Changing Your Clothes

Shopping, Sewing, Upcycling, Repairing: Make the most of your clothes!


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Santa Fe Wardrobe: Shopping!

As promised: Santa Fe Wardrobe, the shopping edition!

I like to start by “shopping my closet”. I know, I know, it’s much more fun to go out and get new stuff, but hey, it can also be rewarding to unearth something you haven’t worn in (she said with a blush) over 2 years, and find that it works perfectly with your travel wardrobe color palette! So into the closet I go, and find all these pieces that fit not only the color palette but my actual clothing needs for my trip to Santa Fe:

Lightweight Silk/Mohair Sweater Lightweight Silk/Mohair Sweater (hand-knitted by yours truly) Continue reading

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Santa Fe Wardrobe: The fabrics & projects

Now that I’ve chosen the color palette for my Santa Fe travel mini-wardrobe, let me show you how that translates into fabric. (Yes, it’s true that I plan to sew most of this wardrobe, but stay tuned for the shopper’s version in my next post! I will also show you how I incorporated several items from my existing wardrobe into this travel collection.)

Remember my palette? Here it is again, below the fabrics (plus my turquoise necklace) with the palette colors:

Palette Fabrics

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Santa Fe Travel Wardrobe: Color Palette

Now that I’ve shown you a little about one of my current sewing projects, the bronze matte jersey dress with pewter jersey lining, I want to put this project in context. I’m planning a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, around the end of August, and decided this was a great excuse (if I actually need one) to make some new clothes. And since I have also been working on some ideas for great travel wardrobes, this is the perfect time to try out my theories!

The first thing I want to do for a new mini-wardrobe (it’s a 4-day trip) is create a color palette. It so happens that I’ve been twice already to Santa Fe, and it is one of my very favorite places, in part because of the beautiful colors there, which are all the more brilliant in the clear golden light of the high desert. I fell in love with everything from the innumerable shades of green and the earthy, natural colors of architecture and basket-weaving to the silver and turquoise of the jewelry you see everywhere in the Southwest. So the inspiration for my Santa Fe color palette was obvious. I headed over to Colourlovers. Continue reading


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Changing a Pattern 3: Details

So far, the changes I’ve made just to get ready to make my jersey dress (Vogue 1305, photo 1) are:

1. Decided to make shorter version (long was the only length the pattern came in);

2. Chose to use a contrast lining, since some of the lining may be visible, due to slits on the sleeve and center back;

3. Chose a larger button than called for (closed with a bias fabric loop which can easily be made larger), being careful to choose one that’s both washable and lightweight.

(Details of the above are in Changing a Pattern; details of the process of shortening the pattern are in Changing a Pattern 2.)

Today, the final detail I need to deal with is that long slit in the center back of the dress, you know, the one that goes from the neck all the way down to there. Tres sexy indeed, but how does one wear a bra with it?? I decided that slit needed some closure (but then, don’t we all?). Continue reading


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Changing a Pattern 2

The dress pattern I’m using, Vogue 1305 (photo 1) is quite interesting; one side is draped, the other side is not, and there is a loosely-cut dolman sleeve on the draped side (the non-draped side is sleeveless). Slits on the sleeve, center back, and on the non-draped leg are featured. This dress is also fully lined (interesting for a stretch-fabric garment), which means that the color of the lining fabric will show to some extent. (See more about my choice of lining fabric, plus details of initial issues with this project, in my 7/25/12 post.)

Looking at the pattern pieces (photo 2), you can see that the pieces for the draped sides have a shape that’s dramatically different than the non-draping sides; this presented a bit of a challenge, since I planned on making a shorter version of this dress. Here’s how to do it (and note that this is specific to this pattern): Continue reading


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Changing a Pattern

Here are my project challenges du jour:

First issue: I have a dress pattern (photo 1) that requires 3.75 yards of fabric, but the matte jersey fabric I want to use (originally bought for another garment) is only 2.25 yards long (photo 2).

Solution: the pattern only has one length (maxi), but I wanted it to be shorter anyway, so I’m starting by chopping off pattern parts. Rather surprisingly, I was able to fit the shortened pieces in the 2.25 yards!

Second issue: this dress is completely lined, but since there are slits on the sleeve and center back (and on one leg in the long version), the lining would show at least a bit. So the off-white jersey I already had (photo 3) was not very inspiring. Continue reading


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Calling all clothes lovers!

You and your clothes… it’s a love/hate relationship. You love the way a dress looks, but not the way it fits. Or the color of a sweater is fantastic, but the neckline just looks wrong. Maybe you’ve found an amazing skirt at your favorite thrift store, but it has a noticeable stain in an awkward spot. What’s a clothes-loving girl to do?

Changing Your Clothes is all about discovering the creative possibilities that already exist, right in your own closet! Everything I post here is my own projects, the solutions I find to my real-life clothes quandaries. (And I have a lot of those.) Follow my fashion-filled adventures as I alter, repair, knit, sew, recycle, reimagine, and reinvent my own wardrobe!

It’s about time to change your clothes— and love them all over again!