Wanna Be Sewing: Happy Silhouettes

I’m back with more wardrobe building nonsense. My sewing mind (and scrolling finger) has been consumed with it lately. But, I think I have finally settled on some core shapes and silhouettes to go with my recently articulated core style.

I used the Wardrobe Architect challenge’s Exploring Shapes worksheet to rate the types of garments that I feel happiest wearing. I thought about each garment in terms of the elements that affect it (such as ease, length, waistline, or fullness) and how its shape can change if one of those elements varies.

Discovering which shapes rock my world and combining them into different silhouettes (outfits) was my mission. I used polyvore to assemble several four-season garments, kept the colors neutral, and left out accessories to simplify planning.

One dress, two skirts, 2 pants, four tops, and 2 toppers worth of core shapes. Each of these basics could have 3 or more variations (sleeve length, neckline shape, etc.), but for now I’m focusing on these shapes that I rated a 9 or 10 on the happy scale.

A complete silhouette includes garments and shoes. Like the fit and flare silhouette below of dress (fitted bodice, full skirt) + cropped cardigan + leggings +  riding boots that’s become my uniform this winter.

Winter Silhouette 02

But, sharing all of the shoe combinations would take days. So, I’ll leave the shoes out and just show some of the garment-only silhouettes that I’ll be building with my “happy shapes”.

Silhouette #1

{Dress (fitted bodice, full skirt) + cropped cardigan}

Basic Silhouette 01

Silhouette #2

{Fitted, elbow sleeve t-shirt + full skirt + cropped cardigan}

Basic Silhouette 1

Silhouette #3

{Fitted classic shirt + full skirt}

Basic Silhouette 03

Silhouette #4

{Dolman sleeve peplum top + pencil skirt}

Basic Silhouette 05

Silhouette #5

{Sleeveless peplum tunic + skinny jeans}

Basic Silhouette 4

Silhouette #6

(Loose-fit wrap blouse + skinny jeans)

Basic Silhouette 04

Silhouette #7

{Fitted, elbow sleeve t-shirt + leggings + long cardigan}

Silhouette 06

7 silhouettes from 12 shapes is just scratching the surface. There are a gajillion outfit possibilities for my favorite shapes. I’m still narrowing down the patterns I’ll use to sew all these shapes and silhouettes (except for the jeans, I’ll leave that to Levi’s for now), but getting this far in the process is hugely empowering. I’m even excited for this month’s closet purging task.

What are the favorite outfits or go-to silhouettes in your closet?

Wanna Be Sewing: My Core Style

I was a tomboy in the 90’s.

So, it’s kinda funny to me that I love to dress all ladylike now. I’m also surprised by the fact that there’s a core style at the heart of what feels like a haphazard attempt at dressing myself.


Inspired by the prompts and exercises from the Wardrobe Architect 2015 Challenge going on at The Coletterie (shiny new badge on the right), I’ve been thinking hard about my core style, what influences it, and how to describe it. I like the idea of THOUGHTFUL wardrobe sewing for the entire year.

Using the images from this pinterest board, I’ve jumped right into January’s challenge: Defining Your Style.


To help articulate my core style (so it translates into sewing clothes that make me happy, that feel like me) I filled out this nosey, but effective worksheet. The results of that introspection led me to the five words that describe my core style: classic, feminine, confident, playful, natural.


It took some time to narrow down that list. Being so honest was a little intimidating. Ultimately, though, the words started to tell a story about the woman I am/want to be.


I have had a long standing crush on the following women.

The graceful and talented Dorothy Dandridge.

The bold and authentic Jill Scott.

The powerful but soft Oprah Winfrey.

The petite and curvy Marilyn Monroe.


The sultry and self-assured Kerry Washington.

The ageless and amiable Phylicia Rashad.

The stunningly gorgeous Thandie Newton.

The smart and sartorial Michelle Obama.

As my style icons, these eight women embody one or more of my core style words.


I really enjoyed digging deep on this topic. I already feel more prepared for some serious wardrobe building. Next week, I’ll be sharing some of the silhouettes that will become a part of my core style and 2015 wardrobe.

What words or people represent your core style? Has your style changed over the years?

Introducing….The “Pinkadot Power” Frock

I made this dress for last week’s Tickled in Pink challenge.

The "Pinkadot Power" Frock

The "Pinkadot Power" Frock

The "Pinkadot Power" Frock
The dressmaking (and loving) story is told here.

This is my third time making this dress style (pleated wrap bodice with midriff + dirndl skirt) and it certainly won’t be my last as I think I’m finally done fussing with the fit.

Hope you dig it half as much as I do.