Keep it.
  • Not a true wrap top, but the band at the bottom cinches me in nicely (#4): Keep it.

I can’t say anything mean about it.

More thinking about A Wardrobe

My sewing time is precious and small, right? And lately, I’ve had some big misses with projects. And the things I’ve managed to finish, I haven’t been so excited to put on. And my everyday has some serious holes. Also I’m easily distracted.

I took the advice of a bunch of smart sewers, mostly ladies, and thought hard about what I like to look like, and what my life looks like.

And here’s what I decided. The list follows. My projects — save for gifts — must all fit these descriptions or I’m no longer going to waste my time.

So here’s my Sewing Manifesto (Mani-Fitz-O?):

  1. I wear knit tops, not woven ones. I like short sleeves, not sleeveless and cardigans. I pile on scarves when it gets cold. I layer simple undershirts under almost everything.
  2. I wear open necks, not high ones. When my bosom gets buried under a lot of fabric, I feel giant. And I like necklaces more than other jewelry.
  3. I love luxurious sweaters and have been thrifting away from acrylics and other cheap disposable knits.
  4. When I rarely shop off the rack, I buy wrap tops because they always fit with an extra tug or a little give. I like the ruching across my middle, too.
  5. I have a curvy body that needs a little harnessing. When the fit is right, wow. When it’s not, I want to tear up the photographic evidence.
  6. Purple is the greatest of all colors. Red’s pretty close behind, followed by their blend: dark magenta. Leopard’s a neutral that makes almost anything pop.
  7. I like a little whimsy but I’m too old for cutesy. I’m also too old for shoddy. It’s not cute anymore.
  8. I wear some skirts when they’re easy, solid, dark. I love textures like velveteen that pop but aren’t too fancy.
  9. I like easy dresses, too. I end up regretting most prints (save leopard). I’d rather let my jewelry do the talking. I love prints as sneaky inside peeks: pockets, trims, linings.
  10. I hate ironing and don’t do it (except while sewing).
  11. I like simple design with a quirky element. Black pants with five or six pintucks up the right leg. A denim skirt with a bias-cut flounce on the back. A cashmere cardigan with three-quarter sleeves. Knit shells in black and white with tiny ruffles up the front.
  12. I wear shoes I can run in. Same goes for boots.

Cleaning house

At least while unemployed and looking for work, I will get done some little stuff I couldn’t manage while on the job full time. Like post to the Craigslist the stuff that has been cluttering my apartment for a few years.

A mini fridge I bought from for the Mister’s birthday to make a kegerator. Turns out the stainless upgrade they gave me didn’t quite hold a pony keg. Has sat in living room ever since, unplugged with the protective film intact.

And a steamer trunk I’ve had since 2004 and used as a coffee table. Giant thing’s an antique, made in Racine, Wisc., by the Whealy luggage company. While looking it up online, I found this patent information for its “Wardrola” technology. It’s super cool – stands up on one end, and the front swings open. Wooden hangers and a box fit inside, and the locks are pretty elaborate. Love it — but ran out of room since I expanded the home office from a desk for paying bills to a room with my files, ideas and a comfortable place to write.

Must update my Etsy store too with the thrifting I did right before the bomb dropped.

Might be time to have a lay-off sale!