Creating a Capsule Wardrobe Part 3 // Sewing for Your Shape

There is nothing more deflating than when finishing sewing up a garment and trying it on it just doesn't look right. A similar feeling is when you have seen something on a friend/model/manikin in a shop window, you love it so try it on but when you look in the mirror it doesn't look the same on you as you imagined and hoped. Of course this is because we are all different. Very few of us have the same figure as a typical model or a manikin on the high street. While it is more likely that you might wear the same size as some of your friends its very unlikely that you actually have the same shape body.

This is a good thing. Variety is the spice of life after all. But it presents us with a challenge when we choose what we are going to sew and wear- What will look good on me? If you want to create a capsule wardrobe it's incredibly helpful to have a few guidelines for which clothes look good on your body and crucially make you feel good in. But let me stress these are just guidelines!

So to work out which sort of shapes work well for you have a think about these things:

Which Areas Do You Love?
Which parts of your body do you always feel confident about? Maybe you've got some killer shoulders and you love to show them off. Perhaps your waist is teeny tiny (even if other parts are not so teeny tiny). Brilliant boobs? Bootilicious bottom? Long long legs? Delicate ankles? Amazing arms? Every body has some good bits! Don't fool yourself into thinking that you don't because you absolutely most definitely one hundred percent do! Write down a list of these good areas - it can be as long as you like!!
My list it this: waist, shoulders and legs.

Which Areas Are You More Inclined To Hide?
Sadly we all also have some areas which we aren't so keen on (well if you haven't good for you!). You might find this list easier to write than the list above but I encourage you try to keep this list as short as possible and definitely keep it shorter than you 'love list'. If you think of more things you want to add then you should come up with some more loves too! My list is my upper arms and my muffin top.

Which Clothes Do I Feel Confident In?
Make a list of 5 items of clothing that you feel really good in when you wear them. Try to work out what they have in common? Do they exaggerate your good bits and disguise your not so good? If you are struggling with this have a look at this website. There you can read about all the different body shapes, answer a quick quiz to figure out your own shape (without measuring yourself) and then have a look at their ideas for what looks good on a shape like yours. This website is really helpful figuring all this stuff out. Plus if you fall between two body types (I'm an hourglass/pear) you can look at the tips on both sections.

Use your answers to the questions to figure out a list of guidelines. Try not to over complicate your list but have a few things to look for and a few things to avoid. When you are armed with this list you'll find it much easier to figure out which sewing patterns will look good and which won't work for you. My list looks something like this: Look for scoop necklines, sleeves, fitted waists and not too much detail around the tummy. Avoid high necklines and pointy shoes.

So now you know what looks great, it's probably worth having a think about what actually works for your lifestyle. I could use my guidelines to sew 30 dresses, fitted at the waist, with sleeves and full skirts or pencil skirts. I could, but it would be terrible impractical for my day-to-day cleaning the house, kneeling on the floor to play with my children, going on the school run lifestyle. This needs to play a big part in our decision making for what to sew next. We will talk about this more next week when we will go though what could actually be in a capsule wardrobe. So come back next Tuesday to find out more. Zoe x

Creating A Capsule Wardrobe Part 2 // Choosing a Colour Palette

I love colour. In fact I have had almost every colour of the rainbow painted on the walls in my house at some stage. (I also love to decorate but thats a tale for a another time). Having such a huge variety of colours results in something a little messy and not very relaxing. On the other hand I have been in houses where every single wall, every piece of furniture and all the art on the walls is black and white, it may be very stylish for some but to me it's a little boring. The trick is to find a nice balance of colour and neutral. The same applies to the colours we wear.

If you're hoping to create a capsule wardrobe (read about that here) then choosing the colour palette is a very important step. By colour palette I mean a few colours that you know work well on you and with your other clothes. The colours in your palette should all work together and they can include any colour you like.

This post will look at some things to think about for your own colour palette. The idea is to write down your answers to each question and then compare them to see which ones occur often. I'll also work through an example (my own).

Question To Ask When Choosing a Colour Palette that is Right For You
When choosing a colour palette there are serveal things to consider. In the following questions I'll get you to write down some things about yourself in order to choose the right colours for you. Try to be specific but not too specific. For example if you want to write down 'blue' as an answer, try to narrow it down a little; light or dark? Just blue or is it slightly green or slightly purple? But try not to write down 'shade 630 from the pantone colour range', we are thinking more general than that. But if you answer is 'all the blues' than that's ok too.

Which Colours Do I Love
Most people have some colours they love, the ones that make them feel good when they see them or they will choose each time. They will also have some colours that they dislike or would never choose, the colours that make them think something is ugly (even if it's not). This should be a one of the main factors when you choose your colour palette. Are you always drawn to white or pale fresh colours? Do you prefer a deep shade of red or green? Do you love all the pastels? Do you hate a particular colour? Do you get a kick out of brights, neons, earth tones? Write down a list of colours you love and other colours you hate. It is ok to write down colours you love but would never wear on your 'love list'. Then put this list aside before you move on. Try to think with a clean slate before you answer the next questions.

Example: I love blue, red, green, orange, yellow and white. For all these colours I like a good bold and rich tone and for blue I love all the blues.

Which Colours Suit Me
You probably have a few colours that you know suit your complexion. You probably also have a few colours that aways make you look ill. To work this out if you don't know already think about your favour items of clothing, make a list of them and what colour they are. You may notice that your favourite items all fall into a similar category of colours. This might be in part because they are your favourite colours too but probably has something to do with what looks good on. If you can't see a theme then pop into a clothing shop and hold up a range of different coloured items near to your face. Do some make you look good and other not so much? Try not to just experiment with the colours that you like but also with colours that you wouldn't usually try. You might be surprised that some of them suit you when you wouldn't normally wear them. After you have thought this through, write down a list of the colours that look good and another list of colours that look bad. Keep this list with your 'Colours I Love List'.

Example: Black, red, blue, white and brown all look good on me, particularly navy and teal from the blue spectrum.

Which colours do I already own
Another important thing to consider is which colours do you already own. Have a look in your wardrobe and write down all the colours you can see. Then tally up the ones that occur often. You might see a theme emerging here. If you can't see a common theme try this: for the clothes that you know you wear often add an extra tick on your tally.

Example: In my wardrobe I have many colours. Blue, red, orange, white, green, yellow, pink, purple, grey and black. You name it I've probably got it. However I have more of navy blue, black, white and red in my wardrobe than any other colours and a fair bit of dark green.

At this point you can compare the lists that you have. You probably have some overlapping colours, if you have a colour on every list then this is probably a good place to start. Group your colours into 3 groups, one that has only the colours in all three groups, one that has colours that occur in two groups and a third for those you have only written down once.

Group 1: Red, Navy Blue, White
Group 2: Black, Green, Yellow, Light Blue
Group 3: Pink, Purple, Brown, Grey, Teal, Orange

Now to have a varied enough wardrobe without going wild its a good idea to have around 5-6 colours in your palette. Have a think about what the colours in group 1 (and 2 if you need more) have in common. Are they all pastel tones? Are they primary colours? Perhaps their 'earth tones'. Maybe you're all about the neons. I'll be writing a post with some examples soon so you can have a look to get some ideas.

Also think about whether they work together well, you might have a few that clash so play around with the ones you have and remove a couple that don't work. If you start with a limited colour palette now you can always add more colours in later once you have a working wardrobe.

Whatever colours you have chosen you can always add white, black and grey as these are total neutrals and go with anything.

Example: From my list I knew I wanted red, white and navy blue and light blue. I also added in black because I needed some more neutral colours. I consider these 5 colours to be my 'main palette' but I also use dark green in the Autumn/Winter and yellow in the Spring/Summer. Plus the light blue in the summer would be a much brighter more 'teal' shade. So if you cover over the two left most colours you'll see the summer palette, or cover over the two right most colours to see the winter palette. Cover over both to see the 'main palette.'

So do you have a chosen colour palette? Maybe now is the time to think about creating one so you can have a more meaningful wardrobe. If you have any questions or ideas you can leave a comment and start a discussion or head over to our community page. Speak soon, Zoe x

A Capsule Wardrobe Community

Wanna sew a capsule wardrobe too? Or perhaps you just enjoy drooling over others capsule wardrobe ideas. Then I have just the place for you to go. Check out the 'Sew a Capsule Wardrobe' community on Google+. Well so far there are just 3 of us, but I would love to make an actual community out of it.

If you aren't familiar with Google+ communities then you should definitely check them out. You sign up to Google+. You may have done this a few years ago and then never actually used it, but you should because it's a really great way of meeting like-minded individuals across the globe. I am in several communities on there to do with sewing, craft and baking and I love them. Then you can search for communities and ask permission to join them. Then you can write a post, share photos, share links and start discussion about the topic of the community.

So far it is just me posting in this community but I would love to see others who are interested join and make conversation. Share your ideas and goals and seek out others working on their own version of a capsule wardrobe.

So what do you think? If you are interested head over there now and sign up, I'll approve your membership and then you can start posting too. Plus you should absolutely start using google+ because it is a very well thought out and easy to use social network. It gets my vote any way. Looking forward to seeing you there. Zoe x
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