Sep 28, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - Resources for wardrobe planning

Do you feel inspired to start planning your own fall wardrobe, but need some help to get started?

Below a selection of  resources that I've found particularly helpful to start thinking about my wardrobe in a different way.


1. The Colette Wardrobe Architect

I've mentioned it a few times before: the Colette Wardrobe Architect has been the single biggest influence in changing my perspective on my wardrobe and redefining my core style.
With weekly assignments, well written pieces and helpful worksheets this series helps you to get active and really make a difference. Don't forget to read the comments section of the weekly assignments. It contains some interesting insights of other participants.


2. Into Mind

A more recent discovery of mine. This website focuses on the benefits of a curated wardrobe, minimalism and simple living. Very practical and down to earth. I admire the strong focus on quality over quantity. Like the Colette Wardrobe Architect this blog contains articles and practical guides to get you started on curating your wardrobe.


3. Project 333

Project 333 describes itself as "a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months."
The project has been widely publicized and has a large blogger following. There are many inspiring blog posts and Pinterest boards to get you inspired to dress with a relatively small capsule collection.

The blog Un-Fancy is a popular example.


4. The Vivienne Files

Regular examples of small capsule collections in interesting color palettes.
I do not always like the particular items, but find the concept inspiring.


5. The Uniform Project

Proving just how little you need when you select good basics and fun accessories. A very inspiring project! I highly recommend to watch the lookbook and TEDx videos that you can find on their homepage.

"In May 2009, with fashion as her medium, and education her cause, U.P Founder Sheena Matheiken launched the Uniform Project, pledging to wear one little black dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation— a non-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children living in Indian slums. And for the next year, Sheena reinvented her uniform by accessorizing with vintage, handmade, reused, or donated pieces." 


Sewaholic's blogpost about the Frosting vs Cake conundrum. Very interesting read about sewing what you like vs sewing what you actually wear on a daily basis. Widely picked up by sewing bloggers (just google) and some interesting observations in the comments.


Any inspiring blogposts that I missed? I would love to hear more in the comments!

Sep 27, 2014

Autmn Sewing Plans - Color Palette

My patterns are selected. Next stop: fabric shopping!

Before I go out to hit the fabric shops I like to think about my color palette.
I used to wear a lot of black, but lately I'm getting much more into wearing color. It's my goal to create a cohesive wardrobe, where everything mixes & matches and goes together easily.

I'm a firm believer that style is more important than trends, but color is one area where I'm willing to make an exception. A little accent of a trend color can elevate a whole look and make it feel more fashionable.

Pantone is a great source to get insights into color trends. Pantone publishes annual color trend reports and announces one color of the year. Pantone's color coding systems are widely used across the (graphic) design and fashion industry, so when Pantone announces a color to be trending you can be sure it will pop up everywhere.

This seasons color palette is quite diverse. I love that purples and blues are making a comeback! They are my best colors to wear. Misted Yellow and Cypress are colors I really like, but can't pull off around my face. That doesn't mean I won't be wearing them. They are great colors for a pencil skirt.

I'm not an experienced color wearer, so I would probably pick one of these colors and create a ton-sur-ton outfit, or use one of the shades as an accent color in an otherwise neutral palette. But there are more interesting ways to use these colors. To get a bit creative I turned to the interwebs and collected pictures of outfits in this seasons colors. Hope you will feel insipired!

Which colors will you be wearing this season? Let me know in the comments. 

Happy sewing! 

Sep 26, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - The quest for the perfect pencil skirt


Another wardrobe staple this fall will be a versatile pencil skirt. Depending on the styling a well fitting pencil skirt can take you from day to night, office to weekend. Butterick 5566 is my choice of pattern. It's a great basic, offering 3 fun variations.

In addition to this pattern I'm still on the lookout for a more high waisted pencil skirt.
Any pattern suggestions? What is your TNT pencil skirt pattern?

I would love to hear!

Sep 25, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - The Scandalous jacket

Anyone else watched Scandal wishing they could have main character Olivia Pope's wardrobe? All of it. Like, now.

Boy does this series have an amazing stylist and wardrobe. Episode after episode my jaw dropped in admiration.

I fell in love with the wrap style coats, jackets and cardigans that are frequently featured on the show. My favorite is a Salvatore Ferragamo coat retailing for $2500. Being just slightly out of my budget I will reach for the next best thing: enter Vogue 9037. 


The pattern is categorized as easy and offers three lapel variations. I can't wait to start sewing on this pattern!

Sep 24, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - The absolutely me dress

Maybe you started to think: all that wardrobe planning: where is the fun?
Don't worry, I did buy a few patterns for no particular reason other than that

Especially this green dress feels absolutely me, from head to toe. 
This drawing is me: my favorite hairstyle, my favorite color, my favorite shoes.

Sep 23, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - v8787 / v8972 / b5949 - Wardrobe building dresses

I love wearing dresses. Depending on the color and styling they can both be office and party proof. For me the key to the perfect dress is the perfect fit. 

As I mentioned before I'm a slow sewer. I like to take my time and finish my makes as neatly and professional as possible. I don't mind to slow down to research new techniques or finishes.

I plan to make muslins for all my upcoming projects and to tweak them to perfection. As this will be quite a time consuming process I was very critical in my selection. All patterns had to meet a list of criteria.


  1. First of all my sewing skills are limited. If this wasn't an issue I would be sewing (vintage) designer/couture patterns full stop. However, I still believe I can fool non-sewers into thinking that I'm wearing high end items with the right match of patterns, fabric and fit.

  2. I want to be able to wear (some of) the dresses in a corporate environment

  3. After altering my muslin and the pattern I want to be able to make multiples of the same pattern, without it being too obvious

  4. I have a curvy figure. My waist is at least 1 size smaller than my bust and hips. Clothes that lack waist definition tend to be unflattering and make me look bigger than I actually am. 

The three patterns that I selected all fall into the easy classification of Vogue or Butterick: v8787 / v8972 / b5949  The design lines looked complicated to me, but my mom assured me this will help to manipulate the fit and grade between bust, waist and hip sizes.


Look at all the variations that are included with the patterns already:

Once I achieved the perfect fit I can make the same dress over and over again! 

I love to hear more about your perfect dress pattern or suggestions for patterns that meet my criteria. 

Happy wardrobe planning! 

Sep 22, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - Cozy Lounge Wear

For me fall is all about falling leaves, long walks in the forest and sipping hot chocolate or a nice glass of red wine around the fire place. 
I want to be comfortable yet stylish while lounging around the house. Mc Call's 6658 is the perfect pattern, providing countless options for separates and variations. I particularly love the sweater top with the large cowl. 

I never really cared much about my pj's, but all of that changed when I saw pictures of Rosie Huntington Whiteley's line for M&S. I loved the effortlessly chic style. Of course it helped that it was modelled by a gorgeous woman in full glamour mode. Who wears make-up like that with their pj's?!

I sprinted to M&S to try on some items. Bummer number 1: it wasn't available for sale in the Netherlands. Bummer number 2: after my online order I discovered that this line is created by a (I suspect) tall supermodel, however it is designed to fit smaller people. The pants and sleeves were way too short. And for the price tag that was a part of comfort I didn't want to compromise on.

Lucky for me I now sew and found a pattern that will help me create some glamorous lounge wear of my own. The key will be in sourcing luxurious knit fabrics. If you have any suggestions where to find them in the Amsterdam area, please let me know in the comments.

What is your favorite pattern for lounge wear? 

Sep 21, 2014

Autumn Sewing Plans - Introduction

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. The falling leaves, the pretty colors, long walks in the forest and the return of cozy evenings spend around the fireplace. I just love it! 
This year I'm also excited for the change of seasons, because it means I can start planning a new wardrobe.


This whole year the Colette Wardrobe Architect kept me busy reflecting on my wardrobe and personal style. Recently I followed all this thinking with some action in the form of a serious wardrobe cull. And unlike other years all the items I had doubts about ended up being tossed, instead of landing back in my wardrobe 'just in case'. A huge victory for a hoarder like me!

With space in my closet and clear ideas about my wardrobe wants & needs I started to select patterns for my autumn sewing. Since I put so much thought and consideration into the selection of each and every one of my chosen patterns I decided it would be fun to turn this into a little blog series. In the coming days I will post daily about my pattern selection and inspiration. 

"Buy Less. Choose well." - Vivienne Westwood

Can't wait until then? Pinterest proved to be a handy tool. You can find all my inspiration spread over various boards. 


Other Pinterest lovers be aware: The Mc Call Pattern Company is hosting a Pinterest contest. Check their blog for more information. 

Happy wardrobe planning! 

Sep 6, 2014

Kitschy Coo Lady Skater aka The dress that started this blog

So far I wrote a few blog posts, but never made an appearance. By now you're probably curious what I look like - I know I would be! - So here I am, all 182 cm of me, in the lady skater dress that kick started this blog.

I finished the dress a few months ago, but never got around to wearing/blogging it, because it's more of an autumn dress. When I finished the dress I was so proud of myself: I actually finished a garment that didn't look hideous or homemade, but something that I could actually wear. 

You may recognize the pattern as the Kitschy Coo lady skater dress. The pattern was a gift from my mom, after I expressed an interest in picking up sewing. My mom taught me the basics as a kid and under her supervision I created a few skirts and pants for myself. 
I wish that would have resulted in a prosperous sewing career from then on, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. After I moved out I made a few sewing attempts on my own, that all failed miserably as a result of poor pattern and fabric choices. 

I think the Colette wardrobe architect series was the last push I needed to consider sewing again. I felt limited by the choices in RTW, and being tall means it's hard to find a proper fitting garment to begin with. The wardrobe architect really helped me to reconsider how I select what I wear. 

The great thing about sewing is that you can influence almost every aspect of your garment. While hunting for fabric I was immediately drawn to this green ponte knit. I don't usually wear much green, but it's always been my favorite color. My childhood room was green, my favorite hat is green, my bike is green. So it seemed fitting that my first dress would be green. 

Construction of the dress
The pattern comes with photographed step by step instructions. I loved them! It made the steps really easy to follow and the whole process enjoyable. Even the new techniques were easy to visualize based on the pictures. 

The only step I experienced some difficulties with was the neckband. The first time it curled up like crazy, but after some mail support from Mrs. Kitschy Coo and a practice attempt in my muslin it turned out pretty nice and flat. 

One thing I'm not so happy with is the overall fit. As you can see in the picture above the top turned out very tight. I made a muslin to test the fit, but made the rookie mistake of making a muslin in a wildly different fabric. My muslin fabric had a lot more stretch than the ponte knit that I used for the final version, hence it turned out very tight. 

If I were to make the dress again I would check the stretch recovery of my fabric, size up, broaden the shoulders, lengthen the sleeves and skirt a tad more and scoop out the neck. 

This particular dress probably won't get a lot of wear, but I don't mind. The process was very enjoyable and I learned a lot. For now that's all that counts (and it helps that my second make was already a lot more successful)

Until next time!