Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wardrobe Reboot

The era of cute shoes ended for me in 1998. Since then, every clothing decision I've made has been based on one thing and one thing only: "Will it go with my boots?" My footwear has to provide all-day support for my flat feet, even when I'm teaching on concrete. It can't rub on my narrow (AAAA) heels. It has to accommodate the orthotic insoles that make my legs the same length. This is the baseline for my wardrobe for practical reasons, not aesthetic ones.

Still, this is my reality. Like my weight, it's probably not going to change much. But you can see why I've been dragging my quad-A heels about a wardrobe makeover, can't you?

Last week, I quit whining and got to work. It's easier for me to keep my forward momentum if a project doesn't require a trip to town to buy anything. I pulled out a few patterns I've collected over the years, and fabric from my stash. Two pieces of yardage were given to me by a friend who was whittling her stash in preparation for a move. One piece I bought to make a dress back when I could wear dress shoes.

The dress fabric was a poly-blend crepe in a gray-blue-green seafoamy color. I made it into a pair of pants using a Burda pattern. Two or three years ago I started a muslin from that pattern, but got distracted by some other deadline and never made the necessary adjustments.

While my butchery of the fine art of pattern alteration may make some of you weep, I got the job done well enough to be decent in public.

I made two other pieces last week using two Kayla Kennington patterns. When Kayla and I first crossed paths at Sievers, she had spent the day on a plane, a car ride and a ferry and still looked fabulous and comfortable. Ever since, I've been planning to make up the Cross Over Top and Perennial Pants for myself.

The pants were so simple I could make a pair in less time than it would take me to shop for, try on and buy pants in a store. I made my trial pair from yardage I got for free, thinking I'd be happy if I just had something without holes to wear in the studio. I think they'll get an upgrade to Travel Pants when I pair them with a top made from some black linen in my stash (already ironed and ready to cut).

The Cross Over Top I made up from some drapey blue fabric (same source, also free). I think I'll go down a size next time and still have plenty of room in the hips.

I have about 10 minutes of work to finish up this top. Like the pants, it was very easy to make. I expect it to be easy to wear, as well.

I have the black linen and two other pieces of yardage ironed and ready to cut out. The timing is perfect: Bill is taking a fire department class one night a week, so that will be my night to sew.

Now that the thinking part of this wardrobe reboot is done, I think I'm over the hump. The sewing is simple compared to the procrastination.


  1. Yes! I love Kayla's patterns and, now that I have a brand new OMGserger! it will be even more fun to work with her patterns. Love your blog!

  2. I'm still suffering from serger envy. I haven't gotten fancy with the patterns yet -- basically just done full-size samples. Would love to see what you've done with Kayla's patterns and your batiks!


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