I try to purge my closet twice a year, before the volume of clothing I own gets to a critical point. I have two main sources of clothing – either it’s handmade or thrifted. This leads to a bit of closet stuffing sometimes! I call over a friend, put on some fun music, break out the wine, and try on every single item in my closet. I find that last part to be essential. I can lie to myself about a garment when it’s on the hanger, but trying it on makes it obvious what I should do. If I still can’t decide, it goes to my friend, who knows to be brutally honest. This year I donated three large garbage bags full of clothing to Goodwill, including most of my older pairs of pants. I’m planning to do a post every day this week talking about different parts of my wardrobe, giving some insight into how I plan things.
Today’s topic: Tops
Shirts are definitely the most neglected part of my wardrobe right now. I spent the past year wearing dresses most of the time, but I’m looking to shake things up a bit. I recently purchased some slim fitting ponte pants (Michael Kors) and skinny jeans that actually fit (from The Limited) and I want tunics and longer blouses that work with that silhouette.
The sad rack above is the extent of my top collection after my clean out. Half of those shirts I don’t even love – I just kept them so I could have something to wear! I do have more cardigans and sweaters of course, but I need both. So for the next few weeks I plan to focus on tops, with the hope of increasing my collection a bit! Here are my current plans:
Vogue 8634: Cowl necks work really well for my body type, but I’m picky about them. I love either a separate cowl, or at least a separate piece used as the cowl (I find cowl necks where the cowl is part of the bodice front to be unflattering on me.) It seems like everyone but me has made this top! I plan to make the extra long length from gray/black striped jersey, purchased at Fabric Mart in their last big sale.
McCall’s 6203: I initially overlooked this pattern due to a bad envelope photo. I changed my mind recently when I ran across Lisa’s version! I totally stole her idea of using gray. I haven’t seen anyone make this version, with the neck drape. Round necklines aren’t as good on me, so I will likely make this one. My fabric is from fabric.com.
Vogue 8731: I love this top – it’s simple, but the pleats are really interesting. I’m using a crimson tencel jersey, which I have ordered from fabric.com but not yet received. When I decided to make some tops I realized I would have to buy fabric (a hardship, I know) because most of my knits are ITY. I love ITY for dresses, but find it too heavy for most tops. In this case, I’m pretty sure the weight of the fabric would pull the center pleats out of shape. Fabric.com said this was a lightweight jersey, and in my experience when they say that they mean it!
Vogue 8771: I love dolman sleeves. I don’t like the other view of this pattern, which has long tight cuffs below the sleeves (doesn’t work on me) but I like this one! I have a metallic black jersey (poly/rayon/lurex blend) and plan to use that to make this top.
These tops are all knits, because I wear knit tops more often (ironing is not my friend,) but I did storyboard a few blouse patterns as well. I have the idea that I could use up some fabrics which I love, but which are a bit much made into a dress.
Simplicity 2307: The fabric is a cotton shirting, purchased from Sawyer Brook, and originally from J. Crew. I have had this for a year, and have been stumped as to how to use it. I think an entire dress of this pattern would be too much, but perhaps a shirt? This pattern has a stand up collar and little pinticks. I chose it because it does not have princess seams, which would be impossible in this fabric.
McCall 6167: in stretch shirting. The pattern is a smaller scale buffalo plaid. I meant to make this last year, but ran out of winter!
Simplicity 2365: Ok, so… I know this print is insane. I love it though. The rayon itself is very slightly crinkled, so it doesn’ t need a lot of ironing – bonus!
So that’s it for my shirt sewing plans. The knit tops are easy – I can easily make one in an evening. The blouses are a little more complex, as I haven’t made a shirt before (I have made several shirtdresses, which I suppose are the same idea.) I plan to cut these patterns tonight, and hopefully get one or two of them sewn on the weekend! I will be back later with more sewing ideas. My storyboards, as always, are in my flickr album, if you want to see all of them.