Wardrobe Architecting at a Standstill

I’ve been rather lax on the Wardrobe Architecting. I’m having a slight personal reservation as to the way it’s going. It’s not a problem with the whole WA thing, or anything like that, it’s just that I wasn’t ever intending to create a Capsule Wardrobe, simply to rationalise what I’ve got available to wear and to use that as a realistic guide to what clothing I would find most useful to make.

I don’t want to feel myself getting stuck in a loop of “I know what I like and I like what I know”, which is the route to sartorial stagnation. I’m not a wild and crazy dresser, but I do like to be open to different styles of clothing. A capsule wardrobe feels limiting, whereas the joy of sewing for myself is that there are NO limits.

It has been a very useful series for me in that way, so far. In terms of the WA benefits so far, I do feel I’m much better at recognising the clothing that I *know* will work for me, my Definite Winners, which is a good thing. Also, it has encouraged me to be more thoughtful about trying things which are not in the category of Definite Winners, so that I don’t waste money and time on clothing choices I will regret. That has definitely helped me this year.

So I’m still reading the Coletterie posts carefully. But for now, I’m not intending to put into practice any of the exercises or processes at this stage of the Wardrobe Architect. It may be that the direction will shift again and it will be more in tune with what I want to get 0ut of it. In the meantime, it’s still interesting to see what other people are doing with the project.

When two become one

I have a shockingly bad record with keeping t-shirts clean when eating. I cannot be trusted with spaghetti bolognese, or pizza, or anything at all droppable. Whenever anything falls off my fork en route to my mouth, it will invariably fall onto my capacious bosom, and the mark will be right there in front, for the whole world to see. So I end up with a shed-load of t-shirts which are perfectly fine except for a very noticeable stain that I haven’t been able to shift in the wash. I’ve been holding onto these t-shirts for a while now, in the hope that I can do something with them, rather than throwing them away.

This pretty minty green long-sleeved tee had a couple of grease-spots on the right breast, and the paler green was from a camisole with some other indelible mark. The nice thing was the fabric on each of them was the same sort of weight, and I thought they would work well together.

I didn’t have any specific plans in my head when I put these two together, but I’m a girly kind of a girl, so I started out by cutting some flower shapes out of the paler camisole, and positioning them on the darker tee, to see if I liked it.



I sorta kinda did, and I could have gone all out for a straightforward appliqué job. But the jersey flowers were curling up, and although I *could* have appliquéed them and they would have stayed flat, I realised I liked the idea of the petals curling- it seemed organic, natural. I thought I could sew the flowers with a bit of gather in the centre to give them a more 3-D quality. And because I have plenty of beads in my stash, I fished out some clear seed beads to add to the mix.

The Rescued Tee

Up Close & Personal with those flowers

I wasn’t happy with just sewing the flowers on at the centre, especially as the jersey fabric is quite floppy. So you might just about be able to discern that I sewed along the middle of the petals as well, for stability and control. The other issue I struggled with was where to position the flowers. As far as I was concerned, they needed to be distributed in an aesthetically pleasing cascade, so long as they also covered up the grease spots! Since the spots were a bit awkwardly placed, the flower placement is probably not the formation I would have favoured, if stain-concealment hadn’t been a factor. But I think it works.

The "new" t-shirt in action!

The “good as new” t-shirt in action!

My chest is big enough without needing to attach big 3-dimensional flowers to it (though I have done so in the name of belly dance costuming!), so I like that the t-shirt is still essentially flat. It’s got texture and interest, but without too much bulk.

We’ll have to wait and see how it works out after repeated washing. I’m expecting the cut edges of the jersey to get slightly unravelled, but since it contains lycra (or something lycra-ish) and it’s a knit, I’m not desperately worried about it, and a distressed look will be ok with this.

I’m thrilled that I’ve taken two t-shirts that I was never going to wear again, and made them into one that I certainly will.


And talking of bellydance costuming, the photo above was taken at the Jewel of Yorkshire bellydance festival, which I was attending in Shipley (Saltaire, to be precise) this weekend. I spent a fair amount of time chatting with a couple of costumiers, and rummaging through their wares, to see how they’d beaded them, or decorated them, or finished them, or lined them, in fact generally blagging as much inspiration as I possibly could. And it has definitely reawakened my wish to finish the pink & black costume UFO. I’ve got a show at the end of April, and I’m hoping I can get it finished in time to wear there.

Happy Blogday to me!

I knew that my one year blogiversary would be coming up in April, I hadn’t realised it was actually TODAY! It’s just as well that I checked.

I’ve really enjoyed this year of being part of a wider community of people who make things. I’ve really enjoyed making things, despite the occasional hiatus. I’ve enjoyed being part of the sewalongs/personal challenges/pattern pyramids. And I’m looking forward to much more of the same. I’ve signed up for Me Made May, as I just posted. I’ve also signed up for the mahoosive NYlon London Meet Up, both of which go some way towards my goals for this year.


Blogiversary giveaway

So I wanted to share a bit of internet sewing blog love, and host a giveaway. But I haven’t really had time to think about it though, seeing as I’ve only just realised the blogiversary is today. So watch out for a celebratory giveaway in the next week or two.

Me Made May 2014 – I’m In!

I, Béa of http://www.beassewingadventures.wordpress.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I will endeavour to wear something Me-Made five days a week for the duration of May 2014.


MMM14logolargeClick here to visit the amazing Zoe of So, Zo, What Do You Know? to find out aaaaaaaaaaaaaall about it.

This is a First for me! Woot and Yay and general excitedness! I don’t have a lot of me-made garments, but I think I can manage this pledge realistically. I’m aiming for proper daywear garments, but giving myself the leeway to include dancewear/costuming that I have made and include items that I have re-fashioned.

I’m *really* looking forward to this!

In particular, it actually feels very inspiring, and I may break out that Coco pattern.

So, who else is in? Who should I be stalking on twitter or flickr?


I have bought enough wool to make a cardigan with (two giant balls of Wendy’s Aran), and I’ve just realised that the teal/petrol blue colour is almost exactly the same as a cardigan I knitted for myself when I was about 18. That one was much more interesting as it had exciting colours added in, in slightly Fair Isle stylee.

Wool, plus a cd case (very topically Kate Bush) for size comparison

Wool, plus a cd case (very topically Kate Bush) for size comparison- it really is a ginormous ball of wool

I have started knitting it up, but I’m a slow knitter, so expect a “finished” post some time around Winter 2016/17-ish.

A test of my Wardrobe Resolve

I’ve reached the end of my 6 month pattern-buying moratorium, and what do I find greeting me, every time I look at my blogs? Coco, from Tilly and the Buttons, that’s what.

Cute as a button, of course!

It’s unutterably cute. It’s practical to wear. It’s a cinch to make, by every account I’ve read. I’m all ready to leap headlong into buying the pattern.

BUT… I’m trying to be Wardrobe Aware. I’ve been looking at my Wardrobe Architect responses from week 3, about silhouettes. This does not fit into my immediate love love love silhouettes. But it’s not in the never ever ever silhouettes either. It looks very tweakable. I’ve got a couple of knits in the stash that could be suitable.

So I have to ask myself: is it me-ish enough to justify buying the pattern? If I made it, would I wear it? It could use some tweaking to take it further into the love love love territory- for a start it would need to be a good 15cm longer, because nobody needs to see that big an expanse of thigh! But I think I’m talking myself into it… This is not a headlong leap, it is a thoughtful, considered, purposeful stride.

Now, am I the only one with this tune going through my head?