Hi! It’s been a while eh? I felt the need for a break from sewing, blogging and life in general. I felt a little stressed with things being full-on at home and we decided we needed a holiday of sorts. We luckily managed to book a few days in Barmouth, Mid Wales and it turned out to be a lovely restful time. I can’t believe how lucky we were with the weather either. Three and a half days were spent on the beach in gorgeous sunshine and the rest of the time we had lovely walks….and the best bit was going out for some delicious meals. Ohhhh, it was so nice not to have to cook!
Here are a few photos from our break, Barmouth can be pretty when the weather plays nicely:
We also have some big house and garden renovations planned for the Autumn and after some more family time at home, we had to start on some preparation for those. We’ll be having major landscaping work done in the back garden in October, so plants have had to be moved by us and then we booked tree surgeons to come and do major clearing work before the makeover gets done…we had 5 men working in our back garden yesterday and I was chief tea maker for them all 🙂 .
Other plans are to have interior decor changed in the hall, stairs and upstairs landing areas of the house at the start of September, so last week I was stripping wallpaper in preparation for that too. I’ve been busy, busy, busy!
Obviously, with all of that going on, there’s been zero sewing done by me, though I do have one final summer top to share with you on the blog soon. I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about my personal style and what I want to be blogging about in the future with some regard to that.
As I started to mull over the subject of my style, I watched a fascinating Ted Talk on YouTube by Molly Bingaman. In it, she covers the subject of personal style and identity. It’s really worth a watch.
The video really resonated with me as I came to realise that I fitted into the last category that she mentioned and lots of little lightbulbs went off in my head.
It made me understand why I can often feel really irritated by clothes, particularly tops, that don’t feel like they follow my form and move with me when I want to move. I can’t bear fabrics that stand away from my body like crisp cotton for instance and I dislike sleeves that don’t hug my wrists or have too much fullness or a shape that flaps around….it drives me crazy. Anything that doesn’t sit right on my shoulders or neckline can irritate me too.
If my clothing feels off I can’t feel focused on my daily tasks and that’s no good for my well being when it’s a source of stress.
It’s interesting to note that this need for my clothes to follow my form also fits nicely in with the points about Kibbe style that I mentioned in this post where I talk about being a Dramatic Classic (for me just a hint of the dramatic part in relation to longer sleek lines).
I didn’t just stop at that one realisation about my style though…I was in the mood for more navel-gazing and at the start of August, I decided to join a personal style membership course run by Christie Ressel. I’ve watched lots of training videos already and had a fun time delving deep into the subject of style.
One huge factor that I’ve had to face up to is the fact that I’ve often made myself clothes that are maybe too dressy for my lifestyle or just simply not really what I enjoy wearing or feel like me. I’m very guilty of being too influenced by what I see on Instagram and trying to imitate others (bet I’m not the only one in that respect 🙂 )
I’ve purged a few items from my closet and I want to do a big try-on session to see what outfits I can make with others and what wardrobe gaps I have.
Part of my process has also involved gathering images for a mood board and thinking of a descriptor for my style that’ll help me assess a garment or outfit to make sure it fits with my lifestyle. In three succinct words, I’ve come up with “upscale casual with a twist”.
Casual features because it’s to remind me to beware of my errand running, mostly at home lifestyle and the ‘upscale’ part refers to the fact that no matter how I try…even when I dress casually, I always look polished (or so I’ve been told). Upscale also refers to my love of tailored (well-fitting) clothes and good fabrics. The ‘twist’ part refers to the fact that I’m a creative person that makes her own clothes so they are always original. My plan is to be mindful of dressing down the dressy items in my wardrobe. Here’s my mood board on Pinterest if you fancy a look.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I put an outfit on and it isn’t balanced in regards to feminine and masculine (or Yin and Yang) then it can feel off. Too feminine/girly can feel wrong and too masculine/severe/sporty can feel off too. In fact today I wore a boyfriend blazer (I prefer a fitted shorter blazer), a red top, white jeans and trainers. I realised that apart from the blazer being too boxy the trainers felt wrong to me and a heeled sandal would have been a bit better…it’s the little tweaks that can really make a difference.
My style learning curve’s ongoing but a lot of fun and I’m already thinking about some upcoming sewing projects for the Autumn.
First on my list is something that I’ve been planning for a while and it’s a short cream denim-type jacket using the top part of this vintage Nina Ricci design from 1969 as my starting point.
A short fitted jacket will open up more outfit combos to wear with wide-leg full-length pants and is something that’s been lacking in my wardrobe for a long time. I also have a much loved and much worn olive green cotton sateen RTW trench which I can’t bear to part with, so I plan on remodelling it to a short jacket too.
Another planned project will be using a gorgeous panel print jersey from Marcy Tilton Fabrics for a graphic long-sleeved tee and if I can get hold of the perfect shade of soft denim, I would love some full-length wide-leg jeans.
So for starters, coming up in the next few weeks, I’ll show you my final summer top make, chat about trends and hopefully share my two short jackets, so stay tuned.
And that’s my update….it turned out to be quite a wordy post so if you stuck it out till the end, bless you!