Category Archives: wardrobe planning

SWAP 2015

Occasionally over the years, I’ve planned a neat-looking SWAP and even made a few pieces, but I’ve never actually completed the whole thing (as far as I can remember, anyway). The closest I came was in in 2004, when I made three skirts and six/seven knit tops (seven sewn but one was a wadder).  I have photographic evidence, hehe.

This year, I need some basics. Simple shapes, easy color scheme, that kind of stuff. I’m going with red, white, and black. Most of them are already in my fabric collection.

SWAP 2015 fabrics

A little bit of analysis of my previous SWAP attempts leads me to believe that my best bet this year is to focus on one silhouette and make multiples of only a few patterns. So, I’ll be making pants – it’s time to update my pant pattern to a narrower leg and adjust the length to somewhere near the ankle so they will work with both heels and flats. I’ll make three pairs: black, white, and red.

To go with the pants, I will make five tank tops: black, white, red, white/black stripe, and white/red stripe. I was completely wintered out by Christmas so all this sewing will be with spring and summer in mind. I am almost always cold so layering is important. That said, I do not like the feel of two sleeves inside one another so my preference is for a sleeveless top with a long-sleeved cardigan. The five tank tops should give me a pretty good start.

SWAP 2015 plan

The other three items in the SWAP are wildcards and those will be two cardigans and a dress. The two cardigans are RTW that need a little refashioning. One is solid black, the other black with white polka dots. I plan to cut them shorter, reshape the neckline, and add white trim like I did on the red one. The dress will be solid red and sleeveless.

I am actually going to limit myself to just two patterns – one for the pants and one for the tops and dress (both of these patterns are TNT).  I am hoping this will help eliminate any analysis paralysis so that I can just sew. Let’s see how well it works.

See you soon!

New jeans

In one of the recent wardrobe posts, I wrote that the wear-at-home side of my closet needed its own capsule. And it does. I’ll spare you the gory details. Suffice it to say that the need is dire and I have taken the first step to fill the gaping hole. I’m thinking two pairs of jeans and 4-6 tops. I’m starting with the jeans because I wanted to try Angela Wolf’s pattern.

Jeans - Front view

My measurements are between size 4 and 6 so I went with the 6. I wanted a straighter leg so after adding ⅛” to both the inseam and side seam at the knee (to match an old favorite pair), I dropped both seams straight down to the hem. Then I tested it in muslin. Muslin doesn’t stretch so this was a stand-up only pair but it was enough to show what other adjustments were needed:

  1. I took out ¾” from the upper edge of the yoke at CB, tapering to nothing at the side;
  2. I added ¼” to the inseam at the crotch level on both front and back, tapering to nothing about 8″ lower;
  3. I scooped the front crotch curve ⅛”.

Then I cut it in stretch denim to make a wearable prototype. That’s what you see in these pictures. For this particular pair, I taped the back yoke to the jeans back piece – there’s no shaping involved, just a straight line, and no grain change either so this was okay and it allowed me to position the pockets higher. I omitted the belt loops because the stabilized curved waistband will stay put without the help of a belt.

Jeans - Back and side view

I am not too keen on the amount of wrinkling on the back of the legs. I’ll see if I can fix some of that in the next version. Otherwise, I am pretty pleased. The pattern has very detailed instructions, which I followed almost to the letter. I used regular white Metrosene for both seaming and topstitching. No doubled thread here. I think it shows just fine. The serger was threaded with blue from a previous project so I just used that. I opted for a contrast waistband facing, using the same bright green quilting cotton that lines the pockets and serves as the fly shield.

Jeans - Closeups

I’m not entirely sure about the stretch denim. It feels weird, how it moves with the body. I think I prefer regular non-stretch denim. There should be a few yards coming in the mail soon. That said, this pair is perfectly wearable for around the house.

There’s so much more I wanted to tell you but the words aren’t coming because my brain is ready for the movers. They’re coming tomorrow. It’s a local move so somewhat less stressful than our usual transatlantic move but still far from fun. I expect to be unpacked and fairly functional early next week. And now I’m off to pack up my machines because I don’t want anybody else’s paws touching them.

See you soon!

Wardrobe from scratch – part 3

We left off having completed step 13, the second round of accessories, and had what looked like a reasonable wardrobe. I mean, I probably could have stopped there and done just fine. But there are more steps in Janice’s plan so let’s work through them.

Step 14 is leisure wear. In other words, clothes to wear at home. This is a good place to add some colorful pizzazz. I already have the two pairs of pants – one is a cotton woven wide-leg style, the other a stretchy knit yoga style. I’d need to make the two tops. In reality, I need a separate capsule for homewear so I will leave these out of the subsequent slides.

Step 14

In step 15 we’re adding a versatile dress, an accent cardigan, and a pair of shoes. Janice made them on the warm weather side, with sleeveless dresses and sandals. I already have a dress in this wardrobe plan and it’s a long-sleeved one so I’ll add a sleeveless one here. I was debating between a really neat black and white houndstooth and this solid black one. The black one won because I already own it. I really love the idea of a houndstooth dress though so it might make an appearance next year. We’ll see. No sandals for this fall/winter wardrobe. Instead, I’m bringing in my knee-high boots – they’ll see plenty of wear. Rounding out this selection is a red cardigan, which I already own. It will require a slight refashioning but it’s definitely serviceable.

Step 15

In step 16, Janice looked for a “core of four” in each of the neutrals – two tops and two bottoms that can make four outfits. I can do that with the black pieces. The gray capsule only has one bottom so I’m going to add another skirt here but not in gray. I won’t wear gray pants so there’s no use putting them here and the only skirts I wear are pencil style so adding another gray pencil skirt won’t lend this wardrobe further versatility. But a black and white houndstooth skirt would be perfect here.

Step 16a

I am also seriously short on white items so I’ll add a white sweater and a white cardigan. I don’t own any of these three items and will have to make them.

Step 16b

Below I included the three new pieces so the white section looks more in balance with the rest. It’s starting to look like a really large wardrobe but there are only 23 garments and that includes two coats.

Step 16c

This wardrobe is just about done so in step 17 we add some finishing touches. Let’s take another look at the garments in the picture above to see if there are any obvious holes. Janice is aiming at 24 pieces. I’m good with what I see, but will add a black leather skirt and a ribbed V-neck sweater because these two together were one of my favorite outfits last year. The black short-sleeved tee shirt looks like an anomaly here, among all the sweaters, but for now I’ll keep it. We’ll see how it works out in real life.

Step 17a

I have separated the clothes from the shoes and accessories to get a better idea of how things look. I think the wardrobe is looking pretty good now.

Step 17b

Step 17c

In step 18, Janice checked her wardrobe plans against her Common Wardrobe to ensure nothing was missing. The Common Wardrobe has too many pieces I wouldn’t wear so instead, I’m using this step as a reality check. First, there are two dresses and five cardigans I’d wear with them. It sounds like ten different outfits but in reality it’s only five different looks because the sleeves or lack thereof under the cardigan won’t make any difference. Depending on the weather outside, there will really be only one reasonable dress choice on any given day.

Then there are six bottoms and nine tops that work well with them. Each top goes with at least two bottoms so that’s another 18+ outfits. I also have the black T-shirt here but the chances of it being worn without a cardigan on top are practically nil. There is a bit of crossover between the two groups in that I might wear the pants and jeans with the white shirt or the black T-shirt and a cardigan, but we’ll see how realistic that is.

Step 18

So, pretty decent wardrobe plan, I’d say. I’m going to give it a try this fall/winter and see how I fare. There are a few pieces in this wardrobe that I will need to make or buy:

What to make and buy 2

Pretty cool, right?

See you soon!

Wardrobe from scratch – part 2

In the previous post, I left off at step 7, with enough garments and accessories to get through at least two weeks without completely repeating an outfit.

Step 7

I thought in this post I’d get through the rest of the steps but, umm… no. It will require at least one more post. It takes forever to find just the right picture, in just the right color, and just the right shape, to represent what I have in my wardrobe or want to add to it. Let’s just say that going through this exercise, I have gained a whole new appreciation for the work Janice does on The Vivienne Files.

Anyway, moving on to step 8, we’re going to add two tops and a necklace. I chose a light gray cashmere jewel neck and a darker gray cotton blend turtleneck, both of which I already own. The necklace is my peridot torsade.

Step 8a

Step 8b

In step 9, we add a skirt with a top and shoes. In Janice’s lineup, this is the first skirt and fairly formal and the blouse is on the formal side as well. As in, “important occasion”. I already have a formal-enough gray skirt in this wardrobe  and tops that work with it, so I’m going with polka dots and bright color. I’ll need to make both of these pieces (and my fall 6-PAC is starting to take shape). The shoes are a pair of Ecco maryjanes I already have.

Step 9a

Step 9b

In step 10, the idea is to up the casual factor in the wardrobe and so we add a casual jacket, top, and shoes. I already have a black parka and a pair of black Keds. I’ll have to make the sweater (probably knit rather than sew).

Step 10a

Step 10b

Step 11 is where we start adding personality to the wardrobe, although I think I might have started on that earlier with the polka dot skirt. Anyway, here we add a complete outfit – three pieces that work together. Some of Janice’s variations show a three-piece outfit, one shows three pieces that can be paired together in two different ways. I chose the latter and added a dress, a cardigan and a shawl. I wouldn’t wear the cardigan and the shawl together, but each works well with the dress. I already have the long-sleeved black dress and the green shawl. I’ll have to knit the cardigan.

Step 11a

Step 11b

In step 12, we’re looking for an attractive, versatile winter coat. My 12-year-old black coat is getting threadbare and will require replacement soon so I chose this red double-breasted one because I like the shape and the details. When I make it, the trim will be black to match the buttons and it may have a hood so it’s more practical in rainy/snowy weather. The boots are my existing Ecco, and I’ll knit a black or dark gray cowl to keep my neck warm.

Step 12a

Step 12b

Step 13 is round two of accessories. It calls for another handbag and because I don’t actually like to change handbags day-to-day, I chose to add a tote that already lives in my closet. It’s very useful for carrying larger items that don’t fit in the handbag. Then two pairs of earrings, a necklace, a brooch, and a bracelet. I’m not much of a bracelet person but I think I would wear this one. I already own the peridot earrings and the starburst brooch, and I’ll need to buy the red earrings and necklace, and the green bracelet.

Step 13a

Step 13b

It’s getting pretty crowded there but there are still a few more steps to go. I’m liking the look of this wardrobe very much, and especially the fact that I already have most of the pieces. My sewing and knitting plan is shaping up quite nicely (I’ll make the garments and purchase the jewelry). I’m sure I’ll have to add to it in the steps that follow, but here’s how it looks right now:

What to make and buy

How are your wardrobe and/or sewing plans coming along? Please share in the comments.

See you soon!

Wardrobe building from scratch

Janice over at The Vivienne Files has been posting awesome articles about wardrobe building for years. Her latest series, Starting from scratch, is pure genius, beautifully illustrated and with excellent explanations of what, why, and how. There’s also a very lively discussion related to her articles on the Stitcher’s Guild. I’ve been waiting every morning with bated breath to see what the next step brings. Last night, I decided to see how it would look in my own wardrobe and what I might need to sew this fall and winter.

The first step is a pair of dressy pants. I already have one. It will need to be replaced soon but for now, it will do.

Step 1

Step 2 is a versatile, comfortable pair of shoes. For me this would be my Ecco Kiev. I love them.

Step 2

Step 3 adds a cardigan and a tee shirt. I have these already.

Step 3

Step 4 adds jeans and a shirt. Jeans in the neutral color, which means I’d have to make them. So I’ll be on the lookout for some nice black denim. The shirt already lives in my closet.

Step 4

In step 5, we add accessories: handbag, earrings, watch, bracelet, necklace, scarf – whatever works. I’m not big on wearing bracelets so I didn’t put one here, opting for a necklace instead.

Step 5

Step 6 adds accent color tops (one each) and a scarf. I already have sweaters in these colors so I added them. Janice shows tops that can be worn under cardigans, which I might try in a future version of this. The scarf is also one I already have.

Step 6

In step 7 we add a top and bottom in the second neutral, and a pair of shoes. Janice shows a pair of pants but I prefer skirts so that’s what I chose. I would need to make this. For the gray top, I have a cardigan that will work well. Janice shows the shoes in the second neutral color but all my shoes are black and that’s not likely to change anytime soon, so I added a pair of Munro pumps I already own.

Step 7

Now we take a brief pause to see what outfit options we have and whether this is the direction in which we want to go. I put these together and I like them, although I don’t really like sleeves on sleeves so the white shirt with a cardigan is not my favorite option. I’m not sure if I want to rethink the white shirt or just not worry about wearing a cardigan with it.

Wardrobe building pause

And this is as far as I’ve gotten for now. Janice has plenty more steps and I’ll work through them in the next few days. I want to be ready with a good plan when the fall 6-PAC sew-along starts on the Stitcher’s Guild.

Are you following along with Janice’s posts and looking at your wardrobe with new eyes? Please share in the comments.

See you soon!

RTW fast and inspiration

Yesterday, Sarah of Goodbye Valentino issued a challenge an invitation to join her for a year of RTW fast. I hemmed and hawed, and asked my husband for his opinion, then went off to procrastinate read some other blogs, but after a while I sent her an email to say I’m in. My reasoning went something like this:

  1. My summer 6-PAC gave me confidence that I can make six coordinating garments in three months.
  2. The Project 333 exercise is showing me that a small wardrobe is perfect for me and that I am definitely an outfit person (as opposed to mix-and-match).
  3. My preliminary SWAP board has mostly simple-to-sew pieces that reflect what I really wear.
  4. Participating in the YLF forum is helping me with ideas for incorporating elements of my inspiration board into my wardrobe.

All this means I have low needs, sufficient skills, and plenty of ideas so I can definitely make it happen. I’m already looking forward to it, especially because I envision making some special pieces based on my inspiration board. For reference, here it is:

Inspiration board

When I posted it on the YLF forum in November with a plea to help identify the vibe, I received a lot of wonderfully helpful analysis in response. Here’s the recap:

Old-hollywood glamour, retro, classic, ladylike/feminine, luxury,
dramatic, statuesque, majestic, queenly, sophisticated drama, bold, romantic, sleek, film noir, bombshell.
Sexy without being trashy; classic without being boring; dramatic without being costumey; think Joan from Mad Men.
Neutral clothes, colorful accessories.
Defined waist. Draped above waist, fitted below.
Textural mix – “dimension meets smooth”, shine.

This is quite interesting because it meshes really well with what Christine writes about Bright Winters. Funny because I made the board back in the beginning of 2011, long before my Bright Winter “diagnosis”. That goes to show that we often really do gravitate to what’s innately ours, even if we’re not yet ready to see it.

From Christine’s book, the keywords for Bright Winter:
“sharp, luxurious, polished, gleaming, symmetrical, repeating, imperial, composed, thrilling, brilliant, bold, dramatic, Asian, original, expensive.”

I’ll keep all of this in mind as I plan my sewing projects. Of course, I wouldn’t wear the most dramatic/retro/bombshell outfits as they are on the board. But I would like to incorporate some of their elements. Maybe a cape over an otherwise classic outfit. Ooh a cape! With a fur collar maybe!  Wouldn’t that be fun?

Over to you, dear readers: are you joining Sarah’s RTW fast? Thinking about it?

On wardrobe plans and Project 333

I’ve been making wardrobe plans for as long as I can remember. This probably started back when I came across an image book as a teenager. As one book became a shelf-ful , and self color analysis yielded narrower color choices, I made plans to dress just so. Only, things didn’t always go as planned. As a teenager, I had a tiny budget. As an adult, I’ve often lacked time to make the clothes I planned.

The most recent plan to fall through was the one I made back in May last year. You can read about it here. For reference, this was my closet then (you can see I added some fabrics to make it look less… I don’t know… drab? empty?):

Closet

Well, my husband deployed shortly after that post and I had my hands full with the DIY renovation of our house we’d started (think gutted kitchen, replacing all doors and trims, etc) on top of a full-time job. And a few months later, while he was still in the desert, we got orders to Germany. That meant finishing up the reno, selling the house, supervising the move including moving into the inn on base when the house sold faster than we’d anticipated, and training my replacement at work. All this left me with no time or energy for sewing.

Fast forward to now. I have bought a few things to fill major holes and made a couple of sweaters to bring in lime green. Other than that, nothing. So now I’m in a different climate, with a more relaxed stay-home lifestyle. It’s time to plan the wardrobe again. Only this time, I’m doing it differently.

I’ve read a bit here and there about Project 333 over the last couple of years. It seemed to help people conquer their inner shopping addict and get a grip on their ever-expanding closets. This didn’t apply to me. If anything, I had the opposite problem – I would have had trouble coming up with 33 things for any given season.

Then sometime early last week, it occurred to me that I could use the P333 guidelines and daily photos to help me understand what I wear, how I combine garments, and what my preferences are. I think I know but I’m having a hard time putting it into words so maybe I don’t really know. I figure with a month’s worth of pictures, I may start coming up with some descriptive words.

Here’s my closet now:
Closet pic

It’s missing two gray cardigans which are waiting to be laundered and a skinny belt that is not visible here. Undergarments and running gear live in the dresser and shoes are downstairs. Summer clothes are in storage. I like it with the bright colors – it’s an improvement on the old picture, I think.

The point of the exercise is to figure out where I am aka point A. Because eventually I would like to get to point B, which is where I incorporate elements from my inspiration board:

Inspiration board

What I’m picking up here is a vibe of “feminine glamour” or “understated glamour” or something like that. Or I may be totally off, feel free to chime in. At any rate, I don’t think this is what’s in my closet right now. Hence the need to find point A. I have a feeling it’s going to be something very classic.

It was fun to make the slides for my P333 wardrobe. It should be even more fun to plan a wardrobe that marries what I wear now with some glamorous pieces.

See you soon!

Wardrobe essentials: dresses

This is the sixth article in the Wardrobe Essentials series.

You may not consider dresses essential, especially if you’re a fan of separates. For me, however, they are the ultimate no-thinking-required outfit-in-one-piece garments. Therefore, must-haves in my closet.

Wardrobe essentials – dresses

The important considerations for dresses are similar to those of first layer tops (neckline, sleeves, overall length, fabric, and details) and bottoms (length,  width, details).

Neckline
First, pick a flattering neckline – consider its width, depth, and shape. If you haven’t yet, please read how to determine the balance points for your necklines. Then, if you plan to wear another layer over the dress, consider how the necklines will work together.

Sleeves
Your length options range from sleeveless (perfect in the summer and under layers) to long sleeves (wonderful in the winter). If your dress is the star of your outfit, its sleeve width options are limited only by your imagination and available fabric (and maybe practical concerns but who wants to worry about that when they’re wearing a star dress?). If your dress is a supporting player, narrower sleeves make layering easier.

Overall length
In this part, you may want to draw on your most flattering skirt lengths. For most women, this is where the legs are the narrowest – usually somewhere around the knee. The hem can create a strong horizontal line so consider its effect.

Another length consideration pertains to loose fitting dresses that can be worn with or without a belt. They’re likely to lose some length in exchange for waist shape when you belt them. I’d hem the dress for the way I’m most likely to wear it.

Width
Just as for skirts, dress hem circumference is important. You don’t want it to be too anything (too narrow, too wide…) but just right. Your preferences in skirts can guide you here.

Fabric
Find your best fabrics. Which ones are your favorites? Consider your body lines when choosing drapey vs. firm fabrics. If your body lines call for different types of fabric above and below the waist, you could try a two-piece-look dress that satisfies the fabric criteria, or you could add structure through details (such as a collar) to the fabric with more drape.

Details
Do you want a zipper or is this a pull-on dress? If you’re planning a zipper, where will it go? In the back for ease of donning/doffing the dress? Hiding in the side seam? In the front for easy access (patients with ports, nursing moms)? If you’re considering a pull-on dress, make sure the neckline will go over your head easily. This may necessitate a buttoned shoulder seam or a polo style front opening or a similar detail if the neckline is not large enough.

If your dress has side seam pockets, make sure your hips don’t borrow room from them so your pockets don’t gap. For patch pockets, experiment with placement for best figure flattery and access.

Other details – piping, ruffles, monograms and other embroidery, etc. This is where your personality can shine through. Consider how the details on each dress will play with any layers you plan to wear over it, and have fun!

Next time we’ll take a closer look at accessories worn indoors.

Project 333 and SWAP

You know how sometimes the universe is telling you something? Your friend makes a comment, you read something on a forum or a blog, the library has some interesting new titles… and when you look at all of it together, there’s a message for you. (No? OK, just me then.)

Whenever we move, it always takes me close to a year to develop a good understanding of how I need to dress for the new climate/lifestyle/work status. I’m getting close to that point now. I’ve been planning my SWAP, then Mary made a comment on SG about needing a strategy, and then I came across several articles about wardrobe simplification with links to Project 333. Hmmm… yes, hello! Strategy! I totally need this! I read and took notes, and then I went through my wardrobe. Take a look:

I started with a core of eight dressy items – a four piece suit and four fine-gauge sweaters.

Plan - part 1

Then I added jeans, a black leather skirt, and four casual tops.

Plan - part 2

Then came color – lime green and red. Both of these are straight from the Bright Winter palette. Even though I don’t wear red very often, there are days when nothing but red will do. And of course, I love the lime green.

Plan - part 3

Just a few more sweaters. You may have noticed that I don’t have any T-shirts in here. That’s because I consider them undergarments. As in, I wouldn’t wear them without another layer and a scarf (so they don’t show).

Plan - part 4

And it’s done. 22 pieces in all. Manageable.

Plan - part 5

Now I’ll add the coats, scarves, footwear, and accessories. Without scarves and jewelry, my total comes to 30. Once we count the scarves and jewelry, the total will be over 33 items, which is okay because the number is arbitrary anyway. The point is to have a small, cohesive wardrobe. I’m good with extra accessories.

Plan - part 6

I just realized that I forgot to add the gloves and hat – very much a necessity here in the winter. I’ll be wearing them even though they’re not in the picture.

I have all of these pieces already. (Some of the pictures are of the exact item, others are a close approximation.) I am going to wear them from now until the end of February. I think the original Project 333 starts the new season on January 1 but that doesn’t seem long enough so I’ll extend it a bit. And if it works well, then maybe all the way to the end of March to coincide with the start of the next P333 season.

I plan to post my outfits once a week to get a good idea of what I wear the most, which combinations work the best, and where I need to make changes for next time. That way I can modify my SWAP plan to get the best working wardrobe possible. Remember my SWAP board?

SWAP 2014 visual

The suit and coat will be the first five pieces in my SWAP. The suit in my P333 board is a placeholder for the new one. All four pieces will be replaced because 1) I want all four to be from the same fabric, and 2) I’m looking to switch from black to dark charcoal gray.

For coats, I have a very warm winter coat and a very thin trench coat but I need to make one for those in-between temperatures. Then I’ll be able to keep just two coats each season – the new one and the warm one in the winter, and then the new one and the thin trench coat in the spring.

After the suit and the coat are finished, I can focus on adding some lighter sweaters in gray, white, and lime green for the spring. And of course, some things may change as I learn more about my needs and preferences. I’ll keep you posted.

See you soon!

SWAP on my mind

We’re back from our whirlwind trip stateside. Between the cultural must-visit places and shopping, one week is really just not enough. We had a fun time.

Shortly before we left, the SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) rules were announced on Stitcher’s Guild so my jet-lagged mind has been churning over a bunch of possible sewing projects. I’m sticking with the black/charcoal/lime green color scheme and drawing on all the wonderful inspiration that Janice of The Vivienne Files provides. Something like this:

SWAP 2014 visual

I have a plain-woven off-black/charcoal gray wool fabric for the four-piece suit. For the coat, there are two potential candidates: a black quilted smooth poly and a dark gray/black fuzzy wool. We’ll see. For the lime green pieces, I have some poly blend double knits, a cotton jersey, and wool yarn, and also leather for the skirt. Lots of choices here. The two sweaters on the bottom can be a shimmery gray sweater knit and a white/gray boucle knit.

SWAP 2014 patterns

I’m pretty sure about the jacket, coat, and pants patterns. I’ll have to make mock-ups because they are new to me but all three have been on my mental list to try for a while. The self-drafted skirt and dress patterns are no-brainers. I’m debating the sleeves on the dress. Sleeveless may be more versatile. Not entirely sure about the sweater patterns – most will probably be a new incarnation of KwikSew 3003, some may be machine-knitted based on a different pattern. We’ll see.

**********

Here are the rules, for reference (edited for brevity):
We will sew 3 “3 packs” + 2 “wild cards” = 11 garments.

A “three pack” may be 2 tops + 1 bottom OR 1 top + 1 bottom + 1 outer layer OR 1 dress + 1 top + 1 bottom. The “wild card” options must be “garments”, not accessories.

One garment may be previously sewn; another may be purchased.
A current WIP may be included OR one item may be stitched up from scratch before the official sewing date of December 26.

There’s no need for every top to match every bottom.  However, all the individual pieces must form a cohesive collection.

“Sewing” is a blanket term; you may sew, knit, crochet, weave…whatever works.

Sewing will begin December 26th, and all garments must be finished by April 30th, 2014.  Muslins, pattern fitting and cutting may be started whenever you are ready.

**********

OK, so the rules call for 3-packs and I’m thinking in 4-packs. But I think my plan will work anyway:

  1. charcoal gray pants + lime green top + lime green cardigan
  2. charcoal gray skirt + lime green top + charcoal gray jacket
  3. lime green skirt + shimmery gray sweater + charcoal gray dress
  4. wildcards: white/gray boucle top + black coat

I’ll do some more thinking and of course, this is all subject to change. But for now, this is my plan. What about you, dear readers? Are you participating? Thinking about it? Do tell, please.