It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mini Wardrobe Challenge with No Rules! (My kinda challenge...)

On a bit of an inspired whim, one of my local  sewing groups decided to do a mini-wardrobe challenge.  After some discussion about what rules to set, whether to have a "winner" & prizes, etc., we ended up deciding to hold a make-however-many-pieces-you-want-and-set-your-own-goals-and-we'll-just-support-each-other sort of event, because that's the kind of group we are.  :-)  My kind of contest!

I entered one Pattern Review mini-wardrobe contest a few years ago, and really appreciated it for a number of reasons:

  • It helped settle my mind in a work-together wardrobe mode, as opposed to a closet full of orphans. 
  • It was a stretch for me on several fronts, and I do appreciate stretching exercises.
  • The time pressure of having a finish date was a good experience - although I don't relish deadlines, I do tend to do well under pressure, and I proved that I could rise to the occasion on the sewing front if need be.  (it is not, however, something that appeals to me on a regular basis)
So, with a vague goal in mind, I set about figuring out what I wanted to do.   It actually ended up being easier than I thought it might be!

My Wardrobe Planning Process

The State of My Mind in the Beginning Steps of Planning:


We had a supportive planning meeting, and the goals and reasons that people were doing their wardrobes were as varied and individual as the members of the group (and we are a delightfully motley crew!)   Some wanted a specific travel wardrobe, some focused on expanding themselves out of their usual color-comfort zone,  some wanted more work clothes, some wanted a good-fitting pair of trousers as a start.


  • I need a new pair of jeans.   I've made 2, which are both still serviceable (one fairly, one barely), but since jeans are probably my single most-worn clothing item, I'm definitely due for another pair!  So that became my jump-off point, and once I made the decision, I didn't waver from it.
  • I also need more tops that actually go with jeans.  I know, I know, virtually anything can go with jeans, but sometimes I just want a nice blouse or shirt that actually matches my jeans, and my closet just never seems to produce just what I'm looking for.  Tons of T-shirts I have, but not much else.
  • The SF Bay Area is Jacket Central.   You simply cannot have too many jackets if you live here, and my only navy blue jacket is old, funky, and made by someone else.   My local charity gets that one.
  • Expanding on the navy goes-with-jeans concept, I've added a skirt and a sweater to the plan


I'm also planning on sewing entirely from stash (unless I need something to round out a piece).  Or (as has already happened),  I find myself short of some fabric I bought well over a year ago.  And Oh lucky me - they STILL HAD IT!!!!      (thank you Piedmont Fabrics!)

The state of my mind had cleared up somewhat at this point:
(Biggify to see my brain at work a little more clearly)
You will notice some carefully selected (i.e., somewhat random) silk ties
scattered about - the thought is to maybe use some of them
as embellishments here and there....we'll see.....

The REALLY cool bit, at least in my mind, is that 4 of the 6 fabrics I'm using were pieces that I've just not had a clue what to do with, mainly because they were "too special to cut", so I was terrified to do anything at all - you know the syndrome ... right?    I've already cut out 2 of those fabrics, and the Center for Patter Design Spiral blouse is all done except for the buttons and buttonholes, so I think I'm doing well!

I'm on a roll with the sewing now, thanks to finally finished the jumper project, and having the wonderful support of my fellow seamsters, so you should be hearing more from me in the coming weeks and months :)

How about you and your planning/sewing process?   Do you sew well under the pressure of a deadline, or would you rather meander at your leisure?  And does your sewing process match how you navigate the other aspects of your life?   (these are the sort of musings that sometimes keep me awake at night...)

13 comments:

  1. You do have a wonderful stash. The ties are beautiful too. We'll have great fun watching the unfoldment.

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  2. What a nice collection of fabrics. They have a sort of bohemian vibe, I think. Can't wait to see your finished makes!
    I'm not good sewing with deadlines, or doing anything that has a deadline. I prefer to work at my own pace. I seldom know what I'm making next, and I've learned that mini-wardrobe type sewing is just not for me. I like unique, statement pieces, not a jacket, 3 tops and 3 bottoms that will go together. It just doesn't work for the way I dress. But I do know lots of sewists like to plan their wardrobes this way. I do stick with a seasonal color palette, so things mix and match well. Orphans are pretty much nonexistent in my closet.

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  3. Your stash fabrics look beautiful. Isn't it fun just handling them and seeing new possibilities?

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    1. I do love playing with my stash! (and I have enough!) Trying to remember that when I find my body somehow wandering in to a fabric store.....

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  4. Thrilling that you're pulling out the good stuff and cutting it up! It's a really interesting comparison to the earlier Pattern Review Mini Wardrobe Contest. Good, solid work there and all wearable for how you live. And also, this time round is a tremendous leap forward in the eclectic, artistic, whimsical and drop dead gorgeousness that is inherently you! Keep on truckin'. I find a certain amount of pressure exciting.

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  5. Good for you to use your stash, Jillian! I look forward to seeing your resulting wardrobe. :)

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  6. I love the mini-wardrobe challenge idea. I 'm not very good at keeping my own deadlines so I definitely work better with someone else setting the end date for me and having a group that keeps me focused. You've got some beautiful fabrics there so I can hardly wait to see what you create.

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  7. I'm looking forward to seeing your pieces! I would rather meander than work under a deadline -- sewing is fun and there are too many other things out there that require added pressure!

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  8. What a great selection of fabrics. I'm not so good with deadlines either, but your relaxed "rules" Sunday like fun.

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  9. You always make fun clothes! I do love my stash, but I've been avoiding even thinking about it until I finish making Christmas presents and get caught up with my UFO'S again. :)

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  10. Jilly; I just wanted to send you lots of love and best wishes. I'm thinking of you! (hugs)

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  11. Just found your blog - this is great! I love your openness! And it's nice to know there's someone else out there who thinks about her stash as I do. Good for you for cutting into it!

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