wardrobe architectMy, I’m so behind with posting on this topic, and for no other reason than, once again, I’ve found the subject matter so very challenging.

Anyone whose followed my blog for a while will know that there have been some spectacular hits and misses when it comes to flattering shapes and silhouettes in the clothing that I’ve sewn for myself.

The biggest hit so far can only be my Giverny Liberty print dress:

giverny liberty print

This “ensemble” was an epic fail and soon relegated to the charity shop:

purple knitsThis issue of fit, proportion, shape and silhouette is one of the biggest challenges I personally face as a seamstress.

Yes, I have a long, long way to go with my skill-set, but it doesn’t matter how well you can sew if the clothes you are producing don’t flatter you and your figure.

Taking aside the colours of these outfits, which is, of course, a whole new post in itself, the shapes and silhouettes (s&s) are such a contrast that I feel they really illustrate why I’ve struggled so long and hard to formulate this post, and to narrow down the s&s that really work for me, and that I want to sew going forwards.

I’d downloaded the worksheet that Sarai created for this, but still I struggled.

I needed to do this visually and spent quite a bit of time wishing I had the graphics skills to whizz up some fancy schmancy illustrations.  But I don’t.

And then I ventured across to Polyvore.  Oh my word.  It’s nearly as dangerous as Pinterest. But mightily useful for helping me to visualise this process.

I did realise that I could quite easily be sucked in and spend another month faffing about with this.  So I gave myself some strict constraints:

  1. a tight time window
  2. to follow my instincts
  3. to choose s&s that flatter my figure
  4. to choose s&s that I actually wear
  5. to not be swayed by fabric choices
  6. they must fit my key words: Modest :: Comfortable :: Simple :: Polished :: Classic
  7. they must be lifestyle appropriate

Much easier!

And to make it even simpler I selected the black colourway for each section to make the silhouette even more pronounced.  We all know how hard it is to make the details stand out in a black photo, don’t we.  I only reverted back to colour if I couldn’t find the shape I was looking for in black.

So…that’s the why and the how…here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for.  Unless of course you’ve lost the will and pootled off to play on Polyvore yourself, or grab a glass of wine.

Or both! ;-)

my trouser silhouettes

my dress silhouettes

my dress silhouettes

my tops silhouettes

my tops silhouettes

my skirts silhouettes

my skirts silhouettes

my coats silhouettes

my coats silhouettes

my shoes silhouettes

my shoes silhouettes

This is nothing short of enlightening and may revolutionise my sewing (and my shopping) going forwards.

At the risk of becoming all ‘corporate’ on you…the findings of this ‘enquiry’ are as follows:

  • Looking at this it becomes abundantly clear that if I perfect the fit on a small     number of garments I need never buy another sewing pattern again. I no doubt will…but I could quite easily use this small collection of perfectly fitted patterns to create outfit after outfit after outfit that look great and work for my lifestyle
  • I also became aware that I have two quite distinctive seasonal preferences. Cold weather it’s all about the trousers and tops.  Warm weather…I love a dress.  
  • Once I’ve cracked the suite of master patterns, it will be easy to tweak details and to make each garment an individual piece.
  • Roisin and Carolyn already know this…and to be fair I knew this too at the back of my head, I just didn’t listen to the voices!
  • Shopping for light weight knitwear will also be easier.  I need to concentrate on getting the basic shapes in place in fine yarn in a range of colours.
  • All of this applies to knitting too.  Hopefully I’ll make fewer knitterly mistakes that are so costly in terms of time and yarn.
  • I’ll save money on buying patterns that don’t fit this remit and so languish unloved and unused. 
  • I’ll save time fitting patterns that are never going to work.
  • All this saved time and money can then be spent on making things that do work for my lifestyle, that work together to give me more outfit options, that fit and flatter my figure as I work to get healthier, and that make me feel pretty smashing into the bargain.
  • I need to identify a suite of patterns that reflect these thoughts and which will become the backbone of my wardrobe.  Patterns that can be fitted to perfection and then made again and again…quickly, simply, perfectly.

This is something I can get excited about.

This is the solution to lack of sewing mojo!

What do you think?