I have been reading up about wardrobe building and I’ve found some great resources. In Sewing Plum’s post “A Good Wardrobe Pattern for a Core Wardrobe” she lists several patterns that are nice, but the best moment for me was in the answer for what is a good core wardrobe, whether its casual or professional. It seems pretty obvious but when I read it a light bulb came on. Most of the time I find fabric I like, then match it with a pattern that works for it, make it up, and hope it goes with something I own, or I make something to match it. I’ve never done a “SWAP” aka sewing with a plan.
Now that my wardrobe is very limited thanks to the combination of post baby weight loss (Thank God!) and the move, I am now down to a bare bones wardrobe. I have been thinking about how to fill it in. Clearly my “color personality” tends toward #3 (You love colour to add drama to your outfit. Black and red, and black and white are favourites. Hot pink, orange, cobalt blue are all colours that you are drawn to.) The biggest thing I don’t agree with is the form over function part. I may love dramatic combinations of black and pink, but I have to have shoes that are functional these days with all the walking I do. I also have to worry about necklines that are too open because I bend over to pick up my son. And even though I love chunky costume necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, my son loves to play with them too! I already took out my nose ring and my earrings on a daily basis, which means my upper holes and my nose hole have closed up.
I brought patterns and fabric with me, but now I need to really think before I cut. Instead of using a wardrobe pattern I’ve been scouring through my collection. My husband also decided to put in his thoughts. He prefers pants and leggings with tops and tunics rather than dresses and skirts. Why? Because he likes seeing my booty! I love my husband and Brazilian culture’s love of curves. While Vogue suggests my figure flattery should minimize this area, he wants me to show it off.
Girls in the Garden posted a list from “the Nate Berkus Show” with the 12 Must Haves for Winter, 9 of these can be stitched up and she’s hosting a sew-a-long. I’ve never done a sew-a-long and winter is about to start here in Brazil so it seems like perfect timing.
Clearly, there is a problem with this standard wardrobe for the tropics. I don’t really need a turtleneck, a puffy vest or a fur vest. My husband voted more skirts and dresses off the island because I have several of those. And a white shirt is a little impractical with an infant. But if I fill in the blanks with a few other pieces that are more appropriate for my lifestyle, here is my list.
1. Black Pants Burda 11-2011-136A/B in Black stretch Linen
2. Dark Jeans (I’m just going to buy a pair that fits. I don’t want to mess with all that top stitching)
3. Black shirt Manequim 02-2012-143 in Black stretch Linen
4. Burda top in hot pink
5. Khaki straight leg pants S2373 in stretch cotton sateen
6. Cream Sweater V8390 lightweight sweater knit
7. hot pink rayon/linen pull on pants from B5330
8. floral linen skirt S2655
9. Black Dress The Couture Dress of course though its going to be black, plum and cream!
That means I will have a pink, black, and cream/khaki wardrobe to build on. Purples, blues and greens can be easily added in. After careful thought, I really think my first priority should be a pair of fitted pants, since I don’t own a pair that fits right now. I decided that part of the black linen in my stash is going to be used for for the Burda pants and the rest for the Manequim shirt. Then they can go together or be separates with the hot pink pieces. I’m also going to start searching for a great pair of jeans, which may take awhile. But at least I have a plan! Now I must stick with it, which means dropping the mad men dress idea (sorry Betty maybe later) and waiting on Gertie’s classes, though I am still hunting down supplies for both. I’m betting the Couture dress is going to be the last one completed on the list.