Here is my number one tip for dressing in the wintertime, once it gets very cold outside:
Put on whatever you feel like wearing.
For the past few weeks, over Christmas and New Years, and up until this week, here in Canada we’ve been in a deep freeze (-39 C for a few days!). It’s made going anywhere, dressing up and, above all, taking photos extremely bothersome! So, what do you do when the whether won’t cooperate? Dress up in your most favourite 1970’s dress, complete with the glasses your mother wore when she was a teenage, and do a 70’s inspired photoshoot on your very of-the-era 1970’s sofa (inherited from your Grandparents) of course!
This is one of my favourite dresses, but as it is made out of the preferred material of the era (polyester) it is much too hot for me to wear, so I was happy for an excuse to dress up in it, if even only for a couple of hours. I enjoyed the process of doing a “dress up/costume” photoshoot, so I think that I should do that a bit more often.
Do you like to dress up in clothes you wouldn’t wear any other time? What styles do you like, but don’t actually wear day-to-day? And, most importantly, can you stand to wear polyester (or other synthetic) fabrics without overheating?!?
Not gonna lie, when I got to the end of 2017 and started looking at what I sewed throughout the year. . . I was a bit depressed to still be looking at a fabric stash instead of garments hanging in my closet. This past year I sewed four skirts, (only blogged one of them) a sundress, a cape, and refashioned a vintage dress. So, yes I did do some sewing, but considering the fact that there are 8,760 hours in a year, and only about 6,000-ish of those were spent working and sleeping, I didn’t really do as much as I could have. I don’t want that to happen again, so I have decided to take part in the 2018 Make Nine challenge hosted by Rochelle of Home Row Fibre Co. and the blog Lucky Lucille. The Make Nine Challenge is a sewing challenge where you choose nine items to make throughout the year, and is in her words, “a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. – That’s it!” She’s got all the details over on her blog post, so if you would like to take part in the challenge yourself, just hop over there to read all about it.
I’ve never joined in this community sewing challenge before, but I think that it is just the sort of kick-in-the-pants I need to turn my pile of fabric into actual clothes. I spent a few days this past week going through patterns and fabric, looking through vintage fashion books/blogs for inspiration, and evaluating what some of the gaps in my wardrobe are, and how I can fill them in a purposeful way.
I often get so inspired, and I see a pattern or garment and decide that I want to make it, but then I can’t decide which fabric to use, and so I get overwhelmed and end up going in circles of indecisiveness, because I have this ridiculous fear that if I cut into a fabric from my stash, I’ll realize that I should have made it into something else. . . and so I end up making nothing.
In light of that, this week I narrowed down all of the options and ideas I had into nine specific items I will focus on this year. I have decided to sew only garments with fabric I already own (what- no fabric shopping!?!?!?!) and the only sewing purchases I intend to make this year are for notions, lining fabric or other items that I need to complete one of these projects. Setting these boundaries for myself will ensure that I don’t get distracted (like a dog with a squirrel) and will instead end up with garments I’ve been dreaming about wearing for years. So, here, in no particular order, are my Make Nine choices for 2018!
I have a million metres of smoky blue eyelet, and I do love a good shirtwaist dress, so I plan to make view A, only I’m going to make it floor length. I love long skirts, but currently don’t have any in my wardrobe. I also have some other fabric that I’d like to make into shirtwaists (knee length), so once I finish this, I’ll hopefully have a tried-and-true pattern, which will make the others go so much quicker.
Years ago, a lady gave me her aunt’s winter coat, since she knew I liked vintage styles. The coat is from the 1980’s and is an 80’s-does-50’s princess style out of green wool. Unfortunately it looks like someone along the way decided to throw it in the washing machine, and the fabric is completely ruined. However, the underside of the fabric is still lovely- so I am hoping to be able to take the coat apart and turn it, rather like the “turned silks” of the 1800’s. The coat is also a bit big, so I am going to alter it as I refashion it. I hope it works out, since a full skirted winter coat will be a wonderful thing to have!
The Simplicity 2154 blouse is so cute and classy and I’ve liked every one I’ve seen so far. I have some checked tan and navy shirting, which will be perfect for this. The colours will go with everything, and it’s always nice to have a variety of blouses. This one will be particularly nice for layering.
I love turbans, and I’d love to make a formed one out of velvet. I don’t know if I’ll attempt a fan or a knot decoration like the ones in this picture- I might try out a simpler one to begin with! This will be nice for winter as it will be a good alternative to a toque.
The first project I am going to tackle this year is Simplicity 4403- a coat pattern I got for my 16th birthday. That was a long time ago and I still have a partially sewn coat out of a beautiful plum melton wool with brass buttons. I don’t even know if it’s going to fit me anymore, to be honest, but I’m going to give it a go. I am completely intimidated to sew this for some reason- but it’s either getting made now, or I’m going to get rid of it. So, because I can’t bring myself to get rid of it, I guess that means I’m going to be sewing it this weekend 😉
I have some brown and plum coloured plaid “wool” in my stash that I am going to use to make a circle or 4 gored skirt. It’s not real wool- I bought it many years ago, but it’s got a tweedy sort of texture to it. I don’t have very much fabric, but I’m sure I’ll have enough for a skirt- I can always decrease the fullness if necessary. This will be a practical addition to my wardrobe, since I don’t have very many good winter weight skirts.
For years I have been dreaming of a jumper dress and jacket suit combo out of some wool-like fabric I inherited from my aunt. I have 2.5 metres of a blue and tan gingham, and 2 metres of a coordinating blue. I’ve never been brave enough to cut into it- but this is the year! I am not sure if this Simplicity 3673 pattern, centre view C, will work with the gingham check, but if not, I’ll hack the pattern to make something similar if not exactly the same. If I also manage to get a matching jacket done up, that will turn this challenge into a Make Ten instead 😉
I would like a “Background Dress” as described in this Sear’s catalogue. I haven’t chosen a pattern yet, but it will be something that can be paired with a bunch of different accessories, sweaters, shoes etc. for endless options. I will use either a teal rayon or tan and black ikat patterned rayon, and I’d like the dress to have a similar 1940’s shape to it.
Butterick 5748 is such a cute dress with that bow detail. I love early 1960’s dresses- they’d lost the fussiness of the 50’s, but hadn’t quite gotten into the psychedelic 60’s yet. I have a cream and brown calico cotton which I think would make a really nice sundress.
Whew. If I manage to get all of these sewn, along with all my other creative endeavors, I will be happy. Hopefully now that I’ve put it out here I’ll actually do it too- accountability works wonders! I might change some of my patterns along the way, but as long as I end up with nine garments at the end of the year, that’s good with me.
Have you heard of the Make Nine Challenge? Are you going to be taking part, or making any other kind of sewing related goals this year? What projects do you have planned? And, have you made any of these patterns before?
Hi everyone! Just popping in to let you all know that I’m holding a giveaway over on my studio Instagram account. There are only a few entries so far- so if you’d like to win a 5×7 print of my new design, “The Peacock” and an original artwork bookmark, pop over to @theartyologist_studio to see how to enter!
Happy 2018 everyone! (I’m still not quite used to writing that. . .)
When thinking of what to write as the first post for this New Year, my first thought was of the much anticipated (or dreaded) “New Years Resolutions”. I personally like to make goals and resolutions. I’m not saying that I necessarily follow through on them as I am a procrastinating sort of person, but making goals is a practical thing for me to do- because if I didn’t, I don’t think I would ever actually get anything done- haha!
While thinking of New Years Resolutions, my thoughts turned to what “Style Resolutions” I could make this year, as I’ve been doing some thinking about my wardrobe lately. My lifestyle has changed in the past couple of years, but my wardrobe hasn’t quite evolved along with it, so I often find myself frustrated by the lack of garments in my closet that are appropriate for the occasions I need them for. There are definitely a few things that I could do to improve my wardrobe, and make it more wearable, so here are a few goals for this year. I’m also spending some time this week planning out sewing projects for the year, so I haven’t included those here, as they’ll overlap a bit and I am planning a second post for them.
Wear hats more often. A few years ago I wore hats constantly, but in the last year, I have worn hats less and less. I still do wear them for particular occasions, but for everyday wear, I often forgo one. As someone who really does love the panache that only a hat can give, I want to remedy that this year. One problem I am facing is that my hairstyle has changed so much in the past year (from a growing out pixie, to a bob) that hats I used to wear, no longer work with my current hairstyle. I also have a bunch of hats that just don’t go with any of my clothes, or are not really my style anymore. I’d like to make or buy a few more “everyday” sort of hats to wear; hats that work well with my hairstyle (aka- don’t require copious amounts of hairstyling) and coordinate with more than one outfit or colour scheme too.
Work at creating a more mix and matchable wardrobe; the “Curated Closet” so to speak. I got this book by Anuschka Rees from the library last Fall and sort-of-kind-of went through it. I am going to make it a point to do a complete wardrobe overhaul this month, and set a clear list of things that I “need” in my wardrobe. My wardrobe is currently rather disparate- with things that don’t really go together. I need to weed those things out, and from now on add pieces that are versatile and wearable. I also need to really hone down which direction I’d like my wardrobe to go. As much as I like the posh Lady About Town ensembles from the 50’s, I am more likely to be found wearing garments fit for a Lady Adventurer instead (aka- practical). So, a bit of planning and evaluating is in order.
Consciously choose “slow fashion”. Even though I thrift or sew many of my clothes in order to continue building my wardrobe in an ethical and sustainable method, sometimes I am not practicing true “slow fashion” as I don’t always think through my secondhand purchases, or fabric choices. I want to sew garments that will stand the test of time, choose fabrics that are good investments and buy secondhand items because I like them, not just because they are “vintage” or cheap. (Those half price thrift store sales are bad!) Basically, I want to ask before I buy, “Do I really need this? And, is this a wise purchase?”
Create a signature colour palette. Some of my favourite colours to wear are mustard yellow, olive green, brown, camel, rust, teal and black. I want to add in more of these colours.
Put more effort into my everyday outfits. Since I work from home, it can be tempting to just throw on any old thing, since I’m not going out into public. For someone who loves Fashion, this is a tragedy! It’s not like I’m wearing pyjamas or anything, but I find myself falling back into the same old skirt and shirt combination, and it gets quite boring. I’d like to start planning my everyday outfits better and wearing those things I never seem to actually ever pull out of the closet. I’d like to cultivate a more suitable everyday sort of style, which definitely nods to the vintage style, but also doesn’t need to necessarily look like a period piece.
Well, we’ll see how this goes this year. Maybe, because I’ve shared the resolutions here I’ll be better at keeping them! 😉 Do you have any “style resolutions” for 2018? Do you like setting goals at the beginning of the year?