October 2018.

**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.

19 thoughts on “October 2018.

  1. That pant suit is gorgeous. I want one 😍. Also love the pussy bow top – there is something about a bow that s just so lovely. I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about the prescribed style advice on wearing things to minimise “faults”. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on finding your style sweet spot. Good luck and am looking forward to seeing your journey. Thanks for sharing. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still want that suit!! I made a jacket in a similar fabric when I wad in my 20s. Regrettably I gave it away.

    The other makes are all great, as usual, but I especially love the blouse. Great job.

    I am curious to know about the Kibbe system, although I already know that I am some blend of classic.and gamine (by my definition). 🙂 It is fun to deviate sometimes but also nice to really focus in on who you are and what males you feel like a million bucks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree, Steph. I’m not taking it as gospel, but anything that makes it easier to get dressed in the morning and makes me feel more like “me” has to be a win!

      I feel good having my first Burda under my belt. Your vintage Vogue and Burda influence is very visible in my sewing habits 😉

      I don’t suppose you know of a good cigarette pant pattern?


      1. Oops just saw all of my typos. Totally agree about focusing on the good stuff. Thanks for the nice words. To be honest, I am fishing aeound for a good cigarette pant pattern myself. I generally like the fit of Burda pants on my body but the design details lately leave something to be desired. I am looking for something classic and so have been looking through vintage patterns on Etsy…which is always dangerous as I broke my buying fast and bought a vintage Vogue pattern for a Christmas dress I am going to make. Oops. I will let you know what I find. I am not averse to something pleated so I may go with something 80s but not too voluminous (for pants).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nice. I just scored another good Perry Ellis pattern which I’m looking forward to making up after all the other things in the queue 😉 however I’m looking for something very straight and simple – tuxedo pant like to go under a double breasted waistcoat for a wedding. The search continues!


    2. Naomi, Just coming back to say thanks for suggesting thw Dr. T Designs posts, etc. as I have had a great rime reading them. Have concluded that I am much nore of a classic than I thought. Confirms why a lot of the things that I have owned in th pasr or made that veer away a bit too much from this don’t end up in heavy rotation. Thanks a bunch!

      Liked by 1 person

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