My Wardrobe Hero’s

The concept of a ‘Wardrobe Hero’ or Key Piece in your wardrobe is that it is something that works for you. They are the pieces in your wardrobe that you pull out over and over again. These pieces are different for everyone. I’m going to share mine with you today and maybe you will discover you have your own “Wardrobe Hero’s”.

A selection of my Wardrobe Hero’s.

Classic Cotton T-Shirt

First up is a wardrobe staple for many, a classic cotton t-shirt. My favourite style is oversized and boxy. I love this style tucked into jeans or wore loose over leggings. My go-to pattern at the moment is the Just Patterns Tyra Tee. It has a dropped shoulder and loose boxy fit. It works great in cotton jersey or in a drapey Tencel jersey. I currently have 3 in my wardrobe but am planning a few more, possibly in a light weight french terry that is sitting in my stash and a classic white cotton jersey.

Tyra Tee in Rust Organic Cotton Jersey from The Rag Shop

Vintage Style Jeans

I had longed for a classic vintage pair of Levi 501’s for a long time but no matter how many pairs I tried they never fit. Enter the Megan Nielsen Dawn jeans! I have made 2 pairs of these and have a blog post detailing both and a third pair cut and ready to sew. I love this style of jean and have wore these at least 30 times, if not more. They go with nearly everything in my wardrobe.

I originally made them with the concealed button fly but they did not sit right. The buttons pulled and left drag marks (although this never stopped me wearing them). I unpicked them a bit and put a zip in instead and they are sitting so much better now.

Blazers

I have always shouted about my love for Blazers so it is probably no surprise that they have made an appearance. I have a selection of Ready to Wear and Me Made blazers in my wardrobe and love them all. I am wearing the outfit above as I type this. I love how they pull together an outfit and I feel so confident in them. They are a handy through on in spring/summer and I wear them with jeans and a tee or dresses.

My Pink Blair blazer is one of my favourites. Made for the Lamazi fabrics blog

Timeless White Shirt

This is an item I was so happy to finally add to my me-made collection last year. A white shirt is probably something a lot of us have in our wardrobes, although they are maybe kept for the office or interviews! I have a few ready to wear white shirts but they were never ‘just right’. I purchased the Bright White Linen Viscose Crepe from Sister Mintaka with the plans to make the Paper Theory Olya shirt. It was perfect! The right amount of oversized drape and lots of interesting details.

Wear Anywhere Dresses

This one will probably be on everyone’s list. Dresses are a great addition to your wardrobe, they are easy to throw on with minimal effort and can usually work for a number of occasions.

My favourites are usually midi length and in a dark floral print. I have a selection that work casually with trainers or my biker boots or dressed up in heels.

Left to Right- Self drafted pattern, Atelier 8 Avril Victoria, Fibre Mood Maya, Trend Patterns Bias T-shirt dress, Pauline Alice Sedavi and Coeli.

All these dresses get regular wear and are firm favourites and the darker colour palette works for me all year round.

So do you have any wardrobe hero’s? I would love to know! Send me a message on Instagram and let me know!

Sharlene xx

2021 Sewing Plans

I mentioned in my 2020 round up that something wonderful has happened… I have a complete me made wardrobe! This is largely due to the fact that I have left work in retail and we spent the majority of 2020 indoors. But none the less, this has freed up my imagination to plan all the special makes, the big ones, that I have been putting off in favour of the quick and easy ones.

So for 2021 that is my plan, to slow down and work on the things that will truly bring me joy and build on my skills. I have toyed with the idea of of doing a ‘Make Nine’ again but I don’t think this will suit my plans. Instead I have a few areas that I want to focus on, along with adding to the basics I already have.

Tailoring

This is a big one for me and something I have always been interested in. I have already shared my plans that will focus on couture sewing techniques. This will be the ultimate ‘slow sew’ and will push skills.

Cream Dior Bar Jacket

I am starting with a classic cream Dior Bar Jacket. I have everything I will need for this project, I just need to start working on the pattern. I will put a slightly more modern spin on the style, and will probably make a black version after this.

Alexander McQueen Tailoring

I am also obsessing over the tailoring at Alexander McQueen this season. The are never short on interesting details and this is something I would like to explore too.

Trousers

I feel like this is a never ending story, but this year I will find the perfect trousers for me. I love wearing trousers but the reality of finding some that are comfortable is a different story. I have made a list of all the trouser pattern I currently have (there’s a lot) and potential fabrics in my stash that I can use. I will work through these first and then have few more patterns I would like to try.

I would like to buy the Deer & Doe Acajou trousers too, as I think these will suit the style I am after.

I have added a section to my fabric stash now with all my fabrics that are suitable for trousers. I love all the colours here and think this sums up my colour palette for the next while…

Colour Palette

Something I have noticed recently, and if you follow my Sunday Inspiration stories you will maybe have picked up on this, I am looking at more neutral and earthy tones in terms of fabrics and inspiration. These are the colours I always would have been drawn to before 2020. I think an injection of colour and print was needed last year as a way to combat what was going on in the world. I am happy that I have this colour ready to pull out when I need a pick me up or feel inspired by it. But I am ready to focus on a more neutral palette again and focus on those core wardrobe pieces.

Current colour palette

This has possibly all stemmed from my Tamarack Jacket which I completed at the end of 2020. I love the colours and fabrics I choose and could happily build an entire wardrobe around this. I fact most of my outfits recently are based around the question “Can I wear my Tamarack with it?”

I will of course still be making dresses, tops and sweaters. I will definitely need a few quick and easy makes in between all the couture sewing and trouser toiles. I will be focusing on fabrics and styles that fit in with all these plans. And I’m sure come summer I will be ready for a strong dose of colour and print again. I recently tidied up my fabric stash and put away my summer fabrics in a box to take back out closer to spring, not looking at them for a while will make it feel like I have new fabrics to play with when the time comes.

I would love to know what your plans for the year are. I have loved seeing everyone’s plans and make nines on Instagram.

Happy sewing (and planning),

Sharlene xx

Autumn Winter Plans 2020

When I began thinking about my autumn winter sewing plans I had a look back to my blog post last year and I will be honest, not a lot has changed! I still want the same garments and a lot of the same colours. Which for me is a good thing, as I know the garments I am making are going to stand the test of time and are not just a fad that I won’t wear again.

This year I am excited to get stuck into bigger projects though. I think I now have a good core collection in my wardrobe that I don’t ‘need’ to make any more, I can focus on the garments that will take more time and develop my skills.

Suits

I actually have a few suits that I started last year that I am still finishing so these will be first up on my list. I have to finish my navy spots blazer, make the cinnamon twill trousers and finish the self drafted blazer to match.

Once these are done I already have fabric lined up for 2 more. Dark green has long been my favourite colour so I definitely want a suit in this colour. I picked up the suiting fabric from Minerva during their recent VIP day so it was a bargain! I think I am going to make another Named clothing Ava blazer and Tynni cigarette trousers in this as I love my last checked version so much and they both have the fit I am looking for.

Ava and Tynni blog post

The second fabric is a grey check stretch suiting, again from Minerva but this time for a blog post. I am going for a more relaxed look with this so will use the Homer & Howells Blair blazer and the Maud trousers.

I think if I manage to finish these I will be doing very well.

Coats

Again, I have 2 fabrics already for coats. First up, another dark green. This is a dead stock wool coating from New Craft House last year and the colour is perfect! I am planning the Drop Shoulder Coat by Trend Patterns, as it has a loose casual style that I am looking for.

Drop Shoulder Coat Pattern

Next is this orange wool (basket weave?) that I picked up during Stitch Odyssey’s destash last year. I am going to make the Iconic Bomber by Worthy Design Studio. Both these styles are perfect for all my big sleeves and chunky jumpers!

Dresses and Blouses/shirts

Last year I was also focused on making dresses, as it was something I hadn’t been able to wear in a long time as I was breastfeeding Emily. I still want to add to my collection of dresses but I have picked up some beautiful blouse patterns recently that I am excited to make too. Another Pauline Alice Coeli blouse is top of my list, followed by the Paper Theory Olya.

I have some clear ideas on what I style I want to aim for with dresses too. I will definitely be trying the Trend Patterns Shirt Dress and would love to give the Brigitta Helmersson Zero Waste Gathered Dress a go too.

I will be working on some more self-drafted styles too with lots of different sleeve variations!

Colour Palettes

I have 3 colour palettes for this season, and the best part about it is I have all the fabrics already in my stash! Within each collection I have a coat/jacket, a suit, one other pair of trousers and a variety of dresses, tops and blouses. When deciding what my colour palettes will be, I pull out my box of samples and have lots of fun matching different combinations together.

Green and Pink

First up will be blush pink and dark green. These 2 colours featured in a fabric haul back in August and when I saw them together I fell in love! I have made a start on some of these pieces already and cant wait to get this collection finished!

Navy and Orange

The next collection will be navy, orange and cream. Again, these are all fabrics in my stash apart from the beige jacquard on the top left and I am happy I can pull them all together.

Rust and Khaki

The last colour palette is pretty similar to last year and a lot of what I have already made with tie in well with this. There will be lots of rusts and khaki green, with a few florals and spots thrown in too.

I have enjoyed pulling these collections together, I can see very clearly how everything will tie together to create wearable outfits, while also tying in with what I already have in my wardrobe.

What are your Autumn/winter sewing plans? I would love to know.

Happy sewing,

Sharlene xx

Spring/Summer Planning Part 2

After writing my last blog on my spring/summer plans I started doing some more research and gathered some more inspiration, and I now have a clear idea of where I want my Spring Summer sewing to take me. I finally feel inspired and excited to start planning a collection.

All images from Zara

I started of by checking out Pinterest for some more ideas and created a separate board for my ‘collection’. I also had a look at some of my favourite high street stores for some inspiration and I quickly realised what i was drawn to and what I wanted to make.

All images from & Other Stories

I have 2 colour palates in mind now, one focusing on a lot of fabrics I alreadyhave in my stash. The other colour palette is what I will be focusing on when I am buying new fabrics. I want to try to stick to these colours this year, instead of buying whatever prints that take my fancy. Hopefully if I stick to this I will have a summer wardrobe that works together easily.

Palette 1- Blue and Lilac

This palette I can mostly sew from my current stash. I have a lot of denims, navy, blue and lilac what work really well together. I might add a few more softer lavender shades to this collection, I have my eye on a few Meet Milk fabrics that will work perfectly.

I am also on the hunt for some large navy gingham after seeing everyone’s lovely creations for A Hint of Print instagram challenge. I have found a few that have caught my eye.

Palette 2- Pinks and Greens

These are the colours I am really feeling drawn to this season. Khaki is one of my favourite colours to wear, but one I sometimes avoid buying in case I end up with too much! I need to fix that this summer. I am definitely going to add one of 2 pairs of khaki trousers to my wardrobe. I am also feeling very drawn to soft minty greens at the moment. Again, Meet Milk has some beautiful shades.

I love pink paired with khaki so I am also looking out for some blush shades. I tend to avoid anything that is too ‘sugary’ pink so I am looking for more muted tones, and maybe a few deeper rose pinks. The colours in my latest Kalle shirt are perfect for this palette.

I have my eye on a few other fabrics that will fit well into this palette, I feel like the new Atelier Brunette collection was made for me!

The Garments

I am going to put a big focus on separates that work together this summer. It’s easy to make dresses and there are a few patterns I want to try out. But I need more pieces that work together, and that work with what I already have. I am going to take some time to try on what is in my wardrobe to see what styles and shapes work for me.

A summer suit is definitely on my list, probably in some form of linen or linen blend. I have bought the new Blair blazer by a new pattern company Homer & Howells. This comes in a cute short boxy length and a longer view as well, which can also be made as a shirt dress. I would love to team this with a pair of long tailored shorts. I am still working on what pattern to use as it will depend on the fabric I choose in the end.

Trousers

So far my trouser options are the Megan Nielsen Flint, Closet Case Pietra and Helens Closet Winslow Culottes. I like the front seam of the Pietra pants, but I would lengthen them to around the knee. I think the long shorts view of the Winslow’s will also be a nice option.

I know you are probably sick of me saying this, but jeans are definitely on my to make list. I am pretty close to getting a good fit with the Dawn Jeans so I am looking forward to making a final pair of them. I might make more than one pair if they go well!

Tops

A classic white shirt is definitely on my list this year, I already have a few ready to wear shirts that I love so I will be trying these on to see what style I want to go for. I would also like to try a few more wrap tops, including the By Hand London Hannah wrap top and another Papercut Patterns Sequence top.

I am feeling a lot more positive about my Spring/Summer sewing plans now. I like that I have a colour palette to focus on and a lot of outfit ideas planned.

I hope you have enjoyed these blogs and if you have been struggling with your sewing plans for this season it has maybe helped you too.

Happy sewing

Sharlene xx

Autumn Sewing Plans

I know, I know. It’s still August. But with only a few weeks left of summer I don’t have a lot of time for many more summer makes. I hopefully have just enough time to finish my summer WIP’s!

And the reality of working in retail is that we started talking about new season knitwear and coats a month ago and already the new collections arriving in store have an autumnal feel. In fact last week I spent a few hours putting last years knitwear back out!

So it is only natural my thoughts are now turning to autumn sewing plans. But what are they…

Dresses

Definitely top of my list are more dresses. As I have mentioned before I have been limited to my choice of clothing having been breastfeeding or pregnant for a very long time now. So I am excited to make all the dresses!

My inspiration for these has come from & Other Stories and The Vampires Wife. I will be using my By Hand London Eloise pattern a few more times this year (if it ain’t broke…). I am going to try out a few more patterns or maybe draft a few of my own!

As for fabric choices I am leaning towards a stiffer more structured cotton for this style so it holds its shape. I am looking forward to experimenting with more sleeve shapes. There are so many possibilities that can totally change the style of a dress.

From top left: https://ohsew.co.uk/product/teal-floral-garden/ https://www.sherwoodsfabrics.co.uk/lady-mcelroy-showering-dots-olive. https://www.sherwoodsfabrics.co.uk/lady-mcelroy-joli-fleurs. https://sistermintaka.com/product/kelmscott-garden-tana-lawn-cotton-by-liberty/

I am always excited to see darker colours appearing and I am really feeling the darker greens and teals this year. I am looking forward to getting my hands on some of these fabrics very soon.

Suits

You all know I have this thing for suits, right? This feels like the perfect season to get stuck into this trend. I have set plans for 2 already. I have fabric to make a matching pair of trousers for my tartan Jasika blazer and I am in the process of drafting the pattern for my cinnamon Twill suit. I am really excited about this one, the colour is amazing and will be perfect for autumn.

https://sistermintaka.com/product/cinnamon-kobe-twill-6-oz/

These makes will be more time consuming compared to the dresses, but the great thing about suits is that they can be so versatile. The trousers and blazer can be mixed with other pieces. I already have a very extensive collection of blazers and coats, so I know I will absolutely get the wear out of these and will be worth the extra effort.

Coats

More specifically a trench coat. I bought the Pauline Alice Serra coat pattern last year when it came out (I was on a bit of a high after making my Rumana coat). I have been dreaming of this in a waterproof fabric to make the ultimate classic trench coat that will see me through most of the year (it’s currently grey and wet outside in August so I am definitely justified in this thinking). This type of fabric has been hard to come by so far but I hope to see more making an appearance in the next month once everyone switches into autumn mode.

After that I am planning to have some fun with fabrics and prints. The Sapporo coat pattern from Papercut Patterns will be my starting point. I love the idea of a longer version of this and have also seen it made up in faux fur (insert heart eyes!).

https://papercutpatterns.com/collections/pdf-digital-print-at-home-patterns/products/sapporo-coat-pdf

These are the main sewing plans I have, the big ones. I will be adding a few more jumpers and cardigans throughout the season too. This is by far my favourite season. In my opinion there’s only so much you can do with summer sewing. Autumn/Winter involves so many more layers and options. I am looking forward to getting stuck into all of it!

What are your autumn sewing plans?

Sharlene x