Friday, February 3, 2012

Wardrobe Challenge SAL Plans

I think many of us have the problem of many clothes but nothing to wear. I know that I tend to sew very haphazardly - making whatever strikes my fancy at the moment without much thought to whether or not I have anything to wear it with. While I do occasionally sew wardrobe basics, I am much more likely to get distracted by something shiny. So, I decided to join the Wardrobe Basics SAL over at Girls in the Garden.
The basic premise is that we will sew a series of basics that coordinate and can be mixed and matched for different looks - much like sewing a SWAP. Now, I don't have a very good track record where this sort of thing is concerned, so I am hoping that all of you will help keep me on track.
For the SAL, we are making 9 basics. They are:
1. Black slim pants
2. Dark skinny jeans
3. White button down shirt
4. Black turtleneck
5. Camel/Khaki skirt
6. Tie Waist Sweater
7. Puffy Vest
8. Faux Fur vest
9. LBD

One of the other participants, Jayme over at Straight Stitched is also incorporating Tim Gunn's 10 Essential Wardrobe Elements. There is a lot of overlap, naturally. One component of the Tim Gunn list that I would like to add to mine is the trench coat, so that will be my #10.

I've already made #1 and #4. So, for the rest, here are my plans.
Dark skinny jeans: 
I'm planning to make these with Vogue 8330, which I made in a lighter denim here. I'm already pretty happy with the way these fit, so I'll just be able to sew them up.
White button down shirt:
Can you believe I don't already have one?? White isn't shiny. Anyway, I do have some nice white stretch cotton shirting and I am planning to make Vogue 8747, which is a cup sized pattern, so it should only require minimal tweaking.
Camel/Khaki skirt:
I'd love to knock off this Alexander McQueen. I'll have to look through my pattern stash. There are a couple of burdastyle magazine skirts that come to mind. They always have fun details. I have some stretch bengaline in that color.
Tie Waist Sweater:
I like this long sweater/jacket from last Winter's MyImage magazine. I have a great leopard print sweater knit that I've been planning to make this into for some time. I like the idea of a self fabric tie belt for it, and I may make some thread loops to hold it in place, but we'll have to see how it evolves.
Puffy Vest:
I know, it isn't puffy. I don't like to add bulk to my upper body. Nature gave me enough there. Still, I like the idea of adding a vest as a layering piece in my wardrobe. New Look 6008 caught my eye. I love the interesting straps and the peplum is on trend.  I have some fun brown suede with gold painted areas, but I also think this would be nice in tweed or wool suiting. I'll have to comb the stash and see what I come up with.
Faux Fur vest:
Right, not a vest. I'm not a fan of fur vests, but I do have a couple of yards of faux mink from Fabric Mart that I have squirreled away to make a jacket. I'm not sure I love the collar on this one, and I may want a bit more shaping, but this is the basic idea.
LBD: I'm thrilled that this is on the list, since it is one thing that I have wanted in my wardrobe for some time, but haven't yet sewn. I think part of my problem is that there are so many dress patterns that I like for this, I can't make up my mind.
Trench Coat:
I'm planning to knock off this Burberry trench seen on Kate Middleton. I find single breasted styles more flattering on me, so I may do mine that way. This burda magazine pattern from August '09 is a dead ringer for this.

So, this is a start! I'm sure I won't just power through and sew these all up, as there are other projects that I want and need to do. Obviously, pattern and fabric choices are subject to change as well. I'm excited about sewing up some basics!


  1. You have great patterns, fabric and the trench will be a fabulous addition. I saw a navy one at New York and Company last week, trimmed in white. Gorgeous, but way too short in my arms. Can't wait to see all your garments.

  2. What's the timeline for this sewalong? I've been considering it (I'm inspired that you're modifying things to fit your style and body for it!), but I'm wrapped up in the jeans contest...

    I love your skirt choice! I made a similar one here: I think it's BWOF 8-2008-121. It has cut on godets and is very swishy.

    I kind of like the idea of a jacket with fur details. I haven't been crazy about that trend because of all of the bulk it adds, but I do love faux fur.

    1. Hmm, wool... I wonder if a nice wool gabardine wouldn't be better than the bengaline I have? Something to ponder.

  3. I like how you are adapting to fit your needs & shape. Smart.
    Can't wait to see your LBD and Vogue 8747.

  4. sounds like a great plan, katie. I'd really like your choice of that pattern for your puffy/not so puffy vest. And I totally agree with the trench coat option. in fact, I've been thinking of adding that to my list, too.

  5. Fabulous choices. Can't wait to see them all made up! I love the back of the vest pattern. Will look great made up.

  6. But those shiny things are so distracting!!:) I find that even with the kids' clothes that I tend to not sew basics that work well with other pieces.

    The skirt inspiration shape is fabulous and I adore the idea of the trench coat. I'll be watching to see what you sew...(meant that in a 'waiting excitedly' not creepy 'I'll be keeping tabs on you' way)

  7. I love that trench, and would love to have one like it. Sadly, I, too am distracted by shiny things. I also have a tendency to start sewing in one color family and just keep going until I'm so tired of the color I could scream. And I have a hard time sticking to schedules, so planning and sewing a wardrobe might very well be difficult. No matter, though, because I have you to admire as you do it!!!

  8. Wow, you're ambitious! (heh, I keep starting planning posts and then abandoning them because I just can't commit right now...)

    I love the skirt, and all the jackets, especially the trench at the end. :D

  9. Eager to see the finished project. Vogue had a skirt pattern a few years ago that was similar to the khaki.

  10. I just love your pattern choices for your wardrobe, especialy the vest, that is sharp!

    Planning our sewing to match what we own, or to go together is really hard to do sometimes, isn't it. I don't sew for a wardrobe exactly, as I don't work, but lately I've been trying to make more "practical" things, mostly tops that can be worn with almost anything. I wish I could stick to a wardrobe plan, and good luck sticking to yours!