Friday, June 27, 2014

Planning: Mini-Wardrobe Contest 2014

As I think I've mentioned in previous posts, although I'm an active member of PatternReview, I rarely enter the monthly contests that run there. I have several reasons for this:
  • The contests rarely align with my sewing goals at the time for a given month.
  • When I do give it a go, I rarely feel like my finished garment is worth entering in the contest (see my Lekala wadder from the New To Me pattern contest).
  • Most (but no, not all) of the contest winners tend to be young, slim, and are either masters of a tripod and a self-timer or have much more willing SO's than I do to do a semi-professional photo shoot.
However, the annual mini-wardrobe contest is running this July, and that does happen to align with my current sewing goals, so I think I'm in for this one. I'm also going to use this as motivation for knocking out another four garments that will be entries in my neglected-but-still-in-progress 12-piece capsule wardrobe.

The contest runs from July 1st-31st and has the following rules:
  • Participants must sew 5 garments, one of which may be a "wearable accessory", such as a scarf, belt, or hat.
  • The 5 garments should combine to create 6 different outfits or looks.
  • You must take a photo of each of the 6 looks (my husband is going to love that one).
I've picked out the patterns that I'm planning to use, going with a theme of "Seattle Summer Style". These are the types of garments that I see being worn by a lot of women around Seattle right now:
  • Colette Moneta dress (in a peacock blue or galaxy print jersey)
  • Grainline Archer blouse (in white cotton shirting)
  • HotPatterns Weekender Daytona hoodie (in white cotton jersey)
  • McCall's 6966 maxi-skirt (in blue and white striped French terry)
  • HotPatterns Weekender Boyfriend jeans (in turquoise denim or an Ikat-print twill)
Note that these are all fabrics and patterns that I already have on hand, so I don't need to worry about hunting any of these down for the contest. Many of them are already pre-washed and ready to go!

Here's how I'm planning to pair these garments to create my six looks:
  1. Moneta dress (alone)
  2. Moneta dress + Archer blouse (worn unbuttoned like an overblouse)
  3. McCall's maxi skirt + Archer
  4. Boyfriend jeans + Archer
  5. McCall's maxi skirt + short-sleeved pullover Daytona hoodie
  6. Boyfriend jeans + Daytona hoodie
I'm still on the fence with fabric choice for the dress and the jeans.  I was originally going to go with all blues and whites, but am a little worried that might be a bit boring, so I threw in the galaxy print as an option to make things a little more interesting. (Plus, isn't everyone in the blogosphere making a galaxy print skater-style dress this year?)

My main hesitation with the Ikat-print jeans is that I really love the fabric (and it was a little pricey, but not horribly so) is that I'm probably not going to have time to truly muslin the jeans (plus, I want to enter the jeans in the Pattern Stash contest), and I'm a little hesitant to cut that fabric without muslining first. On the other hand, HotPatterns pants have historically fit me pretty well with minimal pattern alterations, so it's not as big of a risk as it might sound like. I do want to make up those Ikat pants (and a galaxy Moneta) even if I don't make them for this contest.

I will need to muslin the body (at least) of the Archer blouse. I am hoping that a standard FBA with a bust dart (I will leave the dart in for shaping) should give me a decent fit.

I'm thinking that maybe I'll leave the jeans to be the last thing that I sew, so that I can see if I have the time to do a proper muslin or not. The turquoise denim is a really gorgeous color, but it was also fairly inexpensive, so if I don't have time to muslin, that might be the way to go.


Update (28-June-2014)

After reading the comments here and on Pattern Review, I think I really want to concentrate on making the ikat print pants the "star" of this wardrobe, so I'm simplifying a bit to have more time for those. Here's the revised wardrobe mood board:

Revised mood board

This wardrobe plan will give me time to properly muslin the ikat pants and make fitting tweaks.
  • If the jeans muslin is a disaster, depending on the amount of time that I have left, I'll either go with another pant pattern (the ikat fabric is a lighter bottom weight stretch twill--it's really perfect for summer pants) or will go with Debbie's suggestion of a skirt. I certainly have a few patterns in my stash that would work for a straight twill skirt. 
  • The hoodie can still be worn over the dress, so the number of looks doesn't change.
  • I'm debating between the Torque top (which looks better on a person on the ones I've seen made up than it does in the line drawing) and the La Strada top. The Torque (on a real person) appears to be similar to that draped asymmetric hem BurdaStyle top that everyone was making a few months ago. I really like the La Strada, but I'm not sure how well that will go with the maxi-skirt, although I could always belt it if I made it and it seemed like too much volume.


  1. Ohhhhh. I was rooting for the ikat pants but I hear ya! I neverrrrr muslin but decided to because I love my black and white ikat and don't want to ruin it.

    Love your color scheme!

    1. Thanks! I remember you posting your black and white ikat--I loved yours too. If not for this contest, then definitely muslin something and then cut into it--it's too pretty to sit stashed.

  2. Compare the jeans pattern to another HP pants pattern that fits so you can check the crotch shape. If you don't want to do a muslin, cut 1" side seams and fit as you go. You could baste the seams to make adjustments easy.

    How do you think that the Daytona hoodie would look with a zip front? I like the pattern but dislike pulling it over my head when I get hot.

    1. The Daytona hoodie has a zippered view. Should be a very easy change to make.

  3. Ikat pants for the win! Just watch out for pattern placement so you don't end up like my dear Katy :D

    1. I've ruined an otherwise perfectly good top with nipple blossoms via print, so I will definitely be careful with the print placement!

  4. Ambitious but a great combo of fabrics and patterns! My 2 cents ... muslin the jeans. Pants muslins are fast and easy and never a waste of time.

  5. I think I'd have time to muslin the jeans if I switched out the Archer with a knit top (which would be faster to construct and not need a muslin). I could still wear the hoodie as a topper over the dress (or maybe do the zippered version). Does that sound like a worthwhile trade to make sure I get a decent fitting Ikat jean?

    1. Let me clarify a little since I was first replying on my phone and kept it brief ... pants MUSLINS are fast ... pants fitting isn't. :-) If you just want to be sure the jeans basically fit without tweaking or altering, that will be a fast process. You don't need to do pockets or a real fly or finished waistband (just cut one strip to test length and where it falls on you).

      I was also thinking ... but don't know how set you are on jeans from the Ikat ... that a jeans skirt from that fabric would be great, easier to fit, and still fill the same spots in the outfits as the jeans. You could even go long for the skirt since you'll have the fabric length.Would be nice and cool for summer with the updraft ;-) and then with tights for colder temps. Again, just my 2 cents.

    2. I really want ikat pants, but I like the skirt idea as a backup. Seattle is pretty cool temperature-wise, even in the summer, so I would definitely get a lot of use out of the pants. I'll just have to see how much tweaking I think I need after doing the muslin and will see where to go from there.

  6. Definitely muslin the jeans since they are designed to have a much closer fit than pants/trousers. Sewing jeans doesn't take as long as many may think.

    I saw that HP released their summer 12-piece wardrobe. I've been out of capsule planning for a few months now, but having viewed this recent release and your original 12-piece plan, I am intrigued! Hmm...

    1. I'm hoping to not need more than a few tweaks on the jeans from the muslin--I used to (pre-baby) just need to lengthen the rise in back a touch and grade between sizes at the hip/waist, so I'm hoping to not need much more than that. If I do, I'll have to re-think the jeans plan.

  7. The IKAT pants will be so on trend. Loving the look of the fabric. For my 2c and to throw a spanner in the works, what about that wonderful pattern you finished not long ago - the top with the lower flowing back - party in the back - too lazy to go back and look at the pattern - but that was a great top. Love your plan.

    1. That's the HP Blouse-Back tee, and I will definitely make one again, but not as part of this mini-wardrobe.

  8. I'd definitely go with the Hoodie with a zip. That could be a top on its own or as a topper.

    I really should get going on my planning for the Contest. But I need to finish my outerwear TODAY! Yikes!