Sewing a Wardrobe: Part 5 (Making a Plan)

With a clean closet, a clear direction, and a color palette in mind, it’s finally time to make some decisions and develop a plan (actually, it was “time” weeks and weeks ago, but I’ve been struggling with pictures).

I’m trying to adhere to a couple of guidelines in order to avoid over-reaching which will only lead to dismal failure (ask me how I know). First, I want to keep it simple. Right now, I’m focusing mostly on solid separates with high mix-and-matchability. I’m planning to use a lot of knits (easy fitting!) and very basic patterns for wovens. Second, I’m taking it slow. Rather than developing an overwhelming long-term plan, I’m starting with just a handful of key pieces that will help me wear what’s left in my closet with current temperatures (chilly mornings, warm afternoons). I’m thinking that once I get those oh-so-necessary solids built into my wardrobe, I can start playing with more prints.

So, here’s the plan, Phase 1:

Grainline Moss

Can be paired with:

  • Multi-print blouse
  • White/blue NL 6107
  • Aqua NL 6808
  • Floral button-up with Peter Pan collar
  • White tee
  • White Archer
  • Turquoise Archer
  • Chambray Archer

I’ve already discussed my reasoning for this skirt. This skirt is going to get sooo much wear, I’m already certain. The question: can I wear it with tights? We shall see.

McCall's 6706

Another skirt that will hardly spend any time in the closet, methinks. I had originally planned to draft a pattern, but during the last sale at Jo-Ann’s, I found this skirt pattern that fit almost all of my criteria. The only thing it’s missing is the inset pockets that I really wanted, but that’s not a huge deal. In a full skirt, I can handle inseam pockets. Wait–would inset pockets look weird with the pleats? What if I put them far enough to the sides? Maybe not–it looks like there’s a pleat pretty close to the side seams.

Can be paired with:

  • green and white floral blouse
  • white tee
  • white/fuchsia/teal/chambray Archers
  • Sorbetto (maybe?)

A-line skirt

I originally bought this fabric to make a Sassy Librarian blouse last fall. But after thinking about it, I decided against it. It wasn’t until after I’d taken Craftsy’s “Design and Sew an A-line Skirt” with Atlanta native Deborah Moebes that I got the idea to make it a skirt. I guess you could consider this one my statement piece of this bunch.

Can be paired with:

  • Red tee
  • Chambray Archer
  • Red cardi (RTW, had it for years)

Maxi Skirts

I’ve never really been on the maxi skirt bandwagon until now. Suddenly, I want them; I want them bad. I may eventually have one in All the Colors, but for now I’m starting with neutrals. I plan to modify the fold-over skirt pattern from “Sewing with Knits” to create a maxi skirt pattern. I originally bought the navy rayon knit for a Lady Skater dress, but when it arrived I decided it was too lightweight for what I wanted. Then, one crazy Friday night, I thought, “Maxi skirt!”

The gray skirt is a dream that may never come true. Here’s what happened:

A few weeks ago, I started this whole wardrobe overhaul. I already had an idea of what I wanted to make, so I had already started shopping around. On Girl Charlee’s website, I found this incredible adorable charcoal gray knit with silver pin dots. Soooo cute. I had just made my sister a skirt in the same fabric except it was cream with gold dots. Fantastic stuff for a skirt. A little lightweight, but still totally wearable. I was still trying to make up my mind about other items in my cart, so I didn’t immediately buy it. When I did finally edit my cart to be exactly what I wanted and I had pushed the purchase button, I was crushed when I received a little message that my beloved charcoal knit was no longer available. It seems that some ambitious Etsy seller snagged it all up to make infinity scarves. Which makes me a little angry.

The next day, I tried searching for other sites with the same fabric. And I did find it–for twice as much as I would have paid at Girl Charlee. Before spending more than I really wanted to pay, I wrote an email to GC’s customer service asking if they would receive any more of that fabric. The next day I got a response which said that they were probably going to get another roll and that I should keep checking the New Arrivals page on their website. Since then, I have haunted that page. I check it every day. It’s been a few weeks now and still no sign of the fabric.

Update: Since writing the above (that I don’t feel like editing), the fabric came back in stock! I have ordered it and am eager for it to arrive.

Could be paired with:

  • All the Archers
  • White tee
  • Red tee
Dirndl skirt

Yes, I know that’s not a dirndl. It was the best line drawing I could find.

This skirt is just a twinkle in my eye right now. We’ll see how it goes.

Can be paired with:

  • The tees
  • The Archers
  • Maybe my green and white floral blouse? Could be fun. . .


The white t-shirt. I’ve already mentioned that I need one of these. It’s time to make it happen.

Can be paired with:

  • denim skirt
  • red twill skirt
  • both maxis
  • navy skirt

I need the red tee specifically to wear with the bird print skirt I mentioned above. Of course, I can’t actually make it if it doesn’t also play well with others. So, does it?

Can be paired with:

  • bird print skirt
  • denim skirt
  • gray maxi

Grainline Archer

Oh. Man. I am so certain of the awesomeness of this pattern that I’m already planning four of these. And they honestly are a huge part of my wardrobe versatility. They are the pieces that I think I am most excited to make.

Can be paired with:

  • Everything. Simply Everything.
Lady Skater

I’m very sad that there is no black and white line drawing of this dress.

A navy knit dress, y’all. I haz to haz! And the Lady Skaters I’ve been seeing floating around are making me super excited. I have already bought, traced, and modified this pattern. All I’m waiting for is my fabric to come in. And no matter what I’m currently working on, I plan to drop it to get this one done. I wants it.

I already described in an earlier post all the different ways I could wear a navy knit dress. So, yeah. I’m going to do that.

I started writing this post a long time ago. So, have I been idle all this time? Nope! So, where am I now? Well, I’ve completed both of the t-shirts (white and red), the navy maxi, the Joel Dewberry skirt, the red Moss, the Lady Skater, and the chambray Archer. My second Archer (white) has been cut out; my third Archer (fuchsia) jumped right in front of the white one and needs cuffs, buttonholes, and buttons. I have all the patterns I need already and all but two of the fabrics (one has been ordered; one I still need to hunt down). Not a bad beginning!


8 thoughts on “Sewing a Wardrobe: Part 5 (Making a Plan)

  1. For some reason both wordpress and bloglovin’ aren’t posting your posts in my feed! Gah! I can’t believe I missed part 2-4!!!

    I love this series of yours btw. i said your first post was inspirational, but the rest of them are really getting me to re-think my wardrobe and what I’ve been choosing to sew, the patterns I’ve been buying, even my fabric choices!

    When do you think you’ll get to all this sewing? In time for MMM’14 maybe? Can’t wait to see it all come to life!

    • Thanks 🙂 I’m so glad it’s been helpful for people other than me!
      Well, I’m about halfway done with this first phase. I have two Archers, a maxi skirt, and the color blocked skirt left to make. Sooo–yeah, I should be good to go for MMM ’14! Let’s hope so anyway 😉

  2. I love this series of posts and I now want to make everything you are making! Great plans – and I can’t believe how much you’ve got done already. I look forward to seeing your new wardrobe.

    • Thanks 🙂 And I DO love the Lady Skater! I wore it today, actually. I still need to get the waist in the right place, but when I do it will be the perfect knit dress pattern.

I'm done. Now, YOU can talk :)

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