IT'S WARDROBE WEDNESDAY! At least, that's what I'm officially declaring the weekly post-day for this series. You can tune in on Fridays for Fashion Tips - because I'm a sucker for alliteration ;)
Today we're talking FABRICS. Hopefully you took advantage of some of those great pattern deals over the weekend, and can start shopping for the fabric to make them in!
"Becca, I do NOT need help buying fabric. I have an entire stash to prove it!"
Aint that the truth! I do too, girl. The difference here is that you may not have experience buying coordinating fabric for a 37 piece wardrobe before. I know I hadn't! So here are some of the things I learned along the way:
- What survived your closet after the "great purge"? Of those, which pieces are meant for summer? Sort those into "the pile I need to replace" (because they're worn, faded, stained, or otherwise just filling a gap in your wardrobe until you buy or sew something to replace it), and "the pile I can build my summer wardrobe around." Take the latter pile to your sewing room with you. (With all the sorting we just did, you should only have a few pieces)
- Grab your stack of apparel fabric. Sort this, too, by season. Which are summer-weight? Which are summer colors? Put these with the pile of summer clothes you just grabbed from your closet. Put the rest of your fabrics AWAY. Mine went into a whole other room so I could focus on working with FEW fabrics, because my goal is to sew and wear FEW pieces all season long.
- Lay your closet-finds and your summer-fabrics next to each other. Did you decide on a color palate? How do these pieces compare? Remove any fabric that sticks out like a sore thumb. If it doesn't play well with the other fabrics/clothes now, it won't play well with them after you've taken hours to sew it into something.
- Now, sort your fabric by type and/or vision. For instance: Bottom weights, knits, voile, shirting. This might naturally lead to piles of "future shorts/pants", "future tops" "future dresses/skirts" "Future layering pieces". There's no right or wrong here, we'll just need it generally sorted so we can move on to step...
- Style Re-Analysis. Remember that step?? Looking at your sorted pile of fabrics/clothes, how does it compare to your most-worn, most-loved pieces, and the elements that made them so wear-able and love-able? For instance: I LOVE prints. But the ones I wear the most are either micro-prints, subtle stripes/polkadots, gingham, or BIG statement prints like florals. Looking at my pile, I want to see those preferences repeated. Medium size prints just aren't versatile in my closet, so I can pack those up too. Repeat that process with color preferences. Neutral-lovers shouldn't be looking at a giant pile of "the Crayola factory exploded in my sewing room" fabrics. Color-lovers shouldn't be looking at a stack of beige and denim. If fashion isn't fun, we won't want to wear it, and we sure as heck won't want to spend the time to sew it!
- Balance is Key. Your pile should be pretty well pared down by now. Observe it as a whole. Is it inspiring? Is it kind of boring? Let's take some notes so we can shop for fabrics wisely, shall we?
- On a piece of paper, make two lists. #1 - "My pile needs more.... (color, neutral, large prints, small prints, knits, bottomweights, etc)." #2 - "My wardrobe needs more (pants, shorts, tops, dresses, skirts, etc)." QUANTIFY this list! How many pants? How many tops? Be specific so you don't end up over-shopping for this project and not being able to sew them all for the season!
- Take a picture of your stash (you can share it with your friend in our facebook group, or tag #summercapsulesewalong on instagram!). Take this picture, and your "shopping lists" with you to the store (or your favorite online shop). You're going to shop ONLY for list #2, with list #1 and photo as your guide. Then..
- Shop all at once. Picking up a few pieces at a time from a dozen different shops makes it HARD visualize all together, and hard to achieve the visual balance we need for a small, super-versatile wardrobe. If you must space trips out over a few days, make sure to update your lists and your images as you go.
- REMEMBER, this is a capsule wardrobe project. We shouldn't have more than 25-30 pieces TOTAL, and very few of you are starting from zero. There's no excuse to over-buy!
*Whimsical Fabric "summercapsule" saves you 20% off Liesl + Co. and Straight Stitch PDF patterns, and all fabric