February 4, 2009

Mini-wardrobe plotting

The winter blahs have hit me hard. Maybe it's the fact that it's extra-cold this year, and I hate being cold. Maybe it's being stressed out about all the weather-related teaching cancellations I've had to do (particularly since that's my only source of income atm.) Maybe it's just that it's February-- one of my least favorite months, despite having been born in it. Maybe I am just completely and utterly sick of winter. Actually, that's not a maybe.

So in an attempt to cheer myself up (and also to motivate myself to finish the remaining stuff for Susannah's wedding as quickly as possible), I'm plotting what I want to make for spring and summer clothes. Specifically, the mini-wardrobe I want to make. (Though I do have some other things in mind too.)

Here's what I know so far. I'd like to end up with 8 pieces: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, a dress and a shrug-type thing (for when I inevitably get cold from overdone AC, or am wearing things out in the evening. Yes, I am one of those people who can and does get cold when it's 70 degrees out.)

While doing a bit of reading up on how to plan a mini-wardrobe, I came across an article from a back issue of Sew Stylish that suggested coming up with a theme to tie it all together-- they had titles that was something like "Uma Thurman Goes To Pluto" or "Naughty Librarian" or something along those lines. When thinking of summer clothes, the first thing that immediately came to mind was Caribbean beaches and palm trees, so I was thinking it would be fun to make beach-inspired clothes in those vivid blues and greens. Then I came across this print, which I decided to use as my foundation for the color scheme:

From sew and so
No, it's not really island colors. If anything, it reminds me more of Rehoboth and Lewes (the two beaches here that I've basically grown up with.) But the name of the print-- "Sea Flowers"-- still demands that beachy vibe. So then I was listening to the Beatles while driving in my car today, and inspiration struck. So my theme is now "Hippie Beach Party."

From sew and so

I'd already known I wanted to make this dress for that component (the paisley one in the bottom left corner. And that I wanted to make this top:
I'm thinking maybe the purple one for this. So that's going to be the two print items (has to be, since I ordered the fabric for that yardage!).

As for the rest, I'm trying to come up with some ideas. Thinking I'll have to go with solids for this (which is going to be a bit of a stretch for me, because I do love my crazy prints! But the point is to have a wardrobe where everything goes together, so some solids would be a great foundation.)

I'd already known I want to make this top (from last July's issue of Burda World of Fashion.) This was actually the first look I'd picked out. But I didn't think it would work such a big print, due to the pintucks. So I'm thinking, if I can find it, of picking up the blue in a solid knit for this.



And this skirt is the one I'm pondering now-- the long version, only I want to lengthen it this time. This is one of my tried-and-true patterns-- I've made the capris 3 times and the long skirt twice. It's fast, it's comfortable, it's fitted enough at the top despite the drawstring that it'll counteract the flowy tops, my only complaint about the skirt is that the mid-calf thing didn't quite work for the embroidered twill. (Still works fine for the black linen-looking one that I have, but to fit the hippie theme, I want it full-length.) So for this one I'm thinking the chocolate brown, which I would love to do either in a linen or hemp blend. (Preferably the hemp... what I would absolutely love to do is to get as many of these fabrics as I can in organic or other eco-friendly options. But financially I might not be able to swing it-- was poking around earlier and all the hemp-type stuff in this sort of color alone is something like $20 a yard! So I'm hoping to at least be able to go with natural fibers.)

So for the rest: I know I want to make a pair of jeans--dark denim and at least bootcut, because I like the way flares look on me the best, fits the theme, and the dark denim means it'll go with everything, including the stuff I already own that's not part of this wardrobe. (Plus then I'll finally fulfill my jeans goal!) And I'm thinking a pair of longer, Bermuda-type shorts (color to be determined). Which I'll have to find a way to hippie-fy. And I need to come up with one more top--wondering if I should go with some kind of blouse or woven tunicy-peasant shirt type thing, since the other two are knits. (Color also TBD). And patterns for all three of these items. (I'm open to suggestions.) For the shrug, what I'm hoping to do is use the knitting machine to just make up some fabric, and then sew it up. Possibly with an adapted version of the pattern I'm using for the bridesmaid shrugs, since I think the kimono-type sleeves will fit the theme well, and it's less pieces to cut. My only concern is that I won't be able to knit fabric wide enough to accomodate both the body and sleeves. So I'm thinking I should sit down and knit up a full-size fabric sample soon, so I can test it out and see what I can do with sewing from it, or if I'll have to actually learn the stuff like how to follow knitting patterns and increase and decrease and all that. There was this shrug pattern on the machine website, which would work if I adapted it to short or 3/4 sleeves. But I'd much rather sew on homemade sweater fabric than actually knit a sweater on it!! What I'd love to use for this is a bamboo yarn (warm in the cooler temps, cooler in the warm temps), maybe either in a cream or that taupe color that's in the print. (Neutral enough that I can wear it with other stuff, too. This was the stuff I saw at Joann's--Soooo expensive... but it's so soft! Well, I guess that's actually not bad, seeing as how it's 3 skeins and not just one. But I still want to test this machine out on my pound of cheap hunter green before I commit to buying that!)

Ok, enough daydreaming-- time for me to get to bed and have some real dreams!

5 comments:

  1. good luck shaking the winter blues! that's quite an ambitious list of items...

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  2. Yeah, I am so tired of winter, too. If I don't see some green outside soon, I'm going to scream! I like your inspiration print for your wardrobe. Your plans so far sound really interesting. I've wanted to try that drawstring skirt pattern, but I've never quite gotten to it. Maybe this year.

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  3. Hey, Hippie Girl! I love the base fabric for your wardrobe. Your plans are coming together nicely! Have you see the February issue of Burda Magazine? There is a whole section on hippie-type clothes. I love most of them! Yep, February is a difficult month for most of us. This cold weather is depressing!

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  4. Hey I've made that Simplicity skirt, too!
    http://purlescent.blogspot.com/2007/09/pattern-sizing-dilemma.html

    I'd love to see how those dresses come out! Looks like a really cute pattern.

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