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Filling the Wardrobe Gaps

This seems to be a common theme among sewing bloggers lately, including Tasha from By Gum By Golly, Sarai from the Coletterie and Rochelle of Lucky Lucille: the notion (pun very intended) of thoughtfully sewing for your lifestyle and honing your wardrobe, focusing on fit and eliminating closet orphans.

I’ve been whining about my wardrobe for months (just ask my husband) and this is the year I’m going to do something about it! Even though I have a crazy amount of clothing in my possession, I often find myself reaching for things that aren’t there (awkward). I feel like I could make my current wardrobe go much further by adding the following basic separates to coordinate with the Hodgepodge of Awesome that currently lives in my closet:

Solid colored skirts!
I’m thinking about making another Sewaholic Hollyburn, since my first two get so much action, but first I could really use a simpler, straighter silhouette that can be dressed up with pumps when we have clients in town, or down with boots the rest of the time. I’m thinking about using McCalls 5523, which has been in my pattern stash pretty much since I bought my sewing machine. After seeing Amy’s sassy tartan version, I was sold! 🙂 I’m thinking about making a gray version, and possibly another in oxblood (loooove that color).

Renfrews Galore!
After cutting out my first Sewaholic Renfrew and letting it sit, neatly folded, on a chair while I worked on a dress instead (which is finished, and I’ll show it to you as soon as I find my camera – doh!), I finally got to sewing it up last night! I know I’m super tardy to the party, but this is an awesomely quick make! I spent less than an hour on it, and after some initial confusion about sewing with knits, I’m already about halfway done. It’s going to be a few inches too short for my preferences, but I wanted to make it up without alterations first, so I can test out the fit. I’m probably going to make this in black, plum, mustard, and navy, along with a few goofy prints as they cross my path, because clearly they’re also important to the Hodgepodge of Awesome. I’d also like to use this pattern to make a couple of pullover sweaters, of which I oddly have none.

Waist Defining Jacket!
This came as a shock to me, but I currently have ZERO jackets/coats that emphasize my waist. This means that, while wearing a fit and flare dress or top/skirt combo, I put a shapeless sack of a coat on top that ruins the whole look. I do have two vintage coats that I love, including a 1960s Lilli Ann red swing coat with cropped sleeves and a real mink* collar that I got at an estate sale for $20 (which is so fabulous that it’s reserved for special occasions, like going to see The Book of Mormon for my husband’s birthday (YES IT WAS AWESOME)), but I have no warm outerwear that emphasizes my waist. I’m planning on filling this wardrobe gap with McCalls 6442, view A. I’m thinking about using some beige and pastel blue houndstooth that I got at a thrift store over a year ago, maybe with some light blue lining to tone down the beige, because… beige.

Grainline Archer!
I may have missed Archer Appreciation Month, but there’s been no lack of appreciation over here for all the finished versions popping up on the internet! I work in an office where women are the minority. Our dress code is pretty lax, but when I’m surrounded by dudes in polos and button downs, some days I find myself feeling TOO casual. The Grainline Archer would be perfect for filling this wardrobe gap! It can be casual, yet still office appropriate… perfect for helping me feel justified in wearing skinny jeans and tall boots to the office. 😉 I have a feeling I’ll be making a few of these, too. In addition to some crisper versions for work, I’ve been wanting a flannel shirt since the temperature first dipped below 60, and I really want an extra long flannel nightshirt. I’ll be mastering buttonholes in no time!

So those are my sewing plans for the next couple of months. Maybe I can even sneak a Valentine’s ensemble into the works! 🙂 When springtime rolls around, you better believe I’m switching back into dress mode. With a few Archers under my belt, I will have the confidence and know-how to make ALL THE SHIRTDRESSES!!!!!!!!!!

*I didn’t know it was real fur until I found the tag in the pocket when I got home. I was planning on replacing it with a black velvet collar, but I’ve decided that, since it’s vintage, I will keep it intact. It still creeps me out a little though, and I’ll be avoiding real fur from now on. Please don’t judge!

2 responses »

  1. Oooh–all of these sound like great basics! I totally hear you about topping a lovely fit-and-flare with shapeless outerwear–except in my case, it’s usually a boxy cardigan, bleh! So, I’m all about finding or drafting a pattern for a cropped cardigan and/or jacket. Love the looks of that McCall’s pattern.
    Also, Archer = YES!

    • Jenny, thank you for your comment! I ran into that same “shapeless outerwear” problem this morning again after I put on my hot pink Hollyburn skirt. 🙂 Have you made the Sewaholic Renfrew yet? Andrea from Four Square Walls has a tutorial on turning it into a cardigan! You could totally make a cropped version! I might join you in that, too. I have a bunch of cardigans that I’ve found at thrift stores for super cheap, but the fit is always iffy!


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