Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Wardrobe Project, 2016: The Basics: Block Number One- January, February, March

OK dear Sewists, we are going to address the basics for this project. Remember that this is an outline, a guideline. I assume you already know how to sew and have access to information that you will need to work on your project. You have your tools and are working on a plan.

You need to think about your life and your lifestyle. You will determine what you need and what you want to make to build your core wardrobe. I will post tidbits here and there and refer to some masterful people who sew and design and inspire. I also like to share information from bloggers who do not sew but let me just say that they can plan a wardrobe. 

The Wardrobe Project, 2016   The introduction:


A.)  Consider the project. Can this fit into your sewing life? Consider your skill level and items you have sewn in the past. Are you a beginner, an intermediate, advance or couture Sewist?  I consider myself rusty intermediate. The intermediate derives its category from years and years of garment making. The rusty part is the result of little or no garment making for about 2 years. Thus, rust.
  1. I plan to sew some items that I need but will not be part of the project before it officially begins to work on some minor issues. 
B.)  Gather my inspirations, books, magazines, etc. Start my journal. 
C.)  Make space for this project. If, like me, you have a lot going on in the studio you know what I mean. How to do this I ask myself?  Well, I need to clean the space and prioritize my projects. I have purchased multiple storage boxes (Joann's on sale or with coupon plastic, with locking lids, they stack.)
  1. I plan for this project to be a priority. Quite frankly it must be. The unfinished projects will reside there. While I use my journal deliberately I like to break down tasks and list them on a white board that hangs directly above my main serger.  Then when I go to work I can tick them off, one by one, even in short time periods. 
  2. I adapted this process by reading Nancy Ziemans, 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew.  (check out your library, friends or something like Amazon, available here for a very reasonable price.) 
D.)  Tool Time, make sure you have what you need. Make a list if there are blanks. Now is the time to spring for special tool or make that seam roll.

E.) Life and Lifestyle evaluation. This is a thinking exercise. Break your clothing style down into actual lifestyle segments. Do you work in an office? Are you a teacher or health care professional? Are you a stay at home Mom or a retired person involved in lots of charity and other out of the house activities?
  1.  Use your journal to document how you break this down. Consider lifestyle changes in future that may change your perspectives. This is a year long project, you need to think ahead. I approach the year in three month segments, sewing ahead for each. For example, during the Summer, July, August and September I am working in wool gabardines and sweater knits.

DECEMBER: Getting ready for block number one.

A.) Now we are ready to put some ideas in place for the first block to sew in January-February-March. My focus will be late Winter/Early Spring. These months are cold where I live. And by March I am so tired of my clothes that I need a boost. Sewing those transitional pieces that I will wear in March, April and May will get me through the dark and dreary months. In addition, I will be wearing these same pieces in Fall. This is also to narrow down your color choices.
  1.  For example, you need to consider one dark neutral and one light neutral color. These colors are the building blocks for the entire year. You will add pops of color and coordinating colors as we go along but those neutral choices are essential. 

B.)  Patterns are expensive, aren't they? Even on sale they are an investment. That is why this segment is really important. I have a boat load of  "I will make this one day...." patterns. I have guilt about that. I want to use them so I will spend some time sorting and auditioning the patterns I already have for Block 1.

C. Choose one pattern to make that will be the anchor for that Season.
  1. It could be a raincoat, a blazer or even a beautifully constructed dress. Think ahead for events where you can wear that piece. A religious holiday, such as Easter, a wedding shower, a graduation event. 
  2. In addition, choose at least one item that will be a quick make, something that you need and will coordinate with the anchor piece. For example, a nice little tunic top to wear with your raincoat, a superbly cut shell to work with your blazer or a fly away cardigan to wear with your dress.  
  3. Your third item needs to coordinate with the basic neutral (dark or light) but it can be your pop of color. This is when it is important to do some study in color theory. A color wheel is a good start. For amazing color ideas I am going to refer you to one of my favorite bloggers, Janice of the Vivienne Files. In this plan Janice designed the wardrobe to coordinate with the colors in this scarf. Pink and black! Not everything has to be black and white!

 See how she takes these pieces and combines them to build an entire wardrobe from the inspiration of that scarf. One of her strongest skills is pairing accessories. 
Blue and taupe, talk about giving the wardrobe a little bit of a punch of color! 
 black and silvery taupe for a change?

Well, that's it for now. Plan for your two neutral colors, the accent color can wait if you are unsure. Sort through the patterns you already have and consider your anchor piece.  

I have given you a lot to think about and plan. Sometimes narrowing down color is the most difficult. Be not afraid. If you are a black and white neutral person, great. It is indeed one of the most versatile combinations. If you want to branch out a bit or get a little artsy, consider a different pink and black! 

Don't forget the Pantone colors.  Here is the link to the Pantone 2016 Spring colors. This is a long read but worth it if you need some color theory and follow color trends in your clothing. Ps. that pink is in there too!


Ninon said...

So, I am thinking dark is navy/indigo... Lite is winter white, and pop is mustard/citrine
Some pieces I would like to sew for wardrobe are a lite weight navy anorak, a dress or skirt to wear with boots, a blouse and a short trench/belted jacket
I am struggling with coordinating it all still, but have narrowsed down the pop of color to be belted jacket in mustard

So where I am lost is the piece that mixes it all together...I have a grey liberty print with mustard that i could use for a blouse- or find a navy with mustard print for dress or skirt... What are your thoughts? And knowing where the wardrobe project is going what would be suggested order?

celkalee said...

Dear Ninon, you have a good grasp of your needs, your style and color choices. That is huge when you consider this is a year long project. Soon I will compile an outline for the year. I did it once and lost the whole thing somehow with a blogger glitch when I added a photo. So, I am in the middle of a re-do.

The anchor piece needs to be a major item. Your anorak might be that piece. I am thinking mine will be a shawl collar blazer. In each three month block it is realistic to complete two to three pieces I think. They do not all need to be major pieces. For example, I am in dire need of tops that are a posh casual style, something that is versatile that can be dressed up or down. As a result, I will be targeting one or two patterns in the stash to full fill that need in each block.

To project the year please consider One major make for the year. Then a second make that will coordinate but is a strong contender. For example, a lovely sleeveless sheath that can be worn in warm weather and supplemented with a little sweater or unstructured jacket in cooler weather. Perhaps a 4 or 6 panel knitted or ponte skirt that will coordinate with everything. To me that means a dark skirt, in black or blue.

The general collection for me at this time is: the shawl collar jacket, a 4 or 6 panel skirt in ponte and another in a silky fabric for warmer weather. In addition, 4 knit tops, 2 blouses, one or two pair of casual but structured trousers. My light neutrals will also be in an off-white, certainly a top or two but the rest is up in the air. I am fond of Marcy Tilton's cardigan and shell sets in knit fabric and need to sort through the stash to see what might work. My color pops will be a tan/off white/lavender abstract print, a red, and a tattersall print. So in total my plan is for 12 items, total and a few more minor pieces if I have time.

I hope this helps a bit. Of course, your plan depends on your needs, your fabric and your patterns. I am not telling you what to make. The original Vogue Patterns project did choose your patterns and suggest fabrics. That was great but I am rather beyond that now. It is good to project the year on a mood board or in your journal but try not to get too far ahead of yourself. The distinct advantage of doing a project like this is you have the entire year to change your mind, shop for fabrics and patterns while working on each piece at your own speed. If you only have time for one item per 3 month block take a look at the Vogue or other pattern company collection of "wardrobe patterns." They are a great starting point!

Christmas in July in Sewtopia......................

Christmas did indeed come early for me, in July. Her name is Lola.  While sorting out the project boxes to pull the Christmas fabrics, ...