Monday, September 17, 2007

Wardrobe Review - Thinking of the Top Ten

Summer interfered with my sewing, but now that fall weather is returning, I am more inspired to check out the latest fashions and try to reduce my stash.

I finished the turquoise sleeveless shirt, and I finished the bias tank top mentioned previously. I tried the tank pattern on a piece of strange white cotton with something imprinted on it, but it was far too stiff for the pattern, so will likely not be completed.

I am still waiting to complete the buttons and hems on the Athena blouse and a pair of green stretch cords that were sewn early in the summer. Hot weather did not inpire completion of those, but they will make nice additions to the fall wardrobe.

I need a nice ivory or olive top to wear under the Athena, a tank or a short sleeved T-shirt in a very thin knit, as the shirt is long-sleeved and quite a heavy cotton. I am usually too warm, so I need to be able to take it off.


Why the red print, you ask? There is a thread on Stitchers which is of interest to me in organizing my wardrobe:

Ten items to make your wardrobe flexible has members working out what they need to enhance their current wardrobe What a great idea! In spite of a completed SWAP, I still find myself with orphans -- shirts with no bottoms, bottoms with no tops, and occasions with no suitable attire.

The first post on this thread lists Tim Gunn's 10 essential wardrobe components as best remembered by those watching his new TV show.

So as I go through my planning and dreaming, I want to keep this in mind. I have only been sewing for about a year and a half, and I think I have a pretty extensive stash....though not like that of many people whose blogs and posts I read. In my stash are inheritances from my daughter who sewed for college 10 years ago, a few quilting cottons bought on sale to make shirts (some of which are too heavy for shirts I have discovered -- and too wrinkly for skirts), assorted knits for t-shirts, a few nice fabrics bought (mostly from Timmel's) just because I liked them, and a collection of 7 or 8 pieces of silk bought randomly when I was inspired to try silk.

I would like to reduce this stash, but a careful review finds me short on coordinating pieces. So that's my goal use up as much as I can of what is here, and only purchase what is needed to bring the whole stash to life. The planning is underway, but gets very fuzzy.

1. The Olive/Ivory Collection: I started stash-reduction with the Athena blouse (in ivory and green print) and the olive green pants. The corduroy was purchased in preparation for my SWAP, but not used The print was a wild piece from my daughter. The pants go with a few of my SWAP items, so there's a real bonus there. To round this out, as I mentioned above, I need a matching olive (or ivory) T-shirt or tank to wear under the shirt.

For my SWAP I also purchased some green faux suede, which I have now combined with one of my quilting cottons into a lovely cape/jacket from the August Burda WOF. A delightful project which I will document (hopefully) one day soon.

Unfortunately, the greens of the pants and the cape don't go together well, but I have fabric on hand to make taupe pants to coordinate with the cape, and if I make an ivory or olive turtle-neck, it will go with both. (My friend Wendy will be cringing here, as she is trying desperately get me into more "winter" colors -- which I love the best, but seem to end up more earthy in spite of myself)

I found in my stash a great length of drapy olive knit that matches the cape perfectly. It's rather ugly I think, a Wazoodle impulse purchase. However, it just might make a decent dress or skirt & top if I make it on the crosswise so the stripes are vertical.

2. The Navy/Grey Collection: In a new direction, I used a dark navy with silvery stripes to make a pencil skirt from the sloper we made in my sewing group. It turned out beautifully so far -- just needs hem and waistband. The fabric was from my daughter's stash. Looks like wool but acts like polyester. I interlined it, for some reason thinking this would be easier than making a lining. Where was my brain? Nonetheless, I think it's going to be a nice-looking addition to the wardrobe. I never liked 'straight' skirts, but maybe I just never had one that fit.

There is a lot of this fabric left, so I will make navy striped pants (and line them conventionally) to take advantage of the collection of coordinating tops.

For the proposed tops, I purchased some nice knits on sale at that: a blue-grey jersey that I think is polyester. It feels wonderful and keeps its shape. I took a chance and did not pre-wash it, so I could be in for a disappointment down the road. (I have had such bad experiences with knits in the washing machine that I decided to take a risk. This may come back to haunt me -- meanwhile I will have lovely looking garments till they need washing)

Last night I cut out a flared skirt and a T-shirt from this jersey. This will give the effect of a DRESS which is surely a Top-Ten Item in anybody's list, but which I do not own at the moment.
Also purchased was a thick cuddly navy knit for a long-sleeved cozy shirt to match the pants, and a light weight, sparkly knit in a very light grey for some sort of T-shirt top. As a remnant, I picked up a navy, very thin knit, suitable for some sort of top, just not sure what yet. The two navy tops should be ok with the jersey skirt.

I have other navy-related items in my stash, and also a grey for pants -- not sure how it will all coordinate, but another cape-jacket in denim comes to mind if the colors match.

3. The Brown Collection

This will be for later.

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