Tuesday, 29 January 2013

::Sewing:: S.W.A.P. - Stage One: Self Analysis - Lifestyle and Style

Stage One: Self Analysis

What do I spend my time doing? When it comes to schedules and numbers I'm a very visual person, I like seeing what's going on when I'm dealing with figures. So when I needed to look at how I spent my time I opened up excel and did a rough time table. I wanted enough detail to accurately reflect what I do each day so I created 30 minute scale to the left and each day across the top.

This is what I ended up with. I probably went a little too much into detail, but that's how I work. (Sorry for the rubbish image). The table shows that my weekdays are mainly taken up with commuting to/from work or being at work. When I get home in the evenings I schlep around the house making dinner then watching telly. I'm not sure that what I've put in the weekend part is accurate, as my weekends are always different. But It think it's a good enough guess-timation for this purpose. From the table I created the pie chart below. It tells me I spend far too much time watching TV and not enough time crafting and reading.

However, how does this help me when I'm looking at wardrobe planning? So I broke time table down into more general terms. Work, home, sleep and outings. This helped with the function of the clothes I should have in my wardrobe to suite my lifestyle.

Based on the pie chart 31% of my wardrobe should be work attire. 33% should be leisure/lounge wear for home. 2% should be smart casual for casual socialising and 2% should be nice evening wear for evening outings.

Now some people would wonder why I've included sleep. Well I spend so much of my time sleeping that I think it would be great to wear nice things as I do. At the moment I wear ratty singlets to bed, so I'd like to change that. However, 32% for sleeping may be a bit much but I'll roll with that for the minute.

What does that mean for my wardrobe planning? I can tell you now that my wardrobe is definitely not distributed that way at all.

What is my style?

CMB has a quiz to help you find out what style you are. The options are Creative, Dramatic, Romantic, Classic, Natural and City Chic.

I took the quiz and the result was that I have a Natural style. This means that I prefer comfort above all other factors when choosing clothes. It also means that I prefer more streamlined dressing, less clutter.

That sounds accurate to me. I don't like being uncomfortable in my clothes and I don't like to wear a lot of accessories. So with my style it's about feeling comfortable, looking good and not too much faffing about with details.

How about you? What's your style? Here's a fun style personality quiz for you.

Until next time, I hope you are loving the skin you're in and the clothes that cover it,
Vanessa xo

Friday, 25 January 2013

::Sewing:: S.W.A.P. - Stage One: Self Analysis - Body Shape

Stage One: Self Analysis - Body Shape

 After my colour self analysis post I'm going to move on to body shape. So the point of me looking at my body shape is I can make better informed decisions about what kinds of clothes will make me look good and give me an idea of what pattern alterations I may have to make when sewing garments. There is no point spending a load of time sewing a garment if it is never going to suite my figure nor fit properly.

[image source]

Now just letting you know this may be a TMI post for you as I will be posting a croquis of myself. Don't say I didn't tell you!


When I was looking at Colour Me Beautiful (CMB) the closest body shape to my own was the Triangle - heavy set on the bottom half and smaller on top. However, I didn't feel like this best described my figure. It wasn't detailed enough.

I have The Body Shape Bible by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine and decided that I'd have a look through to see if there were any body types in there that better suite my physical characteristics.

I couldn't decide if I was a Pear or a Cello.
The characteristics of a Pear are Small Bust, Long Waist, Flat Tummy, Saddlebags, Heavy legs.The characteristics of a Cello are Big Bust, Short Waist, Big Hips, Big Bottom, Big Thighs, Slim Lower Legs.

Now here comes the TMI part. If you are uncomfortable at looking at me as a line drawing in all my glory then I suggest that you avert your eyes and press the page down key a couple of times.

Croquette Croquette_side
Front View Side View

None of these suite me quite right either. So I had a look at CMB again. Hmmm. I took a look at myself in the mirror in just my unmentionables and I noted my body characteristics. (Sidenote: I don't consider any of these characteristics good or bad, they are just ways to describe my body.)
I have sloped shoulders - like a pear
I have a short high waist - like a cello
My top half is a smaller size than my lower half - like a pear
I have big hips, big thighs - like an cello and pear
I have big bottom, and slimmer lower legs ( I have large calves, but I have slimmer ankles) - like cello

I'm not too sure about my bust. I wouldn't consider it to be large or small. I had a professional fitting and was told that I'm a 16C/D - so I'm at the high end of a C cup and the low end of a D cup, depending on the cut of the bra. Sooo I guess I'm on the larger-ish end of the bust scale-like a cello.

I have finally come to the conclusion that I am a Cello  with the shoulders of a Pear.



That is a heap of food for thought. I think that's enough now. Otherwise this really will turn into a planning only exercise.

You can find the 12 Body Shapes from the book here.
What shape are you? Or do you not believe in body shapes?

Until next time, love what you see in the mirror,
Vanessa xo

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

::Quilting:: Super quick Half Square Triangles!

I found this awesome tutorial for making 8 half square triangles at once! Awesome! I just had to share it with you.

I haven't made an half square triangle quilts yet, but this know-how might just push me to do it!

Until next time, I hope you're finding quicker ways to do things,
Vanessa xo

Friday, 18 January 2013

::Life:: Working to Make (or is it Live?)...

Do you live to work or work to live? I work to make things live. I have been working/training for work for 12 days straight. Blech! I'm way over it and and getting super frustrated extra easily.

So I haven't been dedicating a great deal of time on my making. I've kind of been a bit out of it when it come to blogging/sewing along/making. It's super frustrating seeing as I started my year with blogging/sewing along/making gusto.

Don't mean to be whingey. Just letting you know what's keeping me making and showing things I've made.

I've been trying to do some monogamous knitting. I have managed to knit a little on the train to and from work.

Until next time, I hope you're squeezing a little making in your life,
Vanessa xo

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

::Sewing:: Great Sewing Tip!

Using fashion fabric selvedge as stabiliser.
I stumbled upon this great tip via a Craftsy Promotion video.

I had to post it as a reminder to myself. I would never think to do this.

Until next time, I hope you finding gems of information too
Vanessa xo

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

::Knitting:: Awesome knitting tip!

Hey all,

I've got a hankering for some knitting. This is a little strange seeing as we're in the middle of summer here in sunny Queensland. Anyway, I stumbled across this knitting gem and I had to share it immediately. This is a great tip especially for people who are starting out and may make a few mistakes. It's a really simple concept, but I would never have thought to do it myself.

Take a look at Staci's website for more great knitting resources - verypink.com

Until next time, get your knit on!
Vanessa xo

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

::Sewing:: Hollyburn Sewalong - Lock that in!

On the back of my 2013 Sewlution pledge I'm going to follow along with My Messings Hollyburn Sewalong in Jan/Feb! Eeek!

So I've popped the badge on my Sewing Challenges page and popped a badge on my sidebar. Oh! And the most important part is I've bought the pattern from Sew Squirrel, so hopefully it will come in the mail asap!

I know that I haven't finished my S.W.A.P. posts, but I think that this skirt would work in a dark colour....And I want to get started on my Sewlution Pledge! Woohoo. Pretty pumped. 2013 hear me sew!

Until next time, I hope your jumping in feet first,
Vanessa xo

Saturday, 5 January 2013

::Sewing:: S.W.A.P. - Stage One: Self Analysis - Colour

Stage One: Self Analysis

As a first step of my wardrobe overhaul in 2013 I've done a lot of self analysis. So this is a warning to you this is going to be a post very much focused on me.

The book that I referred to the most while doing my self analysis was Colour Me Beautiful (CMB) by Veronique Henderson, Pat Henshaw. It is a pretty good book and covers a broad range of topics regarding wardrobe. So the main things I wanted to cover off in this stage were colours, body shape, lifestyle and style.
I think these are the main factors that determine whether clothes suit someone or not.
[image source]


Determining which colours suite me best will help me make smarter fabric purchasing decisions. There is nothing worse than buying fabric because you like it only to take it home and have the realisation that it is going to look terrible on you.

According to CMB there are two factors you need to take into account when determining your best colour palette - your colouring type and your skin undertone.
I have dark hair and dark eyes which makes me a Deep colouring type.

To determine what undertone I looked at the underside of me arm (as the book suggests). I have a sort of yellowy tone to my skin. To make sure I compared to the Mr's skin and he is definitely a pinky toned person. So that means I have a Warm undertone.

Put them together and I'm a Deep Warm.

Now here are the colours (these colours aren't a 100% reflection of what is in CMB but they will do as an example) that people with a Deep colouring type can wear (at this point it doesn't matter whether I'm a Warm or Cool toned person):

Soft White Emerald Green
Ivory Pine
Stone Forest Green
Taupe Cornflower
Chocolate True Blue
Black-Brown Dark Navy
Black Royal Purple
Pewter Purple
Charcoal Damson
Primrose Blush Pink
Lime True Red
Olive Scarlet
Fern Bittersweet
Turqoise Burgundy
Teal Aubergine

The only parts of this colour palette I'm not really excited about is the Pink. I've never really thought about wearing yellow, but I'll give it a try.

Now as a Warm here are the secondary set of colours I can add to my palette:

Mustard Evergreen
Camel Salmon
Golden Brown Salmon Pink
Mahogany Tomato Red
Coffee Brown Rust
Moss Pumpkin

I'm loving the idea of mustard. I'm not to so keen on the Salmon colours, but I won't say never. I find that I'm naturally drawn to blues and greens at the moment. Which is kind of in line with the types of colours recommended by CMB.

I was going to talk about the other topics of Body Shape, Lifestyle and Style as well. But I think it would be too long a post.

Until next time, love the colours your in and around you,
Vanessa xo

Friday, 4 January 2013

::Sewing:: 2013 Sewlution Pledge

I've taken the plunge and I'm going to participate in Karen's (of Did You Make That?) 2013 Sewlution Pledge Jar. I'm a massive commitmentphobe when it comes to setting goals (now don't try and shrink my head over that!), but I think this is a fitting way to keep my eye on the prize of a much better wardrobe after deciding I need to step up my game when it comes to my wardrobe.


So I have pledges to make at least 9 garments in 2013 - here is my pledge (this is getting really serious, I'm showing you evidence!)

I've added a badge on my blog and added it to my Sewing Challenges page. It's on like Donkey-Kong.

Have you made any pledges or got any goals or plans for 2013? Leave a comment below :)

Until next time, I hope you're finding fun ways to challenge yourself,
Vanessa xo

Thursday, 3 January 2013

::Knitting:: Pink/Grey Purse Stitch Scarf

My latest knitting WIP. This yarn was bought years ago to make something for my sister, but I'd not found the right stitch for it.

~Pink/Grey Mix Delight Yarn
~Purse Stitch
~5mm needles
~CO 2 Jan 2013

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

::Sewing:: S.W.A.P. - Time for Change

Sewing With A Plan (S.W.A.P.)

I read the other day that you should have two weeks between wearing the same outfit. I was horrified. I wear the same thing every week. Eeek! In fact if I don't do my laundry every weekend I quickly start running out of clothes :( That old 80-20 rule is very applicable to me. As in you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time.

I have a wardrobe full of clothes, but not a lot that I want to or can wear. I really need to have a wardrobe overhaul. I've got a couple of weeks off over the Christmas break and I want to use some of that time to 'improve' my wardrobe situation.

So many clothes. So little that I wear!
So I have a goal for 2013 - I want to seriously sew clothes for myself. To do that I need to have a game plan to make sure that I sew things that I'm likely to wear because they suit me and my lifestyle. Hopefully, this won't turn into a planning exercise that doesn't go anywhere. (During the last #SewingSocial on Twitter I mentioned that "I'm guilty of being an 'over' organiser and an 'under' sewer. I'm forever starting projects" :-P)

Stage One: Self Analysis
What are colours that will flatter me so I don't purchase fabric that I like but doesn't suit me. What style of clothes will suit my body shape, so I avoid spending time sewing something that won't suit me. What is my style? What clothes suite me style? What sorts of clothes should I made based on the activities I do.

Stage Two: Wardrobe Planning
What garments do I want to sew? What sewing patterns do I have? What colour should they be? What fabric do I have? Making sure that my work clothes are as mix-and-matchy as possible. What clothes am I likely to wear in winter or summer?

Stage Three: Sewing and Wardrobe Cull
Start sewing and and blogging my experience. Once I've made a few things start culling my RTW wardrobe. I'd prefer to start making clothes before I do a cull of my wardrobe. I'm a person who likes options ;)

So there are my aspirations for my wardrobe and sewing in the new year.

Until next time, I hope you have some meaningful aspirations too. Have a fantastic New Years!

Vanessa xo