Birth of a Spring / Summer Wardrobe Palette

I’m the kind of girl that likes plenty of options when faced with a choice. The cereal aisle (if I dared to stand in its void) doesn’t intimidate me at all. I just wish I had the time to catalogue it ;-). So, when I saw that the Spring & Summer 2012 Palette Challenge was announced over at The Coletterie, it was out of character for me to want to play along.

“To participate, you research and choose a color palette for creating a mini seasonal wardrobe, create a moodboard, and then spend about 8 weeks sewing as many garments as you’d like from that palette.” Sarai at The Coletterie

Those lovely constraints (which I need but often avoid) would only have me “obligated” to my color palette for a couple of months. It would also give me an opportunity to focus on a handful of patterns, say 4 or 5 garments that could be mixed and matched into two weeks worth of outfits. Limits with limits. I can work with that!

The challenge is pretty low-key and should fit nicely with The Sew Weekly’s upcoming themes, but Operation Sew Balanced needs my attention for the moment. Perhaps in a week or so, I’ll decide if I will fully participate (Flickr group, forum, etc.) or simply remain an inspired and supportive lurker.

In the meantime, here is a palette of fabrics that would inspire any mini wardrobe I might sew this season.

Palette of Fabric Prints to Inspire a Spring/Summer Mini Wardrobe

A signature floral, solids selected from a rainbow plaid, classic & cheery polka-dots, and chevron stripes for texture. (Fabric: Maywood Studio’s Calypso collection, Robert Kaufman Pimatex Basics & Remix collections).

Got any color-coordinated wardrobe plans this season?

I Don’t Need No Stinking Swatches…Well, Maybe I Do

Spring / Summer 2012 Fabric Swatch Board

I was supposed to be cleaning my house. Instead, I organized my fabric closet into spring/summer sewables (including fabrics I’ve already sewn this year) and made a swatchboard — which has become so very useful to me already.

Mena has posted the themes for the next six weeks of challenges at The Sew Weekly (an update to the challenge schedule is coming later posted), so it was time to stop being surprised by my stash (“Oh! Look! I forgot I bought this!” or “What the f**k was I thinking when I bought THAT!”) and figure out what I had to work with.

This exercise woke me up to the fact that I need more solids (especially neutrals) in le stash and le wardrobe. My attraction to prints borders on obsessive, so I gotta remember to sneak in some solid colors. With all of the color-blocking going on these days, there’s plenty of options for me to sew up. The Pantone Spring Color Palette challenge is coming up, too, so I marinated on some inspiring looks to get me ready for fabric shopping.

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I think I may buy some silk yardage this year. I have a bit in inventory (mostly prints), but not enough to make some magic.

A Shared, But Reserved Obsession for Sunflowers

I love sunflowers just as much as Van Gogh did. This week’s Art Challenge, the unseasonably warm late winter weather, and my unplanted spring garden had me dreaming of sunflowers and feeling inspired by their beauty and practicality (i.e., cripsy-sweet apple slices dipped in sunflower seed butter).

Van Gogh's obsession with sunflowers

But when it was time to choose a fabric for my Art-themed garment, I wasn’t really excited about wearing sunflowers, but still wanted their yellow and black color scheme and intensity.

Enter: Freespirit’s Van Gogh Rayon Challis collection and in particular, this print.

Some of the florals on the runway for spring 2012 had a bent toward tropical, so my choice is surprisingly on trend − not that I’m trying too hard keep up with the sometimes questionable, always finicky trends of fashion. Those who do, make a day job out of it, I’m sure. It is comforting to know folks won’t be surprised to see me walking down the street in a loud, Carnival cruise-worthy floral print.

Robert Cavalli's Floral Print Pants

Roberto Cavalli, Spring 2012

J. Crew Floral Print Suit

J. Crew, Spring 2012

Ashish's Floral Print Dress

Ashish, Spring 2012

I’ll be back later to share the garment constructed out of my tropical, Van Gogh-inspired floral fabric.

Rushing for a Refashion

My garment for the Refashion challenge was still brewing in my head as of last night. And, it’s due tomorrow! My procrastination has left me with only an evening’s time to upcycle this brown dress from Target. I’ve made some quick design notes and plan to resurrect last week’s accessory to make this 11th hour stunt pan out.

I’m dying to add inseam pockets (something I’ve surprisingly never sewn before) to this sheath. Pockets would upgrade it from “meh” to functionally cute. But, I may not have the time. We’ll see. Stay tuned. Given my ticking clock, the results are sure to be interesting.