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Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Peach Sundae

Wardrobe 2016 01Last year, I participated in a major wardrobe contest on my sewing site.  While I was putting different fabrics together from years worth of stash, I came across a whole different set that could go together nicely.  Although the contest themes change from year to year, I held onto these in case there was one again this year.  And there was! 

Last year we had six weeks to make eight or nine new garments that all went together, but this year we needed to make ten new items within a full two-month period. 

I thought I would share just how I went about the whole contest from start to finish, starting with connecting the chosen patterns with the collected fabrics, and then trying to find a catchy name that reflected the overall theme.

One of the new things I learned last year was how to create a storyboard.  One is not required, but the idea interested my inner creative self.  A joint endeavor with Doc Leo, we both expanded our knowledge of possibilities over our baby steps last year.  I used PowerPoint to put the various elements together simply last year, but this year I tried doing even fancier effects.  I had to make the presentation merit the collection name!

Wardrobe 2016 14
The title says it all

I analyzed for a long time trying to find an appropriate title for my collection, but nothing seemed to represent any aspect of anything.  Suddenly, this marvelous series of words came to me.  It was enormously long.  I couldn't figure out how to shorten it.  So in the end, I decided I was just going to go with it, even if that made everybody just shake their heads. 

Trying to capitalize on it generated a whole new set of creative trial and error attempts, but I was rather pleased with myself for coming up with this collage.  And yes, the sundae is just as homemade artisanal as the wardrobe!

This is how I put together the mock-up storyboard, then I created a live version.  I think I had as much fun doing all this as I did actually making the wardrobe!

Wardrobe 2016 02
The mock-up storyboard
Wardrobe 2016 03
The reality storyboard

There is a real process involved in doing all this.  First, I took photos of all my fabrics.  This time I ironed them first, as the Doc couldn't get past the minor wrinkles very easily last year.  Then I found the line drawings of all the items I was going to make.  On typical patterns, that's quite easy.  But I used a few little independent patterns, and they don't always provide them.  Trying to create those was a hassle I could have done without.  Then, the Doc did his magic putting the fabric together with the line drawing to create a more realistic idea.  I've added the finished garment to complete the whole process.

Wardrobe 2016 04
From the fabric mill to the finished garment

Wardrobe 2016 05
The sprinkles dress

Last year we had a fairly definite list of garments we had to create.  This year we had a lot more personal options, but I'd already developed my wardrobe based on last year's rules.  I just had to add an additional item.  I had stash, both ancient and recent, for eight of the items, but I could really use the two other pieces I had to buy just for the contest. 

The first item I made was a dress that fit the color scheme, something that was fairly new stash already coupled with a pattern and sitting in my to-do box.  It was the first of five personal choice items allowed.

Two requirements were to make two tops and two bottoms.  With the fabrics I had that went together already, I came up with five tops and three bottoms, using up my remaining personal choices.  I only had to buy the jeans fabric, something I've never made before in my life!  This is how they all turned out.  I've grouped them with all the tops with each bottom.

Wardrobe 2016 06
The cinnamon skirt with all the tops

Wardrobe 2016 07
The peach skirt with all the tops

Wardrobe 2016 08
The fudge jeans with all the tops

The final requirement was to make a topper.  That could be a vest, a sweater, a jacket, just something that could go over and with every item in the wardrobe.  I realized I could make a white cardigan, something I could actually use, and that was my second specific purchase.  However, the pattern was a free download, so it was still a pretty good deal.  One of my tops was conceived to be a jacket, but it wasn't going to work going over every top.  However, it was allowed to show a top as a topper, so that's what I did. 

While I did not take a photo of every single combination with the cardigan, as that would have just doubled everything, I did try to show a variety of styling using both the actual topper and the top where appropriate.  I was actually quite surprised and pleased to see what kind of accessorizing and combinations I could make with what I already own, so this is going to be even more of a fun a wardrobe than just a contest entry!

Wardrobe 2016 09
All dressed up (is there somewhere to go?)

Wardrobe 2016 10
A cinnamon variation with topping

Wardrobe 2016 11
A fudge variation with topping

Wardrobe 2016 12
A peach variation with topping

Wardrobe 2016 13
The complete sundae collection
Today is the last day of the contest, so all the entries are almost in, and it does look like there are some very happy people out there with new wardrobes.  Voting will start next week and lasts a week, so I won't know how interesting everybody finds my collection for a couple of weeks.  I'm hoping it will appeal to more than the 26 who voted for me last year, one tenth of the winning votes.  We shall see.  Meanwhile, I now have a closet fuller of new things to wear rather than seeing all this fabric taking up room I don't have on shelves doing nothing.

Please feel free to check out my actual contest entry, as well as the gallery of all the entries.  Each item has already been featured in its own review, with a different set of photos, all linked in the contest entry.  Check them out!


  1. Your wardrobe entry looks great. I haven't had a chance to look at any yet but will have a look through and vote.
    Can you (or Doc Leo) share with me how to create your fabric on top of the line drawing, please? I want to be able to do that. Thanks
    Good luck!

  2. Wonderful job Barbara! Hope your shoulder clears up soon!!

  3. These things are all so lovely on you! I can't believe you can do all this, but, obviously you can, because you have! Know how pretty you are!
    Love and admiration!

  4. I came here from the wardrobe contest. I liked your wardrobe and enjoyed your blog post about it. Good luck!

  5. Again Barb, my hat's off to you! You set your mind to do something, and you do it, doggonit ;). Bravo! It's always fun to see you every Sunday. Each outfit comes with a story... way more interesting than mine... oh, I bought it here or there. A dimanche.

  6. Your stuff looks great! You must have put in an incredible amount of time!


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