Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

Inspiration: Lace

There are so many adorable tops with lace inserts that I had a tough time choosing. Here are some of my favorites:

1. Chase the Clouds Away Top at Ruche
2. Striped Tank Top with Lace Back at Jupe
3. Leaf Filigree Tank at Anthropologie

Love the lace inspiration? Vote here and see how I put the inspiration to work in the Sorbetto pattern!

June 29, 2011

Inspiration: Gathering

In preparation for my reader’s choice Sorbetto, I thought it would be fun to post some inspiration pictures for each modification. Here are few for gathering the extra width from the pleat:

1. Flimflam Tank at Anthropologie
2. Golden Belle Blouse at Bluefly
3. Lively Workplace Top at Modcloth
4. Serina Top at Bluefly

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite modification here. Poll ends soon!

June 28, 2011

Wardrobe Building: Pants

In keeping with Monday’s post, I’m forging forward with my wardrobe planning. First up: pants.

So how many pairs does one need? Looking in my closet, you’ll find eight pairs – five pairs of jeans, a lightweight striped pair for summer, a ratty olive green pair, and brown wool slacks. Embarrassingly… I only wear two regularly and they’re both jeans. So what’s wrong with the other six pairs? The other jeans are either thread bare or ill-fitting; both the lightweight pair and olive green pair have seen better days and need to move on; and while the brown slacks fit me well, they’re a bit too dressy and corporate for my everyday wear.

I don’t feel deprived in the pants arena but I’d also love to get out of the jeans rut. I like jeans and I definitely want to keep a pair in my wardrobe but sometimes I just feel frumpy in them. I’d love pants that are casual enough to wear running errands but are able dress up for dinner as well. Something that makes me feel effortlessly pulled together like Cal Patch’s Annie Trousers in Design-It-Yourself Clothes. If you haven’t seen the book check out the Sewing Princess’s version on her blog (here and here). Cute, yes?

Let’s get back to the numbers. Although I wear only two pairs regularly, I do think that two pairs of pants is rather limiting. Keeping in mind what was mentioned on Monday, I’d like to have enough pants to get me through a week without doing laundry. This means three to four pairs of pants. What would my 4 pairs be?

  1. A pair of jeans (already own)
  2. Effortlessly pulled together pair in navy
  3. Effortlessly pulled together pair in grey
  4. Dress pants in grey (?)

If you’ve read this far, I applaud you. This is some seriously boring stuff. Unfortunately, it’s also necessary for me to get this in ink, so to speak, so that I can refer back to it as I’m working this wardrobe out. It won’t always be this boring (promise) because the next step for me is to design and sew the missing three pairs. Tomorrow I’m pulling out the measuring tape and the butcher paper to begin my first pants draft!

Leave a comment below and tell me how many pairs of pants you think are necessary. I’d love to hear what you think is a must for a good wardrobe, so let’s talk!

June 27, 2011

Wardrobe Building

Readers, I confess: up until this point, I’ve been sewing for fall without a plan. Sewing with intention was one of my reasons for starting this challenge and if I’m not careful I’m going to end up with a very random wardrobe. It’s time to do some planning before this goes any further. I’ve never consciously built a wardrobe so I’m certainly no expert but here are a few things that I’ve been thinking about while planning the pieces.

Where Will the Wardrobe Be Worn?

I work in an ice cream shop and while this may not sound like particularly dirty work, ice cream stains are the least of my worries. Between sweating, cleaning and greasy kitchen air, I come home in a pretty gross state so I wouldn’t dare wear nice cloths to work. Given this, my work clothes will not factor into my 30 pieces.

On the other side of the coin, my calendar is not full of fancy events (actually, it isn’t full of any events). I’m a bit of homebody and my idea of a night out on the town would be dinner and a movie with my husband. So sadly, ball gowns and cocktail dresses would be a waste in my closet.

This means that I’m looking for a casual (primarily daytime) wardrobe. Something that looks nice enough to go to classes in but also comfy enough to lounge in reading.

Pants, Dresses or Skirts?

When getting dressed, what do you grab for first – pants, dresses or skirts? I love a dress in theory but feel as though I have to “dress up” to wear one. I love separates because I can dress them up and down depending on my mood so for me, it’s a toss-up between pants and skirts. I tend to buy a lot of skirts but possibly wear pants more often. Even so, I end up wearing the same pairs of pants over and over yet I don’t feel restricted by this. Which leads me to my next point…

Statement Pieces vs. Neutrals

Statement pieces are louder items – they tend to be the first thing others notice and they should say something about the wearer – whereas neutrals, or basics, tend to blend in with the background. Since I tend to only wear one or two statement pieces in an outfit, it’s important that my wardrobe have balance. In my wardrobe, skirts usually are statement pieces whereas pants are neutrals. I’d feel more comfortable with more skirts in my closet than pants no matter which sees more wear because I tend to buy pants that go with everything. Even though this way of thinking limits the amount of outfits, I still think it’s important to balance statement pieces and neutrals in the closet.

How Often Do You Launder?

I don’t clean every piece of clothing after every wear. Laundering can be harsh, expensive, and unnecessary so I use it sparingly. Items that are worn next to the skin like bras, underwear, camisoles and many blouses are washed with every wear. Unless I stain an item, I’ll take pants through 2 or 3 wears, skirts 3-4, and dresses and blazers 4 -5. Coats and other outerwear are laundered at the end of the season before I put them in storage.

So what does this have to do with wardrobe building? Items that see the laundry bin sooner will need more replacements. Since I do laundry about once a week, I’d like to have enough tops and bottoms to get me through. This means, at minimum, 7 tops, but only 2 to 3 bottoms. Not revolutionary, by any means, but something to keep in mind.

I’d like this to be a resource for others who are trying to build a wardrobe and, obviously, this isn’t everything one needs to know! So tell me, what else should I (you) (one) keep in mind while planning a wardrobe? Any words of wisdom from those of you have undertaken a challenge like this? Leave a comment below!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite Sorbetto modification idea here! I’ll be making up the winning version next week. Poll closes on July 4th.

June 26, 2011

Sorbetto Modification Poll

I want to turn your attention to an excellent post by Miss P in which she discusses the virtues of the Sorbetto. Not only do you get to see her adorable versions but she gives a pretty convincing argument as to why the Sorbetto is so crush worthy.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve fallen for the pattern – having made two in one week – and Miss P. certainly hits on the reason. The pattern really is suited to modifications and variations. My brain has been swimming with ideas since I downloaded Sorbetto. So much so that this morning, while waiting for cones to bake at work, I made a list of versions I’d like to make.

This is where you come in! I’m opening up the decision of my next Sorbetto version to you, my readers. I’ve made up a poll with a couple of my modification ideas. Vote for your favorite and I’ll make up the winning mod.

I tried to be as clear as possible with the answers for the polls but if you want some clarification for any of these, let me know! I’ll do my best to provide pictures of the techniques. Keep in mind that much of the final version is a mystery to me, as well.

Since my blog is new and I don’t get a ton of traffic, I’m leaving the poll up through July 4th. I’ll post the winner on the 5th and pictures of the finished garment on Thursday, July 7th. I can’t wait to see what you all pick for me!

June 25, 2011


While I’ve been busy making Sorbettos, I’ve neglected my school work this week. Today, I’m getting to work and tracing off my moulage (well, not mine but a dressform’s). If intend to learn anything new on Tuesday, I need to have this cut and sewn this weekend.

June 24, 2011


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June 23, 2011

Another Sorbetto…

I kid you not, I wore my black sorbetto three times last week. The cotton batiste combined with the extra ease made it the perfect top for the hot days we’ve been having. I decided to make up another version yesterday and wore it today with the blue skirt from last week. Here are the details for both.

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June 19, 2011

Blue Sky

I was shopping with some friends on Thursday when I stumbled upon 2 1/2 yards of a blue cotton blend that I thought would look beautiful as a summer skirt. The piece was only 25″ wide so I was definitely limited with the style of skirt. I wanted an a-line but my go-to draft wouldn’t fit given the length I was after. I decided to draft a 4 gore a-line skirt and cut it on the cross grain. The fabric has a very discreet embroidered pattern that runs the selvedge so it wraps around the skirt like a horizontal stripe.  Here are a few shots of the work in progress:

flat felled seams

horsehair interfacing in the waistband

I’m really excited to dish about the details of this skirt. I finished the piece this afternoon but haven’t had time to get pictures in it. Perhaps tomorrow morning before I take off for my class.

June 16, 2011

One, Two…

Let me introduce to you the first two pieces for my fall/winter wardrobe – a green a-line skirt with a center button placket and a black cotton batiste shell with an inverted pleat. I’m beyond thrilled to have a start on my thirty pieces. Details are beyond the cut.

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