**Reader warning: this post contains next to no sewing, and a lot of musings on personal style. Continue at your own peril.**
For the last few years, I have participated in Slow Fashion October which is run by Karen Templar. I really enjoy thinking about my wardrobe intentionally, and – like many women – often feel burdened by a wardrobe full of clothes and the feeling of nothing to wear. However, I often find with these types of initiatives and their accompanying prompts, that while I seem to be able to answer all the questions and complete all the exercises, I don’t feel any closer to that elusive wardrobe that feels just right for me. And I still have days where, despite loving the items of clothes I am wearing, I don’t feel right.
October has also been another of those busy work months that seem to have dominated this year. So I gave myself a pass on Slow Fashion October this year. And then I discovered Kibbe. So that I don’t have to spend a shed load of time explaining Kibbe here, I’m just going to link to the blog post where I first read about it: here. On the same blog I also read about Truth Is Beauty’s Style Calculator, and the Style Syntax Three Levels of Dressing. All I can say is, one week in, I feel like I have a clearer idea of my own sense of style that I ever have before.
In the Kibbe typing system I come out as a split between Dramatic (shock, horror right?!) and Flamboyant Natural. In the Truth Is Beauty system I come out as 100% Dramatic, no variables. However, the most useful element to date has been an exercise in the Style Syntax workbook I purchased. Because this is for sale, I’m not going to go into any depth about the exercise itself, but the objective is to create a Style Archetype. I came up with Striking Creative. And it’s really, really changing the way I dress!
Part of the problem for me is that I have a collector’s/curator’s eye when it comes to clothing. There’s very little I don’t like, and there are a lot of styles that are so appealing to me that even after repeat fails I can’t seem to realise that they don’t suit me. And when I say “don’t suit me” what I really mean is don’t feel like me.
I don’t think people should have to dress a certain way and I am fundamentally opposed to the dress for your figure type school whereby we are all instructed how to make ourselves look like skinny hourglasses by minimising our *faults*. I like my tall straight body, and I don’t have any desire to disguise it. However, I know there are times when I nail it and feel so totally “me” that it’s just great. And on analysis, it’s when I am in my Striking Creative sweet spot this happens. And I think it translates – certainly my photos on IG and here on the blog get the most responses when I look tall, glamorous, dramatic, amazonian – however you want to label it.
In summary (which apparently is a phrase you shouldn’t use), I feel like, more than any other*, these exercises have gotten me closer to my own sense of innate style and a smaller wardrobe** that feels so like “me”.
*Except perhaps when I tracked my outfits for a month or so and realised I ALWAYS wear pants.
**I’ve had a big wardrobe clear out and am thinking very carefully about what patterns I make now in light of my new yardstick.
This month’s sewing
Scrundlewear for my niece
I was rather behind the eight ball on my niece’s birthday present when my sister requested I make her some undies. I bought the Scrundlewear Kids Undies pack and we made 1.5 pairs when I was visiting her over Labour Weekend. The first pair were too small – I think our fabric was had a little less stretch than required – but the second pair were juuuuust right! And how cute are they?!
Ottober Sweatshirt for Alex
Alex loves his previous sweatshirt so much he requested a lightweight one for the warmer months. This is fleece and ribbing from Spotlight. It had a lot more give than the vintage stretch wool I made the first one with. But it turned out well and has already been worn and garnered comments from his colleagues – all a wife really needs! I also have some oatmeal coloured flecked stretchy wool I bought second hand which I will make another winter version of for him next year.
My first ever Burda make – 118B from 10/2010
After all the musing and analysis of the last month, I have totally reconsidered my plans for Spring/Summer tops, and this gorgeous second hand polka dot I’ve had sitting in my stash for a few months became this simple blouse with an outrageous pussy bow.
I had about 1 metre less than fabric than the pattern required so I cut the body and sleeves out and then, with no thought to spare for pattern matching, *made* more fabric by sewing all the scraps together to get as much fabric as possible. The resulting collar and bow are a little shorter and narrower than the pattern calls for, but still big enough to give me the bang I was after. If you look carefully you can see the joins – but I’m not sweating it.
The famed Burda instructions were somewhat confusing in places, but given the simple nature of this top, I pretty much went with my own methods anyway. The shoulders were too wide – I often have this issue, I think it must relate to the type of fit that I like elsewhere – so I took about 1.5 – 2.5 cms off each shoulder head before setting the sleeves.
I’m really happy with this result. I wore it out to dinner for my birthday with friends and it’s on it’s first work wear today. I feel very Striking Creative in this and it’s very easy to wear. Chalking this up as a win!
And finally, I did wear my pantsuit out to the orchestra, and I loved it! Right in my style wheelhouse.