Category Archives: questions & thoughts

What do you know you don’t want from your wardrobe?

horizontal quilters ruler

I’ve been spending the past couple days writing furiously on the first chapter of the book that’ll accompany this project and I got to thinking about “wanting” and what specifically I want from my wardrobe.

One of the ways I think about what I want from a project is by specifying what I don’t want from the project.

I know for certain that I do not want this wardrobe to be a capsule wardrobe.*

*a capsule wardrobe is a very contained wardrobe, usually they have a small number of versatile pieces, and every piece works with every other piece.

I understand and appreciate why many people are drawn to the idea of having a very limited selection of clothes to choose from. If you have a limited options, you avoid the paradox of choice.**

**the paradox of choice is a term for what happens when you have so many choices you can’t make a decision or you make no decision at all. You can read more about it here.

You always know what you have, and you eventually find the looks and combinations that work best for you.

However, that’s not what I want from this project, and it’s not what I want my wardrobe to be. I love mixing and matching and combining clothes in different ways. I’ve never felt overwhelmed by my closet. I look at clothing as another medium to play with. Trying this and that. I want my wardrobe to be a place to play, but always with the option of coming back to something familiar and easy to throw on.

I know that I’ll have a rather limited wardrobe for awhile because making clothes takes time (shocking I know), but I know that my ultimate goal is not a limited wardrobe.

What do you know you DON’T want from your wardrobe?

T-shirt Reconstructions, yay or nay?

Rule #2

I’ve been thinking about the spirit of this challenge, mulling over my 2nd “rule.”

“2. if it feels like cheating it probably is.”

I put that rule there because cheating, even when the rules are self imposed, usually feels like cheating.

So I was digging through my current wardrobe looking for a piece of clothing and ran across the pile of t-shirts I never wear. I never wear t-shirts. Ever. And so I started thinking about t-shirt reconstructions.*

*a t-shirt reconstruction is where you take a t-shirt, cut it up, and reconstruct it into something else, they’ve kind of a been gateway into the larger crafting/DIY movement because everyone has old t-shirts they can cut up.


Anyway, I’ve never been a huge fan of reconstructing t-shirts partly because I think it’s very easy for a project to go terribly and horribly wrong, and partly because I think the best thing t-shirt material is good for is t-shirts.

I’ve also never been a huge fan of wearing t-shirts, I never like how they fit. They’re always too tight, or too loose, or too short, or too something. But I have gotten a couple because they had cute prints, or they were gifts, or whatever.

So, I’ve been mulling over the intentions behind this wardrobe project, and the goal of it, trying to decide whether or not t-shirt reconstructions feels like cheating.

My goal for this project is to explore identity, how clothing reflects & projects an identity. For this project, the making clothes aspect is something I thought would be a fun challenge, but the main goal is to explore clothing and fashion as they relate to the self.

In that spirit I think if I can reconstruct a t-shirt into a shirt I would wear, it’ll be an insightful lens into what kind of shirts I wear and why.

There are options and pockets everywhere!

I realized yesterday when I was working on the grey and white striped dress that I could put pockets anywhere I wanted.

And then I realized I could put pockets on every single piece of clothing in my entire closet, if I really wanted to.

Pockets everywhere!

I probably won’t. But you know, I could. If I wanted to.

And the ‘could’ is the real point.

If you could put pockets on anything what would you put pockets on?

And what if, there were more options then we thought there were?

What if there are always more options than we think there are?

I’m having a moment of “this is a really terrible idea”

I’m having a moment of “this is a really terrible idea.”

Maybe it’s the weather. Rainy, drizzly, cold-but-not-cold.

Maybe it’s that I’m working on a dress and remembering how much I hate-hate-hate facings, and I can’t seem to get them to stay put.

Maybe it’s that this project really is a terrible idea.

But really, I feel like it’s coming from thinking about what I ‘should’ be making.

I keep feeling like I should be making super cute little dresses.

But that’s not what I usually wear most of the time, and it’s not really what I want to be making right now.

Don’t get me wrong. I love a cute dress. (and the Thing 1 & Thing 2 dress is totally happening because that fabric is amazing.)

But I’m building a dress out of the white and grey seersucker and kind of hating it. It’s sort of a riff on a party dress. It would look super cute on the right person, but I’m not loving it.

I’ll grab photos tomorrow, but at this point I’m thinking I’ll take it all apart and make something that really takes advantage of, and plays with the stripes.

I don’t wear classic party dresses.

I have nothing against them, they look super cute, I just don’t wear them.

I wonder how long it’ll take for me to internalize that I just don’t wear them.

So for now, the party dress will go in the corner, and I’ll go work on my sweater.

The beginnings of a plan

I’m beginning to formulate a sewing plan.

I spent yesterday diving through my fabric stash, and took a slight detour through the garment district to pick up some fabric I saw the other day.

 From the fabric stash:

IMG_2875: a beautiful medium weight cotton (it’s actually an old sheet) that I want to turn into a wrap skirt.

IMG_2869: a super simple very light weight cotton that I’m planning on making into an over-shirt that I can throw on throughout the summer. I have a similar shirt in my current wardrobe that I’ll probably pattern for this project.

IMG_2867: Thing 1 and Thing 2, which totally needs to become a playful dress of some sort. I even have a lining fabric all ready to go!

IMG_2886: and an awesome black & red print I inherited. It lightweight & very drapy, I think it might be a rayon. I want to do some sort of draped maxi skirt (maybe dress?) that plays with the print without going too crazy. I think it would be easy for this print to get overwhelming.

From the garment District:

IMG_2880: white & grey striped cotton seersucker that will become a light summer dress.

IMG_2890: and a swatch of a basic black cotton jersey. My current wardrobe consists mainly of cotton tank tops & jeans. So I’ll pick of a yard or two of this to make some camis and tanks. I’ve decided I definitely want those in my wardrobe, but probably not as many as I currently have.  (& I’ll start tackling jeans sometime soon.)

One thing I’m noticing as I sort through fabrics is I’m generally drawn to lighter colors when I’m fabric shopping, but if you look at my current wardrobe I mostly wear dark black & blues.

I’m not sure why this is. Maybe it’s because brighter bolts of fabric jump out on a wall of fabric? Or because black fabrics have a tendency to be clustered in one hard to reach corner of the fabric shelf?

And I’m not sure how this will play out. Will I suddenly have a brighter wardrobe? Or will I eventually remember to look at the darker fabrics when I go shopping? It’ll probably be a bit of both.

But I’m interested in seeing how this plays out.

Why is the fabric I tend to buy different than the fabric I tend to wear?

(and I bet I’m not alone in this.)

What qualities do I want to wear?

I’ve been mulling over the idea of qualities.

As in… what qualities do I want to wear? What ideas do I want in my wardrobe? What’s the essence of my closet?

Right now I’d say my closet primarily contains ease & comfort.

Clothes I can throw on. Clothes I can move in. Clothes that are comfortable. As well as comforting. Clothes to wrap around me. Clothes to curl up in.

And I absolutely (absolutely!) want to keep those qualities.

But also throw in some delight & some play.

Treating getting dressed with lightheartedness.

What if getting dressed in the morning was more like playing dress up? Putting on a costume that enhances who we are, not hides it.

What if getting dressed in the morning was more like playing dress up? Putting on a costume that enhances who we are, not hides it.