Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Playing the Numbers

Though I'm not one for dwelling on the finished product (not that I don't enjoy it), I feel an urge to return, briefly, to this Summer Series' Five in Five.

Why?

Well, that capsule wardrobe is the best fucking thing I've ever put together - as a fulsome fashion endeavor, I mean.

You'll recall I searched my stash and made:
  • A denim skirt (New Look 6843) - very easy and so useful "basic", you should have one in every colour
  • A slate blue, ruched, sleeveless top (Vogue 8790) - so not easy, but still very wearable, it's a fancy, cool summer shirt
  • A slate grey, tailored, knit dress (Vogue 1287) - insanely tricky, but man, it's fine...
  • A floral sack dress (Vogue 1179), which still manages to be insanely chic for all of its sack-ness
  • A faux wrap dress (Vogue 1027) in peacock blue, with pockets!
At first I was quite dismayed because a) it was a fairly un-fun process making these garments and b) much of my stitching looked like the work of a person who's never sewn before.

However, as time has passed - and as experience has taught me - the stitching is almost irrelevant. The good drape and fit, I'm happy to say, are what has endured.

The Toronto summer began a mere month ago, and in that time I have worn every garment each week. Every time I wear one of these pieces, at least one person asks me about it complimentarily, in such a way that I know it's a solid hit.

Every time I put on one of these garments I feel terrific. Stitching notwithstanding, I would have been thrilled to buy any of them at the shops.

And what makes it utterly fabulous is that I spent less on the whole lot than I might have on a skirt or top. Including tax, shipping and notions/extra materials.
  • The denim was 10.00 a yard and I used a remnant of about .75 yards
  • The Tencel I used on the top and the sexy, tailored knit dress was 10.00 a yard and I used 3.5 yards over both garments
  • The floral, cotton jersey was 5.00 a yard and I used 1.5 yards
  • The blue Modal was 10.00 a yard and I used 2.25 yards
(I seem to be very comfortable spending 10.00 a yard...)

Even including the notions I spent only 80.00 for what I consider to be 7 garments - because the skirt and top are perfect worn together but they can also be worn with many other things. These are garments that fit my body in a made-to-measure sense.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I know that for every Five in Five there are 9 bras that don't fit. Hell, I'm the first to say I hated much of the process and the workmanship is crap.

But seriously, it doesn't matter. I wear it. I love it. It fits me. It suits me. I made it. Lord, I love this constellation of events.

What's the best (from the perspective of overall wearability) garment or capsule collection that you've ever made?

21 comments:

  1. I would have to say that my most worn garment is a pair of never blogged shorts from the July 2009 issue of Burda mag. I've worn them to death. Literally. I've sewn the hooks back on the waistband like 4 or 5 times, and I've taken them in once because I un-grew them. They'll have to go after this summer though because there's not really a good place to resew the hooks again, and they're coming off (my handsewing is absolute rubbish) yet again.

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    1. You'll just have to make them again!

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  2. Recently, I have made a grey/khaki/beigish skirt and jacket and a white pants/jacket/skirt and i wear each of them at least once a week. Surprisingly enough the grey jacket is the scarlet jacket with a different set of sleeves on it and absolutely no interfacing. One of the welt pockets is uuugly on the inside and one of the bound button holes is also similarly messed up, but it doesn't stop me from wearing it at least once a week- make that once every other week because i made a dress out of the same material that i wear the other weeks. The last couple of months have been a lot of suits and tops. I've really settled into making some basics since mostly I'm going to work day in and day out.

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    1. I love to hear that others wear suboptimally constructed garments (sometimes I feel that I'm the only one) and that they still get great wear.

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  3. I recently made a gray/khaki skirt suit that is now my most go to outfit, even with the inside of one of the welt pockets being wonky. Surprisingly enough, the jacket is the Gertie starlet jacket with a different set of sleeves on it. Let me tell you, sleeves make all the difference on that jacket- well that and I didn't use any interfacing. Once I fixed the fit last summer, it works well. This is a year of suits for me, I've made 4 so far, 5 if you count the one that I started spring '12 and finally finished in march, and I'm working on my 6th.

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  4. So great that even though the process was a pain, the result worked so well! But honestly lady, we need more photos of your fabulous garments! More! Can't say I've ever done anything approaching the coolness level of a capsule wardrobe. Hopefully some day :)

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    1. I'm sorry. I'm really terrible with the photos. I've got very out of practice and, at the end of the day, it's the last thing I'm interested in. Will try to improve!

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  5. Last winter I worked on a more coordinated color palate. I seemed to be making a number of orphans. Items that just didn't go with anything I owned!

    I used black and grey as my bottom colors and any top that I made had to go with at least one of those colors if not both. Best thing I ever did. It was so easy to get dressed. I will admit that I got a bit tired of sewing black by the time I was done.

    I liked the ease of that wardrobe so much I started collecting fabrics based on browns. I got a few things made for it last winter but still have many, many fabrics left to get me started this winter.

    Now my summer colors are all over the place. I can't seem to commit to a color palate for the summer although I did make 5 pieces earlier this summer that were all in the navy, camel and whites. Hung all together they look like a small start to a coordinated grouping.

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    1. I love a coordinated grouping but, really, my capsule collection isn't so much coordinated as just everything is wearable. I think that can work just as well...

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  6. For me it's the basics that get the most wear. I wore the jeans I made till the fabric disintegrated, and my newest denim skirt is in heavy rotation. It's confirmation that I should be sewing the basics most of the time, not the shiny things that are lovely.
    As an aside, we are often far more critical of the things we make than the things we buy. I think you underestimate your skill level.

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    1. Thank you for suggesting that I underestimate my skill level. I'd love to believe that (though some days it's hard to!).

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  7. that's a great result! i've never tried a capulse wardrobe but i have noticed through sewing/ blogging that i tend to gravitate towards similar colours each season - aubergine, charcoal grey, teal, navy in winter and navy, white, red and blue/ turquoise in summer. they are colours i like and that suit me, and restricting the palette slightly (of course if i fall in love with fabric outside of the colours i will still buy it!) really helps avoid non-matching orphans.

    i also made a specific effort after me made may to make separates and it's paid off really well - i have actually done me made july so far without conscious effort. i have also tried to be more realistic about what i actually wear rather than what i would like to think i wear!

    so altho i don't have a specific capsule wardrobe plan, i am finding things match better and i find it easier to make outfits.

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    1. It's great that you've managed to integrate the "me made" series. I too find that. I've never participated in the actual event because I'm too lazy to document things...

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  8. Not fair at all! You say, it's the best thing you put together! You say, you use them all the freaking time!! But you just won't show them!

    You are such a tease!

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    1. Look, I know. I kind of suck that way. I'm working on it. :-)

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  9. I used to love making dresses and have to say I think I got the best cost-benefits ration with that garment. . . but it's so long since I've sewn that I feel like I'm cheating even to mention that. . . So good to hear you recognizing your achievements and enjoying last year's wardrobe of your own making!

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    1. I know - dresses really are the best bang for your buck. And, occasionally, I like to leave off the constant complaining in favour of equanimity :-)

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  10. Yay! That's awesome. You gave sweat, blod and tears into those clothes - I'm glad you are loving them now!

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  11. Probably the best "capsule" wardrobe was one I made many years ago when I was leaving university for teaching. After an extended (read...endless) time as a student, it was time to grow up (wardrobe wise). So I spent time fitting patterns and made pants and straight skirts in black and also in grey pinstripe and a couple of bright cardigan jackets, bought tops....It was awesome and I've just gone on from there. I took the time to line/underline things and just replaced the last of those pieces two years ago. After 10 years of weekly wear - I'd put me-made items against store bought anyday!

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    1. How amazing that you got so many years from one collection. You're just going to have to make them all again!

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