Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge – January Round-up

Wardrobe Challenge 2015 - January

Wow, this month passed so quickly, I feel like I was just recovering after the Christmas holidays and now it’s end of January already. I’ve been writing this post in various guises ever since I signed up for the Colleterie Wardrobe Architect challenge, but somehow, I just never ended up polishing it enough to publish it. So, the end of the month, and the fact that Kristen already posted her outcomes, really shifted my behind into gear. So here goes…

Retail fast update: Success!!!

At the beginning of the year, my NY resolution was not to buy any more clothes for the entire 2015, and instead make my own. I’m allowing myself a few dispensations: I can buy tights, bras if things get dramatically different, and one pair of shoes a season, as I know I will need a new pair of boots if it starts snowing and a new pair of flats in spring. I will try to buy as much as possible from sustainable brands or from retailers that are ok in the ethical fashion books.

So, the update for this month:  I have managed to buy no clothes at all in January, with the only exception of two bras. I know it’s a big thing in the sewing bloggers community to make your own, but I’m just not in that head space just yet. So whilst amazed at the number of Watsons you guys have been churning, sorry, just not there yet and had to invest in a pair of them. But probably last one this year, as I feel I am now fully covered :).

So, how did it feel on the psychological level? Damn good!! No January sale ‘I must buy, it’s cheap’ compulsion, followed by the guilt trip when I can’t literally fit the new stuff in my wardrobe. And it felt so good to get back the mental energy of browsing through shops. Now I know what it feels like to just say no! 1/12th of the year cleared with almost flying colours.

Me make production line: not so good!

January has been touch on time, and it felt like I’ve spent at least half of it writing, posting and on social media. Also, my fiance has gone back to Uni for a second masters (he’s the clever on in this relationship, obvs!) and he’s been doing a lot of studying on my cutting table. And since it’s for a good cause, I couldn’t oust him for ‘just’ my sewing. Plus, everybody seems to have more time after the holidays and I have been spending quite a lot of time with my real life friends. This sounds a lot like an apology, but believe you me, I have really been suffering to be out of the sewing room.

So the tally so far: a skirt, which I still need to photograph, a fur jacket which I hope to finish today so it counts for January, a fur scarf and a fur snood (faux, of course), gifts for my friends with birthdays this month. On the plus side, the skirt is lovely and will fit perfectly with my new wardrobe plans (see below). On the jacket I can’t comment, not ready yet, but it was a learning curve, even if it doesn’t work out too well.

And last, the hard part…

Wardrobe Architect Challenge Exercises

In January, we were meant to complete the first four exercises of the Challenge. This is what I have been working on for the past few weeks, so I’ll try to distill my thoughts, otherwise, it’s going to be a very long post :).


I think I am already very definite about what I like, about what my style is – minimalistic chic, quirky elegant, block colours, mixing textures and fabric types. I know what suits me, both in terms of colours and of silhouettes. I’m a pear shape, so I try not to wear too short skirts and low waited trousers. And I am even more sure about what I don’t like (animal prints, shabby chic, boho). So after completing the exercises, I realised that I actually only needed to put my thoughts together and find those patterns that will help me develop the hand-made wardrobe of my dreams.

This is a capture of the Pinterest board where I pinned a few inspirational outfits. Oddly enough, not a lot of vintage, as I realised that although I love the style to bits (over 300 pins on my vintage patterns board), I don’t think it suits my life style and the few vintage pieces I made almost never get worn.


So, in a few words, what I want my style to be (in no particular order):

1. Organised, like there was a thought behind what I’m wearing

2. Coordinated, in style, colour, accessories, make-up

3. Grown-up, as in not looking like a teenager, or worse, like a little girl

4. Different, as in ‘no one else is wearing what I’m wearing’

5. Comfortable, as in effortlessly stylish, yet not in danger of a wardrobe malfunction.


In terms of silhouettes, I’m a pear shape (larger bottom and thighs), but have quite a defined waist and fairly long legs. So I want to accentuate my waist, give an impression of even longer legs and cover the larger parts. I’m looking for anything that makes me look slim, tall, willowy. Conversely, I like the shift dress silhouette, that minimise the bottom heavy shape. I am really liking the cocoon coats and jackets at the moment too.



Ever since I started my life on Pinterest, I have been collecting patterns in various categories, lovely design that I would love to make one day. So I think the greatest challenge would be to choose the right things. I also want to use as much of my stash fabric as possible before buying new one, so it will be a game of mx and match towards the ideal projects to fill my new wardrobe.


In terms of priorities, I feel that what I really want to develop my skills towards making trousers (with flies), non-structured and structured jackets and non-structured and structured coats. Of course, there will be loads on quick and easy essentials and dresses, and I’m always one to get something in my head that I ‘just have to make’ for a particular occasion.


And then there is this little side project: THE WEDDING!! You will of course hear all about it in due course, but here’s a sneak preview on what it could be. Since it turns out it’s going to be a beachy sort of wedding, we’re probably in short skirt territory, but the party is going to be in London in November, so might want to look for a cold weather alternative too. Will keep y’all posted!

weddingSo thank you for following my progress and looking forward to catch up again on this theme at the end of the February.

Happy planning!


  1. Defining a style… I pretty much know my style but struggle to find quite a few items in shops. Dresses/skirts I can find (depending on what fashion dictates to be call) or make but trousers… I too need to find the confidence to try to make them. I am also drawn to high waisted, and I particularly like ones with side zips or buttoned sailor closure – button holes are however not my forte!

    My biggest challenge this year is working out colours. For two decades I’ve know exactly what they were: black, browns & autumnal colours to compliment my colourings. I’m losing the battle against the whites/greys and have decided to stop dyeing – every 10 days mean too many toxic chemicals for my liking! Until my natural colour grows through in all its white/salt & pepper glory, I won’t really know which of those autumnal colours will still flatter me… As each garment I make or buy is an investment, it is going to be a year of exploring in a very managed way.

    Good luck with your challenge! I’m interested to see how you get on.


    1. Meg, I must say I’m so impressed with the no dyeing part!! I have the same problem, but just can’t pluck the courage to go dye cold turkey.

      As to clothes, I feel that I can be more adventurous while making my own clothes, as I have quite a large stash of relatively cheap fabric that I won’t feel sorry if I make mistakes with. If you already sew, I would suggest the same, just try things out and see how you feel about them, then invest in retail clothes.

      The only ‘can’t mess up’ item on the list is the wedding dress, no pressure! Luckily, I have a pretty clear idea of what I want, and it’s simple, so hopefully very little room to mess it up. Famous last words or what :))?

      Thanks for your comment, I find your blog so inspiring, even if I haven’t got the courage to go all out :).


      1. I haven’t finished mine yet…almost done but just have to put the finishing touches on it. I’m late! Oops lol
        I’m so glad I could help motivate you 🙂
        I have been enjoying reading about what you have done for the challenge!


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