Wardrobe Architect: Summer Wardrobe Planning

For March with the Wardrobe Architect Challenge we had to find the holes in our wardrobe and plan the projects we would be making or what we will be purchasing based on that.  And boy have I really had to change gears here!

I originally was planning a fall/winter wardrobe which would have been suited for life here in the mountains of Ecuador, but since we are now moving to Florida in the summer I am now planning a summer wardrobe so I can be prepared when we move back.

So I have tried my best, in this short amount of time, to come up with a capsule wardrobe that I think would be great for this summer so I can finally get started on some projects.

After coming up with an idea of a summer capsule wardrobe, I went through my clothes and figured out what I already owned that could be used.  Then I made visual lists in polyvore of what I needed to refashion, make, or purchase.

So here is what I came up with:

Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2015 Sewing Projects



Wardrobe Planning: Summer 2015 Purchase Items


This breaks down to:
  • 7  *Refashion or size-down projects with items I already own.  (Two have been completed.)
  • 8  Complete from scratch sewing projects.
  • 6  Items to purchase.

*When we were in Florida for a visit, I went thrifting and found a few items that I liked but were way too big and need to be sized down.

Of the complete from scratch projects I have lined up I will be using these patterns:

  • Moneta dress by Colette Patterns.
  • Zinnia skirt by Colette Patterns.
  • Mimi blouse from “Love at First Stitch.”
  • Lilou dress from “Love at First Stitch.” (maybe)
  • My own designs for 2 skirts.  (A box pleat skirt and a wrap knit midi skirt.)

I honestly don’t know how much I am going to be able to accomplish but this will at least give me a guideline to follow.

What I love about this Wardrobe Architect Challenge is that it is giving me a clear direction for my wardrobe.  Instead of being distracted by cool patterns and cute fabric that really aren’t me; I am carefully choosing my projects for a specific end goal.  This is great because it is helping me stay focused, not over-consume, and keep things simple.

This is exactly how I want to sew forever; with a purpose.  So that I can get the most use out of the garments that I spend so much time working on to create.

So that’s the plan!  I’ve already completed two projects off my sewing list which I will be posting about on Friday!

Wardrobe Architect: Clearing Out My Closet & My Tips

clearing out my closet When you live a life that is contrary to what you truly value…well…that is a heavy weight to bear.  And up until now, I had been bearing a heavy weight by hanging onto clothes that I no longer loved or needed.  It was time…time for me to tackle my closet once and for all!

I have been downsizing my closet slowly over the past few years, ever since I started embracing a simple life.  I love the idea of having a capsule wardrobe.  It is something that I really value.  But for some reason I was still hanging onto clothes that I rarely wore or that I only wore because I felt guilty for not wearing them, but that I really didn’t like that much.

In fact, just the other day I wore an outfit that I simply felt ugly in.  I was self-conscious the entire time.  Why was I holding onto something like that?  Why was I choosing to wear clothes on a regular basis that made me feel just mediocre?

Our clothes should make us feel great!  They should give us confidence.  Anything less is not worth keeping, even if this means having a small wardrobe.  I now feel it is much better to have a small wardrobe with just a few garments but all things I love and feel amazing in, rather than an overflowing wardrobe full of things that are all “just ok.”

It was time to start living in harmony with what I truly valued.

For the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge, February is focused on clearing out your closet and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  I tackled my closet and finally said goodbye to the things I was hanging onto that needed to go.

If you are participating in this challenge, or are just interested in downsizing your wardrobe, you may have found that this isn’t the easiest thing to do.  So I would like to share with you my experience and some tips I’ve learned to help inspire you.

So are you ready?  Lets get started!

Find Your Core Style

The very first thing you should do before you even start going through your clothes is to figure out your core style.  If you are doing the Wardrobe Architect Challenge like me, then you know all about this, and if you are not then I highly recommend the resources here for finding your core style.

Finding your core style is a very important first step because, sadly, many of us have been influenced by current trends, thus creating a wardrobe that is kind of all over the place.  Before you can start clearing things out, its good to have a clear idea of your core style.  It will make the whole process much easier.

I would recommend looking at specific items that you own that you love and wear all the time and evaluating what exactly it is about that item that you love.  Write it down and be specific.  Is it because it’s comfortable or is it the particular style?  Then do the same thing with items that you never wear or that you don’t like when you do wear them.  Be specific of what it is that you don’t like about that garment.

You will start to see what you like and what you don’t like and could summarize your style into words.  Then I would recommend looking up images that represent your core style.  I used Pinterest but you could also cut out images.  I also explored the different shapes/styles I liked and made sets in Polyvore.  I recommend doing this as having these visuals can come in handy when you finally go through your wardrobe, especially when you find yourself having a hard time letting go of certain pieces for sentimental reasons.

Once you have really explored and defined your core style then you are ready to tackle your closet.

Clearing Out Your Closet

  • First, I would recommend taking everything out of your closet.  If you have a huge wardrobe then break it up into sections, but take whatever you are working on at that time out of the closet.  I threw all of my clothes on the bed.
  • Now, pick up each piece and ask yourself, “Is it a piece that I love that is a definite keeper?”  If it is, good, then put it back into your closet.
  • If you know right away it’s something you do not want to keep then put it into your donate pile.
  • If it’s something you are on the fence about and you find yourself hesitating, then put it into your maybe pile.
  • Do this with every piece until you have gone through them all.  Don’t take a long time evaluating each piece.  It’s either a definite keeper, a definite non contender, or a maybe.

downsizing my wardrobeYou will probably find at this point that you have a very large maybe pile compared to your donate pile or what is in your closet.  That is ok.  But this is where the hard part comes in.  Now it’s time to really evaluate those maybe items.  Here are some things you can ask yourself:

  • “Why am I wanting to hang on to this?”
  • “Does it really fit into my core style?”
  • “Do I already own something similar?”
  • “Is it in good condition?”
  • “Is it a shape/style I like?”

Or I found that the one question that helped me with really knowing if it was something I should keep was: Continue reading

Wardrobe Architect: My Patterns and Designs

my patterns and designsJanuary is almost up and so I thought today I would share with you all my progress in choosing patterns and designs for this coming season as part of the Wardrobe Architect Challenge.

But can I just say first how much I have loved doing this whole process!  More and more lately I have been wanting to simplify my life and this includes my wardrobe.  I don’t want to buy and make things that I am not going to get a lot of use out of and I definitely do not want to have an overstuffed wardrobe  full of clothes I don’t love ever again.  I’m just done with that!  So really spending some time thinking about my wardrobe and really planning it out has been such a rewarding process for me.

I have been realizing that I don’t really like very much of my clothes and I am really excited to start making some things that I will love.  I am also looking forward to going through my closet once and for all and finally letting go of some of the items that just don’t do anything for me anymore but that for some reason I have still been hanging onto.

My only concern is that the perfectionist in me is still not going to be happy with some of the things I make as they will be less than perfect because I am still learning to sew and I’m not that experienced yet.  But I suppose there is no need to worry about those things.  At least I will be gaining experience this year with this journey and hopefully one day I will have the confidence and skill to finally produce high quality garments.

So I actually collected a whole bunch of ideas of things to make. There is no way I am making all of these, I know that. I have no idea really how many I will actually be able to make.  Probably not that much, but this has given me some specific direction of patterns and designs that I can refer to so that I don’t get distracted.

I think I did a pretty good job at choosing patterns/designs that really fit into my core style. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what my core style is and the silhouettes that I love the most, which helped me when it came down to choosing which patterns and designs I would make.

I made a little inspiration set in polyvore of some pieces that are not exactly what I want, but are a good reference for colors, shapes and ideas.

F/W wardrobe planning


Then for my actual designs and patterns, I decided to draw those out to keep in my notebook, as a reference of all the patterns I would like to use or design myself. Continue reading

Wardrobe Architect: My Silhouettes

MY SILHOUETTESNext on the agenda for the Wardrobe Architect Challenge is creating silhouettes.  (Refer to weeks three and four here over at colettepatterns.)

What is meant by a silhouette?  Well, it is basically the overall shape/fit/style of a garment.  Ignore all the details like color, prints and accessories  and just focus in on the actual shape of the clothing.

To create my silhouettes, I set up a Polyvore account and can I just say, I love this website!  How did I not know about this before?!   I mean I heard about Polyvore before but I didn’t really know what it was all about and never looked into it.  I wish I had!

It has been a great tool to search for garments that I like and put them together in sets to create my silhouettes.  I’m such a visual person so I just fell in love with this.  If you are doing this challenge and you don’t have an account, I really think you should get one.

Here is what I have come up with for my fall/winter silhouettes.  (Remember I am in the southern hemisphere and we will be approaching our colder time of year soon.)

Here is my first example:

F/W silhouette

This would be a dressy look which would include an a-line skirt, a nice blouse, a cardigan, tights, and pointed flats or wedge heels.

Here is another silhouette for skirts:

F/W silhouette

This would be a more casual look with a skirt.  This would include tights, an a-line skirt, a button up top or nice tee, a looser fitting cardigan, and flat shoes or boots.

Here is one more example of something I would wear quite often: Continue reading

Wardrobe Architect: My Core Style

my core styleWe had an unexpected guest come this week, which was great!  We had a really good time and it was nice to enjoy sometime with her as we probably won’t see her again for a while.  However, I haven’t been able to sew for about a week.  My current project is taking much longer than I had expected.  So I’m sorry that I still don’t have a completed project to show, but instead, I have been making some headway with my wardrobe planning.

For the Wardrobe Architect Challenge (see my last post for more details), January is all about finding your core style.  It was recommended if participating in this challenge to go over weeks 1-4 of the Wardrobe Architect 2014 series and complete the worksheets and exercises.  And I don’t know about you all, but I love a good project.

I’m such a nerd that way.  I love filling out worksheets and going through a process when learning something new.  So I was actually super excited to start these exercises.  I even went out and got me a binder to keep everything organized!

So today I thought I would share what I learned with you all.

Finding Your Core Style

Week one and two are all about taking a deeper look into determining your individual core style.

The truth is we are surrounded by images and advertisements that are meant to make us want something that we previously did not desire. Thanks to things like advertising, the Internet, and Pinterest I often see beautiful images of apparel that looks amazing on the person wearing it, and before I know it, I am wanting it myself, with very little consideration as to whether it is something that truly fits into my lifestyle and speaks to who I am.

Now, I’m not saying these things are bad.  Pinterest, for example, can be a great tool for wardrobe inspiration.  In fact, I used it for these exercises!  But I do think that all of this can make us easily lose sight of who we are and what our true style really is. Thus, why so many of us often have a wardrobe full of clothes while still saying “I have nothing to wear!”

This is why I believe that understanding my core style is the first step to creating a capsule wardrobe.corestyle1

Personal Identity and Style

With the first exercise, we were asked to dig deep and really think about our core style by analyzing how our history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body have influenced our style. Here is what I have come up with: Continue reading

The Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge

wardrobe-architect-2015Colette Patterns has initiated the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge on their blog and seeing how I recently discussed my goal with sewing, that is; to build a handmade, capsule wardrobe, I thought it would be fitting to accept this challenge.

It is basically a challenge to help you carefully plan and design your own handmade wardrobe throughout the year.

Pairing down and simplifying to a capsule size wardrobe definitely requires more thought and careful planning into each item you have, making sure that it is something that fits into your lifestyle and also best represents who you are, so this concept of planning and designing your handmade wardrobe definitely makes sense to me.

I just discussed in my last post how much I want to get away from fast-fashion and over-consuming trendy clothing, and instead, develop my true style and ultimately have a handmade, capsule wardrobe. So, with that in mind, this challenge really spoke out to me.

I think it will be a great way for me to get focused on this endeavor and stay inspired. I believe that it could be a great learning experience and I feel it is just the thing I need to help me along. It is a little scary, (it’s always difficult for me to commit to anything), but I feel that if I do this, whether I succeed or fail at it, I will learn so much.

So, I am just going to take a quick moment to outline what my personal plans and goals are regarding this challenge.

  • First, I too want to accept the challenge of not buying anything new this year; everything must be either handmade or purchased secondhand.  This will not be too much of a difficulty I feel, as I don’t really shop while I am here in Ecuador, however, we are planning to visit the States sometime this year, and when we go back we normally do some shopping and wardrobe updating. So this year when we do visit back, I will have to limit it to only secondhand shopping. The only exceptions for me would be undergarments (if needing replaced) shoes (if needing to replace or update) or accessories such is jewelry or a handbag, but as far as my everyday clothing is concerned, that I will not be purchasing new.
  • Second, I do not want to feel the need to up haul my entire wardrobe in one year. I may not be able to make as many things as that would require. However, I want to focus on some capsule wardrobe basics for each season, creating a variety of things; tops, bottoms, and dresses but just a handful total, if that is all I can accomplish, and really focusing on filling in gaps in my wardrobe. I will still be wearing clothes I already own, but my goal with this is just to really work on developing my style and learning how to create clothing that is fitting to my lifestyle and that I love and will wear all the time.
  • Third, I will update my progress and planning on the blog. This will be my way of keeping track of my progress and sharing what I learn along the way. It will hopefully keep me motivated and help me stay on track with everything.

Also, remember, as I live in the southern hemisphere of the world, my seasons will be flip flopped, so I will be working on the opposite season as the northern hemisphere, but I feel that is important as I need to plan for the climate here at the time. However, there really isn’t much of a drastic change of season here, meaning it never gets really super hot or drastically cold, so maybe it wont make too much of a difference.

So what do you all think? Are you feeling like you need to really do some major changing with your wardrobe? If you feel like me, maybe you should check this challenge out!

I am looking forward to this challenge. I am looking forward to what this will inspire in me and what I will ultimately learn and gain from this experience in a year. I can’t wait to get started!