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Introducing The Wardrobe Architect: Crafting a small wardrobe that reflects who you are


The Wardrobe Architect is a popular series that ran in early 2014. You can read all the posts here.

You and I are builders. We love to construct things and to use our hands. We enjoy the focus and the flow of creation. And most of all, we like the sense of accomplishment we feel when our sewing projects are finished.

But one thing I’ve learned from many aspects of my life is that design is just as important as implementation.

I use the term “design” loosely. Really what I mean is planning. Whether you are building a complex piece of software over several years or tiling your bathroom floor, the more time you spend thinking about how you want to do it, the better the result and the less time wasted in the end.

But lately, I’ve been feeling that my wardrobe – the thing I spend so much time building for the sheer fun of it – is created a bit haphazardly. Yes, I definitely think about what my style is, whether I need something, and whether I’ll wear it. I know generally what colors I like and what shapes suit me.

But just as often, I sew something just because I like it or the fabric is pretty. And that’s fine. But when the majority of what you’re sewing (or buying) isn’t really planned in the context of a wardrobe, you do end up with a few problems.

Do these sound familiar?

  • You acquire things you don’t use.
  • You feel regret over purchases, whether it’s fabric you’ll never use or a blouse bought because it was on clearance.
  • You tend to buy quantity over quality more than you’d like.
  • You buy things that are “close enough.”
  • You don’t have a chance to think very deeply about your purchases, like the environmental or ethical impact.
  • When buying fabric, you go for the bright and shiny instead of the fabrics you really like to wear.
  • You make clothes that don’t really fit your life well (another party dress?)
  • You have an overwhelmingly long list of sewing projects you want to make and no idea of how to prioritize them. This can actually be kind of stressful for me.
  • You feel like your wardrobe is all over the place.
  • You don’t know how to put outfits together from what you have, so you keep acquiring more instead.

That’s a big pile of issues. Do any of these ring true for you? I know they do for me, some more than others.

Architecting a wardrobe

I propose that you join me on an experimental project this year.

Let’s go from being builders to being architects as well. Let’s think about form and function, the deeper implications of our choices, how clothing reflects each of our identities, and how we can sew more and buy less.

This year, let’s work to build wardrobes that reflect each of us, and let’s do it together! It’ll be fun.

I am not going to pretend to be some sort of fashion guru, and I’m not going to prescribe you buy or make anything in particular. I want this to be a project of discovery that we embark upon together. I want there to be discussion and feedback on what works and what doesn’t, because it’s going to vary from person to person.
But there will be a structure and a creative process, and hopefully one that’s enlightening for each of us.

How it will work

Each week, I’ll post on a topic related to wardrobe planning. These posts will build on each other, hopefully creating a process we can work through together to refine our choices, understand our own tastes better, and create wardrobes that we love.

At the end of each post, I’ll conclude with either a topic for discussion, or a creative exercise we can do together. Again, I want this to be a group project so we can learn from each other.

We’ll start with several posts on defining our own styles, and how it relates to who we are. We’ll then get into more pragmatic techniques, like creating uniforms and planning capsule wardrobes. Last, we’ll talk about editing and culling.

This isn’t about minimalism. But it is about personalizing your sewing even more than you already are and thinking about your aesthetics a bit more deeply.

Next week, I’ll start by talking a bit about defining a personal style, and we’re even putting together a little worksheet/questionnaire to get the gears turning.

The posts (so far)

You can also use the hashtag #WardrobeArchitect on twitter, pinterest, or instagram for anything you post related to the series. I can’t wait to get started!

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



January 9, 2014 #

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. My “things to sew” box is overwhelming, I can never decide what to sew next, and a lot of times I’m so sick of a project half way through I just half-ass finish it because I want it to be done. Not to mention all the lovely dresses I’ve made that I dont wear very often because they are very occasion-specific.

This will be a great year for this!

Sara M.

January 9, 2014 #

I could not love this idea any more. And a very eloquent discussion of what I know is a problem for many of us, sewists and non-sewists alike. I’m anticipating a major closet purge and very excited to join in!


January 9, 2014 #

Love this idea desperately – I’m so tired of looking at a wardrobe full of clothes and having ‘nothing to wear’. It’s just depressing, buying garments I think I love, and then realising that they don’t really fit ME at all.

I can’t wait.


January 9, 2014 #

This couldnt come in a better time! it`s about time I take controll over my closet!
I`m in!


January 9, 2014 #

perfect timing for a wonderful idea.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, also after receiving your extraordinary book for Christmas (you are such an inspiration for me!).
Everytime I open my wardrobe (like this morning) what I see is a mess. Plus, half of it has not been worn in the past 4 months…and it happens all the times.
I will follow this beautiful project every week and see if I can do it as well.
Thank you for this amazing idea!


January 10, 2014 #

I’m definitely in need of filling those wardrobe ‘holes’. Funnily enough, I usually sew for my kids with a wardrobe in mind, keeping a color scheme and such in mind so that most things can be worn together, and when I shop for them I try to buy things that fit into that plan, too. I need to do this for myself, although so many of the things I want to make are dresses that won’t work for me right now, as I’m currently nursing a baby. The prioritizing thing is stressful for me, as well.


January 10, 2014 #

This is really timely for me as I recently came up with a plan for building my happy wardrobe and the first step is defining my personal style. Sounds like the posts you are working on could be really helpful. Looking forward to it!


January 10, 2014 #

This is fantastic! Exactly what I need, as I have a wardrobe full of clothes that don’t go with anything else, so I end up wearing the same few things over and over.


January 10, 2014 #

I really want to spend as little time as possible thinking about clothing – it’s so easy to get sucked into the obsession and there are so many better things to use your brain/time on. But at the same time I can see that putting a bit of work into planning a wardrobe properly might actually lead to having to think less about my clothing day-to-day. And I’ve been trying to focus on making things I will get lots of use from. So yes, very interested in this project!


January 10, 2014 #

I think it depends on the way you’re thinking about clothing. If you’re thinking about it creatively and deeply, I do think it’s a worthy subject.

If you’re obsessing about looking perfect or shopping, yes… I’d like to minimize that too!


January 10, 2014 #

This sounds amazing – just what I need. I am quite new to sewing clothes, still learning, particularly how to fit which is why I started sewing ( I am petite and struggle to find clothes I like that fit me well). Although I am enjoying making my own clothes, I get overwhelmed by the choice of patterns and fabrics and find I have no idea what will suit me. Since I have limited sewing time I would love advice on making the right choices! I can’t wait to get started!


January 10, 2014 #

Into Mind blog has some useful posts about this subject, also I would love to see a discussion about what to do with stashed fabric and patterns that don’t fit the ‘new’ wardrobe plan. Do you sell, donate, swap, throw away or use them anyway because of the money invested?


January 10, 2014 #

I love her blog! I’ve been incorporating many of her techniques myself, they’re very practical.

Teresa Day

January 10, 2014 #

Brilliant idea! – look forward to it – so many of your points apply to my wardrobe!

Sarah Lambert

January 10, 2014 #

Looking forward to taking part in this!


January 10, 2014 #

A very timely post for many people it seems. I look forward to following this project and hope I can take some pearls of wisdom from it for myself. Thanks!


January 10, 2014 #

This is just what I need! I can’t wait to get started!


January 10, 2014 #

This is so timely. I have been thinking about how to create a capsule wardrobe for work over the past few weeks and this will be sure to help. Looking forward to joining in.


January 10, 2014 #

What a great idea. Now that I am an empty neater I would really like to fine tune my skills and go beyond home Dec! Fitting has always been a problem for me so I am really interested in learning these skills and defining my style. Thank you.


January 10, 2014 #

I am so excited to see this! I had decided at the end of 2013 that I wanted my 2014 sewing goal to be about sewing with a plan! I can’t wait to follow these postings as I work toward my goal!


January 10, 2014 #

What a great idea! This is definitely something I want to do for my wardrobe. You have all my attention.


January 10, 2014 #

I set this goal to myself already in year 2013 but did not manage. So I am so in to this! Thank you for encouragement. Since I run my own kids clothing line, I have not sew for myself much and my own style step aside.

Heather L

January 10, 2014 #

So exciting!


January 10, 2014 #

oh my yes… I am in the process of “finding myself”. Since May of 2014, I began a weight loss program. I am 1/2 way to my goal. I am completely confused as to where to begin , what might look nice on me and be comfortable. I take care of my Mom who has Alzheimer’s and also our little grandson who just turned a year old. I should mention that I have dropped 90 pounds and I have 2 0utfits that I alternate in my old size 5x. I drool over your blog posts and remember when my life was different. I don’t leave Mom alone , other than to walk around the back yard for exercise but I want to change that :*) I haven’t been out of the house since July 2013. Thank you so much for doing this … I can’t wait…sign me up !!! :)

Jeri Sullivan

January 10, 2014 #

Definitely in! I feel like I spend so much time buying “shiny” fabric that I never get anything accomplished. I only end up with lots of stash and guilt :)


January 10, 2014 #

This is such a great idea. I can’t wait to dive in!

Marie Lussier

January 10, 2014 #

Yes, I would like to participate. This is a great idea and looking forward to it.


January 10, 2014 #

I’m definitely in. For each of the past few seasons, I’ve tried to come up with a big plan of what I want to make, thinking about things that complement each other, so I don’t make a bunch of orphans, or things within a defined color palette. I keep failing, because the project is just so enormous. And almost paradoxically, I keep starting with too small a view, just looking at one season, instead of thinking about big picture What Do I Like to Wear questions. No wonder I struggle to answer that for a specific season, when I don’t have a handle on the bigger picture. It’s like trying to write an argumentative paper without an outline. And also, it’s no wonder that I look at my fabric stash and can’t find anything to make, even though it’s huge — I’m not a disciplined buyer of fabric, and I too often find myself wondering exactly what I was thinking when I bought it.

There’s some stuff in the Colette Sewing Handbook that really got me thinking about personal style, and between that and the Colette mini-wardrobe palette challenges, I blame all this on Colette — so I’m super excited to jump on board and really do this thing.

This weekend, I’m going through my closet and giving myself license to be harsh. Anything I haven’t worn in the past year, anything that doesn’t fit right, anything that doesn’t make me feel great when I wear it — gone. No guilt!


January 10, 2014 #

This definitely sounds like a good idea to me! I always feel like I have plenty of clothes but that nothing goes together or I never have the right thing to wear for a certain occasion. I’m looking forward to seeing more posts about this!


January 10, 2014 #

What timing! I’ve been thinking about doing some kind of really thorough wardrobe review this year, but I’ve been apprehensive about exactly how I would go about doing this in a way that left me with a solid wardrobe appropriate for my lifestyle and job, rather than just doing the standard “purge what you haven’t worn in a year.” Not to say that isn’t valuable, but I need to go deeper than that.


January 10, 2014 #

love love love love love this. I like fun prints and such, but most of the time (and I know you already know this about me) I just want to wear solid or small prints in navy, black, gray, or stripes. I’m ready to make a plan this year and rebuild my wardrobe in a more minimal and streamlined way! yay Sarai!


January 10, 2014 #

I am already doing this, but I do hope you will let me play along anyway lol.

I had 2 babies (they are 2 and 4 now) and I JUUUUST managed to get the weight off. I am living in t shirts and yoga pants, I have absolutely nothing else. I plan to start my massive sewing in April, but I made a list of patterns (focusing on casual sundresses in spring, seperates in summer and fall, and party dresses in winter) and a color scheme (I am collecting the perfect fabrics for each piece right now)

Sewing starts on my birthday (April) but in the meantime I am also knitting things like shawls and cardi’s to coordinate with my wardrobe. I have no jewelry (never cared for it before kids, but I care now) and no shoes (my size changed after baby #2) so I am kinda starting from NOTHING. This was a very sad realization at first, but it is so exciting for me. Now I get to make sure everything is what I always wanted.


January 10, 2014 #

Ideas around creating a wardrobe that fits my life and my body have been bouncing around my head for some time now. Thank you for encapsulating my scattered thoughts into such a coherent project. Count me in!


January 10, 2014 #

Reading through your bullet point list made me realize that I am not alone in this, and someone actually could define exactly the areas that need to be addressed and corrected. Reading the comments highlighted how deeply in trouble I am. I think I made every single mistake and guilty of it all. I have enormous fabric stash – in colors and textures that sometimes I can’t honestly say I see myself wearing, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. There are a few unfinished items in my closet that will never be finished because I do not know what possessed me to even start making those in the first place. I have stacks of patterns from the big 4, indies and Burdastyle magazine collection that goes back into the 90’s. I have no room in my closet(ssss), and yes, clearance racks and impulsive buying are on the list of my style sins. Somewhere between working with no vacation for years, being a single mom and trying to make it in this world I tried to fix “I have nothing to wear” issue with buying more. And more. Without taking a moment to stop and think. And if some of you think that it is irresponsible and not very smart (more like not smart at all), I will wholeheartedly agree with you now. over the last year something happened that changed my whole take on things. Some of the world events pointed out the things that were obvious to some; but which I, like many people around me who believe that shopping helps move the economy, did not stop long enough to think about. My daughter, who started high school last year, asked me why I never dress to compliment my figure. And really, why? It is hard to find a good fit if you are not a standard shape and don’t have all the time in the world and unlimited resources. Actually, in my case, it is more like no time at all and very limited resources, but I do have a figure that can be complimented so I decided to remember that sewing was once my dearly loved and treasured hobby. That is how I ended up with fabric, patterns and a few UFOs. I think I just took the old habit of impulsive clothes buying and targeted fabric shops. HELP! It couldn’t be more needed and more timely. Although I just made myself sound like a real shallow-minded jerk, I really am not that bad. And I do want to get it right before I get frustrated with myself and my newly regained sewing skills.


January 10, 2014 #

YES! I need a little hand holding and help in building a workable, functional wardrobe! I’m in!


January 10, 2014 #

This sounds so interesting ! I will love to read and think along.

Carol Tyrka

January 10, 2014 #

yes, yes, yes. I am retired and find myself wearing the same sweatshirts every day. I need inspiration.


January 10, 2014 #

I’m in a holding pattern while I wait for your sewing handbook to arrive from a local bookshop, but in the meantime I’ve been considering what I wear and how to resist cheap buys of pretty fabric. I love the idea of better planning for what I make (and buy).
As a beginner sewist, I’m also really glad to hear I’m not alone in making stuff that I later realise isn’t something I would normally wear… It’s one of the reasons I’m practising sewing with knits because I know I love the ease of wearing them.

gabriel ratchet

January 10, 2014 #

i’m in.


January 10, 2014 #

This sounds so great! And real useful. It was funny to open up my blog feed this morning and see this and By Gum, By Golly talking about really working on wardrobes this year. It’s something I need to work on, I just wear the same thing everyday, but I really want to branch out more.


January 10, 2014 #

Count me in! Perfect timing – this is one of my primary goals for 2014 – I’m so looking forward to this!


January 10, 2014 #

Love this idea! I feel like I wear 10% of my clothes 90% of the time. Sewing projects I was super excited about at the time of sewing now almost never get worn, because they either match nothing or just don’t quite work with my life (or both). And the things that I find myself repeatedly wanting to wear don’t exist yet–I’ve been meaning to make and meaning to make and I still haven’t made anything. Looking forward to following along with the project and hopefully “correcting” my wardrobe a bit.

Fiona n

January 10, 2014 #

This is brilliant Sarai, I’ve been thinking exactly along these lines as I travel through japan with a small suitcase for three weeks. What is the optimum wardrobe? Enough choice to keep it interesting but only pieces I LOVE and make me feel good and stylish. The timing is perfect, I’ll be following your posts eagerly. Thanks!


January 11, 2014 #

This post has become the catalyst for me to ACTUALLY think about my wardrobe. I’ve seen so many blog posts in the last few days about planning your wardrobe, and I’ve resisted it. But the Universe obviously wants me to do this! So I’m in!

I’m very much looking forward to a clearer sense of what I’m wearing, and I’m glad that I’ll be doing this in good company.


January 11, 2014 #

Oh when did you peek into my mind palace? EVERY one of the list above resonates loudly with me. I look forward to this.


January 11, 2014 #

Thanks for this. I finally have realized that I tend to be an aspirational sewist. I pick patterns/styles because I admire the look on someone else without really stopping to think about what suits the me that is. Plus, I have many jackets and tops that I am holding on to as they were my mother’s and although intellectually I wish these would be in the wardrobes of women who would wear them, I am just not ready to let go of these few remaining material pieces of her. They fit my body but not quite me. So some great guidance about how to think about building a wardrobe would be very useful. Thanks so much!


January 11, 2014 #

I’m really excited about this, thank you, Sarai, for such a great idea!!


January 11, 2014 #

Count me in – sounds great!


January 11, 2014 #

This is amazing! I’ve been dealing with the same dilemmas recently! Looking forward to taking part!


January 12, 2014 #

I’m most definitely in! I’m taking part in the ready to wear fast this year so I really need to think about what I need in my wardrobe rather than just what I fancy making


January 12, 2014 #

This is a great idea! I wish I could have told the me who started sewing as a seventh grader this stuff–maybe I wouldn’t have made the yellow-as-a-rubber-duck tent shirt when I really didn’t like wearing bright colors! And I know I still do that sometimes, though I’m trying to be more intentional in my sewing and knitting choices. This will be a great way to inspire some intentional creation in us all. :)


January 12, 2014 #

I’m so in!!!!This will definitely give me some food for thought and help me make a successful SWAP I was having such a hard time putting together.


January 12, 2014 #

I have only visited a few times in the past, but I would also like to take part in the wardrobe architect. You just put so many things I have been pondering much more succinctly. I think it’s the perfect way to start the new sartorial year.


January 12, 2014 #

Looking forward to this! Perfect way to start the new year –


January 13, 2014 #

Very very good idea ! I will follow you !


January 13, 2014 #

Great! This is exactly where my head has been at lately and soon i’ll actually have some free time to get involved.

On of the most handy things i’ve done lately is to get my partner to take photos (directly straight on) of me from the front, back and sides so I really had a good idea of what my body shape REALLY is. And then I started researching what items of clothing better flatter my body shape. Now when i go to a charity shop, flea market or plan clothing to sew myself, I’m more easily able to decide if something suits me, if I will really wear it, and if it works with other items in my closet.
Lately I’ve also become slightly obsessed with what some people are calling a ‘capsule wardrobe’. To me its a very utilitarian wardrobe, with minimal item, but lots of styling options.
I’m looking forward to hearing how other approach this.
x isis

sally dennett

January 13, 2014 #

have just read the wardrobe architect . . . describes exactly how i feel about my wardrobe and how it makes me feel about myself. Namely, a bit shoddy and confused! I dont have a lot of spare funds for clothes so tend to buy often from charity shops. This leaves me with a lot of nice enough garments but they dont really come together well as an outfit. I am so looking forward to following these posts. I’m oiling up my sewing machine as I speak!!!


January 13, 2014 #

Fantastic idea – count me in!!


January 13, 2014 #

Eeek sorry, please delete previous comment, I’ve just read the guidelines, so sorry!

Perfect timing for so many, me too! So glad I found this via Pinterest. I want to get back to sewing for myself this year, but with that sewing for me time being very sparse, I need to plan somewhat to get a wardrobe that actually suits my lifestyle rather than just be a series of lovely dresses that are great for summer, but what do I wear the rest of the year!


January 13, 2014 #

No problem Shell, and welcome!


January 14, 2014 #

Count me in. I need this!!! I lost some weight and now don’t know how to wear my clothes. I have figured out how to wear some of them, but others…not so much. I need some new items for sure. I just have to wear things different and some things have to go. I have to realize they don’t work anymore. Hopefully this will work for me :) I’m so scared to give anything up because I have gone up and down with the weight thing for so long, but I think I have really done it this time so I just need to let go :) After gaining weight with the kids it took a while to actually lose that weight, but I actually finally did it and I am keeping it off now. Determined to do so too. Now its time to get my wardrobe in order because its overflowing and ridicuous. Too much and too much that does not fit and does not work for me. I am hoping this will work for me.


January 14, 2014 #

I’m in!


January 14, 2014 #

I love this idea, my closet is packed full of clothes and I have nothing to wear. I’ve donated some but not enough. I’ve been sewing for a little over a year and love it! My sewing list is
l-o-n- g and I think that thinking about and building a wardrobe is exactly what I need. I have committed to stashbusting (no more buying fabric because it’s beautiful and on sale!) and no more patterns either. I too have made clothes and they sit in my closet unworn because they do not fit my lifestyle. So looking forward to this!!


January 14, 2014 #

On my “to do” list for today order wardrobe planning book! I’m in.


January 14, 2014 #

I need this. Well out of my 20s and still don’t really know how to dress. I’m limited in that I need access for nursing, so at least I’ve got a starting point right now.

Jayne Miller

January 14, 2014 #

A year ago I started an American Guild Sewing Neighborhood Challenge in our chapter with this same idea in mind. Was a Hugh success, but we limited ourselves to 5 pieces with one being a accessory item. So I can go a couple of days looking Marvelous, but watch out the rest of the week. I am WAY excited to follow. What’s next? I guess I can’t read ahead!


January 14, 2014 #

This is a great idea; an area I really need help in!


January 14, 2014 #

love this theme! looking forward to future posts/information.
I would also like information/direction in regard to:
wardrobe building as in….how many white dress shirts should I have?
how many casual jeans/ dress pants/ skirts/tops/ jackets?

I am sure you get the idea.

thanks so much.

Debbie H.

January 14, 2014 #

I am a “computer” beginner. I do not have a twitter or web site… do I join your blog? Please send simple directions!! thanks

Heather Michele

January 14, 2014 #

This is just what i need. Can’t wait to get started! :)


January 14, 2014 #

Can’t I share how timely this is? At this time, my wardrobe consists of only 5 pieces…10 long sleeve t’s and three pair of jeans. One of these items is handmade by me…finished this past Saturday. Everything else, what I have picked up for very little, but knowing deep inside that it is just not me :0( Yes, I am certainly in! mari


January 14, 2014 #

Yes, please.


January 15, 2014 #

Oh Thank You! I needed someone to help me figure out just how to go about putting this dream wardrobe of mine. I love vintage styling but haven’t been able to figure out just how to incorporate the pieces I like into my everyday wear. I’ve been wearing the worst stuff since my kids were born and I have a closet full of clothes — all of which I hate. The pieces I do love are too small but I love them.
I like the idea of a daily “uniform” but what I love seems to dressy for my life. I love dresses and skirts, especially with feminine details and I love heels! The reality is I’m a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to three boys. The occasions that I’m out of the house are usually with other women or shopping.
I want to look nice for my family and because I enjoy wearing pretty clothes. My sweet husband has made a new habit of taking me dancing on the weekends – so there will be more reasons to wear dresses out now.
Living here in Portland I see so many women wearing atypical fashions that I’m starting to think I should stop caring whether anybody finds what I wear unusual. I want to look like an MGM musical come to life! Now that I think about it – I’m home most of the time – why should I worry about how practical what I where is? No one but the boys and I will usually see me!


January 15, 2014 #

Your in Portland too so I don’t think you have too much to worry about :)


January 15, 2014 #

I am so in! Can’t wait to get started.


January 15, 2014 #

What a great idea!
Looking forward where this project will lead me!

Sandy Reed

January 15, 2014 #

Very good idea. Would like to join.


January 16, 2014 #

For the past year I have been streamlining most things in my house and decluttering… the only places to escape have been my closet and sewing space. This year I decided not to buy anymore fabric than I already have. Thankfully my stash is full of fabric I love (I lived in NZ and now Australia so I know the Fabric Store/Global Fabrics very well). So 2014 was to be the year of focused planning and sewing … but I think for the first 6 months I am going to really investigate the planning and hold back on clothes sewing. So well timed, can’t wait to jump in :)

Brigette Hill

January 16, 2014 #

I’m excited to be be a part of this! I am just starting to sew clothes, but this right here is the reason why I want to try. To make clothes that I really want. As a stay at home mom that doesn’t want to wear yoga pants all the time, I struggle with what is my “uniform”. I’m excited to try to figure that out more here.


January 16, 2014 #

Great timing! I am in my mid fifties and have been trying to come up with a wardrobe that us comfortable, but stylish . So far, I have ideas but now have to figure out how to get them from my head to my fingers.

Count me in!


January 16, 2014 #

Often I draw on one page a map of all my clothes in the season, trying to figure out what the “holes” are, so that I can find/buy/make something that works. Not having been a dedicated sewer for many years, I admit the LURE of a thoughtfully planned wardrobe. Looking forward to this!


January 17, 2014 #

I love black and red, I love my Dr Martens, I love red lipstick and short hair.
These things haven’t changed in more than 20 years. I’m not skinny anymore nor a teenager so I won’t dye my hair pink or blue because I wouldn’t feel comfortable. But there are certain things which describe who I am and make me feel like a million bucks.
So I decided years ago that I don’t care if someone think I should wear heels or more colorful outfits (which I do but layered with black basics) or let my hair grow longer. I tried for so long. Then I had a baby girl and my whole world turned upside down. I remember walking with her, she was a few weeks old, I caught a glimpse of myself in a window and I couldn’t believe that THAT was me: a shapeless t shirt which I didn’t even like but just fit, my long hair tied up in an unflattering ponytail. I was new in town so I didn’t know a good hairdresser but I decided to try to go to a girl with a 50’s themed shop, I did the right thing. Now we are close friends, after almost 5 years, by the way and she still cuts my hair in gorgeous styles :)
After that I gave away all those clothes which fit but I didn’t like but I wasn’t really happy about what the market had to offer. Cheap polyester and ugly prints? No thanks.
Two years ago I decided to give a chance to the sewing machine living under my bed and in the last year I started making nice garments for me. In the beginning I was a pattern and fabric enthusiast and I would buy everything before realizing that I would never wear that dress anywhere or that some colors are nice on everybody but me.
Interestingly since the beginning of the new year I’ve been sewing my capsule wardrobe so I can’t wait to read more and get more ideas!


January 19, 2014 #

I am so (sew) in! 2014 I set a goal to sew more… and build a work wardrobe, since I am re-entering the work force after being a stay-home-mom for 17 years. I want it to be thoughtful.. and have it reflect me! I love your goal.. and I love that you invited others to join in the journey! So nice to meet you!


January 20, 2014 #

Building a practical wqrdrobe is something I’ve been struggling to do for a while (make clothes I’ll actually wear and that co-ordinate) and is a main theme of my blog. It’s good to know others think along the same lines – I’ll definitely be joining in and seeing what I can learn for myself and from others! Unfortunately I’m not on Twitter but it will all be on my blog.

Elizabeth Koz.

January 25, 2014 #

I am so excited to bring some focus to the clothes I sew and build a personal style at the same time. Thanks for such great project!

A Bouquet of Buttons

January 26, 2014 #

what a great idea! I’m very in!


January 28, 2014 #

I am new to this site… kind of stumbled upon it… believe someone has been peeking in my closet.. I would love to join this!! Is there an actual place to sign up?

Cynthia Adkins

January 28, 2014 #

What a wonderful idea! It really fits with my goals for 2014. Not only do I want to sew more this year, but sew more wisely, creating a cohesive wardrobe that works rather than a mishmash of projects that caught my eye. I also want to incorporate my knitting into this wardrobe,for the same reasons . Thank you, I’m looking forward to this project. :)


January 29, 2014 #

So many of those things apply to me too! In fact, one of my goals for this year is to sew *less* for myself but with more purpose. So thank you for this thoughtful and relevant series.


February 4, 2014 #

Great idea! Over the past two years I’ve been trying to make clothes that fit both my lifestyle and personality, but somehow the result was never what I expected. It always seemed like I’m almost there where I wanted with my sewing…but this “almost” part is what annoys me the most. On the top of that, this year I need to be very careful with my finances and make thoughtful choices when it comes to buying fabric and clothes.
This project is exactly what I needed :)

Sethlina Amakye

February 5, 2014 #

I need this in my life!! Thank you!


February 13, 2014 #

Where I live totally influences the way I dress. I live in the central Valley of California. Everything here is CASUAL. Even in the nicest restaurants (and we have a lot of great restaurants) you will see people in jeans and other casual clothing. I tend to dress more casually because of this. Also, the weather here is VERY hot in the summer, but freezing in the air conditioning. Therefore, my style in summer is mostly dresses with sweaters or jackets that are needed indoors, but taken off immediately outdoors. Being a teacher of elementary school, I need to be comfortable. I love to dress nicely, but have terrible feet, so always have to plan what I wear around my shoes!


February 13, 2014 #

Yes please, this sounds just what I need to be thinking about (and have been for some time). Perhaps this will help get me to the next step in the process – committing to decisions so that I will get something SEWN!


February 19, 2014 #

This! This is one of my favorite things to do…. planning!
But I still don´t get the right plan about my wardrobe…. will do this!


February 25, 2014 #

Thank you so much for this. I cannot wait to start, but I want to start slowly and thoughtfully. This is one of my biggest problems, on one hand I love making things and planning crafting projects, on the other hand I am overwhelmed with things I do not use and need. I am really looking forward to what this project will bring to my life!

Valerie Illuminati

March 3, 2014 #

I’m going to blogging throughout my whole experience revamping my wardrobe with your posts at! Here’s my comment on how my personal history influences my style…

My mother dressed me almost up until junior high school. She liked cute, frilly clothes and dresses, and liked to do my hair in tube curls with dramatic bows. That’s what I was used to, though often, when I got to school, I would untuck my shirts, unroll my socks, and try to shove my hair into a ponytail. When I reached junior high, I was more interested in the “emo” scene — probably, in a way, as a rebellion against the frilly outfits of my childhood as well as the conservative aesthetic of my family. I wore goth parachute pants, torn skinny jeans, Pokemon shirts and shirts with band names plastered across them, and neon, plastic barrettes with Converse Chuck Taylor hightops. I stuck to what I saw as a “rocker aesthetic” even through early college. In late college continuing through today, my style moved more towards an indie and alternative rock look, and finally became more refined to what it is now — a little more classic, a lot more simple, with a love of subtle, alternative-inspired details here and there. The little details are important to me — the quality of the buttons, a small embellishment right there, a quirky hem on a skirt. I think along with me, my taste in clothing has grown up, but I still have a love for those little dark embellishments that show a little rebellion. Black leather moto jacket with a pastel shift dress and buckled ankle booties? Bring it on.


March 16, 2014 #

Am I too late to join in? I have 2 closets of clothes and 80% of them don’t get worn. I have broad square shoulders and narrow hips and have a terrible time finding things that fit. I’m probably eons older than everyone here but I started sewing seriously 5 years ago. The only things I have made from scratch are a button front shirt and a simple lined jacket. I keep reverting back to jeans and mens t-shirts to get anything close to a fit.

How can I be a part of this?


April 12, 2014 #

I am really really new to sewing, so I think I wont be making much of the staples I am currently thinking about adding to my wardrobe, but I am excited about this series and about the prospect of having a plan!


April 15, 2014 #

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and
the rest of the site is extremely good.


April 23, 2014 #

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