TheSecretCostumier - Wardrobe Architect
From scratch, Ready & waiting, Wardrobe Architect

Week Zero: Why start building a handmade wardrobe?

     At the beginning of this year, while I was slowly getting ready to plan how to…well, plan a new wardrobe, Sarai at the Coletterie has already started doing that. She came up with a brilliant project, The Wardrobe Architect, which takes you along the steps of dreaming up an ideal wardrobe and realizing those dreams, by analysing shapes, colours, silhouettes and examining how we feel about our bodies wearing the clothes we choose to wear.

      I think if you get a little serious about making your own clothes, sooner or later you come to a stage where you buy less RTW and more fabric. Then you realize that you are making things that are interesting to sew or just pretty, but they don’t quite fit into your existing wardrobe. The next step is the reality check, when you promise not to buy anymore shiny new fabric and to make clothes that will fit well, and will fit well into your lifestyle. That’s where I am right now, and looking at the discussion about the Wardrobe Architect, I am not the only one here.

      I’ve found 3 projects in the past few years that have really inspired me to turn my hobby (sewing, obvs!) into a more useful part of my everyday life, as well as to end the daily struggle to find well fitting, comfortable clothes in my closet that make me feel good about myself and reflect who I think I am.

TheSecretCostumier - makeshift

     Fashion designer and artist, Natalie Purschwitz, decided to get rid of most of her clothing and only wear what she makes for an entire year. This included everything from clothes to underwear, any accessories and even her shoes. I loved the project as it was as much about showcasing her distinctive style daily, as about exploring what works or what’s useful. It also looks at the process/habit of creating every day, not for pleasure or work, but to fulfil the very basic need/urge to dress up appropriately for every occasion. I also felt that it was a strong statement against the fast fashion culture, and it can be viewed as a proof of one’s ability to rely on herself as much as possible. (Images: makeshift)

TheSecretCostumier - Uniform project       

      1 Dress. 1 Month. 1 Cause. Actually it started off with 365 days of wearing the same little black dress by a girl called Sheena Matheiken, “as an exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation— a non-profit organization providing education to underprivileged children living in Indian slums.” In it’s second year, the UP welcomed different girls, different dresses and different charities for month long periods, which made it even more interesting, by providing several views on the challenges of wearing the same dress every day, and the amazingly creative ways to do it.

      The idea of ditching the casual/formal labels and the ability to transform one piece of clothing into something extremely versatile  is the most appealing aspect to me in this project (these dresses can be worn front-to-back, for example!). Being able to wear the same dress for very different occasions, eliminates the need for “special” clothing, which leads to a smaller wardrobe. Which brings us to the last bit of inspiration… (Images: Uniform Project)

TheSecretCostumier - Everything I Have

       When I was a kid I wore one of my pyjamas until only a few threads held the back of the shorts together. When my mum binned it, I took it out and kept it under my pillow as long as I could… I guess that’s what they call an emotional connection to objects, right? That’s probably how I ended up with a wardrobe of which 78% of the clothing only gets worn less than 5 times a year!  I know that number, because last summer I took a picture of every item of clothing and shoes I own, before we moved flats. I was inspired by an artist called Simon Evans and his project where he photographed everything he had. This is another reflection on consumerism and I think cataloguing your possessions is a great way to turn unused objects into memories and make the decision to give it to someone who would happily use it. (Images: on the left : my own photos, one on the right: Stylecouch’s Blog)

Here is my plan of action, before I start planing my future closet by following the Wardrobe Architect project:

  1. I will assess my existing wardrobe, select the useful/rarely used pieces and sell/donate the latter. (Before the end of February!)
  2. I will stop buying any new clothing AND fabric without a plan, and will keep reminding myself of the consequences of such actions… (Until the end of 2014, at least.)
  3. I will build my new wardrobe around the existing pieces and will try to design a few multifunctional pieces.

Is there anyone else as excited about following a route to an organized wardrobe, or do you already have a good system for  that?

From scratch, Ready & waiting

New(ish) year, new resolutions

     I’ve meant to write this post for way too long now. The thing with procrastination is that it gets worse by the minute. Oh, the guilt. There isn’t a day passing by without thinking about all the posts I want to write, about the things I want to sew, the friends I want to call…you get the idea. So every single day when I have a new item on my imaginary to do list, it just adds to this big rolling ball of things I should do, just so that I can end up all frustrated and deciding to just crawl up in my bed and pretend that I’m sort of being creative by watching how other people ARE creative on Pinterest.
To end this agony, I’m putting down my 12 resolutions for this year to make my baggage a little lighter, and because I still have some crumbles of the January hopefulness. I’m dropping the oldies like exercise more, lose weight, read a book a week, sew a garment a month, etc; and will try to have more fun with the new ones. Here is what I wish I’ll be doing in the next 342 days:


2. Start learning French (in progress).

3. Start playing cello from September (probably here).

4. Make a wedding dress for a friend. (Wohoo! I’ll keep you posted.)


6. Make a dressform.

7. Try fabric dyeing.

8. Make/wear handmade jewellery.


10. Be more consistent with blogging/ stress less about failing to do so.

11. Join a sewing group, preferably create find a local one.

12. Sell something I’ve made.

+1: Fall in love. 😉

From scratch, Ready & waiting

What a bag-blog I found!

When was the last time you stumbled upon a real gem in the blogsphere. Something that made you excited, inspired and left you full of ideas? This is what happened to me today, when I found this little blog called “Bag’n-telle“.

That incredibly chic looking bag is 100% handmade, and you can make one too! The blog has several classic designs with detailed instruction, from advice on the fabric to choose to patterns and design tips.

I have always admired professionals in fashion design or any kind of crafts really, who are confident and generous enough to share their knowledge. I have never had any formal fashion education as I was too old to start trying to get into a fashion school and already had a degree, so sites like this make me feel enabled to gain access to some kind of an education after all. I mean all that pinning is fun, but sometimes its good to have all the background data on hand when you start a project that turns out this perfect.

There is no guarantee I will ever make any of these awesome bags as I know myself, but this might be a good reason to change my £9.00 Primark bag (that I have used for about 2 years now, almost every single day – I’ll post a photo so that you believe how crazy good it is) for something new. You probably guessed that I am not that obsessed with accessories, but I am working on this to change! 😉

Here are a few examples of the bags on the site. Just by picking out the fabric of my choice I could have endless possibilities to make the bag totally mine. Loving it!

Image sources: Bag’n- telle