Today I have a lovely interview from Sharon who blogs at Petite and Sewing. She's sharing how she builds a cohesive wardrobe and I think you'll agree with me that she always looks well put together. Let's hear her story.
How long have you been sewing?
I have been sewing for 37 years, first taught by my darling Mum and her very good friend, my sister and I then went to evening classes at TAFE and then when I moved to Sydney I had lessons with a fantastic sewing and fitting teacher for 8 years.
Why did you start?
I started to sew as my Mum had sewn for me as a child and I was used to having garments fit me. When I got older I continued to sew as any RTW garments, particularly skirts and pants fitted me in the waist, but assumed I had hips!
During my lessons with my sewing teacher, I soon realised that I much preferred the fit I could achieve through sewing my own garments than I could in almost any RTW garment. It also meant that I could make a top in the colours I liked and the style that suited me.
How do you get such nice looking outfits all the time?
This is two fold. I had my colours and style analysed back in 1989 and had them reviewed recently. Both of these things have helped me choose styles that reflect my taste, classic with a bit of a twist and my Personal Colour Swatch colours have let me have a very cohesive fabric collection.
Do you have a specific style you gravitate towards? How do you decide what to sew?
I do tend to gravitate towards separates, and this also lets me have a small wardrobe with a lot of different outfit combinations. Again using my Personal Colour Swatch it means that nearly everything I put in my wardrobe coordinates with another piece even though it might have been designed as a top to go with a particular skirt.
My sewing decisions at the moment are based on what holes I need to fill in my wardrobe as all of a sudden my garments have started to fail through too much wear! Another thing I do is Sew with a Plan (SWAP). I have been doing this for a couple of years now and there is a very active group at Artisan Square where you sew 11 garments that work together – e.g. 6 tops, 3 bottoms and a layer piece or a dress and this is the combination I sewed last year.
|To read more about the individual pieces see here.|
When you decide to sew a garment what factors do you consider?
First up is the pattern. Can I use one of my TNT patterns to get the fit and look I want? How much work do I need to put into a pattern to get the fit I want?
Then the fabric, what is the look I am after and how does it wear?
Once the fabric is chosen then it is working out how to handle it during construction, pinked seams, serged/overlocked or French seams and if I want to add any additional structure.
I try and have all my notions for any project together before I start, putting them all together in a zip lock bag!
Do you shop for fabric with a plan for use, or buy whatever speaks to you?
The majority of my fabric has spoken to me and I usually have a very good idea what it will be, however some pieces that have been in the stash for quite some time, do have a change of direction, like this navy top.
Wow! Thanks for sharing your process with us Sharon. I've learned several new things and will have to check out SWAP now that I understand what it is. Now it's back to you stash busters, can you pinpoint your style? How would you define your clothes?