Changing Your Clothes

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


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Read My New Article: Color in your Closet

Just published in Colette Patterns‘ sewing magazine Seamwork: My latest article on using color palettes in real life! It’s called Color in Your Closet: Discover (and Use) the Palette Within.

Features:

  • How to coax a palette out of your existing wardrobe;
  • Identifying your primary colors;
  • Ideas for using your palette to create new outfits;
  • Tips for using accent colors in unexpected ways;
  • Using your palette when you shop!
Using color palettes while you shop

Once you’ve created your palette based on the clothes already in your closet, carry it with you when you shop! (Click the photo to go straight to my article. Photo is my own, also used in the published article.)

Colormusing

This post appeared originally at my A Musing blog, here.

Want to see sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and A Musing, covering all things color-palette-related. And don’t miss all my newest projects, including sew-alongs, at the brand-new SewColormusing blog!

Click on the dots above to visit my mother ship, Colormusing.com, where you can also sign up to receive Hue News, Colormusing’s own monthly e-mail newsletter!

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Thrift-Shop Thursday: Expanding the Definition

The last 2 TST posts are all about developing your shopping strategy. Part 1 suggests making the prospect less daunting by narrowing your focus before heading to the thrift shop; Part 2 shows how to apply your strategy while shopping. Today, I want to explore the idea of applying thrift-shopping strategy to other types of stores.

I was at one of my favorite fabric stores the other day (Mill End Fabrics, if you happen to be in Portland); I hadn’t been there in quite a while, things were all rearranged, so this was basically a reconnaissance mission, not a buying one. While touring one of my favorite sections (Silks—not usually a source of bargains), I noticed a larger-than-usual display of remnants. It occurred to me that even in a store that’s not a thrift shop per se, bargain-spotting tactics still apply— beyond the usual sales. (This particular store doesn’t have a lot of sales, actually; since it’s stocked with mill ends of designer fabrics, they’re already priced well.)

My thrift-shopping heart beat just a little faster as I approached the remnant display, lured by the subtle glow of silk crepes, georgettes, and charmeuses. (Sorry— there’s something about silk fabrics that makes me talk like that.) I was so entranced that it didn’t occur to me to take a photo of the whole display, but I do at least have some pictures of what I bought. Here’s the whole group:

Silk remnants

My new silk remnants! 1. Black & white printed georgette. 2. Berry organdy. 3. Striped crepe de chine. 4. Printed charmeuse. 5. Lavender stretch charmeuse.

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Makeover Monday: A Shirt Story

Last week on Makeover Monday, I showed you how to remove a collar from a button-down shirt, and finish the raw edges to create a fun, versatile accessory piece. Today, I decided to experiment with the rest of that shirt. We’ll see how this turns out…

Faced with the raw-edged remains of my now collarless-shirt, I thought I should at least give it a chance at a new life. After all, it’s a nice-quality, soft, lightweight cotton in a beautiful coral-meets-terracotta color, and it’s only the collar that’s gone:

Collarless shirt

My shirt after last week’s collar-removing project; this week, I’ll see what I can make from what’s left.

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Makeover Monday: Sew TTTW!

Previously on Makeover Monday, I showed you the beginnings of my Take Tango to Work (TTTW) wardrobe, thanks to a fantastic find at one of my favorite thrift shops. I also concluded that, to make my tango wardrobe work-appropriate (and vice-versa), I should focus on professional fabrics and colors, and wear them in tango-ready silhouettes. Now that I’ve started sewing a few things based on that general concept, today we’ll be talking about how to choose patterns for maximum garment versatility. And I’ll show you a fabulous skirt I’ve just made, in 2 outfit variations: Professional Lindy and Tango Lindy!

Since I’ve decided a new skirt is a top wardrobe priority, my first step was finding the right pattern.  I was lucky enough to find this in my pattern collection:

Butterick 4859

Butterick 4859 skirt pattern. I made Version B. Sadly, this pattern is now out of print, but I found this one that’s similar (and still available): Vogue 7937.

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The Accidental Shopper

Today, on my way from one errand to another, I decided to take a different route. (This is common for me.) Well into this exploratory drive, I realized I was going to go more or less right past one of my favorite fabric stores in Portland: Mill End Store, which announces itself as having the largest display of fabrics in America. (I’ve been there. I believe them. How did I get so lucky as to end up in this city??) So, natch, I decided to pop in.

Now, since I hadn’t planned a fabric-shopping foray, not to mention that I had just been in this shop a little over a week ago (and I had purchased plenty of impulse items then, thank you very much), I had no shopping list, no plan, no agenda. Dangerous stuff for a fabric lover. The only decision I made before entering was that I would act as if I was there for the very first time, and simply browse. (This is something I usually avoid like the proverbial plague, since it frequently leads to the aforementioned impulse purchases.) Continue reading


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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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