A Homemade wardrobe

Around age 9 I did some dressmaking at school.  I especially remember very fondly a long blue and cream checked wraparound skirt.  My friend Lilly made an identical skirt and sometimes we’d wear them at the same time looking AWE-SOME. I just loved wearing something that I’d made.

Since that early foray into dressmaking I’ve made the odd dress, but following my wardrobe clear out (which you can read about here), I’ve made a far more conscious effort to look at the gaps in my wardrobe and prioritise what I think I need which I can also make.  My go to dress at the moment is a homemade one and when I wear it I feel stylish without being a fashion victim and I really feel the fabric and it’s style suit my personality in a way that a high street outfit just hasn’t in a long time.  The dress is actually an unfinished Darling Ranges dress by Megan Nielsen – I’ve still got to make the button holes and add the buttons.

Having a posing moment in Topshop in my homemade Darling Ranges Dress - still love that hat!

Having a posing moment in Topshop in my homemade Darling Ranges Dress – still love that hat!

Now I’ve not got alot of time (or the money) for sewing up all these in the near future, but I hope that over time I’ll be able to add these pieces, updating them as seasons and fashions change, and that they’ll give me the same amount of pleasure as my Darling Ranges outfit.

Top of my to-make list

Top of my to-make list

Top of my list is this Tilly and the Buttons’s Bettine dress in this fantastic Space Invaders Chambray which I got from The Fabric Godmother.  I bought both of these (and the checked brushed cotton also in the picture) while at The Handmade Fair so this has to come first given that I’ve got all the bits – I just need to make a start.  I love the simplicity of the Bettine dress and I’m hoping that the style will suit me. My only reservation is the length of the sleeves for this time of year, but I’ll deal with that when I get there.

Staying with dresses I’m totally in love with the Vintage Shirt Dress from Sew Over It, and having seen them at the Handmade Fair too my excitement was not over the top.

Sew Over It vintage shirt dress pattern

Vintage Shirt Dress from Sew Over It

It strikes me as beautifully simple and stylish, and with the possibility to totally make it your own in fabric choice, and buttons etc I’m hoping I’ll get one of these made before my next birthday.  That’s unless I make the Wenona Shirt Dress from Named Clothing – it’s another gorgeous shirt dress, but is a more modern shape and doesn’t have the vintage feel.  And how great would it look in this Anchor Print Chambray?  I suppose I could always do both……..

Wenona Shirt Dress from Named Clothing – I love the fit and drape of this one.

I could also do with a basic skirt to replace my much worn denim skirt which is now too tatty to wear, and I’m eyeing up this Megan Nielsen Brumby skirt, especially as the Darling Ranges dress pattern and instructions were so good.

Megan Nielsen Brumby Skirt (also has a longer length version)

When it comes to trousers, and especially jeans, fit is a never-ending problem I’ve had for as long as I an remember (and yes I’m going back to pre-teenage years!).  While they can be brilliantly versatile my fluctuating size and shape hasn’t helped finding jeans that go around my rugby-player thighs (thanks dad!) and also fit comfortably at the hips and waist without making my bum look seriously saggy.  So the biggest challenge I’m giving myself is making my own.  I’m going to get some other bits under by belt (pun absolutely intended) before I have get started on them but I’ve found some good guides about drafting your own pattern adjustments (such as this article from Melly Sews) so between them and other online tips I think a new pair of jeans is going to become my new year project. I’d also love a pair of straight leg basic trousers in a slightly funky fabric (like this pair from Sew Over It) that just graze my ankle to be worn in the spring with some lovely flats or some killer heels.  I’m going to save all trouser projects for a spring wardrobe.

Named Clothing’s Jamie Jeans

Named Clothing’s Wyome Boyfriend Jeans

As far as tops go my wish list is pretty simple:

  • To get back into sewing knits with a simple raglan long sleeved t-shirt, a bit like this one.  My only knit fabric experience was when pregnant doing a dress and that wasn’t great so I’m keen to have another go and perhaps choose something a bit more manageable to practice on.
  • I also want a plain sweatshirt, probably this Linden from Grainline Studio, which I can personalise with some sort of writing on the front or maybe a cut-out with lace insert.
    Linden Sweatshirt PDF

    The Linden Sweatshirt

    Sequin Phrase Sweatshirt DIY abeautifulmess.com

    Love this bit of personalisation – follow the link below for the how-to.

    I love this sequin jumper as featured on A Beautiful Mess, and while Tigger would tug at the sequins I like the idea of painting onto the fabric.

  • A new lumberjack shirt, similar to this Archer, again from Grainline Studio.  When I was pregnant I bought a cheap and cheerful one from Primark which I have worn and worn and worn.  It’s been so practical and useful with Tigger, but it’s starting to seriously bobble so it’s time for a new one and next time round I’d love it to be longer lasting.

And finally (for now) – I’ve got the checked brushed cotton as pictured above (with the space invaders fabric).  I bought it with the intention that it could become the lumberjack shirt but I’m tempted to instead do pyjama bottoms.  Why shouldn’t my night-time wardrobe get a look in too?

So there’s my making wish-list – I think there’s enough to keep me going! (And this is only the surface of what’s hiding away on my Homemade Wardrobe Pinterest Board!)

Does anyone have any pattern recommendation for my new homemade wardrobe?  Or are there any to avoid? And what is the one item you would make for your wardrobe if you could?

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