Nine Sewing Projects for 2016

Kimono Sleeved Washed Silk Top
Self Drafted.  This is a pattern I played with a lot in the final months of 2015, based on a very simple vintage cotton sailor shirt I have worn to death, and I think I am ready to try my simple version with a fancy fabric like a dark washed silk.

Kimono Sleeved Simple Dress
Self Drafted.  I hope I will be able to extend my kimono sleeved top pattern and turn it into a dress with a straight skirt with a simple gathered elastic casing.

Colette Beignet Mini Skirt
I sewed my first Beignet, a buttonless mini version, over the New Year and it was such a great fitting pattern and so easy to make, that now I would like to make it in all the colours and all the fabrics.

Mod Mini Dress
This is the year I am finally going to turn my mother’s beautiful soft cotton purple and blue paisley wedding dress into a striking modern mini dress with a simple silhouette that I can wear on it’s own in summer or with tights and a cardigan in winter.  I just need to find the perfect pattern with the perfect fit before I cut into this precious one of a kind fabric.  Possibly Colette’s Laurel or Lynn from Seamwork.

Colette Iris Shorts
I made a wearable muslin version of Colette’s Iris shorts over the summer in a remnant of pinstriped blue linen and they are such a great fit and such a comfy wear that I would like to make some now in a black cotton linen blend, and maybe in some polka dot denim.

Cigarette Trousers
Options: Ultimate Trousers by Sew Over It, Clover Trousers by Colette Patterns, Cigarette Trousers from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, or self drafted copied from an old favourite pair of Gorman Peggy Pants. Back welt pockets may adorn my second pair, after I get the fit right and am confident about the construction.

Megan Nielsen Darling Ranges Dress
I have tried the bodice of this dress before, and couldn’t get the fit right.  But my sister made a beautiful soft Darling Ranges dress, barely changing a thing about the pattern.  So I will give it another shot.  Maybe my muslin just needs to be made with a fabric with more drape.

Mesa Dress from Seamwork Magazine
Looks like the perfect simple work dress, and a chance for me to recreate a favourite grey tshirt dress that I have worn to death.

Watson Bra and Ohh Lulu High Waisted Undies Lingerie Set/Bikini
What better way to test a bra and undies than by making a swimwear version, right?

Savannah Camisole from Seamwork Magazine
I have been tossing up which to sew, Savannah or the Tessuti Camilla Camisole.  Sarai’s Merlot Red Silk Camisole convinced me Savannah is the way to go, sans lace and with a baby hem to finish the neckline.


Favourite Nail Colours

I’m one of those no fuss girls who doesn’t get round to doing her nails very often.  When I do, choosing a colour always stresses me out because I don’t know how I will coordinate one colour with a week’s worth of outfits.

These are the colours that I have found through trial and error to be the most flattering and versatile.

White nails are very fresh, and look especially great in summer when my skin tends to be a bit more tanned than usual.  White looks good with almost anything, but especially with blues, which I wear a lot.  Funny Bunny by OPI is my favourite white, because it’s not too opaque.

Pale Yellow
I got a pale yellow manicure on a whim one time on holiday in Chicago, and it was the perfect colour for my travel wardrobe of black, neutrals, red, white and blues.  I was really surprised by how good the yellow looked against my skin and how easy it was to match to outfits.  The yellow I really love is Jasper from Butter London‘s SS13 collection, but I’m not sure it’s still available.

Classic and girly, but not too girly.  Works well year round. My favourite is Privacy Please by OPI.

Definitely a summer colour, and one that can match with a lot of neutral outfits easily. Coral is a nice way to add a touch of colour to a simple outfit.  I’m also a fan of those bright red orange nail colours, but find they can be harder to get right.  Coral is great for the beach.  Essie has an amazing range from peachy to neon red.

I normally steer clear of dark nail colours, because I find they tend to make my hands look older and are generally less forgiving than most pastel colours.  That said, there are some rainy weeks in spring or autumn in Sydney where navy is a great choice and cheers me up no end.  My favourite navy is Urban from Revlon.

A classic work-appropriate alternative to fire engine red nails.  I wear a lot of deep aubergine purple and charcoal grey, and find this colour can go really nicely with these outfits.

I see women rocking neutral nails all the time and figure this is a grown up alternative to pastel nails that would definitely last the distance.  I have a bottle of Essie’s Sand Tropez that I got in a beauty box and am going to give it a go and see how it looks.


5 Piece French Wardrobe

As I have got more into sewing my own clothes, I find I buy less pieces from stores.  This, combined with an overflowing wardrobe that still needs rationalising, has inspired me to plan to purchase only a few quality items in 2016.

The rules for the 5 Piece French Wardrobe are that you limit yourself to buying 5 pieces per season (two seasons in a year), basics don’t count and accessories don’t count. I am counting shoes, as I don’t really consider them an accessory. And I am counting basics, unless I am simply replacing a basic item like a favourite tshirt or one of my two pairs of jeans (if they wear out). Following this philosophy, if I am replacing plain black work flats that have worn out, I would probably consider them a basic item and not count them towards my 5. Other shoes, though… yes.

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Modus Operandi: The Classifier

I didn’t grow up a tidy person, and my boyfriend (the minimalist) would argue that I am still not a tidy person now… but spending over a decade as a librarian did teach me a little something about classification, taxonomies, and the art of putting things away.

While I am definitely a minimalist+ sort of person, who struggles to make do with the bare minimum and loves things as much as she loves ideas, I do very much enjoy sorting things into groups and will organise by category (often to the point of obsession).

From packing lists, to reading lists, to drawers in my closet for different types of clothes, to the pantry, I just love to put things in order. I’m just not always very good in doing it to completion.