(Vote for my) March Mini Wardrobe

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was first laying out my initial plans for this mini wardrobe, but now I’ve had some time to step back and have a look over what I managed to accomplish last month. I made this wardrobe mostly for myself, to use some luscious fabrics from my stash in combination with patterns that really appealed to me, but I also kept one eye on the contest requirements running over at PaternReview.com to make sure I remained within their rules, too. Here’s my entry into their contest, or you can just read on below…

I started with a blue viscose, draped knit top that I’d bought from ASOS and really liked, but I wanted to wear with both casual and dressy bottoms.

To coordinate, I sewed:

1. Jalie jeans – I’d made a muslin but the waistband was horrible so I had my work cut out for me on this pair using great quality stretch denim from Mood in NYC, plus some London streetsign fabric for the waistband facings and pockets. I used my vintage hand crank Singer machine for all the topstitching, plus I got to use my vintage buttonholer attachment and high quality rivets for the first time! I fixed all the waistband issues in this pair and these are now my favourite jeans. Read more…

2. MyImage bolero jacket – This is the first time I’d sewn anything from the new pattern magazine, MyImage, and I loved the intricate seaming on this bolero jacket from their Summer 2011 issue. I used some great uncut corduroy from Fabric.com for this jacket, carefully piecing everything to fit into my yardage! I lined this in yellow silk crepe and it makes the perfect coverup for cool Spring and Summer evenings. Read more…

3. Manequim silk blouse – I utterly fell in love with this print silk charmeuse when I was in Paris last summer, but it was expensive so I only bought 1 metre. The February issue of the Brazilian pattern magazine, Manequim, contained the most perfect blouse pattern for only 1m of silk, so I knew they were meant to be together! I sewed this blouse with entirely French seams, including at the asymmetric pleating detail, and bound the neckline with a simple turned bias edge instead of the suggested facing. I loved this blouse so much that it became my special birthday garment this year! Read more…

4. Burda leather pencil skirt – I bought some gorgeously soft grey leather when I was in NYC with the thought to make a skirt, and I decided that this seamed pencil skirt from the August 2010 issue of Burda magazine was the perfect fit, albeit with some tweaks to suit me! Since you cannot unpick seams in leather once they’re sewn, I made a muslin first, which made it apparent I needed to add some room at the hips, and I also chose to shorten the skirt to be above the knee, plus I removed the centre front seam and the back flap. I sewed all the seams as double-stitched, lapped seams, plus I sewed my first exposed zipper! I also added a lining to this to keep it neat. This is such a great, versatile skirt that can be dressed up or down, and a colour that goes with everything! Read more…

As far as I can calculate, my Mini Wardrobe makes 8 combinations:

  1. Jeans + RTW top
  2. Jeans + RTW top + bolero
  3. Jeans + silk blouse
  4. Jeans + silk blouse + bolero
  5. Leather skirt + RTW top
  6. Leather skirt + RTW top + bolero
  7. Leather skirt + silk blouse
  8. Leather skirt + silk blouse + bolero

New techniques learned:

  • Using a buttonholer attachment
  • Installing high quality jeans rivets
  • My first leather garment
  • Sewing an exposed zipper

Countries involved:

  • UK – London-themed inner jeans fabric, the RTW top, and sewing location!
  • USA – Source of denim, leather, and uncut corduroy
  • France – Source of the silk charmeuse
  • Germany – Source of the skirt pattern
  • The Netherlands – Source of the bolero jacket pattern
  • Canada – Source of the jeans pattern
  • Brazil – Source of the blouse pattern

As I stated in the initial post (before I realised the PR contest was limited to only four sewn garments), I’m extending this wardrobe beyond the time and garment restraints with an additional pair of seamed KnipMode trousers in silver stretch twill. I started them this weekend and I should have those finished in a few days, even though the grey of these is more a pale blue in some lights!

If you like my wardrobe (or even if you didn’t – there’s so many fantastic entries in this contest!), please use the following link to go and vote for your favourite!


(You have to have been a Pattern Review member for at least 30 days to vote, fyi)

Voting is only open for a week so don’t spend too long deciding!

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