Wednesday, October 19, 2016

wishful Wednesday - wardrobe planning

(what I really wish for is that my gorram crankypants ankle would start improving, but since I am doing everything I can to help with that, with no yet discernable postive result... I chose to focus on something I can affect...)

IN which our plucky heroine chooses a template to spark thoughts about the ongoing wardrobe refurbishment project, and plays with fitting various combinations into assorted suggestions for capsules and SWAP, all intended to use only fabrics currently in my stash...

As it is intended for the process of "Starting From Scratch" and building an entirely new wardrobe, it struck me as interesting to see how my personal quirky style might interface with the very classic Vivienne Files plan... I don't wear "separates" and live in pinafores and dresses and layers of clothing in the wintertime.

Color Schemes - Janice suggests a palette of five colors - two neutrals, two accent colors, and some variation of white/ecru/cream that functions well as a blouse or tee shirt. You don't for a heartbeat have to follow these guidelines, but you DO have to make a decision in order to narrow down your options. Shopping willy nilly for clothes without a plan and a color scheme will not result in an efficient and beautiful wardrobe, unless you're really lucky.  I prefer a slightly different way to mix colors, so will be using black/brown/indigo as my base colors, with grey/turquoise as my accent colors

1: A Nice Pair of Pants - I don't really wear pants as a separate garment, so will put my current pair of loose cropped black knit pants in this spot. I wear them underneath my dresses in the cold weather, and will always want a garment that fills this niche.

2: Shoes - my black Keen oxfords. It will be a challenge to replace these when they wear out, as I wear Keen mens shoes, but in a very small size. My feet are, apparently, "boy feet", as their women's last doesn't fit. Even in Birkies, I can only wear the "unisex" styles and not the womens one's... most annoying!

3: A cardigan and tee - I have a black handknit cardigan, and my pal K is also making me a chop-shop cardigan sweater in various textures of felted black wool... either of those will fill this niche. I wish I could find a finely knit lightweight raglan cardigan sweater... I had one once, long ago, but never found another one.
I have several long sleeve basic knit tops in solid black. I intend to sew a long sleeve turtleneck top in plain solid black as well
4: Jeans and a Shirt - now we get into the sewing... instead of jeans (which I never wear), a new pinafore in random wale black corduroy, and a new black linen blouse, will both be extremely useful.

5: Accessories round one - watch, scarf, bag, earrings, bracelet our plucky heroine does not wear things around her wrists, so wristwatches and bracelets are a non-starter. I've a lovely black linen pom pom cowl, and some black and grey lampwork glass earrings Ariadne made for me. There is a thrifted black leather purse that mostly gets saved for more dressy events, being rather not large enough for shopping or toting around a notebook... maybe I need to I could make a larger tote, or a new knapsack, but not the top priority right now...

6: Accent Color Tops and a Scarf - More sewing: Turquoise shot cotton will make an everyday dress, can be worn by itself, or under a pinafore and thereby function as a top. Grey/blue striped hemp knit will make another turtleneck top, and will coordinate with all my pinafores!
My Solitary Foxen scarf fits right in here, the colors coordinate with my entire wardrobe, and make a nice contrast when worn with all black.

7: A Base in the 2nd Neutral - Sewing up the brown brushed twill from my stash will make a great pinafore, and a coordinating jacket will also be welcome...
my other pair of Keen oxfords are a sort of not quite black, so fit in here... probably my next pair of oxford shoes ought be either brown or dark blue
Clarifying Our Preferences - I am pretty specific about what I prefer: subtle dark dull cool colors, artistic detailing, flared skirts on my pinafores and dresses, multiple layers. Comfort is a priority. I like stripes, and interesting stylised visual patterns.

8: Two Tops, and a Necklace - Here I could add in some additional knit tops with long sleeves. The black/cream marled hemp knit will make a great additional turtleneck top, and could be overdyed in brown. A new Alabama Chanin style knit top in brown/black would be a good wardrobe component as well. If I keep the decoration to the neckline and sleeves/cuffs the effort will not be overwhelming, and it will not be too warm to wear. The ones I have made that are fully two layer are warm as toast.
Here, my turquoise beads fit nicely into this wardrobe plan
9: A Skirt, and Essential Accompaniments No skirts, so instead of a skirt and top, I propose to sew another dress, black flannel with scattered with brown stars. My black Birki Arizonas are a bit more dressy than the Keen oxfords.

10: A Casual Jacket Vest, Top and Shoes I have enough jackets in the wardrobe at this point, so one of my handknit vests will fill in here, either the black/grey stripe, or the solid indigo. it would be fun to sew up a new top from the dark blue midcentury floral cotton; I don't think I need yet more shoes though!

11: A Complete Outfit, for Balance and Accent - Finally, time to really add some indigo... a new dark indigo denim pinafore, an indigo pinstripe dress, and a new shop apron, with the Alabama Chanin borders I made several years ago added to the bottom

12: A Winter Coat, Boots and Scarf - I managed to get over to RCT last week, and picked up 4 yards of the nice three layer Goretex, brown on the outside and black fleece on the inside; it will become a raincoat. I have good waterproof Keen boots still, and a LOT of scarves and shawlettes already.

13: More Accessories! - Finishing the edges on the rain poncho would be a good thing, it works well just as it is. Making the other length of dark grey Goretex into a smaller rain capelet would be useful, and I have 2 black Goretex rainhats...

14: Leisure Wear - the only thing I can use in this category would be some additional knit loose cropped pants, or some knit leggings for deep winter in indigo, or in brown... those would have to wait on suitable fabric, since I don't think there is any in stash, and my desire to struggle yet again to create a pattern that works. Another knit turtleneck in a solid indigo would also be a good addition.

15: A Versatile Dress and an Accent Cardigan - The batik stripe indigo dress I am currently sewing fits in nicely here. I could add another handknit cardigan here, maybe a Philosophers Wool style multicolor knit that used all my colors

16: Evaluating and Balancing our Neutrals - Here is where I add in a few sewing projects that will both help balance this out, and also fill in for assorted garments that are currently almost too worn to wear any more. I desperately need a new grey corduroy pinafore, my current one is threadbare, and there is enough dark grey pinwale on hand to make a new one. I've also a dress length of grey/black/blue stripe fabric that can become a dress that works with most all of pinafore colors.

If/When I achieve all of this, I would have a VERY workable wardrobe. The total garments desired that are not yet sewn are: 4 pinafores, 6 tops, 4 dresses, 2 leggings, 1 raincoat, 1 jacket, 2 capelets. Plus one handknit sweater.

The notes: future jewelry in antiqued silver or gunmetal; turquoise, smokey quartz, blue tourmaline, grey pearls, labradorite. Could use another headscarf in turquoise, possibly a scarf in shibori/tiedye/variegated with all my colors. Could use patent leather Birks, and a smaller decorative purse. Look for brown knit fabric, and indigo knit fabric. Look for replacement for black/grey turtleneck. Could add a second indigo pinafore.

Next up, how do the desired garments fit into various SWAP potential options???


  1. sounds a great wardrobe hun, I love pinstripes and corduroys

  2. With those garments to wear, you will be a very put-together gal and look great.

  3. Your clear vision of your personal style is both impressive and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thought process.