Tag: fashion

This past year has been the most influential period of time for my dressmaking. I have been sewing for about 3 years now but it is only really through 2016 that I have honed my skills and worked on developing them. When I think where I was in terms of my sewing skill at the beginning of the year, I have come a long way.

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Hello everyone, I am back with my week two on the Wardrobe Architect. I hadn’t forgotten but sometimes life gets in the way. It probably wont be posted weekly but I will try to see it through to the end because already I am starting to see some clarity and shape in my style (which I never knew existed!).

So in week one I talked about what influences my style/clothing choices in my past and present, and I learned something about myself in doing this. Due to body issues I wasnt making clothes for myself but growing a collection of garments that while beautiful I would never fit into. Reading the comments on this series of blog posts on the Colette website it doesnt look like I am alone, far from it. Good to know!

The good news is that since I took part in week one, I have made four dresses for myself! I’ve even worn a couple of them to work! (A necessity when the other half breaks the washing machine and its taking forever to get fixed, hey ho!). I have also started a BurdaStyle course on grading, so in theory I will be able to adapt any pattern I want and will no longer be restricted by whether my measurements fit into a pattern.

So, on to week two!

When I first looked at week 2 (going back a few weeks now) I skim read and saw that I needed to start a pinterest board to collect images that represent my style. So I did this ahead of completing the task, without realising the whole point was to finish the task first! So, the aim this week was to uncover the styles that make me feel myself using words and images. There are a series of questions that ask you how you are feeling in a range of clothing situations which leads to building up a list of words that you associate with your dress style. You then have to narrow those words down to just five adjectives.


Here is my exercise:

When you are wearing your favorite clothing, how do you feel (e.g. confident, sexy, poised, powerful, etc)? Excited, girlie, tall, confident, achievable, happy

When you’re wearing something that is not quite right, how do you feel? What are the feelings you want to avoid about the clothes you wear? Awkward, fat, frumpy, unattractive. I want to avoid feeling like I don’t look good.

Who do you consider to be your style icons? What is it about them that appeals to you? There isnt any specific people; I am drawn to people who are happy, confident whom I can see pride beaming from. I like the 30’s 40’s and the 50’s eras for fashion. It comes across as positive, upbeat, flirty and fun!

What are some words that describe styles that you like in theory, but are not quite you? Sexy, rockabilly, vintage glam, classy, classic, swing dresses

Look over your answers from last week on history, philosophy, culture, community, activities, location, and body. List at least 15 words that you associate with your answers. Think about descriptive words, moods, and feelings you associate with these things: attractive, lady-like, frumpy, comfortable, snug, flaunty, bold, outrageous, daring, independent, spacial, vintage, happy, goal-orientated, restricted, sensible, realistic, honest, practical, afraid, considerate, emotive, overstated, hungry

Are there other words you would like to add to this list? What other words describe your core style? colourful, vintage, energetic, flaunty, considerate

Look over the answers to all of the questions above. If you had to narrow your list to only 3-5 words to describe you, which words would you choose? emotive, vintage, energetic, flaunty, considerate


The visual exercise asks us to collect 15-20 images that represent these five words. So I went back to my Pinterest board and looked at the pictures I’d collected and thought, wow! These pictures do represent these words. So even though I had not gone ahead and actively searched for representative pictures, it happened organically anyway!

You can view my pinterest board here

Here are a few of the pictures from the board:


Are you or have you been working through the Wardrobe Arcitect? How did you find it? Did it help shape your wardrobe? If you have a pinterest board feel free to link to it below in comments, likewise if you’ve bloged about Wardrobe Architect!

Why not add me on social media? You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & The Fold Line as Penguinandpear

Thanks for reading!


I realise I am a bit late to the Wardrobe Architect party but after seeing it mentioned on Vintage on Tap I thought it is definately something I should investigate. So, essentially Collette HQ decided in 2014 to run a series on their blog to enable followers to look into their wardrobe and restructure it into something more functional and aesthetically pleasing. This is something I desperately need assistance with and so I have decided to give it a go.


The first week asks us to look at various aspects of our lives (history, culture etc) to look for influences in our current style. It was very interesting to do because it made me think of where my style sits, why and where I want it to be. It was quite a raw conversation I had with myself and is making me address some thought processes and the direction my sewing is going in.

Here are my answers:


111orange leggingsHow has your personal history informed the way you dress? When did your tastes crystalize? Have they changed over the years, and why?

As a child I did not like dresses but as I have gotten older I have begun to like that fashion sense. I’m not sure why I didnt like it but I have had a turnaround because I feel more feminine. As a teenager I liked to have colourful clothes; I owned a pair of bright orange ski pants. I have never been one to be concerned with others’ opinions; at times I felt like I should be. I’ve enjoyed comfortable clothes from a young age & this aspect of my taste has not changed.


How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected?

I havent felt like religion or spirituality have dictated or influenced my style choices, although perhaps those aspects in society have played a part as I have been at times quite conservative.


How has your cultural background shaped the way you look? How did the aesthetics and values you grew up with affect your tastes as you got older?

In my culture it is seen that being slim is valued even above health. As a result of this I have often felt extreme pressure (once losing 100lbs in 7 months). My fashion preferences are sometimes dictated by what looks good on slim people when I need to get away from this. This could be gathered skirts or big dresses, which would make me look bigger in my eyes.


How are you influenced by the people around you, including friends, family, and other communities you’re involved in?

I think I am more influenced by what ‘I’ think than what others do (I am not sure how true this really is!). However I am by no means immune to the dazzle of fashion trends. While I don’t follow them specifically, I cant help but be influenced through popular media. Its more for my imaginary wish-list for when I get my perfect body! I am also influenced by work and social appropriateness and what ‘I’ feel is appropriate for me.


How do your day to day activities influence your choices?

I work full time in an office and suffer from chronic illness so comfort is priority for me. Currently I try to find the comfiest clothes in the supermarket that are most flattering to my shape (basically sacks) that is affordable. I spent much more money on fabric for clothes I make for other people than I do myself!


Does the place you live inform the way you dress? How does climate factor in?

I live in the south of England where nice weather is pretty limited. Cardi’s and leggings are a staple of the winter months. Additionally where I live is an elderly community in the main and so there are restrictions around that but I have no intention of being mutton dressed as lamb so this suits me somewhat.


In what ways does body image affect your choices in clothing? What clothes make you feel good about the body you live in? What clothes make you feel uncomfortable or alienated from your body?

In my head I am skinnier than in my mirror and this has over time resulted in disastrous clothing and pattern decisions! With patterns, I then make them in a ‘normal size’ for no one in particular so I can pat myself on the back for my developing dressmaking skills… but then somewhere deep it makes me feel bad because I cant fit into anything I make.


One thing I noticed reading the comments on the collettehq page is that I am not alone in my thinking. There were lots of comments around different areas of body image and fashion and most if not all were self restricting in their own way. That is why I think this process is such a positive thing for the sewing community.

What are your thoughts? Have you been through similar to me? Do you disagree? Could your wardrobe also do with re-structuring? Let me know in the comments.

I will be hosting a week of wardrobearchitect on my instagram account, make sure you look me up @penguinandpear to keep up to date.

Until next time (which will be a review of swedish sewing paper…)… keep sewing!

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