It's really time I sat down and thought about my wardrobe.
I'm not participating in the Colette Spring Palette Challenge, but it's really had me thinking a great deal about my clothing and accessories and the colors I pick. While I wasn't able to commit to the challenge in the time frame as set (plus I would want to include knitting, naturally), it's really inspired me to think about what I'd like out of my own self-made additions to my wardrobe over the next several months. With little baby steps, I'm already feeling more confident in February about my sewing than I did in January, and I'd like to hope this upward trend will continue through the spring and summer. The fact that I am even contemplating posting sewing-related goals simultaneously fills me with terror and excites me.
I'm giving myself a challenge. I plan to...
1) Focus on a color palette.
Like the Spring Palette Challenge, I'd like to narrow down my color palette. In part because it seems like a fun challenge, in part because if I approach this willy nilly, I'm going to end up with a bunch of things that don't go with anything else, and they will just hang in the closet. I'm really good at getting carried away, so this will reign me in.
I've been giving colors a ton of thought. I'm not picking only springlike or summery colors because I'd like my wardrobe to function year-round. A light blouse gets winter wear with a cardigan. A beret gets Spring wear during cool nights camping.
My palette choices for my challenge will focus on: navy, coral, ivory, ruby red, butterscotch, and sky blue.
I've always loved how vintage patterns and magazines talk about thoughtfully pairing colors and items together in smart combinations, so I will use this as my foundation. I spent a long time focusing down these colors. I feel many are represented frequently in vintage fashions, and they play well with each other. Plus all are colors I've been loving lately and most are far under-represented in my current wardrobe.
Some inspirations around Etsy in my palette...
Clockwise from upper left: polka dot dress, Bakelite bangles, coral blouse, daisy necklace, red pumps, ivory beaded purse
2) Think about what I need/would like to sew and knit as it relates to my wardrobe.
Things I absolutely need: dresses; sleeveless or short-sleeved blouses; at least 2 heavier weight cardigans; at least 2 lightweight cardigans (which will not be ivory, see my ivory sweaters post), at least 1 short-sleeved sweater
Things I would really like: at least 2 skirts; at least 2 simple blouses that would be extra comfy for outdoor activities like hiking and camping (no darts, not too fitted, etc); gray fingerless gloves and beret to match one of my Pendleton jacket
If I get to them, these things would be nice too: pajamas (but this wouldn't be limited to my palette colors... I mean it's PJs after all); one sewn item to be embellished with embroidery; a modified knit turban as an ear cover only (not full-on hat)
3) Make sure each item made works with at least two other items in my wardrobe.
Anything I sew or knit must work with a minimum of two items that I either already own, am planning to buy or are planning to create during the challenge. If I knit a cardigan, it must work opened with a skirt and blouse or dress, or buttoned up with trousers or a skirt. If I sew a skirt, it must work with a blouse or sweater. This will keep me on track and hopefully will prevent any odd interlopers from entering my closet, never to be come back out.
4) Purchased clothing and accessories won't be limited to my palette colors.
I won't be limiting my purchased wardrobe items (i.e. things I am not making) to my palette colors. Because if I find a great vintage dress that fits and is the right price, no way am I turning it down because it's green. But I will attempt to make at least some of my purchases fit into the palette to round out my wardrobe, especially when accessories are concerned.
So, those are my goals for my handmade wardrobe challenge. Wow. That's a tall order for a veteran knitter/newbie sewist. I may get more specific about the numbers a bit more as I go along, to have something to aim for, but I'm content with this for now. I'm not even setting a date for myself, since I really have no idea how long it will take me to accomplish all of that. Probably through the end of summer, I'm thinking, or more likely fall. Hell, I could very well still be at it in winter. Fortunately, one of these items will be wrapped up soon (my navy worsted cardigan that's currently blocking...under my cat's butt), one will be my Briar Rose sweater for the knit-along, and I'm switching my fabric choice for my somewhat languishing project for the Swing Dress Sew-Along to a navy floral, so that will then count, too. It makes me feel like I'm off to a good start before I even knew I was starting anything, so surely that's a good sign, right?
I hereby dub this My Handmade Vintage Wardrobe Challenge 2011. If I don't name it and don't commit it to "paper", I might not do it.
Wish me luck and stay tuned throughout the year... Can this gal do it, and learn a few things along the way? And not lose her marbles? Only time will tell!
Other fashion challenges that have been inspiring me: