Sorting through clothes

I always find it hard to sort through my clothes and get rid of things. Even though I don’t wear most of the stuff I think “maybe in a few years I’ll really like it!” and I get weirdly emotionally attached to my clothes, just because they remind me of a certain time in my life or a certain event.

Well, I finally sorted through my clothes:

I’ve been a little frustrated with my wardrobe and want to build one that is relatively small but well connected (I want to have lots of outfit choices with as little as possible!), and filled with quality garments not cheap crap. Don’t get me wrong, I will most definitely be buying more cheap crap in the future, but I want those things to be fun seasonal additions to my wardrobe, not the core of it.

I sorted all of the clothes into different categories: keep (quality vintage/retro – cheap retro – dark/high fashion influenced style), give away/sell, sports stuff and pyjamas  and things that need to be altered.

I also found a way to keep things I like and value but don’t really wear: I made myself a costume box! :) that way I can use those clothes for photoshoots/special parties etc.

What I learned from sorting through my stuff and making a “to alter”-pile? I really need to get around to altering this stuff!

How perfect is this color combination? It’s like my dream color scheme has been waiting for me in a sad little pile on the floor. Seriously. Below is a moodboard I made last year for what I want my wardrobe to look like:

See the parallels? Reds, pale pinks, grey&brown tartans, animal prints, bright sweaters…

I picked out the summer clothes to make a “high-priority” pile:

My plan is to alter one of these pieces on each of my days off from work. Although I’m aware some things will take longer.

The black lace bustier in the bottom left corner has already been taken in, now I only need to change the position of the straps a little (I need wide-set straps, otherwise my shoulders look really wide). From left to right: the floral shorts need to be taken in even more, the silk shorts I got from the thrift store need to be made smaller and I want to dye them a pastel mint color, the slip I got at the H&M sale needs to be taken in, the swallow print dress (that I already altered) is really short cause I made the waist higher, so I need to make an underskirt for it (with a nice cotton lace trim!), the orange miss patina dress is a little too big for me and the last garment is a long silk skirt my boyfriends mom gave to me, it fits perfectly but I want to dye it (either pastel grey-purple, a pastel nude-rose color or pastel mint).

These is the “Low-Priority” Pile, mostly winter stuff that I don’t need right away.

This faux-fur muff has almost never been used. Why? I’m afraid the weight of my arms is too much for the flimsy little chain and the ribbon attaching it to the muff. Plus the chain is silver and I wear mostly gold accessories (it’s a detail but it kinda bothers me), so I’ve decided I’m going to buy a thicker gold chain, weave some colored ribbon through it and attach it to the muff!
I’ve also cleaned my room now (there was so much fabric lying around waiting to go to the office!) and I hung my winter clothes and things I don’t wear often in a closet I have in a seperate room. I have a lot less hanging on my clothes-rack, and alot less in my drawers, and I find it so much easier to get dressed in the morning!

What’s in your “to alter” pile? Does it have a nice little color scheme you never noticed?

Working on a small collection

What I’ve been working on:

Following Gertie’s tutorial, I’ve been making these felt roses over the past couple of weeks (in between working on the project below, anytime I feel I need to create something tangible). I want to make my own fascinator, like the ones she’s selling, when I have enough.










These are just a couple pages from my sketchbook. I feel a bit weird sharing all these sketches and inspiration pages, since I haven’t actually made any clothes yet, but I need to get back into blogging, and I guess sharing progress is motivating. Helps me keep track of how much I’ve done so far.

I spent a few weeks sorting through all of my inspiration folders on my computer (so many! ugh). I have about 1’900 images (some are duplicates though, say I have an image of a girl wearing a blouse and pants, I’ll put a copy of the image in each folder “blouses” and “pants”, and if there’s a special design feature, another copy in say “knots & bows”).

I’ve been trying to figure out what I want the theme of this small collection to be. Sorting through inspiration images is definitely good though, I feel like it’s a slightly frustrating (I feel like I’m not actually doing anything) but important step, and I don’t want to rush. I think the central, inspiring themes for this collection are: 1950s fashion/silhouette, insects/insect anatomy and art deco. I know at first they may seem relatively unconnected, but that’s what I’m working on figuring out :)

I got and altered some vintage dresses in may, but I don’t have photoshop to edit .RAW files at the moment, so it might be a while before I can share those unfortunately… but I made something else earlier this month (not a garment though) that I want to share later this week!

Donna Karan Dress

Woah, long time no post! I have to admit I haven’t been sewing a lot since before thanksgiving, but I did draft the collar for the Houndstooth Sheath Dress.

There are still 2 dresses (and a collar :)) on my “to sew” list, but of course I’m already going through my endless list of “dresses to sew”. This dress has been on my mind since I saw it in a magazine on the flight over to New York in August:

Donna Karan, RTW Fall 2011

There are a few reasons why I really like this design: it’s elegant, but the fabric makes it casual. It looks comfortable without looking boring. The folds around the bust are interesting, but not overpowering. I feel like the focus would be on the woman wearing the dress, not just on the dress itself (I say “would” because, obviously, this picture was taken during a fashion show, where the dress must be the center of attention, not the model).

I bought some thick knit fabric, black on one side, grey on the reverse, and I plan to recreate this! It’ll be a while before I have time for this, but it’s definitely on the list. It’ll be the project to practice draping… challenge! (maybe I should start practicing those folds with my towel when I get out of the shower?)

Removable Cuffs and Collar

(I hope this post shows up right, it’s the first time I’m using the wordpress iPad App!)

I mentioned in my “sewing plans” post that I’m thinking about making removable cuffs and collar for the houndstooth sheath dress. I think it will be a bit of a challenge for me, I’ve never really made a collar before, but there’s something about collars in the drafting book I have (the only book I have on sewing so far, but I ordered the colette sewing book, so it won’t be lonely for long :)).

This is what I want the cuffs and collar to look like (since I don’t have a scanner or good camera where I live during the week, I took a picture with my iPad and traced it by using an illustrator app and speciak pen to make a new, cleaner image, uploaded it via an app, and now I’m writing this blog entry using yet another app. A little pathetic, no? Haha…)

So today I was thinking about how they’d be attached to the dress (since I want them to be removable). I think I’ll use either buttons on the dress and buttonholes on cuffs&collar, or little metal snaps. I’m leaning towards snaps, seems less fussy to me, but buttons might be flatter?
I’ve also been thinking about how to interface the collar, to make it nice and crisp. Ideas?

Sewing Plans!

It’s getting really cold here, which means I need to start making some of those fall/winter dresses I’ve been dreaming about since July! My plans (I love daydreaming about what I’m going to sew next!) with their fabrics:

 

First up: the Lucille Bluth Dress (butterick 2907), view B with the collar, using a purple wool crepe (it’s so beautiful! But always looks blue in pictures, had to edit this one a bit), but first I want to make a muslin to make sure I like it (not going to waste that gorgeous wool crepe!)

After that, I’ll try to squeeze in another (hopefully) quick butterick 2952, this time another one like the pink one, but from a houndstooth wool, and with a waistband (somehow I always picture myself wearing that (still imaginary) dress in paris, with a big fancy hat on and a crocodile leather purse, walking a big black poodle. I might start calling it the Poodle Dress :)). I’m thinking about making a (removable) collar for this one.

sketch by me, Lady with the Red tights is lauriana, Ad from Chanel, dress to the right by postmodest

Then the Tweed “Chanel” Dress, which will be a slightly bigger project, because I need to draft the pattern. I first wanted to make this when I saw laurianas version, and then kept seeing more versions of this kind of dress! In Paris I finally found the right kind of herringbone fabric (it’s not tweed, but I like to call it the “Tweed Dress” anyway :)). I might also change the design to include a waistband, I’ll see if I like it on the Houndstooth Poodle Sheath first.

Gertie in her Bombshell Dress, Coco Rocha wearing Zac Posen, pattern from the bombshell course

And finally, I want to sew that Bustier Dress from Gertie’s online course! I bought 3 different colors of shantung when I was in New York, this dark seafoam one will be the one I use first. I’m excited for this one! I’m going to take my time with this one (my first time using boning!), but I’m excited to try out a few new techniques :)

Hopefully I can get started on the Lucille Dress soon! I’m a little scared of the wool crepe, pre-treating it is a little complicated from what I’ve read (steaming the entire thing with the iron…), but at least the pattern is fairly simple.

Fur Shrug

Good news for me, my package isn’t lost! I haven’t felt so relieved in a long time, it was a “feel sick from the moment you wake up and remember what happened” day, but my aunt went to the post office and they informed her the package got to New Jersey on tuesday morning (why it would take a package 16 days to get from Westchester county NY to New Jersey, I don’t know)! Now I can happily dream about my fabric again, because the dreams can come true!

Ok, enough of all this warm fuzzy-ness and back to important things: sewing.

Here in Switzerland it’s starting to get cold in the evenings, and I just don’t have the perfect little (dressy) jacket to take along when I go out. So I’m finally making the fake-fur shrug (with leftover fabric from this) I’ve been wanting to make since feb 17th of this year (I dated my sketch haha, how cute is that…):

 

I’ll make the ribbon bigger when I sew it, probably a velvety one. If I have enough fabric I’ll line it with the fur, if I don’t I might use a red velvet or something.

Actually, now that I think about it I almost like the idea of contrasting red velvet better. Hm. then I might have enough of the fur fabric lef over to make a stole.

Off to draft the pattern and make a muslin!

Embroidery

I’m back home now, but alas, my fabric is not! No worries though, I just shipped it over so my suitcase wouldn’t be so heavy… I have to say though I’m excited for it to arrive! The first thing I do will be something easy, another sheath dress perhaps…

I haven’t forgotten about the mint dress! It’s basically finished, but I need to fix the drooping facing of the scallops on the skirt, and I have to make the waist a little bigger.

But what I wanted to write about in this post is (duh) embroidery! I’ve been wanting to start embroidering for a while now, just because I love the feeling of hand sewing on a piece of stretched fabric (does that sound weird? I don’t know, it just feels nice!). It also seems (to me at least) that embroidery is a bit of a trend in the sewing world at the moment (been popping up on a lot of blogs lately!). But I don’t really know anything about embroidery. Just learned about iron on transfers though, and ordered some! The last “kick” of inspiration (that I really needed) came from the blog “The Little Red Squirrel“:



Click here to see all of Katie’s posts on this project (really, if you haven’t seen this project yet, take a look at each of the four different pin-ups!)

Pin-up embroidery! Isn’t that the best idea ever? With a lot of designs I’m scared they’ll make my clothing look a little too childish, but these are perfect! And embroidery seems like a good thing to work on when I don’t have enough time to sew (I like to sew when I know I have at least a few hours so I can really get into it).

So I got myself the transfers from Sublime Stitching, and can’t wait to get started! I mean, I need to decide what I’m going to put these on, a light-colored fabric would be best… and I think a skirt is the perfect garment for it, because then you get a simple skirt with a little something special that’s not overpowering (like a really wild print), to use as a basic with different tops!