Wardrobe Planning:
Inspiration, Comfort + Compromise

There has been many a meaningful discussion of late around what we sew and why. Sewaholic’s take on frosting vs. cake and Colette Patterns’ practical wardrobe posts both put into words the thoughts I’d had about Wardrobe Planning the second time around.

For the fall Palette challenge I’d gotten excited and begun collecting images that evoked the mood of melancholy chill in the air (I’d just been to the Dianne Arbus exhibition at the Tate Modern and may have been melodramatic).

Then I found images of clothing I’d like to make and own – on the surface, a dream wardrobe.

Vintage inspired clothes that made me drool – the only problem was that when I really tried to imagine myself wearing these clothes, I couldn’t. Circle skirts that feel costumey, high waisted sweaters that choke and give uni-boob, pencil skirts that cut mid cankle and hobble anyone daring to walk more than two feet – I did not want to wear these clothes.

The reality was that on a scale between comfort and figure flattery my own balancing point falls more on the comfort side than the other.

So with the stars aligning the Spring/Summer Palette Challenge and Me-Made-May I’ve decided to bring a little more reality to the table.

Like Caitlin from the Coletterie, I’m quite a homebody and when I broke down my time into a simple pie-graph it was clear that to make it through MMM I need to plug the lounge-wear shaped hole in my wardrobe.

The next gap is with the work wardrobe. I began the new job last week (thanks for all the good wishes – I’m loving it so far!) and for the first two weeks I don’t need to worry about it but after that management training starts. I’m looking for a compromise between smart/professional but still comfortable enough to move around in. I think double-knit dresses may be my saviour.

And finally a little frosting for sight-seeing with shirt-dresses, trouser-jeans and pretty prints.

So rather than a concrete plan, this time around I  have a palette of colours and a general idea of where the gaps are which seems as good a starting point as any!

Colette Patterns’ Palette Challenge
Spring/Summer 2012

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Twice yearly the lovely ladies from Colette Patterns host a seasonal palette challenge. After deciding on a colour palette, the intrepid sewist makes a wardrobe plan to be completed over an 8-12week period.

As always I planned big with last fall’s challenge and finished somewhat mediocre. You would think I’d learn but let’s face it planning is half the fun and I am totally okay with not finishing everything. So this week I’ll share my Spring/Summer sewing plans,  starting with the colour palette.

{all image sources found here}

It began with a pinterest board. In anticipation of a spring challenge I began collecting images of blossoms and daffodils and once it was announced that the challenge would be spread over a longer period I added images of sun soaked summer lakes (who else wanted to vacation at Kellerman’s).

From there here is the resulting palette:

 Soft Black // Ivory // Gold // Dusky Pink // Navy // Sky Blue

Next up – the pattern inspiration.

Other Peoples Palettes

In light of joining the Fall Palette Challenge, I thought it would be cool to share some of the awesome palettes shared on the Colette forums. Seriously, everyone’s choices are so cool and these are just a few of them – head over and check them out.

Julie S.

Underneath the Willow

Michael Ann Made

La Petite Chouette

Burjeune

The Curvy Stitch

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge

This autumn Sarai & Caitlin from Colette Patterns are reprising their palette challenge from Spring with the Fall Palette Challenge.

I’m really excited to participate as my feeble attempt at Self-Stitched-September has been hamstringed by my lack not just a lack of self-stitched clothing, but clothing in general. In fact, my entire wardrobe since moving to London consists of:

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 2 tee shirts
  • 1 shirt
  • 2 tops
  • 1 skirt
  • 2 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 coat
  • under garments, pjs, tights etc.

People pack more than this when they go on vacation.

I’ve had a really chilled summer and the only people I know over here are family so there hasn’t been a need for pretty new clothes but summer is fading and the time has come to start job-hunting so the challenge has appeared in perfect time.

So here goes. The challenge is low stress and spread over 8 weeks, although I’m going to run it out to the end of the year and try for a few more items.

The first step is to pick a palette for the season. Over on pinterest, I’ve been happily collecting inspiration on a fall pinboard, as have many other participants,  then I mashed some of them together and came up with this:

(Visit pinterest for the sources)

I love the intensity of the almost neon yellows and golds against the warm ashy greys of the tree trunks so that was my start point.

It was so hard to narrow down the choices though so instead of just four or five colours I picked a range of neutrals and fancy colours that will hopefully all work together and incorporates some of the RTW items I already have.

As you can see the iron oxide orange picks up on the colour of my Rooibos dress so I’m counting that one as my first item just so I can say I’m not as behind as I could be.

The next step is to plan the other items in the challenge but I’m still finalising my picks so that will have to wait till next time.

x Alana

I want a white lace dress…

You know when you get a vision of something in your head, then you start seeing it everywhere…

Alexa Chung; The Telegraph; Linda Brownlee

Trelise Cooper; Summer 2010; Marzipan 'Pearls of Wisdom' Dress

Josephine over at The Silk Futures made a truly gorgeous version she called the ‘Doily’ dress.

View B of New Look 6949 could work, and I already have it in my stash…